Weir, a columnist with Adventure Cyclist magazine, is a frequent contributor to KUOW, a public radio station in Seattle and the author of Spokesongs and Travels with Willie.
Bill Moll, an organizer for a string of events throughout this week, said Weir will be making his first appearance in Rome on Monday when he speaks at Berry College and later lends a hand in the ribbon cutting for the opening of Berry’s bicycle shop, Viking Cycle Shop.
Weir will speak at noon Monday in Berry’s Evans Auditorium. His topic will be “A Frugal Cyclist’s Guide to the Universe.”
The cycle shop opening will be going on from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., but no ceremony or refreshments are planned for the grand opening event. The new shop is part of Berry’s student operated campus enterprises program.
Moll said Weir will also be all over the region doing as many events as he can to help promote bicycle use in the region.
“We started this last year, and we had a couple of different people come in,” Moll said. “This year we decided to have one person come in for a longer period of time.”
Besides coming to Rome, Weir will also be visiting areas like Chickamauga, Cave Spring, Paulding County, Atlanta, LaFayette and even Ellijay.
In total, he’ll have ridden hundreds of miles around the region with groups of bicycle enthusiasts.
The events will culminate with the April 1 meeting of Bike! Walk! Northwest Georgia where the group will debut a new regional bicycle route map that will allow enthusiasts to search for their favorite routes online.
According to Moll, the beta version of the map will go live after the meeting and will continue to be updated. He also said that map makers for Google Maps, who recently added bicycle routes to their map routes, will also be including Northwest Georgia in the future.
“We’ll be the first rural areas with a complete set of bicycle recommended routes,” he said.
He also said historical markers will be included in the map.
“If someone wants to do some historical tourism on their bicycle, which is probably one of the best ways to do it, they can do that now with the help of our map,” he said.
Those will likely be available sometime in June, Moll said.
Another announcement for the program will be Bicycle Buddy boxes, allowing cyclists and tourists alike to make minor repairs on their cycles around the region if they have problems.
“One of the nice things about riding in this area is there isn’t a huge amount of traffic, but there aren’t a lot of bike stores,” Moll said.
The boxes will feature the ability to buy extra tubes for bicycle tires, for instance, but people won’t likely be able to make major repairs.
Bike week calendar
Here is a list of events where Willie Weir will be talking or riding with participants about cycling and bicycle safety around the region.
Monday: Willie Weir will speak at noon in Evans Auditorium at Berry College. The topic will be “A Frugal Cyclist’s Guide to the Universe.”
At 6 p.m. Trey Smith will lead Weir and participants for a tour of Rome by bike. The ride will leave from Cycle Therapy at 608 Broad St. There will be a social hour afterward.
Tuesday: Weir will be participating in Georgia Rides To The Capitol (http://www.georgiaridestothecapitol.org/). Weir and a group will ride with the group leaving from the north parking lot of the East Lake MARTA rail station just west of downtown Decatur around 10:45 a.m. Pre-register on the Web site at www.georgiaridestothecapitol.org for free to help GRTTC plan for the crowd size.
At 6 p.m., Weir will get a tour of Chickamauga Battlefield, leaving from the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center on LaFayette Road. The ride is around 18 miles and dinner will follow at dinner at Tony’s Italian Restaurant.
Wednesday: 6 p.m. Tim Jones and the Red Top Cycling Club will lead a ride from the Budweiser Brewery in Cartersville. The ride will head toward Pine Log for a ride of about 20 miles.
Thursday: 6 p.m. Bear Creek Bikes will host a ride leaving from the show at 402 North Park Drive in Dalton. The ride of 20-26 miles will be lead by Shane Adams.
Friday: Weir and a group will tour Ellijay and the Cartecay River Bike Shop. Mike Palmeri will lead the 20-26 mile ride starting at 5 p.m.
Saturday: The U-Ride in Calhoun benefits the United Way of Gordon County and a registration fee is required for the ride. More information can be found at www.calhouncycling.org. Options are 14, 35 and 62 miles and the ride starts at 9 a.m. from the historic railroad Depot in downtown Calhoun. Weir will give a talk at 1 p.m. on “Cycling Beyond the Headlines: Colombia & Venezuela”
March 28: Weir concludes his time in Northwest Georgia with a talk on “The Bad Road: Cycling Turkey.” The presentation will be at 2 p.m. in Cave Spring at The Peddler at 22 Alabama St.
April 1: Bike! Walk! Northwest Georgia rolls out its Regional Bike Route Map at the meeting at the Calhoun Depot at 10 a.m.