Bike Race: a story

Your not-so-humble correspondent. Charleston, IL. Sept 24, 2022.

“Tour de Charleston,” someone posts on a fecebook bike forum.
“Will there be gravel?” I ask.
“No gravel! And the course will be swept.”

So I visit the web site. There are 3 races: 12.5-mile, 25-mile, and 62.5-mile, a metric century. Prizes are awarded in male and female divisions, in several age categories. I make a calculated guess that the metric century would have the fewest competitors of my age group. I pay the $50 fee and register for my first ever bike race.

Continue reading “Bike Race: a story”


“Cycling and Gender Intersect in Meaningful Ways.”

Any bets on whether my local bike club will survive beyond this season? Emails lightly edited for brevity, all names anonymized except my own.

Sat, Mar 19, 2022
I was able to renew my membership with the link to the Website.  I noticed that the application requires a “gender” designation that only includes male or female.  This is now very out of date.  I identify as Female, but there are many who find this restrictive.  We need to replace the gender with more options for our gender-queer or LGBT or other gender options friends.  I can recommend a consultant for language, or we can reach out to the UP Center.


Better yet, get rid of the “Gender” check box!


What is the purpose of the gender check box? 


There is no reason to have a gender checkbox.
If there’s a reason to know someone’s sex, there can be a checkbox for Male, Female, and Prefer Not To Say.


No boxes for me, I’m out!  And, please take me off the mailing/e-mail list.


I agree with A and B.
I will be happy to renew my membership after BIKECLUB has spoken with Uniting Pride of Champaign County about how to be non-binary in the membership form and how to be a LGBTQ+ Affirming organization.
If you do away with the gender box, that might solve a small part.
Thank you A!!
(she/her) but related to people who identify in many other non-cis, non-binary

  Continue reading ““Cycling and Gender Intersect in Meaningful Ways.””


Two Millennia of Centuries

If you’ve wondered why my creative output this summer has been relatively thin, it’s because I spend most of my energy and time biking (and recovering, eating, bike maintenance, route planning, looking at maps, etc.) in the warmer months. Once it gets cold and I’m stuck inside again with no place to go but inward, I hope to continue work on my Animated Apocalypse.

In the Book of Revelation, the Millennium is a thousand-year reign of peace prior to the “second resurrection” and end of the world. If a Millennium needs to pass before the Apocalypse can be completed, maybe my own Millennium would enable my little animation project to be completed. So, I set out to bicycle 10 centuries (hundred-mile rides).

The First Century

The Second Century

The Third Century

The Fourth Century

The Fifth Century

The Sixth Century

The Seventh Century

The Eighth Century

The Ninth Century

The Tenth Century

I reached my goal in July, but instead of getting back to work on my project, I rode yet another century, initiating a Second Millennium:

The Eleventh Century

Just as the world didn’t end a thousand years after Christ, my project stalled too. Here in Reality we’re already in the Twenty-First Century, and Time hasn’t stopped yet, although it certainly feels like The End Is Near. So I figured, what the hell, I’ll do another ten centuries, that’ll put my Apocalypse more in sync with the mythological one.

The Twelfth Century

The Thirteenth Century

The Fourteenth Century

The Fifteenth Century

The Sixteenth Century

The Seventeenth Century

The Eighteenth Century

The Nineteenth Century

The Twentieth Century

Now that two Millennia have passed, will my Apocalypse proceed? Maybe, but first I need a nap.


“Midwest MountainGoat” for me and other Midwest Cyclists

I’m part of an online group for Midwest Cyclists. This month our ringleader, Cliff, issued a challenge to climb 15,000 feet. In Central Illinois, particularly Champaign County, this is harder than it sounds. Some riders cheated by driving to better start locations, but all my rides started and ended at home in Urbana, which meant I had to go crazy long distances just to get to something resembling terrain. So in addition climbing almost 20,000 feet in August, I also rode over 1,000 miles.

Did I mention I’ve ridden 15 centuries (100+ mile rides) so far this year? I keep thinking I’ll blog about it, but I continue procrastinating instead. Easier to think about my next long ride than to write about it. (You can see what I’ve been up to at )

Cycling clears my mind so effectively that in high season I hardly do anything else. I’m either riding, or recovering, or eating (big calorie deficits!), or fiddling with my bikes (I got another new-to-me vintage recumbent this summer), or staring at maps, or just generally procrastinating until I can bike again. Hence, not much drawing and even less (i.e. no) animation. Colder weather will force me inside, literally and figuratively, where my attention will eventually re-engage with artistic creativity. Until then, I’m just a pedaling animal like this mountain goat.