So long, Joe

I was saddened to see Joe Miller’s name among those laid off by the N&O this week. I’ve long been a fan of his Take It Outside column. Holly and I had the pleasure of riding with Joe for a few miles during the inaugural Cycle NC back in ’99. Joe’s a friendly guy with a heart for outdoor recreation. I wish him well.

Raleigh Greenway Rambling

I’ve recently spent a lot of time, recently, finding the connectors between bits of Raleigh’s awesome greenways. I’ve done a bit of scouting on my own, but recently came across several PDFs of maps that originally ran with N&O stories about the various trails. The N&O did a great job with these, going above and beyond the Raleigh Park and Rec version to help point out turns and transitions that you might miss.

  • Black Creek/Umstead/Reedy Creek -This trail will get you from Cary’s Godbold park on NW Maynard, past Lake Crabtree, through Umstead and the Museum of Art and eventually to Meredith College at the corner of Faircloth and Hillsborough. I’ve ridden about half of this with my 6-1/2 year-old son (Meredith to Edwards Mill). It’s a little hilly, but fun.
  • Crabtree greenway map -This will take you from SW Raleigh’s Oak Park neighborhood near Umstead, along Crabtree creek past Crabtree Valley Mall, past some beautiful downtown neighborhoods, through some (suprising!) nice wetlands, across Raleigh Blvd and evetually to Milburnie road, not far from Wake Med.

    The section between Hodges and Raleigh Blvd is fun for the kids. There’s an interesting roller-coaster of a boardwalk and the wetlands are a great place to spot turtles and birds. There’s also a nice gazebo – a good spot for a break. There are some big hills on the eastern-most end of the path.

  • American Tobacco Trail map -This trail is on my to-do list!

Note that it’s really easy to get to the Crabtree greenway from Shelly lake, making it a nice starting-point for excursions.

I’m planning on doing some research into the Walnut Creek trail, too. They’re dedicating a new section this week. The official greenway map is dated 2007, so it’s not 100% up-to-speed on recent completions. It shows some proposed peices along this stretch – I’m hoping that this means continuous travel from Centennial Campus on the west end, to Walnut Creek in the east.

Cary posts its “Bike and Hike” map here.

No discussion of Raleigh adventure would be complete without a link to Joe Miller’s “Get Out! Get Fit!” blog.

Anything to add? Please let me know in the comments.

Note: As of this posting, many of these routes are temporarily closed due to flooding caused by Hannah. Check the Raleigh Parks and Recreation site before you head out. They’ll have closing alerts on their homepage.

iPhone copy and paste

Ha – My friend Charles hit the trifecta this week – Boing Boing, Gizmodo and the Digg front page! Congrats!

you and the SUV you rode in on

I can’t say I knew Clive Sweeney, but when I saw his face on the news this morning, I recognized him. Probably from one (or several) of the many cycling events I’ve attended over the years. Cliff was killed yesterday riding his bicycle on Pleasant Green Road in Durham County by a driver that claimed to be avoiding a deer when he crossed the center line and hit Cliff head-on.

I’m carrying around a lot of sadness and anger this morning. Sadness because Cliff died doing something he loved. And the anger. Well, the anger…

As usual, the knuckle-draggers have come out to comment about this incident on with talk about how bikes have no place on the road. Huh?

I’m very aware that every time I go out on my bike, I’m doing something dangerous. I wear a wrist ID bracelet in case something happens. I follow the rules and I stick to the less-traveled roads when possible.

The thing is, a lot of what makes the roads dangerous for cyclists is stupidity. The dangers aren’t narrow shoulders or blind turns, they’re preoccupied drivers that’re more interested in their cell-phone conversation than driving… they’re the ‘busy’ driver that can’t wait a moment till we’re in a safe place to pass… they’re the idiot that thinks that using a turn-signal is just ‘giving away information to the enemy’.

So, to all of the people out there that backed out of their driveways this morning without looking, all of the people having trouble staying in their lane while they rummage through their purse or twiddle with their GPS, all of the folks that are just plain mean and throw trash at me when I ride: To you I extend my rigid middle digit.

MS150 2006

Capstrat MS 150

On Sept 9th and the 10th, I rode a total of 175 miles in the 2006 North Carolina MS150. 100 the first day, 75 more on the second. It was exhausting, but great fun.

Over 1500 riders turned out and raised over $1million for the Eastern NC MS Society. It was a great event — well organized, well-marked routes and lots of friendly volunteers. The weather was awesome. Our team did a great job of working together to finish as a group.

Over the course of two days, I spent about 10 hours in the saddle, plus another 2-3 hours worth of breaks mixed in. The roads were REALLY flat, so I averaged about a mile and hour faster than I usually do at home. The only downside of “really flat” is *no coasting*.

Above is a pic of me and some of my teammates (I’m on the right).

Day 1:
Total time: 7:39
Moving time: 5:41
Average speed: 17.4 mph

Day 2:
Total time: 5:08
Moving time: 4:12
Average speed: 17.8 mph