Bicycling. To the Kentucky Derby!

I'm a master planner. I love organizing and planning for fun, efficiency, safety and thrill. So when Cathey Sell, a college friend of my mothers sent me two Churchill Down shareholder passes for the 2014 season, I knew I'd be in attendance May 3, 2014.

You may have noticed a lapse in daily blog posts recently. I'd love to admit I took time off throughout Derby Festival to enjoy each and every day's offerings in and about town. However, it has been a few weeks of out-of-balance work days. I managed fairly well and participated in more than I thought I would. Note to self: take on less work from March Madness through Derby. Especially if my team, UCONN is playing against a Kentucky team!

Leaving the Henry Clay to bicycle to Churchill Downs.

Leaving the Henry Clay to bicycle to Churchill Downs.

This week represents my 6th month living in Louisville after making a daring move to relocate my entire life and business here from Portland Oregon. Most people ask me why the heck I choose Kentucky. I have criteria that I knew I wanted in a new city. Louisville won. After officially being here 6 months, I can safely say... I'm 100% sure I made the right decision. 

It's been a month of analyzing how to go about experiencing this past weekend's event. Every local has their own opinion of how to enjoy the fastest 2 minutes in sports. Being completely ignorant to this event, I asked questions like, "Can I bring in PBJ sandwiches?" "Where does my pass allow me to roam?" "Is everyone in a hat?" "How many people attend?" "Why is everyone talking about Oaks Day instead?" It was all a bit overwhelming, but I was determined to make the entire day of the event, as I said above: fun, efficient, safe and thrilling. 

Nobody on the street! Why don't more people do this?

Nobody on the street! Why don't more people do this?

My good friend Dave came in from LA and our Derby day was perfect. The weather cooperated and we hopped on our bicycles around noon. I live on 3rd St downtown and Chruchill is right down the street 3.3 miles. When I mentioned my bicycling idea, most locals did not support the concept. But, I have to tell you- it was the best idea ever. A bike lane follows most of 3rd St to the University area. Most people driving to Churchill are coming from the highway. Very few cars were on 3rd Street from downtown. Those that were on our route stopped next to us at a light, rolled down their windows and gave us a thumbs up or told us we were awesome. It was fun. UofL baseball stadium had some bicycle rack space available and in full sight of many people and police officers, so I felt safe locking my two bikes up there. 

Hopping on bikes to ride home. 

Hopping on bikes to ride home. 

After betting on California Chrome and winning about $115, biking home was incredibly easy. We walked out, headed to our bikes, unlocked them and were on our way. We were home within 15 minutes. I had an amazing day. And, don't tell anyone, but I did happen to sneak in PBJ sandwiches, carrots and celery. Brought sunblock and drank plenty of… water. And a couple mint juleps. Nothing excessive. I was, indeed, bicycling home! Fun, efficient, safe and thrilling = CHECK.

My first Kentucky Derby outfit for the evening. Fascinator and all!

My first Kentucky Derby outfit for the evening. Fascinator and all!