Tour de Tecumseh to benefit Community Arts of Tecumseh (CAT)
By DEB WUETHRICH
Riders in the Second Annual Tour de Tecumseh will launch in groups for three rides from the Art Center at Community Arts of Tecumseh (CAT) in John Smith Park on Sunday, May 20. The event is a fundraiser for CAT as well as a family friendly activity promoting exercise and arts awareness. A gallery of bicycle art will also be set up at the Center.
“Our original objective was to involve community members and perhaps, in the process, bring people to the Art Center who haven’t been out here before,” said CAT Executive Director, Laura Mastrorocco.
Recreational rides include a 100K ride for experienced road riders who will follow a large loop route encompassing some rolling country roads and long, fast stretches from Tecumseh through Clinton, on to Manchester, south of Adrian and back to Tecumseh. This ride begins at 7 a.m.
“We added the 100K this year because there are serious cyclists who watch for events like this,” said CAT co-founder Jean Lash. She added that CAT had a notice in a cycling magazine and some people from all over Michigan and into Ohio have already registered. “Our first year, this was the largest cycling event in Lenawee County.”
A second recreational ride of 50K begins at 8 a.m. The ride will take cyclists on longer loops round Tecumseh, including stretches of country roads and a picturesque section of the Kiwanis Greenway Trail.
There will also be a Family Ride, a 12 mile ride that winds through he historic neighborhoods of Tecumseh, beginning at 9 a.m. Mastrorocco said all are fully supported rides and there will be water and snacks provided at rest stops, and a SAG (support and gear) vehicle.
In addition to the cycling activities, the Art Center will host a gallery display of bicycle art, including sculptures and artwork designed by CAT artist/instructors as well as school children.
Herrick Park and Patterson Elementary art teacher Jackie Whitely is currently working with students to come up with various bike-themed pieces. Lash shared a sample work by a first-grader, a pencil drawing of a bicycle.
“It’s amazing the detail that a child of that age would put into this drawing,” she said. Another sample piece used words outlining the shape of a bicycle.
“Jackie and her students are going to provide drawings and paintings for us, but they’re also working on a 3-D project, using old or used bikes,” said Mastrorocco. “We don’t know what it is and won’t know until we see it, but the kids are creating something cool. The teacher has asked for match box cars, so it should be interesting.”
Tecumseh artist Karen Trigaux created a jewel-bedecked sculpture made of bicycle parts, and artist Pat Bogusz will present three wheel sculptures that include her trademark Road Race sculpted figurines, all made from found objects.
“Items in the gallery will be offered for sale the day of the event as well,” Mastrorocco said. Members of the Wheelmen, a vintage bicycle group in the area, are also expected to be on hand, and CAT has a vintage bicycle on display called a “Boneshaker.”
Last year, Tour de Tecumseh raised $5,000 and attracted 100 participants. The goal this year is to bring in up to 200 riders and raise approximately $10,000.
CAT’s three goals for the event include: to raise CAT living expenses for 2012; to increase the awareness of art; and to promote a healthy lifestyle through cycling.
“We wanted to do something as a fundraiser that not everyone was doing, and came up with Tour de Tecumseh,” said Mastrorocco. The group was pleased with the participation last year, and some made it a family event.
“Some people tell us, ‘I don’t have a bike,’ or ‘I don’t ride,’” she said. “We are hooking up with Re-Bicycle Lenawee to arrange for bike loans for the day.” Interested individuals may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517.759.1427 to make a request.
Those who choose not to ride may still visit the Art Center to view the art in the gallery, have a gourmet hot dog, or see outdoor art, weather permitting, until 1 p.m. A certified massage therapist will also be giving free massages after the rides from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Registration is $30 per rider for adults and $5 for children, and registration may be made online at www.TecumsehArts.org. T-shirts are included with registration, but are only guaranteed to pre-registrations on or before May 5. Helmets must be worn by all riders. Community Arts of Tecumseh is located at 804 N. Evans Street, Tecumseh.
For more information call 423.0000.