We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Concetta. She is a delightful person, full of hope, joy, determination and kindness. She is unafraid and quite brave to be wheeling across the USA, mostly on her own.
By the time Concetta got to us, she had been felled by a bad cold a day earlier. On her way in, in Loveland, she found a new friend on the trail and delayed her arrival in Madeira (where I live here on the edge of Cincinnati) to spend time with Bobbie, who
rode a transam a few years ago. We were gratified to have Concetta stay with us. Monday we cleaned up her bike and lubed the chain. Then she slept lots that first day, while we mulched the flower beds. She slept a lot on Tuesday (NBG Day) as well. Finally, by Wednesday she was feeling well enough to travel.
We met Charlie Luken, Cincinnati's Mayor at 12:30 Tuesday along with a passel of riders from the Cincinnati area. Several came, hoping to escort Concetta to Indiana, but her illness kept her from riding. So, I gave her the nickel tour of Cincinnati, showing her the stadiums, Fountain Square, Over the Rhine and Eden Park. She was gracious enough to let me take a few
photos of her along the way. After we stopped at a bike shop for some minor repairs to her bike, I dropped her off back at the house and returned to work. That evening we shared Thai food and beer and prepared her for the ride the next day, putting together maps and checking the weather.
Wednesday AM Concetta set off, after 5 shots of Starbucks espresso on ice. She carried with her a reloaded Starbucks card, a heavy load of clean clothes and packs, and enough food to carry her through much of the day. I dropped her off at the west end of town with her intention to reach Indianapolis, if possible, before nightfall and before the predicted rains. We left her with a small gift and a card to lift her spirits and instructions not to open it until she needed that lift. I missed her as soon as she rode out of sight and wished I was riding with her to Indianapolis.
Having Concetta meet my younger daughters was an inspiration to them. Her independent spirit and determination and the huge goal she had before her were hard for them to conceive. I hope others will see the joy of having her visit and welcome her into their homes.
Godspeed Concetta. We wish you well.
Everything went well. There were several cyclists present and other interested bystanders, and the Mayor was on time and read the proclamation. TV stations 5 and 12 were there . Did not see anything in
this morning's Enquirer paper.
Concetta was not feeling well and so did not ride with us. She was taking a rest day before continuing to Indy. Four of us did the intended ride from downtown to the ferry in Kentucky and back. This included Chuck Smith who really did an outstanding job contacting and following up with the media.
At your suggestion, I got out my Phantom and rode to the ceremony and did the loop on it (20 mi) with the others.
Good luck with your project. If there is a map of what is planned for a National Bicycle Greenway system, let me know where to find it.
Don Burrell, AICP, Senior Planner
Bicycle / Pedestrian Coordinator
OKI Regional Council of Governments
720 East Pete Rose Way, Suite 420
Cincinnati, OH 45202-3576
513-621-9325 - fax
National Mayor's Ride Friends,
We had a great time in Cincinnati today!
Here are a couple pictures of cross-country cyclist Concetta Curtis, one with Mayor Luken and the other with her bike, "Cyclops."
Our event was covered by two of the three major Cincinnati TV stations - WKRC and
WLW-T. There also may be a story in tomorrow's Cincinnati Enquirer.
Chair, Ohio Bicycle Federation
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