First, let’s try this: I’ve created a Flickr account (I’m so with it, don’t you know), and I’ve added the RSS feed as a widget to the blog. Give it a look. I still plan to pull pictures I especially like or deem particularly significant directly into blog posts. But this will be a handy place to stash everything for those who care to peruse the entire lot. The first batch is, of course, from the 2009 PALM tour.
This morning, I participated in the 27th annual Hospice of Lenawee Run, Walk, and Bike Tour. I intended to snap some pictures, but there wasn’t much to photograph. Some of that may have been due to the fact that I got my ride in early. Also, I didn’t spend any time in Blissfield, which is where the run and walk portions of the event are held. The focus of this event is clearly on the runners and walkers. Although the cycling portion has been around for a while, I would estimate that 50 or fewer riders participate, which is unfortunate, given that it supports a local charity, it’s inexpensive, and the route is moderate in terms of length and terrain (thus suitable to a wide range of riders), to say nothing of how beautiful the scenery is. Click the “Map My Ride” button below if you want to see it.
While the ride itself was great, the best part of this morning was meeting Dennis, who is the new coordinator for the bike portion of the event, and Bill, who manages a local ride calendar and more or less heads up an informal bike club. I spoke with Dennis about getting involved with promoting next year’s event and helping out in any way I can. And I rode probably eight or ten miles with Bill, talking about adding a club page to this blog, promoting group rides, rallying around this and the only other charity ride in Lenawee County (the Associated Charities ACDC ride, which is only in its second year), and lots more.
Here are a few things that I think would make a good ride even better, both for the cyclists and for Hospice of Lenawee:
- Keep the 50K route and use it to encourage beginning riders to participate. Then add a 50K optional for those who want to do a metric century.
- Save overhead costs and increase fund-raising by charging $5 extra for the ride t-shirt, instead of giving it to participants receiving a free t-shirt as a matter of course. Make the event itself and the free drinks, snacks, and SAG support what they get for their base registration fee.
- Alternatively (or in addition), add a fund-raising minimum — something small and relatively easy to secure, but enough so that participants are invested in the event and the charity. Or maybe there’s know fund-raising requirement, but riders can get a free t-shirt when they reach a fund-raising goal.
- Recruit and work with local bike shops and clubs to promote the event, and find ways of utilizing them in running the event.
Does anyone else have any thoughts or ideas? I’m very excited about the what’s happening around here in the world of cycling. I’m looking forward to being part of it. The potential for great things seems to be lying around every bend in the road.
I’m off to Rome tomorrow. Posts are likely to be few and far between over the next week. Apologies in advance. I’ll see what I can do to make it up to you once I’ve returned stateside. Ciao!
PS: Hey, is it cheesy to sport a Castelli cycling/track jacket when in Italy? I don’t want to be looking like a poseur. I’ve got enough issues without treading naively into the treacherous territory of fashion and national identity.