Monthly Archives: September 2011

Disaster Relief

Note: The thoughts and activities discussed in this post occurred on August 28, 2011.

What a beautiful day in the mountains of Western North Carolina and Southwestern Virginia!  One would never guess this area narrowly missed the high wind and heavy rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Irene.   I empathize with the East coast residents.  Having seen several hurricanes during my time in Florida, and by fate, chance, or whatever you wish to call it missed Hurricane Andrew by only half (1/2) a day, I know what these people are going through.  While shuttling a group of hikers to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area today we saw caravan after caravan of relief supplies and emergency services headed for the East coast.  It was a very welcome sight despite the occasional traffic jam encountered by the increase in traffic.  I wish a speedy recovery for these residents and hope everyone keeps them in their thoughts and prayers.  Sending a donation to the American Red Cross, or another relief organization of your choice, wouldn’t be a bad idea either, hint, hint.

Here’s a photo of a bicycle I saw at the Virginia Welcome Center on I-81 just Northeast of the Tennessee line.  Had to have this pic since the bike so closely resembles mine, minus the stickers of course.  😉

On the topic of cycling… after dropping my hikers off, and having a very enjoyable look around the Headquarters/Visitor Center, I started the return trip home. On the way there we discussed a variety of hiking and world event topics, which always makes the trips seem to go by fast. Now I was alone and able to pay more attention to my surroundings. This area is gorgeous. If you haven’t visited here yet I suggest you do so. You won’t be disappointed. As I traveled through the forested road I envisioned traveling this route (VA-16) by bicycle. It has several hills, none of which would cause much concern to even a novice cyclist, and a lot of curves. One would certainly not be bored with this ride. Near the Interstate (I-81) there are several clusters of small houses, a couple of churches, and a business or two. Simple, quiet, and laid back. I guess during the height of the tourist season this road would be busy, but any other time it’s a peaceful area pretty much secluded and proceeding at its own leisurely pace. I like that kind of community, one where the people aren’t worried about out doing “the Jones’“, seeing who can build the biggest house or having the fanciest lawn,one where you see basketball goals out front for the kids (or the young at heart), tricycles parked haphazardly near the front porch and toys scattered around the yard, or a young couple walking down the road hand in hand oblivious to everything else going on around them. Yes, this area is going on my list of places to bike. Perhaps it will be added to your list also. 🙂

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Categories: American Red Cross, bicycle, bike, curves, cycling, G Rated, hikers, Hurricane Irene, mountains, Southwestern Virginia, tourist, Uncategorized, Western North Carolina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Photos

Note: The thoughts and activities discussed in this post occurred on August 12, 2011

I was asked by a reader today (by email) why I haven’t posted many pics with this blog since I travel to so many places as a hiker and/or as an AT hiker support operator, and why I haven’t posted at least one pic of myself.  Well, so far as pics of the places visited go, there are some I just downloaded from my camera that will be included when the blog is posted about the trip they’re from.  Just haven’t had time to get my thoughts “on paper” yet.  It won’t be long.  🙂  Regarding a pic of myself… I hadn’t given it any thought until I was asked.  After all, while this blog is about things I do or see, it’s not intended to be about Me per se.  It’s about a potential service to cancer survivors like myself, as well as the joys and benefits of cycling.  Since I have no desire to remain anonymous, and after viewing quite a few other blogs hosted by WordPress and seeing pics of their author(s), I’ve decided to post a couple.  Want to see more?  Then join me for a ride!  😉  Disclaimer:  If these pics cause your comp to crash, or break your monitor, just remember… I was asked to post them!   lol

Categories: Appalachian Trail, bicycle, Blue Ridge Mountains, cancer, G Rated, hiker, mountains, National Park, shuttle, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Birth Of An Idea

Note: The thoughts and activities discussed in this post occurred in July, 2011

A while back I watched a repeat of Texas Country Reporter on RFD TV.  This episode included an interesting segment titled “Tour de Hood” where they featured a cycling group in Houston, TX that is open to anyone and everyone who wishes to spend a weekend morning cycling.  They cycle ride around a different neighborhood each week for exercise and companionship.  Simple, huh?  On the surface it is, but the purpose, mission, and drive for this featured activity goes much deeper.

This is an unselfish endeavor. They operate only from donations. When donations are slow in arriving activities are paid for out of the organizers own pocket(s). What makes this even more amazing is that those participating do not have to bring anything, or do anything special, other than show up! Tour de Hood supplies everything to those who need this generous helping hand. No bike? No problem, it’s supplied, as is the water, food (fruit for health), and bicycle helmets.  They even organize group camping trips with all necessary items, other than clothing, supplied if necessary.  The camping trips take riders to various spots in Texas and range from one to three nights.  Both of these activities are also planned for readers of this blog.  Hopefully we will eventually be able to supply some, if not all, of the necessary items to those who would otherwise be unable to participate.

Originally the organizer of Tour de Hood, Dr. Veon McReynolds, wanted to promote healthy living.  His premise was that a person doesn’t have to constantly visit a gym, but can instead make healthy living choices such as taking a weekly bike ride.  This weekly activity has gradually evolved into something people from all backgrounds, ages, races, and family units can do together for a leisurely historical and beautiful ride around the neighborhoods, or “hoods” of Houston.  Dr. McReynolds feels that these things are missed by most of us in this fast-paced world, much like the personal feelings I described  in my Rediscovery post.  Taking a bicycle ride, even a short one, can put us back in touch with these things while improving our health and over all outlook on life so why aren’t more people doing this?

If you would like to view the episode referred to above you may do so on YouTube by going to – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKCcYQQQMTo .

The information contained in this televised report really touched me.  I had been searching for a way to do something for cancer victims, more specifically prostate cancer survivors such as myself, but couldn’t come up with any viable ideas.  This episode provided me with the idea, and pathway, I had been searching for… promote awareness of this disease and help its victims by engaging in a healthy activity, cycling. [See Purpose] Cycling is an activity that serves to re-build the strength and stamina lost during the fight of, and recovery from, a dreaded disease while giving participants an opportunity to get their minds off fears and concerns by enjoying the sights and sounds always around them.  This idea, Old School Cycling, thanks to Dr. McReynolds and Texas Country Reporter, was born!  😀  Please take a minute to visit their respective sites and either “like”, tweet, or email them a note of thanks.

Categories: activity, bicycle helmet, bike, camping, cancer, disease, donations, fear, food, G Rated, health, helmet, Houston, life, opportunity, Prostrate Cancer, RFD TV, Texas Country Reporter, Tour de Hood, trip, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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