Monday, November 07, 2005

An Embarrassing Omission

Sometime during my manuscript review, it occurred to me that I hadn't mentioned the Grand Illinois Trail (GIT) even once. Consider that
  1. I was one of the original 16 GIT Trail Blazers in 2000-2001. A Trail Blazer is someone who completes the entire 500+ mile route within a year.
  2. My publisher contacted me about writing Biking Illinois after reading my GIT report online.
  3. Roughly a quarter of the rides in my book are on trails and roads that make up the GIT, including at least five that I previously had ridden only as part of the GIT.
  4. In the past, I have cited my GIT tour as a critical precursor to both this book and my coast-to-coast tour.
  5. I still wear my GIT Trail Blazer T-shirt regularly.

With all that, I can't imagine how it slipped my mind, but it did. To remedy this situation, I set out to verify some facts before writing a paragraph for my book. I pulled out the latest GIT brochure from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), which I had collected this summer (I collected hundreds of tourist and cycling brochures this summer--you could call me instead of calling 1-800-2CONNECT). I opened it up and started skimming for anything new or interesting that I could use. Then I got to the section titled "Become a Trail Blazer." My eyes skipped right over the paragraph of normal type to the boldface quote below. Hey, wait a minute... Those are my words! They spelled my name correctly, too.

Now just imagine how embarrassing it would have been to leave out the GIT when I was quoted in their brochure. Or imagine how terribly snubbed the IDNR would feel if one of their Trail Blazers who was quoted in their brochure wrote a book about Illinois bicycling and didn't bother to mention the GIT at all. Wow, I guess you wouldn't find my book at IDNR gift shops, eh? Fortunately I figured out my mistake while I could still correct it.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees ...

Jennifer said...

*looks closely at GIT brochure/poster hanging in cubicle above inbox*
I thought your name looked familiar! Amazon keeps recommending your book--guess now I'll have to get it!
-GITAP '06 rider