Friday, November 27, 2009

Solo Thanksgiving Ride

  Enjoyed a perfectly peaceful bicycle ride yesterday.  Thanksgiving day may be one of the lowest traffic days of the year, and an excellent time to be on a bicycle on the road.  It was a 30 mile jaunt from Belmont in Charlottesville north to Ruckersville.  By the way, if you are local and aren't already aware of this, the bridge at Advance Mills Road and Fray's Mill Road is not crossable at the moment.  Albemarle County really is one of the most beautiful places in the country.  Though the weather was in the mid 50's, I could see that winter is not far away since many of the trees have already lost all of their
 leaves.  I viewed some gorgeous river scenes, watched a sparrow fly right alongside me for a few seconds, heard the birds chirping, saw a hot-air balloon, watched dear watch me back, saw shetland ponies, horses, cows, the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I also saw one of the very rare and elusive white tigers of Albemarle County!  
Here was my route:  Elliott Avenue/Avon (right)/Monticello Ave (left)/6th (right)/Garrett (left)/2nd (right)/Water (left)/2nd (right)/Market (left)becomes Preston,Barracks,Garth/Free Union road (right)/Woodlands (right)/Rea's Ford (left)/Earlysville road (left)/Advance Mills (right)/Fray's Mountain (left)/Buffalo River (right)/Durettes Ridge (right)/Advance Mills (left)/Cedar Grove (right).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bike Ed for Youth

Last June I became a League Certified Instructor through the League of American Bicyclists.  I am officially LCI #2488.  I've already had the opportunity to utilize that status to teach Bike Ed to youth at Ivy Creek School here in Charlottesville.  It was an 8-week course that finished yesterday, and went very well.  Of course the kids loved being on bikes, and they all learned how it important it is to ride on the right side of the road, how to signal appropriately, how to use their brakes properly, how to be responsible leading others on a ride, etc...  It was neat that we were able to utilize the driver's education driving range behind Albemarle High School.  That enabled us to simulate in a real to life way actually being on the road.  I will have the opportunity again to teach another 8 week course there in the spring.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rail Trails are Great!

In the middle of last October I was in Maryland, which is a beautiful state for cycling.  I don't just mean scenic.  I also mean attitude.  The state seems to care about cyclists, and it shows.  They have many rail trails, two of which my daughter and I rode (her in the trailer).  One is the Cross Island Trail, and the other is the Western Maryland Trail.   I'm going to be a bit lazy, and ask you to click on the previous links for more info about each of them.  They are both excellent trails that serve their purpose of taking us a bit closer to nature, and getting us out of the rat race of life.  There are other trails I hope to ride later, one being the Annapolis/Baltimore Trail, and eventually I hope to explore the roads of Maryland as well.  
The Boys and Girls Club cycling challenge team I helped coach received the new 2009 event jerseys last night.  Here we are sporting them for the first time.  It's a pretty good looking bunch.  Starting in the back from left to right: Matteo(coach), Scottie, Chase, Jeffrey, Morgan, Melissa(coach), (kneeling) Hanan, Katarina, and Victor.