Saturday, July 28, 2012

BACK AT IT AGAIN…

When last I heard from myself, the Navigator and I were headed out with the Wood-man and Sherry Shazam for a little battery recharging at nearby Lake Chatuge, which straddles the southwestern North Carolina border with Georgia. Our abode was in Hiawassee on the Georgia side of the lake one street off what passes for the main drag and shopping zone.

Chatuge_Daylight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Twin Mountains on opposite shore)

Chatuge_Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Red sky at night was a relaxing way to end the day)

The brief two day trip served its purpose of giving us a break in our efforts to get one house ready for sale and the Navigator’s family home…

ready to be remodeled before we move to that location. During our stay at Lake Chatuge, the Wood-man and I enjoyed a pleasurable ride around the Georgia shoreline and up near the headwaters of the lake. I expected the roads to be mostly flat but that turned out not to be the case. We found a route that included a decent ascent over one of the Twin Mountains followed by (yep, what goes up must go down) a fun descent before a shorter climb over the second of the two mountains.

Motorists in the area were quite friendly with the exception of one pickup truck inhabited by a young male who wasn’t very creative in his screams at us. I mean, just how many times can you hear “Get outta da road!” before it really begins to lose its originality? The only other incident involved a logging truck that didn’t seem impressed by the need for 3’ of clearance for passing. I believe that if the Wood-man had long hair, the logging truck would have sucked it out just from the draft as it passed within a foot of him.

We’ve been back and attending to work matters and the aforementioned house remodels and associated bank loans/surveys/appraisals, etc. It has also been a busy time with bike related meetings including our monthly BicycleHaywoodNC advisory council meeting, the Blue Ridge Bike Plan meeting, and the ongoing Blue Ridge Breakaway planning.

Speaking of the Breakaway, we’re down to 22 days and counting. Early registration fees end next week and the 2012 jerseys are all but sold out. We’re currently running some 45% ahead of last year’s registration at a comparable time. I’m looking forward to the arrival of Russ Roca and Laura Crawford of The Path Less Pedaled  as they come east for a week of cycling related activities. They will first arrive in Charlotte, NC and participate in the Southern Spokes event before riding on up to the mountains of Western North Carolina for their participation in the Breakaway on the 17th and 18th of August.

“Embrace Your Turtleness”

This may be my new fun slogan courtesy of Master Scribe and Blogger Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson. In a recent posting of his Bike Talk, a reader wrote of his dilemma of keeping up with his girlfriend and other friends on his Long Haul Trucker whilst they moved away speedily on their more race oriented steeds. The writer, asking for guidance in the matter, prompted a fine piece of writing by the Mountain Turtle.

The post struck a cord with me as I’ve been in a similar situation most of this year by choosing to ride my much heavier Salsa Fargo on group rides. I invariably get dropped and seem to be moving backwards. That paired with a drop in actual riding time has led to some frustrating moments on two wheels for me.

I found Kent’s post Bike Talk: Do I Keep On Trucking? especially poignant as I read it at 2:30 a.m. on this date. I’ll be “embracing my turtleness” on my next ride!

For those so interested, here is the text of my latest cycling column for our local newspaper.

23 DAYS AND COUNTING!

We’re getting down to the wire with only 23 planning days until the 3rd Annual Blue Ridge Breakaway. Last year’s event garnered kudos on many fronts and was selected as The Best Ride of the Year by SteepRoads.com. This year’s event promises to be as good or better. We’re running some 35% ahead of last year’s registration at a comparable time and virtually all of the new Blue Ridge Breakaway jerseys are sold. To enhance the event, activities have been planned for Friday, August 17th, the day before the ride. Waynesville Rotary Club, along with BicycleHaywoodNC, a chapter of Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, will be bringing to town Russ Roca and Laura Crawford for two presentations and to participate in the ride on Saturday.

Roca and Crawford are best known as The Path Less Pedaled. In 2009, they sold or stored virtually all of their belongings and took to the road on bicycles to see America. Two tours later they have developed a fund of knowledge about what makes a community and a business bicycle friendly. They will share that information first with local business leaders and elected officials at Laurel Ridge Country Club on Friday August 17th in a session targeted toward making the community and businesses more attractive from an economic development standpoint by attracting more cyclotourists to our area.

The cycling duo most recently completed a 3 month tour of New Zealand on folding bikes! This helped them in further developing their expertise in how small communities can revitalize themselves through being bicycle friendly. On Friday evening, in a presentation open to the public, Roca and Crawford will discuss their trips around the United States and New Zealand with more emphasis on the people they’ve met and the experiences they enjoyed and/or endured through their travels. Roca is a talented photographer and will make ample use of multi-media that he and Crawford have developed during their tours. The evening event will be held at the Lake Junaluska open air gym on the western side of the lake nearest Dellwood Road. A meal, for a nominal charge, will be offered and interested persons are encouraged to register for the event at the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce website on the Events page.

So, come on out Haywood County and hear what promises to be a couple of fascinating presentations and ride along with us on the 3rd Annual Blue Ridge Breakaway. Early registration discounts are available until August 1st. Please let me be the first, but not the last, to say a massive THANK YOU to all of our volunteers because YOU are what makes this event great!

To register for the Business Leaders/Elected Officials session, send email to gr8smokieszeke@gmail.com.

To register for the Friday evening presentation at Lake Junaluska, register at: http://web.haywood-nc.com/events/eventdetail.aspx?EventID=469

 

I think it just may be time to rejoin the Navigator for a few hours of sleep…

Until later,

- Zeke

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