Perhaps the most obvious result of the Grand Opening of Archer Braid Trail (ABT) was the numerous bikes given away at the failed raffle. Failed? Uh huh. By definition, a raffle requires that chances be purchased, but the incredible generosity of the bicycle community and those who support bicycling made bikes and a bunch (that's the only word that adequately defines how much there was) of stuff available to be given away because this event was about being joyful and sharing something special.
Another ancillary result of the Grand Opening was the appearance of many bikes which hadn't seen the bright of day since being tucked away out of sight somewhere. Many had rusted chains, brakes that squealed more than stopped and tires showing cracks and needing air. Didn't matter. Archer was celebrating its special mile and a half of wooded, rolling trail and people wanted to be a part of it and use it.
The other thing of special interest is that all those newly acquired bikes and the recently revived ones can now benefit from a bike shop! Chain Reaction Bike Shop, which serves the needs of UF students across the street from campus on University, is working on an arrangement with Archer's Ace Hardware to permit drop-off service for repairs. How cool is that?! So, y'all with your raggedy chains or brakes that don't work, well, you'll find real quickly that repairing a bike costs much less than repairing your car. And those who received the raffle bikes . . . when you need service you have a way to get it done more conveniently. Chain Reaction isn't my FNBS, but if I lived in Archer there's a good chance it would be and based on this kind of reponse to a community they deserve the designation of FNBS!
Archer's a nice place to ride. There're things to see and people seem pleased to see riders . . . they wave and that's a good sign. Many of the roads around Archer are well known to recreational and competitive riders and with ABT it is much more pleasant getting to and using them. Seems like a good place for all of this common folk bicycle riding to grow and for "serious" riders to go. Be nice if Archer could become a focal point of bicycle activity. Maybe that bicycle themed pub I imagine can happen there! Let's see . . . ride down the trail then return for a specialty burger and onion rings, an adult beverage or a milk shake. Need those carbs!