We are really excited to have Shane Feyers in the East Coast Greenway office in Durham, NC, as a 2014 Summer Fellow. Shane is currently a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, pursuing a Master’s degree in environmental management. In his inaugural blog post below, Shane recounts his first full day working with the Alliance. Learn more about Shane and our other Summer Fellow, Laura Bader here. Just warmly welcomed into the East Coast Greenway operations this week, my first “difficult” task was to spend a gorgeous day riding along the ECG route in Wilmington, NC with the Cape Fear Cyclists from River Road Park to the Fort Fisher Ferry Dock. At the ferry dock, we joined up with a number of other cyclists who were riding with the Cabot Community Tour for the afternoon. Cathy and Myron Skott are in it for the long haul: riding more than 900 miles from Jacksonville, Florida to Manhattan, navigating their trip on the East Coast Greenway (with plenty of help from our new East Coast Greenway smartphone app too!). We got to ride through the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. A hidden gem, this treat is a portion of the East Coast Greenway that everyone in the area should ride if they have a chance. We helped a turtle across the road and had a chance to escape the sun and enjoy the wind underneath some beautiful and aromatic shade trees. The weather was great the whole ride. Having come down from still-chilly New England, I was happy to be introduced into the heat and humidity of the Southern sun for the day. The route, mixed between local greenways and portions that were specifically designated as ECG, was clean and smooth going. I really felt safe (a new feeling for me when I’m out cycling, one I could definitely get used to). Straggling behind with my urban-outfitted bike and city-boy legs, I still felt included the whole time. Everyone was really friendly and we kept together as a group…even when the smell of Britt’s donuts was tempting us apart. Arriving to a Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity build site in the afternoon, we were treated to a great lunch provided by the Cabot Farmers’ Gratitude Grill and offered up as much support as we could muster after forty miles of riding. At the end of the day, (after a couple flats and lots of tans later), riders joined with 65 other Cape Fear Cyclists (CFC) and advocates to celebrate and encourage the Cabot Community Tour at an annual CFC BBQ picnic. Tabling and talking through the evening, ECGA South Atlantic coordinator Niles Barnes had a chance to speak with the crowd about the East Coast Greenway and growing support in eastern North Carolina from organizations like the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Duke University’s Office of Civic Engagement, and also businesses like Piedmont Natural Gas (PNG). Happy to learn that we have such involved sponsors, this was a great example of how diverse organizations and companies can help us develop the ECG and foster more sustainable and healthy communities. With really good food, a little bit of talk about the Greenway, and a much needed carb-loading at the end of the night, I’m really excited to see what’s next in our busy schedule coming up this summer!