Sunday, January 22, 2012


January 22, 1944

From the daily diary kept by S.Sgt. G.C. Watts, while stationed in Naples, Italy during WWII… “Dug fox holes for shelter from strafing planes. Went to Foggi for belley tanks for P38 – P-38 leave with 2-1000 lb. bombs each…”

Our unseasonably warm, wet winter continues. As other parts of the country are getting hammered by heavy snows, winds, and frozen temperatures, we’re experiencing almost spring like temps with lots of rain. According to my weather station, we’ve already received 2.10” of rain this month.

I’ve noted a few cyclists out and about but, by and large, most cyclists seem to have retreated indoors or are riding at times when I’m not out and about to see them...

Last Thursday night’s meeting with the Waynesville Lions Club was fun and energetic. Approximately 18 Lions were in attendance as I reviewed with them our recently adopted Haywood County Comprehensive Bike Plan. I enjoyed speaking with this group of community minded citizens and was very appreciative of their willingness to be involved in promoting cycling in the future. I continue to be impressed with the warm reception of cyclists needs by the folks with whom I speak.

Tuesday night’s BicycleHaywoodNC monthly meeting helped set some committees and some short term goals for the coming year. A good turnout of members helped us off to a good start in the new year. This was our first meeting since merging with Blue Ridge Bicycle Club. We are their one and only Chapter, which is new and exciting ground for both organizations.

Also occurring on Tuesday night was the presentation of the South Main St. Study by the design team that has been reviewing options for the southwest entrance to Waynesville, NC. Jennifer Jacobson, BHNC Vice-Chair, represented our group at this meeting and reported that the needs of cyclists were front and center of the two designs presented. Rodney Porter, lead designer, was quoted in the local newspaper story of the event as saying “every person who commented on the plans indicated the need for bicycle lanes.” Consequently, both of the two designs going for the final design plan will include 5’ bike lanes. This effort shows once again the power of people speaking up at public meetings.

Local Cycling Column… 

Following, for those so interested, is my most recent cycling column in the local newspaper, the Waynesville Mountaineer… This one generated quite a few comments after publication, which was a surprise to me.!


It is the time of the year when every publication you pick up is chock full of tips on how to maintain your conditioning in the “off season”. Cycling magazines are full of expert after expert penning their own hints and proven techniques for sharpening muscle groups so that you will be ready to hit the roads and trails come spring.

Not to be left out, I’ve assembled my own proven tips and techniques for what I call the anti-conditioning conditioning. Yes, through the years, I’ve mastered several workouts and projects guaranteed to insure that you will be at the back of the pack come spring. Most recently, I proved the validity of my approach in the winter of 2010-11 by doing nothing. When spring 2011 rolled around, I watched as my heroine, “Climbing Jen”, glanced backward with a kind countenance as she gracefully found another gear without effort and left me spinning in what appeared to be reverse gear. It was a motivational moment for me! I swore I would improve so greatly over the summer, I would make her see My rear wheel by drop of the first leaf in autumn 2011. I did it too! Of course, she played the “pregnancy” card on me and I didn’t manage to assert my male dominance until her 4th month of impending motherhood!

In no particular order as they are all guaranteed to result in a meditative state of slovenliness, the following are some tried and true methods tested exclusively by myself guaranteed to keep you at the back of the pack!

1) Do NOT force yourself out of bed in the morning before 5:30 a.m. to be at some workout session that focuses on core strength, as one well known alderman is reported to be doing.

2) In fact, anytime anyone speaks of “core strength” run – run away quickly as what they are really talking about is PAIN! Pain of such intensity that you will swear you’ll never have another baby – and YOU’RE A MAN!

3) Take a close look at that extra-fine piece of exercise equipment sitting in your personal workout studio. (Other people call this a basement.) Notice all of the horizontal surfaces built into the equipment. Next, hang all of your freshly laundered shirts and pants on said equipment. This should prevent your clothing from shrinking and, at the same time, prevent you from using said piece of equipment aiding in the spread of your abdomen.

4) (This is my favorite!) Before returning home or going to the gym post work day, eat a full meal followed by a rich dessert. Return home and declare, “I’ll workout when my food digests!” Remember, you should NOT workout within 30 minutes of eating anything! Immediately, take a prone position in your recliner beside the wood stove. In no time, you will be asleep. In 2.5 hours, wake up, get up, go to bed resting in the knowledge that you have again beaten the “workout bug.”

For more information, visit and . You may also link to Zeke’s Great Smoky Mountain 2 Wheeled Adventures under Opinion on the Mountaineer’s website.


Please let me express my thanks to those folks, who continue to return and read this blog. Welcome to new “follower” Trevor, who joins us from the United Kingdom.

(Note: For those who missed the initial explanation, I’m including entries from my recently deceased father-in-law’s daily journal of 1944 at the head of each post. G.C. Watts was a member of the US Army Air Corp and I’ve found his journal entries to be interesting to consider as I go about my daily life in 2012. I hope you enjoy them as well and can take a moment to consider what one of America’s Greatest Generation was doing on this day in 1944 on foreign soil protecting your right to do whatever it is you’re doing on this day in 2012…)

Until later,

- Zeke

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