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Are you any better?

Ever try answering the traditional question “How are you?”, with the simple phrase “Better, thank you.”? Most of the time that answer solicits a follow-up question like “Have you been sick?” The status quo being, well, the way it is, has been ingrained in us as normal, regular and routine. But, we have to ask ourselves occasionally is that really what we want . . . or can we get better?

Can our diet improve? Can we try different foods for an extended time and see if we are better? Can our exercise regimen be better? Can we try different sports or activities, and get better? How about our parenting skills? Can we perform better for our kids, spouses and our aging parents? And of course, our attitude. Can we approach every situation with a better attitude?

So, if you have addressed the all important, “Why?”, concerning your existence, then a next logical approach could be how to be better, we think. Of course, some may think they are good enough. Hard to argue the point with some. But we are enlightened when we see folks attempting to do, and be better all the time in every aspect of their lives.

At RideSouth, we strive to be better every day at helping our customers know about different ways to enjoy the outdoors more. We plan and implement events to motivate folks to participate in activities and better enjoy fellowship and fun experiences together. We seek out better products, and improvements for products and services we have.

We invite you to come to our shop and take home a new kayak or bicycle! We think you will be the better for it!

Thank You,
RideSouth . . . The Way to Ride

Hey! Look at me!

Yesterday, we left early to try and beat the heat for a pre-ride to Vicksburg and a route mapping for the upcoming Recumbent Rally in May. Hey! Look at me! (short video) Sure, Doug Morgan’s reflective vest and bright lights show up well at night, but the bright colors and lights also work well in the bright sunshine and shadows!

So, when we ride the Trace and barely see cyclists in dark colors, it begs the question. Why? Of course, the reds and blues look good on the design screen, and on the dummies in the ads, but why would any safety minded designer use these colors for jerseys to wear out in the distracted public? They appear black in the distance and in the shadows! When your lights fail, you are invisible!

We don’t blame the cyclists all the time, because some of these jerseys were earned, but we should hold the jersey designers accountable. There are plenty of patterns and designs that can be based on the high-vis lime green or yellow background. And, if just one accident, or life is spared . . .

Recently, the Little Mountain ride was held near Kosiusko to honor Dr. Holdiness, who had been a customer of ours. Like Gary, thousands of cyclists have ridden on the Natchez Trace almost daily because it is the safest and most scenic place to ride in the country! Here is a pic of Dr. Russell Rooks at the summit of that ride on his recumbent!photo Way to go, Russell! This is a GOOD story!

Now, we don’t profess to know all the answers. Heck, we don’t even know many of the questions! But, we do know that to survive, you have a better chance if you are as visible as you can be . . . and ride as if you are invisible! If you can distract the drivers from their distractions, just long enough for them to get around you safely, well, you have done your job.

If you choose to ride a recumbent, stay tuned for the Recumbent Rally and Convention to be based in Flowood, Mississippi May 1-9 2015! There will be sessions for all BentLovers to participate in! Put the dates on your calendar. We are almost ready to publish our events page for you to sign up on, so stay tuned, and stay safe!

Recumbent Rally and Convention Planning

Recumbent Rally and Convention Planning

The Rally Committee has done the hard work to set a date and a place! The dates of the Rally events are May 1-9, and the center of events is Flowood, Mississippi. While no date will be perfect for all, early May provides optimum weather and fewer holiday conflicts. Mississippi seems to be a center of recumbent activity for the entire Southeast, if not the entire USA, and the growth of cycling infrastructure is most prevalent in Flowood, Mississippi. So now the fun begins!

Here is a skeleton of the event agenda. We have been ambitious in planning events for everyone, so you will have some choices to make. We need help to implement all of these activities and we expect many of you will volunteer!

Friday, May 1:
Workshop Clinic at 3, Short Bay Ride at 4, Welcome Dinner at 7, including keynote speaker.

Saturday, May 2:
Metric Century from the RideSouth shop or Ridgeland Century from Ridgeland. Both rides include the scenic Natchez Trace, begin at 7 and have variable distances. Separate sign-up required for the Ridgeland Ride.

Trail Ride at 7:30, all on trails and lanes from the RideSouth shop. Variable distances from 10-30 miles.

3:00-4:30 PM; Speed trials on East Metro Parkway in downtown Flowood on new, wide bike lanes, little traffic, loops are 3.2 miles, rolling hills, one minute intervals, free frozen yogurt.

4:30-6:00 PM; Free test rides at RideSouth shop

7:00 PM; Recumbent Forum, accessible by bike lanes and trails, providing a variety of topics and panel discussions by leaders in the industry and law enforcement officials.

Sunday, May 3:
Begin ride to Vicksburg Military Park at 8:00 AM . . . or
Transport shuttle to Vicksburg Military Park at 9:00 AM . . .or
Transport shuttle to Prentiss to ride LongLeaf Trace
Picnic lunch in Vicksburg or Sumrall
Transport back to RideSouth shop at 3:00 PM from Vicksburg or Hattiesburg

Monday, May 4:
Transport leaves RideSouth for Natchez at 6:00 AM.
Begin Natchez Trace Tour from Natchez to Nashville (via the Tanglefoot Trail)
Transport back to Flowood Saturday, May 9 for Flowood Festival
Tour details and SAG to be arranged. Please let us know if you can help!

We need passionate recumbent riders, and friends, to volunteer for helping to make this Recumbent Rally and Convention a world class event! We are soliciting your feedback on assistance, forum topics, speakers, costs and events. We understand there are thousands of recumbent riders who may be interested in some, or all, of the events we will offer. This is a chance for us all to grow and learn from each other, and we are excited to be a part.

Please respond by e-mail to info@ridesouth.com and indicate how you would like to participate. We will put your address in a database for further updates on the event.

Thank You,
RideSouth Recumbents, LLC

The RideSouth Experience

The RideSouth Experience

Yesterday, while waiting for an appointment in a nearby building, a customer walked into RideSouth. We met him at the door and asked how we could help him today. Expecting to be in a typical bike shop, he commented that he had recently bought a bike like one of our cruiser bikes. As most customers do, he began looking around with an inquisitive look on his face.

It happens almost every time. Customers go from a slightly defensive disposition to a demeanor of wonder. We love seeing inquisitive minds begin to open to new possibilities and more choices than they are used to seeing in other shops. As we discussed other options, including the wide range of recumbents, drive shaft bikes, and even velomobiles he looked at me intently, trying to process the information. Our eyes locked for a long time, the customer looking for a contradiction that wasn’t there. Before he left, he wanted to ride a recumbent around the parking lot. The wonder on his face escalated to joy. He left, late for his meeting, calculating how to deal with the expansion his mind had just undergone. We are sure we will see him again.

This is what we are committed to at RideSouth . . . mind expansion. Of course, some resist and want to stay with the status quo. That is ok, too. We totally understand. Our own fifteen years of experience on “out of the mainstream” bikes and boats, and thousands of customers giving us positive feedback and testimony, drives us to expose folks to the possibility, that is all. It is OK to be different.

Folks rarely buy from that first exposure. They will analyze for a few days, to a few years. Some wait to raise the money, many wait to raise the courage to be different from their peers. Some just want to fit in and ride big name bikes. That is perfectly fine with us. Some wait for a debilitating injury, a painful fall or illness. Some just wait to age more.

So, if you are ready for an experience that may change the way you view the world, at least on a bicycle or kayak, walk into our store for the first time. Get involved in our group rides, events and adventures. Have your bike serviced in our excellent service department. Check out our accessories for cycling and kayaking. Help us to grow the cycling industry and infrastructure in our community. Help yourself to have more fun!

RideSouth . . . The Way to Ride!

To Our Electra Customers

RideSouth has promoted the Electra Brand, including the Townies, for our fifteen years of existence. Many of you have trusted us in our recommendation of the brand and the bikes. Earlier this year Electra sold out to Trek bicycles. This is unfortunate for the Electra brand, we feel. We have elected to discontinue buying Electra products and want to have nothing to do with the company. We still have many Electra bicycles to sell and will discount them, starting today, until they are gone. Of course we will warranty the products we sell.

RideSouth has made a business of dealing with folks that have integrity and companies that provide exceptional service. Electra no longer meets our criteria. We are bringing in some neat commuter bikes and are expanding our recumbent line-up. Please visit our shop soon to see what’s new and save money on our remaining Electra bikes. We recognize you have chosen RideSouth as your preferred dealer and we will do everything in our power to live up to your high standards.

Thank You,
RideSouth . . . The Way to Ride

Hobie Pro Angler

Hobie Pro Angler

We have both sizes in stock now! See us at the Reservoir Boat Show on May 31 and June 1!

More info on the Pro Angler . . .

Happy Challenge

Happy Challenge

Some of our customers . . .

We would like to challenge you to recall a time when you have felt happier than the moment we captured at your RideSouth purchase/purchases, depicted in these photos of you! It will take some time to browse all the smiles to find yours, perhaps, but we remember each and every one of these moments as being a joyful and determined event for you!

Now, we understand life offers many opportunities to feel happy, and life offers many challenges. Some things change, and some things stay the same. The real challenge is for us to remember the good times and the positive things we have done in the past . . . and repeat them, over and over. Yes, our memory fades sometimes and we need reminding. Consider this a friendly reminder that we remember a time when you were happy . . . and we hope you still are!

So, we are challenging you to repeat those smiles by enjoying that bike or kayak again! Dust off the seat, air up the tires and go for a ride! Load up that kayak and experience the joy of going somewhere new, or familiar, on the water! Find that “room without a roof” in the great outdoors! It sure makes Pharrell Williams “Happy” in his hit song by the same name!

If you need a venue for your re-adventure, join us for a Picnic Ride/Float this Sunday, April 27 at Jeff Davis Lake, in Prentiss! There will be folks in the same boat there! Ride as much as you want around the lake, or on The Longleaf Trace, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with friends and family. The Picnic Event will be from 2-7 PM at the main pavilion at the lake. If you need a ride, the RideSouth bus will take you there! If you need more information just call the shop. That makes us happy!

601 992-2490
info@ridesouth.com

Picnic Ride Next Sunday!

Picnic Ride – Sunday April 27 Jeff Davis Lake, Prentiss, MS

This is everyone’s chance to join us for the first ever RideSouth Picnic Ride, to be launched at Jeff Davis Lake! Just take Hwy 42 east from Prentiss, Mississippi for only a couple of miles and turn left. The lake is surrounded by beautiful new trails with some great roller-coaster hills. You can ride two or three miles in the lake area, or take the trail to the fabulous LongLeaf Trace which is only two miles from the lake. Of course the Trace offers up to 41 miles each way, so all of your options are open! You can even bring your kayak down to enjoy the peace and quiet of the lake on the water!

So, the proposed agenda is to bring a picnic for you and your family to enjoy, either before you ride, or after . . . or both! We will have water, Powerade and paper products. We have reserved the large pavilion from 2:00 – 7:00 PM on Sunday, April 27. We realize this is late notice, but the weather is great and this is picnic season, so why not! Bring your trike, bike or kayak to enjoy along with some picnic fare and everyone is sure to have a great time! We will cover the pavilion rental for the day and even the boat launch fee for our kayak customers. We may even have a Hobie kayak for you to try!

The RideSouth Bus will leave the shop by 12:30 PM Sunday if you would like to ride with us. Tickets are $10 and we will have room for 12 people in the bus, and your bikes and trikes. Please have your machines at the shop Saturday afternoon for bus loading if you can. What better way to demonstrate all the cool toys we provide than a Picnic Ride! Please give us some feedback concerning your interest so we can plan better.

RideSouth . . . The Way to Picnic!

info@ridesouth.com
601 992-2490

It’s gonna be a Hobie weekend!

It’s gonna be a Hobie weekend!

RideSouth will receive a truckload of brand new Hobie Kayaks this Saturday afternoon! If you have put off that desire to be moving on the water, HANDS FREE, here is your chance to get the fresh Hobie Mirage Kayak of your dreams! If you have a special request, we have another shipment leaving California next Monday and we need your order NOW! Please call us to check on availability of your boat on these two shipments.

As we have a few used Hobies left, we will offer a ONE TIME DEMO sometime this Sunday, if weather permits. Please come in to the shop today, or Saturday, to discuss options on your participation in the demo and the times available. We offer this to our good customers that need just a bit of prodding to make one of the best buying decisions ever! We hope you will then understand why we also say . . . RideSouth . . . The Way to Paddle!

www.RideSouth.com
info@ridesouth.com
601 992-2490

Safety Concerns on the Trails

Safety Concerns

Yesterday, there was an incident on the Tanglefoot Trail concerning us. No one was hurt, but it could have been worse. A small child stepped in front of some of our riders causing rapid braking and avoidance maneuvers at high speed. First of all, and most importantly, let me state that I take full responsibility. Even though the incident happened way behind me, the little girl must have turned to look at my trike as I rushed past.

Please help us avoid this situation in the future by following these guidelines:

Let’s avoid racing, high speed drafting and close proximity riding, when there are people on the trails. It is tempting to open up when the trail appears open, but kids or animals can dart out anytime. Sunday afternoon is not the time to see how fast you can ride on the trails!

If you find yourself leading a group of riders, alert the rider behind when walkers are approaching. That is the leader’s responsibility. Indicate you are slowing and stay far to the right. If you find yourself in the middle of a group, also stay far to the right. It is not safe to ride offset and to the left so you can see ahead, if you are in a group. That blocks the vision of riders behind. If you do not know the rider in front, you should keep more distance between.

If you find yourself in the back of a group it is your responsibility to focus on the rider ahead, maintain a large gap, and be ready to brake. You have the added responsibility of alerting riders in front of you of passing cyclists (or cars, on the road).

Some trails across the country have a speed limit of 20 MPH. Let’s impose that limit on ourselves, and go slower when there are people or other riders. Many of us know our bikes and engines are capable of more, but let’s save that for the road, not the trails. As recumbent riders, we must be ambassadors of safe, responsible riding because we are faster and more visible.

This incident aside, our Tanglefoot Tour yesterday was a success. Everyone toured both the north and the south portions of the trails getting in from 50-87 miles for the day. Everyone seemed to enjoy the south end of the trail a bit more, perhaps because of more trees and people. The facilities that have been completed are first class. The trail was relatively clean and the surface was smooth, except for the bridges. There are many crossings that need to be heeded as cars are reluctant to stop for cyclists. The RideSouth bus and Rack-n-roll trailer transported riders and everyone’s bikes and trikes easily, without incident.

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We will consider this tour again sometime later this year. We made many new friends on the trail yesterday. Unfortunately, we almost had a terrible accident. My lesson learned is to be a better leader. We hope everyone will help with that challenge so even the fine folks on the Tanglefoot will know that RideSouth is The Way to Ride!