Columbus NBG Day
Around 9:30 this morning, Fred Kirchner and his friend JD met me for a quick breakfast at the Victoria Midnight Cafe near Downtown Columbus. Afterwards, the three of us pedaled down Neil Street to City Hall where Lelia Cady was excitedly waiting to introduce herself. "You must be my bicyclist!" she shouted from the steps of the third city hall built in Columbus circa 1926. The three of us introduced ourselves to Lelia and the few others who had arrived from the local bicycle community.
Channel 6 news was fast to attach a microphone to me and setup their video equipment for a two or three minute interview. I am still quite nervous in front of the camera but today I could tell it was becoming more second nature. Shortly after the interview was completed, Mr. Coleman walked over to the crowd and began to introduce himself. He seemed very interested and asked me a number of questions about the NBG and my experiences on the ride so far. I reassured him that the roads in Ohio are not bad in comparison to the other states I have passed through and educated him on the simple measures that can be taken to insure the future friendliness of bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the area. The mayor was intrigued by my aero bars installed at Roswell Bikes near Atlanta, and asked if he could try them out. After borrowing a helmet, the mayor himself hopped on my bicycle and took it for a spin.
After the ceremony, Fred, JD and I rode a few miles on the local trails in town and went out to Campus for a nice pizza lunch. Tomorrow I will join in for Critical Mass and head over to Fred's house from there. On Saturday morning he is planning to ride out with me about 60 miles to an 80-mile trail that will take me directly into Cincinnati.
Members from the Ohio Bicycle Federation were also present at the ceremony and due to them this region of the country is making progress. In December of 2004, the "Share the Road" license plate was signed into law and will act as a moving billboard to promote "sharing the roads" of Ohio, with proceeds funding the continued publication of Ohio Bicycling Street Smarts: Riding Confidently, Legally, and Safely. This is one of the projects they were instrumental in accomplishing.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the NBG Day here in Columbus.