It's a new year and time once again to give a new look to this blog. New graphics and colors. Same bike writer!

This blog is created not only to track my own progress on my biking journey but it is intended to also assist others who have either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis or both like I do. I hope as you read about the progress I have made that it gives you inspiration and hope that you can overcome the dibilitating effects of these conditions.

If your doctor agrees that you should be capable of expanding your limits read on and don't be afraid, just listen to your body and give it challenges. Biking is a great non-impact form of exercise and greatly enhances flexibility and range of motion.

It's not a substitute for Doctor visits, taking your meds or otherwise getting off your health plan but it auguments what your Doctor does for you and can give you a better quality of life. Go for it!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Being An Advocate & Making Progress

Yesterday I attended an event sponsored in part by the League of Michigan Bicyclists.  It was an advocacy day in the State capitol with pre-arranged meetings with State legislators and informational exchanges.  The day begun with a bike ride from a pre-arranged meeting place and ride to the capitol, registration, meeting with other members of your delegation and information about meeting with the legislators and it was off to meetings with them, followed by announcements, awards a lunch and bike tour of the capitol.   I made it to everything except the bike rides, instead meeting up with the group under a tent on the lawn of the Capitol Building.  The day promised rain and true to it's prediction we had sprinkles on and off all morning and early afternoon. I would have really enjoyed the ride and the camaraderie that would have ensued from that, but there will be other times and places for that.   It wouldn't be the first time I've admitted that I'm a fair weather rider.

The real meat of the event was in the meetings with our State Representatives.  From my past history of having served as Township Supervisor I already knew both our current State Representative Gretchen Driskell and the State Senator representing my area Rebecca Warren.  Gretchen and I had served together on several  boards in Washtenaw County when I was Supervisor and she was Mayor of Saline.  As well, I had known Rebecca since she was a State Representative from Ann Arbor and her husband serves on the County Board of Commissioners and we have had opportunities to work together on common goals.  The agenda put forward by the LMB was to make legislators aware of issues high on the list or priorities for LMB and the other participating cycling advocacy groups.  Highlights of the priorities are;
  • Protecting vulnerable roadway users by establishing enhanced penalties for injuring or killing cyclists.
  • Establishing a standard for safe passing of bicyclists on Michigan roads.
  • Revising the right turn hand signal to make an extended right arm legal in Michigan.
  • Allowing bicyclists to bypass malfunctioning traffic lights.
  • Supporting a new Michigan trails and greenways license plate to fund local trail projects.
  • Preventing the Raid on Natural Resources Trust Fund Dollars Available for Trails Projects.
  • Adequately funding safe transportation infrastructure that supports multi-modal use.
It was great to be in a position of advocacy and particularly so since I felt a real connection to both legislators.  Senator Warren was instrumental in helping us to secure permitting for phase I of the non motorized path project which was my pet project while Supervisor.  She had been in attendance at our ribbon cutting for the path when it opened, so she was very aware of my passion for the subject matter and Representative Driskell had been in attendance of several transportation meetings where I reported on the progress of our path from it's inception to it's current state.  I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the opportunity for our collective voices to be heard.  A link to the LMB information about the Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day is here.

Driving home I reflected on my goals for riding in 2013 that I posted here, and realized that I am slowly making progress on this year's goals, almost without thinking.  When creating the list I wanted to take on an advocacy project and this day certainly qualified for that.  I also mulled over wanting to go further and faster and my rides and training are making progress toward those goals.  My mileage per ride is increasing as well as my speed.  My goal is to work toward a 40 mile ride and it's going to happen with a series of 20-25 and 30 mile rides.  Pushing harder gears allows me to gobble up those miles faster.  Pushing myself on hills is like interval training and that will make me stronger and when I am stronger I will be faster.  My last ride averaged 9 MPH over my longest distance yet this year of 23+ miles.  It's a great feeling to challenge yourself physically and mentally like this and the results are rewarding in many ways.  Success feeds on success and right about now I'm feeling pretty successful. 

Considering my frame of mind just a few short weeks ago I find myself very grateful indeed to our loving God who has helped to bring me to the place I currently am. 

Here are some photos of the day in Lansing!


  1. Thanks Deb for posting the nice article about Advocacy Day on your blog. We sincerely appreciate you being part of the event.

    1. Thank you for your acknowledgment John, it was my pleasure to support a cause I have passion about. I plan to attend the event again next year and continue efforts to help my Michigan, and specifically my community, become more bicycle friendly and increase bicycling opportunities.