Daily Dirt: BRP Pinched, Pocahontas Ride Center Boosted
Blue Ridge Parkway Feeling the Pinch
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the iconic mountain roads in the U.S., attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year to it’s scenic vistas. But the ribbon of National Park Service land that snakes along the southern Appalachians is not just for Harleys, RVs, and station wagons; cyclists love the steeps, hikers and mountain bikers love the access to trails, and nature enthusiasts love the wildlife and natural beauty. It is becoming harder and harder, however, to enjoy all the BRP has to offer as sequestration budget cuts have slashed amenities along the route, closing campgrounds and allowing other infrastructure to crumble or become over grown. Karen Chavez of the Citizen-Times takes a comprehensive look at the actual, physical damage budget cuts have brought to the park, from a reduction in seasonal staff – mostly educational – to mowing challenges along the 500 mile length. The numbers are staggering.
Richmond Ride Center Gets Boost
In anticipation of the 2015 World Cycling Championships, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will accept a major donation toward the development of an International Mountain Bicycling Association Ride Center at Pocahontas State Park. The ceremony will take place tomorrow, July 9th, at 2 pm, and local riders are encouraged to bring their bikes for a trail ride following the ceremony. The Pocahontas Ride Center will be made up primarily by the James River Park system trails in the city of Richmond and the trails of Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County. There are only 11 other designated IMBA Ride Centers in the world, including one in Harrisonburg, Va., so this will be quite the honor for Virginia and Richmond. McDonnell will accept a check for $50,000 that matches state funding for the project and the ceremony will be a kick-off event for a larger fundraising effort. So get out and ride Richmond!
Speaking of Virginia biking, a new cycling event will make its debut this year in the Old Dominion. The first annual Gran Fondo Virginia is slated for September 8, 2013 and will benefit the Better World Betty.
Boston, Beyond the Finish Line
The New York Times has the saga of Jeff Bauman, who was waiting to see his girlfriend finish her first marathon when his legs were blown off by the bombs that shook the city and the U.S. You may recognize Bauman as the man from the iconic photo from that day, the one of the young man in the wheelchair holding his legs flanked by the man in the cowboy hat (Carlor Arredondo). The focus of the piece is the aftermath of that day, and the long road to recovery for Bauman. Bring the tissues, but this long read is worth it.