Bike Tourin’: The premier bike tour of the year for Champaign-Urbana is coming up in just ten short days, as Prairie Cycle Club’s C-U Across the Prairie takes place on Saturday, August 15. The ride starts at Lake of the Woods and offers loops of 15, 35 and 63 miles. Organizer Sue Jones has brought in some great sponsors this year, which means that lunch from Minneci’s is included in the $30 entry fee ($25 for PCC members) — as is a bagel breakfast and one or two food stops, depending on the route — and sleek Subarus will ferry you back to town should you bonk. Sue’s also promised to bring along her bike-powered blender for some fruity-drink goodness. If organized tours are your thing, head to LOTW next weekend for a great example of a tour done right.
Get off my lawn! And my roads!: As Doug Hoepker posted on the SPlog last week, there’s an online petition in Iowa to ban bicycles from rural roads. As a native Iowan, it’s sad to see how many people have signed it, but I can’t say that it’s all that surprising. A couple of differences between rural Iowa and rural Illinois: Iowa has very few paved rural roads, forcing cyclists onto more-heavily trafficked county highways; and Iowa has many more rails-to-trails paths, of which the merits for utility cycling are debatable, but they do afford the car-traveling public the opportunity to say, “Stay on the paths that my tax dollars paid for!” Still, it’s a bummer that the home of RAGBRAI isn’t even a safe haven for rural cyclists.
Around the local blogs: All Bikes R Cool posted a link to an excellent collection of vintage Schwinn bikes. As an owner of a couple of vintage Schwinns, I can testify to their durability. Urbana-Champaign Cycling Ventures posted a couple of great links if you’re in the market for an urban bicycle. The first is a review of Surly’s Big Dummy, which looks absolutely awesome, and the second is a rundown on several bikes intended for city commuting. Both include bikes far out of my price range, but they’re useful if you’re comparison shopping, and especially if you’re hoping to ditch your car or continue to get by without one.
If you’re aware of other local cycling blogs, please pass them along in the comments section.
And now for something completely different: A rogue element of the Bike Project (full disclosure: including me) are putting on an alleycat on August 22 called The Mustache Ride. There will be a mustache contest (with divisions for both real and fake lip decorations), messenger games, and an afterparty with music from Viox and the Villens.
Registration is $10 before August 15 and includes a t-shirt with the logo to your right designed by SP’s own Gillian Gabriel. The price bumps up to $15 after next Saturday, so click the link above and get registered now to save some coin.