Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is it Bah Humbug or Happy Holidays?

Here we are in the holiday season and a co-worker accused me of being 'bah humbug' the other day! You might ask why she would have said that so I'll tell you. Folks were talking about how stressed and rushed they were in getting all of the presents purchased. My comment was "I've finished my shopping - I've bought nothing for anyone". That lead to her accusation.

So what does it really mean if someone is bah humbug? Well, here's why I don't consider myself as bah humbug, rather I'm simply refusing to be involved in the rampant commercialization of what is supposed to be a religious holiday (and you should know I'm not a religious guy).

1: The Greenville Holiday Parade (or The Polka Dot Elf Makes His Debut)

My Challenge to Conquer Cancer squad decided to have an entry in the Greenville Parade this year. Of course, I did the parade last year with the Bikeville group and I was surprised that I hadn't heard anything about them in the parade this year. So, I committed to the C3 event.

To make things more interesting, Dustin posed a challenge to the group and offered a grand prize. The person with the best decorated bike would win a case of New Belgium's Fat Tire Ale. You would not believe the trash talking that went on from this group! It was pretty fun to say the least. I knew there was going to be some serious contenders out there, so I started making my decoration plans.

I had decorated my bike last year with a few battery operated light sets and some other small items. This year I had to take it to a whole new level! After many hours, here's my final result (the polka dot elf!):

Big John also came out to play:

Along with Milt:

and Tedd:

There were many of my P3C3 friends who came out that night. We had a really good time and I think the kids really enjoyed our decorated bikes. Unfortunately the daylight and / or flash covered up all of the lights that we had decorated our bikes with, so you're still not getting the full effect. However, you can see additional photos at greenville online (C3 group starts at image 156) or you can see the Videos from the parade. (The C3 group is in video 3).

2. The Tacky Sweater Christmas Party at Saffrons (or The Polka Dot Elf Returns)
The following Saturday there was another Holiday event in which I participated. This was an event to benefit Camp opportunity. The event was all about tacky christmas sweaters. You can see some images on Link's Metromix and here's a shot of me (courtesy of the Link)

3. Christmas Lights Ride (or OOOOOOHHHHHHH Look at all the Pretty Lights)
Last thursday (the 17th of Dec), the Flour cycling team posted up a ride through some neighborhoods to look at all the pretty lights. While I did not bring out the polka dot elf, his ride was there. My friend Kari and I met up with the group at the back parking lot of the ECPI college campus. There was about 25 people there and many had done some kind of decorations - of themselves or their bikes. The pace was intended to be slow and for the pure social and viewing pleasure of the riders. There were two routes planned - 11 miles or 16 miles.

The first 4 miles the routes were co-incident. This was interesting with the group as I'm unsure of the experience of some of the riders regarding group rides. It was a bit of stop and go and people were all over the place. You had to be really on your toes to keep from getting tangled up with someone. Thankfully, there was no accidents, although we did have one rider get a flat.

At the point where the two rides diverged, a lot more people decided to do the shorter route than had indicated when polled at the start of the ride. This was quite funny as it left only 6 of us riding on the longer route. What a difference! The 6 who stayed together on the longer route were all experienced riders and our pace immediately picked up. It was no hammerfest, but the experience of the group showed in the pace.

We got off route a few times, but we all smiled and turned around. Every time we passed people we wished them Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. It was a lot of fun. The bonus being the ride through the Roper Mountain Science Center to look at those holiday lights. You don't realize that it actually is a 'mountain' when you drive through it. Riding my single speed surly Elf Bike made me take notice for sure. After the ride, we met up with other riders at Carrabas for a great dinner.

So, what really defines a person who is a scrooge? To me it is more the overall attitude and has nothing to do with how many presents one purchases.

with that, I wish everyone Happy Holidays!!

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