Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bikes, books, and bakeries

Cross-posted on Dose of Reality

As has been discussed here previously, I’m training for a large bike ride that is coming up in less than a month. As usual, I’ve been tracking not only my mileage and speed, but also my ranking on BikeJournal. I like to think of it as my keeping-up-with-the-crazy-cycling-Jones-o-meter. If I’m rising in the ranks, then I’m biking more than the average member, and if I’m falling, I’m not keeping up. Granted, in order to stay even one really only needs to bike about 2 miles per day, but it’s still an interesting metric, and plotting it over time makes it even more interesting.

Look how much awesomer I am than last year! So far my predictions about dermatology and research rotations as good for biking are bearing out. Check back in another month or so to see what kind of curve the ICU month generates...

My training schedule marches ever onward, and I’ve been looking for longer rides to fit into my training schedule. Luckily, I received a copy of Cycling Michigan: 30 of the Best Bike Routes in East Michigan by Karen Gentry for either my birthday or Christmas over the winter, and stuck it on my shelf for summer reference. I pulled it out a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised! It features lots of rides, as the title suggests, in the eastern part of our lovely state, and includes quite a few that start in or near Ann Arbor. Because Michigan has so many beautiful places to ride, it can be hard to find a book with more than one ride in any given place, but Ms. Gentry does not disappoint.

 The first ride from the book took us through some beautiful countryside out to Manchester and back. Here is my bike posing for the picture.

My one complaint about the book is that each ride is described in copious detail without a succinct cue sheet or list of turns, and the maps are not detailed enough to use alone. On the first ride I did from the book, I simply copied the pages describing the ride and stuffed them into my jersey pocket. I had to stop frequently to read through the text to figure out where I should turn next. Two weeks later, much the wiser, I went through the book before the ride, typing up a cue sheet and copying the map onto the lower half. It was much easier to just follow the turns and glance at the map for reassurance. I love the routes in the book, but would recommend a little prep work to make for a better ride!

 The second ride went through Dexter, Pinckney, Brighton, and yes, Hell, MI. 

Another thing that makes for a better ride: doughnuts! I could not write a post about my recent bike rides without mentioning the Dexter Bakery. They make by far the finest apple fritter I have ever consumed, as well as wonderful soft pretzles and regular doughnuts as well; I would highly recommend it as a cycling stop. It’s conveniently located about 11 miles from downtown Ann Arbor, making it an imminently reasonable cycling destination. Yum!


  1. Regarding the line graph comment: You should make a custom x-axis labeling system where time is measured in rotations.

  2. As always, Ash, you know just how to taunt me. I should NOT be spending time coding my med school segments into an axis! But I may just do that anyway... Stay tuned...

  3. And you didn't even stop to say hi when you were just down the road. Didn't you just love that hill. that is where I took a close look at the pavement last fall.

  4. I know! I thought of you, but was somewhat crabby from the aforementioned hill and didn't think you'd really want to see me at that point... :)

  5. Dad and I are happy to hear you are enjoying your birthday gift. He was hoping to do a ride or two with you this summer!

  6. We did some rides together - with Jake too! Thanks again for the gift. :)