Today, June 6, 2012, the workers had laid a base asphalt to within .25 miles of CR 35. The asphalt was still warm when I rode it. I talked to the workers, and they said the base would be done by the bike ride.
I saw six bikers and six walkers in the time I was there. Three riders came up CR 35 and turned into the driveway south of the trail, and I had to tell them they were in a driveway. I asked them where they were from and they said Louisville, Kentucky and Wabash, Ind. The proceeded down the trail.
Another two riders came by and since they were on road bikes, they didn’t try to go on the gravel. They were from Syracuse. One couple walked from CR 37 to CR 35 and back.
One of the ways that we can let others know about the trail system in our community is through photography. We do that through our Trail Talk newsletter, our website, Facebook posting, our membership and bike ride brochures, this blog and presentations to groups. Two national and international showcases are Google Earth and Traillink.com. I encourage all photographers to upload the trail photos to these sites. Google Earth does not accept photos of people you can recognize.
As of Saturday, June 2, we had 804 preregistered for the bike ride. Normally, we get 50 percent of the riders preregistered, so if that pattern held, we’d be over 1,500 at the ride. We have to think the proportions will be smaller, but you never know.
We’ve been scratching our heads trying to figure out what has caused the increase. Here are some ideas:
We increased the late registration fee from $5 to $10, but we had the same policy last year.
We’ve put brochures on the trail for the first time, and a lot people have been picking them up. That would point to larger local participation, which we will be able to tell by comparing addresses of registrations with previous years.
Opening Middlebury to Shipshewana has give much higher visibility to the trail. Again, that would point to greater local participation.
We have a billboard between Goshen and Elkhart for the first time.
We have over 700 Facebook fans compared to 500 a year ago.
We’ve had a color newsletter the last two issues.
Goshen received the Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists in Sept. 2011.
Danny Graber reminds me that this is the first year we’ve had a no-extra-cost online registration and that we’ve had many more online registrations as a result. That could be a major factor.
The dinner ride numbers are nearly double from a year ago, and we did nothing different in promoting it.
All of that increase comes without the normal promotion we receive from the Bicycle Indiana Events publication that we advertise in each year, but this year it hasn’t been published yet!