The Official Newsletter of the Tyler Bicycle Club
Vol. 19, No. 8
September 2001

It's France, as in bike pants, not Fronce
By John Kelso 
Austin American-Statesman,        Tuesday, July 24, 2001

            You've noticed how many folks are riding bicycles around town and pretending to be Lance Armstrong by wearing the colorful, flammable and, yes, extremely itchy bicycle clothing. 
            I wanted to be part of that action. So on Monday I went shopping and bought myself a pair of polyester United States Postal Service bicycle pants.  Not that I have any intention of riding a bicycle. I have a job, so I own a car. 
            One thing I quickly found out is that the bicycle clothing designers and I have a different opinion of what constitutes "extra large." Apparently the people who make these clothes aren't expecting a lot of size 42s to come walking through the door. 
            The first pair of XL U.S. Postal Service bike pants I tried on at the Bicycle Sport Shop on Toomey Road made me look like a cantaloupe in a sock. The second pair of XLs were so small that I had a hard time figuring out which hole I was supposed to stick my foot in. If I had kept them on, it would have cut off the circulation to my neck. 
            I can see the headline now: "Man Wears Bike Pants, Strangles." Besides, these pants look like if you set them on fire they'd smell funny. This whole Tour de France thing is getting a little out of hand here in Austin, isn't it? The locals are even talking the talk. 
            Did you ever wonder why people in this town who couldn't say "cheese" in French insist on calling this overblown Spandex parade Le Tour de Fronce? Where I come from it's France, not Fronce. France, as in ants. Or pants. 
            And speaking of pants, now that I've tried on the Postal Service bicycle pants, I know why the bicyclists in Le Tour de France have such scrunched-up faces. Yikes. 
            Fronce, indeed. The TV news announcers are the worst offenders. We know most of them haven't been east of Lufkin. Who do they think they're fooling? I mean, they don't call Lance Armstrong Lonce Armstrong. So why call France Fronce? 
            If you really want to talk snooty, you should lose the "R" in France and call it Le Tour de Fwonce, like a real Frenchman. You know why the French call their country Fwonce? It's impossible to say "R" after six glasses of red wine. 
            There is no doubt that riding a bicycle up the sides of mountains day after day is an amazing athletic accomplishment. 
            Still, those pointy helmets are annoying. If you bicyclists want to be aerodynamic, have yourselves laminated. But don't try to tell me bicycling is a sport. Bicycling is traffic. 
            Instead of being mentioned during the sports news, bicycling should be included in the traffic report. "Judy, there's a large cluster of skinny guys east of town just pedaling their buns off." 
            Here's why the Tour de France is so popular in France: The French love to gather by the side of the road to watch traffic roll through town. They have a longstanding history of this. 
            Sure, it used to be tanks. So you can imagine why the French are so happy when the Tour de Fronce comes along every summer. 
            Instead of helmets and firearms, it's just some harmless dweebs in plastic britches carrying water bottles. Ah, qui. 

PREZZ SEZZ by Galén Williams

 What’s in store for us? 

     I think that every year all the officers of the club have encountered, at one time or another, uncertainties that have made us wonder about the future of the club. Some of our goals are long term goals, but some others are just a few steps away from us. I’m always asking myself, how are we instrumental in keeping the flame alive? Well, here are some examples…

     This afternoon Dave Starrett, Beauty & Beast 2001 Ride Director, Bill Cornelius, our TBC Vice President and I presented to the University of Texas at Tyler a check for $2,000. The money was presented to Howard Patterson, the new Director of the Athletic Department, Dale Lunsford, Dean of Student Affairs and their assistant, Mrs. Terry Merriman. Such was their excitement that I immediately got infected. I saw how important our contribution to the campus had been. Beauty and the Beast has left a big impression, and I feel we should honor our dream again. If I had doubts, now I feel that the door it’s opened again. We have a lot to contribute to the community.  The university is planning to include cycling as part of their program and the new Athletic Director is very optimistic and interested. We were very proud today. 

     Another check for $1,000 was donated to the Texas Bicycle Coalition. We hope that every cyclist understands how important this organization is. They represent us at the State Capitol, and we are very thankful for their efforts.

     On another subject, a cyclist from Bullard, brought to my attention a letter that was published recently in the Bullard Newspaper. We are bringing it to your attention, also. I invite you to read it in this issue. I’m embarrassed by it. There are things to considered and we need to put the I'm in the right perspective. Tyler is growing and it seems that is moving in that direction. We still have to be very careful about how we react to the vehicular traffic. We don’t want to regret accidental deaths, we don’t want to lose friends due to careless riding or driving.  We have to ride defensively, regardless. Please, let us not provoke violence.

     Asking the city to build bike trails and take us into consideration is a slow endeavor. Let’s do everything we can to gain their respect. 

     The Oklahoma-Arkansas ride (True Grit) is around the corner. Make plans to join us on the second weekend in October! 

     Watch for the next Trash Pick-up date.                         Ride safely!

 Promoting Cycling by Bill Cornelius     

     One of our club’s purposes is to promote cycling.  There is a way of doing this, I think, that we are overlooking.  It is the newspaper.  The Tyler Morning Telegraph, for the last couple of years, has had pretty decent coverage of the Tour de France.  There have been pictures, and generally daily reports on the front page of the sports section.  Then this year, coinciding with Lance’s victory in the Tour, the paper had a story, with picture, of a competitive high school cyclist from a neighboring east Texas town.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  This is just what we need. A native Texan winning a third straight Tour, high school athletes choosing cycling, and a local newspaper reporting it. What I think we may be overlooking is the opportunity to let the paper know that we appreciate the coverage, and that there are a lot of us out here.  If that message is communicated to them, I expect this sort of coverage will continue, maybe ever broaden and expand.  If not, the publishers might  decide that cycling is not really a worthy topic to report on, and return to coverage ofstrictly “mainstream” sports.  I would like to keep a good thing going.    Call, write, or email your comments to the paper.  It is online at www.Tylerpaper.com. The address is 410 W. Erwin.  The phone number is 597 8111. 


    We’re all aware that accidents can happen when we ride on the roads.  Most of us believe they’ll happen to someone else and not us.  Sometimes in an accident, there’s no one around to give the E.M.T. personnel pertinent information, and the rider may not be conscious or coherent if there’s a blow to the head.  Often we may be in a city other than our own and have no one around who knows us.

     Tyler Bicycle Club is making available an Emergency I.D. card for members, family members, and or friends.  The card is laminated and can be hung from the frame of your bike, or carried in your jersey pocket, or seat bag.  In any event, basic information is available if needed.

     If you’d like to have a card (or cards), the following information is needed:

       Front Side:
          Your name
          Address (street address may be preferable)
                 City, State, and Zip Code
          Telephone Number (with area code)
          Blood Type (if known)
          Organ Donor? (yes/no)

     Back Side:
          Person to Contact in emergency (with phone number)
          Known Allergies
          Other Info: (Ins. Company/member number, for instance)

     Butch Willingham recognized the need for the I.D. cards and started the project.  He is providing the laminating machine and laminates.  Dave Williams has provided much help and time in designing the cards and providing the card stock to be used.  At this time, costs are minimal and there is no charge for the cards.

     We encourage each member to take advantage of this offer.  Please send the information needed to Butch Willingham at gwillingham@juno.com (the membership list should be a “g” as in george, and not a “9”) or to Dave Williams at davwilliam@tcainternet.com.

 Letters to the Editor

Source:  Bullard Weekly News Vol. 6 Issue 5.  Wednesday, August 15, 2001 Editorial & Commentary Section

This letter is to all the bicycle riders who come down and visit our little community of Bullard.  I like to think of it as Tour de Bullard.

I would just like to ask you all to please move over as much as you can.  My ’74, three-quarter-ton truck and cow trailer can’t make it up these hills without a running start.

When I went around on of y’all the other day, I didn’t know that cow was going to be going to the bathroom right when we went by and mess up one of those shirts y’all wear that looks like it’s three sizes too small.  Anyway, that old boy was giving me that finger that lets you know you’re number one in his book, and he is not the first one to do that to me.

I think if y’all are going to ride around our lovely town and countryside and keep telling us we are number one in your book, we need to stop and get to know each other a little better.

I think you need to get some tags and insurance like I have to have if one of y’all run into my old truck while we are at Sherri’s Kitchen or over at Roddy’s getting a cold drink.  I think your insurance should be liable for damages and lost wages and mental anguish and all that other stuff those TV lawyers promise you.

Anyway, no hard feelings.  Have fun and be safe, and tell that Armstrong fellow that I said “Hello.”  Stop by anytime but be careful crossing that cattle guard.  It’s an ugly sight when one of those bicycle tires goes down between the pipes the wrong way.

Troy Wright 
Tour de Bullard Bicycle Committee Chairman
Copied from newspaper by: Martha Beal Black, Aug. 17, 2001

From: Martha Black                        To: TBC President
Subject: Article in the Bullard Weekly Paper

First, let me make a brief introduction.  You will remember me as the Bullard rider who used to ride in "plain clothes."  I've ridden 33,892 miles in 9 years, mostly in Bullard.  Several years ago, you used to call me often to get me to ride with you all.

I joined the club in 1987.  My ex-boyfriend and I bought our bikes together (we had been together years).  5 months later he broke his neck.  We were riding in the dirt and he fell over the handlebars, tucked his head and rolled, and he is a quadriplegic.  After that I did not ride for a couple of years.  After much stress and gaining 51 pounds (I'm 5 ft tall), I was having horrible horrible problems with my stomach in 1989 and accidentally figured out that riding my bike helped me tremendously.  That is why I was so obsessive about it, riding in the rain, the sleet, whatever.  Anyway, at present I am not riding.  I'll tell you the story about that sometime.

My main reason for writing is an article that appeared in our local "Bullard Weekly" newspaper about the bicycle group that rides out on Saturdays.  I have typed it into a word document which I am attaching.  I will also send you the actual article if you will give me an address.  I hope you decide to send in a rebuttal. 

(In all honesty, some of the riders do hog the road - you know it, I know it).  For many years, I did not know about the cattle people having to "run" at the hills until I dated a cowboy and it was like "wow, I never thought of that."  His point about bikers carrying insurance is obscene. 

P.S.  I have let my membership lapse for sometime.  I will be sending in money for the rest of this year and next year next Wednesday when I get paid. (so I'll have the right to send this article in).  I already have my form filled out.

Thank you. 

P.S.S.  Many years ago, on the FM just past the school, a Bullard citizen got out and pulled a gun on one of the riders.  I was really embarrassed. Ask one of the old members about it.

Editor’s Note:

Thanks for the efforts of Martha Black, renewing TBC Member, for creating a link of communication between the community of Bullard and TBC. Past attempts to forge this link have not been very successful. I have never met Ol’e Troy but somehow, I kind of like him for his honesty and forthright way of expressing his views. Let’s all help these Bullard folk in their travels about the community by conducting our cycling activities courteously and defensively, treating others on the road with the SAME treatment we would like. As this graphic says: 

 Rude Dog  Time Trials
After 5 Time Trials (8/16/01)

 Overall Leaders
            Men                 Avg. Time        Speed MPH
Kyle Simpson                15:20                24.26
Tammy Rooney             18:53                19.70

Kayla Bass                     20:38                18.03
Kahne Parsons              22:16                16.7

            Master Women
Tammy Rooney             18:53                19.70

             Men 20+
Kyle Simpson                15:20                24.26
Matt Hilliard                   18:10                20.64

            Men 30+
Jim Kidd                        16:14                22.92
Gary Skaggs                 17:40                21.06
Tony Lassiter                 17:30                21.27
Robert Ellis                   17:41                21.04
Rick Uribe                     18:12                20.43
Mark Oh                        18:53                19.70

             Men 40+
Russell Cox                   15:56                23.35
Joe Canal                      17:26                21.36
Steve Farris                   17:28                21.29
Rob Branstetter             18:54                19.68

            Men 50+
Andy Kathan                 16.10                23.23
Bob Hebb                      17:23                21.41
Jim Walker                    17:51                20.84
Roger Peirce                 18:17                20.34
Bill Cornelius                 18:21                20.27
Gary Lesniewski            18:46                19.82

            Men 60+ (WalMart Greeters)
Dave Williams                18:54                19.68

Eric & Galén Williams    16:46                22.19

Ben Branstetter             17:27                21.33

St. Jude Ride
October 20th TBC will once again cycle to Hawkins and Petty's Café, using the opportunity to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , Memphis, TN. St. Jude's is the research hospital for childhood diseases which provides free services. Join the ride, ask friends, family, neighbors, and fellow workers for financial contribution in this worthy cause.   Eric Williams

Trash Pick Up
Serve the Club and Community!! 
Join the Hwy. 69 trash pick up 
Sunday Sept. 9th meet at 7:00 am - 
Faulkner Park.


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