Monday, September 04, 2006

It was warm today so a few of us decided to ride.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Adventures Of A
Michigan Cyclist in Tennessee
- ms

I will start this recap to the event with my foolishly taking sinus/allergy medicine the Friday before to combat a sinus headache that I was experiencing. Now from experience I knew that this results in a very poor performance the following day. It was risk that or suffer through the 8-10 hour ride to Tennessee. I took my chances and the results were pretty bad. The first 20 miles were tolerable but the last 40 were a continuous
sufferfest. With this being probably the warmest day that I've ridden this year and the terrain being rather different than the "rolling hills" that we have in Michigan, (meaning they had some killer hills and they were stacked one after another), it was a struggle to complete the entire metric century. I thought I was suffering up Roan Mtn. in Tennessee/North Carolina. Every turn of the pedal required a great deal of effort.

On a more positive note the MDCC led by Eddie Sloan had a real nice pace line going after the start but we didn't realize how nice it was until we started dropping back. I was first to fall off the pace at about the 10-15 mile mark shortly before the first rest stop. As I pulled off to drop back and ride at a more comfortable pace a continuous line of riders came floating by. I counted at least 15 folks that had jumped on our train. The line was so long that I almost had enough time to recover and hop on the back but not quite. As I understand it Larry dropped shortly after myself and was getting thank you's for the strong pull when he rolled to the back.

There wouldn't be a ride with a story of misadventure. Shortly before the final rest stop I had just crested a long climb and was enjoying the descent when I heard "car back!" being yelled behind me. I going to attribute what happened next to my state of extreme fatigue. I ventured over to the right to give the vehicle passing room only I ventured a bit too far and was suddenly off road. Unfortunately there was about 6 inches of gravel next to the pavement and next to the gravel was an incline of grass leading to a ditch. Now all this wouldn't have been so bad had I not been going 30+ mph. To complicate matters there were driveways approaching fast with mailboxes. I had 2 thoughts at this moment and 1 verbal reaction.
The 2 thoughts were:1. I'm going to crash in an out of state tour wearing my club uniform and 2. These mailboxes are fast coming pretty fast! My single verbal reaction was: (repeated over and over) Oh darn!

The positives from this experience are that I didn't crash nor did anyone I know see all this happen. One of the few advantages of getting dropped. I still felt compelled to confess what had happened first to Eddie who graciously fell back and rode with me all the way to the end of the ride and eventually to the rest of the crew. Which was good because shortly after I admitted to my attempt at cycle-cross, several ladies that witnessed the entire horrific event rolled into the final rest stop to recap this embarrassing experience from their perpective behind me. They did happen to compliment me on my bike handling skills and felt the need to call me Lance (ala the Tour 2003) which I felt was very nice of them to try to boost my morale in this time of utter embarrassment.

The rest of the ride was simply a continuation of everything else the preceded this event with continued suffering and struggling to make some of the steep climbs that I still wouldn't have described as rollers had I been in better condition.

Again Eddie was there with me giving advice (breathing techniques, climbing etc...) and motivating me probably out of fear that I would be ending up in the sag considering the snails pace that I was forcing him to travel. The final climb into the parking lot was in itself a monumental struggle but I still had the strength (or insanity) to challenge Eddie to a sprint to his van to which he humbly declined saying he was too tired (likely that he was so bored that his legs had fallen asleep from near pedestrian pace). I thanked him for turning down my ludicrous challenge and I made it without the sag. A major accomplishment considering how I felt for more than 50% of the ride. Thanks again to Eddie for escorting me and the same to Larry who did the same for a portion of the ride.

The next day was planned as a laid back recovery ride...............until Eddie led us to this hill that had me saying in mid-climb "I'm heading back to the house" and Larry to murmur "Darn Eddie". The worst thing about this hill was where it was in respect to the total miles (mile 3 at most out of a total of 30 for the day). After this wake up climb Eddie says this hill he uses to warm up. I was just seconds earlier saying I wish I had brought my windvest. So steep and long was this climb that had you been a bit chilly before this climb you were definitely unzipping your jersey, clicking to your easiest gear, and out of the saddle throwing your bike from side to side to keep from rolling backwards. This hill made the rest of the ride seem like a piece of cake.

We rolled to our midpoint rest destination where we were immediately greeted by the friendliest pit bull you'll ever want to see. Of course the meer sight of this beast made Brian do an amazing disappearing act. The rest was brief but we decided to head back by way of a "swing bridge" that Eddie wanted us to check out all the while with the friendly pit bull following for at least a mile all the way. He had taken a definite liking to me much to Brian's annoyance. After a brief photo opp on the bridge that traversed and beautiful stream we headed to a friend of Eddie's who had crashed the previous day. He's the owner of an extraordinary lodge that I could not describe with any degree of justice. The climb up to it itself is challenging enough. The owner has ambitions, being an avid cyclist, of making it a cycling haven, running tours and rides out of it on a regular basis. The general area surrounding this location is a cyclist's heaven, unless you're a flatlander then you'll probably consider it hell. There are relatively flat routes that run along beautiful babbling brooks and streams but there is almost no way to avoid some steep climbs.

Heading back we were rolling at a moderate pace and I was feeling pretty good. Eddie was no longer doing all the pulls and had rolled to the back leaving Brian up front after sharing the front with Eddie. I thought it only right to give the guy a break and do my fair share. Big mistake. I took my brief turn on the front and had purposely had the speed on my computer turned off thus I had no idea what speed we had been traveling. Apparently Daryl and the rest took this as a challenge and I must have increased the tempo because once I pulled off the rest of the group came blazing past me and it took everything I had to hang on for the brief time that I did. It was like they had opened the gates at the Kentucky Derby. I made a mental note to remind myself why I hate doing pulls with these animals. Upon catching back up with them (minus Eddie who again graciously rode with me) which was inevitable because they didn't know where the hell they were going, I let Daryl and Brian know what a dirty deed that was to which they replied "What?" "Who me?". We were all anticipating the climb up Eddie's driveway (17% grade) to his house which can only be described as the type of climb that has you leaning so far over your handle bars that your nose gets burnt on your front tire. It’s so steep that if you're weight is distributed too far forward your rear wheel will begin slipping. Well as we approached Eddie's driveway I made sure I was in my climbing gear so that I wouldn't be doing any shifting during the climb. Daryl was out front with Brian behind him. They seemed to hesitate just as the turn into the driveway got closer so I went wide. Brian announced "let me get out of you guy's way and he seemed be almost going straight because I was coming around in front of him making the turn on to the driveway. Daryl I later found was in the wrong gear so I went by him right at the base. I was leaning over my bars trying to get some leverage when, due in part to the moist pavement my rear wheel began to slip so I had to redistribute my weight to the rear and keep grinding away. Suddenly Eddie comes smoothly cruising by me, still in the saddle mind you, and I thought very briefly of trying to beat him to the top but thought better of it and continued at my current pace till I reached the chairs outside his garage where I dropped my steed (I actually laid it down) and collapsed into one of his chairs. Eddie, once again was so kind as to pick up my bike and move it out of harms way, which I really appreciate. The perfect end to another great cycling adventure with the fellas.

Let me add that the hospitality was like a four star inn with wonderful breakfasts and a delicious spaghetti dinner on arrival night. Thank you Kathy who fed us so well and made it difficult to leave the table to get on our bikes for the rides.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Motown meets Blount County
Detroit cyclists take part in late spring bike kickoff
May 24, 2006
Sports Editor
Blount Today

Chain Reaction co-workers dubbed her "Itchy" after Melissa Brown went three rounds with a stubborn patch of poison ivy in her front yard two years ago.

"She had that lotion all over her, and everybody in the shop just started calling her "Itchy," friend and Walland cyclist Eddie Sloan said.

Brown, sans the ivy, was a big hit with the Metro Detroit Cycling Club at last weekends Tour de Blount bicycle rally. MDCC cyclists Mark Swint, Larry Carter, Brian Cox and Daryl Heard marveled at Brown's speed on some of the steep hills in and around Laurel Valley.

Carter, 57, a retired supervisor at General Motors Milford Proving Grounds, had ridden with Brown before. They'd shared a ride in the Western North Carolina mountains just last month.

"I came up behind her and said, "Who's that little girl?" Carter said. "We rode back together. I started cramping up, and she rode off and left me."

The 4-foot-11 Brown, who rides "the smallest bike Cannondale makes," remembers the moment fondly. I left him on the hills. I looked back to find myself riding alone. I wasn't sure if he had stopped or what.

Brown, Sloan and Carter are indicative of the broad sweep of the 700-plus cyclists who gathered at the staging area at Heritage High School for the Tour de Blount's annual run. Evidenced by her climbing prowess, Brown, 31, represents the great equalizer cycling can prove for the smaller athlete. Carter, Sloan and their MDCC teammates represent a place where the sport hopes to go.

Founded by Detroit native MacArthur Davis, MDCC formed after Swint, Cox, Heard, Carter and Davis continued to run into each other at various events. The club grew quickly from its founding five members to a roster now 18-strong. With MDCC's success, Carter said the club decided to take cycling to Detroit's African American communityu at large, a place where the sport traditionally had little following.

"We said, "Why don't we take this to a community where it doesn't get much exposure," Carter said.

Sloan, a lifelong f
an of 20th century African American cycling champion Marshall W. "Major" Taylor, happened upon Carter and his MDCC teammates at a rally along the Michigan/Canadian border a few years ago. With the pace of the ride not quite to his liking, the Walland bike fit specialist said he began looking around for a group pedaling a quicker tempo. Seconds later, Swint, Cox, Heard, Daelemans, and Carter came hurtling up the road in single file.

"I said, 'Now those guys are probably from a club," Sloan said. "They were cuttin' a good pace. Not only did I jump on their wheel, but 15 or 20 othere people did, too."

Sloan's knowledge of cycling etiquette - ask before sitting in someone's draft uninvited - impressed club members.

"They said, 'People have been jumping on our wheel all day long. You're the first one to ask,'" Sloan said. "You can ride with us anytime."

When Sloan returned to Walland, MDCC made him President of its newly chartered Tennessee chapter.

"Since I'm the only (Tennessee) member, I kind of got it by default," Sloan quipped. "They've had a great time down here. I really appreciate the hospitality people have shown them."

Swint, Cox, and Heard returned to Detroit on Sunday. Carter stayed on until Tuesday to get in a few more climbs, including Montvale Road's famed "The Wall." The searing 3-mile climb into Happy Valley is something Sloan insisted Carter see before leaving.

Brown had some advice for Carter as he and a collection of cyclist, which included Brown's husband Ken, set off for the Blount County brute Tuesday morning.

"All the views are worth the climbs," she said.

That was before Sloan and the others included "Sweetie Pie," a stunning 27-percent grade out of Happy Valley, in Tuesday's ride.

"He may never come back," Brown said.

Oh, he'll be back, Carter said. Brown's going to get that rematch.

"The riding (this weekend) was excellent," Carter said. "The people were great. The countryside was breathtaking.

"So were the hills."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Coveted Yellow Jersey...
was awarded to the Original Travel Squad at last weeks Tennessee Training Camp. Additional commentary will be uploaded once all the stories are in. Check back often...there will be some doosies.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Detroit Bike To Work Day
May 18th was Bike To Work Day here in Detroit. As you can see neither rain, wind, nor puddles, could keep Reggie from making his appointed rounds. Thanks for representing the MDCC in the "D".

Thursday, May 11, 2006

North Carolina Training Camp
April 23 - 26

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

3 State, 3 Mountain Challenge
Tennessee Chapter President Smooth Eddie represented the MDCC well at the 3 State, 3 Mountain Challenge. If you know Eddie like we know Eddie, he was doing all the pulling! Way to go Eddie! This is one of the Southeast's most challenging centuries. The rigorous 100 mile option takes you through 3 states (Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia) and over 3 mountains (Suck Creek, Sand, and Lookout). It is hailed by cyclists as the most unique century they've ever ridden.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

2006 Burnsville Metric Century-Burnsville, NC

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Waterford Spring Training Series #2
Today was the second of the Waterford Hills Spring Training Series. Again, two (2) MDCC members represented in today's event, capturing the 12th and 14th places in the windy race. Today's race had less participants, but the rider quality and therefore the pace was turned up a notch.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Spring Training Series
Two (2) Metro Detroit Cycling Club members represented at the first of the Spring Training Series Races held in Waterford, Michigan this past Saturday. This was the first race participation of the year for the club. Approximately 89 men and women braved the cold & wind to test their legs in this early season. All racers were congratulated by the race organizers for their ability to "just show up!" They also went on to say that many of our riding buddies had "planned to show up" but had not made the decision to "show up". Unfortunately, a lot of that speech went over our heads because the longer he talked the colder we got. But I'm sure it was a good speech.

In the "C" category race the MDCC finished 15th out of 25. It is said that these early season training races are held to evaluate where you stand fitness and race technique wise. These races are designed to familiarize you with holding a wheel, working the draft, responding to accelerations, riding smoothly and predictably, protecting your position in the pack, and learning to move up/down the bunch, etc.

Upon finishing the race we were congratulated again and then asked to state what we gained from the experience. Hopefully, we can take what we learned today and apply it next time.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Flyte Performance Bicycles, Inc.
Inks Deal To Sponsor
Metro Detroit Cycling Club

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Congratulations go out to Miss Yvonne on her first Sunday Ride with the group. Her first ride went off without a hitch. Her second ride... now that's a different story. If you don't know... you had better ask somebody! Just suffice it to say that she beat everybody back to the finish line.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Team Metro Detroit

Friday, February 17, 2006

Chef Kathleen finishing her soon to be released DVD entitled Stretching For Cyclists.

It's cold!
Winter Training Will Knock You Out!
A few hardy souls gather at Kensington Metro Park to work out the kinks on the rolling terrain. That's Mike, Key Lime, Daryl, Larry, Richard, and Mark.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

MDCC Training Camp April 26-30
Bakersville, NC
Join the Metro Detroit Cycling Club and other cyclists from around the country as we train in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The itenary includes climbing Roan Mountain and Mt. Mitchell, two of the highest peaks East of the Rockies. For more information, click the comments button below.

MDCC Member Chef Kathleen
The MDCC doesn't just ride bikes. Here's Chef Kathleen, our very own World Renowned Cycling Chef. She's always preaching healthy eating and exercise. Her books are available at all major bookstores.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

MDCC Brings Home Gold!
MacArthur "Dave" Davis slows down just long enough for a picture with some of his championship hardware. Here he is with (4) out of (5) 1st place medal finishes, (1) 2nd place and the championship win at HFP/Wheelie Fun racing series in Ohio 2005. He is the 2005 Division Champion-HFP Duathlon series. In competition he scored 758 out of a possible 770 points (almost a perfect score!) Big UPS to Dave!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Mark

"Lethal" Larry Carter with his 62 Tooth Big Ring

Dave Davis at the Hines Park TT
We forgive you Dave, for wearing the wrong uniform.

2005 Hines Park Time Trial
Key Lime

Mark T

Secret Squirrel

2004 Major Taylor Michigan State
Road Race Championships
MDCC representing in honor of The Major in our first season of operation. This was a very eye opening experience. A wealth of knowledge was gained by the crew. We are looking forward to next year.

Daryl followed closely by MTCC's Dr. Spoke

Smooth Eddie & Mark Swint Descending in Ohio Tour
There's Eddie giving a clinic on how to descend, followed closely by The Draft Master, Mark Swint.

2005 Inaugural Major Taylor
Metric Century - Columbus, Ohio
Excellent time had by all. The MTCC-Ohio fellas put on a great all day event which concluded with the Ohio State Criterium Championships. The usual suspects from the Travel Squad were there including a surprise edition... "Rollin' Reggie Spratling", pictured below, back to the camera.

Rollin' Reggie Spratling