Swing for NBG 2001 Report

The 3rd Annual Swing for NBG continued in the same tradition as all previous NBG events, whether at the Santa Cruz Lighthouse, in Washington DC or at either of the first two NBG Swings. It was F U N. Unsolicited I heard that from many of the people who were in attendance. 80+ in all. And all this on a beautiful warm, sunny day where there were many other events competing for people's attention here in our paradise by the sea.

The day began early when about 15 of us cruised many of the fun, outdoor gathering areas of Santa Cruz. After a brief parade wave and horn check debriefing we were off. Mostly recumbents we were joined by Ryan and Eric on their show quality stretch uprights. Monterey Bay Recumbent Club president Brett Young (who also won the Zzipper fairing) was there. As was Greg Dunn on his super tricked out Rans. Will Anderson brought out his Haluzak and Banned Together saxophonist, Wes Anthony spent the morning on a Linear compact while his friend, August, had a blast on my homemade beater bent. The famous Mark Bunten, of Bent 4 Rent showed up on a BikeE with his son Oliver who is fast outgrowing the extra seat Mark mounted to its tail section.

We cruised the yacht harbor and passed out the handsome flyers that Niki Clark made for us at the bustling moor side restaurant called Aldo's. We passed out more flyers at the popular Linda's Seabreeze on Seabright Ave. and at the end of the Santa Cruz wharf. By the time we finished downtown, with my huge sign that Pat Eodice made for me, many people no doubt knew what we were all about.

We returned about two hours later to a fully transformed Moes Alley! Gayle Michael and her daughter. Kendra, made the inside of the bar, even the outdoor food area, look like a warm inviting bike club. Everywhere one looked there were bicycle road signs and paper bicycle cut outs. Bright and colorful, there were bikes on the tables, bikes hanging from the ceiling and even more bike signs and bike images tastefully positioned on the walls! Wow....

Soon Becky Adams got into action. She taught about 10 couples the basics of swing as others settled in and even bought raffle tickets. Her efforts were so well received that even dance pro Bob Grant, who participated, could also be seen smiling away.

Then as we waited for Sean Kennedy to show, he flew in from a gig in San Diego, I filled the time with stories and kudos and Greenway info. Then Sean Kennedy and the King Kats took over. And I mean took over. The place was hopping. Big Time. Powerful, exciting music!!

On the break between bands I occupied that short intermission with even more stories and appreciation and Greenway info and even added a little humor as well as raffled off the four prizes noted below. It was then Banned Together's turn. And everyone was both impressed and much delighted. We'd never heard them play swing before. And here with Dave Manilli working their drums (Dave also played for Sean K earlier), they were sensational. What a sound. What fun!!

The day ended with the raffle for the Big Three prizes that remained. Dave Manilli did a drum roll as 73 tear old Betty picked out Brett Young as winner of the ZZipper fairing and then Joe GIallo, a loving man who works with head injured young adults, as winner of the KoolStop Wilderbeast trailer. Everyone got quiet as Wes Anthony's 15-year old sax student, Ben, picked the grand prize winner. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the name. And she seemed like a worthy victor to all. Birgit, the young German woman who came in on her day off to work the barbecue for us won the Z-Bike! She wasn't there but Greg, the sound man, called her and wow was she excited.

For good reason, she gets the very first Z-bike (bikeroute.com/Backsafer) to come off the production line out there in Florida!! With her name on an emblem that decrees this is so!!

Wow. What a blast. We fell far below the dollars needed to make our Demo in DC real the way we had envisioned it, but we got a lot of NBG awareness out there and we generated a ton of love and acres and acres of good will!

What does all this say? Next year, in 2002, we will be bringing all the bicycle world to Santa Cruz for an NBG week full of dance, races, clinics and fairs. We will be showing everyone the power of our love and how we are using that love to make our network of Greenways a reality indeed

I can't say THX enough to all of you who supported this effort, from those who donated prizes to those who came to our event to those who helped to put it on. Wow. I feel the love. Yahooo!!

First four prize winners:
Giro helmet c/o Spokesman Bicycles: Todd Michael
Conection Magazine Ad: Faye Saunders
Bear Dance Aerial Lesson: Faye Saunders
Air Horn c/o Bicycle Shop Santa Cruz: Wes Anthony