Sunday, October 27, 2013

Clemson University Fall 2013 Bike Week

This week, October 28 - November 1, Clemson University is hosting it's second-ever Bike Week. Last May the inaugural event provided an opportunity for staff, students and faculty to learn more about bike safety, attend a bike repair workshop and participate in other fun events. This school year's event will have more events and fun things to participate in.

  • All Week Long folks are encouraged to take photos of themselves biking on campus. Submit photos in the photo contest sponsored by PATS (And, ya, there's even a prize.)
  • Monday learn how to use the on-campus bike repair station. CORE will be outside Holmes from 10a -1p to help folks with a quick DIY demo of how to use all the various components.
  • Tuesday there's an opportunity to engage in open dialogue to learn more about the rules of the road for all users. Oh, and word on the street is that there'll be some refreshments. Come interested at 6 pm at Fike.
  • Wednesday will be another opportunity to learn more about bike maintenance. Always a good skill to brush up on. This would be for those time when there's not a bike repair station near-by. 5:30 for Beginners & 6:00 for advanced at the Big Red Barn.
  • Thursday has no official events planned, but consider taking your two wheels out for a spin to have some fun. Do something spook-tacular.
  • Friday will be a mountain bike ride through Issaqueena Forest in Clemson's Experimental Forest. A great opportunity to get out in the woods and to try out mountain biking. Contact the folks at CORE for more info.  
Have a little fun this week for a study break, trying something new or just for a break in the routine. The events should be fun, and it's great to see some great outreach events on-campus. Join in the fun.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Upstate Women's Cycling Forum

Mark your calendars! (You know I have.) The first Upstate Women's Cycling Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, November 13 from 6:30p - 8:00p in Greer. The Village of Pelham will be the host location. Special guests will include the Executive Director of the Palmetto Cycling Coalition; the owner of Pedal Chic, the first only all-female bicycle shop in the nation and Partners for Active Living board member and GlobalBike volunteer. Sounds like quite the group for a Wednesday night.

It should be a great night of talking about bicycle-related issues as they relate to women! In a recent post I talked about some of my concerns from my female perspective. The timing could not be better. This event will be a great opportunity to meet other ladies who are interested in socializing, connecting and learning with female riders of all levels.

For more information on the event or for any questions, please contact these folks. Ask your friends, husband, significant other or someone to take over the evening chores. Put a little extra time in a work to get off early on the upcoming Wednesday. Do what you can to make it out. Professionals, riders, friends, sistas, moms - hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Scenario:  It's been a long, hard day. Up early with the puppy, the kid, the kitten. Made it into work even though there was light rain. Worked hard all day waiting tables, taking care of the kids, crunching numbers, chained to the desk. Ran into a few of the usual faces at the office, at the grocery store, at the bank. Mindless chatter, watercooler talk about the Big Game, the Latest TV Show, the Local Gossip. Ready for a ride? With the girls - hell ya! With the guys - ummm...I'll get back to you.

I commute to work on my bike. Even though I love it, it can be a little stressful riding in a 3 foot shoulder where road debris alongside speeding traffic. I long to ride:  more often, in an area where I don't have to constantly look over my shoulder, where I'm having fun, with a group that doesn't intimidate me. I've been invited to a long-standing weekly group ride by a male colleague. I think to myself "ah, here's an opportunity." But the reality, "I just want to ride and let my hair down." Nothing against the guys, but sometimes girls just wants to have fun.

I want to chat, laugh and listen while I ride. I want to feel comfortable with who I am on a bike and where I'm at. I want to ride on a safe, separated path removed from traffic that winds through fields, along rivers, in neighborhoods. Group riding can be intimidating, and sometimes folks don't even mean to or realize their approach and what's said can be off-putting.

No fancy clips or shoes? Don't have a $3,000 race-ready bike? Not even sure where the next turn is on the route? It shouldn't matter. It's all about getting out and having fun. After a day at the office in an environment surrounded by older guys, I look forward to the future opportunity to ride with women. I look forward to finding my tribe.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cycling Retreat in South Carolina

The New York Times recently reported on a unique, Upstate bicycling-focused training, hotel and get-a-way that can be had right in our back yard. In Traveler's Rest, South Carolina, about 30 minutes north of downtown Greenville, Hotel Domestique is offering a cycling-centric experience unlike anything else offered elsewhere. Folks can come, relax and schedule a ride alongside local cycling champ George Hincapie. (What!?!)

In a previous post, I wrote about the businesses that are popping up near or because of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. And though you can't quite get to the hotel taking the trail, this retreated has decidedly taken a step to address a niche market by taking advantage of the bicycle-friendly opportunities in the area - for the serious, recreation, road and mountain bike rider. This hotel will likely attract visitors from across the southeast and the country. The area around "TR," as its known to the locals, is beautiful, scenic and close enough to Greenville to have all the advantages of a city without any of the hassle. (Can we say "Hello Greenville-Spartanburg Airport connect?")

It's great to see a local business get some national press, and even better when it promotes the bicycle-friendliness of the region.