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Mayor's Hike Bike and Paddle - Labor Day - the Lock Through

  • Sep 1, 2014 · 9:30 AM

A great opportunity to check out the McAlpine Lock and Dam. Last year over 400 boats locked through with us. this year we want to get twice as many. We will head down stream after the Mayor's cup race and will enter the Portland canal then into one of the 1200 foot locks. Plenty of room for all the boats we could ever have. Then we go to the Jaycees Boat Ramp, in New Albany IN. it is immediately upstream of the interstate bridge. If you want to read the history of the Lock, read the Triumph at the Falls. It is an online free book written by a local historian and paddler Chuck Parrish. http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Portals/64/docs/Ops/Navigation/TriumphAtTheFalls.pdf

The Ohio River up in Pittsburg holds the record for a large canoe flotialla - check it out - 1,700 boats http://www.worldrecordacademy.com/transport/largest_kayak_and_canoe_flotilla_Paddle_at_the_Point_sets_world_record_101739.htm Maybe some year we will top that.

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  • Kim M.

    I had a wonderful time and meet many fun loving, happy people. I'm always amazed at the kindness of strangers who participate in events such as this. If I were to make a suggestion for next year it would be to limit the boat house parking to cars with boats only. I would say that 1/3 of the cars in the lot had bike racks. This made it difficult for boaters who had to carry their boats from other lots when the bikers could have parked anywhere and ridden their bikes to their destination.

    1 · September 3, 2014

  • Kim M.

    I had a wonderful time and meet many fun loving, happy people. I'm always amazed at the kindness of strangers who participate in events such as this. If I were to make a suggestion for next year it would be to limit the boat house parking to cars with boats only. I would say that 1/3 of the cars in the lot had bike racks. This made it difficult for boaters who had to carry their boats from other lots when the bikers could have parked anywhere and ridden their bikes to their destination.

    September 3, 2014

  • David W.

    Wow, the largest gathering of kayaks, canoes and SUP's in Louisville's history, more boats in the McAlpine Lock and Dam. It was wonderful to see the diversity of boats and paddlers. We as event planners have to tweak the system, but with the bridge construction, road work in New Albany, a long wait, our community pulled it off. A neighbor of mine, just finished the Great Loop - they went through 160 locks - or imagine the life of the barge captains who wait patiently to lock through every day. Kudos to the Army Corps of Engineers for safely getting us through the locks safely, Kudos to Mayor Fischer and the office of special events for promoting activities to get us more active, kudos to the paddling community for joining with the Hiking and biking community and the work to celebrate 20 years of the Hike, Bike and Paddle. Let’s take some of the energy below and work to improve access. Let’s re-establish the boat ramp in Shawnee Park. I look forward to seeing folks on the river!

    6 · September 2, 2014

    • Tim P.

      David, any estimate on how many boats locked through this year?

      September 2, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Linda, both good ideas.

      September 2, 2014

  • David H.

    I usually don't post my feelings on events, but I would like to say THANK YOU to all who worked to organize this event. While there is always room for improvement, I think the event went very well considering all the construction and number of people involved, not only in the paddling portion, but also the hiking & biking. I've been to Cincinnati's Paddlefest every year since 2005 & they went through growing pains too. Unlike Paddlefest, where it costs $35 to paddle, this event is FREE. Most people have no idea what it takes to organize an event of this size. It's like trying to herd cats. It's a handful of people who work tirelessly to organize paddling events. All I can say is "get involved."

    4 · September 2, 2014

  • Rick

    Hey I had a great time!
    I had no trouble parking and putting in at the boathouse. I think that's a better strategy than trying to do the waterfront.
    We shd have gotten underway a bit earlier, but a lot going on.
    We did have a big wait at the locks for stragglers Im not sure what to do about that.
    The waves after were cool.
    I was skeptical about the TARC shuttle, but it really worked great for me. I caught the first bus back and was able to turn around and get my boat and still have time to tailgate at the U of L game. Still, we might try to facilitate ride sharing to avoid multiple trips.
    Its my third time to lock thru and I still think its a cool experience.
    Thanks to David Wick and all those who organized and put it on!
    Rick

    3 · September 2, 2014

  • Jack

    The T Storms that were forecasted, did not materialize & made for a perfect day on the water.

    September 2, 2014

  • Wayne E.

    Thanks to all of the organizers. I had a good day on the water.

    3 · September 2, 2014

  • jim

    It was a unique experience and I will be back to do it again. My wife and I started early from the community boat house so we had no traffic issues. It did make for a very full day on the water. I'll be better prepared next year for the waiting time in the lock. Maybe a floating lunch.

    1 · September 2, 2014

  • Robert B.

    I won't do this paddle again. We had no problems getting to the boathouse and getting on to the water. We had no problem paddling downstream and milling around at Waterfront Park with a big bunch of other paddlers. In fact, we met and chatted with a number of people while floating and paddling around. You never meet a stranger while out paddling! We had no problem paddling downstream and into the cannel and on into the lock. But, there our problem started. Probably 99% of the paddlers were there on time and into the locks within about 45-60 minutes of the official start time of 10:45, ( OK, closer to 11 AM). And there we sat. For almost 75 minutes. The problem? The stragglers. The ones who wouldn't or couldn't get there on time. The majority of paddlers were forced to sit , and sit, in the sun, while waiting for the stragglers. There needs to be a time limit for how long the locks will remain open and if you don't make it on time, come back next year. So, I won't do this paddle again.

    1 · September 1, 2014

    • Tim P.

      Robert I also share your frustration with that particular situation. On the one hand, yes I would like to include as many as possible, but on the other, it was very frustrating for those of us who were on time and where we were supposed to be. However, I do not feel that this issue would prevent me from ever participating in this wonderful community event ever again. I enjoyed it, and all the group I was with seem to adapt to the wait as you also mentioned and had some wonderful conversation. So overall I consider it a "WIN".

      September 1, 2014

    • Chris O.

      Did not realize it was to be a sprint to the locks?? We had a 12 year old in her own boat and we made it on time with the majority of the group and waited nearly an hour as well. Had a great time floating and talking to people and checking out the locks. I guess in a group of nearly 500 paddlers and a wide range of experience, some are not going to be as fast as others......Many thanks to the organizers, this was a great event. Sorry to see you go Robert!

      2 · September 2, 2014

  • Debra

    Going through the Locks was a really cool experience! The waves below the Lock were a lot of fun! It was a fun day!

    3 · September 2, 2014

  • Fred S.

    Must be another Democrat administration in Louisville it was run just like Obamacare and our Middle East policy

    1 · September 1, 2014

    • Jesse S.

      Just what we need; another idiot who blames everything on Obama, Democrats and Liberals.

      September 1, 2014

    • Linda I.

      well said and Mitch is stupid and almost as old as I am!

      September 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a terrific time. We launched early and thus had no traffic, parking, nor launching issues. Yes, the wait in the locks was a long time, but it did not affect our enjoyment of the day.

    2 · September 2, 2014

  • Steve

    I drove around downtown from 9am until 10am and never made it to the river. With all the road closures more specific signs and directions would be good next year. I was irate so I had to go to McNeely to paddle off some steam.

    September 1, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry to hear it. The U of L boat launch and cox park was open but we paddled to the waterfront. But we were there by 8:15 dropped boats and spotted a car and trailer at New Albany.

      September 1, 2014

  • Jim B.

    It was a great time and fun paddling the waves coming out of the locks. If we continue to seek large groups we will need to be patient. Anyone that has a complaint with the police or access should call Metrocall at 311. Metrocall will forward the complaints and that will give LMPD the knowledge they need to improve. Complaining to a beat officer will not lead to change as they don't have the authority.

    September 1, 2014

  • Kevin ~

    I can empathize with some of the rage but maybe a "cool-off" period should be observed before pointing fingers and regretting posts later? I'm pretty sure this is 100% volunteer so anyone fired is misguided frustration. How much time did you allow yourself? At least locally, it is well known there is a very large amount of construction going on, requiring extra time and optional put-in sites. So, while anger is understandable, I do not agree with pointing fingers at members here. Just my 2 cents.

    3 · September 1, 2014

    • Tim P.

      I agree Kevin. Being a volunteer at other venues, I think people put a lot of pressure on perfection when we are all just trying to help and make the world a little better by our service.

      2 · September 1, 2014

  • Todd H.

    It looks like there was a little confusion today for the paddling portion of the event. Maybe we should all take a few minutes and remember that not too many years ago that boating was not even included in the festivities. Maybe we should be thankful that we are now a part of the event and work with the organizers to make it bigger and better each year just like the biking and hiking portion has grown over the years. I agree the paddling portion needs a little fine tuning but it can just as easily be removed from future events and then how does that make the paddling community look to the bikers and hikers?

    1 · September 1, 2014

    • Tim P.

      Very well stated Todd. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed today's Paddle event and had arrived around 9am with no issues to the Green Lot as advertised. But after hearing from other boaters, it would appear that the police were not aware that we were told to drop off at the Green Lot and this resulted in some logistical frustration. Also, the take out spot at New Albany was a little confusing as far as which direction in/out everyone should take. But as you stated, this is a work in progress, so we should do a "lessons learned" and make it better for future events.

      September 1, 2014

  • Kim L

    I'd like to thank the organizers and participants for today's event. I had a great time!
    I read that boat drop off started at 7:30, but still didn't arrive until 8:30. The Boyscouts were so nice helping me get my boat unloaded and then again at the ramp helping me launch. I had a sweet little paddle with great people. THANKS!

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • Garry F.

    I drove to Louisville side and couldn't get near the boat house for bike road blocks, so back to Jeffersonville put in at River stage area caught up, did wait in the locks but they shut down with stragglers still in sight. A brave effort to host something with double events taking place... Thanks

    September 1, 2014

  • Richard P.

    Sorry to hear about the people who had problems, but me and the wife had a wonderful time today. We had no problems getting our kayak in the water and it really did not seem like we sat in the locks as long as we did. We spent the time talking to everybody around us and had a good time. Plan to do it again next year.

    September 1, 2014

  • Jack

    I made the event & after reading some of the comments, Maybe, after the event, there should be a meeting with a. Group of paddlers, to critique the event, & suggest ways to improve the event. So the same mistakes are not made, as one implyed.

    September 1, 2014

  • Bob D.

    Happens all the time. the traffic cops don't know a thing and won't use common sense to let people through. Failure to communicate even with all the devises there are nowadays. Somebody dropped the ball...again.

    September 1, 2014

  • Gary T.

    The header for this event is laughable! You want to get 1700 boats on the river?!!!! You can't get us TO the river!!!!! And if I hear one more traffic officer tell me they don't know anything about where people should go when they block a street I'll scream.
    At the very least someone should be availabe by phone or online to help circumvent this kind of problem. Oh, wait there is an app that will solve this problem...NOT.
    It did not help us get around barricades and police vehicles blocking our way to the put in that was less than 3 blocks away!!!
    I wish I had paid more attention to the officers name and badge number, but he was the only one to apologize for our disappointing day. Oh, to think of the other things that we passed on while bragging that we were going to canoe the Ohio River again. So much for being able to say we have done this since it started.
    Again, we are so very disappointed.

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • Adam

    Since this was such a disaster, why don't we try again next weekend? Recreational boats are allowed through the locks any time (after barge traffic).

    2 · September 1, 2014

  • Gary T.

    I see I am not the first to post about this year's paddle. But I still need to express my extreme disappointment of not being able to join the group. Routing the traffic is sitll an issue. It was last year and this year has been worse. We were downtown at 9:30 and were not allowed to get to Waterfront. We were told to go to Zorn and back down River Road only to be stopped at the Big Four. No one could tell us where to go. We have come back home and I am fuming.
    I do not want to hear about everyone's great time on the river this year! David Wicks and Mayor Fischer deserve a 'thumbs down' for not providing a useable route for the paddler's to get to Waterfront. It would have been so easy to let the few of us who were obviously trying to get to the river with our canoes and kayaks go on up the street to the parking lot. I planned to make this trip since last year and now my day is ruined by people who do not know how to plan events.
    The person responsible for this should lose their job.

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • Fred S.

    4 kayaks and 3 canoes got turned away with me.

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • Fred S.

    What a disaster was 1/2 mile away at 10:15 drove around for an hour with a number of others trying to get there and kept getting turned away.

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • Steve

    I'm putting in at the Louisville rowings club boathouse next to Tumbleweed. Will that work?

    August 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    How many miles is the trip

    August 30, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you I will check the weather.

      August 30, 2014

    • David W.

      no need for fenders

      August 31, 2014

  • David W.

    New Albany road construction -
    Use the 10th street entrance to the boat ramp. take main street west to 10th street - there is a small liquor store there on the corner. take it till it dead ends and turn left!!!

    August 31, 2014

  • Jack

    Checking the weather, it now looks like it changed, 30-40% chance of T Storms thru 12pm tomorrow & winds out of the SS/W 11-12 mph, so it could be choppy, lower gage shows 1.3 mph current

    August 31, 2014

    • David W.

      Yep, it could be choppy with a 12 mph wind from the south west.

      August 31, 2014

  • Gary T.

    Wondering what the start time will be this year. Last year it was delayed quite a bit from the advertised schedule. And if we are on the water can we go ahead and move downstream?

    August 27, 2014

    • Garry F.

      I would still have to get back up river.. Duh lol never mind! Lou side is the best

      August 31, 2014

    • David W.

      the canal trip starts at 10:45.

      1 · August 31, 2014

  • Jack

    I think it is always a good idea to have a bow line, but locking thru you should not tie off. Fenders may be helpful with all the kayaks,

    August 31, 2014

  • Debra

    So has anyone heard if we can get the shuttle back to the Community Boathouse ? That's where I would like to park and put my kayak in there if the shuttle drives back there

    August 30, 2014

    • David W.

      yes the bus will drop folks off at the community boat house as well as the waterfront.

      August 30, 2014

    • Debra

      Thanks

      August 31, 2014

  • Adam

    Do we need to bring mooring lines or fenders?

    August 31, 2014

  • Jim G.

    Hello David,

    I'm excited about going through the locks but I don't have anyone to watch my kayak while I'm shuttled back to the Boat House. What should I do? Any suggestions? One thought is to unload my kayak at the Boat House, then drive my car to the takeout at New Albany and ride my bike back to the Boat House to start kayaking. Kind of an odd twist on the Hike Bike and Paddle theme, yes?

    Jim G.

    1 · August 30, 2014

    • Heather

      Hi Jim, can you carry two boats? I am worried about the same thing. I could watch our boats if there's a way to get them both back to the boat house.

      August 30, 2014

    • Debra

      I'm worried about that too. I don't want to leave my boat unless someone watches it

      August 30, 2014

  • Jack

    Jim, I think there are a number of us in that situation,
    I first thought I would take a cable that I use to secure my boat when I travel, (not full proof just a deterrent ) & tie it to one of the steel benches or light post I saw there, but I was able to talk my Son-in-Law to drive my vehicle over to the take out & pick me up.

    August 30, 2014

  • Rick

    iM EXCITE D AOUT THE TRIP BUT WAHT BABOUT TH ESHUTTLE? LAST TIME I GOT STUCK I N CLARKSSVILLE I MNTJE RAIN

    August 30, 2014

  • Linda I.

    I couldn't get the blog page to come on so am using this space, sorry. Can anybody get free on labor day to paddle the elkhorn. It should have lots of water after the rains.

    August 30, 2014

  • Garth

    Is there confirmation that TARC will drop off back at the boathouse? That's where I'd like to put in, if possible. Thanks!

    August 29, 2014

  • Debbie C.

    I called the number for the kayak place by Captains Quarters, and they said all kayaks are rented out. Is there anywhere else to rent a kayak that is near all of the activities?

    August 29, 2014

    • David W.

      Hopefully we will have more rentals in years to come.

      August 29, 2014

  • Debbie C.

    I also called Two Rivers Adventures. There was a link on the Hike, Bike, and Paddle page. Their kayaks are all rented out as well, with a waiting list. Hopefully there are other options.....

    August 29, 2014

  • Bruce G.

    My kids have outgrown our canoe. Will there be any rentals there?

    August 23, 2014

    • Nina G

      Can we use inflatable kayaks out there

      August 28, 2014

    • David W.

      People have gone through with inflatable kayaks before. the new ones are quite strong. you know your boat, will it stand up to 5 1/2 miles of paddling. If it not a toy or pool toy, it most likely will be ok

      August 29, 2014

  • Nina G

    Would an inflatable kayak be ok to use

    August 28, 2014

  • Doug

    "Check out the feature story and pics, in today'­s LouisvilleC­ourier Journal for Mondays lock though at the McAlpine Dam: http://www.­courier-jou­rnal.com/st­ory/life/we­llness/fun/­2014/08/24/­kayaking-mc­alpine-lock­s/[masked]/­";

    Read more…

    August 25, 2014

  • Jack

    I drove over to what I think is the take out, a large Yellow pavilion, if so, there is very limited parking, also, 6th Street is closed, that my GPS first directed me. Is there a traffic plan that I missed, to handle so many cars & buses?

    August 24, 2014

    • David W.

      The construction on main street should be done so both entrances to the park should be open. I used the 10st street entrance to the west of I-64. Parking will be tight though, many people will park along the street.

      August 24, 2014

  • Rick

    Heres the number for the rental near Captains QUarters. YOu can ask whether they will bring them down to the waterfromnt. [masked]

    August 24, 2014

  • Jack

    I'm new to this event, & not familar with the bus procedure & have not seen this ?, is there a charge for the bus & if so do we need the correct change, if so, what would that be

    August 23, 2014

    • Rick

      no charge!

      August 23, 2014

    • Jack

      Thanks

      August 24, 2014

  • Laura R.

    I have never heard of this. New to kayaking. What is the Lock and can someone refer me to any kayak videos of the past events website page?

    August 12, 2014

    • Ed R.

      Laura, this looks like a good time. Lets plan on this one. We can also mention it to everyone at Clear Lake.

      August 13, 2014

    • Rick

      this is grat

      August 23, 2014

  • Howard R.

    I am looking forward to bringing my family. We have biked for years but with my new Kayak I am looking forward to paddling.

    August 23, 2014

  • David W.

    I think the tarc bus will drop people back at waterfront park and the boat house. I have heard that there will be rentals.

    August 23, 2014

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