event preview: NEOCycle

Congrats to Jessica E. — you won the Bright Pink FabFest swag bag giveaway. Let me know if you’ll be at this Sunday’s Cleveland FabFest – would love to see into some familiar faces.

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With a recent knee funk (also known as chondromalacia patella - that’s a post for another day), I’ve had a certain Queen song running through my head in the past few weeks:

Enthralled doesn’t explain how happy I was to get in about 9 leisurely miles on Saturday after my PT said it was time to add some of my regular activities back into my routine.

Then I caught a tweet from a friend this morning and realized have I’ve been living under a rock to be just discovering Greater Cleveland Sports Commission’s NEOCycle — taking place this weekend — September 26-28, 2014 — all over Greater Cleveland.

NeoCycle-300x300

From the event website, NEOCycle is “an urban cycling festival consisting of competitive races and unique rides, connected by live entertainment and an interactive, action-filled festival at Cleveland Metroparks Edgewater Park on the shores of Lake Erie.” 

The event schedule has an array of activities in those three days. Here are some highlights, IMO:

FRIDAY: There’s plenty happening that night at the Cleveland Velodrome, but the 10:30PM race sounds like a ball! There’s also a Velodrome 101 class earlier in the evening — with a beer garden to enjoy inbetween rides as well.

SATURDAY: People, there’s a Night Ride. With 7.5 mile and 15 mile options. And a costume contest. (Perhaps I can borrow Hans’ NASA astronaut costume…) My kind of Saturday night!

SUNDAY: I’m expanding my biking vocabulary by learning what a fondo is. (It’s just basically large group ride from what I can tell.) NEOCycle’s twist on this is the Forest City Fundo. It’s untimed mass ride starting and ending at The Hub at Edgewater Park starting bright and early that morning.

…and these don’t include all the activities at The Hub and the Music Fest with quite line up of musical guests. So grab your two wheel-er, save on some gasoline and ride around CLE with NEOCycle this weekend!

Stay in-the-know: follow NEOCycle on its social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Disclosure: Logo image from NEOCycle site. I’m sharing this event because of my love of biking — I was not asked to share this information. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Temptations of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath & the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Congrats to Katie (@ktb0981) – you’ve won the #DazzleCLE PlayhouseSquare swag prize pack! Don’t forget about tonight’s lighting event starting at 5:00PM – there’s more info here.

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Last Friday, I failed to mention one of my non-yoga favorite things about our San Francisco trip to yoga teacher training. We rented a great house just south of the UC Berkeley campus that came with bikes to get around the area. My buddy Kevin is an expert cyclist and has plenty of experience riding around metro areas. While I was nervous biking in the streets at first, I learned a lot from him and gained road riding confidence quick. Along with all those hours in the studio, the moments biking were just as much ones I won’t forget from California.

So when I got home to Cleveland, I knew what had to be done:  Stella, my Trek, had to get ready for the 2014 riding season.

Bike Authority Broadview Heights Ohio

Bike Authority in Broadview Heights knocked it out of the park, turning around the bike tune up in less than 24 hours from drop off the night before. The only problem was I couldn’t pick it up for three days. But once I had it again, I took advantage of the stellar weekend weather and headed down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to see if I still had my towpath riding legs from last year.

CVNP Mile Marker 20

Turns out I did. 15 windy miles done on Saturday…

CVNP Mile Marker 25

…and 16 easier miles Sunday. That’s when I discovered my new 2014 past time: seeing how many mile markers I could visit this year. Game on.

CVNP Mile Marker 13

On a side note: the fuzz and I went out for a 40 minute walk a few Sundays ago. We both came home with big smiles on our face. One of us came home with four ticks. Just be warned, kids: it’s going to be another buggy year for our fuzzy friends, so do what you have to to keep your pups safe. And thanks to Central Bark, also in Broadview Heights, for some extra peace of  mind.

But after a rough week with long hours and rainy days, I’m jones-ing to be back on the bike. I feel like it has a similar effect as my yoga practice – after a lengthy ride, my mind is clear, my body is strong and life is good. And I usually come home with a bit of sun on my nose. Le sigh, is it summer yet? 

Just those first 31 miles in two days re-inspired me. Just like in Berkeley, I saw that authentic version of myself again when I could just let go, relax and surround myself in what was around me in the moment — not the story build up in my head because of a very busy mind.  Just like in meditation: when the mind is clear, so is your perception of what surrounds you. These things keep me grounded, keep me clear, keep me focused.  So if it ain’t broke… make more space for it.

But with a rainy weather forecast and a busy event weekend, I may have to just stick to daydreaming about Stella instead of getting her out on the path. And that’s why you have to keep many tools in your toolbox to keep up the maintenance of a healthy body and mind.  Luckily, it’s just barely May and there’s plenty of time left for towpath-ing in 2014. So let me know if you’re interested in joining me: either for a leisurely stroll, a fast ride or some yoga in the park. This extrovert can’t help bringing folks along for the ride…

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Ohio Blogging Association June Cleveland Blogger Meetup & Downtown Tour with BikeCLE

Another meeting of the Ohio Blogging Association is in the books! On Tuesday, June 12, we rented bikes from The Bike Rack in downtown Cleveland and headed out on a great tour of our city with BikeCLE AKA Great Lakes Tour Co.!

The blogroll for the evening included:

The happy OBA crew in the middle of Public Square.

But before we begin, A MEMO FROM THE CEO OF PIP: Summer 2012 is going to be the busiest on record as I’ve been working hard on several projects. I’m finding balance in this new career (better known as freelance independent contractor jill-of-all-trades), but it’s a learning process. I could have let the anxiety of a busy week get better of me in a few particular moments. Instead, I found myself downtown before the OBA BikeCLE tour enjoying my mobile office view:

While at Erie Island Coffee Company on East 4th Street, I found myself in a moment of calm while enjoying an iced coffee & basking in the warm temperatures. While I had been on the go all day long, that busy schedule gets me excited. It keeps me going.

There was a time - not so long ago - when my anxiety would have gotten the better of me. Yup, even the girl that organizes all these events gets nervous! But then I remembered how our Ohio Blogging Association meetups are always a highlight of my month.  Suddenly, the worries melted away and I was ready to get my bike ride on.

While refilled with energy, I felt a little scattered as I greeted the bloggers that evening. All the bloggers, all the parking options, all the bikes, all the helmets, all the downtown surroundings – it was an overload on my brain. Luckily, the crew from BikeCLE took great care of us.

The OBA bloggers took an abbreviated version of the Downtown Cleveland tour that I took last June with BikeCLE. Even though it was shortened, we still hit plenty of local attractions: Quicken Loans Arena, Progressive Field, Erie Street Cemetery, the Theater District, the Free Stamp:

…City Hall, the Medical Mart, Key Tower, Public Square including the Terminal Tower and the Soliders & Sailors’ Monument, finishing up with a ride back down East 4th Street:

After a ninety minute tour of downtown, BikeCLE treated the bloggers to a spread of healthy snacks, including their Love Kettle Corn. Every purchase of this popcorn goes back to their Blessing in a Backpack program which helps provide meals to children. A great Cleveland company giving back to Clevelanders? That’s the kind of company I’m happy to support.

LONG STORY SHORT: It was another successful evening out with the Ohio Blogging Association: check out all my photos from the tour over at the OBA Facebook photo album.  Several bloggers mentioned they were happy about the combination of learning more about Cleveland in an active way. We’ll have to consider doing another 5K walk/run this Fall – we always try to have something for everyone! Many thanks to BikeCLE and The Bike Rack for their hospitality, and to all the bloggers that attended!

Interested in attending an Ohio Blogging Association blogger meetup? Join us for our OBA July Cleveland Blogger Tour of PlayhouseSquare on Wednesday, July 11th. You can find more info over at our OBA Facebook event page. Space is limited, so RSVP today!

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