A Spring Of Potential

By Cecil "Zeke" Yount | Apr 04, 2014
Photo by: 30 Days of Biking For every 30 pledges to bike 30 in 30, a child will receive a free bicycle!

Boy, I hate to jinx it but I’m going out on the proverbial limb here and say spring 2014 is close by. The final small piles of snow so bravely holding on in the shadow of our house have melted and washed away. The daffodils, not killed by this week’s freezing weather, are standing upright and proud again. Yes, it’s that time of year when a young man’s fancy turns to cycling. Well,  men and women of all ages, the Greatest Generation, baby boomers, and millenials alike start thinking with renewed gusto about losing that new girth that sprouted under sweaters and coats during the “winter that won’t end.”

Some conditioning activities are on the horizon for the local and national cycling world. In April “30 in 30” returns, which is a national event in which you, dear cyclist, commit to riding something somewhere some distance each day in April. You can log your activities at 30daysofbiking.com and participate with folks across the nation and here at home. I remember that I made it 24 days in a row last year before succumbing to rain. You don’t have to commit to epic rides each day. A spin around the block in the evening, a commute to work, or maybe an easy cruise around Lake Junaluska all qualify. The ride might be 1 mile or 100 miles. The object is to get out and get moving!

May is National Bike Month and BicycleHaywoodNC will be offering 3 sponsored rides on Saturdays to help folks get moving on two self-powered wheels in a safe and legal manner. The rides are scheduled for May 10th, 17th, and 31st. Tentatively, each ride will be held at the Clyde Elementary School. A 30 minute safety discussion for participants will begin at 9:30 a.m. each day with a group ride to follow at 10:00 a.m. These rides are for new and newly returning riders looking to get back in condition and ride in a safe manner. Bicycles in safe operating condition, helmets, and appropriate footwear are required.  Flip flops are not appropriate footwear. Individuals under age 18 must be accompanied at all times by a parent or legal guardian. Pre-registration through the Haywood County Recreation Department is required as a courtesy to those volunteers offering their time. There is no cost for these events.  Further information and confirmation of the location will be available in early April. Information will also be posted on BicycleHaywoodNC’s website at bicyclehaywoodnc.org.

A couple of seasonal reminders to all: With warmer weather arriving, more people will be out walking, cycling, motorcycling and such. All users of the road owe it to each other to be courteous and safe. Cyclists should ride in the road with the flow of traffic and not against the flow as that dramatically increases the likelihood of serious harm. Motorists should slow down and pass cyclists giving 3’ clearance for safe passage. Passing in a curve is NEVER safe for anyone.

Let’s greet the new spring season with gusto and, those of you who have hair, enjoy the warm air flowing through it!

For more information, visit http://gr8smokieszeke.blogspot.com and www.bicyclehaywoodnc.org . You may also link to Zeke’s Great Smoky Mountain 2 Wheeled Adventures under Opinion on the Mountaineer’s website.