by Merlin Anderson
Each year, Bob Brandt creates a unique challenge for me involving the tandem bike. In the last eight years, I won a beer from Bob seven times and only had to buy the beer once. The previous bets were:
2005 — get 20 riders (I got 30).
2006 — get 2000 tandem bike miles (got 2001).
2007 — average 16 mph on the tandem (Bob won, but I got 54 riders – a PR).
2008 — get 20 riders to ride at least twice in 2008 (got 24).
2009 – get 15 guys to ride (got 17).
2010 – get 15 couples to ride (# 15 Stacie Rood rode on 12-31, just before a storm)
2011 – get 25 NEW riders (got 32)
2012 – get 3 different riders each month (done! — thanks to warm winter weather)
For 2013, Bob challenged me to get a rider from 19 of the 24 towns in McLean County. The minimum ride is five miles. To give a little leeway, Bob let me substitute towns outside of McLean County on a two for one basis. To cut to the chase, Bob owes me another beer. Thanks to all the riders and to everyone that provided leads. Here is the list of riders by town (if I rode with more than one rider from a town, I listed the first rider for that town):
Normal: Meg Anderson (Meg set a new mileage PR by riding 611 miles with me this year).
Stanford: Brigette Van Hook (had to hurry to do this ride before baby Bruce prevents riding)
Carlock: Rebecca Payne (Becca has now ridden over 1,000 miles on the tandem in 4 years)
Bloomington: Rocio Rivadeneyra (thanks for responding to my Facebook posting)
Hudson: Becky Roesner (Becky has also accumulated more than 1,000 miles on the tandem)
Ellsworth: Shelly Rud (of course I called when I found out Shelly lives in Ellsworth)
Heyworth: Joanne Ritchie (thanks to Stacy Sheridan for asking her sister-in-law)
Shirley: Debby Henkel (thanks for responding to my Facebook posting)
Downs: Keeley White (Keeley was at our house visiting our granddaughter and…)
Gridley: Val Funk (we combined this with the Miles of Smiles ride and a detour to Leroy)
Leroy: Katherine Daugherty (Val allowed me to ride with Katherine in the middle of our ride)
Arrowsmith: Evie Heacock (thanks to Stacy Sheridan for asking her Mom)
Lexington: Cara Sweet (just worked this one in before school starts)
Towanda: Kevin Fahling (a frequent running partner that just couldn’t turn me down)
Danvers: Zach White (thanks for working in a ride on your way home from work)
Colfax: Janelle Hoffman (thanks to Rich Beal for giving me the lead & recommendation)
That was only 16 McLean county towns. I resorted to using the “2 for 1” rule. Here are the six riders from outside McLean county:
Cranson, RI: Michelle White (my daughter always makes time for a ride during her visit)
Blackstone: Kirsten Pieper (Kirsten is an enthusiastic Shady Hollow trail runner)
Atlanta: Bonnie Garrett (thanks for taking the time to ride once again
Naperville: Chris Lobdell (son of Lannie & Annette Lobdell)
Hudson, WI: Sue Anderson (a niece who stopped for a visit and got roped into riding)
Duluth, MN: John Stingle (was in town visiting Sharri & Jim Pelarske)
It was another memorable year in which I was lucky to ride with a total of 28 riders, including 12 new riders. Every ride was great.