July 16, 2004

Pittsburgh has Killer NBG Day

We finally hit good weather on a Pittsburgh NBG Day (last Friday July 9) and that resulted in one of the best Mayors' Ride receptions to date. To help you understand what I mean, when I talked with Ro Fischer, Mayor Tom Murphy's Sr. Aide, not only did her boss celebrate with our riders, but she told me everywhere she looked there were bikes and cameras and smiling faces. Added kudos to Michael Sobkoviak of Venture Outdoors for making sure the media and the local bike clubs, both of which came out in numbers, had been fully advised. Nick and Troy, as U saw in here last week, also made sure Michael's time was not wasted as they had gone in to town the night before and participated in an indoor bike race on our behalf . So before I share the latest on Don Loomis, Unicyclist, Patrick Thomas, and our Columbus to Indy Rowbikers, here is what they are saying in Pittsburgh:

Friday July 9, 2004 was a lovely day to be outdoors in Pittsburgh, PA. As luck would have it, on this specific day riders from the Mayor’s Ride were arriving from Washington, DC. After riding for 1 week, covering about 325 miles, Pittsburgh was looking better and better. The riders, Troy and Nick were greeted by 25 fellow supporters at the Eliza Furnace Trailhead. The riders were escorted by the city police and the 25 supporters for 3 miles to Market Square where the Mayor’s Office and Venture Outdoors, an organization with the mission to get people outdoors, had set up a welcoming ceremony. The mayor of Pittsburgh, Tom Murphy was present at the event to honor the riders on their completion of the trip from D.C. Mayor Murphy discussed his familiarity with the trail, having been on it a month before. Throughout his tenure of being mayor he has fought continuously for the development and maintenance of trails in the Pittsburgh area and surrounding regions. After the ceremony, the 25 supporters of the ride were escorted back to the trail by Maggie Feinstein, Program Coordinator at Venture Outdoors. The riders and staff of Venture Outdoors were treated to lunch by the mayor’s office, at Primanti Brothers after the event concluded to reward their hard work and dedication to the Mayor’s Ride.

Audrey Swartz
Program Leader Intern
Venture Outdoors

What Audrey didn’t mention was that, although 25 bikes and two of Pittsburgh’s bike police led the way through the city streets at 12:30, there were bike clubs who went straight to the staging area to greet the riders. At one point there were easily 60 bikes in Market Square, when I stopped counting, plus the normal lunchtime crowd. The weather was glorious and the crowd very appreciative of the work Mayor Murphy has done with our trail system. We also had several TV stations there as well as radio coverage.

Rosemary Fischer
Office of the Mayor
Sr. Executive Assistant 

Note from NBG: As soon as Troy gets the CD to us, we will turn the awesome pictures he took of the C&O Canal Path into a slide show that will help others see how absolutely stunning this bike run truly is!! And why Troy says he wants to do it year in year out for the NBG!!

Posted by mkrieg at 01:15 PM | Comments (3)

Pittsburgh Mayor to Celebrate NBG Nick and Troy!!

Troy Bogdan and Nick Hein completed their ride in from Washington DC yesterday and stayed busy rattling cages, as you will see below, for the rally that will take place at 12:30 there today. And a worthy rally it will be! Just got off the phone with Ro Fischer, Mayor Tom Murphy's Sr. Aide, and she tells me that there is now way her boss is going to miss the event. THX to Michael Sobkowiak of Venture Outdoors, the local TV, radio and newspaper all plan to be there to receive Nick and Troy who will have symbolically ridden back into town from the Trailhead joined by a crowd of local cyclists that could even include the Mayor's daughter. A police escort will usher them to City Hall!!

D.C. to Pittsburgh, Bicycle Rally Today! Newspaper!!

Good morning everybody,
Looks like I (Troy) made the local newspaper, or at least online, since I haven't read it in person yet. Being the local boy, I guess that is why I was mentioned by name, and not Nick. Anybody have any press contacts in Morgantown W.V. (Nick's Home Town)????


Also, last night I went to a bar on the South Side (Our official celebration H.Q. is at the Holiday Inn Express on the South Side, next to the 10th St. Bridge) called "Smokey Joe's", where there was a promotional party set up to cheer on Lance Armstrong of the United States Postal Team's "Tour De France" race. There were many cyclists in the audience, and they were having giveaways, and an endurance contest to see who could ride a stationary bike the fastest in 102 seconds. The radio station D.J. that was running the event was from local rock station 102.5 WDVE, one of the sponsors for last night's event.

We promoted the NGB Mayor's Ride and Rally on the microphone, and the crowd cheered us on and hopefully we will get some of them to attend either today's trail ride, and/or Market Square Rally.

By the way, Rudy from "CycleWorks" was at the event last night, and we want to give him a Big Thank You. His bike shop along the trail in "Little Boston," PA. really helped us out by fixing Nicks recumbent bike when he lost his brakes along the trail. THANK YOU CYCLEWORKS!!!!!! They also have a bike shop in Monroeville, and best of all, Rudy donated his time and services to the NGB cause, and didn't charge Nick for the repair, nor the shuttle to the Monroeville store to get a special part!!!! THANKS RUDY!!!!

Cycleworks gave away a Trek Mountain Bike last night to the biker who went to farthest distance in 102 minutes on the bike. Both of us NGB bikers tried to win it. First, I started off real strong, making that rear tire hum like a machine, but half way through the trial, I popped the chain, much to the sadness of the crowd. I did get a second chance, out of fairness, but I never recovered my strength. I won a consolation prize of a "Outdoor Life Network" t-shirt and a Trek/USPS Water Bottle.

Nick was next, and he put in a good enough ride to earn third place, and won a new helmet.
The second place person received a POWERBAR duffel bag, and the winner got to take home the bike last night. It was fun!!!!!!

Today is the big day. We plan on starting out this morning, riding the river trails in the city, promoting the rally today, and then meeting at the Eliza Furnace (Jail Trail) Trail at 11:00 in preparation for the rally.

Remember, the first twenty bikers at the trailhead will get a free t-shirt, courtesy of our Venture Outdoors sponsor, and then we will ride to celebration at Market Square at Noon, with a 12:20 scheduled arrival and Mayor's Ceremony. I hope to see as many of you there as possible.

From Pittsburgh's South Side, Reporting Live, Troy Bogdan, NBG Bio:

Good morning,
Just wanted to let you know that we got NBG on another local radio channel last nite. Cycleworks, a local bikeshop chain, was putting on a party last nite with a local radio DJ (FM 102) broadcasting live while coverage of the Tour de France was shown on TV. After showing up and introducing ourselves we were given a few minutes to explain NBG to the radio audience and invite local riders downtown for the proclamation signing. The night's party game was a resistance trainer. The rider to go the farthest distance in 102 seconds would win a Trek mountain bike. Troy and I both gave it a shot. On Troy's first turn the chain fell off, and when he tried again he was unable to place. As I got on I decided to give it everything I had since I was riding for NBG. This was enough to tie me for first place with 2 other riders (who looked to be about half my age of 47). I place 3rd in the final runoff, but the timer came over to let me know how close it had been. First and third places had average speeds of 41.7 and 41.5 mph respectively.

Anyway, I think we can expect a pretty good turnout tomorrow - I'd like to thank Rudy of Cycleworks and Radio Station FM 102 for the opportunity. By the way, I met Rudy because of a mechanical breakdown and I also want to thank him for the exceptionally quick, careful repair and logistical assistance that got me back on the road with Troy without any delay.

Hope to see some of you at noon,
From the road,
Nick Hein
Morgantown, WV. NBG Bio:

Posted by mkrieg at 01:12 PM | Comments (2)

July 07, 2004

C&O Heaven for Troy & Nick

Yahoo, it looks like Troy and Nick are having a blast out there on their run from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh! And near the end you will se that they had the great idea to photocopy the DC proclamation and post it at the bike shops along they way:

Greetings from Leesburg Virginia (The D.C. to Pittsburgh Leg of the Mayor's Ride).

Nick and myself (Troy) are doing well from the C&O canal. We started yesterday in Washington D.C., and met a great bunch of people. The ceremony went a little later than scheduled, but it was well worth the wait. A great crowd turned out to welcome us, and see us off. The Mayor of D.C. wasn't there, but Jim Sebastian, the Bike Coordinator from the Mayor's office, did the hand-off of the Mayoral Proclamation declaring July 2, as "National Bicycle Greenway Day" in Washington D.C.

Afterwards three of us, Nick, Troy & John Lozier had a good meal (The Everlasting Cafe) and then went to Georgetown for the start of our C&O Canal adventure. The weather was beautiful and the day's ride was nice. John left us somewhere on the outskirts of D.C. to go back to Morgantown by way of his brother's house in Georgetown.

Nick and I proceeded along the historic trail to mile 26 (Horse Pen Camp) and made our camp for the night. Next morning we biked to White's Ferry in Maryland (Mile 35) and crossed on the ferryboat into Leesburg, VA for some breakfast and some bike repairs. Troy needed a new tire due to a bad brake rub. We stopped at Plum Grove Cyclery, (www.plumgrovecyclery.com) and I also got all fixed up. I highly recommend this bike shop. Tom Stokes, the manager, is highly knowledgeable and gives great advice.

Today we plan on going back across the ferry and into Harpers Ferry for some sightseeing, and then to Shepherdstown W.V. for our evening lodging.

Weather has been excellent so far, and I am having the time of my life.

Reporting live from the trail, respectfully yours, Troy Bogdan

A New Update from the two bikers going from D.C. to Pittsburgh . . .

Many days we have been on the C&O canal and today (7/6) we finally made it to Confluence, Pennsylvania (Our second opportunity for the internet also).

Since the last update, we never made it back to Harpers Ferry. Rain moved in the next day, and yet we did tour Shepherdstown W.V. in the rain before moving on. We biked on the towpath to Fort Fredrick Maryland, an old fort that has been rebuilt from the French & Indian Wars (Our patriotic side-trip for the Fourth of July). Next we biked into Hancock, MD., where we linked up with a really great bike shop and bunkhouse called C&O Bicycle run by George, Pam and their son Chauncey. These folks were the nicest bike folks you could meet, and for $15 we got a bunk, a shower and lots of good Kharma. Hancock is a bikers town for sure. It has the C&O towpath, as well as a paved Western Maryland Rails to Trails section. Nick did the whole paved trail the next day, while I checked out the small town.

Next was our ride through the Paw Paw Tunnel on the C&O, and then across the river to the town of Paw Paw, WV. We stayed at the Red Rooster Hostel. Nice place. $20 a bunk with shower and a refreshing glass of cool ice water when you walk in the door.

Next stop was Cumberland, Maryland, where the trail ends. We were shuttled by Pam at AlleghenyTouring.com to Meyersdale, PA. We started at the great and historic Salisbury Viaduct a huge railroad bridge crossing the Casselman river. A fast 31 miles later, we arrived in Confluence, and made our camp for the night.

Tomorrow we go another 50 or so miles towards Pittsburgh. Loving Life and Enjoying the Trails,
Troy Bogdan, Reporting from the Great Allegheny Passage Trail network

I forgot to mention a few things in my last e-mail.

1.) We were able to celebrate with fireworks on the 4th of July in Hancock, Md. We lit off our own display in the back courtyard of the C&O Bicycle Shop/Bunkhouse.

2.) The Mayor's proclamation got wet in all the rain and mud of the C&O Canal, but we dried it off as best as we could, and cleaned it up a little, and at least twice, it has been photocopied and hung up in bikeshops that we have stopped at on our ride so far.

3.) Did I mention that we are having the time of our lives?!?!?!?!?

On To Pittsburgh, Troy Bogdan, Reporting Live from Confluence, PA

More News from the trail, 7/7/04, Confluence Pennsylvania
Starting Day Six, Bicycled more than 250 miles so far. Over Half way to Pittsburgh.

Reporting from the Internet Station at the Lucky Dog Cafe, overlooking the river confluence, drinking a coffee, and waiting for a breakfast burrito (By the way, internet use is free here when you buy food, for all of you folks planning to pass through here on the "Great Allegheny Passage" Bike Trail).

After a good night's rest at the Yough Dam Overflow Campground, this morning I went up to the dam top to see the mist flowing between the valley. The dam was quite impressive.

Last night around a roaring campfire, Nick & I met a legend in the Rails-To-Trails Movement, Bill Metzger, Author of the book "The Great Allegheny Passage" (I think I got the name right). He stopped over to welcome us to Confluence, his home town, and also to have a chat about bikes, maps, history, and several other topics. What a pleasure it was to meet him.

Last evening, we also ate at the "Lucky Dog Cafe," and had an incredible meal. I highly recommend this place, plus right next door is an outfitter called Riversport which has all kinds of outdoor gear and a great line of Patagonia clothing (One of my favorites!!).

That's all for today, next update soon I hope. Organically Yours, Troy Bogdan

Posted by mkrieg at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)