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September 14, 2005

Katrina: Keep Larry Lagarde and his family in your thoughts

You may think that, not having family, or friends, in the path of Hurricane Katrina, it couldn't hit you close to home.

I'm here to tell you not to assume anything because something as simple as a couple of e-mail corrrespendences could do just that.

This story covers 4 websites, 3 blogs, and several e-mails, 1 of which I was suprised to see still in my inbox at this late date, but was the catelist for this story.

This is long, folks, but you owe it to yourself to read it.

It begins in early Summer with an e-mail from a guy in New Orleans...

Larry Lagarde had a website from which he was promoting a type of Folding Bike, and promoting some of the best places to go bike riding on a bike of any type.

Having discovered The Cycling Dude, and thinking this site was the greatest thing since sliced bread, he decided to tell me so, and tell me about HIS site.

I wrote a favorable review of his site, on Aug. 2nd: New Website Promotes Unusual Bike Alongside Places to Ride.

I then responded, that evening, with an e-mail to him responding to parts of his e-mail, and telling him of my piece:

From: L Lagarde
Kiril,

Of all the cycling blogs I've seen, yours is the best! What an incredible amount of info...*

KK: Thanks for the compliment!

Glad you liked the site. :-D

LL: *I am building a site about the world's great bike trails. If you'd like to suggest a trail or just communicate with another distance rider, feel free to reply. I'd love to hear from you. Perhaps you and I can even work together towards encouraging others to travel (and live) by bicycle.
If you have any thoughts on how we could work together to help others do more by bicycle, I'm all ears.

KK: I'm always willing to give my readers a heads up, in a post, about a site that's a good source of cycling info, or info on places to ride.

Even if the site IS selling a product as part of its reason to exist. :-D

When it comes to linking, in my sidebar, to sites whose sole reason to exist, or close to it anyway, is to sell bikes, I made a choice to promote only those Shops that were born before 1941. :-D

Hence The Elder Statesmen.

So while I did a write up of your site, after the story eventually sinks into my archive, only a google search for folding bikes will bring my story to anyones attention again.

As for other trails you could write about, and link to, you are more than welcome to search through my links to find routes that strike your fancy.

That's what they are there for, and searching other websites was one of the ways I have built my own collection of links.

Feel free to let others know of The Cycling Dude, and I wouldn't mind keeping in touch.

Kiril

Larry wrote a reply:

Thanks Kiril for the writeup. I meant every word about your blog.

I also agree that the best way to find great info online is to keep looking (that's how I found you). So when I asked for your suggestions about other great destinations to promote, it was because I wanted to see what your personal favorites were when it comes to cycling destinations.

At present, I'm looking to promote in the near future...
- Norway's Fiord Country near Bergen
- Kettle Valley Railway
- Inn or Danube Valley Trails (Austria)
- Maryland's C&O rail & canal trails
- Missouri's Katy Trail
- Pennsylvania's Allegheny Passage
- South Dakota's Mickelson Trail

I'm also looking into trails in Minnesota & Wisconsin as well as Spains rail trails (very interesting).

Peace.

Regards,
Larry

And that was that.

In the meantime Larry contacted Brian, of the fine new Blog Seeing Albuquerque by Bike, and that correspondence led Brian's great story, with pictures, about cycling in New Mexico, on August 24th.

Unknown to me Larry had begun thinking of starting his own blog shortly after discovering mine.

Great Bicycle Rides and City Trails Worldwide debuted, unknown to me until tonite, on August 3rd with a response to my review:

Kiril "The Cycling Dude" wrote a brief review of RideTHISbike.com on his cycling blog. Kiril and I share the belief that "bike riding is good for you and fun". If you want an idea what a blog about bicycling can be, visit his. The wealth of cycling links and info is amazing.

Kiril mentioned that folders are not his cup of tea but everyone's entitled to their opinion. Here's mine: for long distance rides on the bike trail next to my house, my first preference is to ride my long wheel base Rans Stratus. FOR EVERY OTHER RIDE including riding the bike trail next to my house in the rain or when the Rans is out of service, it's the Giatex folding bicycle. The Giatex takes up minimal space in my car so that's where I keep it. As a result, I literally can ride whenever I get the urge. Try hauling your roadbike on your roof rack or the back of your SUV every where you go. Chances are that your tires would rot, your chain and other steel components would rust and the bike would always be dirty (not to mention more prone to theft).

I've ridden the folder in all sorts of conditions and riding surfaces. It's been on the New York subway, in numerous airports, on buses, trains and even the Staten Island Ferry. My point is that, for me, the Giatex folding bike has meant FREEDOM like no other bike. That's saying a lot.

The correspondence with Brian had led to 2 great pieces, on his own blog, about Albuquerque, on the 12th, and 14th:

Here and here.

The last entry on the Blog is an interesting one that showed Larry was planning big things for the future of his 2 sites.

That was Aug. 25th.

Soon Hurricane Katrina was going to open up a massive, incomprehensible, can of whupass on New Orleans.

When I read Brian's piece, today,  I asked him if he'd heard from Larry, and this was his response:

I emailed Larry a few days after the hurricane and was
surprised to get a response a few days later.

Unfortunately, there was not a lot of good news. He
lost his house and everything he owns. His wife is
pregnant and having difficulty. He has some small
children who are not coping very well.

He didn't say where they were. I don't know if they
are in a shelter or are in a home somewhere.

I'll let you know if I hear anything else.

Brian

Even then it didn't dawn on me who Larry was.

I get a lot of e-mails related to my Blog, and cycling: comments, and trackbacks, some of it spam that you will never see posted; Requests for information, and tips, on places to ride; Tips about websites, and blogs, to check out, and consider writing about, and maybe linking to.

You have no idea how many e-mails I've yet to read. ;-D

Going thru my backlog, tonite, I stumbled on Larry's Thank You Note above and, finally putting 2 and 2 together, sat here stunned.

I had told Brian that if he heard from Larry to tell him at least 1 fellow cyclist, in Ca., was thinking about him.

Once I realized who he was I wrote him the following e-mail, but have no idea if he will ever see it:

Larry !!

I love ya, man!

Nice piece in response to my article!

Nice start to a Blog!

Are you and your family alive, and well?

Brian, of Seeing Albuquerque, made me aware of your situation.

Don't give up!

You have people pulling for you to survive this, and become better than before!

I'll be re-aquainting folks with my original article, your blog response, and your situation, asking my readers to keep you, and your family, in their thoughts.

KIRIL KUNDURAZIEFF

What you have just read ( and I thank you most heartfeltly for doing so! ) is the end result of that promise made just a couple of hours ago.

Yes, I know I'm ending on a downer of a cliffhanger...

That's life...

It ain't always a bowl of cherrys.

Join me in hoping that I can, eventually, bring news of a positive nature along the road to the recovery of New Orleans, and to the recovery of Larry, his family, and his work.

Visit Larry's Blog, it's now in my sidebar.

Hopefully he will return to it in the coming months, once he, and his family, survive their present circumstances.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, read my essay called Calling All Cyclists!

Let me know the news!

Let me know the stories!

Let me know YOUR stories!

Bicyclists were affected by Katrina.

Bicyclists are showing they care.

September 14, 2005 in KATRINA: Cycling toward Recovery | Permalink

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Comments

A couple of people uprooted by Katrina have posted to bikeforums.net. Some of the discussion links are:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=134885
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=135395
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=135087
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=134904


Additional news (that I'll post cyclelicious soon)

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=138152


Posted by: Richard | Sep 14, 2005 11:54:43 AM

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