This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Country Bike Rally

     Sitting back now and relaxing in a worn chair, the most recent cold beer in front of me, I have a chance to reflect on all the toil of the past 9 months.  A  couple of years ago, several people I have met at bike rallies  asked me to have one in Michigan.  There are plenty of things to do in Michigan, but the coasts are like living cliches.  I thought the local and recently famous Barry Roubaix  gravel racecourse would be an attraction.  I labored for about 15 minutes, posting the idea on a couple of bike forums and another 10 mapping out a course on Map My Ride.  I used to live just off the course for 15 years and these are the routes I rode to Wal Mart and my son used to commute to his first two years of college.  So I kinda know the area.  After a few weeks, twenty people had chimed in to tell me they intended to come.  Inspired, I waited, expecting most people to let concerns like their jobs and family to somehow interfere with cycling.  .
      Five of us were unencumbered.  There was me (mystery man behind the camera) , Mike Line from Vermontville,  Jeffrey Marco from Oakland Mi, Jay Case from the Toledo area and Jim Hall from E. Leroy.
Mike rode his breathtaking A. Homer Hilson.  Fortunately it was too large for me to ride. 
After building two Riv's in one year my recovery had been going well. 
Just gaping at it I could feel relapse  tugging on my wallet.
    Jim is an admitted spandex hamster who was all in for the weekend borrowing Mike's Hunqapillar and wearing hiking shoes.   I have to admit the green paint on the new Hunq's is really attractive in person, none of the photos do it justice.  He was also using the Little Ben tires and their 36mm actual size really demonstrates the massive clearance available on the Hunq.
Jeffrey commuted 60 miles from Lansing with camping gear for the weekend.  
His Atlantis was geared up and I am sure he learned a lot on his first overnight.

 Jay was the only one riding a more contemporary Giant carbon mountain bike, which we didn't hold against him personally.  It was the lugs that made them faster on the hills Jay.  
We all know the lugs make us faster!
Once we got off the beaten asphalt and out into the real forest a couple of questions arose;
"Aren't there any people out here?"
"We were supposed to turn at which oak tree?"
Most of the roads and intersections are well marked and, since the weather had been so dry lately,
the roads were pretty smooth,  As gravel goes that is.
There were still some eye rattling climbs,
 although mostly short, they can be intense
This is forestland, protected marsh and farmland.  
Homes are few, far between and any service is more rare.
Climbing hills does have it's reward and the descents can prove to be intense as well.
After twenty miles or so we took a break for lunch at Walldorff's Brew Pub in Hastings.
The weather was perfect all weekend.  
We were even rewarded with an Easterly breeze to help us home in the afternoon.
After lunch the 20 miles back is more relaxed terrain until reaching the climb of the day.
  I managed to modify the route from the regular Barry Roubaix and dumbed it down from Cat 4 to Cat 5.  Funny, nobody complained.  The glory of the ride is the last 5 miles which is virtually coasting, down a Cat 5.  There is nothing to complain about there.
The only mechanical issue we suffered all day was an uncooperative shift cable on Jeffrey's Atlantis.  Mike and Jim turned it into a group mission and made sure it was corrected for his ride home.  Later in the evening, Jay, Jeffrey and myself  were invited to party with a group who had come over from Detroit  to enjoy the MTB trails in Yankee Springs.
Beers were had of course and stories of the bikes were passed on all sides.  
 Jokes of our obsession were passed along as well.
Everybody involved came away with memories of a great weekend, new friends
and I gained a couple more headbadges
for my digital collection collage.
All in all it was a...


  1. Excellent! If only I were closer and wouldn't need to use so much vacation time to travel back and forth. This sounds like my kind of event. Well done.

  2. It was a great time all the way around. Hopefully more people will be able to make time for something next year.