Monday, September 21, 2009

A Stroll Through the City

“From down here, we must look like ants.”

Saturday morning was another early start (are you seeing a pattern here?), and this time I didn’t have to bring my bicycle. We headed out to Uptown Charlotte for the Start! Charlotte Heart Walk, but not without taking a detour. Our first stop was at the Original Pancake House for some breakfast, which is always a welcome treat. Every time I go there, however, I’m always left wondering if I am indeed frequenting the “Original” Pancake House. I looked on their website, and it appears that I am not. They were founded in Oregon, and their website states: “We now have over one hundred franchises from coast to coast, which have won local and national acclaim.” That’s all fine and dandy, but maybe they should change the name to Duplicate Pancake House or something. Geez, do I have to think of everything?

We met up at the center of the city, and we found some people from our group. We received some really nice volunteer t-shirts, put them on, and we were on our way. We took a leisurely stroll through some of the city streets and also visited some of the local neighborhoods. This was all done to fight heart disease and stroke, but I never felt like I was fighting. In fact, I felt pretty relaxed, especially since I didn’t have to pass anyone. Every once in a while I did feel the urge to squeeze by someone to get a better position. Little Miss Sunshine could tell I was a little anxious, so she kept me reeled in. There was a huge turnout, and it was nice to see so many people out on a beautiful fall morning for a good cause.

A sea of people, as far as you can see.

The best way to describe the walk was sort of like being at the mall just before Christmas. There were a lot of people, mostly dressed alike, and clogging up the walkway just to keep you from getting where you need to be. The only thing missing was the corny elevator music. The funny thing about this walk was the fact that there were so many rest stops along the way. I’ve never seen that many in once event, even in a triathlon. I guess it was to take care of the people that had never walked that distance before. I was impressed that everyone came out for this, even the ones that probably shouldn’t have walked that far. I did see some people taking shortcuts too, which puzzled me. Hey, let’s cheat for charity! And let’s not forget the most puzzling thing of all. After completing the walk, we started to head back to the parking garage. We saw this lady desperately searching for a lighter, so she could light up a cigarette.

Funny, didn’t you just complete a heart walk?

I guess that proves my point last Friday that Little Miss Sunshine probably won’t have to worry about running out of work anytime soon. She’s the one that pointed this out to me so I could have photographic evidence. Her keen observational skills are probably why she makes a living saving lives. Just in case you needed a second look, here goes:

Keep it up, so we can pay the bills and buy bikes and stuff.

Shifting gears, the heart walk wasn’t the only thing on the agenda for Saturday. Lunchbox and I took off for Albemarle, NC for the SORBA Ride Center Event at City Lake Park. This was a chance to ride the new trails there, meet some people who love riding bikes, and to watch a really great mountain biking movie called Seasons. Also, it was a chance for me to talk to some people in the local club there about the National Mountain Bike Patrol, and how it can benefit our area. Good times were had by all (despite some rain), and we’re looking forward to big things for the Uwharrie National Forest and my local chapter of the Bike Patrol. I actually rode the bike a little too, surprisingly. Another big thanks goes to my local shop, Middle Ring Cycles for being such a big part of this event. That’s why I am so proud to represent Middle Ring Cycles, because they support mountain biking so passionately. If you haven’t stopped in there lately, you’re missing out. If you’re reading this from a far away land (I have a few readers from Germany), then shop online. They will take care of you.

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