Weatherford Democrat

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April 11, 2014

Road Rash a name, not a goal for cycling club

By JUDY SHERIDAN

The condition commonly known as road rash, defined by Merriam-Webster as a skin abrasion that usually involves sliding on a hard, rough surface, has zero appeal.

One might expect, in fact, that a club flying a flag like that would have few takers, but in this case, one would be wrong. 

Although it’s clearly not for the faint-hearted, Parker County Road Rash — an informal local cycling club started by Galbreaith-Pickard Funeral Chapel funeral director James Plowman and custom clothier Bill Mendrop — has done nothing but accelerate since it geared up late last summer.

The group now claims more than 40 members on Facebook, with posts from both genders, all ages and all walks of life.

It even boasts local athlete Hunter Hinton, a Weatherford High School freshman who competes in the Texas High School Cycling League and raced to the Junior Classification (18-U) Cycling Championship in February at the Iris Stagner Memorial Stage Race in Mineral Wells. 

And the name road rash? It’s no misnomer; cyclists earn those stripes when they crash, which is often the result of the actions of agitated or distracted motorists.

“There’s not a lot of people out there who are friendly to cyclists,” Plowman, who picked the name, said. “People will honk. Once I had a truck kick on its engine brake.

“It startled me so much I almost went off the road.”

Plowman said he has been surprised by the number of people who are interested in local cycling and aware of their fledgling group.

“Bill and I were having a brief conversation some time back, and he said it would be neat if we had a Facebook page. So one evening I sat down and created it and invited Bill. It’s grown from there.”

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