Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 Milford Trail Challenge

Saturday was the annual Milford Trail Challenge, a very cool ride that links together 5 MTB trails for 90 miles of riding. Your $15 registration fee gets you a very vague map to help follow a very complicated network of dirt roads and trails, and a wrist band for $1.50 beers at the Milford House afterwards. I did an excellent job talking 7 friends into blowing off races and other obligations to do this ride with me. I did a horrible job leading the expedition; we spent most of the time lost and accidentally riding horse trails that are technically closed to bicycles. It was a great ride and nice catching up with friends. I noticed I was the only one still using 26” wheels. We didn't manage to do all 90 miles but I rode further than everyone else because my wheels are 11% smaller.

Sunday I took Allie to Ann Arbor for dinner. We always have fun walking around the University of Michigan campus, part of my secret plan to get my girls to go to U of M. Allie announced she was going to college in Florida and that Em was going to school in Tennessee. They’re both in middle school so I’m not getting my panties all up in a bunch just yet but it served as another reminder that they will not always be around. I try to make every minute I have with them count.

My brother just returned from Japan where he was visiting his daughter who works for Boeing. He fell in love with Japan while he was there. Apparently they don’t lock their bikes in Japan because people don’t steal them. Allie and I cracked up when we saw a bicycle wheel locked to a rack in front of the U of M school of Engineering. In Ann Arbor, if you only lock up one wheel, someone will steal the other 95% of your bicycle; that is just a fact.

Someone stole my dad’s cargo trailer from his farm last week. The thief underestimated the persistence of my 85 year old father. My dad drove around Hillsdale County until he found the tool box from his trailer behind a weld shop on Michigan Ave. He talked to the owner. No one admitted to taking his trailer but on Sunday my dad found his trailer next to his barn with the tool box in back, like nothing happened.

This was the third time someone stole something from my dad and all three times my dad got his things back. About 10 years ago someone stole his 1969 Mustang from his garage in Florida. It was a pretty car but when it got hot it would stall and wouldn’t restart until it cooled down. It was fine for running quick errands or going to the local car show. My dad just hooked up his car trailer to his truck and drove up and down the Bee Line Expressway until he found his Mustang on the side of the road, loaded it on the trailer, replaced the knocked out ignition cylinder, and put the car back in the garage.

About 20 years earlier someone stole his beautiful 1967 Mustang convertible from his house in Dearborn. It was missing for 3 years. My dad was returning from a dealership that Ford sent him to so he could investigate a customer’s concern when his Mustang pulled onto I-94 right in front of him. There are a lot of 1967 Mustangs in Michigan but probably only one with a St. Cloud Florida City Employee parking sticker in the window. He followed the car for a while until the car thief realized he was being tailed. A chase ensued and my dad eventually blocked him in a dead end ally someplace in Detroit. My dad got a hold of him but before he could land a clean punch and take this string of events to its natural conclusion, the man locked himself in the car and cried out to the people who had gathered to watch to call the police. Normally car thieves don’t beg people to call the police but my dad was much younger and angrier back then and the car thief must have seen his own demise in my father’s eyes. The police came and arrested my dad for assault and battery. This must have mystified my dad because he has a very clear sense of what is right and wrong. My mom showed up with a key to the Mustang. They opened the trunk and there were all my dad’s tools with his name carefully engraved on every one. The charges against my dad were dropped and he got his car back. Life isn’t fair but sometimes there is a flicker of justice.