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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Snuggletruck


New

Do everything, go anywhere, discocrosser. This Poprad and the Rig will comprise my entire arsenal.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Markings

Pookie, Gretta and I ventured to Carvin's Cove today to (finally) install the sign at the Bennett Springs Parking Lot. I've had it sitting in my basement for months, but have been a Slackerino when it comes to installing it.

This is part of the overall trail sign plan that was started this past spring. Many of the trail signs throughout the park point people in the direction of above mentioned parking lot, assuming that trail users know it's name. Now with the 4 foot long sign on the kiosk that holds the Carvins Cove trail map, all doubt about the name of their starting point should be removed.

Once the sign was in place, we decided to visit one of the newest and most unique bits of trail art we've ever seen. The Tree of Rocks lies just a short way down the Hotel trail and really is a must see. Check it out on your next visit!!



Sunday, November 11, 2007

Extended

Saturday wasn't your average trail work day, for sure. I've never seen so many people show up to voluntarily perform manual labor in my life. I didn't see the official tally on the sign-in sheet, but it had to be at least 40 folks. Awesome! People of the Roanoke Valley are really starting to realize how much an interconnected Greenway system will mean to our quality of life and are getting more involved.

The section we worked on is an extension of an existing Greenway. Prior to it's completion, users had to travel through high school parking lot to access a nice little urban trail network. Now they can jump right on the Greenway from a public street.

Our task was to spread and compact several layers of crushed stone into a rideable, walkable, enjoyable pathway. The work was hard, but having so many people made it go quickly. Many different user groups were represented by quality, hard-working volunteers who gave up their Saturday to shovel, rake, plant trees and schrubs, and basically were themselves out. Thank you to everyone who helped!

Go here if you'd like to lend a hand!



Saturday, November 10, 2007

The End is Near

Almost sounds like one of the Rev's posts...Not that End!

After many tumultuous years of existence, Explore Park will be closing it's gates on Thursday Nov 15th for good. Or at least for the foreseeable future. This unique "living history" attraction never attracted anywhere near the amount of visitors that it's creators anticipated. The concept is pretty cool; dress a bunch of folks up in garb from the era of grist mills and fur trappers and have them talk about how people lived during that particular time. Many accurate recreations of buildings from the era can be found throughout the park. Apparantly this format, which requires people to actually walk through the park, wasn't appealing to the lazy masses.

Explore is also home to the IMBA/Subaru Explore Park Trail system. Built and used by non-lazy people. Unfortunately, access to this gem will also be cut off when the gates are locked next week.

The worst part about this whole thing is that the public had no say in the matter at all. The City, County and State were all very happy to shut the place down. They see it as a money-eating black hole. The next phase will be the transfer of the property to the new lessee, Florida businessman Larry Van Maten. His plans for the site are still unknown. It's doubtfull that the trail system will be opened back up to the public.

We've had tons of great rides there. I'll miss this place. Next Thursday the 15th will be the last night ride I get the honor of leading at Explore Park.

The 15th is also the same night the Blue Ridge Parkway will have yet another public input meeting regarding the future of trails on BRP property. This meeting will be held at the visitor center at Explore Park. Anyone interested in having the Chestnut Ridge Loop Trail at Mill Mountain opened for multi-use is urged to attend to have your voice heard! We'll need the trail access now that Explore Park is going away.

Hope to see you Thursday!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Lemming

When I drive somewhere Lemming-style in my shiney metal box, it will be in this fancy new Outback. Quality stuff.


Represent

Ahh, heated leather. Quality stuff, indeed.

There will be roadtrips. Many roadtrips.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The End of October

Once Labor Day hits, it's all over. The time accelerates because of some warp in the space/time continuum. It's Novermber already? But it was 90 degrees just a week ago or so....

I do love fall. I wish we would get more of it. Like from Sept 15th through March 31st would be just fine. 55-60 degree days and 30-40 degree nights. That would work for me. I believe the main reason I had such a sucky cycling season is the fact that we had 55 days over 90 degrees and no rain - EVER! My body (especially my sinuses) can't deal with that. I haven't figured out why, and I hope I don't have to. (By that I mean perhaps it will rain next summer once in a while.)

I start to un-hibernate in the fall and winter. It's more fun to play outside in the cool air than it is to worry about heat stroke. Pookie and I, fresh off another cool annual Daytona Beach vacation, stopped by Explore Park to cheer our friends on in the first ever Into the Night Race held there. Cool concept, but the promotors have some real bugs to work out. A large portion of racers were directed the wrong way (off course) and very few finished the intented route. Pookie and I spectated, but it seemed to us like there were very few volunteers directing racers in the right direction. We still had fun frolicing about in the dark with our friends. I'd like to see the event (or another one like it) succeed, it just needs a whole lot of TLC.

Cheerleaders


Chris, BGPO (before getting pissed off)

Russ, hammer down.


Another strong ride for the Rev, with Adam hot on his heels.

Bobby B. is well known in cycling circles, like the Tour of California and the Tour of Georgia. I'm amazed he can still walk down the street anywhere without being mobbed by fans.

Yaaaaaahhh!!! Jen gives new meaning to "Taking a pull".

Improvisation, by Rev. Warren Carswell


Sunday Pookie and I broke out the his-and-hers singlespeeds for a little romp in the woods. (Not that type of romp). We set out on a nice, steady-paced tour of the lower trails at the Cove. Pookie wants to ride her single this winter to build up some power that she felt like she lost this past season. Judging by how she rode Sunday, she will do just fine.

Pookie Power!

After this eventful weekend, it was back to the crapfest where I work (read previous blog entry - you'd be pissed too), I was so looking forward to getting back out on the trails for our weekly Thursday evening ride. Me, Pookie, Skippy and Snuggletruck showed for what I may start calling "Our Days are Numbered Ride". The uncertainty of Explore park has got me looking for other venues for this long-standing night ride. Mill Mountain is a stong possibility, but we'll continue at Explore Park for as long as they'll let us ride there.