25 Seasons of CSCC Monday Dinner Rides

Bob Smith

Since 1987 mid spring through early fall has been the MDR Season for the Club. The season is about 26 weeks in length spanning the most ideal months for evening cycling in Colorado Springs. In 1987 the club was still in its infancy. There were far fewer restaurants in the Springs. Many restaurants offered Monday evening discounts and specials to attract customers.

Anne and I saw an opportunity for a casual ride of 10 to 15 miles which included dinner either in route or after the ride. Our goal was to combine riding with an opportunity to sit down as a group and socialize and get to know one another. We felt a ride like this would attract both new riders and those who had ridden hard over the weekend and were looking for a relaxing recovery ride. Monday discounts at Jose Maldoon’s, Old Chicago and other restaurant aided the cause by not denting the wallet as much.

Over the years eating out became more popular and the Monday discounts have faded away. From the beginning the ride started at 5:30 p.m. from the south side of Acacia Park. Over past several years we have begun to move the start location around hoping to attract riders from other parts of the city. Now, when we meet at Acacia Park, it is on the north side of the park.

From the beginning, the ride has more than met one of its original goals of attracting newcomers to the club. Sharon Boyd, Dale Campbell and Alan Severn are still regulars on Monday Dinner Rider and they joined the club in the early 90s. When the Carters, Mullallys, Beauchamps and many others moved to town, they often rode the dinner ride. Many of our newcomers have become very close friends through the dinner ride and other club rides. Our current regulars are Shelley Mann, Sandy Greenspoon, Ed & Suzy Browne, Larry Watson, Jana Burr, Ron Hargrave, Maurie Shannon, Richard & Pam Oliver and Ginny Barber.

The ride has always had a faithful following. It has never been a large ride and only occasionally draws more than 15 riders. Even today with our club membership at 350 the ride generally averages between 10 and 12 riders. This is a very manageable size for most restaurants. Today there are more walkup and order style restaurants which can better accommodate large groups. Regular restaurants often require reservations for large parties. In this down economy, more restaurants are willing to provide separate checks. Regular restaurants usually take longer and are more suited for long summer days or the end of ride.

Over the past 25 years, numerous people have substituted for Anne and I as rider leaders. Most recently those substitutes have been Sharon Boyd, Dale Campbell, Ed Browne, Suzy Browne, Allen Beauchamp and Bill Gast. Thank you everyone who have ensured that the Monday Dinner Rides go on week after week during the summer season when Anne and I can’t be there to lead.

The Monday Dinner Ride predates Jack Quinn’s Running Club and others that joined the scene in recent years. A few years ago, a downtown restaurant contacted us to start a cycling equivalent to JQ’s Running Club. We decided to not go in that direction and keep to our original goals. Besides, who really wants to eat in the same crowded restaurant ever week?

Today it is easier than ever to follow MDR. Simply login to the member area at www.bikesprings.org  and click on Message Boards.  Subscribe yourself to the MDR Message Board. From mid-spring to early fall a weekly post will be made to that message board announcing the ride location and restaurant prior to every ride. If you are subscribed to that message board, you will receive an email announcement. The ride will also be posted on the club’s event calendar.

The Bent Fork Chronicles - Vol 5 Issue 2, 1 April 2012

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