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2017 in review

PMTNR (Plaza Midwood Tues Night Ride)  is every Tues at 8 pm from Common Market.  We’ve had over 3300 riders this year.  Come join us sometime.  We ride 10 miles to a Bike Benefits business then ride back 5 miles to the start.  You can catch up to us on Glympse if you’re running late.  http://glympse.com/!PMTNR

 

CLT Spokes People in conjunction with Bike Benefits provided 9 Cycling Savvy scholarships in 2017.  Let me know if you’re interested in Cycling Savvy or a scholarship or both.  Cycling Savvy is a 3 part experiential bike training course held monthly.  Details at cyclingsavvy.org.

Adam's profile pic

April is the 30 Days of Biking Challenge.  We had several riders in Charlotte make the pledge.  Thanks for Adam Raskoskie for heading up the Challenge.

May was the Spring Sub 24 hour overnight bikecamping trip.  We camped at Copperhead Island at McDowell Nature Preserve.  It’s nice to have the whole island.  

August we rode to view the eclipse in Ridgeway, SC.  We planned to bike from Chester, SC.  We rode most of the way but caught a ride for the last few miles to make sure we got there in time for the full eclipse.

 

October we had our fall Sub 24 hour overnight bikecamping trip.  Eventhough it was raining when we left, we still had about 8 riders.  It stopped raining as we got to the campsite at McDowell Nature Preserve on Lake Wylie.

 

Cranksgiving was in Nov.  We partnered with Charlotte Cycles and Loaves and Fishes.  About 40 riders collected about 700 lbs of food in 2 hours.


It’s Time for the 2017 National Bike Challenge!

Hi Spokes People! Are you ready for the National Bike Challenge? I hope so, because it starts next Monday, May 1! I can’t wait to compete against other cities and–most importantly–kick the butts of a certain other local team who shall remain unnamed (in a friendly manner, of course. Here are the instructions for joining our team on the new National Bike Challenge site. Please note that even if you were on our team in previous years, you must join again this year.

 

  1. Go to nationalbikechallenge.com and click the “Join the Challenge” button.

  2. The page prompts you to log in with Strava. If you don’t have a
    Strava account, you have to create one first.

  3. Here’s the slightly unintuitive part: you have to join our
    team on Strava, and then it will sync to the NBC. Click here to see
    our team on Strava: https://www.strava.com/clubs/cltsp.

  4. After you’ve joined, you should see the Charlotte Spokes People as
    one of your groups! There may be a short delay until it syncs.




My 2016 Riding Goal

My mileage goal was to ride 100 miles/week.  I don’t think that’s too hard.  Most people can ride lots more than that in a given week.  And some people ride 100 miles/day.  The challenge really is to be consistent.  To ride that much every week.  Week after week.

Last year I didn’t really have a mileage goal other than to ride more than drive.  I did that but when I looked at my mileage last year it was 5,169.  And then I thought, I could have easily ridden 31 more miles to make it 5,200 miles which would be 100 miles/week.  So there was my goal for this year.  This year I got to 5200 miles but then I looked at my cyclometer.

photo-2 And I thought, I only need 48 more miles to round it up to 31,000 accumulated bike riding miles.  (When I got an adult bike in 2006.)  To give you an idea, in 2011, out of the 2673 miles, 1818 were on the Betty Foy from May through Dec.  The other 855 were on my old bike in the first 4 months of the year.  It took me 4 1/2 years to ride 5,855 miles on my first bike.  I almost ride that in a year now.

Based on purchase price, I’ve averaged my price on my Betty Foy down to about 10 cents a mile.  (Have you noticed that the cents symbol isn’t on a keyboard anymore?  Everything is in dollars because everything is that expensive.  But not my Betty Foy cost per mile.)

photo-1

Below is the mileage since I’ve been riding my Rivendell Betty Foy:

2011  2,673

2012  3,756

2013  4,294

2014  4,669

2015  5,169

2016  5,439

I usually don’t like goals but they are useful to track progress.  My real goal is to just ride wherever I want to go.  But it needs to be quantifiable.  And so you actually have a way to measure how close or far away you are.

If you want to track your progress:

You can manually add miles to Strava which will be the connected to the National Bike Challenge.  You can join our team, Charlotte Spokes People.  Most people who do, are amazed at how tracking and seeing other people’s mileage encourages them to keep riding.  And join us on some rides.  Tues. at 10 am (when it’s hot) or 2 pm otherwise.   This ride leaves from Advent Coworking on corner of Louise/Otts one block from Central Coffee.  Tues at 8 pm is PMTNR (Plaza Midwood Tues Night Ride) from Common Market Plaza Midwood.  Sunday Slow Riders leaves from Legion Brewing at 2 pm or 8 pm when it’s hot.  All rides are on the calendar and each ride has a facebook page.

 

Bottom line:

  • You’ll never reach your goal if you don’t have one.
  • You’ll never reach your goal by sitting on the couch.
  • You have to progress toward your goal every day – or you’re going backwards away from it.
  • One step towards your goal is still progress.
  • Progress seems slow.
  • You’ll get there eventually.
  • Sometimes it’s sunny.  Sometimes it’s rainy.  Sometimes it’s hot.  Sometimes it’s cold.  Sometimes it’s windy.  Sometimes it’s perfect.

 

Next year my goal will be 5,500 miles courtesy of the monkey on my back from Douglas Welton.  He planted the seed of the idea and now I’m so close.  Maybe I’ll need to ride a little faster so it won’t take me so long.  I’m the turtle that will get there at some point.

Thanks for everyone who has ridden with me.  You all helped me get to my goal.  There’s a saying that if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together.  We’ll get you to your first 1,000 miles then 3,000 then 5,000…

Come ride with us.

 

 


National Bike Challenge Charlotte Awards Event

 

 

 
sumposterSaturday, December 17th, we hosted the Charlotte awards and celebration event at Advent Coworking Space.  We had lots of prize packages to award to top riders and to raffle off to everyone who could attend.  It was great seeing and meeting some of the riders that were on the leader board.  I met the guy who beat me by 60 points for #8 on the Charlotte team.  He rides a lot!

We posted full challenge rankings for the Charlotte challenge as well as for the Charlotte Spokes People Team and Crank Mafia.

fullresultsrankings  These are the full results rankings for the Charlotte Challenge.

csprankings  These are the rankings for Team Charlotte Spokes People.  Join our team next year!

2016summary  This is a summary of the Challenge.

Kevin Caldwell spoke briefly about his masters thesis, which will research bike commuting.  Please contact him at kcaldw19@uncc.edu if you can contribute.

img_20161217_201048-01

 

Milton and Sarah awarded the prize packages.

 

A big thank you to the Bike Benefits businesses who donated prizes.

Bicycle Benefits

Bicycle Benefits

  • img_20161217_203137-01Queen City Bicycles
  • Common Market
  • Legion Brewing
  • Birdsong Brewing
  • Brixx Pizza
  • Blue Blaze

img_20161217_203232_1-01


Gratitude

It’s fitting that it’s November and this article (Charlotte Agenda article Nov 2015) popped up on the CLT Spokes People facebook page.  It was posted by awesome Christine.  I’m thankful that people are enjoying the Tues. Night Ride as much as I am.  And I am thankful there are so many people who come together to help plan the ride, help lead, sweep, run Glympse, help lead, make the safety announcements, mark turns.  We all work together to make the ride work and enjoyable for all.  We’re all so busy planning the next ride, the next event, etc that I haven’t had time to work on posting the mission statement, etc.  I’m too busy riding.  But I did want to stop and thank each person who comes to ride and to each person who helps in some way each week.  Let’s keep riding.  It’s nice to be noticed for the good work we’re doing.  Pile on some layers and keep riding with me through the cold.tonycamsnow

By the way, Sunday Nov. 8th is Cranksgiving, a food drive on bikes.  Join us at Okra at 1:30 (registration).  Ride starts at 2 pm.

 


Group Ride Safety Tips for the Uninitiated

Wahoo Turns To Ouch

Original photos by Craig Deal and Michael Hernandez

 

I was out on this past Tuesday’s PMTNR and I started looking around and noticing a few things.  The first thing I noticed was that there were a whole bunch of new people.  The second thing I noticed was a bit more immediate to the ride; we had two accidents in the first fifteen minutes of riding, which was something I hadn’t really seen before.  Since I was close to both crashes (nobody was injured in the making of these crashes by the way), it was easy to see how they happened.  Too many people bunched in too close proximity, and not familiar with the unwritten rules of group riding that you learn over time.

 

All that said, here is a list of what I hope are some helpful tips if you are new to group riding.

1.  Know thyself.  Only you know how comfortable you are on a bike.  When on a group ride, people can get squashed together. It’s good to know how much personal space you need.

2:  Increase your sphere of awareness.  Here’s a great rule I learned guiding a raft.  On a group ride, there will be people all around you.  Pay attention to what’s happening.

3.  Stopping and starting.  If during a ride you need to stop for any reason and there are people behind you, let them know.  You can do the slowing/stopping hand signal, or you can yell, “stopping!” loudly enough for the people around you to hear.  This will keep the people behind you from crashing and they will appreciate your consideration.  When starting make sure you have enough space.  If you are a wobbly starter, you need more space…make space for yourself to get going

4.  Passing.  It is so helpful when you are passing someone to yell out, “On the right” or, “On the left” to the person you’re passing, especially if you are trying to squeeze by in a small space.  If the person in front of you doesn’t know you’re coming, they may swerve and you will have caused the accident by not letting someone know you’re there.

5.  Gear.  Wear a helmet and have appropriate lighting.  Check your tires before heading out.

6.  Remember this is a ride, not a race.  There are no trophies at the finish line, and hey, there isn’t a finish line.  This has been a difficult concept for me since I can be just a little competitive.  But a few weeks ago on a ride I heard someone say to a friend, “This is the perfect pace for just relaxing after a hard day.” It really struck me that that was the point of PMTNR, to have a nice relaxing time after work.   It’s important on a group ride to make sure we can all finish safely.  Look out for your fellow riders by not trying to blow them away with your super human speed.  There are other wonderful rides in Charlotte if you want to practice going fast.

7.  Final tip–have fun.  That’s what you came to do!

 


National Bike Challenge

Just a few things on the National Bike Challenge.  The Challenge begins May 1st and goed through September 30th.  Click here for the FAQ.  The main thing is you ride your bike.  Try to ride everyday.  It doesn't matter if you ride one mile or 20 or 50 in a day.  Just ride.  Keep track of your mileage.  The easiest way is to jot it down.  You'll bascially know how many miles it is to most places you go such as work, grocery store, wherever.  You can choose to use Endomondo, Strava, Garmin… but those all suck the power out of your phone or device because of the GPS.  (This is anecdotal since I don't use a phone).  You have until the last day of the month to enter your mileage for that month.  I try to enter mine at least weekly so I don't forget and then the 1st rolls around and you can't enter your mileage.  

To enter your mileage, go to the home page for NBC and click on the middle flag to log your miles.  

To check your ranking, I think it's easiest to go to your profile.  Your profile shows your ranking, which team you're on, your community and state.  To get to your profile, scroll down on the home page and click on the person looking silhouette on the right hand side of the orange tab.  This is the top icon.  You can click on each of those (Team/Community/State) and it will show the leaderboard for each.  When you click on each person, you can then see what team each person is on.  

Thanks for joining the team.  There's an African proverb that says "If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together."  So we'll all go together.


This is your site!

Thanks for finding the website.  This is your website and your group.  We just set it up so we can all collaborate on ideas and projects that will help support everyone riding their bike.  Let’s create a conversation and dialog about what WE collectively want to do.

Take a look at the Projects – Proposed and let’s get some stuff done.

I’m glad you’re riding your bike.  Let’s share the gift of riding a bike with others.  Everyday we get to ride is a good one.  It doesn’t matter whether you ride one mile or 100.  Every ride is a good ride.

Thanks again.  I hope to see you riding.