Vol 2 Issue 4 August 2009

Letter From the Editor

Janine Hegeman

Greetings, I do hope you are enjoying the summer. I've been learning a lot about cycling, even though school is technically out, and I'm excited to share it with you.                                                                 

I was the club's designated Sunday Social Ride leader for the month of June. I have never led a ride before. The thought was somewhat terrifying to me. But I jumped in, went to various mapping websites, like mapmyride.com, and figured out where  and how far we would go. I checked in with destinations where food was involved to make sure they would be open and to give them a heads up. (Okay, okay I did blow it on the "ice cream" ride!) A LOT of people turned out for the rides. This was a bit daunting, but I had wonderful folks posting corners and great sweeps, so I was able to ensure everyone's safety confidently. Those of you who attended know that somehow the weather cooperated. All three Sundays, just after the ride, the skies opened up. And, I was supposed to lead the annual picnic social ride, but at the very start of the ride, the old crank on my bicycle died . (No, not me -  it really was the bike!) Bob Smith stepped in and led. From all reports, I picked a heck of a ride down the hill in Cheyenne Mountain State Park through Fountain and back!  Hmm, and I got to stay behind and eat cookies...All in all, it was a great experience, and if you are ever asked to lead a ride, give it a try. It is such fun and it gives you a great sense of personal satisfaction to help people enjoy a ride.

We had a tough go this spring with rains in June, but the weather in early July cooperated a bit more. Personally, I've taken advantage of it, and made some time to try out a few club rides that I have not yet joined. On July 2, I went on the Old Pheartes Thursday Phun Ride. (Having just arrived at the age of fifty, I figured it was time to join in!) This ride is a "Creative" ride, and we do go places! Stan Hill was the ride leader, and he knows short cuts and backroads all over the city. One important thing I learned on this ride: use extreme caution crossing concrete that has water flowing across it. If its been seeping for a while, it could be slimy from algae or moss, and believe me, it  is SLICK! Slicker than ice.

We were on a mission on this ride: to find a spot to observe fireworks at the Air Force Academy during the Full Moon ride on the 4th. We toured Briagate, found THE spot, and really had a great time. I rode about 40 miles, but this ride is variable, from 20 to 40 miles, depending on who shows up for the ride, the weather, etc. Try it if you can!

On the 4th, I went on the Tour de Latte. This Saturday morning ride always heads for a coffee shop, where riders enjoy a nice cuppa joe or other beverage, before returning to the start. Normally, Karen Hill leads the ride, but Stan was filling in for her. Again, we traveled more back roads and byways than I could have guessed existed. Our destination was closed, but luckily there was another coffee shop nearby.  Flexibility and caffiene, I think, are two key words I'd use to describe this ride! I plan to attend this ride whenever possible.

I had full intentions of going on the Full Moon Ride on the 4th to see the fireworks, but the rain stopped me. A few brave souls did venture out, however. I've been on a Full Moon ride, last summer, and I can tell you, it is a surreal experience. I'll try to get out for the next one, August  8 (Full Moon rides are always held the Saturday night closest to the Full Moon). It's the "Atomic Moon" ride - you'll have to look that up on the rides calendar! Hope to see you there!

Monday Dinner rides are always popular, and if you haven't tried this yet,  you're in for a treat. The ride leader (usually Bob Smith) always makes reservations with the destination resturant  ahead of time. Often we'll dine on the patio. It is a very pleasant way to see the sights of the city and maybe check out a resturant you haven't tried.

And for the mileage hounds, Ed Bidinatto leads longer rides during the week, about 30 milesand some on weekends of about 75 miles. Saturday and Sunday fitness rides go at a faster pace and are for the self-sufficient. Generally, riders break into groups of like abilities. You'll get a cue sheet. No posting corners or sweeps on these rides. Adult beverages or coffee are occasionally quaffed after the ride.

I'm off to the Copper Triangle on August 1. Seventy-eight miles and three mountain passes. I'll write a bit about this ride in the next newsletter, and I would love photos and tales from and other club members who ride the Copper Triangle. I'll start the wheel rolling with a question - Do you think this year's jersey is the best so far? Send your answer and a picture of your favorite jersey to j9h@comcast.net  Thanks!

Check the calendar on the CSCC website for times and contact info for ride leaders if you have more questions on rides.  Have a great rest of the summer, and COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE!

Cumbres & Toltec Weekend


Diane Edmonds

Editor's note: This letter appeared in the Nov./Dec. 1993 edition of the Bent Fork Chronicles. Bob Smith kindly sent it. The author's story amazed me! We hope this may encourage more people to organize out-of town rides. And maybe check out the newsletter archives - there's great stuff in there!

Hasn't this been a perfect year for fall colors?! Ten of us were treated to a breathtaking weekend of golds, oranges, and reds, when we rode the Cumbres & Toltec Narrow Gauge railroad from Antonito, CO, to Chama, NM, and then returned by bicycle the next day. The railroad took us through hills of brilliant orange and red aspen, which could not be seen from any highway. It's a fascinating trip, climbing up to Cumbres Pass, because we could see the tracks snaking their way across hillsides and winding along edges of valleys. Our cameras were very busy, and we joked about how we'd all show up at the next club function with stacks of photos of orange trees.

We arrived in Chama early enough to get our hotel rooms squared away (no small feat) and wash most of the cinders out of our scalps before going to Vera's for a Mexican dinner. Bob survived an altercation over a parking space by being cool enough to let the hothead have it. We survived the hour's wait for our food by drinking plenty of beer and wine, and water when we could get it.

The ride back to Antonito on Sunday was another clear and sunny day filled with mountains and valleys of colorful aspens. The climb of Cumbres Pass is steep only at the very top (hmm, my view of it may have been skewed because I was on my cross bike with low low gears). The descent down La Manga Pass, a few miles away, was S-T-E-E-P. This settled the question in our minds of why did we ride the train from Antonito to Chama instead of biking it and taking the train back.

Three cheers for Anne, for arranging this trip. She had to do some scrambling when the railroad decided they couldn't transport our bikes, and again when she checked on our Chama bed & breakfast reservations and found they had been forgotten somehow by the owner, even though she remembered speaking to Anne.

Thanks also to Phyllis Sargent for her welcome sag support as she drove Bob and Anne's van back to Antonito on the day we cycled.

A personal note:

Many thanks to everyone who called, visited, brought food and flowers and reading material, and in general kept myspirits up while I was recuperating this summer from my broken hip. And special thanks to Ray, who took such good care of me and brought me espresso every morning at the hospital and never grumbled once about having to put my shoes on for me.

Bicycles are wondrous machines. (I say this in spite of the fact that one slammed me into the pavement!) I was able to surprise myself and the rest of the group by riding 45 of the 50 miles from Chama to Antonito, even though I had just given up my cane two days before. Walking is still uncomfortable for me, but riding feels wonderful. It was great to be back in the mountains on a bicycle again. The prospects for keeping my own hip are very good at this point, and I feel incredibly blessed that it has healed so well. I am very fortunate to be a cyclist because cycling is a perfect way to recover from an injury such as this. So keep on cycling, folks!


 

Membership : IMPORTANT NOTE


Sara Hill - Membership Coordinator

Welcome New Members!

Jack Towery & Family, Mark Hoffman, Gail Sexton, Tom LaFera, Jonathon Dunn, Douglas Goodwin & Family, JoAnne Peterson, John Downing, Daniel Prutz, Trent Hovenga, Cassie Wright, Mari Lam, Molly & Michael Ansfield, Jim Chapman, Andrea & Peter Wenker, Charlie Katz & Family, Laura Russman, Cheryl Hinds & Family, Richard Kostizke, Elliot Cohn, Baruch & Julie Rhea

Renewing members-Thanks!

Warren Barta, Oscar & Barbara Wilde, Tammy Roth, Ronaele Foss & Paul Brown, Dale Campbell & Sharon Boyd, Michael Nutting & Teri Holt, Elaine Chavanon & Family, Daniel Mason, Brent & Laurie Rychener & Family, Sandy Greenspoon, Craig Highsmith, Jean Zeh, Janine Hegeman, Ted Johnson & Family, Alan & Pat Severn, Gary & Janice Brewington, Bill Brown, Char Taylor, Xaver Gonzalez, Deb Berwick, Kam Fletcher & Family, Marilyn & Pat Gaffney, Brian Love, Joe & Brenda Breister, David Owens & Family, Stan & Karen Hill, Mark Mann, Mike & Luci Stansberry, Larry Womack, Richard & Gail Fernandez, Peggy Seidel, Gary Roberson

NOTE: Family memberships are eligible for two adult online logins. With each login, members can comment on the message boards, respond to surveys or vote in our fall election independently. If you wish to have a second adult login, please contact Membership at shill@larsongp.com. Provide the following information: Name on membership account and preferred email & username for each login. If you have a preference for billing identity, indicate this as well.

Other questions regarding membership? Feel free to contact Sara Hill at shill@larsongp.com anytime.
 

Advocacy News

Al Brody

The Bicycle Safety Act will go into effect on August 5, 2009. Here's what this new law will mean to you while biking or driving.


Better Traffic Laws for Bicyclists

3 Feet: Enjoy a Little Breathing Room
Bicyclists get at least 3 feet of space when vehicles pass. To help give you 3 feet, motorists can cross a centerline when clear to pass you safely.                                                                                                                   Riding with Friends
Two bicyclists may ride side-by-side when clear but please move to single-file to allow other vehicles to pass.
Be Safe, Be Seen
Ride as far right as is safe. But that doesn't mean you have to ride in the gutter - riding in the right half of the lane often is the safest and most visible spot.
Go With the Flow
Your choice - bicyclists can ride to the far right or far left on a one-way street. Remember, still no riding upstream - ride in the same direction as traffic.

Better Traffic Laws for Motorists

Keeping Traffic Moving
Enjoy more freedom to safely pass a bicyclist by crossing the centerline only when safe to do so. If not clear, simply ease up and wait for the next safe opportunity. By keeping three feet passing distance, you create a safer environment on the road.                                                                                                                                Bicyclists Easier to See
One of the challenges drivers face is not seeing a bicyclist on the road or seeing them at the last second without time to react. The new law allows bicyclists to ride where motorists are already looking so that you may adjust sooner and more safely.
Road is Open for the Public
Yes, bicycles are legal on public roads. Please treat everyone on the road with respect. It is illegal to swerve at, buzz, or throw things at bicyclists.
Pass Other Cars When Safe
Before passing another car, first check that there are no bicyclists in the oncoming lane. This keeps you and the driver you are passing safe.


Recap of Bike Month 2009:

Colorado Springs Bike Month 2009, held in June, accomplished a few significant things:
1. Every bike shop in town hosted at least one clinic.
2. Mayor Rivera donned spandex and rode his 6th consecutive Mayor's Ride.
3. Along with the standard bike repair, bicycle commuting, flat repair, and fitting topics, Metro Rides, Pikes Peak Area Bike Coalition, McCabe's Tavern, and HealthSouth added an Adventure Cycling Gathering, a Unicycling Festival, and Adaptive Cycling to the cornucopia of clinics.
4. The CSCC Theme Team once again hosted the Starlight Spectacular in Bancroft Park. Night cyclists were treated to Old West Fort sentry towers, a covered wagon, teepee and cowboys and Indians.
5. Hundreds of bicycling surveys were completed by clinic attendees. The data collected will be used by the newly formed Citizens Transportation Advisory Board, Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC).
6. City staff received 40 letters of interest from citizens to serve in the seven positions on the BAC. Volunteers on the BAC will serve on either one or two year terms. Thus, there will an opportunity to apply to serve on the BAC every year. Please consider reapplying for the BAC in future years.
 

8th Annual VIBeS/Criterium Poker Ride

Sharon Boyd

On Saturday, June 27 VIBeS’ (Visually Impaired and Blind Skiers) hosted this annual fund raising event. We had 35 registered riders and raised over $1,400 dollars. The funds will be utilized to support recreational and fitness activities (biking, hiking, camping, snow shoeing and snow skiing trips) for visually impaired and blind individuals.

                                         Sara Hill, Shelly Mann, Amy  Abourezk  (VIBeS)  and Julie Rhea

Criterium Bicycles hosted our event and donated a bicycle for the best poker hand. Participants were treated to a Colorado blue-sky day, delicious fruit (especially those strawberries) from the new Sunflower Farmers Market, and savory bagels from Einstein Bagels. We were happy to see the Colorado Springs Cycling Club’s Tour de Latte group arrive at Criterium; many of the riders joined the Poker Ride along the Santa Fe Trail. Participants were amazed to watch as their “Braille” poker cards were read at the end of the ride. They were very happy to see their prizes, too.

VIBeS is a not-for-profit organization that serves the Colorado Springs and surrounding community, providing a variety of activities throughout the year. Contact us for information: www.coloradovibes.org

 

Issue Alert: Bike Ban Effort Announced!

Bicycle Colorado

Editor's note: We have Allen Beauchamp to thank for bringing this to our attention.

Counties Seek Authority
to Ban Bikes


County commissioners in Jefferson County announced that they are asking for statewide legislation that would let counties ban bicyclists from county roads of their choice, according to an article in the Columbine Courier.

Local advocacy group Bike Jeffco requested and received a draft of the legislation from the County verifying this is the case.

If such legislation were to pass, county roads anywhere in the state could be closed to bicyclists, including critical cycling routes like Deer Creek Canyon in Jefferson County, Swan Mountain Road in Summit County, Horsetooth Reservoir in Larimer County, and many more across the state.


We need your help to ensure access and equality for bicyclists on public roads.


Here is what you can do:


1) Join the Movement - Now is the time to add your voice to this issue. Join Bicycle Colorado. If you don't know if you are a member, ask us online.

2) Spread the Word - post this information to your blog and Facebook page, forward to friends, teammates and clubs.

3) Get Connected and Be Ready to Call - Invite others to sign up for eNews to receive updates on this issue and to receive the alert for when to call your legislators.

Bicycle Colorado members have worked to successfully overcome bike bans and caps on events in the past. However, this issue may be the biggest challenge yet to bicycling in Colorado. If you ride a bicycle, you need to be involved and informed.

Contact us:

email: info@bicyclecolorado.org
phone: 303-417-1544
web: http://www.BicycleColorado.org
Thank you for your support.

 

Colorado Springs City Engineering Comes Through

Dave VanDerWege

If you have not already discovered, there is good news at the new tunnel at Constitution and Circle on the Rock Island Trail. After a very visible dedication of the tunnel at the completion of the intersection improvements this spring, concerns developed that the ramps would not get paved for possibly years because of budget cuts and then: Surprise! The tunnel filled with water when it rained.

I was tremendously concerned that this project would become the poster child for the naysayers who were ready to criticize all the money spent for an unworkable amenity for those bikers. However, I am pleased to report, as a regular Rock Island Trail user, the City has come through. After a television report with the reporter standing ankle deep in water in the tunnel, City Engineering and Parks departments took the bull by the horns and faced up to a fairly serious problem with the tunnel. The result was a design plan was very quickly developed which included a sump pump for storm water and paving of the ramps.

If you have not ridden through the tunnel since these changes were implemented, you should, because there is now a new smooth asphalt approach from both sides and the sump pump seems to be keeping up with even the big thunderstorms we are all dodging around.

As one of the more critical people of the “never quite finished” approach to trails in Colorado Springs, I want to thank, congratulate, and encourage the great job City Engineering and Parks did to grasp the problem and focus to create a very positive solution in a reasonable time span.

THANKS CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS!!!!!!
 

Socially Yours

Chris Conboy

Hello Club Members: Hope you have been getting in a lot of rides, though dodging thunder and lightning storms has been an "extra" challenge in which we haven't experienced for a few summers. Here are a few social "highlights" and events to come, so mark your day planner or calendar.

Yippee, Skipper! The Prairie Skipper Picnic Pavillion in Cheyenne Mountain State Park proved to be THE place to host our annual picnic. Great space, lots of tables and serving areas, bathrooms (flush toilets) made this event on June 28 a great success. Oh, did I mention FOOD????? BBQ catered by Front Range Barbeque and all the fab side dishes provided by our club members. MM MM good........ A BIG Thanks goes out to the team of folks who helped in one way or the other.

On July 12th, Warren hosted "Grass it UP", a wonderful bluegrass/folksy group who entertained us in his backyard. Did I mention FOOD??? Again, folks brought super side dishes (I especially loved Tamara's roasted vegetables) and meat for grilling.

OK, OK, I know you're hungry by now, so here it is: The date for the Progressive Dinner Ride is Sunday, October 18. MARK YOU CALENDARS NOW!  It is our annual food (Did I mention FOOD???) extravaganza on wheels. This year, we are looking for NEW HOSTS to be one of our THREE STOPS. Many bike club members team up to help prepare the dishes and all supplies are reimbursed by the club. Please think about hosting, we'll help you with the logistics, preparation and other details. You'll get plenty of help!

And the date for the Christmas Party is set as well - December 12, at the Clarion Hotel.

Before, I close, a quick reminder that our monthly meetings continue at the Clarion the first Tuesday of the month. Come early (6:30 p.m.) for the munchies and social time. Oh, did I mention FOOD? Please let me know if there are any favorite or new appetizers you would like to have at our meetings. Keep riding, stay safe and I'll see you on the 4th of August. Thank-you everybody for supporting our club activities this year. I look forward to your ideas and participation. Socially Yours, Chris
 

Kids on Bikes

Aaron Rosenthal Photo by Lindsey Arkfeld

Kids on Bikes, started by Paige Charmichael, is a program currently in two local schools, Sand Creek Elementary in Harrison School District 2 and Ivywild Elementary in Colorado Springs School District 11. (Because Ivywild closed at the end of the 08/09 school year, Kids on Bikes is in the process of determining what school will be added). The program guarantees a new bike, helmet, and lock to all 5th grade students in those schools if they meet specific goals related to academics, behavior, and character throughout the school year.  The goals are developed collaboratively with the student and teacher and are individualized to each student so they are appropriately challenging yet attainable.

The BVBF committee chose Kids on Bikes as one of the recipients of the funds generated by the raffle of the Giant bicycle at BVBF on May 16th. The raffle raised nearly $1600.  The committee, represented by Aaron Rosenthal, presented a check for $800 to Kids On Bikes at the awards ceremony at Sand Creek Elementary on May 20, 2009 (in photo). A thank you note was received from the Kids On Bikes Board of Directors thanking the BVBF committee and the Colorado Springs Cycling Club for the donation and stated that the money will be used toward the purchase of helments and locks for the May 2010 awards.

While numerous organizations are worthy of donations from CSCC that are in alignment with the club's mission, what better way to utilize some of our funds than to promote cycling among our community's youth? Way to go KOB!
 

"Webucation" - History and Overview

Dale Campbell

What is “Webucation”? Education via the Internet or about a particular website, in this case, your website for the Colorado Springs Cycling Club (CSCC). This is the first in a series of articles focused on communicating the contents, features and functionality of the CSCC website. Sort of a “Did You Know…?” infomercial for www.bikesprings.org

So, where did that URL originate? Who decided that the Domain Name for the website would be bikesprings.org? We did! Yep, the Club held a contest in the late 90’s in which members submitted proposed names for the website address. My email archive (and memory) aren’t detailed enough to tell you who won the contest (are there any others out there that do recall?). But I know that whoever suggested the name sure knew what they were doing. Think about it – BikeSprings.Org. It says it all, doesn’t it? Bike – yep, that’s what we like to do. Springs – yes, we’re based in Colorado Springs. And .Org – we are a not-for-profit social organization that encourages cycling and supports other worthy causes.

Obviously, the website has morphed and grown since those “early” days. Beginning as a static information display, the site has expanded to include interactive functionality - logging into the member portion of the website, updating your CSCC member profile, adding rides to the calendar, posting information to the message boards, and even enabling interested web browsers to join the organization – all on-line! These are just a few of the functions that the website now supports, thanks to an extensive effort over the last year. Can you find more technology enabled interactive capabilities on the website? Try it and let me know what you discover!

BikeSprings.Org – more there than meets the eye. Stay tuned for more Webucation in future editions of The Bent Fork Chronicles!
 

CSCC Miles - UPDATE

Charlie Czarniecki

Editor's note: Want to see your individual miles? Go to  the "Ride Info" tab on the CSCC home page. Click on "CSCC Miles," then click on "Detail."

The mile totals look great for the year to date, especially considering all the ride opportunities lost to weather earlier this year. May was a huge month because we had more Club riders ride BVBF and they were very diligent getting their miles submitted. We have 4 riders over 1,000 club miles already: Mike Stansberry, Bear Aten, Alan Severn and Stan Hill. The "top miles" for ladies belongs to Teri Holt. The "most rides" leaders are Alan Severn (53) and Mike Stansberry (49). The top rides lady is Sara Hill (32).

I have thirteen July rides submitted and entered - so we have a lot more to collect. As of that point the Club has 46,276 miles in 173 rides. The simple math tells us the average rider did 7.5 rides and averages 232 club miles. We are 4,000 miles higher at the end of June that any of the 4 years that we've tracked - Great. I think the most noteworthy thing is that we have 199 Club riders who have been on their bikes collecting these miles. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

 

Cycling – What’s the Attraction?

Dale Campbell

Does the thought cross your mind every time you start peddling? Or is it just something that is innate with those who like to ride? Why do we continue to jump on bikes (almost) every chance we get, even though in Colorado the wind is always in your face and 75% of the rides are uphill? What explains this drive we have to pedal, most of the time not actually getting from Point A to Point B, but just ending up back at Point A where we started?

For some reason, I got to pondering this about a month ago, the thoughts going around and around, trying to decide why I’ve been pedaling a tricycle or bicycle since I was 18 months old (Yep, some of my first words were “Wanna ride….”). I wondered if it’s a nature (something in the genes) or nurture (parents or family rode bicycles) situation. Reviewing the variety of conditions growing up, I’m not sure if that “N or N” argument even applies.

Moving on, I then questioned if there might be some other factors that keep me in involved with the sport. Perhaps it’s my engineering background and the intrigue of a human powered machine. Nope, can’t be that, as I also love sailing, and that’s relatively low tech when compared to cycling these days.

So, what exactly is it that drives us out of doors, sometimes in some challenging conditions (ever ridden the “Frozen Water Bottle Ride”?). Well, I think I finally found the answer. Several days ago, I was looking through some old emails, trying to find out when the current CSCC jerseys were made available (6 November 2003). I happened upon a brief article that I wrote for The Bent Fork Chronicles in January 2001. I’ve now decided this is what best explains for me why I ride. See if you agree…

“I like to bicycle because: Cycling offers me a freedom that is exhilarating and energizing…

 A freedom from being surround by a mechanical monster (a.k.a. automobile) that restricts the view of the beautiful Colorado environment,

 A freedom to see the countryside from another perspective, one that is not necessarily limited to the paved accessible roads, and

 A freedom to forget the daily grind and concentrate on the wind in your face, on the effort to peddle the next 10 yards up the hill and on the joy of just being outdoors.

Whether with a group of friends on a road ride, or going solo on a single track in the mountains, cycling provides an independence that refreshes the mind and recharges the soul!”

Enjoy!
 

The Bent Fork Chronicles - Vol 2 Issue 4 August 2009