By Brian Coatney
There’s a bicycle for you. Don’t think you’ve outgrown bicycles or that they’ve ridden off to a high-tech world leaving you behind.
Tim Moore, 61, founder of Bikes and Moore says, “Bicycling is a lifetime kind of sport.” Though jogging careers get cut short from runner’s knee, cycling is easy on the joints, not to mention scenic and exhilarating.
Tim stumbled into 34 years of owning a bike shop and riding 3,000 miles a year. At Indiana University, he worked part time two years in a bike shop, describing himself as a “casual cyclist.” After graduation, his job as an insurance claims adjuster brought him to Hopkinsville, where he worked four years, but “it wasn’t me,” he says. Remembering the bike shop at IU, he decided to open his own in 1980.
He describes the area cycling buzz at that time as “almost nonexistent.” Opening his store on the corner of Ninth and Virginia streets, Tim explored good areas to ride and connected people eager to try cycling. After scheduling some rides, he noticed a “snowball effect,” and the local cycling crowd began to increase.
The “Lance Effect” followed in the 1990s, as underdog Lance Armstrong became a world cycling figure. Lance was a cancer survivor — initially predicted to have a 10 percent chance of living — so excitement about his career brought a lot of people into Bikes and Moore. But, what got people hooked on cycling? Tim says, “It’s fun. You feel like a kid again.”
He noted, almost everyone has a favorite bicycle memory.
“A bicycle is a kid’s first vehicle,” he says. “It got you out of the neighborhood.”
In the same vein, cycling is great cardio for children and adults. Tim emphasizes that the leg muscles are the biggest muscles in the body, making the heart work harder to get oxygen to them. Everyone needs cardio.
Tim mentioned that John Schrecker, 67, is in the top 2 percent of area cyclists for skill and
Another part of cycling is the visual appeal.
“The scenery changes way faster, and you generate your own cooling breeze,” Tim says, pointing out Hopkinsville’s “great, great roads and places to ride.”
The area south of U.S. 68 boasts roads on end of low traffic, farm country with flat land and a few rolling hills. For mountain bikers, Land Between the Lakes and Pennyrile State Forest offer numerous trails.
Surprisingly, Tim says a group can ride more effectively than an individual. It’s called the “peloton effect,” a French word for a long line of cyclists. Amazingly, the lead cyclist must work 40 percent harder than the other bikers because of the wind. (Yes, you read that correctly, and Tim has verified this by monitoring his vitals while riding.) This is why the lead rider periodically will move to the left and drop behind the rear, so the riders take turns keeping the wind off the rest of the line.
Group riding spawned the Little River Cycling Club, and Tim credits Dr. Henry Davis for playing a major role in the club’s creation. Ride times are posted on the club’s Facebook page, Little River Cycling Club. Tim emphasizes that there is no elite culture with cycling and no one should fear group rides because riders tend to naturally cluster according to their needs.
If group riding isn’t your forte, don’t forget that anyone can cycle solo and for any old reason. Some just want to cycle in low traffic neighborhoods to enjoy looking around while exercising. You don’t need certain clothes or gear, so throw on a T-shirt and jump on a bike.
Cycling will spike soon with the new Hopkinsville Greenway, also known as the Rails to Trails conversion. Presently a 3-mile stretch is open in Hopkinsville running diagonally from North Drive and Seventh Street to Pardue Lane, a couple blocks over from where Pardue intersects Lafayette Road.
The Greenway is a vision to solve obesity problems, enhance fitness, reduce car pollution, offer bicycle transportation routes and lessen auto traffic gridlock.
Cycling now connects Fort Campbell more to Hopkinsville. Soldiers with injuries preventing them from regular PT get routinely assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion, which features 50 Army owned bicycles, including bikes with accommodations.
Tim has a heart for the program, offering technical support as well as riding with soldiers and encouraging them in their rides on post.
Tim’s wife, Barbara, quit cycling for 15 years, but in 2007 she accompanied Tim on a business trip. He suggested they take a biking vacation, and she surprised him by choosing Italy, which proved to be a fabulous vacation and got Barbara cycling again. Since then she has logged 2,000 miles a year.
When asked for a closing thought from cyclists, Tim quickly replied, “We believe in bikes!”
Brian Coatney the assistant professor of English at Hopkinsville Community College’s Fort Campbell campus. Brian, a Hopkinsville resident, has been with HCC since 2002.
Moore’s tips for bike safety
Stay hydrated. Breezes and wind dry sweat, which mask hydration needs. Keep water handy in a water bottle cage that clips near the handle bars.
Keep tires inflated. Unlike cars, bike tires lose air with such high pressure and thin tire walls. Most flats occur because of under-
Helmets are mandatory on all rides.