Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A WINTER PROJECT BECOMES A REALITY

The Haywood Bicycle plan received a nice write up in a local paper on Wednesday, February 9th. The Smoky Mountain News highlighted the effort to bring a formal bicycle plan to our local community. Link to the article by CLICKING HERE!

 

We are very blessed to live in Haywood County, which contains 14 mountain peaks exceeding 6,000 feet in elevation. This one county has more tall peaks within in our considerable border than anywhere else east of the Mississippi. It makes for some outstanding riding with some great climbs. I’ve written about many of them over the past 3 years and most of my climbs are fairly well documents on MapMyRide. The lack of winter riding has left me with plenty of time for thinking and one of those thoughts has now evolved into a project…

My new project is to catalog the 10 best climbs in Haywood County and to get that information out to the public. I’m betting on the project having some interesting outcomes:

  • Develop a goal list for local and visiting cyclists to ride what local cyclists consider to be the top 10 climbs in Haywood
  • Become an additional draw to the area for visiting cyclists thus being an economic engine for recovery
  • Generate enthusiasm amongst new local cyclists to continue in their health and fitness activities

I’ve asked for help from local cyclists in generating a ranking of the climbs. I’m interested in seeing what the “seasoned” cyclists of the area think regarding our many, many climbing opportunities. I’m equally interested in seeing how our newer, less experienced cyclists view the same climbs.

I know that in my own evolution as a cyclist, certain climbs were, in my mind, tougher than I now see them having climbed them multiple times as I became a stronger rider. I’m working on a system to address the difference in rankings by experienced vs. less experienced riders.

I have tried to make the point that I’m not interested in ranking climbs by the system used by the Pro’s. I fully realize that a certain climb that might come at mile 40 of a ride would rank higher than if that same climb came at mile 10. I’m asking folks to be specific about where the climb starts and to start it at the base rather than including many miles of riding to the climb. I’m hopeful this would lend some consistency to the ranking. It has already been pointed out to me that this is a tough assignment. I appreciate the effort greatly.

Since this is a compilation of Haywood County climbs, I’ve asked that only climbs within the county’s borders be ranked. It is acceptable if a climb starts in an adjoining county and ends in Haywood for it to be included. Similarly, a climb could begin in Haywood but end at the peak of the climb in a neighboring county. Climbs not beginning or ending in Haywood should not be included in this ranking and I will not consider them in the final rankings and publications.

So, does it sound interesting to you? Do you see other uses of the data? Our local Tourism Development Authority has already suggested applying for a small grant to create rack cards to be distributed to local businesses. This was an encouraging thought to me.

If you would like to participate and have knowledge about Haywood climbs, jump on over to BICYCLEHAYWOODNC, click on the “Help Us Help You” link on the navigation bar and then peruse and complete the form that results from clicking on the “Rank the Climbs!” button.

(I guess some legalese is required… All submissions become the property of Cecil “Zeke” Yount and may be used at his discretion and may not be used by other individuals or organization without his express written permission. Any email addresses submitted will be used only for gaining clarification of rankings, if needed, and to inform participants of progress if the OPT IN button is selected. Your PRIVACY is important and will be respected. No email addresses or contact information will be provided or sold to 3rd parties making inquiries.)

O.K., that is out of the way… Now, lets go get ready for tonight’s forecasted snowfall… Fill out those forms!

…and Bro Dave – Feel better as you GO TO DISNEYLAND… and you didn’t even win the Super Bowl!

Until later,

Zeke

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