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April 5, 2012

The new Three Stooges go biking!

Filed under: bicycling — Tags: , , — Roger @ 12:17 pm

Publicity still for The Three Stooges movie
I couldn’t help but post this publicity still from “The Three Stooges” movie featuring Curly, Larry and Moe on a triplet bicycle!

Being the knuckleheads that they are, they aren’t wearing helmets. That’s too bad because I’m sure something bad is going to happen to them! At least they’re riding on the right side of the road!

It’s good to see the 2012 Stooges carrying on the cycling tradition the original Moe, Larry and Curly established in the 1930s and 1940s in the movies “Men in Black,” “Whoops, I’m an Indian,” “Three Sappy People” and “Three Troubledoers.” Curly also rode an Ingo-bike in the movie “Yes, We Have no Bonanza.”

Not surprisingly, those films were the inspiration for the Tour de Stooges. I invite you to ride your triplet, tandem — or your bicycle built for one — at this year’s event on Saturday, May 5, in Highland, Ill.

In the meantime, I invite you to predict what the Stooges are about to run into in the comments below.

 

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April 4, 2012

Get ready for the Tour de Stooges

Filed under: bicycling,Illinois — Tags: , — Roger @ 11:22 am

It’s hard to believe, but the Tour de Stooges celebrates its 15th anniversary this year!

This year’s Tour de Stooges takes place Saturday, May 5, at Lindendale Park in Highland, Ill. Once again, the St. Louis Cycling Club/Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society will be presenting the ride.

The Tour de Stooges offers five routes, ranging from 17 to 64 miles, on scenic country roads in Madison, St. Clair and Clinton counties in Southwestern Illinois. After the ride, we feed you lunch and all the slapstick comedy you can stand!

Ken Kibort and I created the ride in 1997, and about 150 people attended the first event. For its first 10 years, the ride took place at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill. Because the ride and the university outgrew each other, the ride moved to Highland in 2008.

We’re hoping that “The Three Stooges” movie that comes out April 13 will boost interest in the Stooges and hopefully boost interest in the ride.

You have until 10:30 a.m. CDT May 3 to sign up for the ride through Active.com, and mail registrations must be postmarked by April 27. You also can sign up the day of the ride, but you can save money by signing up early.

We hope to see you in Highland on May 5!

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December 18, 2011

A look at “The Three Stooges”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Roger @ 11:55 am


When I first learned about the Farrelly Brothers’ efforts to make a Three Stooges movie, I was highly skeptical.

After seeing the trailer, I’m less skeptical. I know that sometimes filmmakers often put the best parts of the movie in the trailer to hide the fact the rest of the film is horrible, but I think “The Three Stooges” shows some promise.

The movie is slated to come out April 13, just weeks before the 15th annual Tour de Stooges on May 5 in Highland, Ill. If the movie is a success, it will raise awareness of the Stooges, and I hope that translates into more interest in the ride.

Back to the movie. “The Three Stooges” stars Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry and Will Sasso as Curly. The Farrellys had been trying to get the film made for more than a decade. At one point, they were in negotiations with Sean Penn to play Larry, Jim Carrey to play Curly and Benicio del Toro to play Moe. Those fell through. But judging from the trailer, Diamantopoulos, Hayes and Sasso appear up to the challenge of playing Howard, Fine and Howard.

The Farrellys also managed to get a promising supporting cast, including Jane Lynch, Larry David, Jennifer Hudson, Sofia Vergara and Snooki. As any fan of the Stooges knows, the supporting actors are critical to Stooge humor. People like Vernon Dent, Bud Jamison, Stanley Blystone, Emil Sitka and the lovely and talented Christine McIntyre added a lot to the original Stooges shorts.

OK, I know a lot of people aren’t fond of the fact Snooki is in the new movie, but Snooki is part of the funniest bit in the trailer. The Farrellys found a new twist to an old slapstick routine, and Moe has the honor of doing something to Snooki that most Americans would love to do to her!

I only have the trailer to make this assessment, but it’s clear Bobby and Peter Farrelly have tried to pay homage to the original Stooges. For example, they used parts of Curly’s wrestling scene in “Grips, Grunts and Groans” in a a scene included in the trailer.

The Internet Movie Database says the plot – and longtime fans of the Stooges know plot development wasn’t one of their strong suits —  as: “While trying to save their childhood orphanage, Moe, Larry, and Curly inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and wind up starring in a reality TV show.”

After seeing the trailer, I am more optimistic about “The Three Stooges” than I was when I first heard about the effort. I hope people will be saying this after seeing the movie: “It’s tremendous!” It’s colossal!” It’s putrid!”

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April 20, 2011

Tour de Stooges is almost here!

Filed under: bicycle rides — Tags: , — Roger @ 10:43 pm

I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t been blogging much in April. One of the reasons, as you might imagine, is because I’ve been working hard on the 14th annual Tour de Stooges on Saturday, May 7, in Highland, Ill.

The St. Louis Cycling Club/Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating is thrilled about putting on the 14th annual Tour de Stooges.

There’s still plenty of time to pre-register for the ride. You can sign up for the Tour de Stooges through Active.com or mail in your registration. Online registration is open until the morning of May 4, while mail registrations must be postmarked by April 29. You also can register on May 7 at Lindendale Park in Highland, but you’ll save money by pre-registering for the ride.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Tour de Stooges, it’s a recreational ride through Madison, St. Clair and Clinton counties in Southwestern Illinois. We have routes of 17, 22, 31, 42 and 64 miles. After the ride, enjoy lunch — which is included in the cost of the ride — and all the slapstick comedy you can stand!

So bring your bicycle built for three — or two or one — to Highland. I hope to see you there.

There are a couple of other reasons I haven’t posted much later. In addition to my job as design editor at the Belleville News-Democrat, I’m also teaching a publication design class at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville this semester. This is the second time I’ve taught the class, and things are much smoother this time around.

And speaking of SIUE — my alma mater — congratulations to fellow SIUE grad Paige St. John, who this week won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigating Reporting for an extensive series about Florida’s property insurance industry. Paige is one of many longtime friends I’ve stayed in touch with over the years, and she is most deserving of the award!

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January 26, 2011

Tour de Stooges registration open!

The St. Louis Cycling Club/Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society is proud to present the 14th annual Tour de Stooges bicycle ride!

This year’s ride will take place Saturday, May 7, at Lindendale Park, 2025 Park Hill Drive in Highland, Illinois.

Although a new organization is putting on the Tour de Stooges, you can expect the same great ride you’ve experienced in the past! You can visit us at http://www.tourdestooges.com. The old domain, http://stooges.rogerkramercycling.org, also will take you to the site.

The Tour de Stooges consists of five routes ranging from 17 to 64 miles — a ride intended for cyclists of all ages and skill levels.

Our routes are on lightly traveled rural roads in Southwestern Illinois, and the event is within easy driving distance of the St. Louis metropolitan area.

After the ride, enjoy lunch and all the slapstick comedy you can stand. Cygan-Delaney Catering of Highland, which has served out delicious lunch the past three years, will be back in 2011.

Online and mail registration for the 2011 Tour de Stooges is open! We are happy to announce there will be no price increase in 2011. Here are the fees for this year’s ride:

  • $20 for adults ($25 day of ride).
  • $10 for children ages 5-12 ($15 day of ride)
  • $50 Family pack for two adults and two children ($60 day of ride)
  • $10 for 2010 T-shirts ($15 day of ride.)

You can sign up by going to our Registration page, http://www.tourdestooges.com/HTML/stoogereg.htm. You can download a PDF form, fill it out and send your form and payment to us, or you can sign up for the ride through Active.com. Active charges a small convenience fee.

You can avoid postage and convenience fees by signing up for the Tour de Stooges on Sunday, Jan. 30, at the Midwest Bicycle Expo and Swap Meet in Collinsville, Ill. Just look for the STLCC/B.A.B.E.S. booth.

Proceeds from the Tour de Stooges will be used to promote cycling in the St. Louis area. Money will be used for activities of the St. Louis Cycling Club/Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society, and our long-term goal is to support bicycle advocacy and bicycle projects in the region.

As a co-founder and longtime ride coordinator of the Tour de Stooges, I’m excited about the major change in 2011! I hope to see you in Highland on May 7!

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April 28, 2010

Tour de Stooges on TV!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Roger @ 11:41 am


It was colossal! It was stupendous! It was even putrid!

The Tour de Stooges had its 2 1/2 minutes of fame today on “Fox 2 News at 9 AM” (KTVI-TV). Tim Ezell interviewed me, Gateway Council of Hostelling International development director Kamille Pope and Gateway Council board member Scott Kettner about this Saturday’s ride at Lindendale Park in Highland, Ill.

I managed to get in a few nyuks, but the putrid part was that I forgot to put on my helmet. You can see it hanging on my handlebars, all ready to go. But everything moved so fast, that I didn’t get it on for our cruise down the hallway. I was a real knucklehead, just like Curly!

In case you’re wondering, online registration remains open until noon CDT Friday, and you can save $5 off the day-of-ride registration fee. Woo, woo, woo, woo!

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February 1, 2010

Tour de Stooges registration open!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Roger @ 1:45 pm

Registration for the 2010 Tour de Stooges bicycle ride is open!

The 13th edition of the Tour de Stooges takes place Saturday, May 1, at Lindendale Park in Highland, Ill.

We’ve made it more economical to attend this year’s ride. If you pre-register for the ride, the cost is $20 for adults, $10 for children 5-12 and $50 for a family pack (2 adults, 2 children). On the day of the ride, the cost is $25 for adults, $15 for children and $60 for the family pack.

T-shirts will be sold separately. The cost is $10 for people who pre-register and $15 day-of-ride. We recommend you buy your shirt in advance because quantities likely will be limited the day of the ride.

To register online or by mail, go to the Tour de Stooges site, follow the links to registration page and follow the instructions for registering.

The Tour de Stooges consists of five routes — 17, 22, 30, 42 and 64 miles — through the rural countryside ine Madison, St. Clair and Clinton counties. After the ride, we serve you lunch and all the slapstick comedy you can stand!

Hope to see you May 1 in Highland!

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November 30, 2009

2009 cycling season in review

This year wasn’t my best when it comes to cycling. My finances didn’t allow me to take a weeklong trip this year; my hope was to have done RAGBRAI, but that fell through because my money had to be spent elsewhere.

Except for the diehards, the cycling season in the St. Louis area generally ends in early November. We were lucky to have a mild November, so the season went a little bit longer than normal. Here’s hoping for a few mild days in December, including next Sunday when Interstate 64/Highway 40 in St. Louis is open to bikes for one day only before it’s reopened to cars next Monday.

Without a multiday highlight ride this year, I had to look at individual rides for my highlights of the year.

Longest ride of the year: OK, a 60-mile ride normally wouldn’t be my longest ride of the year, but it was this year. That came in July, when I rode connected Madison County Transit trails, including the Quercus Grove Trail extension, from Collinsville to Staunton and back.

As a metro-east cycling enthusiast, it thrilled me to know that you can ride from Collinsville to Staunton and back on trails and designated road routes. As I wrote earlier this year, it is now possible to ride from downtown St. Louis to Staunton on bike trails or designated on-road bike routes.

The ride was noteworthy because I didn’t start until after 4 p.m. and rode the last eight miles after sunset. That was because I had to fix a flat tire on the Quercus Grove Trail between Hamel and Edwardsville on the way back home.

Most interesting rides: Those took place in the Chicago area Nov. 11-12. On the 11th, I rode 20-plus miles on the Green Bay Trail between Evanston and Highland Park, and I followed that up with a 30-mile ride from Evanston to downtown Chicago and back.

I rode my sister Teresa’s hybrid on both rides, and that seemed to be a good choice. I was surprised that so much of the Green Bay Trail is crushed limestone. I guess I’m really spoiled by the MCT trails down here. Still, because it runs along the Metra lines that head north from Chicago through Evanston and into Wisconsin, it is relatively secluded and yet give you easy access to the downtown areas of the northern suburbs.

I particularly was impressed with the ride from Evanston to downtown Chicago. My initial plan was to do a short ride through the Northwestern University campus and along the lake because my back was hurting. But once I started riding, the pain subsided and I decided to ride into Chicago. The question was how to get from Evanston to the Lakefront Trail, and I was surprised how well the on-road bike routes are marked in Evanston and Chicago. I had no problem at all finding my way to the Lakefront Trail, and I was impressed how cars and bicycles could co-exist on the roads I traveled up there.

I felt truly fortunate the same mild weather that extended the cycling season in the St. Louis area also blessed the Chicago area that week.

Favorite club ride: I enjoy every ride I do with the Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society because it a chance to see some of the nice rural scenery in St. Clair, Madison, Monroe and Clinton counties.

However, the rides I particularly enjoyed were the rides I led out of the Lau-Nae Winery in Red Bud, Ill. The closing of Ravissant Winery in Belleville forced us to find new sites for our Winery Rides in addition to the Hidden Lake Winery near Aviston.

I wasn’t familiar with all the roads in the Red Bud area, so an initial search on Google reveals some routes with promise. However, I learned quickly that just because it shows up on a map, it doesn’t mean the roads are suitable for road bikes. Three of the roads that looked promising degraded to dirt and gravel, Fortunately, that allowed me to find some roads that our riders enjoyed,

Many of the roads north and west of Red Bud are filled with rolling hills — nothing really difficult, but hilly enough to make things interesting. There’s some pretty country in Randolph and Monroe counties, and the folks at Lau-Nae were very happy to have us.

Tour de Stooges: Our numbers were considerably lower this year — 375, compared to the 600 to 700 we’re used to getting. However, the quality of the ride ranked among the highest of the 12 editions of the Tour de Stooges I’ve led. Despite forecasts of 30 to 80 percent of rain, the people who came out saw lots of sunshine and little wind.

I’m looking forward to the 13th edition on May 1, and I can tell you we are making some changes to the ride to make it more affordable for those of you on a budget.

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April 21, 2009

Tour de Stooges deadlines approaching

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Roger @ 6:49 pm

Tour de StoogesI’m starting to get geared up for the Tour de Stooges. My house is cluttered with water jugs, tire pumps, first aid kits and two cases of spray paint. Early next week, food will be added to the piles of supplies,

We’re expecting another nice crowd on Saturday, May 2, at Lindendale Park in Highland, Ill., for the 12th running of the Tour de Stooges. We hope you can join us this year on one of our five routes — 15, 22, 31, 42 and 64 miles — and for lunch and all the slapstick comedy you can stand.

Two pre-registration deadlines are fast approaching. For those of you who want to register by mail, you needed to get your forms filled out and in the mail by Friday (April 24). For those of you who want to register online, the deadline is noon April 29.

The cost of the ride is $30 for adults and $20 for children 5-12. If you pre-register for the ride, we’ll throw in the T-shirt pictured above. Click on the picture to see a bigger image of the shirt.

If you wait until the day of the ride, the cost of the ride remains the same, but you’ll have to buy the shirt separately for $20. It’s definitely worth your while to pre-register for the event!

I’m sure many of you are waiting to see what the forecast is for May 2 to commit yourselves. If you were on last year’s ride, you’ll definitely remember the west wind that blew 15 to 25 mph all day long. We hope the day’s a bit calmer so everyone will enjoy the ride!

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January 2, 2009

Tour de Stooges registration open!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Roger @ 1:06 pm

Four months from today, cyclists will be touring the roads of Madison, Clinton and St. Clair counties on the 12th edition of the Tour de Stooges bicycle ride.

The ride takes place Saturday, May 2, at Lindendale Park in Highland, Ill., the second year Highland has been the host of the event. Other than stiff winds of 15-20 mph that slowed people down a bit, the new location got lots of rave reviews. We’re pleased to announce Cygan-Delaney Catering of Highland, which provided the great lunch last year, will be back to serve lunch again.

Once again, the Tour de Stooges features five routes ranging from 15 to 64 miles. And, of course, after the ride, you can enjoy all the slapstick comedy you can stand.

Registration for the ride opened today. You can sign up for the ride online or download a form and register by mail. The cost of the ride is $30 for adults and $20 for children 5-12. The first 500 pre-registered riders will receive T-shirts. You also can sign up the day of the ride, but T-shirts will have to be purchased separately for $25 each.

We hope to see you May 2 in Highland!

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