The Columbus Reception
(from Pittsburgh PA)
May 16,2003
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Central Ohio cycling community joins Council's Public Service and Transportation Committee Chairwoman Maryellen O'Shaughnessy to welcome NBG relay riders at Columbus City Hall
A hugely diverse representation of our community...racers, ultra folks (me), a triathlete, super tourists, recreational riders, recumbent riders, a few tandems, bike messengers, some of my commuter heros in! I'm grateful we sent a powerful message that all niches of our cycling community support the NBG vision...and that of our need to get active locally. big challenge is to follow up with each one that came...and engage them with some form of meaningful action. And, I'm pretty confident I'll continue a dialogue with the city Administration about placing cyclists on the 2 key transportation committees.

Thanks for allowing the Central Ohio cycling community the opportunity to "use" the Mayor's ride to accomplish several valuable goals today.

But...on the fun side...I woke at 3:00am...rode out 50 miles to find our relay riders...only to have to sit drinking coffee until they woke up! But, my pre-dawn ride & patience was rewarded.....their collective enthusiasm & excitement for making this trip was contagious. It took me back to my TransAm trek of '88...and within minutes...we felt as if we were all fast friends. I look forward to connecting with them again...and maybe have them teach me the loaded touring ropes!

I'm hopeful I'll get to ride out of town with Fred next week.

"Bubba" Jeff Stephens
Columbus, OH

The Pocket Mail Stories

Meet our Riders

Maryellen presents another proclamation to Jeff in support of local advocacy efforts! Senator Keith "Lugs" Mayton, a daily bike comuter (Jeff's hero), looks on.

NBG Relay Riders take a question from crowd

Bikes and People everywhere at NBG Reception

Ohio biking community queues up to meet riders
We had a wonderful event in Columbus!

Council's Public Service and Transportation Committee Chairwoman Maryellen O'Shaughnessy biked 8 miles to the east edge of town to meet the national relay riders and about 40 members of Columbus cycling organizations. The group pedaled downtown and rallied at City Hall. The event drew 10TV, our CBS affiliate and ratings leader in town.

At the event, O'Shaughnessy delivered a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Michael Coleman to give to the riders. Jeff Stephens from Columbus Outdoor Pursuits emceed event and talked about Central Ohio's latest move to include planning for dedicated cycling lanes in new roads. Rosemarie Rosetti told her compelling story of continuing her cycling career even after having a tree fall on her and leaving unable to walk.

We presented to the crowd the team that rode in from Pittsburgh who then made the official hand-off to Fred Kirchner. Fred is going to take the proclamations to Indy.

Dan Trevas
City of Columbus
Communications Director


It was great to be a part of a national effort to build additional bicycle trails throughout the United States.This is especially important for me since I utilize these trails more than I did before my spinal cord injury. My life changed in an instant on June 13, 1998 on a bicycle trail in Granville, Ohio when a 3 1/2 ton tree collapsed on me. Now I ride a three wheeled recumbent trike. I utilize the trails since I cannot be seen well by cars on the road.

At the Columbus rally, I was asked to address the crowd gathered at City Hall. I stressed the need to build safe bicycle trails, ones that are wide enough for rescue vehicles to navigate and ones with emergency telephones. During my rescue, these amenities would have brought the rescue squad to me sooner.

I also stressed the absolute importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, or rollerblading. I believe my helmet saved me from death or head injury. I recommended that bicyclists ride with others and carry their cell phones for emergencies.

I also spoke about how the trails are shared by people with disabilities who use handcycles as well as trikes..

Best regards,

Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.
Rossetti Enterprises Inc.
Speaker - Trainer - Consultant - Writer

David leads Denise and Mike into Columbus

Famed Speaker Rosemarie Rosetti amid sea of bikes

More Pictures from Pittsburgh to Columbus
Maryellen O'Shaughnessy welcomes, L-R: Jim Muellner, David Huggins-Daines, Mike Costarell, Fred Kirchner, Denise Hill, Fred's son, Josh (12 y.o.), and Jeff Stephens
Yahoo, everything went off as planned. We met the riders, 40 or so outside of town, a real age mix, oldest was 74, the youngest I think was Fred's son who he pulled out of school to attend, about 10 or 12. Lots of solid riders with variety of cycles, old fashion uprights (have to say that), recumbents, tadpole trikes, delta trike (mine) and a few in between. Great eight mile ride down to city hall, with Maryellen O'Shaughnessy from the city council, a very nice person to have on our team.

Rosemarie the tree injured peron and her husband Mark were also a great inspiration to us all. We even talked about Andrew Heckman's great attitude and his miraculous recovery .

The presentations went like this. Maryellen gave the proclamation to the team from Pittsburgh. We in turn presented it to Fred for delivery to Indianapolis. He in turn gave it to me to add to the others, now numbering three.

After the ceremony, Rick Miller, from Bicycle One, said he would send someone over to city hall to pick me and the bike up, the owner Don no less. They are fixing my brakes, topping off the brake fluid and making me a few more spokes just in case.

Now I am waiting until Mike gets his rental car and lets me know where to meet them. Life is good and our Pittsburgh team is now off to enjoy a beer and some Ethiopian food --another reason for David's coming to Columbus.

We are out of here. Love to all, Jim

Postscript: Wow, Columbus is a great city. Greg and Eve Holland innvited me to stay at their beautiful home. Cooked a wonderful steak dinner for me. Greg is even a recumbent rider, so we have lots in common. They tandom bike, a great couple. Greg is a fire fighter, has been for 25 years.

Signing off, Jim

Jim Muellner is riding a folding trike, made by his company, Just Two Bikes, that fits in a suitcase!!

May 19, 2003
Denise Hill's Postscript:

here in town yesterday was Pedal Pittsburgh, an annual ride around the city. there was a 60, 50, 35, 25 and 15 mile ride, and I led the 25-mile route, which was fun. there were over 2000 riders there. it was a great showing. go bikes.

my trip planning and other maneuverings:

one thing first: you don't need to be a professional biker or have all the hottest gear to do this ride! I wore old sneakers (no clips for my pedals!) and bungeed/tied stuff together on my bike. I don't have a mileage computer, or even a waterbottle holder on my bottom tube. I definitely had the "rag tag" look Jim wrote about, but I made it and so can you. fret not.

I based my packing list off the one on the website. there are great tips on there.

local bike shops know everything. perhaps your local shop will even let you post a sign up that says "hey, I'm riding from Town A to City Z, and I have a question about Q!" people in the biking community will generally be very happy to help a fellow rider.

if you've never done your route/leg before, consult maps that indicated the type of each road depicted; you can't ride on interstates (and you really don't want to), but state roads are OK. if your map shows elevation change, that's good too.

find camping grounds in state park or other such biker/hiker/traveler friendly places. or, use the trick Jim taught us, where you approach someone in town with a nicely manicured lawn, and ask them politely if you might camp in their backyard. people are generally cool with this. (one time when we did this, we were directed to an even nicer yard; the folks there even let us use their washroom!)

personal notes:

waterproof pants are KEY! it WILL rain, and you'll probably have to ride in it. better to do so happy than pissed off and cold like I was.

check out, as of May 18, they still have these on sale: do a search for rain gear, click on "rain" and it will link you to these men's pants, $9.99. they're yellow so you're that much more visible, and they're super lightweight and can roll up into their own back pocket. I'm 5'1" and I wear size S very comfortably.

if you're camping, a groundcloth tarp is a good idea.

if it's early enough in the year, you probably won't need that bug spray. in May, I used mine one time.

food with a good $:calorie ratio: Lil Debbie PB snack things or other such snacky-cakes. a loaf of bread. oatmeal (it's light to carry, too!). rice.

instant coffee is your friend. baring that, gas station coffee is your other friend.

bring your leftovers with you.

any chance you get to eat fresh fruits and veggies, jump on it.

water down your Gatorade. it'll go further, and it's better to focus on re-hydration than replenishing electrolytes, which you'll still get if it's watered down.

Powerade tastes better than Allsport.

Cliff Bars are the best energy bar out there; they taste the best and they support outdoor organizations like the Access Fund and Leave No Trace Ethics.

Denise Hill

National Relay Ride Schedule
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