The group ride was a little less enjoyable for me today. I think it may have been due to the fact that I managed to not only not eat dinner last night, but lost track of time and went without breakfast this morning. I was pretty much running on fumes and decided enough was enough.
I got this email just a minute ago:
Did you happen to see the paid opinion ad on page 9 of the Friday News-Topic entitled "Why Block The City Streets As Often"? It was signed by Williams Produce Market. This was a very negative opinion on the one day a year bike race in Lenoir. It slammed us as "grown men playing with bicycles". They claim to lose $5,000 and merchandise because of the race. Somehow, I don't think one day will have a major impact on produce loss. Could they not simply open later and extend their hours or possibly substitute opening on one day that they might have planned to be closed on? You need to read this, and if you can't find a copy, let me know and I'll bring one by the shop. It was an insult to the cycling community in Lenoir. I know I will never shop at that store again!!!! I'm also going to make my opinion known to the city council members about the positive aspect of the race and encourage others to do likewise.
I actually had seen the ad this morning. It doesn't really come as a surprise as the same gentleman took out an ad in the paper last year for the same reason. I don't really want to say too much about it because I think that would give the gentleman's opinion more attention than it is due. I hope that downtown merchants recognize the opportunity for business that downtown events bring. What I can readily see in downtown Lenoir is a significant increase in the number of people shopping and dining here over the way things were when I moved here 5 years ago. When I came here in 2002, downtown Lenoir was almost completely vacant. I had really grown accustomed to visiting a town and immediately checking out its downtown area as a way to really get a feel for the town. I see downtown Lenoir really beginning to take on a vital and vibrant character. Speaking as a downtown merchant, the more people who come downtown, the more business revenue will increase. And while blocking off streets can be a hassle (ours was blocked off most of today to get the square ready for the Habitat for Humanity dinner), I know that most of the cyclists and their families who come to participate in the Lenoir Criterium (June 23rd!) will spend money at various downtown businesses. The net impact is positive.
Hope you keep the criterium in mind and also the trail maintenance day at the Aquatic Center (July 14th, Bastille Day). Also, keep an eye on the Dauphine Libere, this is the race that all the Tour favorites come out to do their final tune up in. Vino' will lead Astana and Leipheimer will lead Disco'. It will be really interesting to see Vino' since we really haven't seen anything of him this season. I think he has a couple of bucketful's of angry that he wants to unleash on the TdF after last years ousting. At least he'll make it exceptionally entertaining.
If you get a chance, check out the Caldwell County Pathways website. There is more expansion to the Greenway coming soon and the overall master plan is incredible. I am really amazed at the scope of this project and can't wait for it to be completed!