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April 13, 2000 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

10C -Th. higan Daily -T eeken te, Maga ine =-hursday 1 i13., 2900

AL- 4-



The Mtcpigan D, - Weekendl E

Ardent area bikers stray from path

I'm not going to lie. I'm one of the
more interesting people you'll ever meet.
If they were to rank the University's writ-
ers, Wl be the 13th pick. And there are a
lot of reasons for this.
In my four years here, I've seen a lot,
done even more, but regret nothing.
Actually, I'm graduating just because I
wanted my degree to say "University of
Michigan 2000."
Originally, I came here with ambitions

of Rose Bowls and the B-school. I ate
five meals and lifted three hours each day
in a bargain Lloyd Carr never kept his
end of because of a voice mail message.
I never got to thank him for that, but I'll
never forgive him either.
Later my freshman year, I became a
hiker of the night. one of a bunch of ass-
hole Rhos in an Upsilon bond, the bid
night bruiser. Pledging taught me sleep
was overrated, humility didn't come eas-

ily and streaking through sororities with a
"large" black man was a highlight of col-
lege. Deuce, Deuce.
Times then got rough, though. My lit-
tle sister was bedridden from back
surgery, my friend hung himself and my
grades fell. My family and fraternity
were the only solid foundation I had
when the world was falling on top of me.
Then I watched my football-playing
hallrnates' Gomberg room incinerate with

a keg inside and get
pictured on the
Daily front page,
while rumors of a
hallwide progres-
sive the night
before circulated.
Carr didn't appreci-
ate that one.
But that sum-
mer. life got a little
better I labored for
a mason and sweat-
ed off five pounds
n a dav, while con-

crete poured through the funnel above.
Meanwhile, I tore my ACL, relaxed in
Cataluna, drank Moet backstage with T-
dogg and 311 and learned college didn't
make me smarter than my blue-collar boss.
My first memory of 926 Sylvan was of
Princess Di's death, as we were moving in.
That house - Pioneer grads, engineers,
two frat boys, Irwin Magnetics was the D!
and I was the writer - hosted more over-
flowing parties, late night freestyle sessions
and games of Bond than I can remember.
I had two reconstructive knee surgeries
in three months at 926, and because of
See ZEMKE, Page l1C


Jon Zenake
St. Michael

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By Jeff Druc miak
Bikes around Ann Arbor aren't any-
thing to write home about - what else
can you expect where a downtown park-
ing spot is just about the Treasure of the
Sierra Madre. But a more select few res-
idents aren't satisfied with restrictings
their rides to the sidewalks, and I decid-
ed to join their ranks on a spring after-
Make that a freezing, wind-chill-
infected, Michigan pseudo-spring after-
noon. But I felt prepared - on the
advice of seasoned off-road bikers, I had
a bike helmet of the kind worn by pro-
fessional riders and incurable dorks for
many years, which I was confident
wouId trap any heat necessary for sur-
vival from escaping my head.
Devoted off-roaders in search of new
turf tend to just pedal off from their
home or place of worship and go where
their wheels take them, but I was on
deadline, so I hitched my bike to a rack
on my car trunk and pulled off to the side

of I-94 south of Liberty Street. Ahead of
me lay undeveloped woods just like I had
been advised I would find - the kind of
uneven terrain that is the bread and but-
ter of off-road bikers (at least, those who
live in the Midwest and have not yet
attained a genteel lifestyle so as to con-
stantly embark on searches for more
exotic landscapes).
I reviewed the checklist I had gleaned
from area resident and veteran biker Mal
Richens, buttressed by a little extra
research of my own. I had cleaned my
highfalutin' bike (at least 12 speeds is
recommended) and reinflated its tires,
run down by their previously uninter-
rupted street duty (I am a member of the
press, and I needed to take assignements
like this to pretend it was the weekend).
I had brought high-carb, low-fat
snacks, a bottle of water, a hand-held
compass (not the pomnty-ended kind) and
a waterproof windbreaker/poncho rolled
up in one of those goony little pouches
that bikers strap around their rear ends
and refer to with a term so dumb it feels
embarrassing just to type.

Undaunted by my helmet and fanny
pack (shudder) clad figure's unlikeli-
hood of making the GQ activewear fea-
ture, I took off down a gentle incline into
the wild.
OK, so I wasn't leading the polar
expedition, but you can bet your bippy
that incline didn't stay gentle for long
More inclines and gulleys ensued as I
moseyed around gamely, if not rapidly,
over a fair expanse of dirt and vegetation
for an hour or two, and worked up an
expanse of sweat far beyond fair.
That was one of the upsides to the
freezing rain that eventually developed
- my vision was no longer obscured by
my body's ow-n fluids. The other advan-
tages were (pause for brainstorm) a rela-
tive absence of mosquitoes, and aclear
hint that it was now time to go home.

Mosimst 1, 111 bftvrngo


JLa ckson
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