Read More about Summer Cycling
As we progress through the summer, we hope that everyone enjoys reading this current edition of the Bent Fork. We have a number of articles on a variety of subjects which you may find of interest. We hope you enjoy reading these as much as we enjoyed pulling this all together. Sharon & Dale thank each CSCC member for their newsletter contributions for the August Bent Fork Chronicles newsletter.
And, we hope you’ve been able to get some riding in during the past several months. From the smiles in this article's photo, you can see we’ve been doing just that!
National Bike Challenge
As “team captain” for the CSCC 2014 National Bike Challenge (NBC) team, I get access to a few data bases that the team members don’t. It has the running totals for our team. As of Sunday July 27th we had 12 platinum (over 2,500 points) members, 52 Gold (750 – 2,500), 24 Silver (250 – 750), and 9 Bronze (100 – 250). Diamond is the highest level (over 5,000 points). Last year we had 11 members reach that level. Today we have Trent Hovenga who needs only 600 more points to lead us into that level.
Remember, you earn 20 points every day for riding your bike. Even if you do just 1 mile that becomes 21 points earned. Short rides done more often will contribute hugely to the team! You can join at any time and help our CSCC 2014 team keep our national ranking (or even improve it). See the Club Web page NEWS item for registration details. Rides done during that month count toward the Club’s total if they are entered into the NBC site by the end of the month. At the end of June we had 4 members that rode every day, we have at least 2 that continued through July 27th.
As of July 27th CSCC 2014 is the 12th best team in the nation for July (38,875 total). There are 1,220 teams. We have 104 members on our team; all but 1 has logged at least 1 ride. For the entire Challenge, we are 12th (with 131,599 points). Keep up the good work (or fun, if you prefer!)
Ride Safe, Have Fun, and Post Often.
A Sampling of Cycling in the Northwest US of A
Mike and I were fortunate to spend time last summer riding our bikes in the Pacific Northwest. There are so many beautiful places to ride. We enjoyed our time on the Trail de Coeur d' Alenes. The paved trail runs across the Idaho panhandle from Wallace near Montana to Plummer, Idaho over an old railroad bed and adjacent to the Couer d' Alene River. Each of the towns along the route has a lot of character. And during the tide, which has an easy grade, it’s easy to see lots of moose and other wild life. The entire trail is 75 miles I length. Many people ride one way and get a shuttle back to the their starting point.
We also rode the Trail of the Hiawatha, 13 miles in length. This is a crazy ride along the old Milwaukee Railroad and still had 7 trestles and 8 tunnels, including the 1.66 mile Taft Tunnel along St Paul Pass. Lights are required to see going through those tunnels in the Bitterroot Mountains. This trail, which is a bit dusty at times, is considered one of the most scenic stretches of railroad. At the end, you can turn around and ride back, seeing the scenery from the other direction. Or, you can always take the bus back, which is quite a ride in itself.
Special Activity Rides of Interest!
While we're nearly 2/3 of the way through the year, there are still a number of rides that may peak your interest! Take a look at the chart on the continuation page of this article to see if one or more of these will keep you motivated to get out and pedal with friends. As always, be sure the check the Ride Calendar on the Club website for the details of each of the rides.Upcoming Special Rides and Activities
And, be sure to let the Newsletter Editors know if you enjoyed a particular ride. They appreciate your input as potential articles for upcoming newsletters!
Log Your Miles for Special Rides!
The 16th annual Buena Vista Bike Fest was Saturday 7 June. Starlight Spectacular was Saturday 14 June. Bike to work Day was Wednesday, 25 June. If you rode any of these, PLEASE send those miles to Jean Zeh.
Ride chairperson Jean Zeh says we still need Ride Leaders to step up for the Saturday Road Ride and Sunday Hill Climb Rides. Email her (firstname.lastname@example.org ) with comments, questions, or to volunteer.
Welcome New Members!Click for Membership Reminders
Bea Albers, Dale Boisselle & Family, Kevin Crocco, Abigail Fish, Charlie Fuller, Sam Giamarvo, Kenneth Janiec, Sue McTigue & Family, Bob Moore, Ben Ringsred, Robin Sniffen & Family, and Barry Welsh & Family.
Renewing Members – Thank You!
Francesca Avellina, Duane Babcock, Mike & Deb Belock, Deb Berwick, Gary Breig, Karen Brown, Ed & Suze Brown, Mike Burgie & Family, Karen Bush & Family, Jimmy Clere & Family, Graeme Cloutte, Karen Colp, Doug Dawson, Dottie DiGirolamo, Skip Doane, Chuck Donachy, Mike Fitzgibbons, Ronaele Foss & Paul Brown, Michael & Jeanne Galvin, Bill Gast, Janine Hegeman, Rich & Sherrie Hostak, John Ingham & Beth Blakney, Brian Love, Michael Mannebach & Family, Dan Martin, Javier Mazzetti & Family, Matt Meuche, Cameron Mueller, Laura Pelletier, Mark Pitel & Family, Ron Robinson & Family, Carol Runnells, Don Sarton, Joe Schultes, Peggy & John Seidel, Alan & Pat Severn, Gail Sexton, Maurie Shannon, Michael Silver, Larry Svoboda, Suzanne Taggart & Family, Scoti Townsend, Ken Van Antwerp & Family, Patrick White & Michelle Gutman, and Jean Zeh.
2014 Patriots Festival
On Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, people will gather at Mountain Shadows Park to participate in the fourth-annual Chick-fil-A Patriots’ Festival and Walk, Run, Ride for Heroes. This year, the organizers anticipate drawing about 5,000 people to the Park to support hometown heroes. Staged in a community rising out of the devastation of the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire, the festival focuses on raising awareness and support for our Colorado Springs community heroes. Proceeds from the event will benefit five charities that work closely with military, police, fire and emergency medical services: the Firefighters Foundation, the Peace Officers Memorial, The Home Front Cares, the National EMS Memorial Service and Angels of America’s Fallen.
Bicycle Ergonomics and Passenger Planes – Something in Common?
Is Riding in the Skies in Your Future?
When considering the ergonomics of riding a bike, there are three contact points that need to be considered – handlebars, pedals and seat. The relationship of these points will make a difference between enjoying a ride or literally making it a painful experience. While traveling in a commercial airliner, do you ever consider these same cycling ergonomics? Normally not. But that may change…
What are the Best Bike Rides in the World? - One Perspective Unveiled
If you enjoy bicycling to any degree, I would think you would have a “best of” list for your cycling experience. Just reading several of the articles in this edition of the Bent Fork will give you an idea of some of the epic experiences some of the Club members have been able to enjoy.
But, if you had to put together a list of the best bike rides in the world, could you or would you even want to do that? Just in case you’re interested, here’s one man’s perspective
of what that list would contain.
There wasn’t a July Club meeting. Instead, as per Club tradition, we had the annual Club Picnic on Sunday, 20 July. At one point, at least 75 club members were enjoying the festivities and food. A few more people showed up toward the end, so we think we had about 90 people all together. Thanks to Social Chairperson Bill Gast and his host of helpers for both planning the day and reacting to the morning surprise that the usual Park picnic tables were gone.More News from the President's Desk
The next Club meeting is Tuesday, 5 August at the Garden of the God's Citizen Service Center in our usual 1st floor conference room by the west door (Rm 1019 - Event Room A). A representative from Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) will attend to update the Club on the Starlight Spectacular. Chris Lieber will provide an update to the City's Park and Trail programs. Then the Liebers agreed to share their 7 year adventure crossing the US on bike with us. Snacks begin about 6pm and the meeting at 6:30.
Completing the Journey – An Epic Trip across the United States
Our journey across the United States occurred over seven summers, spanning 103 days. Included within these 103 days are seven rest days. The most days we rode in a row without a day off was 15. Covering a total of 4,422 miles,we averaged 46 miles per day during the seven summers. The furthest we pedaled in a day was 89, aided by a strong tailwind in Kansas. Ironically, the fewest number of miles ridden in a day was 13 in Kansas (the day after riding 89 miles). The fickle winds changed direction over night and we had to battle ferocious headwinds just to complete those 13 miles.Impressions from Seven Summers of Trans-continental Cycling
Our route has taken us across Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. We visited pilgrim landing sites, saw Revolutionary War sites, explored Civil War battlefields, toured plantations, followed the footsteps of Davy Crockett through the Cumberland Gap, pedaled along segments of the Santa Fe Trail, followed the path of Lewis and Clark's expedition along the Missouri River, joined Zebulon Pike's route up the Arkansas River, pedaled portions of the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail, traversed the homelands of numerous Native American peoples, and finally rejoined Lewis and Clark's route along the mighty Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. Through this journey of discovery, we have gained an overwhelming appreciation for these great United States and the true adventurers that came before us that didn't have the luxuries of paved roads, Gore-Tex®, or convenience stores.
Riding the Storm Out
Weathering the Storm continued...
Wednesday afternoon (16 July) at 2:15, I was riding my Trek down to the post office to check the CSCC PO Box. It was a “commute ride” for the National Bike Challenge. I was south of the elementary school on Centennial when I heard a "swish...swish...swish" and a rough ride. I had a flat in the back and threatening skies over head. I walked to the medical office just south of Chuckwagon Road but they had no covered entry - so I walked across the street to the north side covered entry at the Mormon Church and started to break down my wheel to look for the source of the flat. Then it started to rain and more. That is where I spent my time during the big hail storm.
Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route: A Summer Off-Road Tour
Starting the Trip...
As many of you know, Janet and I have traveled fairly extensively by bike and each summer we take a self-contained bike tour. This summer our travels took us to Idaho. “Why Idaho?” you may ask. Good question. It certainly isn’t the first state that comes to mind when you think of bike touring, but following this trip, I’d encourage anyone to make sure it’s on their list. Adventure Cycling had been researching a new route over the past few years and recently published the maps for the “Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route”. Two maps were published: the Main Route Map and the Single Track Options Map. The great thing about Adventure Cycling maps is they are geared toward what the touring cyclist needs to know. They are published in a cycling friendly scale and include information about camping, food sources, bike shops etc.
The Main Route is a 517.5 mile loop (583 miles with the Boise Spur), primarily on unpaved forest service roads. The Single Track Route highlights 4 single track options that begin and end on the Main Route and range in distance from 37 to 75 miles. Due to the difficulty of the single track options, and the strong recommendation that those with trailers and/or carrying a lot of gear avoid them, we stuck with the Main Route.
This was our second off road tour; the first being a 300+ mile section of the Great Divide route in Colorado in 2007. Once again we each used BOB trailers, and for the first time we questioned if we were out of touch with what we brought as we were carrying far more than any other cyclist we saw doing the loop. Most of the riders were “bike-packing,” a term that typically references approaching a bike tour with a minimalist mentality and being as light weight as possible. Thus while we had 30-40 pounds each, we were passed by riders with a handle bar bag, a frame bag and a large under the saddle bag which likely weighed 25-35% of what we were carrying. We certainly wondered how they were getting by as we often think of ourselves as fairly efficient with what we bring. For this tour, however, we brought some extra things including 2 bear vaults (2 ½ pounds each) to store our food as the route is advertised to be in bear country virtually throughout the ride. We were the only ones we know of who were taking this kind of precaution and, like carrying a rain jacket so it won’t rain, this insured that we never saw a bear!
Mallorca Spain 2014 - A Cycling Gem!
Editor’s Note: Reprinted from the June 2014 Bent Fork, as a result of publishing tool issues.
Our most recent adventure took us to Mallorca, Spain. We have been members of the Bicycle Adventure Club (BAC) for about twelve years. The BAC is non-profit touring bicycle club offering more than 50 bicycle tours a year throughout the world. These trips are all member led. Alison Stone has led this trip about 9 times since 2007. It is one of the club’s most popular trips. Anne and I have participated in 16 trips and we have led four of them.
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands which are part of Spain. The Balearic Islands are located between mainland Spain and northern Africa in the western Mediterranean Sea. Mallorca is a fertile island that has the Tramuntana Mountains in the west, central plains with vineyards, beautiful coastal coves and golden sand beaches.
We (Anne & I and Diane & Vic Villhard) arrived in Palma, Mallorca by air from Madrid on April 19th. From the airport we took a taxi to the resort city of Cala Pi. In Cala Pi, we met the other 21 members of our group. We arrived two days early to recover from jet lag and the possibility of a delay or cancelled flight. Club Cala Pi is really nice resort located above a gorgeous small cove and beach on the coast southeast of Palma. We assembled our tandems on the 20th which was Easter Sunday. The official start of the trip was Monday the 21st with a group meeting and opening dinner at the resort.
We took advantage of our extra day to get familiar with the island by riding an optional ride to the top of Puig de Randa for a 360 degree view of the island. On day two, we rode a more casual loop from Cala Pi to Llucmajor and took a walk through the Bronze Age Talaiotic stone structural ruins just north of Cala Pi. On day three, we rode northeast nearly 50 miles across the island to the coastal beach resort of Port de Pollensa. In Port de Pollensa, we stayed two nights on the beach near the marina at the beautiful Hotel Miramar. On our layover day, we rode north along the hilly cape to the lighthouse of Cap de Formentor. It was a challenging ride with spectacular views of Pollensa Bay and coastal cliffs with fantastic views of sea cliffs and stunning blue sea.
Top 25 Most Dangerous Intersections in Colorado Springs
Editor’s Note: Reprinted from the June 2014 Bent Fork, as a result of publishing tool issues.
Continuing Story & Graphs…
You may have seen the article in The Gazette May 5th about dangerous intersections in the city. I got the data from the CSPD and provide the following interesting details to help you ride safe. The study was an internal CSPD effort that produced nine pages of documents. I've crunched the numbers and offer a few additional insights beyond the Gazette's article.
The meat of that Gazette article identified the top 10 most dangerous city intersections. That is fine, as far as it goes, but just how dangerous are they and how much more dangerous are they than the others? More importantly, what can we do about it as riders? Here are some of the answers. You can decide how much effort to put into avoiding the hazards.
Let's start with this table, which lists the number of accidents during 2013 at all 25 studied intersections. Note the right most column, which shows the deviation about the mean of those accident numbers. It is clear that I-25 & Woodman is by far the most dangerous. The next ranked intersection is less than half as far from the mean. So if you are willing to go out of your way to avoid one intersection, make it I-25 & Woodman.
Notice that the total number of crashes throughout the city adds up to nearly eight times the number of crashes at all of these 25 intersections combined. This indicates that you would do well to avoid as many of the worst of these intersections as practical. The question is, which are the worst?
Check out the next graph and notice two things. First, notice that the number of crashes at the top nine intersections are all above or at the mean, indicating that these intersections see more accidents than the others.
Mountain Biking with a Backpacking Twist
So, What is It?
With the easy access to the mountains we have here in Colorado, there are plenty of opportunities to hike and mountain bike. Via these two recreational activities, we can take time to see more and appreciate more of the Colorado geography and beauty. But there are some aspects of these two pastimes that perhaps it might be nice to change. For example, pedaling a mountain bike up a long stretch of mountain slope can be a grind. Compared to the rapid decent, the time taken to pedal up the hill may see disproportionate. And then there’s the hiking. Climbing up a mountain to bag a summit is very rewarding, especially with the views you get at the top. But coming back down on foot can be taxing on the knees, feet and other parts of one’s anatomy.
What if there was a way to combine hiking up and cycling down, without having to push the bike up the hill or wear the hiking boots while cycling down. Would that appeal to you? Sure! While perusing the Internet about cycling related news several weeks ago, I found a “toy” that would enable such a situation. It’s called a ‘Bergmönch’, which is German for ‘Mountain Monk’.