Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Preaching Sportsmenship

I am a horrible example for sportsmanship. I have never been good at being good at something. I try to be humble when I am excellent at something, but truth be told I have a lot to learn. For instance, I need to learn to be excellent at something. :)

But I do know one thing. Justice, one of my young apprentice mechanics is a much more suitable individual for teaching the ways of sportsmanship. During this last weeks race he had a mechanical, as we call it in the bicycling world. (A quick and easy way to say something went wrong with his bicycle's mechanical workings.) Anyway, as he pulled over to fix it another young rider rode by him and laughed. He actually found his misfortune amusing. Justice finished way ahead of this young man, but in the end was humble and didn't gloat. I made a funny comment, meant to be a joke, about how he tried to leave that kid in his dust for laughing, but by the time the kid had arrived the dust had settled, and Justice defended the other rider. Kudos Just Ice, for teaching me about sportsmanship, and how to be a better role model. You are the reason that I work with young people...and welcome to the Pedal House, (He fixed two bikes today up to Joel's standards.)

I would also like to welcome Max to the Pedal House. Though he has some major catching up to do in the mechanical realm, at least compared to his young friend Justice, he does outshine him in the quote department. Welcome Maximus...and my you have a thousand quotes on the bathroom door before you move on to bigger and better things.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Laramie Mountain Bike Series

Well, as we all know now, Lance didn't show up here making us just a little less cool than when he went to Ledville. But anyhow, there were still reasons to celebrate as the first race in the Laramie Mountain Bike Series was a complete success.

As you can see, hordes of screaming fans came out to see me take pictures of them. Look at how involved they were in my every movement. Okay, so I went by unnoticed. Who could blame anyone with all the big names here. O'toole, Kolts, Krahenbuhl, Guerin...Pedar Enger was even here, though he couldn't race due to an MMA related injury.

One of the highlights of the race were the entry of so many young riders. A special shout out to Dmitri Zenon Rosales, who is sponsored by Kona and the Pedal House... Okay, so he bought some Kona gear, and we offered to pay his entry fees, but still he won his category.
Also, a special early Birthday shout out to Kate Vincent. She will be riding in the next race on her 18th Birthday. Good Luck Kate, I hope you keep racing well into your twilight years.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Keeping Family Safe

As I was being attacked by a swarm of vicious mosquitoes last night, I realized....SUMMER IS HERE. I wasn't sure if my excitement was from the fact that I was on a bicycle ride, or the feeling of euphoria generated by the loss of blood draining into the little parasitic bloodsuckers as they helped themselves to a pint or two of my o+ iron rich body fluids.

Regardless of the reasons for my elation, I am encouraged by the plethora of young people out enjoying the world of two wheeled excitement. I have been engaged in conversations concerning the safest places for kids to ride, and I realized that there needs to be more advocacy for safe riding in the Laramie city limits.

I thought some statistics would be in order, along with some rules of the road...and of course links to find the you don't think I am crazy. So here we go;

There are some many little tidbits to help keep you safe as you commute in town.
  1. Choose low traffic routes. Don't ride on Grand Ave, 3rd, 9th, or 15th street. Find a side road and be safe.
  2. Don't ride against traffic.
  3. Ride like you are invisible - Make sure you can be seen, but in the end, make sure you are aware when someone misses you.
  4. Wear a helmet.
  5. Follow the rules of the road. All of the rules of the road. Stop signs, signals, lights, directionality, and ride in the road....which leads me to the BIG ONE...
  6. STAY OFF THE SIDEWALKS. There are exceptions, like the greenbelt routes, and the interior of the University where there isn't a road adjacent to the sidewalk. So many people ask me why we should stay off the sidewalk. Well, here are just a few reasons:
According to the Laramie Municipal Code of Conduct (Ordnance #12.04.120) No person shall operate a bicycle on the sidewalk.

You are four times more likely to be in a collision if you are riding your bicycle on the sidewalk, and the chances of a fatal collision increase drastically. The collisions range from hitting a walker coming out of a building, to being struck by a car pulling out of a driveway or parking lots. Basically, riding on the sidewalk is one of the most dangerous ways you can ride. The most common way a cyclist will die is when a car exits a driveway and either runs over, or is struck by a bicycle on the sidewalk. Another aspect of sidewalk riding is the constant merging with traffic at intersection after intersection. Statistics from around the country confirm that the most likely place to be killed by a car is at an intersection.

So be safe, and don't ride on the sidewalks. I think this discussion will have to be revisited, due to the important nature of the materials. Today, we will end with a few things that you should do. For instance; RIDE YOUR BIKE. Ride just like you would if you were driving a car. One of my favorite slogans for safe riding is, "Same Rights, Same Rules, Same Responsibilities." Obviously it is refereeing to bicycles being a vehicle. If you follow the rules of the road, ride safe, and remain defensive, riding a bicycle is extremely safe. In fact, it is one of the safest ways to commute.

So ride your bike in the streets, with traffic, and obey all of the traffic signs and laws. Make sure motorists can see you, wear a helmet, and ride defensively. Happy Trails from the Pedal House.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Outdoor Slam

For kids across the country there are a few days that stand out as worth remembering. National Bath Safety Month was always a favorite on the playground when I was young. But there is nothing more celebrated than the first day of summer vacation. The pagan in me says that the Summer Solstice is when I should be harvesting my medical herbs and getting outdoors and frolicking, but I needed to get out of the house early and shake off the cabin fever. Since it is WAY too wet to be riding a Happy Jack yet, at least if I want to be able to live with myself, I was extremely happy to participate in the Summer Outdoor Slam at Curt Gowdy National Park this past Saturday.

As representatives of the Pedal House Lindsey and I worked diligently to show young people how to ride safely, and how to prepare for mishaps while riding in the mountains. Actually, all we did was sit around and catch some sun rays, and then we basically took a group of kids and adults for a ride on the trails of Curt Gowdy.

There was a lot to do, kayaking, rope climbing, bicycle demos, and an ATV simulation; which was the only way I really like to see ATV's...simulated.

In other news, I was extremely happy to have the Cathedral Home come and join us for a ride. They have been so supportive of the cycling community in Laramie, that it wouldn't have been the same without them.

Speaking of the Cathedral Home, Saturday was the first day of our new partnership with the Cathedral Home, as we took on our first employee, a young man who has worked his way through the Vocational Education program there, and will be joining the Pedal House staff in our mentoring program. He goes by the handle Sushi, and he is one of the best 14 year old mechanics I have ever met. I am thankful to have him, and appreciative of all of the support and help I have received from the staff and kids at the Cathedral Home.

Welcome aboard Sushi, we are looking forward to having you brighten up the place...and by that I mean we are looking forward to having you clean our stands and benches daily. (HEE HEE.)

All in all, it was a fantastic day, and a great way to kick off what looks to be a wonderful riding season. Happy Trails from the Pedal House.