I must admit, I never personally knew Al. Everyone always saw him riding his bike around Plaza Midwood. This is a picture from July 4th, 2015 that my daughter took of Al as he rode down The Plaza. As you can see he was on his way home from Harris Teeter. He rode his bike everyday. Just as many of us do. Slow down, pay attention and put down the phone. Rest in peace, Al.
Every year I review my past year on Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar so this year Chinese New Year is Feb. 19th. This is the year of the sheep. I like to see how much I’ve ridden, to reflect, to see what I need to do better or differently. Happy Chinese New Year!
Photo: Jeff Cravotta
Tin Can Annie; Photo: Wesley Johnson
Please allow me to introduce you to my inspiration. This is a photo of Tin Can Annie. By the wonder of facebook someone posted a picture one day. This is the lady I used to see riding her bike everywhere all the time way back in the early1990s. She was always around Central, Plaza…. Yes, I’ve lived in Plaza Midwood since that time. She rode day, night, rain or shine. And she was always dressed head to toe in orange. She was my inspiration. You never know when someone will see you as their inspiration. Keep riding.
Both of the rides – PMTNR and Sunday Slow Ride are doing well. I’m so glad people show up twice a week to ride. We’ve had some great rides around town. These are my 2 favorite days of the week. Thanks for riding with me if you’ve been and if you haven’t, please join us sometime. We have a 15 mile ride with a 10 mile stop then a 5 mile return. A few times we’ll be a mile or two longer or shorter but that’s the idea. I love that I meet some of the nicest, most interesting people on the rides.
Bike Miles 4,669 (last year 4,294)
Car Miles 7,000
Long distance trips 4,500
Around town 2,500
I still haven’t met my goal of 5,000 miles/year on my bike. Maybe next year.
Cumulative bike miles 20,394
My goal is to ride my bike everywhere. This year I remembered to track trip miles for out of town drives so I can see how much I drive around town. I’m surprised it’s still this much but I do drive to the farmer’s market on Yorkmont every weekend since I have to be there early and I’m pressed for time on Saturday. That’s most of the mileage. The rest are running the kids around to the doctor, dentist, birthday parties, etc. I don’t like to drive my car nearly as much as I love to ride my bike.
National Bike Challenge Stats: (May-Sept 2014)
152 days ridden
#7 rank locally
#1245 rank nationally
Monthly record 489 miles
Best day 42 miles
I don’t consider myself athletic. I just like to ride my bike. I’m surprised I was ranked #7 for the Bike Challenge. A few miles here and there really do add up. You don’t have to ride far or fast just consistently. I think I missed one day during the 5 month challenge. I even rode when I was out of town.
My goal for Charlotte Bike Benefits was to be the largest program this year but we didn’t quite make that goal this year. We are #2 – behind Seattle, WA by about 17 businesses. Let me know if you have suggestions for additions to the program. And please ride your bike and support our participating businesses so they’ll continue to be engaged and supportive of bicycling in Charlotte. Please let the participating businesses know that you support them because they are a part of the Bike Benefits program. They need to know it’s a positive draw for them.
Cycling Savvy Charlotte
I taught my first Cycling Savvy class in December. I’ll be scheduling classes regularly. Let me know when you want to take a class and we’ll make it happen. You can now sign up for notifications on the website so you’ll know when the next class is scheduled. Here’s the link. I like to keep the class sizes small (less than 8 people) so everyone can get the most out of the classes. I know everyone says “I know how to ride a bike and don’t need to take a class.” But if you learn one thing to make riding more enjoyable, less stressful and it could save your life, it’s worth it. Just sign up and take the class and take my word for it. You’ll learn a lot. I promise. Riding a bicycle is easy. Riding a bicycle mindfully and courteously makes every ride more enjoyable. Come learn how you can ride anywhere.
BikeFest is planned for Sunday May 3rd. Mark your calendars and save the date. And better yet, help me plan it and be on the inside. Help me make this a great event to help share the joy of bike riding in Charlotte. Planning starts now. You can either help plan or on the day of the event or both. There are lots of opportunities to help support bicycling in Charlotte. Let’s get people on a bike so they can remember the joy they had riding just like the first time they learned to ride long ago. Email me at pamlikestobike at gmail.com if you can help. Thanks in advance.
Thanks for riding with me. Keep inviting your friends to ride with us. We’re filling up the calendar and have events most of the time now. If you didn’t read it, here’s a link to the Year in Review newsletter. As Rocky says, “Ride a Bike!”
I've had the good fortune to meet so many great people through riding my bike. Rocky is the one person who is more enthusiastic about riding than I am. And that's alot of enthusiasm. He was a friend of a friend and I finally got to meet him and ride with him. He is one of my bike heros for his positive energy, how he rides all the time and he is a quite skilled and fast mountain bike and road bike rider. Here's an excerpt from one of his facebook posts.
"Today I will ride , not just ride but try to do it in another way. Just get on my bike and go, take roads that I don't know, explore… We all have our own meaning in riding, some it is competition others it is a good time… but to me it has always been about being at peace and clearing my head not getting it all cloudy with different thoughts . I sometimes forget (how old I am) when I get that rythm on road or in the trail, which I miss more than anything, the woods are the best place to be at times for just getting it out and having fun but the road now seems to be my place of therapy. Riding through the city is a blast , all the energy around you, cars, buses and people and the the lightrail. I always love to ride next to the Light Rail cause you can hear the energy coming through the tracks right before it gets to you. You try and beat it before it gets to the next stop. It is pure that sound. I always say the Kinectic energy surrounds all of us when we are moving on two wheels. We are part of that energy. It is just simply amazing… and the bike has helped… I am a cyclist who loves to just get out and ride…Now Ride a Bike…"
I'm so thankful I've met these people through bicycling through Charlotte. I've met the best people on bikes. My kids call them "bike people". Bike people are the best. As Rocky says, Ride a Bike!
The calendar is filling up. There's so many great bike events scheduled in the next few months.
Tonight: Critical Mass for August. I think we're headed to the new OMB.
9/1 – Yard Art Day 2 pm ride from EcoLicious. We'll ride around to view the various art installations.
9/6 – Common Ground music festival from 12-11 pm in Plaza Midwood. The best way to arrive is by bike since the parking will be tight otherwise.
9/19 – National (Park)ing Day – hopefully I'll get it together to install a temporary park in a parking space somewhere. We need to appreciate green space and common spaces more than parking spaces. Thanks for riding your bike to help support green spaces.
9/20 International Day of Peace Scavenger Hunt to benefit a Travel Scholorship for Hosteling International.
9/26 – September Critical Mass
10/3 – New Belgium Brewing Clips.
If you would like to volunteer for the Clips event please message Harry Johnson with your e-mail address and telephone #. He'll add you to the master list and send to you the New Belgium volunteer tracking sheet which lists specific slots that need to be filled.
Here's the Facebook page for the Charlotte event, "LIKE" it, and start inviting friends.https://www.facebook.com/events/202431339967814/
10/4 Plaza Midwood Art Crawl
10/9-11 NC Bike Summit in Greensboro
10/31 Halloween Critical Mass – I think there will be a Star Wars theme
See the calendar for links and details.
And all of these are in additon to the normally scheduled rides. Get on your bike and ride!
This is the time of year everyone is taking pictures of their bike adventures, charity rides, bike riding in beautiful far away places. Those things are always great and lovely but few and far between for most of us who have a family, work, have normal obligations. Too many people only train for special events or occasions and forget about the beauty and delight of daily riding. They get trapped in a neighborhood afraid to cross a busy street, don't make time in their daily schedule to ride their bike and end up driving everywhere while the bike collects dust.
To me a bicycle in the garage is like a caged animal wanting to be out in the sun, on the road, seeing new things and going places. Dust off your bike that has spiderwebs and dust. Pump up the tires, oil the chain, make sure the brakes work then just ride. Anywhere. Everywhere. All the time.
See the sun set. Watch the moon rise. Watch the buildings light up. Listen to the cicadas, crickets, birds, dogs. It's always a great time to ride. Wherever you are. Experience all the neighborhoods of Charlotte. We have a wonderful tree canopy. Charlotte is a beautiful place to ride your bike. Most streets and neighborhoods are wonderful to ride on. Come ride PMTNR or Sunday Slow Ride with us and discover your city.