Bike Domestique

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I first ran into the Metro Detroit Cycling Club (MDCC) at the Blue Water Ramble in Michigan. After we really hit it off, I invited the MDCC down to Tour de Blount in 2006, and then Dancing Bear Bicycle Bash in 2007. By 2008, the MDCC had decided to hold their training camp here in East Tennessee.

I've appreciated all the friendships I've developed and the great rides I have shared with my fellow MDCC members. I'm looking forward to the next training camp in 2009 so I can share the road with my friends at MDCC.

- Eddie Soan

MDCC and Major Taylor Cycling Club sponsor joint training camp in East Tennessee

Excerpt from May 2008 Knox News-Sentinel story, "East Tennessee Picks up Speed as Cycling Mecca:"

It was 3 p.m., and Brian Cox, president of the Metro Detroit Cycling Club, had just completed a 60-mile bicycle ride through the foothills of the Smokies...

This spring about 40 cyclists from urban areas across the central and eastern United States came to Townsend for a three-day training camp designed to test their lungs and legs, Smoky Mountains style.

The cyclists belonged to various branches of the Major Taylor Cycling Club, named for the pioneering black cycle racer, Marshall "Major" Taylor, an Indiana native who won the world one-mile track cycling championship in 1899, 1900 and 1901...

A local liaison was Eddie Sloan, a retired firefighter and cyclist from Blount County who met members of the Detroit Major Taylor club on a ride in northern Michigan called The Blue Water Ramble that includes a ferry ride into Canada.

Metro Detroit Cycling Club members at the Spring 2008 training camp in East Tennessee. Photo taken inside Cycology Bicycles.

Sloan joined their pack during the ride and afterward joined the club. In 2006 he invited the Michigan members down for the Tour De Blount, and last March they returned for the Dancing Bear Bicycle Bash, hosted by Dancing Bear Lodge, in Townsend.

"Every once in a lifetime, you meet a group you click with," Sloan said. "I'm fortunate in having this kind of riding, and I just wanted to share."

Click here for Metro Detroit Cycling Club blog.

MDCC members come join Tour de Blount in 2006

Excerpt below is from "Motown meets Blount County: Detroit cyclists take part in late spring bike kickoff," posted on the Metro Detroit Cycling Club blog.

Sloan, a lifelong fan of 20th century African American cycling champion Marshall W. "Major" Taylor, happened upon Carter and his MDCC teammates at a rally along the Michigan/Canadian border a few years ago. With the pace of the ride not quite to his liking, the Walland bike fit specialist said he began looking around for a group pedaling a quicker tempo. Seconds later, Swint, Cox, Heard, Daelemans, and Carter came hurtling up the road in single file.

"I said, 'Now those guys are probably from a club," Sloan said. "They were cuttin' a good pace. Not only did I jump on their wheel, but 15 or 20 there people did, too."

Sloan's knowledge of cycling etiquette - ask before sitting in someone's draft uninvited - impressed club members.

"They said, 'People have been jumping on our wheel all day long. You're the first one to ask,'" Sloan said. "You can ride with us anytime."

When Sloan returned to Walland, MDCC made him President of its newly chartered Tennessee chapter.

"Since I'm the only (Tennessee) member, I kind of got it by default," Sloan quipped. "They've had a great time down here. I really appreciate the hospitality people have shown them."

 Eddie Sloan • Maryville, TN • 865-977-9823 (h) • 865-681-4183 (w) •