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October 02, 2006

Prelude: I've Got 2 Major Local Stories on My Hands

When I began this Blog in 2003 I had no illusions that I was any sort of expert  on too many cycling related issues, and practices, to list.

My mission was, and still is, to write about bike rides I take, share news stories of interest to me that Google Alerts, and visits to the links in my sidebar turn up, and to gather together the most extensive collection of Bicycling related websites to be found on any BikeBlog in the world.

The idea was, and is, that I and my readers would enlighten ourselves about cycling together.

Due to life experiences, and not as much time as I'd sometimes like, I've not put pedal to the pavement near as much as I'd like, nor read thru many of the links in my sidebar.

I hoped that visitors enjoyed my rides, and found the resources here to be of use, and have been gratified to learn that many people have.

You may have noticed that I've FINALLY begun to add photos to posts thanks to learning to use a Digital Camera.

My BikeBlog is certainly not the most visited on a daily basis, and those folks who are have earned their readers with their knowledge, and contacts.

Though no advertisers have bit I have seen my fliers accepted in Bike Shops, and I get e-mail of all sorts, related to cycling, and that is extremely gratifying.

I made a point, early on, not to cover certain stories because there were just far too many of them, and I didn't want to turn this place into a site of doom, and gloom.

Over the last 3 months I've changed my mind.... at least where the local angle is concerned.

Orange County is my backyard.

It is where I commute to work, and shopping.

It is where I ride for exercise, and to relax on a day off.

What happens here concerns me, and should concern all county cyclists, whether an activist, a Club Rider, a racer, an active daily rider, or a part-time cyclist just out to ride a few miles , wherever, once, or twice, a month.

A local jogger who uses my favorite place to ride contacted me in July about some concerns she had, and said she would get back to me after a month with a follow-up.

It was 2 months, but what she had to say  troubled me.

Last month a local cyclist took me to task for not covering a prominent local story, and vented his anger at the person responsible for an entirely avoidable tragedy as well.

My only excuse was that I didn't read the OC Register every day, and so did not know of the story. ( I have since subscribed. )

Since our 1st correspondence I've learned that there is a bigger, year long, story here, and that cyclists are not entirely innocent victims.

I realized that I was in the unique position of being able to do something to bring these stories to the attention of my fellow cyclists in a venue that many are entirely unfamilar with, but will thus be introduced to thru whatever I am able to do in the way of covering these stories.

I went out, a week or so ago, and visited the site mentioned by my cycling correspondent, and a site related to another story, and took photos, and have been trying to gather info on even more stories back to March.

As for the jogger...

I spent 4 hours today at my favorite riding site, during hours that I normally never rode, before.

Since don't live close by any more it had been a while since my last morning ride there. ( That will be changing, finally. )

I took almost a dozen photos, and saw things that disturbed, and angered me.

I talked to numerous people, from joggers, to cyclists, to an equestrian ( Whose horse had a few words to say as well, it seemsed! ), as well as to officials onsite, and what I heard, while some of it was positive, was as interesting as it was disturbing.

As the days, and weeks, go by I fully expect that what I have to say, and report, will please some, and anger others.

I am no trained journalist ( Some , of all political persuasions, can be heard, in the Peanut Gallery, letting loose with a hearty "THANK GOD!", I'm sure. ), but, if you like the writing I've produced over the last 3+ years, then I hope you will not be disappointed by my efforts to keep up with these stories.

Coverage of these stories, and the issues involved, can be followed in this new category of my Archives:

Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters!

Where appropriate stories outside the OC may also appear here as well, but I will be paying attention especially to life on the streets, and trails, of the OC.

I expect that I, and you, will learn things along the way, and that is the most important thing of all.

October 2, 2006 in Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters! | Permalink

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