19 February 2010

Three More Reasons to Ride

There are many great reasons to ride bikes, but I need to tell you about three of them.

This summer I will ride in three fundraising events for causes that I am personally committed to supporting with my time, sweat, voice, and pocket book.  If you feel compelled to support these causes with your own pocket book, the buttons to the right make donating online easy.  I've already paid the registration fees, so 100% of your donation will directly support the cause.  All of my fundraising goals are set at twice the required minimum for participants.  This is no small task and I would greatly appreciate your support on any of these challenging rides.  Many thanks.

Courage Classic - Cascade Mountains - 174 miles, 3 days   (donate here)
The ride supports a Rotary Club endowment for the Child Abuse Intervention Department at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma.  The endowment is the single largest source of funding for this department and without it, many abused children in Pierce County would not have anyone advocating for their safety and well-being.  This will be the third year that I've participated in this event.  In previous years I've ridden my Xtracycle, but if you'd like to make a huge pledge in exchange for me doing an insanely stupid human trick (like riding my bucket bike over three mountain passes), email me with your proposal! (matt dot newport gmail)

LiveStrong Challenge - Seattle - 100 miles, 1 day    (donate here)
We've all been affected by cancer somehow, if not personally than through people we know and love.  My sister-in-law survived Hodgkin's lymphoma in her twenties.  My grandfather survived prostate cancer.  I ride bikes with a breast cancer survivor.  These battles for survival are tough, but they do not need to be fought alone.  The Lance Armstrong Foundation provides cancer resources and support to help more people survive cancer.  This is what the yellow bracelets are all about - helping people to fight cancer and win.

Wheels to Meals - Puyallup Valley - 75 miles, 1 day   (donate here)
This ride supports the largest food bank in Pierce County, St. Leo Food Connection.  Food Connection also runs other programs in the area to help fight hunger, notably their Backpack Program that gives weekend meals to elementary school students during the school year.  Recently they've started a fruit orchard so that they can provide locally produced food for their clients.  I will personally donate $5 for every person that makes a donation through my site before June 6!

Again, thanks for reading and for your support!


16 February 2010

Fantastic February

While folks back east were getting pummeled with difficult weather, the Tacoma area experienced an uncharacteristically warm and dry spell that is still going strong.  I've been biking a ton, with and without kids along for the ride.  Between miles and events, February is shaping up to be a busy bike month.  Who knew?  Here's a recap and a few upcoming events - it's not to late to get a piece of this action!

Mobility Master Plan:
The City of Tacoma issued a draft plan that details how they will address nonmotorized transportation issues in the coming years.  I attended one of the public meetings and it felt great to be in a room full of people that share the same level of enthusiasm about these projects as I do. The public comment period ends March 12, after which there will be several opportunities to speak publicly to show your support.  Tacoma can be a bike town!

Caspar Babypants
"Caspar" is actually Chris Ballew, front man of The Presidents of the United States, who now plays in a children's music duet.  We took a Madsen bucket full of kids to their show at our local library and it rocked!  The kids enjoyed it too as they romped around and sang along.  It's not a bike event per se, but you could certainly bike or walk there.  Two more library shows this month, February 20 and 26.  [PS. Our rain cover sat outside in the rain for the entire hour-long show and the bucket stayed completely dry inside - yes!]

TWBC Monday Ride
I took our 4.5 year-old for her first group ride with the Tacoma Wheelmen this week via trail-a-bike.  She wrote her own name on the ride roster, hassled me about not keeping us closer to the front of the pack, and played tough-kid despite the fog and <40° temp.  We turned around for home after 5 miles (as planned), and made our way back with a stop at the playground and a coffee shop.  She's hooked.  Maybe we'll see you there one of the next few Mondays (9:30 am start at Proctor Starbucks.)

Community Bike Fair
TWBC and Bicycle Alliance of Washington are hosting this event 7pm, February 24 at The Hub (203 S Tacoma Ave.).  Here more about the Mobility Plan, clubs, events, resources, etc.

Road to Roubaix
Local bike shop Tacoma Bike, in conjunction with a few other local businesses, is hosting a screening of the film "Road to Roubaix" on February 27.  Me and the Mrs. will be attending.  Afterward you can test your prowess with the cobbles on a few of Tacoma's hilly side streets as you bike home.

Laugh at the Weather Ride
What? You haven't been riding your bike this winter?! Well, the TWBC is hosting a FREE cycling event on February 28 to lure you and that dusty bicycle back onto the road.  It's a 10 mile ride with FREE pre- and post-ride snacks.  Follow the link to sign up in advance so they can plan for the right number of riders.  And it's FREE.