NBG Giants Actuate Mayors' Ride Afterburners

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Cycle America/N

To see the this newsletter on the web: http://www.BikeRoute.com/MayorFestNews/3-10-03.html

A) Andrew Morton hooks us up with a Web Blog for Pocket Mail reports &!!
B) Morton's web discussion group fires up
C) Jim Redd's interactive Mayor's Schedule almost ready for prime time
D) Power Meeting with Jody Fitch
E) Jody Fitch's virtual signage program
F) Bike Route data base coming
G) Wayne Cyclery of Grand Island, NE replaces Omaha
H) More on Build Your Own Bike at the NBG Fest c/o Free Cycles Missoula
I) Missoula MT might bring spur into Boise
J) Salt Lake City Bike Coordinator Lisa Romney sez they'll be ready
K) Wanted: Relay riders for world's best cycling
L) Back in Shape Bill Morro may handcycle Portland to Eugene
M) Mayor's Ride FAQ on line http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide/MayorsRideFAQ.html
N) Des Moines Radio WHO Kitty exploring promotion for our 6/6 arrival

O) What's a Blog? A Blog is an automatic web logging program which allows you to update your site
easily without the hassles of HTML editing and then having to use a separate program to upload
your work. I hope you can see all the exciting possibilities here. Anyone armed with a password,
a keyboard and a phone line will soon be able to generate and maintain a web site at
NationalBicycleGreenway.com. In real time! And soon dial up access to the web won't even be
necessary once Andrew Morton configures the blogger to accept Pocket Mail transmissions.

In addition, since time will become even scarcer and scarcer once our riders hit the road, I
personally won't have to spend so much tine webbing the product of their efforts. Beyond our riders,
even this newsletter will be blogged!! And all this coming from a man that I have watched grow
larger and larger in stature. Five years ago when Andrew first rode his BikeE into our Santa Cruz
NBG office, he was a still unsure kid filled with ambition. Now five years later after having
entertained us with Pocket Mail reports from his a Reno to Salt Lake scouting mission, his Portland
to Santa Cruz Mayors' ride last summer and his Year 2001 TransAm, he is now making i easier for
others to walk he talk of the No Limits Achiever he has become! Here are his archives which include
his great writing and great pictures from this rides -- all in Blog Form:

P) Things are moving so fast around here, I forgot to tell you that Andrew Morton wasted no time
getting a mail list together at his site for us to talk about the new web that Jody Fitch
foresees. At one point as many as 13 people were on our mailings as we talked about where we
wanted to go with all of this. And if it hadn't been for the list Andrew created, things would
have gotten pretty chaotic pretty quickly. It also streamlines so much of our communication even
now as a the group has come down in size to a manageable number.

Q) Another man transformed into a mountain mover by the bicycle is also working to free me away from
coding next summer's ride on to the web. Jim Redd, who has turned the Chicago Critical Mass web
site into a thing of beauty, giving that effort untold credibility, is working to do the same for
our Mayor's Ride schedule

Toward that end, THX to Jim, anyone armed with yet another password can keep our Mayors' Ride
current - without having to know HTML - in real time! What Jim has created is truly ingenious and so
far ahead of the curve that I can't wait to show it to you as other web sites struggle to emulate
what he is producing. WoW!!!

Not only does Jim (and his wife Marshia) do his his daily life Car Free in Chicago but he has ridden
all over the US and even resurrected our last summer's ride for us after Andrew Heckman got taken
out by a car driver. You can see a little bit more about this giant off a man and catch up with his
great writing at http://www.cyclechicago.org/pocketmail/jimredd.php

R) While we're talking about giants, we need to climb the ladder to also get a view of what Jody
Fitch is doing. I mean it was Jody who initially planted the seed for a web site that would
really give the National Bicycle Greenway web effort some genuine thrust. He wanted to see a
site that took advantage of all the latest advances in web technology so that we could really do
the job he sees us capable of doing. In order to do so, he got us thinking about changing
providers. And after much discussion and research, we did just that. At which point things
really began to gel.

Jody sees members driving our effort both financially and with their two wheel efforts and he has a
clear view of how we can take advantage of the new web site, NationalBicycleGreenway.com, that he
encouraged us to create, to do just this. He also sees a strong and virile membership and he has
ideas such as the NBG virtual signage program which I talk about in E below as some of the exciting
ways we can achieve this end. So that we can deliver on his also exciting route data base idea
talked about in F below, he saw the need for interactivity and that is what Jim and Andrew as per A
& B above have been following through on.

As testimony to the true visionary powers that fuel this man, he drove the 40 miles from San Jose to
Santa Cruz, we are separated by a dangerous mountain highway, to flesh out the site map he has
already produced for all of this. Complete with suggested web pages and the projects, research and
writing necessary for them to get built and by whom, he had questions and many blanks that had to be
filled in. And it wasn't until 11:30 in the PM that he left! You see, Jody a fun guy who loves to
laugh, has his mind set on making something pretty huge a no doubt about it reality. And if we can
keep up with his tirelessness toward this end, I **know** we will!!

S) One of the reasons Jody wanted a web with interactive capabilities that were intelligent in real
time was so that we could implement virtual signage. For this application, what he sees is a sign
up program that uses zip codes to direct those using an e-mail address to add their voice to a
petition or to come on as a new member, for example, to go to one of our NBG sponsors to get it
validated. As an incentive for them to leave their computer screen, we can even offer NBG
products such as the NBG hats, water bottles, knives and flashlights found at

This accomplishes three things. It builds traffic into our NBG sponsor's stores. It encourages
businesses to sponsor our efforts so they can get people into their stores. And it builds our own
membership as well as offers tangible support (pages filled with e-mail addresses count for much
less than actual signatures on a far fewer number of pages) for those concerns we are placing before
our elected officials. Once we've fully brainstormed all of the possibilities here and then
implemented that which is readily doable, this can have a major impact in pretty short order.
Especially as local jurisdictions use our forum to get their petitions out to address matters of two
wheel importance to their immediate communities. Etc., wow and etc.!!

T) Another benefit of flexible and readily expandable web interactivity for our on line guests is
that we can use NationalBicycleGreenway.com to build a ride database that connects the coasts as
well as all of the states. How we plan to do this is far more complex than this space allows, but
do stay tuned for something pretty huge here as well!!

U) Wayne's Cyclery of Grand Island, NE has agreed to sponsor that Midwest town into our Mayor's
Ride! At 40,000 people, a bit smaller than Santa Cruz, the home of the NBG, Grand Island replaces
Omaha as the destination for riders coming in from Des Moines on June 13. Located almost in the
center most point of America, Grand Island, was originally built on an island in the middle of
the incessantly shifting Platte River.

A major railroad hub, it's only bike shop, at 6000 square feet with 600 bikes is monstrous. In fact
the building Wayne's Cyclery occupies, used to house, at the turn of the century, the city's horse
drawn taxi system and later that town's bus fleet. And not only do most trains find their way in and
out of Grand Island but so do Nebraska cyclists. John Wayne, who also happens to be good friends
with the town fathers, tells me that his shop pretty much services a one hundred square mile area!

V) Well I heard from Free Cycles founder Bob Giordano and wow have they got a killer program up
there. He even has a 6 minute CD that he is going to burn for me so that I can get it on line for
all those interested in their hugely successful 7 year old program! In a town of 80,000 people,
Missoula, through this day long event yearly returns 100 or more bicycles to the roads up their
way. And what doesn't make it to the streets also finds new life as furniture, jewelry, even wind
chimes etc. There are even the kids who make their own choppers and other experimental bikes.

Nor is it complex or as highly dependent on new parts as I had before intimated. By designating one
pile of bikes as buildable and the other as being for parts, with the help of roaming mechanics and
as many as 15 bike stands, they are able to cannibalize the parts bikes for most of the stuff they
need. About the only new items needed are oil and grease -- and these usually get donated!

One important station that gets manned all day by rotating volunteers is the tire repair area. Here
the ubiquitous flat tire is met with a bucket of water, tubes of glue, patches (oops another
expense) and air pumps.

What as great guy Bob Giordano is! What a great program he has catalyzed! What a great way to
outreach the bicycle message to the poorer communities as far way as Watsonville and right here in
the Beach Flats. And if all goes according to plan, we may even get a chance to road test a smaller
version of all this at the local Earth Day festival. I am in communication with Karsten Mueller of
the local Santa Cruz Bike Hub and will keep you posted as to what we come up with Too exciting!!

W) And if the above is not enough, Bob tells me that he might be able to be at our NBG Fest in
spirit. He is going to look into the possibility of MIST (Missoula Institute for Sustainable
Transportation) maybe sponsoring Missoula into our Mayor's Ride with a spur from there to Boise.
I'll be sure to let you know!!

X) Talked with Salt Lake City Bike Coordinator Lisa Romney last week and she says they'll be ready.
A Harvard educated landscape planner, her work with bikes is made easier by the fact that the
Salt Lake streets are already very wide. As such then, with the exception of all but a few roads,
she tells me that it is easy to get around her city on a bike. And yet here during the winter,
with the temperatures hovering in the 30 degree or freezing realm, she has been one of the few
city workers who regularly rides her bike to work. It is great to know that she walks (uh, rides)
her talk because if Reno comes on we may have to try to get her support for two send offs. The
other, of course, being the already scheduled July 2 reception that then heads off to Boise. All
right Salt Lake!!

Y) As our start from DC, on May 2, looms ever and ever closer, the time is right to wet your chops
for the best relay link we have to offer: The Rocky Mtn roads that join Boulder, CO with Salt
Lake City. This connection offers some of the best bike riding to be found anywhere.

In my book Awake Again, I, in somewhat worthy measure, talk about the beauty of the highest highway
in the world, Trailridge, at 13,000 feet, that makes up such a big part of this connection. Here the
thick forests that fully surround you, look like endless carpets of rolling green each time you
reach a lookout point. The unmatched sensation of then biking above the tree line where the
lunarscape that greets you has a surrealistic feel to it, ultimately gives way to an unparalleled
ocean of green by the time you roll to the other side of it. Here the air almost feels supercharged.
Here the sky feels boundless, expanding the size of your possibility consciousness to minimize all
of the challenge that lies before you not only on your ride but in the game of life itself.

As a birth of fire, it was here that I became a Greenway builder. Successfully transcending
Trailridge's snowy fields (that's right, there is a while different weather pattern up at the top),
told me that I had fully transcended all of the residual difficulties brought on by the paralysis,
punctured lung and atrophied muscles that followed my two month coma and clinical death. I can't
wait for more Greenway builders to join me with Trailridge under their belt!

Z) Caught up with Bill Morro (sp) on the phone on Friday. A former wheel chair athlete who has arm
powered his cart as high as 45 mph on the flats, he just bought a Freedom Ryder handcycle that he
may very well use to connect Portland with Eugene. He tells me that he can likely drum up a
supporting cast of cyclists from his church. He wants to do the ride, thinks he will be
physically ready but has yet to clear up a few unknowns. He has a campground reserved with a
group during July but won't know when until he can talk to his wife. We also have to see if we
can get Freedom Ryder to support his effort. But if all goes well, just think of all the
publicity and excitement this could create!!

Z) The Mayor's Ride FAQ I told you about last week that Jody Fitch, Faye Saunders, Ro Fischer, Jim
Redd, Don Fong and myself all worked to create is now on line. It answers: What is the NBG? Why
Mayors Rides? What is the Mayor's Ride? What is a Pocket Mail report? What is the NBG Bike Fest?
Check it out at http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide/MayorsRideFAQ.html

Z) Kitty Metzger, a spinning instructor and hard driving summer (when it's not freezing out) cyclist
from Des Moines has our ride on her front burner. This is important to know because Kitty sells
time for Radio WHO, one of the biggest radio stations anywhere to found, and has a meeting set up
with her management about building a promotion around our 6/6 arrival. Since she already does
business with several of the bike merchants in her city, the home of RAGBRAI, maybe Kitty can
work us into some of the build up they do for it!! RAGBRAI, the Register's Annual Great Bicycle
Ride Across Iowa, an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state, is the longest, largest and
oldest touring bicycle ride in the world. This year it runs from July 20 - 26. When you talk to
Kitty, you can feel the power she wields -- yahooo!!

M A R T I N K R I E G : "Awake Again" Author Bent Since '83, Car Free Since '89, Attacking with
Love Coma, Paralysis, Clinical Death Survivor '79 & '86 TransAm Vet - Invites you to:
http://www.BikeRoute.com/SCNBGFest N A T I O N A L B I C Y C L E G R E E N W A Y
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