America's State Parks Virginia State Park Ambassadors
Smith Mountain Lake State Park Osprey Cam



Follow Us On:

Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter Follow Us On YouTube Virginia State Parks
Virginia Department Of Conservation And Recreation

Download The Virginia State Parks Mobile App


Virginia State Parks

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

An introduction to a tale of inactivity, sneaking out of the office, and just maybe a few shenanigans from our Promotions Manager.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, we used to be so close.  When did we grow apart?  It’s all my fault, she’s been there the entire time and I’ve just ignored her.  I can’t even summon the courage to look her way.  The guilt is killing me….

Oh, wait a minute, I’m not talking about my wife or my overly needy Aussie.  I’m thinking about my bike as I grab a nut from the workbench in my garage.  Not too long ago I used to be a fairly serious rider, never a mountain biker but a fairly decent road cyclist.  For whatever reasons, and not a single good one on the list, I hung my bikes on the garage wall years ago and haven’t ridden for a very, very long time.  It’s kind of sad, but mostly pathetic.

Steve's bike

The smarmy bike that started this whole thing. 
Let’s see how she feels once she’s covered in mud.
Let’s go back a bit.  I have what I think is probably the best job in Virginia State Parks, I’m the Promotions Manager, and get the privilege of hanging around with the coolest people in the state.  My job is to promote one of the best park systems in the country to mountain bikers, kayakers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. I also work with corporate sponsors, local communities, and sport oriented organizations on special projects across the state.  Yep, it’s a pretty nifty job.  

The biggest project by far that I’m currently involved with is The Richmond Regional Ride Center.  If you’re not familiar with the venture, our plan is to construct 20+ miles of trail in Pocahontas State Park to compliment the fantastic trails and amenities already in the Richmond area.  When the trails are finished, Richmond will become one of the few select cities that meet IMBA’s stringent Ride Center criteria.  What it all boils down to is Richmond will be one of the hippest places you can find to bring your bike for a few days to ride, hangout, and goof off.   

Our partners in the project include a broad spectrum of non-profit organizations and other entities.  We have the International Mountain Bike Association and their local chapter RVA MORE representing the mountain bike community, along with  Trail Solutions handling the design and construction of the new trails at Pocahontas State Park, Paralyzed Veterans of America assisting with fundraising, grass roots projects and facility design, James River Park System with their existing trails and upgrade projects, and the Friends of Pocahontas State Park and the Virginia Association for Parks helping in too many ways to list.  Other partners include the State of Virginia, City of Richmond, and Chesterfield County governments, Monumental Consulting handling the fundraising duties, and a growing list of corporate sponsors headed up by Dominion Power.  As I pointed out earlier, not a bad group to hang out with.  

Yeah this is the OFG Steve Boyd Promotions Manager for Virginia State Parks
Me, the OFG, “Old Fat Guy” in my office and the last picture you’ll see of me for a while

The problem is, I haven’t been getting out of the office much these days.  Nobody’s fault but my own, but that’s about to change.  In fact, like a child, I’ve been told to go outside and play by my superiors.  I bought a mountain bike last year thinking I would get outside and learn how to ride it but it has only become a constant reminder of my inactivity.  I’m the only person I know who dusts his bikes instead of using a hose. 

Here’s my plan.  I’m going to take advantage of my situation and pull the bike off the wall, start riding again, and let everyone know what’s going on with the Ride Center Project.  It should be slightly humorous (see old, fat guy picture), a little embarrassing, hopefully not too painful, and a tad informative if it works out right.  If this works out I’ll probably try to get the higher ups to buy into my scheme for an “Outdoor Adventure” series and be sneaking away to Grayson Highlands State Park for some bouldering, Shenandoah River State Park for the zip line, and New River Trail for some kayaking.  

Office trail for Steve Boyd Promotions Manager Virginia State Parks

Central Office trail map, what’s wrong with this picture?

Hmmmm…..this is sounding better all the time. 

Now I’m going to go home, treat the bikes to a nice evening of fresh chain lube and a tune, apologize, and hope they forgive me.  My wife, who runs at the sight of a lady bug and insists that I never go outside again because the dog and I got into a yellow jackets nest last week, has even volunteered to join me in some of my adventures and to not be jealous if I fall in love with the bike again.  Now I just have to learn how to explain to Scout the Wonder Dog why I went to the park without her and I’m good to go.

Time to get on the horn and make some plans, stay tuned…..

Steve B

Published: 08/06/2014

No comments have been submitted for this article yet.


Want to comment on this article? Sign in or register to become part of our online community.






Home Join an Online Outoor Community Get Outside Learn Explore Podcasts & Media Outdoor Destinations Outdoor Activities Home