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Thursday, May 21


It was likely a normal day in Berrien Springs and even
here at the university. As usual working-class folk met in
the Daybreak Cafe for breakfast, mothers shopped at midday
in Apple Valley Market, students basked in the sunshine on
the verdant fields of the Andrews campus. All in all, it was
just another day in Michigan's springtime paradise.
But all these unsuspecting people were unaware of a drama
that played itself in glorious proportions on this august
day. Was there more nuclear testing by some developing
country, further destabilizing the geopolitical balance?
Maybe, but this is not the drama I herald. Was there some
Herculean feat in the sports world, perhaps a southpaw for
the Bronx Bombers who whiffed 21 batters? Perhaps, but it is
not of this I write.
No, the news I proclaim is local in nature and communal
in form. On this day, the number of participants in the BBC
training ride reached 20 needless to say, a record for
contemporary club history and the most this year. For those
who have ridden in recent years, when a glorious springtime
afternoon would only be alluring to four riders, the number
seems beyond comprehension. Cars were all but ceding the
road to our rolling armada. Children gawked. Young women
screamed. This group meant business.
Perhaps it was there was something in the air, because
Scott Thayer predicted it in the parking lot. "Tonight might
be the night when we get 20." Our president did his best to
create some Thursday-night excitement by delivering our
long-yearned-for jerseys. They looked great: royal blue with
white and black highlights. The screening was by AU Screen
Graphics. I don't know if more can be ordered by member and
non BBC-member alike, but they might be worth having.
As we waited, more and more riders kept showing up. All
the colors and people it looked like a parade. I don't
know if I'll be able to count them all, but here's an
attempt at a list: President Scott Thayer, Jerry Thayer,
Jason Lange, Scott Leben, Eric LaBianca, Eric Ellison (he
skipped class to come out), Ron Johnson, son Don Johnson,
Mark Samuel, Hans Habenicht, Harold Chin, Barry from the
seminary, Eric States, Jack Stenger, Todd Jarnes, Tim
Slikkers, Randy Mack and Sean Kootsey.
If you count 19 you're astute. At the onset, there was a
general feeling of disappointment that we didn't break the
20 threshold. But upon hitting the course, we came across
Gill on his Softride. We had done it!
What were some highlights of the day. How about the
second coming of Sean Kootsey? We saw him once last year and
then just heard rumors about his celeste-colored Bianchi. He
finally made it out and made a good show of it.
Barry, a seminarian, was strong on a pink-colored
Cannondale, no less. It was great to have Harold Chin out.
The evening saw the start of "stage races." The new
feature not only meant for a lot more strategy, it also had
the effect of keeping people closer together.
It's late and this could go on forever. Having 20 riders
was a thrill. Maybe, if everything goes just right, we can
get up to 24 or 25 one day. Who knows? =20
Until Tuesday, I remain,
Jack Stenger BBC Chief Propagandist