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A Simple Six: LGRAB 2011 Summer Games

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

LGRAB 2011 Summer Games

Somewhere out there in the internet blogging cloud I came across The Let's Go Ride a Bike 2011 Summer Games. It seemed like a fun, free, simple concept that could only benefit our simple six and Huntington, WV. My intensity for biking was gaining momentum from reading all the great biking blogs. The journaling of our short community adventures in Huntington, by van and by bike was slowly developing into a habit. This opportunity settled in between the two. Perhaps you will join us in our quest to go ride a bike, then enter to win cool prizes (sounds cliche, eh)?

The events in short:

  1. on vacation? rent a bike and go for a ride!
  2. write a letter advocating for bicycling infrastructure (bike lanes, bike rack, etc) to your alderman/council representative, mayor, or a local business.
  3. take a picture of something along your commute that says “summer” to you, and explain why
  4. commute to work by bike or bike/transit if you don’t already
  5. perform a maintenance task on your bike
  6. explore a greenway or bike path in your city that you haven’t previously visited
  7. test ride a different type of bike than you normally ride (road bike, mountain bike, etc.)
  8. read a book about cycling
  9. ride your bike somewhere new in your city
  10. go on a group ride
Task One: Sunday July 24, 2011

Brent had been home less than 12 hours and wanted to go on a family ride. I wasn't too sure if our gang of six counted as a group ride (#10) but it was going in that category anyway. I also have an event ride on the calendar for Saturday. We were taking a path (#9) we had been down before, but not all the way to the end of the gravel portion running along Four Pole Creek. It's the only path in Huntington that I know of and we could ride from the house to the trail. Does anyone know of other family friendly bike paths?

The Paul Ambrose Trail for Health, or PATH for short, is a 26 mile trail system in Huntington, according to their website. We may need to explore other portions of this path for the summer games.

PATH heading under 5th Street.

We headed out at about 11am with high humidity and low 90 degree weather. I packed four water bottles, but we stopped for a couple fill ups. It was great to know there were watering holes along the trail because it was dog-panting hot. Fry eggs on concrete hot. Hot, hot, hot! I would also call this a very bad idea. Riding gave us a light breeze and the trail is shaded some of the time by trees, but the boys in the trailer were steaming, Elliot was getting pale with heat-exhaustion and we all had beads of sweat pooling on our skin under our clothes. It wasn't pretty and it certainly didn't smell swell either.

We came to the end of the trail and the end of my camera's battery life at the same time. While I have been good about jotting down a note about each time we ride, I have been terrible about photo documenting. I tell myself that it's good to live in the moment with my children and not behind the lens, but pictures really do give depth and substance to a blog. I am also disappointed in my photo skills. The camera and I have not gotten to know each other well. It is just something else to work on.

The ride home took much longer. We stopped more often. The PATH has several play grounds around it's course. We stopped at a couple in the shade just to swing and sit and drink. We were happy to see many other bikers and runners out on this wicked warm Sunday. There was one man on a recumbent style bike. Another man was running with some sort of pad strapped to his feet. I think it is the new barefoot method of jogging. When we made it back to Ritter Park we laid next to the creek and watched the ducks. Once we were sufficiently rehydrated and only simmering, we finished the ride home.

We are all still looking forward to the next one and more events for the Summer Games. Where have you been on your bike this summer?

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