Not long into last Thursday night’s Maple Wheelers club ride, Sherm and I decided to break away off the front. After swapping pulls and pacing at an average of around 25 mph for roughly three miles, Sherm apologetically said, “That’s all I’ve got,” and all I could think was, “Thank the good Lord, because a little part of me died 500 yards into this madness!”
I read today that Tom Boonen averaged 27.01 mph over the course of his recent Paris-Roubaix victory, time-worn pavé be damned. Can you imagine? Think about the next time you’re bouncing along that pockmarked section of the Kiwanis Trail just south of Occidental.
Speaking of, yesterday, while cycling with Mayor Greg Dumars, Dane Nelson (City Administrator), Chris Miller (Adrian Downtown Development Coordinator), and others, to celebrate National Bike to Work Day, I learned that the aforementioned section of trail is going to be completely rebuilt over the course of three years beginning this summer. And that wasn’t all I learned concerning efforts to promote cycling and walking in Adrian. Suffice it to say for now that there are some really exciting things on the horizon for cyclists in our community.
Back to the topic of spirited rides, another local rider asked me today about getting together to ride. Said gentleman is of the triathlete persuasion, and I’m afraid he’s soon to learn that riding with me will be like pedaling a sixty-pound bike with under-inflated tires uphill and into the wind. Apologies in advance, brother.
Yesterday, NPR had an interview with Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycle Works, in which Petersen makes a delightfully natural, perfectly persuasive, “how-much-more-obvious-can-this-be” case for steel and wool, for the average cyclist, for “riding a bicycle [being] just a natural part of your life,” and, what I found most inviting of all, for “sub-24-hour overnights,” which is something I absolutely must try this summer.
All of this has got me thinking how I ride, about how much I sincerely enjoy riding all sorts of bikes, in all sorts of ways, at all sorts of speeds, to do all sorts of things, and about how many different things factor into how any particular ride goes. It seems to me that this is one of many things that make riding a bicycle so great, and precisely what keeps it something I genuinely and deeply love rather than becoming one more thing I have to do.
What about you? How do you like to ride, and why?
On an altogether different note, a couple of miscellaneous items.
I’ve vehemently and unwaveringly resisted the urgings of so many family, friends, and colleagues to join Facebook. The more they plead with me to do so (to say nothing of mocking and ridiculing me for not doing so), the more I resist. It’s become a matter of principle, really. I do, however, have a Twitter account, and I’m trying to make a bit more use of it. On the whole, it’s a much better way than this blog to keep abreast of more time-sensitive issues, like canceled club rides, last-minute meet-ups, route detouring road conditions, fresh road kill, unexpected bike swag, stage wins, podium finishes, toppled hot dog carts, pictures of me trying on new bib shorts…you get the idea. (OK, granted, some announcements are more important than others.) I’d therefore like to gentle encourage you (i.e., neither urge and plead, nor mock and ridicule) to consider following me (and this blog) on Twitter @velofolk, even if you’re not inclined ever to “tweet” yourself (which, frankly, sounds a bit uncomfortable, when I put it that way).
Oh! There are even murmurings among a very small handful of local cyclists about dabbing in the dark arts of frame-building. Man, there are so many cool things going on around here!