Recently in Fort Worth there was a cyclist struck from behind by a car. This sort of accident is the rarest way for a cyclist to be hit , but it is usually the most lethal.Fortunately , the cyclist survived the encounter and, with time, the wounds will heal. The accident took place at nine in the evening, on a road that I frequently ride on. The cyclist was experienced with touring and commuting (similar to me I’d imagine) and was most likely not the reason the accident happened. One might assume the driver was texting or more likely drunk because after hitting the cyclist the driver fled the scene. That was A terrible, cowardly move leaving another human for dead or dying on the side of the road. There was a person in an apartment building nearby that heard the collision and called 911. Unfortunately there were no witnesses to the crime. I’m almost certain the driver will not be found. Just imagine living the rest of your life knowing you left another human being injured on the side of the road. That would torture me.
After hearing about the accident a group of cyclists started putting together a fundraiser to help out with the medical bills. The Night Rider http://www.facebook.com/events/205826212882195/?context=create#!/FortWorthNightRiders passed a helmet, on one of our rides, to help out with immediate cost of living. ( like a bike group Aflac) After a few weeks of planning the fundraiser committee had secured a venue with bands,donated raffle items and free breakfast tacos! The fundraiser ended up benefitting both the injured cyclist and Bike Texas. http://www.biketexas.org/ I was asked to help organize the bicycle ride that accompanied the fundraiser and I gladly volunteered. One of the other Night Rider leaders ( the guy that took over for me when I was on my tour) lead the ride and a bunch of the other Night Riders helped keep the ride running smoothly while I rode in the back of the group making sure no one got left behind. There were over 150 cyclist that showed up for the “Share The Road” ride.The ride went off with out a hitch with that many bikes on the road. ( for the most part, we did have a couple of impatient drivers) It was great to see so many folks come out and support a good cause.
In the towns of Bonesteel, South Dakota and Platte City, Missouri there were newspapers that did articles on the bike ride.
The article reads…
Mark Troxler started out in Oregon on his expedition riding on bicycle from state to state.Following the Lewis and Clark trail to its beginning in St. Louis, Mo. and from there he will go on to Washington DC. Mark stopped in Bonesteel ’liking the name’ of the town and found the folks to be friendly. Mark has had 7 flats during his trip and completely replacing the rear tire. He states that South Dakota wind can be his friend when it hits his back but coming towards him can be his enemy. He’s originally from Pittsburgh, Pa being a Steelers fan. Mark has always wanted to ride the trail and stop in different states and refresh. He has enjoyed meeting different people. Mark works in Theater having the summers off. He is using his time for his long journey. Maybe you’ll get to meet or see Mark on this challenge and you can give him a warm welcome in your hometown, as we have in Bonesteel.
( it seems like we went to the same school of bad writing)
And the other reads…
Have you ever traveled across the United States via bicycle? This man is doing it, just because. ‘It’s something I thought I would always want to do” said Mark troxler,29, of Fort Worth Tex. Troxler began his trek May 3 in Astoria, Oregon, about 70 miles west of Portland,after traveling there by plane. He said he mailed his bike from Texas to Oregon rather than paying for it to be flown. He was in Platte City Tuesday morning, and is heading to St. Louis,then to Pittsburgh to see family,then to Washington D.C. “I’m kind of following the Lewis and Clark expedition in reverse,” Troxler said, adding that he had never been through much of the Midwest until this ride. “I need to finish by July 28 because my sister is getting married in New Jersey. I’ll finish before then. I’m kind of taking my time,stopping to read all the historic markers and meet with some of the locals along the way,” said Troxler.Most of the nights he spends camping, but treats himself to a hotel/motel stay about once a week.There are times he’s been taken in for a night by friendly folks he has met along the way. While in Platte City, you can bet he had the opportunity to go through the Ben Ferrel Museum,220 Ferrel street. Betty Soper of the Platte County Historical Society, a long time facilitator and tour guide for the museum, brought Trossler by The Landmark for a visit.
( what are the chances that a guy named Trossler was also there?)
I bummed around Harpers Ferry today. (historical side note: Lewis and Clark stopped in HF to acquire arms before leaving on the expedition. maybe it was just Lewis not sure) Snapped some pics and hiked around town. The Appalachian Trail runs thru HF so I walked on it for a bit. Left in the afternoon and did a few miles towards dc. I finish the tour tomorrow and I think I’m not ready for it to be over. I could have finished today, but I wanted to have one extra day to soak it all in.
I failed to explain the last leg of my trip is mainly on two hiker/ biker trails. The Gap ( Great Allegheny Passage) runs from Pittsburgh to Cumberland Maryland. The C and O ( Cumberland and Ohio ) runs from Cumberland to Washington DC. The Gap is an old rail line converted into a rail-trail. It’s a very smooth crushed limestone path with easy grades. The best feature is the railroad bridges than span over the rivers and valleys. The C and O is an old canal that was originally going to run all the way to the Ohio river. It never made it because before it could be completed trains had been invented and took over as a more efficient form of transportation. The C and O path ( where the mules used to pull the barges) is pretty rough and bumpy, but full of history. There are seventy some locks along the canal, all in deferent states of disrepair. Most locks had a lock house where someone would live and operate the lock. The Gap is around a hundred-fifty miles long and the canal is about 180.
I’ve created myself rules to follow to assure a successful cycling tour. Most of the rules had to be broken before being created and some had to be broken again.
1. Always at least try to go to the bathroom before leaving a comfortable place.
2. Always fill up all water bottles when the you have a chance.
3. Never retaliate an insult or car horn.
4. Always take people up on an offer of kindness.
5. By four o’clock if you don’t know where you’re staying, start figuring it out.
6. Don’t drink too many beers.
7. Do drink lots of water.
8. Always ask the locals for advice. ( what road/food/beer/motel)
9. Avoid severe weather, if possible.
10. Grab a shower any chance you get. Who knows when the next will come.
11. Always stop at historic markers.
12. Never waste momentum.
13. Take lots of pictures.
14. Don’t wast time taking lots of pictures.
15. Look above where you put your tent.
16. Don’t have to many rules.