Are You Ready For A S240?
Another relatively mild winter would seem to be on tap for this year and with the mild temperatures, area cyclists have managed to stay active. With the exception of the monsoon week in January, I’ve observed cyclists still out and about on our area roads. I’ve seen the brightly colored spandex variety and the more earth toned utilitarian cyclist making their way around the area. Some are riding for fitness while others ride to get to and from work and grocery stores.
One of the newer trends in cycling for recreation is a spin -off of Adventure Cycling, which has historically meant going on epic rides across country for long distances. Most of us can’t take off from work the 3 to 4 months required to complete a cross country ride. In place of the long rides, many adventurous cyclists are staying closer to home and doing S240’s. S240 stands for “sub 24 hour overnight” and is an adventure ride that is manageable and doesn’t require major time commitments. On a S240, you can pack light or not pack at all choosing to stay at a local motel or Bed and Breakfast. The concept is to take a short trip on your bicycle.
My good friend, the Velo Hobo, a Swain County resident is known for taking off on S240’s. Jack will simply throw his almost always packed bag on his bike, grab his fishing rod, and hit the road right from his garage. Jack is well known as an ultra-light cyclist meaning he has really pared down the weight that he must carry on his trips.
Other friends Russ Roca and Laura Crawford, now residents of Portland OR, recently completed a S240 with several families. The multiple families headed out with children on bikes of different sizes and configurations. They rode to a nearby state park where they pitched camp, enjoyed meals around the campfire, and then returned home the next day. The adventure was great family fun!
We live in a magnificent area just ripe for S240’s. People come here just to experience the beauty of Western North Carolina. Just this week, I fielded correspondence from a “50-something” year old woman from Colorado, who is coming to Asheville for a meeting in February. She is bringing her bike and extending her stay in the area for 2 or 3 days in order to ride the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.
While you’re planning next year’s adventures, maybe you can throw in a S240 for you and your family. Get out and take advantage of our area’s beauty. After all, you don’t have to be a tourist to enjoy Haywood County! Oh yeah, spandex is not required or necessarily recommended.
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.