writing bikes

I’m leaving town for a few days later this week. Therefore, it’s time to clean out my browser tabs so I can shut down my computer and start with a clean slate upon my return.

Here, then, is a pile of random stuff I thought might be of interest. Discuss amongst yourselves.

2012 Tecumseh Memorial Day Parade

PALM registrations available: if there’s anyone out there who would like to ride PALM this year but wasn’t able to register for some reason or another, LuAnn has two spots for sale, including meals. Email her for more information.

VeloNews invites various pro cyclists to chronicle their races and other experiences pertaining to life in and around the peloton. I tend to find that getting a first-person perspective generally, and especially from any sort of pro anything, is rather hit and miss. But I have to say, this opening paragraph from Lee Rodgers, reflecting on the Tour of Langkawi, is good — really good — writing, hands down:

The people hollered and cheered as we careened through the capital’s streets, an invited army in trade colors, various colored helmets and shoes of brilliant hues — some bodies black and some gone blue, yet still we shocked those looking on, so mighty was the sheer speed of our roaring phalanx, rising to over 60km per hour on the weary, battered road. Vibrant. Alive. Hurting. The sound of voices, freewheels and shifters reverberated from the walls of the valley of shops and office blocks, homes and empty lots. Adrenalin exploded into the collective cortex, the scent of the kill flared nostrils already forced wide by the demand for oxygen. Blood pumped, hearts thumped and we, exhausted after 1023km in 6 days, commanded our bodies to rage one last time.

We were obeyed. For one last kilometer.

When I first begin writing this post a week ago (I am such a pathetic blogger), I wanted to talk a little about women’s professional cycling and the Exergy Tour. Since the race concluded this past Sunday, all I have now to say is this: women’s cycling rocks, and Evelyn Stevens is a god. Evie won the 2012 Fleche Wallonne Femmes last month, the first American woman to do so, and only the second American ever to do so. (The first was Lance Armstrong.) And this past Sunday, she won the inaugural Exergy Tour.

Until yesterday, I thought this was the stupidest thing I had ever seen. Then I watched a couple sit in their car, in the Family Frosty parking lot in Tecumseh, with the windows up, engine running, and air conditioner going, while they ate their ice cream. Now I’m not sure which is the winner (or loser, as the case may be).

Salt Lake City, Utah, recently launched a website dedicated to cycling in the area. (Here’s a direct link if you care to have a look.) My goal for this blog has always, in various ways, been centered on bringing together and supporting all aspects of the cycling community in Lenawee County. Unfortunately, we still an awfully long way to go, and, more often than not, for reasons I cannot fully grasp, the route seems like we’re pedaling uphill with a headwind. That said, I still think it would be a fantastic thing if Adrian or Lenawee County were to offer a resource akin to what Salt Lake City has launched, whether it be Hadrian on a Bicycle or a page hosted on the city website. Do you agree? If so, what would it look like? And how might we work together on making this happen?

Along those lines, are you looking for some new routes? The League of Michigan Bicyclists publishes route maps on their website. Under the “Local Maps” tab, there is a listing of route maps produced by individual riders and clubs all over the state, organized by cities, as well as a link to a statewide LMB Map My Ride Group you can join. They are inviting riders from all over the state to submit maps. Why don’t we get some of our rides linked to the LMB Map My Ride Group and some local loop maps posted on the LMB wesbite? Any takers?

Do you all know about Adventure Cycling’s Underground Railroad Bicycle Route? Did you know that they’ve just added a Detroit Alternate segment that passes right through our fair city? You can read a wonderfully detailed four-part overview of the entire segment on the Adventure Cycling Association website. (Adrian is mentioned in Part 1. Here are links to Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.) I encourage you look into the variety of ways you can offer support to long-distance trekkers pedaling through our region.

I’ve recently been commuting to campus in a manner I’ve been calling “The Grant Petersen” way, which means at a slower pace (a slightly slower pace), in plain clothes, and even occasionally without a helmet (gasp!). I will admit, certain aspects of this approach have proved enjoyable. But I’ve also spent more hours than I would care to in soggy boxer shorts. Perhaps it’s time to grab a fresh pack of Action Wipes from my local bike shop. That’s all I have to say about that … for now.

Many of you have likely read already this piece in the Huffington Post on Detroit bike shops. Every time I see stuff like this, I think about how far Re-Bicycle Lenawee has come and about how brilliant its future looks. Here’s a nice series along similar (and not-so-similar) lines from Copenhagenize.com on subversive bicycle photos from various cities around the world.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this must-read stellar column by Robin Wilkinson from Wales Online on cyclists of every ilk, whether they be “poor and strange,” rational, or “bounding across the countryside wrapped-up like a giant sweet, hunched over a carbon frame in a strange act of supplication, strained calves bulging like glazed Christmas hams … clad head-to-toe in fluorescent lycra like a Flashdance-obsessed road-sweeper, slowly touring Wales and its surroundings by bike.”

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One response to “writing bikes

  1. what, no photography credit? pfft.