Luscious, Luxurious, Lavishly Lush Lycra

I have a confession to make: I wear bib shorts. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I love wearing them; I genuinely, genuinely love wearing them.

The first pair I bought were nothing special, and I selected them solely on the basis of their ridiculously low sale price, simply for the sake of giving them a shot. I was shocked at how much better they felt and performed in comparison to ordinary riding shorts. So, a couple of days ago, itching for some new gear and looking forward to ODRAM, I decided to purchase another pair.

Now, having said all that, it’s important to add that I am not proud, and I have far too little shame. I fully and deeply embrace the fact that I am and look like a complete dork most of the time, and especially when I don cycling clothes, and all the more so still when bib shorts are part of the ensemble. It’s not difficult for me to accept this fact. This manifestation of dorkish behavior is not what makes me a dork; rather, it is merely but one of many expressions of who I truly and already am at my core, i.e., a dork.

Being, therefore, sufficiently comfortable (or oblivious, as the case may be) so as to kit up with reckless abandon and pedal shamelessly over hill and dale assaulting the eyes of so many innocent bystanders before they can avert them while striking the serious pose of a Cat 1 aspirant despite the pitiful 14.3mph showing on my cyclometer, I was profoundly nonplussed (and this, by the way is in fact the underlying impetus for this entire post, i.e., an excuse to occasion the wider circulation of some of the most daft and doltish words ever typed) to read this comment from someone reviewing one of the items I was considering:

These shorts are quite comfortable and appear to be made of top-quality materials. The “chamois” seems to be particularly well thought-out. It seemed odd therefore that the leg seams appear to be a bit off-kilter, giving the shorts a distinctly clownish appearance. I’m going to wear them anyway . . . but not to events where I’ll be seen by a lot of other cyclists.

Uh, really?

I honestly don’t even know where or how to begin responding to this, because every time I set out to do so I begin laughing uncontrollably. I mean, really? In my humble opinion, it would be a real mind-bender to spot Bozo amid any run-of-the-mill crowd o’ Freds at the local charity ride. Be honest; don’t you think?

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Hancock Horizontal Hundred

Is anyone in our reading audience interested in (or already thinking about) riding this year’s Hancock Horizontal Hundred in Findlay, OH, on Sunday, September 9? It’s a terrific ride, especially if you’re looking to do either your first century or your fastest.

They’ve put together a nice little promo video for this year event:

Click here if you need more info on the ride. If you’re ready to register, click here instead.

Post a comment to let us know if you plan on going.

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.

up with people

I just returned yesterday from the League of Michigan Bicyclists’ 2012 Upper Peninsula Tour. What a fantastic week — the best of my entire summer, hands down.

Throughout the coming week, I’ll be posting more on the day to day happenings of the ride (hopefully, along with some pictures if folks make good on their promises to send them to me). But for now, I just want to give a great big “on your left!” shout out, and a very heartfelt tip of the cycling cap, to all the beautiful, warm, lovely people I met and hung out with for the last eight days.

In no particular order, here’s to you…

  • Liz and Vivia from Kentucky and Missouri, respectively (Thanks for providing me with the perfect traveling soundtrack, among so many other things.)
  • Jan and Jill from Ohio (Congrats on completing your first tour, Jan. And thanks to you both for ensuring that I’ll never again look at pigs the same way.)
  • Chris and his wife, whose name I can’t recall (sorry!), from Midland (Good luck with the fall semester, Chris. I look forward riding in your neck of the woods sometime.)
  • Linda and Mary (You two are good times; that’s all there is to it.)
  • Frank (You’re one of a kind, brother.)
  • Dale and Julianne (It was nice thinking and discussing deep thoughts with you on Sugar Island. Is there anything better to do on a bicycle?)
  • Jeremy, the civil engineer from Chicago who rides in Chuck Taylors and digs Flogging Molly
  • Alan, also from Chicago (How’d you make out at that class reunion?)
  • Bob and Jeanne (Congrats on your first tour Jeanne! I’m glad you all shared a pint with us at the Soo Brewing Company.)
  • Tim and his wife, whose name I can’t recall (sorry!), who rode beautiful handmade Waterford touring bicycles.
  • Dale and Lynn from Minnesota (I can think of absolutely no more fitting a word to say to you than, “Cheers!”)
  • Linda, Mattie-Rose, and Cliff from Adrian! (It was wicked great meeting you. Linda and Mattie: you are two of the coolest people I’ve ever met; you’re like characters in a novel. I hope to see the two of you on a club ride soon.)
  • Chad from Ohio (How on earth did you talk me into climbing that hill on Sugar Island? Good Lord, man! What did I ever do to you?)
  • John from Minnesota (Seriously, you had to climb the aforementioned hill twice? You’re an animal!)
  • Faith and her husband, whose name I can’t recall (sorry!), from Georgia (Let’s hear it for smart neighbors. I’ll miss that soothing southern drawl of yours.)
  • Roger (Thanks for the tips on self-supported touring, brother; I’ll see you on the road.)
  • Katie from Indianapolis (You’re going to make an outstanding teacher. Good luck wrapping up your degree program this year.)

You all are such a spectacular bunch of folks. (And to those of you whom I failed to list, I am genuinely sorry, because you’re every bit as swell as these folks; I promise.) Thank you all for a terrific week. I’m so glad our paths crossed, and I deeply hope they cross again very soon. One way or another, I’ll see you down the road.

Finally, sincerest thanks to Rich, Kristy, Jenny, Jim, and every single one of the volunteers who made this such a successful and well-run tour. I heard nothing but good things being said by my fellow riders. We appreciate you and all you do very, very much. Thanks again.

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.

re-hydration

While the threat of nasty weather kept most riders at home, five stalwart fellows enjoyed one of the best club rides of the season, and celebrated accordingly with a proper mid-ride re-hydration break in Palmyra, courtesy of Bell’s Oberon. Cheers!

Impeding Traffic

The League of Michigan Bicyclists is requesting information…

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
Recently, LMB has learned of a number of cyclists being stopped for impeding traffic. If you are one of those cyclists, please email your story (with as much detail as possible) to John@LMB.org to help us in our efforts to preserve bicyclists rights to the roads.