Local woman already regrets New Year’s resolution

Plan to bike MetroParks trails put on hold

By Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

Photo: Beckbom’s new bike now sits unused

On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Dayton cyclist Derma Beckbom, 26, expressed regret at having made the New Year’s resolution to bike the entirety of the Miami Valley’s bike paths, an endeavor that would take her over more than 300 miles of trail. Eyes bloodshot and cloverleaf socks askew from her evening of revelry the night before, Beckbom explored the nature of her disillusionment with Dayton City Paper.

“I thought it would give me a fun goal to work towards while improving my overall health,” Beckbom slurred over a half-full glass bubbling with Alka-Seltzer. “Mostly it just makes me feel guilty and sort of angry.”

Beckbom started out with good intentions, exploring paths near her home with the first thaw.

“I live in Centerville,” Beckbom belched. “So, obviously, I started with Iron Horse Trail, which I guess follows some old railroad or something.”

The seven miles Beckbom had followed during her first outing took her from Centerville’s Iron Horse Park to Kettering’s State Farm Park where the paved pathway connects to Dayton’s Creekside Trail, linking southern Montgomery County to downtown.

“I guess, I was thinking about it and, like, thought that I could just get wherever on my Giant Escape,” Beckbom said. “But it’d just be so much easier to take my Ford Escape.”

While a motor vehicle may be faster by her wristwatch, Beckbom did concede that the bike trails gave her access to nature her SUV does not.

“You know, it’s beautiful and peaceful and all that, but it’s dangerous, too,” Beckbom revealed as she took a swig from a rogue 2-liter of diet soda. “I about hit a damn deer when I rounded a corner on Mad River. And bunnies just jump out all over at you when the sun starts to go down.”

Aside from the matter of time and safety, what really put Beckbom off the whole resolution was the matter of implementation.

“What I hadn’t considered were the logistics of the whole thing,” Beckbom mewed from underneath a cold compress. “What? I ride a million miles and then have to take a BUS back? Plan ahead and DRIVE my bike to one of the parking areas delineated on miamivalleytrails.org?”

When pressed about the latter possibility, Beckbom flopped precariously on an armchair and responded with a laconic, “Uuuuuunnnngggghhhhhhh.”

Family members had expressed concerns about Beckbom’s resolution prior to January 1.

“Last year it was flossing,” Beckbom’s mother, Thelma, said. “She was going to floss every day. Every. Day.”

Thelma was dubious.

“Who can do that?!” Thelma asked. “She was so let down when the dental assistant told her she needed to get back around molars number 15 and 16 more thoroughly. And now this.”

Thelma, who purchased both the Giant and the Ford for Beckbom, continued, “She should have called me before making such a lofty plan. Now there’s a resolution! Call your mother.”

Beckbom’s sister Betsy, 32, was more straightforward.

“She needs to be more realistic about the goals she sets for herself,” Betsy said. “She’s just setting herself up for failure and disappointment. Maybe start with something attainable, like getting her Shake Weight out from under the tarp and mountain of crap in her garage.”

The Miami Valley’s history with cycling, of course, reaches back more than a century, to the cycle shops run by Wilbur and Orville Wright prior to their success with the airplane and, later, to Horace M. Huffman, Jr., president of the Huffy Corporation and founder of the Greater Dayton Bikeway Committee, later known as the Miami Valley Regional Bicycle Council. It was Huffman’s vision that led to the development of what is now the nation’s largest network of paved, off-street trails.

Beckbom is no longer impressed.

“F*ck this sh*t,” Beckbom concluded, plopping down in front of her television. “Does anyone have the number for Cousin Vinny’s?”

Reach DCP freelance writer Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com. To read more from Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin, visit her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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About Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

View all posts by Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin is a writer and amateur cartographer living in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a member of PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) since 2012 and is currently serving as Chair. She can be reached at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com or through her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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