Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Christy and I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day.  This is a wonderful time to reflect on the many blessing we have in this country and the sacrifices made to achieve them.  Please travel safely.

Mike and Christy

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Great Event Thanks to Everyone Participating

Our first Riding for a Reason bicycle event was well attended and even though we had one very frightening occurrence during the ride, all ended well.  I would like to thank everyone.

Athens Land Trust and Staff - Thanks for the work you do helping individuals who may have never had the opportunity to own a home of their own with home ownership as well as helping current owners in distress find help.  The training and mentoring you do in this area is a true blessing to your clients and your neighbors.  It has been a true pleasure working with you on this event and we look forward to working with you in the future.

Sponsors - The ride would not have been possible without a wonderful series of sponsors providing everything from food to mechanical services and transportation as well as financial support.  Sponsors were too numerous to mention all but a particular mention of Georgia Cycle Sports should be made due to their on site mechanical and transportation service that far exceeded our expectation.

Mike Rivers -Mike is a friend to many and works tirelessly in many areas -- one of which is safety and first aid.  He personally provides first aid at many events in the Athens area as well as training others to provide similar assistance.  Mike does all of this from his own personal means with a true spirit of giving.  Mike provided first aid on site during the race and followed to make sure no riders were left behind.

Oglethorpe County Emergency Services -  We had an unfortunate accident where one of the riders was struck by a motor vehicle.  Oglethorpe County EMS and the Sheriff's office responded in a truly amazing way.  If I had not known better, I would have said they were following the ride.  Truly amazing response.  Hats off to you guys.

Bethany Baptist - Thanks for going beyond in providing a rest stop for the riders.  Christy called to ask for use of their driveway as a stop.  The pastor, Jim Olds, responded that not only could we use the driveway, but we could use their fellowship hall, bathrooms and water/ice.  He came out early Saturday morning to make this available and truly exhibited  a "Christ Like" attitude missing in so many ways today.

Riders - This would not have been possible without you.  We hope you had a good time and enjoyable ride.

City of Winterville - Thanks for allowing us to use the city as a starting point and working it in with the Marigold Festival.  Good time for all.

We would also like to request continued prayers and thoughts for Taylor Johnson and his friend Katie Schweitzer.  He is the young man that was struck by a vehicle.  We received a wonderful update and thanks from them this morning.  He was released from the ER with a large contusion on his hip.  No broken bones.  They wanted to thank everyone that the ride was so well organized and personally mentioned Nancy of ALT for being on site within minutes.  They go on to say "We'll probably take a week or so off from riding, but we'll be back in the saddle soon.  We know we were extremely blessed to have the best worst case scenario yesterday."   Their final statement sums up my feelings exactly.

 "Thank you so much for everything and we hope to see you next year!"  


Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting ready for Riding for a Reason

We are pumped to pedal!  Looking forward to seeing the riders in the morning!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Riding for a Reason is a great reason to get out your bicycle and ride!

The Athens Land Trust along with the Fitzpatrick Hotel are hosting the "first annual" Riding for a Reason bike tour on May 21, 2011.  The ride will begin as part of the Winterville Marigold Festival.  The bicyclists will leave Winterville at 9:00 am and travel through Oglethorpe county and onto Washington.  The ride is 48 miles and will have three stops for refreshment and or any other biker needs.  There will be a van available to shuttle up to 30 bicyclists back to Winterville after lunch and sight seeing in Washington. 
We have been involved with the Athens Land Trust for many years.  They work to preserve land through conservation easements as well as provide affordable housing alternatives.  One area that we have been active in is the needs experienced by existing homeowners who are having trouble maintaining their property due to their age and or financial stress.  Many times these homeowners have no family and no place to turn.  The Athens Land Trust has been helping to fill this need by identifying these particular people and reaching out to them.  They have worked with such organizations as Winterville First Baptist Youth and the Winterville Civitan Club to obtain the needed labor.  One area that is always tough is funding for materials.  We hope that this bike ride will aid in this effort of local organizations to provide for those in less fortunate circumstances.

We also hope that this bike ride will help others come to know the beauty of Wilkes county with the open roads and wonderful history.  We encourage all bikers to come and spend a peaceful weekend in Wilkes and time away from the heavier traffic of denser urban areas.

Looking forward to a wonderful event.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Riding for a Reason Bicycle Ride -- May 21, 2011

We wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know about the Riding for a Reason Bicylcle Ride that will take place on May 21st to benefit the Athens Land Trust. The Athens Land Trust is a non-profit organization with a 15-year history of protecting forest and farmland, providing energy-efficient affordable housing, and revitalizing neighborhoods, which includes building and renovating homes for low-income families.

The ride will begin in downtown Winterville, Georgia, and take some gorgeous country roads to end up at the Fitzpatrick Hotel in downtown Washington, Georgia. The route is approximately 48 miles can be viewed here
Participants' $25 (pre-registration) and $35 (after May 17) entry fee include a t-shirt, refreshments at the beginning and end, as well as at the three planned stops along the route.

For riders wishing to return on the day of the race, a van and trailer will be available to return a limited number of riders and their bikes to Winterville. There are approximately 30 spots available. Please let us know when you register if you would like to reserve a spot on the van.
Route maps will be available on the day of the ride. Pre-registration can be done on-line by going to or by mail using the registration form available on

Spectators welcome along the route and at the start and finish. Donations will be accepted.

Contact Patty at 706-613-0122 or with questions

Hope to see you on the 21st!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I thought I would take this Mother's day as an opportunity to reflect on family.  One of my New Year's resolutions for the last couple of years has been to develop a family tree and a family picture history in our stairway and foyer area of our home.  Mother's day brings this thought to the forefront again.  I think it is important for children and people in general to have an appreciation of their family history.  We study history to appreciate the sacrifices of people and civilizations in order to retain the freedoms we enjoy and not make prior mistakes.  I think it is important that we all have a personal realization of these sacrifices made by individuals in our own families.  This realization can also help us steer clear of problems and understand ourselves.

I find the bonding in a family occurs through the comfort found in repetitive action.  Attending church regularly, eating together at the same time daily, always vacationing the second week of June, etc...  Family can provide stability in an unstable world.  I don't pretend that all families are perfect but I am hoping that we can all strive to make ours a little more perfect.  The family unit is one of the first areas that I learned the concept of forgiveness. 

One of the greatest things that can be done to honor Mothers on this Mother's Day is to maintain family.   When The Fitzpatrick Hotel was reestablished in 2004 one of our goals was to be a family and community focused business.  We would like to renew this pledge this Mother's Day and wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day.