Across the USA by Bicycle

by Jim Mann

 

Cycling Tallahassee
Carl, Jim and Dennis at Yorktown

 

Having completed an east coast route from Key West to Bar Harbor, ME during 2011-12, Dennis Wirth and I began planning a tour across the country. Like our East Coast route, we decided to divide our trip into three sections. One of the advantages of trip division is being able to avoid most extreme weather.  On April 19, 2014 having hitched a ride with our buddy, Larry Kokesh, to Carbondale, IL, we headed east through hills and woodlands toward Yorktown, VA.  Soon we were being ferried across the Ohio River from Cave-in-Rock to eastern Kentucky.  While spending Sunday night at a church in Sebree, we were invited to join a Bible study group.  Guessing this would last maybe 30 minutes we accepted.  For the next two hours those folks ran chapter and verse circles around us.  

Waiting for lunch at the Old (1790) Talbott Tavern
Waiting for lunch at the Old (1790) Talbott Tavern

We made it through several dry counties before hitting a wet one in Bardstown. Over all, both cycling and weather were very nice as we rambled across this beautiful section of Kentucky. Twenty-five miles east of Berea, a speed bump left me sprawled over my bike in the middle of the road, followed by the screeching of brakes behind me.  The lady was able to stop a few feet short of hitting me.   I thanked her for her offered ride to a hospital but completely forgot to thank her for not running me over.  I was pretty banged up from the accident and with at least a week of mountains ahead, we decided to return home, having ridden 404 miles, and made plans to return come fall.

Cresting Lolo Pass
Cresting Lolo Pass

In early October Carl Vinson joined us as we returned to Kentucky. Starting in Berea we were headed into the Appalachian Mountains.  For most of the trip we had very nice fall weather and scenic views. Getting into the mountains the climbs became more difficult. Dennis decided to mail home ten pounds of his gear which really helped him on later climbs. Since Carl was taking two weeks off work, we decided to try to cover the whole distance to Yorktown in that time frame, so we never took a day off. Riding through coal mining country we ran into lots of coal trucks as well as pro-coal signs. Four days of riding got us to Breaks State Park at the Virginia state line. The following night we camped next to the railroad tracks which ran beside the Rosedale Fire Dept. and listened to passing trains throughout the night. Our route soon ran  parallel to I-81 as, we headed up the Shenandoah Valley.  Gertie’s country store in Vesuvius, VA supplied a great lunch and our names joined many other cyclists on the restaurant walls. Shortly after leaving Charlottesville the mountains surrendered to the piedmont which extended nearly to Yorktown.  It took us sixteen days to ride 739 miles. My wife, Jane Ann met us with the van as we ended our tour and were able to get Carl home by the end of his deadline.

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We were finishing up breakfast on September 5, 2014 in Astoria WA, as we began Part 2 of our tour. Going out to our bikes we met a cyclist who months later spent the night at my house. The whole area of western Oregon were beautiful green forests and dark blue waters. We rode through Portland, which was very bike friendly, spending the night with Dennis’ kin. The next morning, Jeremy, a good friend of our hosts, rode the first 30 miles out of Portland with us, ending at an  over look, high above the Columbia River.  Later that day we rode beside  the river, soon arriving  in Rainier. Two days later we met Bruce, a retired attorney from Scotland whom was beginning a ride to the Mexican border. His Bike Friday featured an internal gear hub and belt drive in place of a chain. Bruce mentioned his cure for a squeaky belt drive; he just squirted a little water on the belt.  As we left the Cascade Mts. the color of the landscape turned from green to brown. Even after crossing the Columbia into the state of Washington, we could still see Mt. Hood over 100 miles to our rear. Heading further East we saw amber waves of grain, wheat fields which completely covered high rolling hills.  About ten miles east of Walla Walla, while stopping for a snack, a car pulled over and a lady got out to talk with us. Turns out Alison was a doctor, who along with her family had done a bike ride across the country. She invited us to spend the night with them. They were a delightful couple, her husband, Dan, made very good beer, which went well with a wonderful evening meal on the back porch. Two days later we arrived in Lewiston, Idaho where we took a couple days off. Lewiston was a nice city and on our second day there we rented a car to go up into the Palouse area N to NW of the city. The Palouse is a very fertile farming area with large rolling hills. If we had the time, we’d have spent a few days cycling the Palouse. Heading east on a hot afternoon we did a long, tough climb up to the town of Winchester. Towards the end of the next day we made a long descent into Kamish, which was thick with smoke from forest fires. The smoke was so heavy we got a local resident with a truck to drive us past the fire area to a National Forest campground.   We tried to pay him for his help but he refused.  The campground was closed but we found a place to camp and had enough water to fix breakfast the next morning and ride another 40 miles to a resort camp where we camped while eating our meals at the lodge. The following day we climbed Lolo Pass, crossing over into Montana spending the night in Lolo.  The next morning was a short ride into Missoula. We ended this trip with 663 miles of riding.  Dennis had caught pneumonia prior to starting our trip, delaying  us a week. This delay resulted in us not having enough time to cycle on to Billings for our flight home.  So, we stayed a few days enjoying Missoula, which is a great place for cycling and huckleberry ice cream. While visiting the Adventure Cycling office there we met Joff Summerfield and his self-made penny-farthing bike, who was on his second trip round the world. After shipping our bikes home we spent our last evening in Missoula at the Iron Horse restaurant. We told our waiter, who had served us the night before, we’d be driving to Billings in the morning to catch a flight back to Tallahassee. He responded by saying it was also his last night since he was leaving in the morning.  I asked him where he was off to and he answered “Paris.”  

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Our Warm Springs lodging

Early August 2015 found us busy making final preparations for the third and last section, Missoula, MT to Carbondale, Il. We used bikeflights.com to ship our bikes and gear out to Missoula which reduced the shipping cost by nearly 50%.  On August 16 we left for Carbondale, Il, where we left my van with a Warm Showers host. Renting a car, we drove to Chicago in time to catch our flight on Frontier to Denver. However, due to weather the Frontier flight left two hours late and we missed our transfer to Missoula.  We had to cool heels at a motel near Denver for two days. On our arrival in Missoula our friend, Linc Clay, met us at the airport and put us up for two nights. The next day we picked up our bikes, gear and got ready to leave the morning of August 22. For the prior two sections we’d primarily followed Adventure Cycling routes using their maps. On this trip we were plotting our own route using state road maps and a GPS. On the second day out, we left from Lincoln on a dirt and gravel forest road which took us up and over Stemple Pass, 6367 feet.  Half the distance to Helena that day was unpaved. On our way to Townsend the following day we crossed over the Missouri very close to its source.  Hwy 12 through a National Forest was a very scenic route except for the construction going on. At one point we were transported by truck for two miles, being informed there was no place to get off the road for truck traffic. Afterward we wished we had ridden this section since it was not nearly as bad as they said it would be.

Grocery owner assists Dennis
Grocery owner assists Dennis

That evening we soaked in the hot springs connected to our motel in White Sulfur Springs. While eating supper that evening we met a group of horse women. It turned out one worked at Mass General in Boston and knew both my first cousin and Dennis’ daughter, both of whom were also employed there; small world.  Two days later we arrived in Ryegate where David and Patti, our Warm Shower (a home hospitality organization for touring cyclists) hosts fed us and let us do our laundry. We slept in their full size tepee that night. The Billings Quality Inn provided impeccable service the following day with the manager coming to pick us up at the edge of town so we didn’t have to try find our way through Billings to the motel. After a rest day we headed south towards Wyoming. Just before hitting the state line a truck passed us and pulled over to the side of the road. An old man got out and presented us with boxed lunches. He’d seen us pass his home earlier and figured we must be hungry. No one had ever done that for us and we thanked him profusely for his kindness.  On our way down to Sheridan and Buffalo on I-25 we skirted the Bighorn Mts. but still had several climbs and descents. The ride over to Gillette was long and hard with rolling hills and strong side winds.  That evening we had a great Bison sirloin steak but the restaurant had the AC set well below our comfort zone. We headed south for over one hundred miles through an area where you could see for miles. Only two small towns of Wright and Bill provided food and shelter. At last we arrived in Douglas at the North Platte River which we followed southeast. In Glendo we ran into a cycle touring couple. They offered Dennis a used tire which was much better than his worn rear tire. We all rode together for a couple hours before parting ways. Soon afterward Dennis’ worn out tire went flat and it was good he had a replacement. On September 8th we reached Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, a state we had been told was flat. The next day riding 50 miles south to Kimball, we did many climbs in that flat state.  Turning east on Hwy 30, the old Lincoln Hwy, we arrived in North Platte a few days later. There we loaded up on spare tubes since goat heads (like large sandspurs) and shards from radial tires had flattened several   tubes. A dog breeder friend of Dennis’ joined us for supper that night. Headed towards Lexington we got on I-80 with plans to get off at an exit 12 miles to the east. We’d gone about six miles when a highway patrolman busted us for riding on I-80. In many western states it’s legal to ride interstate highways but not so in the Midwest. The officer was going to take us back to North Platte but on the way to the next exit we talked with him and he decide to let us off at the location where we had planned to get off. Our Warm Showers host, Bryan showed us around Lexington and took us to a real Mexican restaurant. Two days later we rode into Grand Island and our last Warm Shower hosts. Steve and Sherry were not home from work but they left us some snacks and bottles of cold Gator Ade. Over supper that evening we talked about touring, they had done shorter trips since they were still employed. We made York the next day and had lunch at Chances Are, a restaurant with a good reputation beyond state borders. We had planned to leave in the morning but hard rain was forecast so we stayed another day and watched the rain and hail storm from our motel window. Over the next two days we covered over 150 miles ending in Falls City. On September 21st, after nearly 600 miles we left NE, did about 20 miles in Kansas and ended up in St. Joseph Missouri. That day we met a second cycling touring couple on their way home to North Platte. This couple shortly before didn’t have bikes and were just talking about touring. Then one day the wife came home with a bike rack which started the ball rolling. With Missouri, came woods and hills and only short level sections. Four days later, not aware of the bike path on the far side of the bridge, we crossed the Missouri river on a six lane bridge in a lot more traffic than we desired.  Surviving the bridge crossing we entered Jefferson City and found very steep climbs between us and our motel. The traveling Viet Nam monument panels were on the state Capital grounds and I found the names of two West Point grads I’d known in high school. We left a very pretty downtown area and this time took the bike bridge across the river and rode down a square round about which slowly took us down to ground level where a path led out to the Katy trail. Arriving in Herman, with both our bikes and us very dusty, we cleaned our bikes and bags outside the B&B before entering. Moving on, we left the Katy and returned to the hills of Missouri.  As we crossed the Mississippi River into Chester Il, we knew the next day would end our tour. Most of Illinois is flat but not the very southern part. Going south on Hwy 159 for twenty miles we met a constant line of coal trucks both fore and aft.  Just past the coal truck armada area, a young Englishman, just out of the service, pulled up on his touring bike. We followed his route to Murphysboro where the Brit continued on and we started searching for lunch. A little old lady on Main St. told us of a good restaurant and it was indeed. The last ten miles to Carbondale were flat and we had a bit of tail wind, which was a great way to end the tour, having covered 1,934 miles. We got the van out of the garage and drove over to see Jack, our Warm Showers host. After a shower and a lot of conversation about the trip, we took Jack out to a very good vegetarian restaurant for supper after which we began the drive home.  On the way home we experienced more rain than we had during our whole tour. The tour was a good one but it was great to get home; there is no place like it.

Headed towards the Katy Trail
Headed towards the Katy Trail

 

 

Cycling couple on a 1 year tour
Cycling couple on a 1 year tour

 

 

Cave-in-Rock beside Ohio River
Cave-in-Rock beside Ohio River

 

Passing through western Virginia
Passing through western Virginia

 

Bike path above the Columbia River
Bike path above the Columbia River

 

A great way to get back to ground level
A great way to get back to ground level

 

Amber waves of grain
Amber waves of grain

The Big Kahuna

Spaghetti 100

The Spaghetti 100

by Pete Butler

There are a lot of bike races worth winning, but if you live in the Panhandle, the big kahuna of events is The Spaghetti 100. It’s so important to the cycling community that it’s billed as the World Championship of Tallahassee. For roadies, this is the season ending event that provides the last available bragging rights of the year. The winner is decided after 100 miles through North Florida and South Georgia roads.   It’s fast, it’s grueling, and it consistently comes down to a very small selection of bicycle racers who turn themselves inside out for the world championship crown.

How big is it? If you ask Bryan Dertine, it’s enormous.  He has a plane ticket from Colorado to come back to his hometown for the competition.

“There’s one jersey,” says Derstine. “There’s no money on the line, and there’s rarely team strategies.  It’s a ride that pits every contender against each other.”

Long time participants will tell you it’s highly competitive. This is one of those rare events that brings in people from all levels of fitness.  There is a fast group of riders who show up to race, with a plan to kill each for 100 miles.  When it’s over, there is time to visit, eat spaghetti and enjoy each other’s company.

“It’s a great opportunity to come together and hang out with your friends,” said Ed Picolo, who finished once in 4 hours and 13 minutes. “It’s always fast.  But if you get a group of guys working together, it’s even more fun. The competitive nature of this ride brings the best out in folks.  

That explains why cyclists are willing travel to compete in the event.  

“It’s a strong bunch, and they are riding hard on amazing and beautiful roads,” said Chris Mojock, who lives in Athens, GA. “The Tallahassee racing community has such a playful approach. These are fierce competitors, but they are also really super chill and fun to be around. When it’s finished, we all agree it was a really good time. We always look forward to this ride.”

Mojock clearly loves this event. He even won it in 2014 by attacking a breakaway group of five in the last six miles of the ride. His attack was so explosive that he blew the race apart. His fierce effort unseated two-time Spaghetti winner Donnie Autore,  who won the event solo in 2012 and 2013. In last year’s event, Mojock was followed over the line by local Category 1 phenom Jamey Thompson, and a visiting racer from Destin. It was exhausting, but super satisfying for Mojock.

“Jamey put in a huge dig that really turned the screws, and then I counter-attacked him to win it!” said Mojock.

The riders who are successful at Spaghetti have learned that there won’t be any rest stops for the leaders. Quite simply, you must carry everything you need.

“You better have at least four bottles of fluid,” says Picolo.

What about food?

“You can’t count on any stops,” said Autore. “I always eat a big dinner the night before. I carry gels and food and lots of liquid.”

Sound interesting?  Start preparing and training. It’ll all be settled on November 7. The field will feature the some of best junior racers in the country, as well as a deep roster of wily and crafty adult cyclists from around the southeast. If tradition holds true, it will be a cyclist from the Tallahassee community that comes out the winner.  

“Tallahassee is one of those places filled with strong bike racers,” says Mojock.  “If you can go into their house and win, it means something.  You are in for a fight.  If you come out the winner, you beat people with skill.”

The 2015 Spaghetti 100

Start Date: November 7th, 2015

Location: Miccossukee Community Center

Register Online: http://cccyclists.org/spaghetti100/

Register before October 10th to receive a free event t-shirt. 

Bike Week – May 3 – 10, 2014

Bike Week Events

May 3rd – 10th 2014

 

btww2014_web_graphic21

 

May 3 -10 2014 has been designated as Tallahassee-Leon County Bike Week – an opportunity to celebrate bicycling and the numerous reasons to ride. Whether you bike to work or school to save money or time, to preserve your health or the environment; to explore your community or get to your destination, Bike Week is a perfect time to experience how cycling benefits you and your community.

There are lots of great events and rides planned:

Planned Events During Bike Week::

  • Helmet Giveaway
  • Cycle Savvy Courses
  • Bike to School and Bike to Work Days
  • Tallahassee Bike Festival at Cascades Park

For complete details visit Commuter Service of North Florida’s Website: http://www.commuterservices.org/commuters/tallahassee-bike-week2014/

 

CCC Rides During Bike Week

The Capital City Cyclists are sponsoring several beginner rides during the week and we hope you’ll take advantage of them.  We are hosting both paved and off road rides that are great for people who want to try out a group ride for the first time or more experienced cyclists who want to bring a friend.


 

Sunday May 4   Bring a Friend Group ride.

Location: Carriage gate shopping center (Trader Joe’s).

Meet at 7:45 am. Ride starts at 8 am.

A group ride for beginners who would like to be introduced to group rides. The pace will be relaxed typically between 12-15 mph, and the length will be determined at the start depending on the participants. Helmets are required.

Contact: Jim Mann(jim@cccylists.org)


 

Tuesday May 6       Bike Commuter Train (Mass Ride)

 Location: Kerry Forest Parkway to Kleeman plaza, or hop on anywhere on the route.

 Start time 7:00 am, estimated arrival 8:15 am

 Return:  5:45 pm at Kleeman Plaza to Kerry Forest Parkway.

This is a ride led by experienced bike commuters from the Four Oaks Center at the intersection of Kerry Forest Parkway and Shannon Lakes Dr, to downtown (Kleeman Plaza, City Hall and FSU campus). Helmet are required.  People can hop on or off  anywhere they like.

The route will be Shannon Lakes, Shamrock, Killearney Way, Limerick, Delaney, Killearn Center Boulevard, Capital Circle, Lonnblahd Rd, Hermitage Blvd, Goose Pond Trail, Noble Dr., Armistead, Trescott, Mitchell, Miccosukee, Hillcrest, Terrace , Franklin, Call St and Adams St. About 11 miles total.

Contact: Hans van Tol  (hans@cccyclists.org)


Thursday May 8      HG Beginners Mountain Bike Ride

Location: Higher Ground Bicycle Company, 1410 Market street in the Pavilions shopping center.

Time: 5 pm. Duration 1-1.5 hr

Ride from the shop. Beginner ride focused on getting to know the trails, basic technique, and bikes.

Contact: Roger Hawkes (roger@hgbikes.net)


Friday May 9    Friday Night Social Ride.

        Location: St Marks Trail trailhead, Woodville Highway.

Start at 6 pm.   A Ride down the St Marks trail. All riders, all ability levels welcome. St. Marks Bike Trail, starting at the trail head. Ride as far as you wish at your own speed. Plan to be back at the trail head parking lot before dark. Dinner will follow at a place to be determined by the group.

Contact: Dick Rogers (rlr0846@gmail.com)


Saturday May 10.  Neighborhood rides from the Bike festival.

Start at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m. from Cascade Park. Short neighborhood and downtown rides for beginners. Helmet required.

Contact: Hans van Tol (hans@cccyclists.org)

 

Help us spread the word about these events and encourage your friends to join!

 

TMBA Trail Building with Jesse and Lori

TMBA Trail bldg

TMBA Trail Care Crew Visit

 

The Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association (TMBA) just wrapped up a very busy 4 day visit from the International Mountain Bike Association’s current Trail Care Crew – Jesse and Lori. You can find more general info about the Trail Care Crew in general here: https://www.imba.com/tcc

The Tallahassee visit’s main event was a free, one-day Trail Building School, during which Jesse and Lori taught sustainable trail building.  TMBA scheduled the Trail Building School for Saturday, March 1st. The event consisted of morning classroom training held in the city’s Meyers Park Community room, free lunch donated by Dave’s Pizza Garage, and an afternoon of on the ground training in Tom Brown Park. We had great turnout with a mix of TMBA members, locals, a handful of people from out of town, and staff from local and state land managers. Organizing this couldn’t have happened without all the hard work from the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation staff Chuck Goodheart and Craig Brickser.

The Tallahassee Trail Building School project reestablished a portion of the Magnolia trail in Tom Brown Park that was removed during the construction of joint city/county public safety complex and the Red Cross center on Weems Road.

The participants of the Trail Building School bench cut a beautiful piece of singletrack between the new buildings and the adjacent retention pond. This trail will be connected with the existing Magnolia Trail in a follow-up TMBA workday on Saturday, March 15th.

In addition to the Trail Building School, TMBA scheduled an afternoon Land Manager Training session where Jesse and Lori talked with our local trail land mangers about the practice of designing, building and maintaining sustainable trails.

TMBA also managed to squeeze in participation in the Thursday evening event – Speed Date Local Leaders. Mike Yaun and Matt Wilson from the TMBA board; a few TMBA members -Sarah Wilson, Neil Dimacali, Joseph Petty, and Craig Brickser; and Jesse from the Trail Care Crew talked with County and City Commissioners, Leon County Administrator Vince Long, TPD Chief Michael DeLeo, and Tallahassee Director of Parks and Recreation Dee Crumpler.   The event was a great opportunity to discuss with local leaders the importance of biking for the Tallahassee area.

Finally TMBA held several great social events related to the visit. Friday night included a social ride and meal with several kegs of beer brewed by TMBA Event Coordinator and brewmaster Joseph Petty; the Friday night meal was hosted by Higher Ground Bicycle Company. Saturday night was a post Trail Building School celebration at Juicy Blue Tapas Bar & Bistro in the Four Points by Sheraton, which had been gracious enough to donate a free room for Jesse and Lori’s stay in Tallahassee.

Last, but not least, Matt Wilson lead a Sunday morning social ride that starting at Tom Brown Park that included trying out the new section of Magnolia Trail and was a great send off for Jesse and Lori.

 

written by Mike Yuan

Speed Dating Your Local Leaders

 

speed-date-logo-2-500

Recently The Village Square hosted an event called “Speed Date Your Local Leaders” that was attended by several CCC members.  Here is a summary of their experience, written by Joe Barnett:

Village Square’s “Speed Dating”  
by Joe Barnett

Several Capital City Cyclists members attended the event including Neil Dimacali,  Mike Yaun, Joe Barnett and probably others.

The list of local officials was impressive.  City Commissioners Scott Maddox, Nancy Miller, Gil Ziffer were there along with County Commissioners Kristin Dozier, Mary Ann Lindley, and Nick Maddox.  Also in attendance were the County Administrator Vince Long and Supervisor of Elections Ian Sancho.  There were also representative from Leon County Schools like Jackie Pons and Forrest Van Camp.

About 30 tables were set up at St John’s Church.  Local leaders had about 7 minutes to sit at each table and discuss any issues table members brought up.  And we got to eat free pizza!

At my table I asked the new chief of police, Michael DeLeo,  about safety.  He said our narrow roads are dangerous. I wasn’t sure if he  was talking about canopy roads or wanting to widen other roads. So I mentioned that in Killearn Lakes our roads were narrowed and now the cars have slowed from about 43MPH to about 33 MPH making it safer. We also have bike lanes.

I asked about every commissioner if the 200-300 million of the sales tax dollars would go to more 6 lane roads or not. They told me how there will be a LOT of sidewalks and completion of the bike network.

I mentioned I am worried that if we keep making 6 lane or bigger roads it will be dangerous and ugly sprawl like Atlanta, Orlando, L.A…..    I told them how Greenville, Duluth Minnesota, Sarasota, Thomasville,  have very busy downtowns and ALL have two lanes with street parking.  Most liked that idea, and are supportive of Bike -Ped issues, but all felt we need a Capital City “outerbelt”…. just like other sprawl cities…

The event was a great opportunity see speak one on one with our local officials. Tallahassee is a relatively small community and even a small group like the CCC can have a big impact if we can regularly have a presence at these types of events.

Joe

What is The Village Square?

“The Village Square is a non-partisan public educational forum on matters of local, state and national importance. We are dedicated to maintaining factual accuracy in civic and political debate by growing civil dialog on divisive issues, and recalling the history and principles at the foundation of our democracy.” 

Here’s a talk at TEDxFSU by Liz Joyner, Executive Director of To The Village Square:
http://tothevillagesquare.org/TEDxFSU/

What is Bicycle House?

bicyclehouse

Have you heard of Bicycle House?

Bicycle House is a non profit community bike shop located on Jackson Bluff Rd, near the FSU Stadium.  They have a special interest in providing bikes to people who need bikes for transport, not just recreation.  Often these are people who can not afford cars and can barely afford a bike.

But its more than a bike shop. Bicycle House has become a gathering place for non-traditional cyclists. Its a place to meet new people and learn new skills.  it provides a service to a population that might otherwise never be exposed to cycling or have the opportunity to own a bike.

Bike House also operates a hostel for travelling cyclists. The shop is located on Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier route and in 2013 they hosted more than 300 touring cyclists!

The non profit organization has been growing at a rapid pace and are in the process of expanding to the space next door.  Once complete they will have space to run a full time coffee shop and have an additional 5 workstations (complete with tools) dedicated for member use.

Do they give away free bikes?

Not exactly. To get a bike from bike house you must schedule an appointment and meet with a volunteer to assess your needs.  Then a bike is chosen from their stock of donated bikes and a volunteers helps you to assemble or repair the bike to suit you. People are asked to pay what they can for the bike, sometimes that amount is zero.

 

Isn’t that bad for local bike shops?

Historically, no.  Most of the people Bike House serves have been to local shops and have not found what they needed.  Even the least expensive bikes at a shop are too expensive and some feel overwhelmed by the bike shop experience.

Bike House often refers people to local bike shops when their stock of used parts does not meet their needs.  And many people start out with an inexpensive used bike from Bike House but after getting “hooked” on cycling go to a bike shop to purchase new bikes.

How can I get involved?

There are a few things you can do if you’d like to help out or learn more:

  • Donate your unneeded bike parts.
  • Donate your time.  Volunteer to work at the shop for one 4 hour shift a week
  • Help spread the word.

Find out more at www.bicyclehouse.org

How to Win the Tallahassee World Championship

Spaghetti 100

 

By: Donny Authore

What will it take to become Tallahassee World Champion at this year’s Spaghetti 100? Maybe the winner will emerge from an early breakaway or possibly a late solo attack, or perhaps a sprint finish will rule the day. Even though it’s hard to predict, some key strategies can ensure that you will have a great finish.

First of all, sign up now — you cannot  win it unless you are in it.

Second, ride your bike! It is amazing how much a few sufferfests can improve your fitness.

Third, adding some hills to your training in the next couple of weeks would certainly be worthwhile — Spaghetti 100 features an awesome route on some of north Florida’s finest roads for cycling, with no shortage of hills.

Finally, rest and eat! In the 3-4 days leading into the ride, forgo the heavy workouts and eat a bit more than usual.

Ride day: Winning will certainly take some serious power at a few key moments. The good news for many of us is that cycling is as much about brains as brawn, so if you’re ready to roll it could be you who pulls on the rainbow jersey. Despite all the uncertainties about possible outcomes, in most cycling events the smart money is on a “critical point” lasting 5-10 minutes that will separate the true challengers from everyone else. Once the lead group is established, the real battle for Tally supremacy will begin with lots of attacks and counter moves.

In the end, the victors that emerge will be King and Queen. The best part of the day, as always, is the fun times with friends and fellow cyclists at a great event like the Spaghetti 100. But there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, with bragging rights on the line.

 


Donny Authore is the 2012 Tallahassee World Champion in the 100 mile route for the Spaghetti 100.  He won last year from a dwindling peloton and broke away with local Scot Benton.  In the last 10 miles he dropped his breakaway opponent and solo’d to the finish.  When Donny isn’t wearing the rainbow stripes of the Tallahassee World Champion around town on his bicycle, he can be found doing research and teaching students at Florida State University’s College of Business.

Trailahassee.com is now Live!

Leon County Division of Tourism Development Launches Innovative Website Featuring Area Trails

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  – Sept. 26, 2013 – What was once a casual nickname outdoor enthusiasts used in describing biking, hiking, running, paddling and equestrian trails in the Tallahassee area, is now a one-of-a-kind web site – Trailahassee.com – launched by Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee) to promote nearly 600 miles of trails.

The site, with featured trails, interactive maps, blogs, social media features, GPS functionality, and information on outfitters and associations, launched in September as part of the county’s annual Marketing Rollout to the local tourism industry.

Lee Daniel, executive director of the county’s tourism division, sees the new web site as a valuable tool for outdoor enthusiasts planning vacations.

“We are fortunate in having tremendous natural resources that lend themselves to the types of outdoor recreational activities sought by today’s travelers,” Daniel said. “Trailahassee was a logical step in identifying those assets for travelers and providing detailed information in a digital environment that essentially becomes a personal guide for users.”

With user-friendly design suitable for laptops, smartphones and tablets, users explore rotating featured trails including the Apalachee Regional Park, Cadillac Mountain Bike Trails and Leon Sinks Geological Area, through videos, blog entries and Instagram feed photographs. The initial launch included 11-featured trails with others planned for the future.

The “Find a Trail” tab includes an interactive map displaying trails either in map view, list view, or based on various activities (walking, hiking, biking, running, mountain biking, equestrian, motorcycle, canoe/kayak, ATV). Users can also make selections based on the type of surface and skill level. Maps are shown through three options — street view, satellite view or relief view.

Daniel added that user generated content is an important part of the overall strategy forTrailahassee.com.

“We’ve made it easy for consumers to share their outdoor experiences with others by posting photos and videos on the site,” Daniel said.

Live content from outdoor enthusiasts is featured using the hashtag #Trailahassee through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds. The site also links directly to the county’s consumer tourism site (www.VisitTallahassee.com) for other information about the area’s upcoming events, hotels, restaurants and attractions.

Leon County Division of Tourism Development is the official tourism marketing organization for Tallahassee and Leon County Florida, operating as a department of Leon County Government, and promoting tourism to the area through direct sales, advertising, public relations, sports, film, product development and visitor services.

For more information, visit www.VisitTallahassee.com. Visit www.Trailahassee.com for the single source of information on outdoor activities in Tallahassee, Fla.