Category Archives: City of Adrian

I know we can do better

The 5th Annual ACDC Ride to raise funds for Associated Charities of Lenawee County is only three weeks away. Have you registered yet? Registration and sponsorship forms are available under the “ACDC Ride” tab on this website. You can also check out the routes.

Three years ago, this ride was on the verge of falling apart. Last year, we had a total of 43 riders (12 on the Kiwanis Trail, 21 on the 50K route, and 10 on the 100K route). The event raised over $2000 for the Charities. We’re making terrific progress, but I know we can do better.

Associated Charities does remarkable work for those in need in our community. What stands out to me most is the sense of dignity they help to provide and to nurture in their clients. The Charities is celebrating their centennial anniversary this year. Come out and celebrate with them.

The ACDC Ride is a great event. Highlights include…

  • Family-friendly 7- and 14-mile routes on the Kiwanis Trail
  • 50K and 100K routes in scenic Lenawee County, MI, that will be as challenging (or not) as you want them to be
  • SAG support
  • Rest stops with water and snacks about every 12 miles, two of which have bona fide bathrooms, so you don’t have to go wandering into the corn rows when nature calls
  • RoadID coupons for everyone and gift certificates for a few lucky folks
  • a 20% same-day discount for all riders at Adrian Locksmith & Cyclery, our friendly local bike shop
  • a classy event t-shirt
  • post-ride music with Jeff D. spinning the hot wax
  • a lip-smacking yummy lunch
  • great folks all around

…and more.

What are you waiting for? Grab some friends and family, check the air in your tires, and finish your season in style.

OneLenawee Complete Streets Initiative

UPDATE: At the last meeting of the OneLenawee “Complete Streets” task force, Mark Gasche provided copies of the Inventory & Analysis of Natural Corridors, Greenways Study and the Raisin Township and Tecumseh maps of potential trailways, and Jeff Pardee provided a sample Complete Streets resolution.

Here is the link to the Complete Streets Presentation, which was mentioned in my last post concerning this effort. I encourage you to check it out.

The consensus of attendees was that we proceed with a two-pronged effort to advance the objective of making Lenawee County much more user-friendly for bicyclers, walkers and handicapped individuals:

1.  Develop a draft proposed map of what a bike/walking trails network through-out Lenawee County might look like.  Mark Gasche, Chris Miller, Ted Crockett and Joe Wagley agreed to create this map, perhaps with help from others who may have knowledge that could be helpful regarding this issue.  Keith Dersham offered to research Lenawee County abandoned rail corridors.

2.  Create awareness and broad support for the Complete Streets initiative:
a.  The YMCA will create and maintain a data base of individuals who may be able to help present the Complete Streets story and resolution to Lenawee County municipalities.  The data base will help us identify any gaps in our coverage.  Please send your suggestions, with contact information, to Sue Smith, who has kindly offered to create the data base.
b.  Determine where the state Municipal Township Association stands regarding Complete Streets.  Chris Miller agreed to make this inquiry.
c.  Make the Complete Streets presentation to the Lenawee MTA Chapter.
d.  Meet with Road Commission Managing Director, Scott Merillat.
e.  Meet with the appropriate person at Region 2 Planning Commission.
f.   Make a Complete Streets presentation to the Lenawee County Commissioners Quarterly Legislative Dinner.
g.  Presentations will be made to Lenawee townships, villages and cities, with the objective of each municipality adopting a Complete Streets resolution or ordinance.

The next meeting will be at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 2nd at the Tecumseh City Hall.  I strongly urge all interested parties, especially all area cyclists, to attend.

OneLenawee and Complete Streets

At the June 29th meeting of OneLenwee, the consensus was that the group’s goal should be to get all Lenawee communities to adopt Complete Streets as part of their planning process.

It was decided that the steps to move the Complete Streets initiative forward should begin with creation of a map showing what a bike and walking trails network in Lenawee County might look like.  Mark Gasche agreed to lead the effort to create the map, consulting with others who may be able to help.

The group will then meet with an expanded group (Task Force) on Thursday, July 19th, at 9:00 a.m. in the Adrian Library.  After they assemble the Task Force, they will schedule meetings with key decision makers, probably starting with officials in the county and in those localities through which the trails shown on the map would run, to whom we will present the Complete Streets presentation, our proposed map and proposed ordinances.  They would also mount an effort to create broader awareness and support by meeting with as many local governmental units as possible.

Several candidates for the Task Force were mentioned at the meeting, including bicycle enthusiasts and others.  They group is inviting anyone who is interested and might contribute to the effort to attend the next meeting.  A Complete Streets Power Point presentation will hopefully be available soon. Meanwhile, additional references include the websites for Complete Streets and Michigan Complete Streets.

Please let me or someone with the OneLenawee group know if you are planning to attend. Also, if anyone has information regarding abandoned railroad beds in Lenawee County (location, ownership, etc.), it would be much appreciated if that information could be forwarded to Mark Gasche.

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.”

like, omg…

…our local Ride of Silence was the best yet!

We had 31 riders (our largest turnout to date) join us for a quiet, slow, meandering 10-mile tour of Adrian. The size of the group, coupled with the fact that lots of folks were out and about, ensured lots of visibility, which will translate (hopefully) to increased awareness of bicyclists in our community.

Apologies for any confusion stemming from yesterday’s post, which I had written the day prior, while thinking of what was, at the time, tomorrow, but which is now, of course, today. Bottom line, the Ride of Silence was yesterday (Wednesday), and the Maple Wheelers ride and Tecumseh Classic Car, Bike, and Bicycle show is today (Thursday). Clear?

Speaking, then, of tomorrow, there are a couple of local Bike-to-Work Day events scheduled:

Adrian bicyclists are being encouraged to bicycle to work Friday, May 18, with a pair of activities.

From 7:30 to 9 a.m., an “energizer station” with free snacks, fruits and beverages will be set up in front of city hall at 135 E. Maumee St. A prize drawing also is planned, according to a news release.

At noon, riders can take time to bicycle on the Kiwanis Trail with Mayor Greg DuMars from city hall to Riverside Park and back. Participants will be required to wear a helmet, some of which will be available at city hall. Snacks and coffee will be available upon return.

The event is sponsored by Adrian Locksmith & Cyclery, Morning Fresh Bakeries and Tim Hortons. People can phone city hall at 264-4815 for more information.

Following are are a few clips from Adventure Cycling Association’s Bike Bits. If you’re not already a subscriber to this free e-newsletter, I highly recommend that you consider signing up. They cull together some really great stuff, way better than the cheesy drivel you waste your time reading on this blog. Learn more at the Adventure Cycling website.

HIGH ON FRYE
Russ Frye, a member of our self-contained TransAm tour group that departed from Williamsburg, Virginia, earlier this month, is posting on his blog as he goes. A retired teacher, Russ now works part time for a company that manages the hiring process for large corporations. And, as you will quickly realize if you tap into “Tailwindz,” he also has a sense of humor. We think it’s going to be worthwhile to follow Russ’ blog as he goes, joining him and his group-mates on a vicarious velo-adventure across America.

BIKING FOR BANFF
Sylvie Froncek wrote recently to tell us about another long-distance ride. Sylvie and her friends are embarking on a tour of the West Coast this month; all students at or graduates of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, the four will ride self-supported, no SAG, “just full panniers and helmet cameras” as they follow the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route from Seattle to Los Angeles. Why the helmet cams? “Our ride is unique in that we will be filming it and submitting our final product to the Banff Mountain Film Festival, The Bike Film Festival, and the Adventure Film Festival,” Sylvie wrote. The group would like to invite Bike Bits readers to follow their blog, which Sylvie promises will be “hilarious as well as informative.”

SALSA DANCING
Have a gander at Salsa Cycle’s short film: “So Far to Go — Part One.” The video documents the early parts of Brett Davis and Sean Mailen’s 2011 adventure on Adventure Cycling’s Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Enjoy:

cowbell

Anyone know where I can get a cowbell? Seriously; I’m in the market for one.

This past Saturday, I took my girls to the 16th Annual Hare Racer mountain bike race at Heritage Park. I’ve known about this event since moving to Adrian, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to attend. I’m so glad I did. It was awesome, and my girls had a fantastic time, watching all that was happening and cheering on the racers.

The adults raced at 9:30a. Their route consisted of two 5.8-mile circuits. I can’t seem to locate the results anywhere online, but the winner finished in just under an hour.

The adult race was then followed by a series of kids races in different age brackets. Unfortunately, I was only able to hang around for the first two events, ages 3-4 and ages 5-6, both of which rode on paved surfaces. The older age groups, however, took to the woods.

It was so great seeing so many people tearing it up on their bikes. But I think I enjoyed even more being amid all the pre- and post-race activity around the parking lot. There was a nice cross-section of folks from the local cycling community on hand, and it was really cool just to be taking in some local bike culture vibe.

This event is sponsored in part by the Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA). Click here to check out a chest-cam video from last year’s race.

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’.)