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How Cycling Savvy Helps

Here’s a 9 second video of how Cycling Savvy improves my riding safety and enhances my riding experience. This is on S. Tryon heading south. We are crossing I77 approaching Woodlawn Ave. Notice we are in the rightmost through lane. There is a right turn only lane to our right which leads to the on ramp for I77. We do not need to merge left for a lane change. We are riding 2 abreast and traffic can easily change lanes to pass. Since we are 2 abreast motorists can more easily pass since we are shorter in length than if we were riding single file. Listen for the honks. There are none. There is no traffic passing us because we are in the gap which the traffic light at Pressley/Tryon has created for us. We turned left onto Tryon from the parking lot across from Pressley. We also pressed the pedestrian button since the signal did not actuate for us. It may have given us additional pedestrian timing creating a longer gap in traffic for us.

If some of this terminology is foreign to you, please join me in my next Cycling Savvy course. We cover all these strategies and techniques.


Bikecamping 2022

Although every year everyone is excited about the trip. We generally only have a handful of people. This trip we had eight riders to Copperhead Island at Lake Wylie, South Carolina. We rode about 20 miles with 25 mph gusts. It was windy and cold on the way out but had perfect weather at 61 degrees for the ride. We stopped at the Publix as usual and picked up dinner. Then got to camp. Set up our tents and ate dinner. There was a burn ban in effect till 8pm. Then we all sat around the campfire. It’s always a good time. Join us next time. Video and pictures by Cary Gavin.


10 years of beausage on my Betty Foy

May 2021

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I unboxed my Betty Foy from Rivendell. My Betty is my daily ride and was my only bike til recently. I have an old Schwinn Mesa Runner that I use when I’m out of town on the weekends. I set it up like my Betty and like that it basically the same and I can always pull the parts if I’m desperate.

I do ride my Betty daily – about 360 days/year. I use it for all my errands and wherever I want to go. I did travel by Amtrak pre-COVID. And I’ve flown it boxed on American since it’s only a normal bag fee (no oversize charge anymore). I’ve done S24O trips and am slowly using it more for longer trips. I’m up to 2 nights camping and would like to go for 3 or more soon. Maybe this year.

I’m not sorry about all the scratches and beausage.  I remember every one. Each time I locked at a bad bike rack or street sign and it shifted and scraped the paint off the top tube. When I was adjusting my seat and the hex wrench slipped. When I parked on some cart return because there’s no bike rack… I ride daily and I always lock up. I never leave it unlocked.

I keep track of the mileage for maintenance purposes and I like to try to get full utility out of all my components. I had been trying to get more chains per cassette but I’m so bad about it that I think I’ve given up and will just wear them out together. I think I’ll try to get 5,000 out of them. I’ll see how that goes. I’ve used Schwalbe Marathon Supremes and usually get about 12,000 miles without a flat. They have wear indicators now which are helpful.

Miles : 58,529
Highest annual mileage : 9,000
Most daily miles: 80

Riding in NC

  • Charlotte (Amtrak roll on service)
  • Raleigh (Amtrak roll on service)
  • Apex
  • Cary (Amtrak roll on service)
  • Durham (Amtrak roll on service)
  • Asheville 
  • Belmont
  • Pinnacle
  • Greensboro (Amtrak roll on service) to Apex
  • Newton to Lake James
  • Rocky Mount (Amtrak roll on service) to Elizabeth City
  • Cycle NC ride 2019 from Clayton (Amtrak roll on service) to Atlantic Beach
  • Rodanthe to Ocracoke

Outside of NC:

  • Philadelphia, PA (Amtrak roll on service)
  • Glacier National Park (Amtrak roll on service)
  • Portland, OR (checked in box on American)
  • Seattle, WA (Amtrak roll on service)
  • Washington, DC (Amtrak roll on service)
  • Orlando, FL (Amtrak roll on service)

Annual mileage

  • 2011 : 1,818* (May -Dec)
  • 2012 : 3,756
  • 2013 : 4,294
  • 2014 : 4,669
  • 2015 : 5,169
  • 2016 : 5,439
  • 2017 : 5,064
  • 2018 : 5,251
  • 2019 : 9,014
  • 2020 : 6,613
  • 2021 : 2,008* (Jan- Apr)
  • *partial year

Original equipment:

  • handlebars
  • stem
  • cranks
  • seatpost (weird size 26.6)
  • saddle
  • middle and small chain rings
  • brake levers
  • Shimano XT rapid rise rear derailleur
  • Nitto campee rear rack
  • headset
  • frame
  • fork
  • Brooks B68S
  • Middle and small chainrings
  • headset

My Betty and I have gone so many places together and made so many friends and have had so many good times.  And we’ll have many more miles and trips and meet so many people. Bikes are made for riding. Go ride!

p.s. I matched some nail polish to the paint but since it doesn’t have a UV coating, it fades out. So some of the touch ups look white. I’m switching to clear nail polish now.

p.p.s. Plan all routes with Ride With GPS, write route on a 3×5 index card. No cell phone.


Challenge yourself

Is the cup half empty or half full?

Remember all the times you said, “If I had more time, I would…” Well, now is the time. Now is the time to use the nice dishes, light the good candle, love your family, appreciate your home, ride your bike. Yes, ride your bike. The time you had spent driving to/from work, to/from school… going wherever. That’s over. Now you have plenty of time to ride.

And come time to complete some other challenges. I’ll share mine and will list a few more.

Challenges:

  1. How many days can you ride your bike consecutively?
    • Goal: See if you can ride the entire 21 days of the Stay at Home order.
  2. How many miles can you ride in a month?
    • Goal: I think I could easily ride 500 miles but 1,000 would be a real challenge.
  3. Can I reduce my trash for the week?
    • Goal: Limit trashfor 1 whole week in a 1 pint ice cream container. I’ll compost and recycle a lot.
  4. How long can I go without going to the grocery store?
    • Goal: 14 days. Bartering doesn’t count.
  5. How long can I go without buying anything or spending any money?
    • Goal: 1 month. Bartering doesn’t count. Consumerism isn’t good. And I won’t order anything either.
  6. Eat all home cooked, non processed food. Make your own food from whole food. Dried pasta is ok. But not a frozen meal.
    • Goal: 1 week or more.

The bottom line is you can challenge yourself and use this time to make the best of it. And it can take your mind off all the things you can’t do. Here’s some things you can focus on.


The best time to ride is… N O W!

How to sign up and use Ride with GPS

With everything going on, it really is the best time to ride. I hope you are taking the COVID situation seriously. What does that mean: stay at home, go ride your bike, stay at least 6 ft away from anyone, only go to the grocery store once a week and don’t go anywhere else. But you can always ride your bike!

And the streets are basically empty. So it’s great riding conditions. N O W!!! Not confident? Take the online Cycling Savvy class. The online course is more than the classroom presentation since we are limited to a 3 hr format for the in person session. The online classroom material is expanded and you’ll have lifetime access to it. So when any updates are made or new material is added, you get that too. Plus, you can come to the on bike sessions and have fulfilled the classroom prerequisite. In addition, you can attend the in person classroom session since you’ve already taken the online. Why would you do that? Just in case you have some questions to ask or to make sure you comprehend all of it. It’s a lot of material. Even for me and I’ve taught the course about 30 times.

I’m ready to ride. Where to?

Use Ride With GPS. Charlotte Spokes People has a club account so you can use all the premium features for free. If we have enough members, we’ll continue to fund this. We just want to make sure it’s worth paying. Let us know what you think. (Send us an email to pamlikestobike@gmail)

How?

Step 1: Sign up for Ride With GPS. You’ll need to set up an account for yourself.

Step 2: Join the Club account with this link. After you’ve joined, you should get this message.

Step 3: Choose a route. All the PMTNR (Plaza Midwood Tues Night Ride) and SSR (Sunday Slow Ride) routes are there. I’m not great at tagging them but some are. You can search by date or a name. I usually add the name of the Bike Benefit business we stop at in the description. So if you want to ride to Sabor, search for that. You can download the route and use voice navigation with the Club account. When you download the route, you can use it offline so you won’t use data. You only use GPS. It’s different. When using voice navigation, use a speaker or just one earbud so you can maintain your situational awareness.

The confusing thing is that the routes have to be on the Club account to use the voice navigation. All the recent routes (about 80 or so) are on both the Club account and the old Charlotte Spokes People non club account. (When you are on the Club account the background will be yellow.)

Click on the orange rectangle that says “Sign into the Club” on the right.
The yellow band at the top means you are on the Club account.

In the screenshot below, I searched for PMTNR.

From any route, you can click on Charlotte Spokes People to see all the routes. There are over 300 routes over 7 years.

From your account, you can copy any public route to the Club account. All the Charlotte Spokes People routes are there (from 2013 forward). There are more than 300 routes. And all are public.

EDIT: if you want to save a route to the Club acct, you’ll need to be a route manager. Send us an email to make the request. (pamlikestobike@gmail)

I searhced on “Greensboro” using the top right Search bar. I don’t know whose route this is.

After you copy the route, choose Save.

The option to view the route will come up. View it then and then you can save to the Club account.

Step 4: Ride.


Bike Bingo Tips

Pedal to Play!

Plan ahead and try to get the full card prizes.  Prizes are available for Row and Full cards. You MUST ride your bike to earn stamps and redeem prizes.  No purchase necessary but show your Bike Benefis sticker – especially if you make a purchase to get your Bike Benefit.  Post pictures of your adventures. Have fun, be respectful and engage others.

You remember how to play Bingo, right?  You have to get the full row for a row prize.  Horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Then you get a row prize.  6 row prizes max.

Bike!Charlotte event – get your card stamped at the Mayor’s ride or Open Streets 704. At the Mayor’s ride – look for the Bike Advisory Committee members at the tshirt table. They’ll have Bingo cards and you can get it stamped. At Open Streets – look for the Trips for Kids tent or the Trike races. Both tents will have cards and either can stamp it.

Want the full card prize?  Redeem for up to 6 prizes. Make sure you look for times/dates of events.  For example, Cycling Savvy is May 3-5. You’ll need to be there before class starts to get your card stamped.  Plan accordingly. Use the Bike Benefits website on (your laptop or computer) to look up hours for each business.  From the bicyclebenefits.org enter the city: Charlotte, then the business name – it will have a pull down menu and you can see a link to the business website.

Find Pam – you’ll need to find Pam riding her bike around Charlotte.  Where? She rides all around mostly to Bike Benefits businesses. Sun and Tues excluded.  Tip: She’s hosting lots of events on the Bike!Charlotte website – like ride to yoga on Wed. Or you can look on the CSP calendar.

CSP event – This is any event put on by Charlotte Spokes People.  Look at the calendar for details.  Examples include the Mother’s Day ride on May 12th and the Tour de Sabor on May 19.  Show up before the start and get your stamp.

Volunteer at a Bike ride, event or bike shop – Mark a turn, count, make the safety speech at PMTNR or Sunday Ride, volunteer at a bike event during May (Take a picture and post it on fb Charlotte Bicycle Benefits or instagram #bikebenefits, #bikebingo) or volunteer at Trips for Kids or teach someone how to ride a bike.  Let’s share the love of biking with someone.

Need a card?  They should be at all the spots on the card.  If someone runs out, email pamlikestobike@gmail.com and you can have one for free.  Thanks for letting me know.

p.s.  Remember: You MUST ride your bike to earn stamps and redeem prizes.  


S24O 4/20/19

The next bike overnight will be Easter weekend. Do you like biking? Do you like camping? This is both at the same time. We meet Sat at 2 at Common Market Plaza Midwood and bike about 20 miles out to Copperhead Island at McDowell Nature Preserve. We stop on the way at a grocery store to pick up dinner supplies. We set up camp, have dinner, build a campfire and then bike back the next morning. We’re home for lunch on Sunday.

If you’re planning a longer trip, this is a great way to test everything out. From your packing list, to your equipment, clothing, hydration and nutrition. It’s loads of fun! There’s still room.

$20 per person. $15 with your Bike Benefits sticker. Cash or Paypal pamlikestobike@gmail.com.

Here’s a link to our first one.


Bike Benefits Bingo

We are so excited to introduce the best thing to hit the Charlotte bike scene since Bike Benefits. Charlotte Bike Benefits Bingo! Bike Bingo is a celebration of Charlotte by bike!

Front of card

How to Play:

April 26- May 31, ride your bike, collect stamps and win prizes!  Request a stamp at each spot upon showing your Bike Benefits sticker*.  No purchase necessary – 1 card per person. Register your card at https://cltspok.es/Bingo . Prizes redeemable at listed locations.  All trips (including prize redemptions) must be done by bike!

Where: Pick up Bingo cards at any Bike Benefit business on the card or at special events such as Bike!Charlotte events (Mayor’s Ride and Open Streets 704).  Cards will be sold for $2 (or $1 with a Bike Benefit sticker) but a limited number will be available at these Bike!Charlotte events.

What: Individuals pick up a $2 Bike Bingo card, then have 5 weeks to bike around the area, attend rides, events and pedal to Bicycle Benefits businesses in order to get their bingo card stamped. Individuals who get 5 in a row or fill their entire card can redeem prizes.   All prizes must be redeemed by May 31, 2019.

Post photos @Charlotte Bicycle Benefits on facebook, @Bicycle Benefits, #BikeBingo on Instagram.  



Tour de Sabor

 A two-wheeled taco tour

punchcard

Pump up your tires because the first annual Tour de Sabor is happening this spring….and you are invited!  Can you bike 20 miles on tacos alone? Well there is only one way to find out.

Guided ride begins at Common Market in Plaza Midwood at 2 pm on Sunday, May 19th.  Participants will receive their punch card starting at 1:30 and guided ride rolls out at 2.  Speed will average 11-13 miles per hour. If you are rolling with your friends or want to rip a speed record on the 20 mile route as fast as possible, here it is to upload on your phone.

https://cltspok.es/TourdeSabor

The Tour de Sabor is our way of celebrating Charlotte and letting you know that we love it when you ride your bike to our restaurants…once a day, once a month or all year long.  Bike for tacos people!

All participants receive

  • A Bicycle Benefits sticker that gives them everyday discounts at Sabor and 175 locations around the city when they bike there and show the program helmet sticker.  
  • A punch card which will give participants up to 10 tacos total at the 5 participating locations during the ride.  
  • Other purchases are up to the riders and will receive their customary 10% off Bike Benefits offer.
  • Churros for all participants and raffle prizes at the end of the ride. (Elizabeth location)  Don’t lose your punch card because you’ll need it at the end to win prizes. Raffle will be at 6 pm.
  • Cost is $20 which includes a Bike Benefit sticker. $15 if you already have Bicycle Benefits helmet sticker or card.  

Stops:

  1. NoDa
  2. Uptown
  3. SouthEnd
  4. Morrison
  5. Elizabeth

https://cltspok.es/tourdesabor

link to punch card order

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tour-de-sabor-a-two-wheeled-taco-tour-tickets-60936555879

event brite link for credit cards

Questions? pamlikestobike@gmail.com


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.