Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Secret Is Out!

I have tried to keep this secret as long as I could, but yesterday a friend of called and revealed that she had figured out the secret.  The funny thing was ... she didn't even know it was a secret.  She didn't realize that she had stumbled across one of my closest kept secrets and so casually exposed it!

She had just been to for the first time (hard to believe I know) and said that although the content was trite, silly, and a waste of time (my words, not hers), she saw a REAL INTELLIGENCE in my writing.

You can't put that back in the bottle once it has been released!  The secret is out there now ...


Now that the secret is out there, I want to assure my loyal readers that I will continue to be the same person I have always appeared to be in my writings.  I promise to continue to write the same incoherent dribble about biking that I have always written.  In fact, I pledge to work harder to inspire people less with my inept ramblings so that no one else need worry about stumbling on the secret of my intelligence again.

My only hope is that the revelation of my intelligence will not make you think less of me, or that my website is only for the biking intelligentsia.  All are welcome at ... intelligent people or complete morons!

Big Mel
PS: Why can't my wife, Mrs. Big Mel, stop laughing?  She must be intimidated by my REAL INTELLIGENCE!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 is Now On Facebook.

Yes, it's true. has ventured over to the 'dark side' and is now on Facebook!

So in between telling your friends what you're making for dinner and thinking of 25 random things about yourself, please visit and become a fan!  Who knows, maybe you'll even find out 25 random things about Big Mel!

Big Mel

Saturday, February 21, 2009

'Name the Ride' Off to a Fast Start!

The first annual 2009 'Name the Ride' contest is off to a smokin' start!  Entries are coming in faster than ever before and the number of really good entries ... will continue to improve over time.

Keep those ideas coming!  Tell your friends, tell your kids, tell your friends kids!  The excitement is building each day!

Big Mel

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Announcing the First Annual 'Name the Ride' Contest!

Announcing the 1st Annual 'Name the Ride' Contest!

As many of you know, last years Route 66: 2008 Race to the Prison Gate was such a HUGE success that The Godfather and I are planning to go on another Big Ride in 2009. Planning for this years Big Ride is well underway!  I have already spent hours sitting and thinking about this ride.  I have been looking at potential ride routes on-line and talking to The Godfather mulling over our various goals.  We have looked at group rides and considered many different states and interesting sites we want to see.

The only thing we don't have at this point is a name for the ride.  We need your help, so we are launching this contest with a fabulous grand prize!  We are looking for the best name for this year's ride.  We are talking about riding up the West Coast of Michigan this year, but that's not set in stone.  If there is another place we could ride that lends itself to a great ride name, we would definitely consider changing the destination!  After all, the name is really more important than the ride itself!

Any and all names will be considered, HOWEVER, I will share some guidelines with you that might help you attain a glorious victory and a fantastic grand prize!

Contest Guidelines:

1.  Last years ride name, The Route 66: 2008 Race to the Prison Gate, was awesome and will be hard to top.  This year it is 2009 though, so you might not want to rhyme something with 2008.

2.  Names that include 2009 AND rhyme 2009 with something else will be given extra consideration over names that don't rhyme or have 2009 in them.  Think to yourself, "What rhymes with 9?"

3.  While last years Big Ride and this years Big Ride are not officially races (sorry, no TV coverage), using words such as 'race' in the name gives the extra energy required to win this contest.  Consider if last years ride would have been called '... Ride to the Prison Gate' (no excitement), but '... Race to the Prison Gate' (EXCITEMENT)!

4.  The Godfather and I have considered and heard all of the crazy ways that our rides and/or our relationship could be categorized.  Names such as 'Two Old Farts Racing', or 'The 2009 Clint Eastwood and a Bald Guy Ride' will be laughed at and considered, but in the end, won't win the grand prize.

5.  Long names such as, 'The 2009 Race of Big Mel and The Godfather up the Western Lakefront of Michigan to Mackinac Island just Because They are Getting Old and Trying to Compensate' will not be considered seriously, but we might consider an honorable mention award for the the longest name that most accurately describes our ride.

6.  Acronyms such as 'The 2009, R.O.B.M.A.T.G.U.T.W.L.O.M.T.M.I.J.B.T.A.G.O.A.T.T.C.' (see #5 above) will only be considered if they actually spell a word or words that make sense and describe the ride.

7.  Bonus points will be given to anyone that ties in some historical significance to the ride.  Like last year was the 'Route 66: ...'  By putting Route 66 in the title of the ride it was more likely that overseas tourists planning to tour Old Route 66 would stumble into my website and maybe click on a link and buy some biking stuff from one of my sponsors so I could make some money.  Run on sentence or not, see where I'm going with this.  Search ability = big bonus points!

Alright, I think I have given you enough guidelines.  I might add more over the next few weeks, so check back often!

But lets get to the important part you have all been waiting for ... The Prizes!!!

If one of the names submitted is chosen as the official name of our 2009 Big Ride (as determined by Big Mel with input from The Godfather and the SAG team), the person who submitted that entry will win a Grand Prize from one of the following options*:

1.  A brand new 2009 Subaru Outback, edition.  Fully loaded with BigMelonCycling stickers, a bike rack, and some power buttons and stuff like that.**

2.  A trip to France to watch Big Mel ride the same mountains as the best professional bike riders in the world ride in the Tour de France.***

3.  A chance to go on a group ride with Big Mel on the Fox River Trail, a big hug from Big Mel, AND ICE CREAM!****

*  The Grand Prize will be chosen by Big Mel from the above listed options.
**  Does Subaru still make the Outback?
***  Airfare, lodging, food, spending money, bike rental, etc. are NOT included.  Big Mel's rides on the same roads would be considerably shorter than the professional riders and NOT at the same time.  Also, Big Mel is not sure when he will actually go to France, so this prize is kind of 'open ended'.
****  Hug optional.  No hug from Big Mel is required if that feels more like a prize.

Obviously, with these great prizes the entries are going to pour in!  DON'T WAIT!  GET THOSE ENTRIES IN!  Enter as many times as you want ... NO LIMIT!  Entries will be accepted until Big Mel receives one he really likes and awards the prize, or until Big Mel's birthday spectacular in July (details on the spectacular to follow).

Family, friends, and acquaintances ARE eligible for this contest (otherwise nobody would enter).  Enter early and often!

Tell your friends!  Pass this along!  The whole world is invited to submit entries!

Big Mel

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Confessions of an Unmotivated Cyclist.

What is it about winter that make cycling such a drag?  I mean, I know it's the cold, and the snow, and the wind, and the short days, and the salt, and the constant sinus infections, and ... and ... and, but really what makes me so unmotivated in the winter?

Confession #1:  I haven't ridden a bike in 2009.
There, I said it, it's out there.  Not 1 mile.  Not 1 lap around the culdesac.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.

I took my road bike in the basement back in early November to get ready to ride the rollers.  We had an early winter, but I thought I was ahead of the game.  Since then my bike has collected more dust than it did when The Godfather and I had to go 'off-road' on our trip across Illinois.  I really wanted to get the year off to a good start, put some miles in, and 'find my groove' before group rides went into high gear.  Nope, didn't happen.  I even had plans to ride a New Years Day group ride.  It was a reasonably nice day to ride.  Nope, didn't happen.

Confession #2:  I haven't put an entry on this page in 2009.
If your reading this (you're probably the only one) you might have already realized this.

I took my time last fall and redesigned this site to its current state of 'glory' only to turn my back on it and on my faithful reader(s?).  When I don't bike, it's hard to blog about biking.  I read my cycling magazines and health magazines and kayaking magazines and XC skiing magazines, but it's not the same as getting out there.  Man, if you could really get in shape from reading magazines, I'd be buff (more buff).

Confession #3:  I don't know how to get motivated again.
I need professional help.  Not my usual kind of professional help, but the kind that can motivate my booty to get in gear.  I'm looking for ideas!  Got any?

This is a big year.  The Godfather and I are in the early stages of planning our 2009 ride.  Heck, I've been thinking about a name for it for a few weeks now at least! All of this thinking is making me tired! I need somewhere we can ride that rhymes with 9; mine ... stein ... pine ... sign.

If I don't get help soon, I might not train before this years 300 mile ride either.  One of these years I'm going to be too old to make it without training.  If I actually finish and post this entry, I guess I'm on my way.

Big Mel