Please Stop Perpetuating a non-existent Tacoma Inferiority Complex – An open letter to the Tacoma Wheelmen Bicycle Club

I woke up this morning to messages from cyclist friends of mine asking what in the hell is wrong with the Tacoma Wheelmen Bicycle Club (TWBC) and what their beef with the Cascade bicycle club is.

It didn’t take long to find a news article about the president of the TWBC, Darrell Eslinger, with all the civility and grace of a GOP presidential candidate on the debate platform throwing a tantrum because Cascade Bicycle Club is holding a ride on the new 520 bridge and he feels that he and everyone else should be able to ride it for free (which they can at any other time once the bridge is opened to the public for cycling)

As the alleged leader of an organization that hosts paid rides such as the Daffodil Classic which are also held on public roads, he of all people should understand the cost of liability insurance, port a potties, security and staffing for such an event. I don’t think he, or the Daffodil committee would appreciate someone from another bicycle club in another town demanding to be able to ride it for free.

Seriously? Are we in middle school?

This pathological need for the TWBC to perpetuate an inferiority complex in the name of Tacoma is embarrassing and insulting.

I’ve looked the other way for years as TWBC has hosted “anti Chilly Hilly” and “anti STP” events. Offering less expensive alternatives closer to home is a great idea, but does it have to come with such immature snark and intentionally creating animosity?

My membership is up for renewal, but I am not renewing it this year because I do not want to be associated with a group who promotes this sort of antagonistic agenda.

It’s time for the TWBC to grow up and focus on making positive contributions here in Tacoma, instead of worrying about what someone else is doing in another city and creating adolescent drama for no good reason.

Tacoma deserves better.

Tacoma is better than this.




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Sister Clubs Bike Ride

Today I went on a bike ride with several groups from the Bicycle Alliance (comprised of the Tacoma Wheelmen, Cyclists of Greater Seattle, BIKES of Snohomish County, West Sound Bike Club and the Capital City Bike Club)

Carla from the Wheelmen organized one of the rides as a social tour of Tacoma and Gene took a faster group out to do the Steilacoom Spin.

We started and ended our ride at the HUB.

It was raining lightly (and it was wind and butt cold) when I left my apartment (apparently it poured last night, but we were all to busy yakking, laughing and drinking wine to notice) I figured that I might as well get used to riding in crappy weather.

I had breakfast and a latte at home, but went ahead and had a biscuit and a cup of decaf so that I could sit with the breakfast crowd and socialize a bit.

We headed out through the streets of Tacoma and hit the Scott Pierson Trail

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We of course, took a ride across the Narrows Bridge.

I warned the riders from other areas to be careful of the cross winds on the bridge. It’s common to fly down the ramp to the bridge and get hit by a sudden, unexpected nasty cross wind which can cause and accident.

I mean come on, wind (and bad engineering) is what took down the 1st Narrows bridge, our own ill fated, infamous Galloping Gertie.

Here’s an old newsreel complete with fabulous narration. (although the Tacoma Narrows is not a “river”; it is an extremely treacherous passage in the Puget Sound)

We got onto the bridge in the cold wind without incident, but one of our visitors was blown down about mid span on the bridge. Luckily, he was slowing down to stop, so it was more like an unable to unclip at a stoplight fall than a high speed crash.

He was fine. Here’s the view from mid span on the bridge.

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We headed back to Tacoma for more touring and a view of our waterfront.

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After a flat tire…

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We headed back to the HUB for appropriate food and beverages

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I came home, fixed my toilet (some handyman service on twitter offered me a $25 coupon to fix my toilet… Uh, scuse me… I can fix my own darn toilet, it’s not rocket science. I tweeted that I was going to go to Home Depot not that I was some wussy girl that couldn’t fix her own toilet. Dorks)

I ran a couple of errands and came home to finish cleaning up after last night’s party.

Tomorrow, I’m getting up early to meet Janet for coffee before boarding the Vashon Island Ferry for a ride that’s probably hillier than I should be attempting as out of shape and off training as I am right now.

I don’t care, it’s going to be a beautiful day tomorrow (albeit a bit cold) and I want to go out there with my friend.

I’ll post pictures of our adventure tomorrow.