Mar03

HubFest comes to Lenawee County!

When the League of Michigan Bicyclists began exploring the possibility of launching a new one-day event, they asked me to investigate three locations around the state, and to evaluate the merits and limitations of each. The case for Adrian was overwhelming. Despite being a relatively small location in a quiet corner of the state, it’s within ninety minutes of Jackson, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Detroit, and Toledo. Its proximity to the border with Ohio presents huge potential for drawing out-of-state tourist money into Michigan's economy. The city of Adrian and the larger Lenawee County region offer an incredible range of ride options -- dirt roads, scenic farmlands, rolling hills, and picturesque lakes -- and cornucopia of fun things to see and do. Our Kiwanis Trail Bike Path connects the cities of Adrian and Tecumseh, two of the most thriving communities in the County.

Our area wineries, microbreweries, independently-owned restaurants, and bands presented not only possibilities for a great event option, but also everything we needed to ensure that HUB Fest would be a thoroughly unique and local event. We're excited to feature tastings at Flying Otter, J Trees, and Black Fire wineries for one of our four route options. Cotton Brewing Company and Tecumseh Brewing Companies will be serving up pints at the After Party. Half-a-dozen local eateries will be providing food during and after the event. Although this event will be raising funds to support the education and advocacy work of the LMB, this is an Adrian event through and through. In fact, perhaps one of the strongest things going for Adrian is the commitment on the part of so many individuals and groups to work toward the betterment of our community, and who recognize that increasing our city's bike-friendliness is an excellent means of doing so, not only in terms of improving our quality of life but also by attracting new businesses and promoting economic growth.

We have two retail bicycle shops (Reve Cycles and Adrian Locksmith & Cyclery), a bicycle co-op (Re-Bicycle Lenawee), and a long-standing bicycle club (the Adrian Maple Wheelers). These, together with our bike path, Heritage Park mountain bike trails, new signage and our first bike lane have provided our city administrators with a foundation to build upon as they actively pursue League of American Bicyclists’ “Bicycle-Friendly City” status. Adrian is not simply a small Michigan community that is available for an event like HUB Fest; it is a community that clearly wants this sort of thing. We have been waiting for an opportunity like this. As a result, we have been able to hit the ground running. There is an outstanding degree of buy-in and ownership building around HUB Fest.

Numerous groups and individuals have offered to help, and a growing number of area businesses have provided generous financial and in-kind sponsorships. There's no question that this is going to be big. The name HUB Fest is short for Hadrian's Ultimate Bicycle Fest. Many have wondered what that's all about. Here’s the scoop. Our fair city was once called Logan. As the story goes, following her husband’s death, Sarah Comstock, wife of our city’s founder, Addison Comstock, renamed the city Adrian after the Roman Emperor Hadrian. What she saw in the great Caesar Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus Augustus that was deserving of such an homage is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, we’ve no doubt that HUB Fest is sure to rival the bread and circuses of our town’s eponymous honorary forebear.

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