Tuesday, April 7, 2015


(Lake Junaluska Memorial Chapel and my Salsa Fargo)

Spring 2015 must be near. Along with the typical signs of spring associated with Yellowbells, Daffodils, and amorous squirrels, I’m seeing big increases in the numbers of folks outdoors pursuing various recreational and fitness activities.

The walking track at the Canton Recreation Area this year has been busy with walkers of two legged and four legged varieties and the ball fields have been full of various baseball and softball teams getting in games mercifully played in Daylight Savings Time.

More people, who ride bikes, are also out and about. I’ve noted an increase in the numbers of individuals getting their exercise pedaling steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber machines all over Haywood County. I’ve spotted people riding bikes on Newfound, downtown Canton, Lake Junaluska grounds, NC 209, and through the Towns of Waynesville and Clyde. No doubt there are many other areas being ridden as well.

Haywood County will be blessed with two bicycle specific events this year. The annual running of the Blue Ridge Breakaway will occur on August 15th and bring about 500 cyclists plus associated family members to town. CycleNC selected Waynesville as the host town this year for the beginning of the cross-state ride. CycleNC caps their ridership at 1100 registrants. Being the host town means that cyclists and their family members will arrive early for the beginning of the event on Sunday, September 26th. In addition to these two events, the Lake Logan Multi-sport Festival will fill two days in August (8th and 9th) with cycling, running, and swimming. All of these events will bring substantial revenues into the county.

According to the recently completed “Bikes in Beds” study of the impact of cycling on tourism in Haywood County and Western North Carolina, approximately 2% of total tourism trips to Haywood is accounted for by bicyclists having a $3 million dollar impact on the local economy. With the ongoing success of the Breakaway and Lake Logan events and the hosting of CycleNC this year, the future impacts of tourism related to people who ride bikes will only increase.

Putting on these events takes many people working together over many hours. Planning is already well underway for the Breakaway and the first organizational meeting for CycleNC was held on Monday, April 6th. There will be many opportunities for local citizens to demonstrate our famed Haywood County Hospitality this year. Whether it is as simple as a friendly smile and wave to a person riding a bike along your neighborhood road or taking on a volunteer job at one of the events, it will take all of us working together in order to make these events resounding successes. So, get your smile on Haywood!

Registration is now open for both events! For some outstanding Smoky Mountain riding, come to Haywood County, NC! For more information on the local area, contact the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, or post me back at Gr8SmokesZeke@gmail.com!

Past readers of this blog may be wondering just where I've been since my last post was a long, long time ago. Well, my priorities shifted and my time has been devoted to these two new members of our family.

(l) Cordelia - commonly called "Dilly"                                                                                  (r)  Beauregard - commonly called "Beau"

It has been the “Beau and Dilly show” 24/7 at our home in Beautiful Buzzard’s Roost for a little over a year now. Beau and Dilly were born 4 days apart and, by happenstance or fate, they ended up living with me and the Navigator. Dilly is a Giant Schnauzer born near Lake Erie in Ohio and comes to us from Ramahills Kennels. Beau is a mix of Border Collie and something darned big and joined us from Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Waynesville.

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