Are you familiar with pump tracks? Until a reader wrote in last week to tell us about a local petition to get one added to an East Asheville park, I hadn’t heard of them. A dirt, concrete, or asphalt looped track with mounds that maximizes your momentum and allows you to ride continuouslywithout pedaling, pump tracks were originally designed in the ’70s and ’80sfor mountain bikers + folks in the BMX (Bicycle Motocross) scene, they’ve grown in popularity since the first new era pump was built in Colorado in the early aughts by pro downhiller Steve Wentz. Within a few years, pump tracks began spreading throughout the country for both amateur + professional riders. In fact, riding on pump tracks has been recognized as an official sport by the UCI International Cycling Association, the world governing body of cycling.
Their growing renown is due to several factors, including that they are relatively cheap to construct and low maintenance. Of course, the cost and work necessary to properly maintain a pump track depends largely on whether or not it’s dirt or other material like asphalt. Pump tracks also offer opportunities for healthy + active outdoor fun for both groups and individuals, and can be used-year round by all levels and ages. Plus, they’re easy to use, relatively quiet, and don’t emit a lot of pollution. Some folks have found them to be especially convenient + useful during the pandemic.
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Weather ○ 51º | Rain | 83% chance of rain
NowOpen ○ Restaurant + sports bar The Village Porch(51 N. Merrimon Ave., Ste. 113) opened Fri. in the former Monk’s Tavern location. From 4-10p.m. daily, you can dine-in or pick up an array of burgers, salads + appetizers, like candied bacon and truffled tater tots, as well as house wine, cider, and 23 taps. 🍔
Coronavirus ○ Check out the latest COVID-19 stats for NC from the Department of Health and Human Services here. As of Sunday afternoon, 15,023 cases and 287 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. See more Buncombe County-specific info, including waitlist numbers and vaccines distributed, here. ○ Buncombe County Schools’ students + staff will be included in a statewide COVID-19 testing pilot program for schools. Students that have symptoms while at school will be able to get swabbed + tested on campus with the thousands of antigen tests + swabs sent by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 🤒 (WLOS)
Arts ○ The Bicycle Film Festival showcases all things related to urban cycling culture. It’s gone virtual for its twentieth iteration this year. Tickets are available on a sliding scale, and allow you to stream the collection — which highlights biking internationally — to your tablet, computer, or smart TV. It runs through Feb. 28, and a portion of all ticket sales will benefit the fest’s host, nonprofit Asheville on Bikes. Nab tix here. 🚲
Edu ○ Asheville Chamber has partnered with NC-based nonprofit District C and North Carolina Science and Math to help mountain high school students develop the perseverance + tools necessary to solve complex business problems.On Wed., Feb. 24, teams of studentsfrom five area school districts will meet for the AVL First in Talent Collective pitch event and propose solutions to local business reps via Zoom from 6-7:30 p.m. RSVP here. 📘
TryThis ○ Check out theBlue Ridge Parkway from a chopper — virtually — with the help of author + comedian Hawk Hagebak at 11 a.m., Tues., March 2. The free, half-hour webinar will be an insightful + humorous take enjoying the iconic 469-mile route, as well as the “Code of the Road” (a.k.a., the unwritten rules for those traveling the Parkway). Register here. ⛰️
BlackHistoryMonth ○ Haywood Community College’s first Black forestry grads Ron Davis Sr. + Hilliard L. Gibbs Jr. recently reflected on their path + their part in trailblazing the way for other people of color pursuing careers in natural resources. Together with their fellow HCC graduates, the two created a scholarship to support forestry students. Read more about their unique contributions to area historyhere. 🌳 (Smoky Mountain News) ○ The AARP Mountain Region is hosting “Actively Aging Through Activism and Art,” a virtual lecture with African American historian, writer + artist Ann Miller Woodford. The Andrews native will share the history + voices of African Americans in WNC. Register for the event here. 💻
DYK ○ Legendary singer Gladys Knight and her husband William McDowell recently received their COVID-19 vaccinations in neighboring Haywood County. The seven-time Grammy Award winner created the nonprofit community centerRHS Community Foundationin Canton and hopes to encourage others to get the vaccine. 💉 (Smoky Mountain News)
Dish ○ Daily Harvest helps busy folks stock their homes with clean, delicious food built on real fruits and vegetables. Choose from more than 80 chef-crafted recipes delivered to your door and ready to enjoy in minutes. Get $25 offyour first box with code 6AM. Ⓟ
Home ○ In the market for a new water heater? HAYNES Plumbing is currently offeringflat rate, all-inclusive water heater installations. Read: You can stay safe + comfy at home. Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
BWAP’s mobile spay/neuter clinic visits the AHS Community Center on Wednesdays, giving more folks access to services that help end pet overpopulation and homelessness. The grant will enable the orgs to offer more spay/neuter vouchers to folks who need, and we couldn’t love it more. 🐾
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Community ○ Animonday| Mon., Feb. 22 | 1-9 p.m. | Asheville Retrocade, 800 Haywood Rd. | Free | Talk, game + listen to all things anime. 🎮
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.