Friday, May 15, 2009

VEER & Commuter Contest

and Bike Month, and this, and that, and some more...
and I'm exhausted.
And I was soaked last night,
and beat this morning.

So the Commuter Contest?
Last year I was 7th or 8th,
really not sure.
I just know I didn't get beat by
the Smart Car or the guy on the unicycle.

This year, well, I did wait until three hours before
to switch to slicks, replace two flat tubes,
blow a tube, rip a tube, curse my wheels,
adjust the brakes, bolt on fenders for the rain
that was coming in....
For a few minutes it looked like a small medium pace group,
and then came some LEGS.
And rain,
and headwinds,
and continual red lights.
8th or 9th for this year.
Not raising any bars this year,
just beers.

The movie night.
This last week I feel like I have ignored so many things,
all to promote this event.
But it really puts things in perspective being the 'one'
bringing something together.
All the running around,
making flyers,
finding sponsors,
dealing with emails.
Promotion & more promotion.
Trying to guarantee a crowd.

As I rode around town the night before with a group
for the City Master Bike Plan,
everyone I passed thought it was:
next Thursday?
this Friday?
wasn't it last week?
That's when the panic and doubt sets in.
All the 'could have' and 'should have'.
It's in motion, it just needs to play itself out.

At the end of the Commuter Contest,
all I could think is:
"what if no one shows up?".

This was put aside for a moment,
as I was awarded the Commuter of the Year Award.

Congratulations! You are the Capital Region - Albany County - Commuter of the Year 2009!

I was especially impressed that you had decided to sell your car a year ago and become a year-round commuter! Although your nomination did not highlight your many contributions to bicycling in Albany County and the Capital Region - I am aware of all you do! Thank you for your work as an artist , a movie promoter, a community leader and a dedicated cycling commuter!

Today, as you well know is the 6th Annual SIGMA Commuter Contest. This exciting competition pits bicyclists against motorists and transit riders during rush-hour traffic to determine the most efficient means of transportation. For the past 5 years, the bicyclist has been the winner--let's see if we can make it 6 in a row! Start time: 5PM sharp. Location: Starbucks to EMS ( 10 N Pearl St. , Albany to Stuyvesant Plaza , 1475 Western Ave. ).
I will announce the Commuters of the Year at the end of the Commuter Contest."

It's great to be aknowledged,
but there were commuters who helped me commute year round.
They got me there,
or here,
or where ever I may be headed,
I don't know.
I do know, it's actually selfishness,
because i just like riding my bike.
Bunny hopping potholes,
what ever,
two wheels are fun!

on with the movie!
Pouring rain, hot soy chai, and good company.
Then it was off for a wet commute to the theatre.

College finals and graduations,
pouring rain,
thursday night,
all equalled to lower attendance than I planned.

But the theatre owner said it was a great night for them!
We didn't lose any money!
And the crowd for the first showing cheered and clapped,
a great reception to a great movie.
I honestly didn't have a chance to view more than the
first 20 minutes, so I sat in on the first show.
Moved, I had just a belief that Greg put together a
good movie about a great cycling community,
but this IS A MUST SEE.
The support of UrbanVelo.
And all the local shops, bars and food stops were amazing,
along with The Madison Theatre, that allowed cyclists
to take a personal look at a cycling community onthe other
side of the country.
Hopefully people left inspired.
We gathered thirtythree members to lay a foundation
for our cycling scene.
Just one of many steps that need to be taken.
At the end,
it was worth it.
To see people's reaction,
to what we can achieve.
To see a true movie about cycling,
in a real theatre.
To belong.
Belong to something greater than one's self.

Today is National Bike to Work Day.
Maybe a couple more people will realise they CAN do it.
And they can divorce their car.

It's time to get ready for work.
Everyday is bike to work day.
And that's a good thing!

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