Category Archives: Ride Reports

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.

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:

Catharsis

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.

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.

MUP Tour Recap and Such

First, kudos to Re-Bicycle Lenawee for getting some press in this month’s edition of Bicycle Times magazine, in an article devoted to community bike shops. It was pretty wicked to see them listed among some unbelievable co-ops in places like Austin, Boston, and New York City. Way to go RBL! I’d highly recommend everyone pick up a copy at Country Market.

Second, for those of you who watched even a single stage of Le Tour, you’ve got to read this from Talking Treads: “Cubicle Classic.” (Thanks, Kirk, for sending it my way.)

OK, I owe you all a report on the MUP Tour. In short, it was fantastic. I highly recommend it. This year’s route began in St. Ignace. We traveled to De Tour Village, Sault Ste. Marie (where we had a layover day), Paradise, Newberry, and back to St. Ignace. Along the way, my dad and I also grabbed a few miles on Mackinac Island, Drummond Island, Sugar Island, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The ride into Canada was particularly cool. We rode right on I-75 across the international bridge. Once across, we asked the good folks in the customs house to stamp our passports, explored a local bike path, visited a bush plane museum, and scoped out a local bike shop (unfortunately, their website is pretty lame) where I picked up a sweet-looking jersey.

There were only 136 riders on the tour, so it was quiet, low-key, and offered plenty of opportunity to meet and actually get to know people a little bit. What I found surprising was that, despite so few participants (this is due to the organizers capping it at 150, not on account of a lack of interest), 20 states were represented, and only 30-percent of the riders were Michigan residents.

At breakfast on the first day of the tour, I met not one but two guys, Jim and Fred, who had crossed the United States by bicycle (separately, not together). You can see a heap of pictures and read Jim’s journal, “After Math” (he’s a high school math teacher), at Crazy Guy on a Bike.

It was great fun staying in small towns like De Tour, Paradise, and Newberry. More often than not, the locals were tremendously accommodating. The routes between were excellent (the sort of byways most of us dream of riding), the scenery along the way was spectacular, and the organizational support throughout was outstanding.

At the last overnight stop in Newberry, Rich Moeller, tour director and Grand Poobah of the League of Michigan Bicyclists,  tapped into streaming video of Stage 19 of the Tour de France and projected it onto the big screen. Needless to say, watching Le Tour, while on tour, with a room full of fellow cyclist glued to the screen, was absolutely sublime.

There is so much I’d like to write about this tour, but I’m afraid that, for now, I’ll have to forego doing so. I took a lot of pictures over the course of the week, far too many to post individually, much less comment on. So below is a slideshow for your viewing pleasure, featuring about a third of the group.

There’s lots happening in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

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A Seed-Spitting Extravaganza

Ever since Bill starting twisting arms and cajoling folks into volunteering to share the load in leading club rides, those that have stepped up have been intent on setting the bar higher and higher (save for myself, of course, who can’t manage to come up with anything better than sundry jaunts on the pitted roads out of Mitchell Park).

Last night, Bob treated us to a tour of Tipton, which concluded with watermelon and a group photo at his place. Here’s what the ride leader had to say:

Another beautiful evening for another great ride with a good group. We stopped at my house an feasted on watermelon. My wife give a nature talk on the Monarch butterflys that lay eggs on the milkweed. Ride on everyone.

Indeed. It was a positively gorgeous night for a ride, as far as the weather is concerned.

A few items of note:

1. In addition to the rides Bob mentioned in his comment on Monday’s post, don’t forget about the 4th Annual ACDC Ride on September 10 (offering 7- and 14-miles bike path options, as well as 50K and 100K routes), and the 41st Hancock Horizontal Hundred on September 11, in Findlay, OH (offering 20-, 40-, and 62-mile options for those not inclined to do the century). July 24 is the deadline for early registration for the HHH. I’m planning to register for the HHH today. If others are interested, perhaps we can go as a group.

2. Some of us have been talking seriously about getting some custom club jerseys and/or tech fabric t-shirts. I have around three or four interested in the jerseys, and around six or seven interested in the t-shirts. Please drop me a line or post a comment letting me know whether or to what extent you’re interested, and which of the two options you find most appealing. Thanks.

3. Finally, with this post I’ll be signing off for about ten days. I leave Saturday morning for the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Tour, organized by the League of Michigan Bicyclists. My dad and I will be traveling from St. Ignace, through Detour Village, Sault Ste. Marie, Paradise, Newberry, and back to St. Ignace. Well have a rest day on Wednesday in Sault Ste. Marie, so we’re planning to tour Sugar Island and to ride across the border into Canada (where will track our distance in kilometers, of course). I’ve been looking forward to this tour all year. I promise a full report and a heap of pictures upon my return.

Until then, ride happy, safe, and often.

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’.)