Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Heartbreak in Flat Hollow

I rolled up to the car, speckled with a little mud, and played nonchalance as I dismounted the bike, leaned it up against the car, and started stripping off GPS, helmet, sunglasses, etc, etc.  The couple in the car next to me played nonchalance as well.  They were climbers.  And of course they weren’t going to ask me about mountain bike trails in the area.  But then I heard them conversing and heard European accents and knew for them seeing a mountain biker at a trailhead may not have been a novelty like it would be for so many Red River Gorge climbers.

I changed quick into some jeans and a t-shirt, grabbed a rake and Pulaski and headed back into Flat Hollow to work on clearing my newest brainchild: Holler Flats.  I mean for it to be a small flowy, humpy, skillsy, lollipop end to the creek section of the Flat Hollow Arch Trail.  I intend it to be a destination unto itself. 

See, I have failed in my goal in Flat Hollow.  I had intended for the Arch Trail to be easy.  It most definitely is not that.  Oh, the lower section is pretty easy.  We can knock down a couple of small humps and make it suitable for little kids even.  But the climb from the bottoms (the “flat” part of the drainage) up to the old oil road that accesses the view of the arch is not an never will be an easy ride. How do I know?  Now that all the cutting is finished I’ve ridden it four times.  Two of those were last night.  It’s finally dried out enough that my bike doesn’t get chunked up with freshly turned earth.

It started when my wife got home.  I knew she had a lot going on so I laid into the dishes that had accumulated the night before, hoping that if I could get the kitchen straightened up maybe we’d have time to walk or run or ride around.

When she got home she asked if I was okay.  I felt fine.  Felt darned productive as a matter of fact.  But she said I should go ride my bike in Flat Hollow.  I finished up the sink of dishes in front of me and geared up.

Half an hour later I was yanking The One from the MBDV and before you could say “one by” I was climbing up the gravel road to the top end of the old trail which I now call “Hillbilly Hayduke” after one of a singer songwriter friend’s obscure gems.  It was in great shape and I rode it all the way out, swung around my new little connector section and picked up FHAT (will need to berm the drop into the connector) and started cranking up the creek toward Flat Hollow Arch. 

Despite a little lingering mud everything rode well.  The creek crossings are holding up and my armoring is doing its job.  I need some more creek gravel in a few places.  But then I was at the bottom of the most recently constructed climbing section.  Its two switchbacks separated by long segments in between.  I purposefully stretched the trail out as far as I could and used two natural benches for turns.  Regardless the trail has ended up a lung buster. 

The first pass up I nailed the lower crux.  But by the time I reached the top of the steep stuff I had blown completely up.  I slipped off the bike, took off my helmet and sunglasses, and sat down on the side of the trail.  I never…NEVER stop the bike and sit down to rest.  When it was certain my heart wasn’t going to fail I got on and rode the last hundred yards to the road bench.  Then I finished out the loop on Fire on the Mountain and looped back onto the Arch Trail once again.  The second time I intended to ride out and back and check out the descent now that it was a bit drier than the other time I rode it after the cutting was finished.

The second time I flubbed the lower crux but managed to cruise the upper crux.  It’s a fitness thing for me.  Pure and simple.  But I’m not so out of shape that an “easy” trail would flat out shut me down twice in a day.  No, that climb section is as easy as we could have made it, but its still intermediate at best. 

After my 3.25 mile ride I was even more determined to rough in the Holler Flats loop I scouted the last time I was up there.  I changed into jeans after my ride so the nettles in the flats area wouldn’t burn me alive.  I raked a bit and then threw in some rough flagging to nail down an alignment.  I need to get a wheelbarrow up there.  My goal is to create a fun loop with whoop-de-dos and berms so that you can ride up the creek, do the loop a few times and ride back to the parking lot without feeling gypped.  I’m thinking “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” kinda ride with this.  And the arch climb will still be there for the more adventurous and cadiovascularly fit children. 

The flats loop is going to take a bunch of loads of creek gravel to make it rideable year round.  I think it’s going to be worth it though.  There are some natural dips and berms already.  That’s what drew me to the area to include into our growing trail system.

As I returned to the car and stowed my tools in the trunk and prepared to head out I was really satisfied.  Its been a lot of work to get the Flat Hollow Arch Trail built this past winter.  And there is still a lot of work left to finish Fire on the Mountain and complete the loop that we’ve been working on this past year, but in the end I think the Flat Hollow section and the remainder of the Bald Rock trail system (yet to be built) is going to be an amazing loop that will be even more satisfying to shoot up and ride after work.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dauntless on the Dawkins

We’ve been talking about it forever.  Mandy and I rode a small section of the Dawkins Line after the 2013 KBBC Conference at Jenny Wiley.  That was in November and the morning we rode it was…brisker than brisk.  Instead of doing the entire 17 mile trail out and back that day we ended up riding from Hager Hill to Swamp Branch and back. 
Dawkins 2013
And so we’ve kicked the idea around ever since.  The western end of the trail is only about an hour from home.  The logistics of moving two or three kids and bikes for four or five of us was daunting.  That’s the main reason we’ve kept away.  That, and Bean was too little to keep up on her pink princess bike.  But now she’s geared like the rest of us so it’s all different.  We can go as a group and everyone can have fun. We don’t have to leave anyone behind (You never leave a man behind!) and we don’t have to wait on anyone.
Well…she still the littlest, so we were moving at a bean’s pace.  But I jump ahead.
The night before Mandy said: “We should do the Dawkins tomorrow.”
I was all over that.  Except…I wasn’t.  At 8:30 the next morning she looked over at me as we both lay in bed and said: “I’m leaving in half an hour.”
I had done nothing to get ready for the ride.
Needless to say we didn’t get out of the door before 10am.  As we turned east onto the Mountain Parkway I observed that if we rode regularly we wouldn’t have had to spend so much time getting bikes ready and wrestling the logistics alligator and we could have been gone an hour earlier.  Mandy agreed.
We’re driving time halfway between the Legacy Trail in Lexington and the Dawkins Line near Salyersville.  One is urban and paved and one is rural and “natural” surface.  While I like the Legacy Trail just fine the Dawkins is more my cuppa tea.  I just don’t understand why we let small obstacles keep us away for so long.
The Smallest Obstacle was excited about riding the trail.  She wanted to see the tunnel and ride over bridges.  Until we were a mile from the trailhead.  And then she wanted to go home.  Big, heaving sigh.
She's riding a Specialized, but that look is all Surly
While the Dawkins is a nice fine aggregate surface there is a fair bit of horse traffic and the trail is not as smooth as some other similar trails I’ve been on.  And so it was jostling the Bean as she rode along with her 35 psi tires.  Finally I interrupted her meltdown with a simple yet firm: “Get off your bike.” I dropped about 10 psi from each tire and bode her continue on down the trail.  She took off like a rocket and didn’t complain so much about how much the trail hurt her after that.  Note to self…
We passed back through Royalton and solved the mystery of where was Tommy.  Instead of driving out with us he opted to meet us on the trail.  We’d seen him from the road as we searched for the trailhead, but lost him and figured he’d find us as we rode along chasing Bean.
Approaching downtown Royalton
We had parked at the trailhead just west of Royalton and Tomahawk had stabled the Jeep Beast at the main trailhead in “downtown.”  Again, we figured he'd catch us—or not—so we continued on toward Gun Creek Tunnel at a breaknail pace.
Dawkins is intimate with its community.  Homes are right up against the trail in places.  You definitely feel like you’re riding right through someone’s yard at times.  But at no time does it feel threatening.  I wondered continuously how it would feel to live on the trail so close to strangers moving back and forth.  But the reality is that we all live along roads with jackasses speeding loudly up and down past our homes.  The trail can’t be as adverse an impact as living alongside a busy road or street.
We finally reached Gun Creek Tunnel.  As we approached the tunnel it didn’t seem to be over six hundred feet long.  But then as you pass into the mouth the light at the far end seems to quickly retreat.  Out in the middle its dark enough that you can’t see the walls or the floor of the passage.  At the far side we opted to turn around and head back.  That would give us twelve miles total when we got back to the trailhead (we rode two miles west before turning back toward the tunnel to the east which was four miles from where we parked).

While it wasn’t obvious as we approached the tunnel that we had been climbing it was evident as we started picking up speed as we rode west.  Bean wanted to race.  So her mom and I gave chase, passed her, and settled into a comfortable cruise through the pleasant air.
We finally lagged to let her catch up, and as my tuckered little Bean pulled alongside me I noticed her front tire was alarmingly soft.  A flat.  And we had no 24” tube with us.  And, as it turned out, no Schrader compatible pump. 
I launched off toward the car as fast as the Slutty Single Speed would allow (at one point Lily asked me which gear I was in.  “All of them,” I replied).  Mandy hung back and they tried to ride as far as they could while I went for the SAG Wagon.
Tommy sat on the bench by the trail with his Niner leaned against the kiosk as I came pedaling furiously into Royalton.  I stopped briefly to explain what was going on but ended up having to get off the bike and look at the map with him while my wife (his daughter) and my daughter were left alone in the wilds of Magoffin County pushing two mountain bikes.  But then I was off for the other trailhead a mile hence and Tom began pedaling east down the trail to intercept my girls.
In the end it was a great day.  The weather was perfect and fun was had by all.  We’re already talking about going back soon.   

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On Riding to Town and Building Trails

The One is like a new bike.  Last week I had Mike’s Hike and Bike build a new set of wheels using my Hope hubs and a new set of Stans rims.  Sunday I installed tubeless tires and Bean and I took a ride to town for to test them out.  She rode her six speed Specialized, and I rode The One. 
The first obstacle was Granny Moppet Hill.  Bean walked the lower crux, but then hopped on the bike and started grinding up to the summit.  Surely she learned what it means to suffer that day!
Or not.  But she had her first taste of climbing on a bike. I’m so proud!
Anyway, we rode to town and then meandered the streets for a little while.  It was fun and chill.  We didn’t get any KOMs, but we didn’t need them.  It was fun riding around out small and uncharming town.

I know, I know!  We had a talk about riding on sidewalks. This is a new SRTS funded sidewalk too.

Doing the walk up Steamshovel Hill

Our bike path
After we got home the whole crew wanted to take the new kayaks up to the Chainring pond and paddle around.  It was relaxing and fun to plink around after our ride and then amble back to the house.  Life is good!
But now we jump back to Saturday. May 14th was the second trail day in Flat Hollow this spring.  Bean and I got to the trailhead right on time.  The forecast was for a rainy morning.  I didn’t expect anyone to show up.  But Curtis (the land manager) had sent me a message saying he was on his way but was running late.  So we decided to wait for him at least.  I knew there was a couple hundred feet of tough benchcutting and the two of us alone wouldn’t be able to finish up in a day. I was somewhat despondent.  The trail was going to drag out all summer…
Curtis showed around 9:30 and we hung out in the parking lot waiting for the rain to pass until about 11:00.  Then we headed up the trail with tools in hand.  I had resolved I was going to get as much done as I could before my lower back gave out.
We got close to the end of where I had been working and Curtis was walking ahead so I couldn’t see down the trail.  As we got to the last few yards I noticed some fresh clumps of dirt and it looked like someone had cut into the backslope to widen the tread (which is needed).
“This part looks like it needs compacting,” Curtis said as I opened my mouth to exclaim that someone had…CUT MORE TRAIL!
Since my last visit down there some trail fairy had cut about a hundred feet of trail.  That left a little over a hundred feet left to build.  With that I laid into the uncut steep sideslope at the top of the hill with a wellspring of energy.
We cut for a little while and two more showed up.  With four of us we were able to keep the momentum going for about four hours. Then we were done. 
Not with the trail.  Heck no!  We still had thirty feet left to cut.  But Curtis and I were spent.  The rest of the crew all had stuff to do in the afternoon.  I needed to get Bean home too.  The day was over.  But we only had thirty feet left!  The Flat Hollow Arch Trail was almost completed.
Approaching the second switchback

The second switchback

Near the top of the climb
I texted Brad.  It turns out he was the trail fairy.  He said he’d try to get down there Monday or Tuesday and finish up.  He went back Monday and he and another guy cut the last thirty feet.  The Flat Hollow Arch Trail is finished.  It only took all winter.
I can’t express how happy I am to have this trail finished.  The loop still needs some work and we’re about eight miles shy of the minimum system I want to see go in at PMRP.  But Flat Hollow Arch Trail is built.  And it turned out pretty good.  As we go forward and smooth, compact, and refine it I hope to continue to improve the geometrics and make it an “easy” trail.  There’s going to be one or two spots on the trail that will just never be considered easy, but that’s okay.
Last night I ran up and did a little bit of work.  We’ve been having a lot of rain so I was afraid the newest sections of trail would be too muddy to ride.  I was right.  BUT…the established sections—even the stuff that was constructed prior to the last trail day—was totally rideable.
And here is where this trail system is going to shine.  In rainy weather the trails in the Red River Gorge area will drain and not be easily damaged by foot and bike traffic.
The caveat to that is that through layout and construction we have to maintain a mindset of drainfulness.  So far we have.  There are few muddy spots and there are a lot of spots that would be muddy if we hadn’t installed drainage features and built the trail to modern standards.  The few spots left that are problematic can all be mitigated with minimal work except for one low, boggy stretch that is going to have to be bypassed completely.  I only delayed that because a month ago the ground had dried out to concrete consistency and it looked like we weren’t going to have to detour.  As it is right now I can skirt the tread and still ride through the bog.  Not ideal, but still better than a lot of Central Kentucky trail systems for rainy rideability. 
 Oh, and after piddling around a little last night I dragged The One out of the MBDV and rode out and back on the built Flat Hollow Arch Trail.  While I got bogged down in the mud of the newest cut sections I was able to ride the whole trail out and back.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Wearing Many Helmets Redux

Facebook delivers up “Memories” each day.  At first it annoyed me, but I’ve come to enjoy the surprises I get served every morning.  I joined Facebook in 2008 and while I have an excellent memory I have begun to lose things in the past.  And little bits of my writing come back too.  I don’t do long text posts anymore, but I used to compose status updates that looked more like blog posts.  Then I discovered Notes.  And finally I shifted over to a blog and got away from status updates that turned into political arguments with my “friends.”

The following post is one of those memories from May 15, 2009.  It was a bit personal history and a bit rambling pontification.  It seems like a good fit to The Chainring Report.  Enjoy!

I've got strong legs. Always have had strong legs…when I was a kid I thought I was fat cause when I'd sit in a chair my thighs would spread out and it looked like fat to me. But even then I rode my bike (a steel banana seat bike) all over creation. Then as I got older I ran cross country and track, backpacked and hiked with Boy Scouts, walked around the desolate farmland of rural south western Ohio and the rest of the time rode my bike back and forth past the girl down the road's house.

After high school I moved to Nashville to go to college and rode my bike all over for the first semester because I didn't have a car down there. Then later I lived in Dayton and rode to reduce the chance that my clunker car would break down on me in the city.

In my 20s I hiked as an end, then later to get to climbing walls and boulder fields. I rode my bike to trailheads and to get around when my car finally died.

Legs, legs, legs…I used them a lot.

I avoided steep sport climbs because my toothpick arms were not conditioned to haul my steel beam legs and donut belly up more than a few feet, hence the bouldering, which consequently trashed my elbows from all the dragging of the beams and donuts, even just those few feet at a time.  I was much better at climbing slabs where my titan legs could push the flabby parts of me upward. 

Then I didn't do much of anything for a while. We quit guiding, I didn't ride and Mandy and I were finishing up school, trying to work and raise a kid or two.

Once in Colorado I started trying to ease back into my previous lifestyle. At least I tried to incorporate as much of my old lifestyle in my normal day to day activities as possible. And then some…

So here I am. I am at the cusp of abandoning the second car and going totally over to human powered transportation as my personal primary mode.

This morning I rode in to Golden, crawled back up Lookout Mountain for the second time this week, this time all the way to the top, then screamed down Apex Gulch. It was so much fun. That descent was the most fun I've had on a bike in a long time. I alternated between gritted teeth as I rocketed over obstacles and a big goofy grin as I glided around sharp turns and launched over water bars.

Looking down Lookout Mountain

Looking up Lookout Mountain

Dave Lutes would have been proud.

It felt good to ride a trail. I don't consider myself a mountain biker at all. I've used my "mountain" bike to ride fire roads to remote climbing areas, to pull my kids in the trailer on paved bike paths and little else.

Now that I've got it in decent working order and have realized that I live in a great area for mountain biking it’s hard for me not to take the opportunities to dive down gulches.

[That’s what I] hated about Kentucky. A) No safe place to ride walk; B) Too far to go to work/store/etc for it to be possible to ride or walk...

The nice thing here [Colorado in 2009] is that there are bike paths and bike lanes and bike routes (roads that are ideal for riding) a
nd also there is a much greater awareness that people are riding because so many people do. In the 16 miles between Denver and Golden this morning I saw at least 20 people riding one way or the other. In Kentucky I wouldn't see 20 people riding on the roads in a year around home.

People here complain about high taxes, but I like that the tax money is used to improve the overall quality of life. You get what you pay for for sure...

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekend Shenanigans

If I had gotten out the door an hour sooner I likely wouldn’t have seen more than a couple of cars on the road.  As it was I think I may have only passed a dozen or so on my entire 21 mile ride.  For most of the ride I had the roads to myself.
At some point along the way I was pondering the oft touted anti-bike argument: cyclists need to stay off the roads and ride in bike lanes or on bike paths.  Well of course that’s asinine.  But as I rode along Furnace Mountain and had it all to myself I thought: THIS is my bike path.  One day soon I need to go into a detailed rebuttal of that sentiment in a post.  It really deserves to be rebutted.
The ride was great.  I felt good.  I was slow, but steady in my pace.  I made the climb from Hardwicks Creek to Furnace clean.  I was happy to see the grades painted on the pavement were still there.  The return out Furnace was fun and fast.  And at the end of the ride I wasn’t suffering.  I could have gone further, but I had satisfied the craving for the day.  In fact, I was somewhat lazy the rest of the day.  Until we decided to go look at kayaks.
We wanted boats.  And so Mandy and I agreed we wouldn’t get each other anything for Christmas.  Or our respective birthdays.  Or, now, Mothers and Fathers Day.  Instead we got ourselves a combined gift of flatwater kayaks and paddles.  They were $100 off.  And then we also got $20 each at the counter because we spent over a hundred dollars (we bought them in separate transactions.  So we saved $240 on two Perception Swifty DLX kayaks. 
Oh, I also dropped off my new rims and Hope hubs at Mike’s Hike and Bike.  They’re going to build a set of wheels for me.  Hopefully by the weekend I’ll have The One (my Cannondale mountain bike) rolling again.  That bike is seriously upgraded from the bike it was when I walked out of Arvada Bike with it in 2011. 
Anyway, back to the boats.  Unfortunately Mandy’s allergies kicked in Saturday evening.  I worried that she was going to put the ER in Mother’s Day, but so far we’ve managed to stay out of professional medical care.  We had made plans to paddle the Red River around Clay City on Sunday afternoon before her lungs failed.  She insisted I go ahead and take the kids, and I did, but I was reluctant to do so—partly because I felt bad that she wasn’t getting to go and partly because I was concerned about leaving her at home.
It’s just that time of year.  My allergies are modest compared to most allergy sufferers’s, and after I mowed the yard last week I felt pretty rough for a couple of days.  I can’t imagine how she feels.  And I know there are people that are just miserable all the time with the effects of allergies.
Now, really, back to the boats.  We met up with Chuck and the Graham family at the Clay City park.  Chuck is a family friend and a lot of fun to hang out with.  He’s eccentric in a fun way.  We’d never met the Graham’s before, but they showed up ready to go with a canoe and two kayaks. 
In all we had eight on the river.  The water was at a nice level.  The river was flowing bank to bank with few gravel bars.  There was only one strainer.  It was river-wide and kind of a pain, but the rest of the paddle was fun and mellow. 
The kids had fun.  Bean rode in the Graham's canoe for most of the ride.  The Boy had a good time too.  He really enjoys paddling despite abhorring most other outdoor activities.  That was a big impetus for doing this as a family. 
That was our weekend.  I’m glad to be back on the bike and it’s exciting to finally have a couple of boats after talking about it for, literally, years.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ramming Speed Friday: The Place Where Your Horses Run Free

I was never a huge fan.  I liked a few songs.  Little Red Corvette comes to mind.  Sign O’ the Times was another.  When the Doves Cry is hard to ignore as an anthem from my younger days.  So, not because I was deep in mourning or because my soul was crushed when I heard that Prince had died, but I made a CD for the car with a few Prince songs on it and some others that I hadn’t listened to in a long while (Black Crowes).  I did it out of a sense of small personal tribute.  I appreciate his music, and I like a fair amount of it.  Seemed like a good time to revisit it and feel a bit of nostalgia.

The other night my nine year old insisted on going to town with me to put gas in my car.  The CD was queued up on the first Prince track which is one I recently discovered due to all of the media coverage of the late singer’s death: When You Were Mine.  Admittedly it is not what you would expect to hear on the radio.  Prince is singing in a nearly whispery falsetto.  But the melody is catchy and it has that Prince storytelling quality to it.  I love his verbal songwriting if nothing else.  Nah, I like it all.
Anywho, when I started the car my daughter turned up her nose and reached for the CD player.
“Nope!” I parried and grabbed her determined little wrist.
“But this is terrible!” she cried.
“Too bad,” I replied.  I had to keep swatting her hand away.  Talk about distracted driving!
Now, like I said, I was never a huge Prince fan.  The bigger issue is that my nine-going-on-nineteen year old has taken to expressing how she really feels about stuff and is starting to get rude and mouthy when it comes to not getting her way.  This was a life lesson I was working on and not a hardline Prince tribute.
She complained the entire trip to town.  When I got out of the car to pump the gas I saw she was taking the CD out of the player.  I knocked on the window and wagged a warning finger in her direction.  She complied, but then got out of the car and at the public gas station commenced to throwing a fit.  So I put her in her place.  The trip home she sat with her arms crossed defiantly across her chest and her lower lip stuck out like a diving board.
We had a talk about respect, and on not being rude, and on how you get more flies with honey than vinegar.  But that lip never got sucked in and her body language confirmed that the next decade of my life is likely to be pure living adolescent hell.
The next night she had a softball game and Mandy had a meeting so I took Bean to the field.  When we got in the car the CD was once again queued up to Prince though I think that time it was on When the Doves Cry.  I looked sidelong at her as we pulled out of the driveway and saw no pouting lip.  In fact, by the time we had escaped the creek she was bobbing along with the music.
“This is Prince,” I informed her.
“I know.  I don’t hate it today.”
I gripped the wheel tight enough that my knuckles hurt.
Doves Cry continued to play, but since it was a short ride over to the park I wanted to move on to another song.  I reached to hit ‘skip’ and she protested.
“Aw!  I was listening to that!”
Fortunately for the both of us (and you Dear Readers) there was no bridge abutment for me to slam the car into on the remainder of our drive to the park.
I’m not one to wax poetic about some dead celebrity, especially one I wasn’t a fanboy for.  But the death of Prince has had me thinking about the people that have influence in our culture.  I can’t deny that Prince was hugely popular and had an impact on many genres of music and on many people.  I’m sure I played air guitar in front of my bedroom window along with it back when Little Red Corvette came out.  I’m sure I lip-synced to every growl, every high note, and every lingering word. 

Eventually I discovered hard rock and then metal and would probably have denied that I had ever listened to Prince for many years.  It was telling recently to hear Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top in an interview talk about how he has tried for years to master the guitar intro to When the Doves Cry.  That’s significant.  It made me want to pick up the guitar again.  And I’m forty-two years old…

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bike Month 2016

May is Bike Month.  I hesitate to put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence.  I feel left out of the cycling realm these days.  When I do ride it’s on the mountain bike.   My cargo bike is down.  And I just flat out snub my road bike.  I keep saying I’m going to get back on it, but I keep not doing it.  Time is the limiting factor.  But Cobhill calls.
Spring rains have moved in.  That makes for a miserable cyclist planning to log some good miles to get back into the swing of things.  Sigh.  Mountain biking is out for at least a few days.  The river is out of its banks so trails are also likely to be flooded. 
Anyway, May IS Bike Month.  I’ve joined the Bike Lexington Challenge.  I’ve resolved to ride more.  And I really just need to suck it up and put the hydraulic brakes on the Cannonball.  Then it’ll be ambulatory again.  As far as riding to work I just need to pick the next good day and commit to doing it.  I’ve done it before.  I can do it again. 
I miss riding.  I know I don’t show it, but I really do.  I dreamed last night that I was hired as the Executive Director of the Red River Gorge Cimbers Coalition (I won’t apply IRL because it’s only a part time position) and I was able to bike commute.  Which is weird because I think in reality the person will work from home.
I guess now is as good a time as any to make my big announcement.  I’m not the Regional Transportation Planner at the Bluegrass ADD anymore.  I have moved…up.  A while back there were conversations in which we discussed the need for a regional bike-ped planner/coordinator/advocate/champion.  Of course the lack of money to create a new position was the limiting factor there.  But at the ADD the willingness existed to explore this as a possibility. 
When it became necessary to consider bringing on another land use planner (because we have a higher demand in that realm) the conversation turned again to how we could incorporate a focus on bicycle-pedestrian and trails planning into the position.  Technically I am now a land use planner.  But I’ve been given the unofficial green light to call myself the Bicycle-Pedestrian & Trails Planner.  I guess I could tack on “Regional” to the front of that train for maximum pretentiousness and accuracy. 
So May is BIKE MONTH.  Take that.