Sunday, July 27, 2014

National Night Out

National Night Out was a tradition in my neighborhood as a kid. Growing up the family in the house next door would round up some goodies and invite the families in the neighborhood to have a night out. Neighbors would turn the porch lights on and trod on over to spend some time together. The parents would set up lawn chairs, sit around and talk. The kids would run around playing games, eat and drink all the snacks to our hearts delight and McGruff the Crime Dog would show up in a limo. Every year. This was the big time on our small cul-de-sac.

Maybe it was the extra time out in the evening with the neighbors. Maybe it was all the extra goodies. Or maybe it was because the Mayor's daughter lived next door, but McGruff always visited us and it was a great time. A summer highlight in my childhood memories

The City of Clemson will be celebrating their own National Night Out. Full of fun, community and highlighting safety, this year the event is on Tuesday, August 5th. The details of the event are still coming together, but there is rumored to be some kid-friendly bicycle events focused on teaching bicycle safety. Taking time to get together as a community is always important, and an event like this is a great timing in reminding kids about safety before the school year begins.

In my days, McGruff was more focused on crime-prevention, but these days he's even into promoting bike safety. I'm not sure if he'll make an appearance in Clemson, but there will be a lot of fun stuff going on. Consider coming out to the event in Clemson or joining a local National Night Out event nearby. A great family-friendly event, there's sure to be a good time for all.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bike Spotting

I have to admit it. I need to come clean. I love bikes. Yea, you already probably knew that. But, I LOVE bikes.

I find bikes interesting. They have the potential to reveal so much about a person. A knobby-tired mountain bike with with suspension. A red and black road bike with skinny tires. An orange and purple fat tire bike with streamers. A grey hybrid with a coffee mug attachment.

Owning a bike can be a form of self expression. A bikes can be just as unique as the individual that rides it. There's something to learn about a person by the bike they ride:  what they love to do, how they like to get around and what's important to them.  The Minimalist. The Fashionista. The Racing Speedster. The Errand-Running Uptowner. The Splurging Young Professional. The Family Man. Every ride, like every person, is different.

 I love bikes, and sometimes I just catch myself staring. 

I'm not talking about staring at a "I'm-a-creeper" kind of way. (Because that would just be weird.) But it's more like admiring a fine piece of art, taking in all the style that can fit on two wheels. Bicycles are inspirational, fun and liberating, a lot like art. So, when I get a chance, I have taken a few pics of some of the more unique bikes I have seen.

There's been some pretty rad "bike spotting" I've seen in the Upstate and during my travels. The pics below are some of my faves.

Why not carry two bikes on the back of your motorcycle?
(Does that make it a TriCycle?) Greenville, SC.

First experience with pedicabs in San Diego, CA.

A colorful array of on-street bike parking with a
bike repair station. San Diego, CA.

Bike Share comes to downtown Greenville, SC.
Main Street station.

Individual style meets available parts meets recumbent ride.
Tybee Island, GA.

Coffee to go, please! Savannah, GA

What are some of the cooler bikes you've seen? Are you a fan of "bike spotting?" I'd love to hear your stories.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Upstate News Update: Mid Summer 2014 Edition

Hi all. Happy Summer! I've been off enjoying some summer fun, and I hope you have, too. I took a jaunt to see my parents and brother over the 4th of July. A weekend at my parent's cottage in Northern Michigan on an inland lake was pure bliss! Here's a few photos from my time away.

Lakeside scene at the cottage. Pure Michigan!

Enjoying a little r and r on the water.

I had the latest copy of Momentum Magazine with me, the 'zine focused on sharing the style, simplicity, issues and every-day-ness of bicycle riding. My brother and his girlfriend paged through it for their beach reading. As more of the "Sport-O" biking types, they were intrigued and impressed with the magazine's message. As my brother's girlfriend put it, "Look, they feature real girls who bike. *Pointing at a healthy-looking, dress-wearing lady.* Look at those thighs!" 

Her comment made me smile. Yes, the time with "the fam" was great. It was also fun to share my love of bike riding as a way of life. My family knows I'm really into biking, and it was nice to see them "get it."

There have been a few bike-relate events and stories in the upstate recently. In case you have been busy riding or having some other kind of fun, here's a bit of a update.

In reaction to an interesting turn of events this spring where local upstate Rep. Wendy Nanney took a rather rash approach to addressing bicycle safety, several upstate groups have come together to get the word out. Local cycling groups, bicycle shops, media and the bicycle advocacy groups are getting the word out to new bicyclists about how to act, respond, have fun and be safe.

A new indoor cycling workout studio is set to open this month in Greenville. For those looking to get a workout in, beat the heat and humidity of the hot southern summers and leave squeaky clean (aka they have showers), consider checking it out.

The second bike repair station at Clemson University is up! The first one was installed last year near some residential halls, and this one is located behind the student center. The repair station is also located near some spiffy new racks. This means there's twice the access to tools and air (for tires) for the students on access. 

Bike Repair Station #2 at Clemson University

If there's any other news or events to be shared, let me know by posting it in the comments below.