Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Socialist State of Illinois to Close 90 Mile Bike Trail

I hate it when politics and biking collide with each other.  It seems so hard to get anything accomplished in state and local government to promote biking.  Every time I see a new road being built I look for the bike lane that never appears and many times the trails are a jumble of short routes that never connect to each other.
Now in the state of Illinois it would seem that we are going backwards with the announcement that the state will be closing Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park.  This will result in the closure of a 90 mile bike trail, 30 miles of it paved.  The Hennepin Canal Trail passes through 6 counties and is a great recreational trail.  It is flat so it lends itself to all age groups and it is very scenic along the canal. blog entry "No trespassing" signs going up on 90-mile bike trail in Illinois outlines plans by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to close the park as of November 01, 2008.
Because of state government mismanagement, the State of Illinois is closing 11 state parks in order to save an estimated $14 million dollars a year.
As a citizen of the State of Illinois, I am offended that my government would choose to close a perfectly good state park with a great bike trail when we all know that $14 million dollars in waste could be found by anyone of us in about 5 minutes!
While I'm sure each interest group could argue that their share of the budget pie is important, I would just like to point out that the political party that is telling me to check how much air I have in my tires, and how to take faster showers, and not to flush every time, is closing 90 MILES of bike trail.  How is this helpful for the environment?
Next time the citizens of Illinois hear about another wasteful spending plan they should consider that many of the outdoor spaces they use to enjoy will soon be gone if they are not already. 
Please contact the governor and your state legislators and tell them to quit using our outside spaces to fund their wasteful spending.
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244 or 312-814-2121
You can find Illinois State Senators or Representatives here.
It's hard enough to get new biking trails open.  Let's not close 90 miles of GREAT existing trail.
Big Mel

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Silent Sports Magazine Editor Out of Touch

Anyone who enjoys biking in the Midwest has done themselves a disservice if they haven't checked out Silent Sports magazine. Silent Sports covers biking, paddlesports, and cross country skiing, etc. throughout the Northern Midwest.

Besides listing the many events that occur each month by state and featuring tips and places to participate in the sports listed above, the magazine and website promote these silent sports. Many times this includes railing against ATVs, Snow Mobiles, and Motor Cross; and criticizing downhill skiing.

Recently, however, the editor of Silent Sports magazine, Joel Patenaude, took it upon himself to inject the presidential race into this topic on his Blog. In his post "VP Candidate's Family Profited By and Illegally Rode Off-Road Motor Vehicles,"   Mr. Patenaude tries to indicate that Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin might not be a friend to the environment; especially the silent sports environment.

Mr. Patenuade uses the idea that Sarah's husband Todd had a DWI in 1986 and operated a off-road vehicle illegally in a game refuge in 2002 to try and indicate that, in his words, "the Palin family harbored a love of motor sports for fun as well as profit – public land be damned, apparently – that would tell us more than enough about her values."

Mr. Petenuade, when you use stretch arguments and Liberal Democratic talking points veiled in the defense of silent sports, it comes across as idiotic. Not only is it obvious that you were simply trying to make a political point that you think we should all vote Democratic, it is hard to take you seriously when you sound like even participating in something 'with an engine' makes a person evil; at least not eligible to be vice president.

I believe all sports motorized and not motorized deserve their place and if people want to ride a motorcycle instead of a bike that is their choice. I believe there should be rules that control when and where you can ride an ATV, but I also believe people should be able to ride them and/or buy and sell them.

Your brand of extreme liberal nonsense does nothing to promote silent sports in a worthwhile way and actually gives those of us that support silent sports less credibility in the arena of public opinion. We cannot gain support for our 'agenda' by taking away the rights of others; that is just more liberal nonsense.

I am disappointed in you, but I am more disappointed that a great magazine has to be associated and edited with such an extreme viewpoint.

My rights are important, but not more so than the rights of others.

Big Mel

Monday, September 15, 2008

Greg Got a New Bike!

Congratulations to my daughters Godfather Greg on his new Trek 1500 Road Bike! I knew we made a good choice! The picture shows Greg's new bike with his kids, Kayla, and Garrett.

Greg recently completed his first mini-triathlon in under an hour and will be competing in the Fingerlakes Triathlon this weekend to raise money for the Mary M. Gooley Hemophilia Center.

To read more about this event and to contribute, please click on the following link:

Good luck Greg! We expect record times now that you actually have a decent bike to ride!!

For more information on the Trek 1500 road bike go to and check it out!

Big Mel

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Check Out the New Look!

After weeks of preparation, the new look is here!!

I hope you enjoy the brighter layout. Look for additional content to be added in the upcoming weeks! We are thrilled at to have many wonderful sponsors, so please check them out when you are not out riding!

Go out and ride today!

Big Mel

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Shout Out to My Sister and Family!

Today I was lucky enough to have breakfast with my sister, her family, and my parents to celebrate my sisters birthday!! Happy Birthday Holly.

Whenever I start to feel old, I remember that my sister will always be older than me!!

A big shout out to my wonderful godchildren Blake and Emma. Emma is awesome! Brains and beauty, what more could you want. Blake is a sports stud and is smart enough to know that Albert Pujols is the greatest baseball player to play the game!! Send me the picture of you holding Pujols' ESPY and I'll put it on the website.

What does this have to do with biking?? NOTHING, GET OVER IT!! Big Mel just wants to brag on his godchildren and wish his sister a happy birthday.

Blake and Emma, it's time to start biking!! You can join me for the 2009 Big Ride, where ever that will be (grandma suggested Maryland)!!

Uncle Big Mel