Category Archives: Adrian Bike Club

Watermelon Wanderers

Regrettably, I missed this past Monday’s club ride in Tipton. Fortunately however, Bob was kind enough to share the following:

We started out the watermelon ride from Tipton with 14 eager riders on a warm Monday evening ride. Two new riders that have joined us for their second ride was Jeff and Greg. I’m sure they will be back with us . John had a flat just before getting to the Pentecost Junction store and I backtracked and pumped his tire up so that he could make it to the store to change it. Bill had a blowout just before reaching Springville Highway from Lock Erin and  John went back to Tipton to get his truck to rescue Bill. We ended up with 11 riders for watermelon at my house as some had departed for home. It was a good evening for some fellowship.

Yes, a good time was had by all. Of course, had I been along, those flats never would have happened. Sorry I missed it.

See you all tonight.

No Sleep Til…

…BROOKLYN! This one’s for all you fellas’ (the ladies won’t ride with us anymore) who kicked it up Hawkins Highway on last night’s Maple Wheelers’ ride.

We had a jolly ol’ time pedaling about north of Onsted. Upon arrival in Brooklyn, we stopped by the best ice cream joint we’ve hit to date on a club ride. As Bart and I vie for which of us will be dubbed Le Velo of the group, the girls behind the counter clearly cast their vote, giving me the biggest single-scoop ice cream cone I’ve ever seen in my life, and sending Bart away with a dainty little helping. (The comments area is now open for snarky remarks about whether or to what extent size matters.)

Afterward, Bob treated us to a stellar tour of a little known cul-de-sac in south Brooklyn. It was magical.

Another semester gets underway in two weeks, and an awareness of the season drawing to a close looms overhead. Time is running short as far as the Maple Wheelers rides are concerned. I hope you’ll make a point to join us for the rides that remain. See you Monday in Morenci.

Our Town

A record nineteen people (it’s official, now, because I’ve clearly stated, “a record…”) showed up for last night’s spectacular, first-annual, High-Rise Ride, led by the inimitable Tom McNaughton, who even picked up the tab on the cooler full of frozen treats.

Everyone was there, from Russell, who is training for an Ironman, to Norman, who had never climbed Wilmoth before, but did so last night on a recumbent trike.

For better or worse, the ride spread out a lot, but no one seemed to mind too terribly much, and everyone ultimately hung in. Bob flatted on the final leg, providing John, Bill, and myself with a good opportunity to stand around and do nothing while he swapped out a fresh tube. No, wait; that’s not true. Bill took this picture.

At one point, Tom even chased two deer, proving that he is, in fact, the most interesting man in the world. (Take a second, and click that link.) Of course, I would have been far more impressed, personally, had he caught one. I mean, anybody can chase a deer.

OK, enough of that. The highlight of the night, what everyone turned out for, was the chance to see our fair city from atop the apartment complex at the corner of Church and College.

If anyone can tell me what on earth "the other Tom" is doing in this picture, I'll give you a dollar. The comments section is open.

That was a wicked sweet. You never know what you’ll get at a Maple Wheelers ride. Sure, most of the time you can guess, and it’s rarely something you’d choose to relive if given the option. But occasionally, it’s something legitimately cool. (There are rumors, by the way, of a watermelon stop on the Wednesday night ride. Just sayin’.)

With Friends Like These

It’s been a while since I last extolled the virtues of the local Maple Wheelers club. But it’s important that you understand fully what a magnanimous bunch of folks they are. Here’s an illustration.

Last night, while I was sequestered in a small basement room participating in a three-and-a-half hour meeting, they were out enjoying a beautiful evening on their bicycles, and they were kind enough to send me this picture … while I was still actually in the meeting. Does it get anymore thoughtful than that? I think not.

This was Lauren’s inaugural ride on her swanky Trek Lexa. Lauren, I know, is destined for cycling greatness, and I really hate that I missed the first opportunity to watch her drop these guys like a bad habit! Welcome to the club, Lauren. There’s no turning back now.

up and coming

Yeah, yeah, long time, no post. So what. What’s one to do when there’s nothing going on and the budget for shiny, new bike bits is flat busted? We’re all just trying to get by, right, biding our time until the weather breaks, school lets out, daylight is extended, and we get back to our two-wheelin’ ways.

We’re on spring break this week, and I’ve found myself wearing whatever items of cycling-themed and summer-weight apparel I can reasonably get away with. This morning, I sent my youngest daughter to daycare wearing a Red Radio Shack cycling cap for show-and-tell, which is featuring the letter “R” this week.

Last night, I caught a one-hour highlight reel of the Tour of Oman on Versus. If you’re interested, coverage of Paris-Nice begins Sunday, at 4p. You really don’t have to be into racing. It’s just a great way to get amped up about riding again.

More importantly, back on the home front, it’s shaping up to be a big year for cycling in Lenawee county. In addition to the Hospice of Lenawee Run, Walk, & Bike Tour in June, and the fourth annual ACDC Ride in September, two new organized events are taking shape.

On May 21, the Tecumseh Center for the Arts is sponsoring the tentatively named “Tour de Tecumseh,” which will off a heap of family-friendly fun as well as a long route for seasoned riders.

Then, on June 4, Habitat For Humanity of Lenawee is hosting the “Lenawee Cycle of Hope—Ride to Tabitha’s House,” which will also offer opportunities for casual and serious riders alike.

Stay tuned for more details.

Meanwhile, I’m still in search of members for the 2011 Team Hadrian Tour de Cure squad and seeking sponsors. The event is Saturday, June 11, in Brighton.

And local club rides will most likely kick off unofficially in April (if not sooner), but look for the official Maple Wheelers’ ride calendar to begin circulating in May. Anyone interested in  a ride on March 13 to celebrate the return of Daylight Savings Time, and/or March 20 to welcome the first day of spring?

You best get your bike tuned up.

hills and curves

All I’ll say is that you had to be there in order to fully appreciate my post title, which, believe it or not, is perhaps one the most astute and succinct bits of social commentary qua theory of everything I’ve ever heard.

So, while you were on the couch, the Maple Wheelers were kickin’ it taco style one last time at the twilight of the season.

Daniel showing everyone what the photo on his drivers license looks like

what things might have looked like after going over the handlbars. of course, our mad riding skills are far too deft for that.

glinski strikes a contador

the last time we were in Bill's rearview

code name: Bob's-a-blur

Mark and his amazin' technicolor dream jersey

I thought we were riding into the sunset, but it turned out to just be Mark. (I can get away with saying stuff like that because he doesn’t read the blog. Otherwise, he’d probably kick a stick into my spokes.)

All pics courtesy of Bill the Great, leader of rides and a prince among … well, those of us who ride together, whatever we are. Thanks, Bill.

Prior to the celebratory beers and tacos, the ride concluded with an inglorious ascent up a beast of a climb on Rome road, just before you reach Geneva Highway if heading east from Townley Highway. Some thought it worse than Wilmoth; others thought it less so. Either way, thanks to Marisa egging everyone on, we all tackled it, and that ensured an equal share of grimaces and grins.

A-Triple-C

Momentum is really building with the Adrian College Cycling Club (ACCC).

Among other things, the club just helped push through a move to get additional bike racks ordered and placed around all of the academic buildings on campus. We’re meeting every other Tuesday evening, and putting together club rides whenever we can.

We’re still trying to assemble a couple of pedal-powered blenders we can use to make smoothies to sell as a fundraiser. I have the blenders. If you can help with assembly, let me know.

In case anyone is unclear, I’m the old, relatively ugly fellow toward the middle, the one with the bald spot.

If you’re interested, there’s an article about us in this week’s edition of the student paper (The College World). And if anyone is free and would like a chance to interact with club members and college alums over the course of a very easygoing ride out-and-back on the bike path, we’re hosting the first annual Bulldog Ride on Homecoming weekend. Click here for further details.

uno, dos, tres, burrito

I finally made it to the Maple Wheeler’s monthly Taco Ride this past Wednesday, and I’m so glad I did. The weather was spectacular; the route was terrific; the camaraderie was hunky dunky; but nothing beats walking into a locals-only lakeside bar (home of the world’s smallest beer, it turns out) in spandex. Yeah, buddy. Now, that is a walk of shame.

The September Ride Calendar will be available very soon. Alas, this will be the last calendar posted for the season. Treat yourself to a group ride before these folks pack it in for the winter and start tearing down their bikes for off-season maintenance. (Apparently, some people prefer to stay indoors when the temperature drops. Go figure.)

Tomorrow night’s ride rolls out from Prarrie Elementary School at 6p.

Wish I had been there

Pictures from this past Wednesday’s ride from Jasper to Blissfield and back again, courtesy of Bill D. Thanks, Bill! And thanks Maple Wheelers for … well, looking the way you do, I guess.

Deerfield Dundeed dalliance

What a gorgeous-looking bunch.

The Maple Wheelers met in Deerfield Wednesday night for a 25-mile loop to Dundee and back. The tailwind over the first half made for an easy, speedy ride. Fortunately, that wind died down a little bit before we began making our way back.

I took advantage of the tailwind and picked up some extra miles by riding to the start. I had planned on riding home also, but we got back to Deerfield well past 8p, and I wasn’t sure I could make it home before dark with the wind being what it was. So I wussed out and availed myself of one of the many vehicles heading in my general direction. Thanks again for the lift, John. And thanks to everyone else who offered.

For those who might be interested, there is a lurker among us, one shrouded in a cloak of anonymity, who, for a time, led a women-only ride, and she is eager to get it going again. Post a comment or join us for a club ride if you’d like to know more.

It was a night of, um, interesting conversation. I’ll say that much. I certainly enjoyed to getting to know some folks a little better. I love riding with these people. I’m so glad this group is around and that its members are willing to have me along (or at least to act as if such is the case).

Aw, shucks. Now I’m getting all verklempt.

premium Tecumseh tap

Bart treated the Maple Wheelers to a ride out of Tecumseh last night, and 14 people turned out. At this rate, it won’t be long before we’ll need a police escort, or at least a team car. I have got to bring my camera next time.

About seven or eight miles in, we stopped at a small general store in Macon for a breather and to allow time for the group to reassemble. There we made a fascinating discovery. Jason had a flat tire. No, wait, that wasn’t the fascinating part. The fascinating part is that it took no less than five of us to change it. Hooray team effort. What a crew we are. And while others milled about and enjoyed the show, Dave, misunderstood, thought someone said “Fat Tire,” and sneaked inside for a cold one when no one was looking.

Back on our respective saddles, some feeling more refreshed than others (a-hem), we made our way round about heaven-knows-where, and had ourselves a spectacular ride — beautiful views, terrific roads, the works.

At one point, we made our way through Clinton. Prior to the ride, Dave and I had been sharing fond memories of occasions when we had heard hackneyed and woefully unoriginal taunts like “Go Peewee” and “Go Lance” voiced in our general direction. Sure enough, spinning through town, we caught the eye of two stellar young dolts who promptly hurled their unimaginative ripostes toward us while tittering like Beavis and Butthead. But since there was such a large group of us, and we all look like weirdos, they targeted Dave alone. So, not only do we have here another fine example of why group rides are great (the weirdness of weirdos en masse is diffused over the lot of them), but also a clear sign that balance had been quickly restored to the universe (Dave never should have thought he’d get away with sneaking that frosty barley pop).

Wrapping up, we made our way to the Tecumseh Frosty Boy where we were treated to some more sophomoric repartee to the tune of “Go bikers!” and something to the effect of “any of you guys ridin’ fixie?” Kids are so cute. But now here’s the thing that really left me feeling like I had sand in my chamois. The Frosty Boy folks insisted that I give them a quarter to refill my water bottle (unless I was buying something else of course). Can you believe it? Is this good business sense when 14 cyclists just rolled up to patronize your establishment? So the way I figure it, either the counter girl is being paid roughly thirty bucks an hour (minus the shop-owner’s take), because it took her less than a minute to fill the bottle, or else Tecumseh taps are tied directly into the Poland Spring itself.

Over the last couple of weeks, as the group has grown in size, the pace has increased. Last night, we got a lot more spread out than usual. I hope the faster riders didn’t feel like they were being held back, and I hope the slower riders didn’t feel rushed or like they were being dropped. I don’t recall seeing anyone riding solo (unless they were doing so by choice), and that seems to me the most important thing. Groups evolve, and group dynamics are always complicated, but the bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter how things go so long as everyone is cool with it and having a good time.

Monday’s ride is out of Morenci. I won’t be there, but I hope you will. Wednesday’s ride will roll out of Deerfield, and I fully intend to make that one.

Update…

Dave just sent me some pictures from last night’s ride that he snapped with his phone. Thanks, Dave! Pity I already said all those bad things about him. Enjoy.

be there with bells on

(image inconsiderately swiped from http://www.widepixel.org/)

Be there!

Bicycling Advocacy Summit

Tuesday, July 20, at 7p

The Bicycling Focus Group will be hosting representatives from the League of Michigan Bicyclists and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance to talk about bicycling in Lenawee County.

The group will gather in Meeting Room A at The Centre (1800 U.S. 223, Adrian; 517.263.6232).

Our first bicycling advocacy summit will feature a wealth of information on what different individuals, organizations, and focus groups are doing to promote bicycling for recreation, fitness, and transportation in our area. There will be ample opportunity for discussing ways we can continue to build momentum and then capitalize on that energy to educate, raise awareness, advocate for bike- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, and ultimately get more people on bikes.

Scheduled presentations include:

  • The Centre Bicycling Focus Group
  • The Adrian Maple Wheelers
  • “Hadrian on a Bicycle”
  • The upcoming Associated Charities Donate and Cycle (ACDC) Rid
  • Re-Bicycle Lenawee
  • The League of Michigan Bicyclists
  • Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance

Everyone is welcome, from beginner to experienced cyclist.  This will be a great time to meet other people in the bicycling community and members of supporting organizations at the local and state level.  Find out how you can get involved and share your ideas.  Please email Jim Manley if you have questions, or post a comment below.

City Tour Bike Ride at 5:30p

Prior to the meeting, local riders are invited to help host our guests on a tour of our fair city. We want to give them a taste of cycling in Lenawee County and show them what we’ve got to work with. The ride will start at Adrian Locksmith & Cyclery (611 N. Main, Adrian), and it will be sure to include downtown, the Kiwanis Trail, the spot where the trail will be extended into Riverside Park, and perhaps even offer a glimpse of some of our not-so-bike-friendly areas (e.g., the intersection of Rt. 223 and M-52).

I could use some help planning the route. Click here to see the proposed route. If there’s something else you think folks should see, post a comment and let me know.

This will be a low-key, casual (i.e., slow) ride. So everyone is welcome, even if you can’t make it to the meeting afterward. The more riders the better. Let’s have a strong turnout and give our guests a clear sense of just how great our cycling community is.

*Nota bene: this is not the big news that I said was forthcoming this week. If I’m unable to announce that prior to Tuesday, city tour participants might be treated to a sneak peek on the ride.

forty

Last night’s Maple Wheelers ride was positively wicked! (That’s a good thing, by the way.)

First of all, the group continues to grow. Thirteen riders turned out last night. A couple were brand new, a few more hadn’t been around in a while, and at least two or three regulars were missing. People were riding everything from a late-70s Schwinn to a custom-built titanium Seven. We had riders from age 25 to over 25.  And for those who have wondered if this club is for boys only, two women joined us, and they were two of the strongest riders in the group. Oh, and then there were the hills. Yes, climbs can be difficult, and they’re not to everyone’s taste. But every hill has two sides, and descents can be breathtaking. Last night, some of us hit 40m.p.h. on one declivity. Now that’s a rush.

A tip of the helmet to Mike for planning such a fine route. I’ll post a map as soon as one is available.

Last night, as I rode by myself back to where my car was parked, it occurred to me that one of the best things about a group ride — and there are lots of great things about group rides, some of which I’ve commented on previously — is that they offer a fantastic opportunity to learn, whether you’re a novice rider or a seasoned ciclista. Whether through conversation or simple observation, you can find out more about bikes, gear, riding styles and techniques, places to ride, and more. Riding with a group can make you a better rider.

Alas, I didn’t have my camera with me, so I’m forced to use some bootlegged shots I nabbed from the Interweb to enliven this post. But as good as pictures are, they’ll never adequately capture the feeling of actually being on the ride. You owe it to yourself to get in on a group ride.

Driving home, I saw Jim returning from Tecumseh on his bike. Then, pedaling to campus this morning, I passed two separate riders heading east on College Ave. Is it just me, or are bicycles gaining a foothold in our community?

If you have a few minutes, here are a couple of bits from the League of Michigan Bicyclists you might want to take part in.

LMB Long Range Plan 2011-2015

The Board of Directors and staff of LMB is currently in the process of developing a fiver year plan for the organization. The process will look at the internal and external environment we exist in today. We will identify key issues facing the organization in the following areas: Advocacy, Education, Promotion, Financial Resources and Human Resources. Once these issues are determined we will develop goals and action steps over the next 5 years to meet address these issues.

We need your input in helping us with a SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths/Weaknesses and Opportunity/Threats. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out the online survey form.

Michigan Bicyclists Articles

With the wealth of activity going on around the state concerning bicycling we would like to share your stories. If you would like to share your story please submit your article and photos to John via email by August 1, 2020. Contact John directly if you have questions.

LMB Long Range Plan 2011-2015

The Board of Directors and staff of LMB is currently in the process of developing a fiver year plan for the organization. The process will look at the internal and external environment we exist in today. We will identify key issues facing the organization in the following areas: Advocacy, Education, Promotion, Financial Resources and Human Resources. Once these issues are determined we will develop goals and action steps over the next 5 years to meet address these issues.
We need your input in helping us with a SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths/Weaknesses and Opportunity/Threats. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out the online survey form.

mibi

Michigan Bicyclists Articles

With the wealth of activity going on around the state concerning bicycling we would like to share your stories. If you would like to share your story please submit your article and photos to John (john@LMB.org) by August 1, 2020. Contact John directly if you have questions.

skinny updates

First, this morning’s commute was fantastic! I saw so many cyclists on the bike path that I thought there must have been some sort of convention in town. If you were traveling one way or the other on the trail between about 7:15a and 8a, post a comment and say hello.

Yesterday I reported on a number of items, two of which require an update.

I referred to the Adrian Maple Wheelers as “the unofficial cycling club of Lenawee County.” Well, despite oppressive temperatures and air so thick you could cut it with a knife, ten riders turned out for last night’s jaunt from Sand Creek High School to Canandaigua and back. So, a number of us concluded that we might as well begin treating this thing like it’s official. Hear ye, hear ye: The Adrian Maple Wheelers have come out of retirement.

I also mentioned the story about Revs. Jim and Kathleen Splitt of Adrian First Presbyterian who will be riding in this year’s Habitat500 to raise money for Lenawee County Habitat for Humanity. Regrettably, they’ve had to back out due to an unexpected health-related issue. Please keep them in your thoughts.

One of the things that is very high on the list of what I love about cycling is the diversity that characterizes it. On last night’s Maple Wheelers ride, amidst all the Lycra spandex shorts and aluminum road bikes, Dave showed up in a t-shirt and shorts riding his 1960 Schwinn Spitfire. Not only did he keep up; he embarrassed more than one of us by passing … on a hill. Later, riding home, I ran into a guy named Bill that I had met a earlier this week on the bike path. Bill just got into riding a short while ago. He’s doing four (!) out-and-back rides on the bike path every day. He rides a heavy Giant mountain bike. Bill is all about sports nutrition and riding fast. He loves to chat about beating personal average speed records and never changing gears. He’s dying to know how well he’d hold up in competition. I’ve been trying to talk him into getting a fixed-gear road bike and entering a race or doing a time trial. Here’s the best part: Bill is 49 years old.

Bikes rock.

the skinny

The Adrian Maple Wheelers — the unofficial cycling club of Lenawee County — enjoyed a splendid (though sweltering) ride Monday night, from Blissfield to Deerfield and back again. If you’re free, why not join us tonight for a ride from Sand Creek High School to Canandaigua and back. Rider turn-out this season has been very strong, and we’re always happy to have more. The full list of rides is available to the right of this post (“Local Rides”).

Mark your calendars and plan to be part of the Bicycling Focus Group meeting on Tuesday, July 20, at 7p, at the Christian Family Centre. Rory Neuner and John Lindemayer from the League of Michigan Bicyclists will be present to talk about the work of the LMB, what’s happening in our community, and ways we can work together to promote cycling in Lenawee County. A bike ride will precede the meeting. Further details to follow.

Check out the story about Revs. Jim and Kathleen Splitt of Adrian First Presbyterian who will be riding in the Habitat500 (Sandstone, MN) to raise money for Habitat for Humanity generally, and for Lenawee County Habitat for Humanity specifically. This will be Jim’s 14th Habitat500 and Kathleen’s 11th. If you believe in safe, decent, and affordable housing for all, please consider making a donation on their behalf. I’m happy to say that Adrian First Presbyterian is my home church, and that bicycling is rapidly becoming a chief characteristic of our corporate identity.

The 3rd Annual Associated Charities ACDC Ride continues to take shape, and things are really coming together nicely. The band is confirmed. Registration and sponsorship forms will soon be available. And a wicked sweet event t-shirt is in the early design stage. Our goal is 150 riders (plus plenty of others who just join us for the music and cheap eats). If you’re not planning to be there, may you be plagued by unidentifiable squeaks from your bicycle for the remainder of the season.

Maple Wheelers

The Maple Wheelers will ride from Lenawee Christian School to Onsted tonight, starting at 6p. Come be part of the fun.

If you’re free, Wednesday night is the monthly “Taco Ride.” Meet at Highland Inn, Manitou Beach, at 6p. Remember: bicycles get roughly 53 m.p.b. (i.e., miles per burrito).

go west, young man

Let’s hear it for the locals. Nineteen-year-olds Chris Hudson and Chris Holland are rolling out today from Lenawee County on a transcontinental bike ride to San Francisco. If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the write-up in the local paper. You can track (and properly envy) their journey on their Facebook page.

I can’t even begin to tell you how badly I want to give randonneuring a whirl.  It’s unlikely I’ll ever have the freedom, gumption, or wherewithal to trek across the entire U.S., but surely some slightly less ambitious excursions are not altogether out of the question. For now, it’s an item on my relatively short bucket list. Hopefully, it’s one I can cross off before too long … and more than once.

Meanwhile, the Wednesday night Maple Wheelers ride was based out of Morenci. I wasn’t able to participate, so I can’t post a route map. Thankfully, however, Bill posted the route on Map My Ride and sent me some pictures. Now, far be it from me to disparage anyone, but I don’t see much riding going on  in any of these pictures. It looks more like Team Huffy meets city utilities street crew. I’m just sayin’! You be the judge.

Apologies, gents. All in good fun. You know I’m just jealous because I couldn’t be there.

Bob’s hard ride

Ten riders turned out for last night’s Maple Wheelers ride. The 25-mile Onsted loop set out from Onsted Middle School, meandered around Devils Lake and Round Lake, passed by Michigan International Speedway, and concluded with — what else? — ice cream, following some nice big rollers on Onsted Hwy.

Here are some pictures from the ride. Names have been left off to protect the ridiculous innocent.

come join us

Wednesday night’s Maple Wheelers ride was another big hit, fairly high winds notwithstanding. This Palmyra-Blissfield loop runs a little over 22 miles. Eight riders participated, and we averaged a little under 14mph.

While enjoying some soft serve at Frosty Boy, we were approached by another rider who recently moved to the area. He gave Bill his email address and asked to join us for a future ride. This just goes to show how important it is to stop for ice cream whenever you’re sporting a pair of Lycra shorts.

Monday’s ride will begin at Onsted Middle School on Slee Road. We roll out at 6p. Come join us!

team hadrian t-shirts

Team Hadrian t-shirts are now available (finally)! Get one! They’re only ten bucks.

For residents of Lenawee County attending this year’s PALM tour,these shirts are especially for you. Our area looks to have a strong showing. Why not represent and sport the local colors? It’s what all the cool kids will be wearing.

The design is by Alyssa Baker, an art student at Adrian College. I asked Alyssa to talk a bit about her work. Here’s what she had to say.

HADRIAN: How did you become interested in being an artist? How did you get your start?

AB: When I was in third grade we had a “make a book” project. We were being graded on the quality of our writing, but I threw a bit of a hissy fit when my pictures for the story didn’t look the way I wanted them to! I was a bit of a perfectionist, and still am to this day, but I think that was the moment I realized I wanted to put most of my effort into making nice looking pictures.

HADRIAN: How do you classify or categorize yourself as an artist? Where do you “fit” in the grand scheme of the art world?

AB: I think I’m a very commercial artist. I’m not the sort of artist who locks myself in a studio apartment and comes out with abstract sculptures of dogs made of scrap metal from urban areas or anything “out there.” I see myself working for a big company like Disney or Pixar or working for a graphic design firm. I’m happiest when I’m making other people happy with my work and I love being hired to make other peoples’ visions become a reality. I feel like so many people have great ideas stuck in their heads and lack the skills to bring those ideas out into the world, and I love being the girl with the skills to make it happen. My art is mainly done for others but I’ve managed to put a little bit of “me” into everything I do — logos included!

HADRIAN: Describe the types of projects you most enjoy doing? Which undertakings do you find most tedious? What are your favorite and least favorite media?

AB: My all-time favorite thing to do is sit with a mechanical pencil and just doodle cartoon characters. They’re mostly animals but I’ll do a cariacature here and there of family, friends, and sometimes random people. I love animation, movement, and goofy-looking exaggeration. I also love doing just about anything at a computer. Graphic design, digital illustration — I feel as though some of my digital work looks comparable to work by professionals and I get a huge feeling of satisfaction from that. Tediousness (if that’s even a word) doesn’t bother me much. I’m a sucker for fine details and I’m still the perfectionist I was in third grade.

I have to say my least favorite mediums are charcoal (just a mess) and anything 3d, particularly ceramics. Every pot I’ve ever thrown has been crooked!

HADRIAN: Tell us about your creative process. Whence cometh your inspiration? How do you go about conceptualizing and executing a project?

AB: It depends on the project and how demanding the criteria is. Both of my most recent projects have been relatively open ended – working with you on the logos has been easy since you’re not a particularly demanding client and I felt more okay with coming up with slightly out-of-the-box ideas that weren’t really brought up in conversation. The result was a mix of ideas you had from the start mixed with new ideas I got as a result of our conversations.

The concepts for the logo were based on a few key phrases I remembered like “classic,” “round,” “must appeal to many types of bikers.” I usually just doodle very literal interpretations of those things. One of the first sketches I did that I never showed you was literally a circle with Hadrian kid of squished in it. From that terrible idea came the gear idea, then some ideas with the wheel being on top that led to the winning logo design. It’s sort of a logical “well, what else can I do that’s a circle and says ‘Hadrian on a Bicycle'” process that evolves from rather terrible initial sketches.

The project before this one was designing a poster for the “Let’s Save Michigan” contest. The guidelines were fairly open-ended as the poster just had to say “Let’s Save Michigan” and had to resemble posters from a certain era. I like when projects are more open ended than strict, it allows me to throw out a bunch of ideas I think might be stupid and then I realize they actually work pretty well.

HADRIAN: Tell us specifically what you intended to convey with the designs your crafted for these awesome t-shirts.

AB: They are both t-shirts with simple designs that are about bikes but I wanted them to be completely different. The Team Hadrian shirt had to say “classic” and “bikers” without focusing in on people who bike like Lance Armstrong or people who have cute bikes with baskets heading to the grocery store. So there was this challenge of making a design simple and all-inclusive while not making it into a totally boring shirt. I think the size of the logo on the back is a little more “fun” than traditional t-shirts for events, and the words “TEAM HADRIAN” on the front are italicized and say “moving forward” to me without looking too much like a font you’d see on something like a racecar.

HADRIAN: What are you working on now?

AB: On this particular day? Nothing, really, as I just got on summer vacation a few weeks ago (woohoo!) but I am looking to design a website and the graphics/logo for it for my Stepdad who is looking to open a t-shirt business online. I’m also using up all my spare art supplies from the semester to do some paintings and drawings for family and friends, like a giant painting of an angler fish for my boyfriend’s brother and something flowery and pretty for my mother for Mother’s Day.

HADRIAN: What are you looking to do professionally?

AB: My ultimate dream job would be to work for Disney animation studios as some sort of animator or storyboard artist. To get there I’m going through some hoops like working at Walt Disney World later this year as a custodian. Sounds like a drag, but I have opportunities to network while down there, and many professional internships offered through Disney are only available to the kids like me who chose to go through the college program and sweep trash. Plus, I’m getting paid to walk around in sunny weather in wintertime instead of going to school for one semester, so that’s good, too.

Alternatively, I’d be thrilled to work as a graphic designer for someone or get good enough myself to freelance and make a comfortable living. I would love to have people seek me out for work rather than the other way around!

HADRIAN: What’s next for you?

AB: This August I leave for Florida to do the Disney College Program, and after that I return to college. Which college I’m not entirely sure as of yet. But I plan on taking any and all classes that have anything to do with animation, graphic design, and other areas I’m interested in like video editing and tv production. I’m trying to expand my horizons while still being able to say I’m best at A, B, and C. In my immediate future is hopefully a part-time job in town and a car, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for both of those things to happen!

HADRIAN: If one piece of your work could be displayed anywhere in the world — inside or outside (in a museum, on a famous building, stretched along the side of a subway train, suspended from the Eiffel Tower, embossed on Mt. McKinley) and in any format (tattooed, projected on screen, printed on drink coasters, whatever) — where would it be? Why?

AB: That’s a tough one. I don’t think any of my artwork has a powerful enough message to warrant being displayed somewhere like the eiffel tower, though I do love absurd things so I think I would go with a drawing of my cartoon character Frankenfish being on all of those places, just to get people to say “Huh?” and watch snobby artsy people ponder the deep political meaning of such a gesture. For reference here’s a picture of frankenfish with his bride of frankenfish I did about three years ago.