Category Archives: Maple Wheelers

2013 Tour de Cure

This just in:

Early-bird registration for our 2013 Michigan Tour de Cure, taking place on June 15 in Brighton, starts today and runs through next Tuesday, August 21.

Visit and use promo code ‘EARLYBIRD’ to register for only $5—that’s $10 off of our current registration fee and the lowest online registration we’ll offer this year!

Bonus: Register online in August and you’ll be qualified to win one of three $250 gift cards!

You can also visit our tent at the Birmingham Bike Festival on Sunday, August 26, in Birmingham, Mich., for free registration.

Either way, we hope you’ll join us in 2013!

I would really, really like to organize a team for the 2013 Tour de Cure in Brighton, and to participate in the event as a club. We could do some fun fundraising together as a club throughout the year, ride the same route together wearing our custom club t-shirts or jerseys, and celebrate together afterward in our team tent (provided we raise enough as a team by the deadline). What say you?

If you’re interested, let me know. And either way, I hope you’ll consider being part of the 2013 Tour de Cure, and take advantage of this great offer of an early registration discount. (Note: If you’re planning to ride as part of our group, join “Team Hadrian” when you register.)


making the grade

The Fat Cyclist posted a great piece on grades and climbing yesterday that’s well worth the read. The article does a very nice job of not only explaining what grade percentages mean, but also how they actually feel, which I’m sure is a much more accurate gauge for most of us to go by.

After reading his piece, I spent some time on Map My Ride, which provides an elevation chart for each map created, to get a sense of what sorts of climbs we have around here.

More often than not, most of us ride the stretch of Wilmoth between Sutton and Laberdee from north to south. Going that direction, you have a quarter-mile section at 3%. The climb is actually more difficult if you go in the reverse direction, where you’ll hit a 4% grade.

Hawkins Highway, between Slee and Laird, has quarter-mile sections that hit 3% and 6%.

Meanwhile, the beast hill I climbed on Sugar Island while on the MUP tour has a quarter-mile section that hits 7%.

All things considered, I really don’t know how accurate this information is. What are your thoughts? I’m also interested in hearing what you have to say generally about climbs in our area. Are there others you’ve done that would provide good points of comparison (or that you think we should try on the next club ride)?

Speaking of club rides, we had a great turn out last night. Thanks to everyone who came. There is talk of a Labor Day outing to Original Gravity Brewing Company in Milan, 30 miles each way with lunch in between. Chime in if your interested, and help spread the word.

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.

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.

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.”

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:

Classic Car, Bike & Bicycle Show

Looking for something to do tonight? Here are a couple of options:

Join the Maple Wheelers at Prairie School in Adrian for a make-up club ride. Last night’s Ride of Silence was a short-distance affair, so tonight we’re going to go our usual distance and log some extra miles. We’ll roll out at 6p.


The forecast is sunny and bright for this week’s
Classic Car, Bike & Bicycle Show. Cruise on over and join us in  Downtown Tecumseh for the first event of the season. Thursday, May 17th, 6-8 pm. New this year! Kids are invited to bring their bicycle and show it off in a special designated area! Click here for more details.

I’ll be on the ride, so I won’t be able to check out the vintage bicycles. If you go, snap some pictures, send them to me via email, and I’ll post them on the blog. Or, if you feel so inclined, post them yourself in the comments area.


Last night’s Maple Wheelers ride was great (a severe understatement, to be sure). Here’s a link to the route map if you care to take a gander. And while the ride itself takes pride of place (a nice route, somewhat longer than usual, covered in two hours to the minute), it was what unfolded in the final leg that was most deeply appreciated and is certain to be remembered for a good long time to come. Fellow cyclists of every ilk, here, for your sinister pleasure, deep enjoyment, and delicious satisfaction, I offer you a glimpse of the Fates’ favor.

As the bulk of us were crossing Chicago Blvd. on Occidental, a driver, eager to make the light, swerved around us, made ample use of his horn, and then threw a an assortment of nasty looks and accompanying hand gestures in our general direction (which we happily returned in kind, of course.) Moments later, a police officer, who had been waiting in the westbound left-hand turn lane on Chicago Blvd., flipped on his lights and gave chase. Apparently, our righteously indignant scofflaw had run the light after it turned red.

The lead group mashed the pedals in hot pursuit, quickly caught up to the aforementioned parties stopped at the side of the road, and photographed the incident as we coasted by with a newfound swagger. The look on the driver’s face was positively priceless.

Comments are now open for snarky remarks and celebratory banter, and sophomoric revelry. Have at it.

All the News That Isn’t

I think my blog is dying. Sigh. Alas, it’s becoming increasingly clear that (gasp!) I’m running out of things to say. I have more readers than ever (which is not to say a lot, but definitely a greater number), and it’s obvious that the blog has played a meaningful role in our cycling community. Hence, I’m loath to shut it down entirely. But if it’s to continue, much less improve, I’ve got to figure out some way to solicit more content and/or to recruit some writers. Any suggestions?

Speaking of things dying, when I last checked, this year’s ACDC Ride had only a handful of sponsors and a similar number of registrants. It pains me to say it, but the future of this event is looking grim. At this point, I’m beginning to question whether we’ll even pull it off this year, let alone next year and the ones to follow. PLEASE register for this event as soon as possible, and do everything you can to help spread the word.

Everyone who registers early is guaranteed a t-shirt in their size on the day of the event, and automatically in the running for a pretty cool door prize (your choice of a digital camera, an MP4 player, a 133-piece tool set, or a gardening set).

Many of you have been wondering about the routes. I’m happy to report that they were finalized this weekend. Click here for the 50K route. Click here to view the 100K route. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to work Canandaigua into the route like I had hoped, but you’ll be pleased to find no 10-mile westward stretches into the wind. (Be forewarned, however: there some bumpy roads. We live in Lenawee County, after all, so the only alternatives are macadam and highways.)

Looking forward, I welcome (that is to say, I desperately petition) any ideas on what we can do (and how) to develop this into the premiere cycling event that it has the potential to be. And along with that, I invite you to be involved with the planning, promotion, and running of the event, no matter what sort of riding you do. In fact, a variety of interests and skills would go a long, I think, in making light work and a better event for everyone.

On much brighter notes, if all goes well, today I’ll turn over 3,000 miles on the year, just in time for ODRAM. And better yet, check out this wicked sweet video from the guy behind Performance and Le Velo. (Thanks to Dave for sending it in.)

Hope to see you all tonight at TECUMSEH MIDDLE SCHOOL for a 25-mile jaunt between Tecumseh, Macon, and Clinton. We roll out at 6p.

We’re not lost

… I just don’t know where the hell we are! Shortly after uttering those profound, insightful words, the intrepid Bill led us down a dirt road on last night’s Maple Wheelers’ ride. Nice. He’s been saying for months that he wanted to organize a ride along some of our local macadam byways. We should have known he’d spring it on us unexpectedly.

Speaking of lost, you will recall that I (or rather, my blog) made the cut for Circle of Moms Top 25 Biking Families. This illustrious award entitles me to a special badge I can post on my site, a steroid-like shot of promotional exposure in one of their issues of “The Round Up,” and of course all sorts of bragging rights whenever I next attend a local play group or the like. The other moms are so totally going to envy me; I just know it.

Anyhow, in order to avail myself of these spectacular opportunities, I have to answer a short list of interview questions. Here they are:

What do you like about the biking lifestyle?
How often does your family bike versus drive?
What’s a good safety tip for biking with children?
What are your three favorite blog posts? Please include a link for each.

Honestly, I have no idea how to respond. What worries most is that I fear the jog is up; my cover’s blown; my public persona has been compromised and my true identity laid bare. I’m supposed to send along a picture, too (shudder). I don’t know what I’m going to do.

In any case, looking back through the archives, I came across two posts that hardly qualify as my best, but they both made me very happy. Pity that, at the time, even fewer people were reading this blog than are doing so now. Hence, few folks saw them.

If you care to read them, here’s a link to one, and here’s a link to the other.