THE KENDA GIRLS THE KENDA GIRLS - Spokes Magazine

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THE KENDA GIRLS THE KENDA GIRLS - Spokes Magazine

Serving Cyclists in the Mid-Atlantic States

MAY 2009

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KENDA

GIRLS

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IN THIS ISSUE [ TOUR DEM PARKS, HON + BON TON ROULET + SINGLETRACK IS BACK + MORE ]


Serving Cyclists in the Mid-Atlantic States

MAY 2009

FREE

THE

KENDA

GIRLS

www.spokesmagazine.com

Online

Now!

IN THIS ISSUE [ TOUR DEM PARKS, HON + BON TON ROULET + SINGLETRACK IS BACK + MORE ]


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ON

COVER

THE

Team Kenda of the Mid-Atlantic. Photo Neil Sandler

BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS I’ll mercifully, thankfully

be back on my bicycle again! The only question will

be: do I burn or bury my running shoes? (Truth is

they’re too expensive to chuck, maybe I’ll use them

for mowing the grass.)

A year ago, those who read this column regularly will

recall, I slyly convinced my athletic wife Sonja into

getting out of her comfort zone and try the sport

of triathlon. She surprised me, she loved it, and has

since become a triathlete. So it was her turn to get

me out of my sporting comfort zone. This spring, she

challenged me to run a marathon. To do so, I’ve been

training with her upwards of 40 miles of running a

week. I’d like to report to you how much I’ve fallen in

love with running, but the reality is I really miss riding

my bikes, big time. Half way through my longest

training run, a 20 miler, some cyclists glided by and I

so wanted to be with them.

While no one can dispute that running is a great

workout, after eight or ten miles I completely lose

interest. Which leads me to this question: when did

our aerobic sports become marathon events? The

century bike ride, 26.2 mile marathon, and an hour

or two swim seemed like such great achievements a

few years ago. No longer.

Loping in to our neighborhood after a recent 16 mile

training run, my neighbors Don and Regina happened

by. “Nice day for a run,” they said, still clad in

their running attire. “Yup, I just ran 16 miles. Furthest

I’ve ever run. You guys get out this morning?” I asked,

looking for a chance to gloat. “Yeh, we did a 22 miler

out on the trails,” they responded. I’ll never boast

again. I should have remembered these are folks who

do 100 mile runs once a year. A marathon is just a

warmup for them.

Couple of days later, Sonja and I were in the neighborhood

running shoe store, buying new shoes, when

we met a guy training for a triple Ironman, consisting

of more than seven miles of swimming, followed by

nearly 340 miles of bicycling, and then finishing up

with three marathons worth of running... what’s that

78 miles?!!!

Listening to him describe his training regimen left

us both speechless. How much music does he listen

to during these marathon sessions? None, he told us.

He just zones out. “Zones out?!” I mean we’re talking

about zoning out for days at a time. How can anyone

do that?

My cycling buddy Bill regularly does century rides as

warm ups for his long rides, upwards of 350 miles in a

24 hour period!

I’m learning to stop answering folks when they ask

how far I’ve biked, run, or swam. I’m convinced their

question is just a come on... a trick designed for them

to tell you about the 100 mile run or the 750 mile

bike weekend they just completed.

As for me, once I get this marathon thingie behind

me, the whole cycling season opens up. I can truthfully

tell you that a 26.2 mile bike ride will be a thing

of beauty.

Happy trails,

Neil Sandler

Editor & Publisher

page 6

Touring • Racing • Off-Road

Recreation • Triathlon • Commuting

MAY 2009

SPOKES is published monthly eight times a year — monthly March

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May 2009

5


THE KENDA GIRLS

by BRENDA RUBY bruby@verizon.net

The women of Team Kenda mid-Atlantic aren’t your typical racers. Their unofficial motto?

“We love our wrinkles and we’ll kick your butt anyway. Soon.” reports Tracy Rankin from her

recent Walkersville race report. Composed of more seasoned riders, all but two are nearing

or over 40, these women clearly ride and race with a joy which permeates everything from

their riding to their race reports. These women have figured it out; if you’re not having fun,

then you’re doing something wrong.

Creating different regions of Team Kenda, Forsythe

saw branching out to hubs around the national team

as a way to support the national team while fostering

the development of riders. With this model, the Elite

team would be able to draw talent from the local hubs

for National Race Calendar (NRC) rides around the

country. Forsythe explains, “Logistics become a lot

easier if you have a pool of elite riders spread across

the country, not just in one area.”

But it was serendipity that actually brought Team

Kenda mid-Atlantic to existence in 2007. In the spring

of that year Marni Harker, the future mid-Atlantic

team manager, recounts that she was “looking at yet

another season of racing on my own or joining another

team,” but having been coached by Forsythe previously,

she knew of his desire to expand Team Kenda.

Needing more than one for a team, she turned to

another local racer whom she knew for help. Harker

said, “With the help of Marjan [Huizing, a former

national duathlon champion] we were able to pull

together a small group of able racers who were compatible

and happy to race on a small local race team which

offered connections to a national women’s team.”

Huizing recounts, “A group of us, all with racing

experience, all having important things going on in

life, all wanting to race semi-serious/competitively,

tried to be on the same team.” That opportunity to

be on another local team fell through around the

same time that Harker knew about Forsythe’s desires

to expand Team Kenda. Huizing continues, “We all

got together in March 2007 at Marni’s house and she

called Paul [Forsythe] to tell him our story and ask

if we could join Team Kenda. He thought this was a

great idea and suggested creating the mid-Atlantic

Team Kenda.” A few more phone calls brought

Chris Kelley, who was racing with NCVC at the time,

and her teammate Janelle Hubbard on board. Adds

Huizing, “We called Paul again, and within 2-3 hours,

Team Kenda mid-Atlantic was formed.” Hubbard cites

this moment, “when we all came together as a team,

seven women from four different teams,” as her fondest

memory.

FOR THE WOMEN OF TEAM KENDA mid-Atlantic it’s all

about being able to do what they love with people

they like and respect. In person, their energy is infectious

and their camaraderie and eagerness to be

around one another, clearly apparent. Team member

Marjan Huizing simply puts it, “we stimulate each

other.” The closeness is due in large part to an appreciation

to where these women are at in their lives.

Huizing explains, “We all raced in our 30's but bike

racing is not priority #1 any more in our life, but we

still love to race. We’re a more low-key team. For us

it’s more about fun and helping each other out.”

Though she’s quick to add that it’s “not about laziness;

we still race at the highest level.”

Helping each other out even includes passing around

what’s become known as “the pregnancy bike.” A little

blue upright bike acquired by team manager Marni

Harker at a garage sale “from this little old lady,”

Harker hadn’t initially realized its destiny until Betsy

Baysinger put it to use. Baysinger was about to opt out

of riding with the team when Harker realized that “little

blue bike” might just be what Baysinger needed. It

was, and it’s been used not just by her, but other racers

in the area as well and now resides with Huizing as

she awaits her first child.

Though Team Kenda (www.teamkenda.com) has only

officially been around for four years, the team’s evolution

started over ten years ago when Paul Forsythe,

team director, recognized the limited outlet for the

talent of the women riders he coached through the

Purdue University Cycling Program. Forsythe notes,

“It was pretty obvious that there was a lot of talent in

the area at the local colleges and universities, but in

the summer what did they do? They joined up with

men’s racing teams. But they were always an afterthought.

At the time there were probably only three

recognized women’s teams in the U.S.”

Forsythe wanted to create a women’s team with a

national presence. The team started in 1998 as Team

Ameritech in the Midwest and raced in Illinois and

Indiana for two years. Their racing success brought

them increasing recognition from new sponsors and

ultimately a sponsorship from Kenda Tire allowed

them to grow nationally in the unique way Forsythe

knew they could.

6 May 2009


From this formation Team Kenda mid-Atlantic has

included Harker as team manager, Huizing, Kelley,

Hubbard, Betsy Basysinger, and Heidi Goldberg, who

already raced for Team Kenda’s elite team. Later in

2007 Jennifer Maxwell came on, last year added Tracy

Rankin, and this year added the team’s youngest

members, Liz Fruedenberger, 24, who raced in Ohio

with Kenda Girls and Colleen Gullick who the only

junior racer on the team.

Harker says of her team, “What stands out is how well

we all fit together. Not all groups do and this one really

does. We’re on similar pages about what role racing

plays in our lives.” She adds, “Team Kenda is about

finding harmony in life and finding people to do that

with.” Huizing adds, “We ‘old farts’ are still competitive

and push each other to do well in races without

having a real ‘plan’ going into a race and we have a

lot of fun doing it.”

Though Huizing claims they have “no real plan,” their

training tells a different story. Harker estimates that

each woman trains 12-20 hours each week noting,

“training for bike racing is extremely time consuming

and a year round activity.” These women, with jobs

ranging from a cytogenetics technologist (Hubbard)

to a flight attendant (Harker), have training schedules

as diverse as their lives, but the common denominator

being they all put in the time. Hubbard notes that,

“the women are on the same page when it comes to

racing. If we’re not ready, we won’t show up to race.”

Of training, Harker notes, “You have to really love the

training aspect and time spent on your bike doing

everything from long rides of four to six hours as well

as short extremely intense interval sessions to have

any staying power or longevity in the sport of bike racing.”

She adds that while hours are spent on the bike,

it’s “not all spent at warp speed,” saying that “people

who are new to bike racing often find that we go slower

than they imagined on our long rides. But on the

flip side, the intense short intervals, used to get race

fit, are much more intense than imagined as well.”

Janelle Hubbard notes that varying schedules and

locales leads them to devise their own training routines.

She, for instance, lives in Centrevlle, VA and

can’t take advantage of local group rides during the

week. Training indoors most mornings before work,

she focuses on performing compact workouts with

intensity. “Around here most of the races I compete

in are criteriums so I tailor my training for that.” Like

most of the women, she’ll train most days each week,

adding weight workouts on her recovery day.

While Hubbard trains indoors, Heidi Goldberg can’t

imagine it saying, “I rarely ride a trainer indoors

because I hate it! I’d rather ride my commuter in the

snow!” Goldberg, an anti-poverty and social-policy

program director at the National League of Cities

and a member of the DC Bicycle Advisory Council,

says biking found her at 33 as a bike commuter. She,

like others living in town, try to use local mid-week

rides for training. She, Harker, and others cite the

in-season Rock Creek Park “pick-up” rides 6-8 p.m.

on Tuesdays and Thursdays from the Bicycle Place

in Silver Spring and their year-round Saturday morning

rides at 10 a.m. as likely training rides. Huizing,

Maxwell, and Goldberg will also often try to do the

daily (Monday – Friday) noon ride at Haines Point.

Jennifer Maxwell, a Spanish instructor at Catholic

University, and a former full-time racer before being

sidelined by and fully recovering from the Epstein

Barr Virus, adds that like the other women, she has

structure to her training. Maxwell runs hill repeats

and sprints at least 2x per week. During cyclocross

season, which is September through December, she’ll

do structured intervals 3x per week and hill repeats

once a week while doing two intense cyclocross races

each weekend.

Non-race weekends offer the women an opportunity

to arrange rides longer in both distance and dura-

tion. Chris Kelly lives out past Frederick and will

often organize long hilly rides which are frequented

by both team members and other women racers in

the area. As Harker says, “It’s a great chance to get to

know our competition a bit better out of the aggressive

fog of a race.”

Tracy Rankin, an NIH program director and one of

mothers on the team, admits that “finding ways to

incorporate training into my everyday life has been a

constant challenge.” Getting hooked on riding after

a running injury, Rankin started riding while a Ph.D.

candidate but did take a several-year hiatus from racing

after her son was born. Back in racing since 2004

she advises that “you prioritize and become pretty

flexible. You also lower your expectations a bit. While

I can certainly be competitive regionally, there will

always be somebody faster who has the full-time hours

to devote to training. And that is OK.” She adds, “The

one advantage of being of ‘advanced racing age’ is

that I know it is simply a bike race—the sun will rise

the next day and life goes on. Not to mention, there’s

always next weekend!”

Harker points out that their desire to “keep it fun” is

important because, “You’re not successful all the time;

we don’t all have great legs all the time. Some days

are good, some are bad, but overall, it’s good. If I get

dropped, do I feel bad? Sure, but I’m going to get the

most out of it. We want to feel good about all the days

we get to race together.”

This relaxed attitude towards racing is also perhaps

another key to their team success. “They all have good

attitudes,” says Forsythe. He continues, “On race day

there’s enough stress and drama going on and you

don’t need any added drama with a bad attitude.”

Heidi Goldberg explains the shared team belief that

“Negative mental energy sucks your soul and when

you don’t have that, there’s room to do well. You have

to have a burning desire to win, but having a negative

energy will suck that out.” This might explain why, as

Tracy Rankin says, “The strongest rider doesn’t always

win.” There are distinct benefits to having, as Forsythe

explains, “a maturity level.”

Aside from the fitness and stress relief that Hubbard

and Rankin cite as benefits of racing, Huizing says

that riding with Team Kenda, “has given me, and my

teammates as well, I think, a new boost in cycling

and racing.” Hubbard says racing with the team, “has

personally given me the confidence in my racing and

my ability to race along side other women who have

a huge range of talent. At any given time, any one of

KENDA continued on p.10

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301.663.0007

KENDA continued from p.9

these women on the team can win a race and knowing

and having that kind of capability is huge to me.”

Benefits aren’t limited to just the bike, either. Huizing

believes racing helps her to work at a higher level and

more intensely, while Goldberg tries to take her race

skill of being able to make snap decisions, into life.

It’s not about just training your legs, but your mind as

well. Of this far reaching effect, Betsy Baysinger adds,

“You learn how much is mental and you can bring

that into other parts of your life.”

Forsythe says his goal for Team Kenda is for women

“to have the opportunity to go from beginner to pro

if that’s what they aspire to.” Some women aspire to

national recognition while others are looking for a

comfort zone. Forsythe says, “If your comfort zone

is Cat 3 or 4, that’s perfectly fine.” Adding, “As long

as you race, there’s a spot for you on the team.” He

points out that Team Kenda is not a club team, meaning

all members must race, but “we pretty much have

an open door policy. As long as you’re willing to compete

on a regular basis, there’s a place for you in the

club. Not everyone can be a Cat 1 or 2 racer. There

are some women who many never move up from Cat

4, but they like to race and there’s a place for them.”

Allowing the women just to race, without the pressure

of having to win breeds all around success. Since

forming, Team Kenda mid-Atlantic has consistently

placed in the top five of regional races and in the top

25 of national races.

Knowing each other and being a team definitely has

its own benefits. Harker adds that, “We know each

other. We understand that we’re all juggling things in

our lives so everyone understands when you drop a

ball. This is something that augments our daily living.

There’s no pressure. The goal is to not make anyone

feel bad.”

As Team Director, Forsythe speaks to why this mid-

Atlantic team is so important saying “They are a really

good example of what a team is. Some racers don’t

understand why you would stick with a team if you’re

getting better offers, but they understand what it

means to be a team.” While most of the women are a

powerhouse of Cat 1 and 2 racers, should there come

a day when performance slips, Forsythe sees continued

involvement as important saying, “Some people

think that if you’re not able to win races, there’s nothing

left for them to do. Well, yeah there is. You can

inspire and bring up other people.”

Still in top form, Team Kenda mid-Atlantic already

sees that as their mission. Forsythe notes, as example,

“Marjan [Huizing] is an amazing athlete. She’s an

example of someone who wasn’t looking to take

anything from the team, but wanted to help mentor

younger riders.” She says that, to her, Team Kenda is

about promoting women’s cycling. It’s about “giving

all women an opportunity to get the best out of them;

an opportunity to race intensely nationwide, or locally,

or sporadically.” Goldberg agrees saying, “We see

our role as mentors to some younger women in the

sport.” And Hubbard adds, “We try to represent Team

Kenda in a positive way to encourage more women to

get involved in cycling.”

Forsythe believes Team Kenda does play an important

role in women’s racing today through its development

program. “We have mentors in place. We try to connect

promising riders with their regional team, but it’s

not forced. The regions are allowed to decide what’s

best for the team.” He adds that, “The fact that we

maintain a national team while having a development

program makes us unique.” But, “a developmental

team is important to the future of women’s racing”

and Forsythe wishes that more teams would take on

the same responsibility saying, “You need to use some

of that money to invest in developing up-and-coming

talent to have a viable team for years to come.”

As Hubbard says, “Team Kenda is about the development

of women’s cycling; about getting in young, raw,

talented cyclists and helping to mold and shape that

talent into something special so they can, at some

point, compete at the national level.” But Forsythe

doesn’t want a woman’s experience with Team Kenda

to be just “a stepping stone” in their race careers,

should they aspire to that. He sees a future where

Team Kenda becomes “a power team.”

For the mid-Atlantic area, Forsythe sees the state of

women’s racing as very strong. “Major races continue

year after year where there have generally been losses

of events across the rest of the country. I have had

more inquiries concerning team membership from

that area than from any other. That must mean that

Marni [Harker] and her riders are putting on a pretty

good show. When someone wants to be a part of what

you have, they surely perceive that what you have is

valuable.”

The women of Team Kenda mid-Atlantic have their

own thoughts on why women’s racing is growing.

Citing everything from growing fields which make it

easier for women to break into racing and find their

comfort zone, to more college programs promoting

women’s involvement in cycling, to even an increased

interest gained through triathlons and spinning, the

women encourage anyone interested to “just go for

it,” as Huizing says. Having come into the sport from

being a bike commuter, Heidi Goldberg notes that,

“it’s an accessible sport even to people without an athletic

background.”

For those thinking about jumping into the competitive

world of bike racing, they suggest joining

group rides through local bikes shops. Adds Janelle

Hubbard, “It does not matter how old you are, but

that you enjoy riding your bike. Just get out there and

have fun and don’t be afraid to ask questions because

we love to answer them.” Huizing concurs saying,

“Our mid-Atlantic team is very friendly and welcoming

to new racers.” Though they may have their “race

face” on during a race, team manager Marni Harker

sums it up in what seems to be the Team Kenda mid-

Atlantic’s goal: “The emphasis is on making it fun.”

8 May 2009

8 May 2009


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A RAMBLE THROUGH

BALTIMORE by GREG HINCHLIFFE

In the spring of 2003, the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee of Baltimore had a problem:

the brand new Gwynns Falls Trail was not being used to its potential. The city, the Trust for

Public Land, and many others had put a great deal of time, money, and effort into building

the trail, but the cyclists weren’t there, either because they were unaware that the trail existed,

or they were reluctant to use it, wary of urban cycling in general.

Gwynns Falls Trail, and one section of a road we have

closed for the event. This is the ideal ride for families

with younger children because, except for some street

crossings, the route is entirely separated from traffic.

This is an important distinction from the other

lengths we offer.

The Tour dem Parks does not close roads or reserve

lanes for its riders. We want to show city riding as it

exists every other day of the year. If you like something

you see on the ride, you can come back any

weekend and ride it again.

The next length offered is the Medium Ride, this year

at just under 25 miles. Starting from Carroll Park (as

do all the rides) you’ll see the Jones Falls Trail, Druid

Hill Park, Lake Montebello, the Herring Run Trail,

Patterson Park, and part of the Gwynns Falls Trail.

You’ll also see some interesting neighborhoods and

pocket parks.

The Long Ride is just under 40 miles. You’ll see just

about everything on the Medium Ride, plus more

of the Gwynns Falls Trail and a scenic loop out into

Baltimore County. For the second year we are offering

a Metric Century. Last year’s metric was a trip out to

Ellicott City, using the #9 Trolley Trail and Patapsco

State Park’s Grist Mill Trail. It was quite scenic, but

a little on the hilly side, including a killer mile-long

climb at the 55-mile point. I sure heard about that.

This year’s Metric Century is basically the Long Ride

plus a loop out to BWI Airport using sections of the

Gwynns Falls Trail and the BWI Trail. Maybe it’s not

quite as pretty, but it’s a lot flatter.

Many riders are Tour dem Parks veterans, having ridden

the event several times. A few happy repeat customers

have been with us since the beginning. Same

old ride, right? Wrong! This year the TdemP committee,

a group of dedicated volunteers led by co-chairs

Anne Colgan and Dwight Pinkney put a lot of thought

into making the ride more interesting for those who

are back, maybe riding for the seventh time. Not such

an easy task. After all, while the city has added miles

of new trail in the last few years, the parks haven’t

moved, and aren’t about to. Hmmmm. How to make

the route fresh while staying within the limits of touring,

well . . . dem parks. Finally, the inspiration: we’ll

TO PENNY TROUTNER, owner of Light Street Cycles

and then chair of the committee, the answer was

obvious: host an organized ride through the city, passing

by or through most of its major parks and trails,

thereby not only showcasing the parks themselves, but

reassuring local riders that it could be safe and pleasant

to cycle within the city limits. This was no small

order. Back in the days before the city’s Bicycle Master

Plan, before we had a full-time bike-ped planner, in a

city that hadn’t installed a bike lane or much of any

kind of bike accommodation in the previous 20 years,

Baltimore did not exactly have a reputation as a Bike-

Friendly Community.

Nonetheless, those of us who lived and cycled in the

city knew that there was some good riding and wanted

to show it off with a ride. Any money raised by the

event would go right back to the parks, through donations

to citizen support groups. Thus the Tour dem

Parks was born. Or Tour du Parks, as it was known for

its first few years, to the considerable chagrin of the

more linguistically talented members of the committee,

who insisted it should either be Tour du Park or

Tour des Parks. After years of haggling, we decided

to embrace our inner Baltimoron and go with Tour

dem Parks, as in “How ‘bout dem Oreos?” (You know,

the baseball team?) It seemed only natural to throw

in “Hon” at the end. So . . . Tour dem Parks, Hon!

John Waters (legendary Baltimore filmmaker of “Pink

Flamingos” fame) would be proud.

The Tour is now in its seventh year, co-sponsored by

the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and the city’s

Department of Recreation and Parks. Every year it has

drawn more riders, and every year it has raised more

money for the parks. Over the years the ride has provided

thousands and thousands of dollars to various

“Friends of ...” and other park support organizations.

And just as important to the city cyclists who started

the event, thousands of cyclists have been exposed to

riding in Baltimore, seeing parks, trails, and neighborhoods

they never knew existed. This, along with the

bike accommodations the city has been making under

Mayor Sheila Dixon, has led to a steady increase in

the number of bicyclists seen on the streets of the city.

So what is the Tour dem Parks (or TdemP) like? What

should you expect if you come out to Carroll Park on

Sunday, June 14th to ride in the Seventh Annual Tour

Dem Parks, Hon? Well, take your pick. Once again,

we are offering four different lengths of riding. The

shortest is the Family Ride of about a dozen miles.

This ride is entirely on the off-road sections of the

10 May 2009


do the tour backwards. No, no stunt-riding required,

but this year’s rides will circle the city clockwise,

instead of the counter-clockwise loops of the past.

You’d be surprised how different some of the same

places look from a different direction.

We have also dealt with some of the challenging interpark

segments of the ride. Although the parks are

indeed lovely, some of them are separated by hightraffic

roads and distressed, treeless neighborhoods

which are no fun to ride. We have massaged this

year’s riding to make the stretches between the parks

as pleasant as possible. We think you’ll notice and like

the changes.

So come join us on Sunday June 14th. Grab a cuesheet

and head out on one of our fully-marked routes.

Refresh at one of the rest stops and enjoy the after-ride

cook-out and music. Best of all, see parts of the city you

may never have seen before, cycle areas you had never

considered riding. You will have a good time, you will

help support Baltimore’s parks and green space, and

you may learn something about bicycling in the city. If

you’re a city resident, maybe you will start cycling more

around home, for recreation or transport. Maybe you’ll

start cycle-commuting. If you live in one of the surrounding

counties, maybe you’ll consider cycling into

the city for a meal, a ball game, or a week-end. The

Gwynns Falls Trail passes right by Camden Yards and

M&T Bank Stadium on its way to the Inner Harbor.

Canton, Fells Point, Fort McHenry, and other attractions

are an easy bike ride away. The city’s ever-expanding

bike route network makes it easy, and you’ll see a

lot of it on the Tour dem Parks, Hon! Check out the

event website: www.tourdemparks.org for details and to

sign up. We’ll see you on June 14th, Hon.

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Author Greg Hinchliffe is chair of Baltimore’s Mayor’s

Bicycle Advisory Committee, and has been writing and

marking the routes for the Tour dem Parks ride since 2003.

He lives and cycles in Baltimore City.

May 2009

11


BON TON ROULET...

PARTY TIME EVERY DAY!

by ANN ABELES

“Your mother always said you wouldn’t amount to anything. Now look at us, sleeping alongside

the road, sipping wine from a brown paper bag!”

WELL, ACTUALLY WE’RE SLEEPING by the roadside

because we are on the Bon Ton Roulet, the East Coast’s

economy version of the Napa Valley Wine Tours.

We are camped in a school playground and the wine

was bought at one of the several wineries we passed

as we cycled through the Finger Lakes Region of New

York. This region of New York State is well known for

its beautiful scenery, multiple wineries – and hills.

Previously my husband Fred and I had cycled a little

in the area and often thought that a bicycle tour

would be fun. In the past we have looked at and

rejected the Bon Ton Roulet, a bicycle ride around

the Finger Lakes, because we thought the daily distances

(60 – 100 miles) were too great for us to manage

considering the hilly terrain. However in 2007

the organizers introduced the “short route options”

with rides of about 50 miles each day. That was all the

inducement we needed, in 2008 Fred and I signed up

for the Bon Ton Roulet, July 19 – 26.

The ride is non-competitive and suitable for riders

of a wide range of abilities (and ages). The tour is a

ARE YOU READY FOR

SUMMER?

tent camping adventure with baggage and SAG support.

There is also a motel option, but in our opinion,

the appeal of group rides is the socializing that takes

place in the campgrounds.

Sipping your booze from a paper bag and sharing

the tenting and showering experience with a few

hundred or so other riders quickly leads to making

new friends. Soon you discover that you are at a party

every evening.

The basic fee for the Bon Ton Roulet, a fund raiser

for the Auburn, NY YMCA, was $485 per person

(www.bontonroulet.com). The fee covered baggage

transport, camping and showers at public schools,

breakfasts and dinners (usually in the schools), two

daily refreshment stops, SAG support and cue sheets.

The support and cue sheets were good and we had no

trouble finding our way each day.

The routes selected were scenic with low levels of

motor vehicle traffic on most of the roads and the NY

roads, for the most part, have shoulders. We used our

comfortable, rolling lounge chairs (recumbents) and

were able to bike (slowly) up all the hills.

Among this year’s 478 riders, the most participants in

the 11 years of Bon Ton Tours, there were an almost

equal number of males and females and most riders

were of average athletic ability. There were a few

youngsters on the tour with some on tag-a-longs or in

trailers. Most folks with young children only participated

for a few days or had their own support vehicle

which some family member drove each day.

Although we had some rain nearly every day, including

one bucketing thunderstorm, the riders stayed

in good spirits and had a great time. Easily half of

the riders were repeaters, suggesting that folks have

a “Bon Ton,” good time, in spite of occasional rainy

days and basic accommodations.

Sign in registration began Saturday afternoon at the

Auburn High School in Auburn, NY. Participants were

invited to camp on the school grounds overnight so

they would be ready to ride Sunday morning. We

had driven up to Ithaca, the week before to spend

some time with our younger daughter and her family.

Saturday was very hot and humid when we put the

last of our gear in the car, kissed the kids and drove

to Auburn. We passed through several thunderstorms

as we drove and hurried into the school to register.

BON TON continued on p.14

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12 May 2009


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BON TON continued from p.12

While we were picking up our cue sheets, name tags,

baggage tags etc., it started to pour again. We waited

for a break, then dashed outside to set up our tent

and put our gear inside before the next band of showers

arrived. When all was secure, we decided to drive

to one of the suggested restaurants for dinner rather

than risk getting wet.

We got back, had our showers and were snug in our

tent when the rain started again. Later, we realized we

had set up our tent right in the beam of one of the

powerful security lights around the school. We certainly

didn’t need our flashlights that night. In fact, I

dug through our gear for our eye shades so we could

block out the light.

Sunday morning, we were up about 5 a.m. to dress

and pack up our gear. It was drizzling lightly

as we put away the wet tent and loaded

our gear onto the luggage truck. Then we

biked off to breakfast at the Springside Inn,

about three-quarters of a mile away.

Breakfast was delicious with lots of fresh

fruit and yogurt. After breakfast, most riders

biked back to the high school for the

opening ceremony. Of course, it was raining

harder by then so the riders waited in

or near the school till 7:45. The welcoming

speeches were short and we were on our

way in light rain by 8.

After a few hills we shed our jackets as

the weather was warm and the rain had

stopped. We biked through the historic

town of Skaneateles, admiring the gracious

homes and beautifully restored Victorian

mansions. This must be a very exclusive

town! We continued on through the lovely countryside

over to the east side of Otisco Lake.

As we headed south towards Cortland we passed an

eye-catching art gallery/gift shop with fantastic animal

sculptures made of scrap metal. We just had to stop

and admire the skill of the artist.

When we arrived in Cortland we headed over to the

SUNY campus, our campground for the night. As the

clouds were threatening again, we hurried to get our

tent up. We had our gear in a nearby gazebo and had

just put the rain fly up when the heavens opened.

Fred held the umbrella while I finished putting in the

stakes. Then we dodged showers while getting our

gear in the tent, finding our clean clothes and taking

turns heading to the gym for showers.

It was still raining when we boarded the buses that

shuttled everyone to a fish restaurant for a big dinner.

The restaurant also sold beer, greatly appreciated

after a busy and rather damp first day.

Monday’s dorm breakfast was great – even oatmeal

and lots of fruit. Many of the bikers picked up an

extra apple or banana to enjoy later on the ride. The

weather had cleared up and we had a beautiful ride

northeast towards Owasco Lake.

Our first rest stop was at Fillmore Glen State Park.

While we were there we met another recumbent rider

on a red Tour Easy like ours but with a faring.

After the break we had four long, tiring climbs and

really appreciated the rest stop at Frontenac Park on

the east side of Lake Cayuga.

With only two miles left before Seneca Falls, a severe

thunderstorm was over us. I knocked on the front

door of a house with a large front porch and asked

if we (and our bikes) could shelter there. The grandmother/baby

sitter said of course and we stood there

to wait out the quickly moving storm.

In about 15 minutes we were able to continue on to

Seneca Falls. Now the sun was shining even though

we were still in the rain. Again we were just able to

get our tent up and gear stowed at the Mynderse

Academy before the next shower.

After we had showered, we took the shuttle to the

Seneca Falls Visitor Center where we enjoyed several

New York wines and cheeses.

When we headed back to the tents, the sun was shining

and we could hang stuff out to air and dry. Dinner

was in the school and afterwards a nice folk singer

performed in a tent near the school.

We also met up with some biking friends from Illinois

that we met last year on the Illinois Great Rivers Ride.

The two ladies are fun and really enjoy these group

rides. They were happy to hear that we would see

them again in September at this year’s Great Rivers

Ride. With over 400 people on this Bon Ton ride, it

took a while before we had prowled the campgrounds

enough to meet most of the riders, especially considering

the weather so far.

It did not rain any more during the night but the

humidity must have stayed near 100%. Tuesday morning

we packed up a sopping tent and damp belongings,

had breakfast and were on our way about 7:30.

We skipped the first rest stop as we weren’t hungry yet.

We passed several wineries in the next 10 miles, Belhurst,

White Springs, Fox and Red Tail Ridge, but they were

not open yet and the weather looked threatening.

Shortly before noon it got very dark and started to

drizzle. We hurried on the next few miles to Gorham

where our next rest stop was scheduled at the school.

It was thundering and starting to rain so everyone

quickly helped to bring the food into the school.

Then the heavens opened and it poured and poured.

More drowned riders staggered into the school to

warm up and have something to eat. After about 90

minutes it looked like the storm was letting up so

some of us ventured out. We hadn’t biked a half mile

when the rain came down so heavily we could not

see. We turned tail and went back into the school for

another half hour.

Finally the storm seemed to be over and we all headed

out for the last 15 miles into Canandaigua. As we

went along, the skies cleared and it was beautiful as

we rolled into the Finger Lakes Community College

in Canandaigua. We got our gear, set up the tent and

spread things out to dry.

It wasn’t long before I could put things away and we

biked back into town to the IGA where we bought

some chips and two large 24 ounce cans of beer.

We brought these back to the school and sat on our

chairs in the sun in front of the tent relaxing and visiting

with other campers as they dried out.

Wednesday dawned cloudy and humid

again. However, we seem to have gotten

more efficient at packing up and were on

our way by 7:15. Today we had four steep

hills to climb and were pretty tired by about

30 miles into the ride. We stopped at a little

wayside and ate some of the trail mix and

dried fruit I carry for emergencies then

soldiered on another eight miles to the

rest stop at the Dundee School, a beautiful

stone building built as a WPA project during

the depression.

The Rotary was selling hot dogs and the

Bon Ton volunteers had lots of delicious

home made snacks. We really enjoyed the

meal after the hills.

Now our route was past several wineries

and down hill to Watkins Glen. This was

the day to pick out some tasty vintages from Glenora,

Fulkerson, Arcadian Estates, Lakewood or Casoata

Wineries and have the SAG wagon bring them on to

Watkins Glen.

We camped that night and the next at the Watkins Glen

High School at the south end of town. Lots of eager

bikers were waiting to pick up their treats from the SAG

trucks even though they had to be discreet about consuming

their prizes. Brown bags were popular.

Even though it was still cloudy, there was a nice

breeze blowing which dried our tent and belongings

while we showered. We enjoyed some quiet time, sitting

by our tent, reading. The sun even appeared

briefly. A real plus for us this summer is that we have

one of the electronic readers from Amazon called the

“Kindle.” It is wonderful device for wirelessly downloading

a newspaper or magazine issue so we have

been able to have the New York Times delivered to

our tent every day. Fred, a newspaper junkie loves it.

Dinner that night was sponsored by their ARC and

after dinner we walked over to an ice cream shop a

couple of blocks from the school. Two other bikers

that had flown out from California were there and

we joined them, sharing experiences about different

bike tours. Then the four of us crossed over to the

library to check our email before returning to the

campground for a performance by a local folk singer.

14 May 2009


About 9 it started to rain again and we crawled into

our tent.

Friday was a free day as we would be in Watkins Glen

again that night. Fred and I decided to make our

own route instead of doing either the 100 miler to

Hammondsport and back or the shorter 42 mile

loop. There is a short (7 mile) beautiful rail/trail,

the Catherine Valley Trail, just south of Watkins Glen

that we have ridden with our daughter, son-in-law and

granddaughter. We had heard that a new piece had

been added to it so I mapped out our own loop taking

us a few miles up, out of Watkins Glen on 414 and

then along a quiet country road over to the top of

the trail near Millport before taking the trail back to

Watkins Glen.

The sun was out while we climbed the “mountain”

out of Watkins Glen and we enjoyed the gradual ride

down Johnson’s Hollow to the Catherine Valley Trail.

However, about a mile after we started down the trail,

it started to drizzle so we put on our jackets. By the

time we reached the Montour Falls trail head it was

pouring and the lightning was crashing around us so

we sheltered under the trail head kiosk for a while.

When the rain eased, we biked on into Montour Falls

and hurried into the first restaurant we found, a pizza

place. We shared a calzone but they didn’t have tea or

coffee to warm us up so we next headed up the street

to a little coffee shop. They had scrumptious chocolate

cake that we shared along with coffee to warm us

and our hands. Finally, the rain stopped and we were

warmed up enough to continue on the trail that follows

the canal into Lake Seneca. The trail ended right

at the school’s ball fields, perfect. We showered and

rested till it was time to find dinner.

Thursday night everyone was on their own. We biked

downtown to the Seneca Harbor Station Restaurant

on the southern tip of Seneca Lake. We had a table

on the deck with a beautiful view up the lake. As we

ate we could watch the thunderstorms moving across

the lake but fortunately they stayed to the north.

It was sunny and cool when we got up Friday. We were

on our way climbing up out of the gorge by 7:30. It

didn’t take long to get warmed up and we stopped to

take pictures at Hector Falls and remove our jackets.

The ride along Seneca Lake on 414 was beautiful with

views of the lake and many vineyards along the way.

Our first rest stop was at the Wagner Winery with lots

of good snacks, a beautiful view and some early morning

wine tasting.

Our route took us north to Ovid and then over and

down to the Sheldrake Winery on the shores of Lake

Cayuga. This was a chance to fuel up before continuing

along the lake to Taughannock Falls State Park.

Then there was a hard climb back up the hill to

Trumansburg High School, our last camp ground. We

arrived early enough to have lunch in Trumansburg

before checking in and setting up our tent.

It was such a pleasure to have a sunny day we just

wanted to enjoy it. After our showers, we changed

into our “tuxedo” jerseys for the final dinner and

party. Lots of people took our picture saying they

didn’t realize that the festivities were “formal.” Dinner

that night was a big chicken barbecue at the school.

After dinner we were all shuttled out to the American

Legion building for our final party. The beer was

free and we were entertained by “acts” organized by

different groups of riders. The acts ranged from two

men and a boy (uncle, dad and son) putting rubber

gloves over their heads and inflating them by blowing

through their noses till the gloves finally burst, to two

sisters who sang their original song about the Bon Ton

– pedaling, pedaling, pedaling uphill – in the rain.

There were prizes for short, six word summaries of

the ride. One of the winning entries was “Crotch on

fire; not my desire.”

Saturday morning we were treated to a dry tent when

we had to pack up and put our gear on the luggage

truck. Finally we were treated to a beautiful day with

low humidity. We donned our tuxes again and biked

out to the American Legion for breakfast.

After breakfast the ride headed north on Rt. 96 and

then dropped down to Rt. 89 along Lake Cayuga.

The weather was perfect and with the slight downhill,

we were flying along. We passed up the first rest stop

at 12 miles and headed on to the second at Cayuga

Lake State park, 27 miles into the ride. There we

enjoyed the ends of lots of delicious snacks and more

picture taking. The route continued up Lake Cayuga,

across the Montezuma Flats on Rt. 20 and back to the

Auburn High School. We arrived about noon and said

good bye to many new friends. We loaded our gear

into our car and headed back to our children’s house

in Ithaca.

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15


DEPARTMENTS

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TriRats President Makes Her Comeback

Thirty-year-old Katie Davison started swimming in

Cleveland, where she grew up, on the neighborhood

pool team when she was five-years-old.

Katie Davison (left)

“I was a pool rat as a little kid,” she says. “I ended up

coaching my summer swim team when I got older.”

She swam through high school and her first year at

Ohio University, “until I burned out,” she says. The

transition from an hour a day of practice in high

school to sometimes six hours a day of training in college

proved overwhelming.

A petite 5-3 and 100 pounds, Davison took up running

to stay in shape. Later, after moving to Reston,

Va., a little more interested again in swimming, she

joined the Master’s program there. Master’s swimming

had introduced her to local triathletes, who introduced

her to cycling, and eventually the former “pool

rat” in 2004 became a TriRat - the nickname for the

Reston-Area Triathlon Club.

In March, she was named club president. Not that it’s

been a smooth five years in her new sport-of-choice.

“Everybody you meet in the D.C. area who swims

seems to do triathlons,” Davison says. “I was hooked

right away.”

David Glover, who founded TriRats, she says, was a big

influence on her. They’ve became good friends and

were even roommates for a while. However, Davison

ran into an unexpected obstacle not long after her

first tri - the Spud Short Triathlon (now General

Smallwood) in June of 2004.

Amazingly, she won her age group in the Reston

Olympic Distance Triathlon that fall, but then got the

bad news the following spring: She was diagnosed with

a stress fracture between her femur and pelvis. Davison

would not be able to run for the next three years.

“I felt like I was just starting out,” she says. Davison was

at first, also diagnosed with osteoporosis. Which seemed

incredible given that she was only in her mid-20s.

She kept waiting for the stress fracture to heel, but

it simply wasn’t. She could swim and bike because

they were non-impact sports, but running was out.

Committed to pursuing triathlon, working out regularly

- and the TriRats - Davison joined triathlon relay

teams, did “aqua-bike” events, or just did the first two

legs of triathlons and then pulled out. She also did

some very long swims, including an eight-mile swim

from Vermont to New York State on Lake Champlain

and the 4.4 mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim. She

found ways to compete.

About a year and half after her initial diagnosis

Davison met Mary and Al Delaney, who run Rehab to

Racing, and they eventually got her to a new orthopedic

doctor. In February 2007, she finally got a full

diagnosis - Davison had Celiac disease. It’s a disease

TRISPOKES continued on p.18

16 May 2009


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COLLEGE PARK

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COLUMBIA

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DAMASCUS

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HAGERSTOWN

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GEORGETOWN

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(202) 965-3601


TRISPOKES continued from p.16

that destroys the small intestine and prevents the

body from absorbing nutrients, such as calcium, as a

result of a gluten-intolerance.

Today, with a new diet, Davison is back running and

says she has more energy than ever. Which means a lot.

She came back to her first complete triathlon last

May, taking fifth overall in Little Pepper Sprint, “a

good confidence builder,” she says, and has been

slowly increasing her workload and triathlon distances

ever since. She took 10th overall last August at

the IronGirl Triathlon in Columbia, and completed

her second half-Ironman triathlon of the season at

Savageman in late September.

Of the three disciplines, Davison began cycling last,

not that long ago really, and rather than focus on the

time lost running and her mis-diagnosis, she believes

concentrating on cycling while re-habing has made

her a more well-rounded triathlete.

“I put a lot of time in one the bike, and I learned to

love hills, which helped me develop power,” she says.

“I only do rides that have hills when I go out and now

sometimes my bike times are as high as my swim times.”

Ironically, she adds, running might prove her strongest

suit over the long haul.

“Even though I’ve always been a swimmer, I don’t

have a swimmer’s build,” she says. "When I do run, it’s

usually pretty good.”

Her goal this year includes a good showing at the

Rhode Island Ironman 70.3 in July, and then she

wants to crack the top 10 again at IronGirl Columbia.

“I love the IronGirl race,” she says. “So many inspiring

women.”

-------------------------

As TriRats president, she says, the thing she likes best

about the club “is that it is very relaxed.”

TANDEMS =

Sharing

WHY RIDE A TANDEM?

It’s sharing the fun and experience with

a partner, a child, a parent, or a friend.

Sharing exercise, sharing adventure,

sharing the joy of accomplishment, and

creating a shared memory.

We sell and rent tandems because we’ve

shared these things and found that bicycling

can be even more fun when it is shared.

We’re fighting “oil addiction” with

human powered transportation.

Join the fight – park your car and

ride your bike.

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18 May 2009

The president’s job isn’t a voted position, it’s simply

been handed down over the years from David

Glover, to Steve Smith, to Keith Bohnenberger, to her.

Previously, Davison served as the club’s social director,

and added that club members Kevin Kunkel and Nate

Miller have been especially helpful in the early going,

organizing regular meetings, and working on plans to

get more people involved with the club.

Davison said she hopes to make the club more interactive,

adding more social events, and more training

events in the process. She said she’d working on putting

together a survey to get feedback from members

on the best ways to develop more participation.

“I want to keep it still a relaxed environment, where

people of all ability can come to connect to people,”

Davison says.

Currently, she says, TriRats has over 1,000 people

registered on it’s Yahoo-list serve, and about a 100

dues-paying members who receive the full benefits of

belonging to the club.

She noted the annual Tour de Skyline event is early this

month (May 1-2), the Reston Century, and Reston Bike

Club, the Reston Master’s swim team, and the Sept.

13 Reston Triathlon - all remain favorite activities and

training groups for TriRats. Club members are spread

out, however, from D.C. through Northern Virginia.

The late-season Savageman race traditionally serves as

a club fundraiser with TriRats entering as relay teams.

Davison also added that Kevin Kunkel is organizing a

bicycle tour/training trip to Spain this year for club

members.

And, of course, monthly Friday Happy Hours remain a

popular activity with usually 30 or so folks turning out.

“TriRat’s has a nice balance,” Davison says. “It draws a

lot of good athletes, but it’s not only for elite athletes,

it’s supposed to be social, and for people starting

triathlon to people who have been doing it awhile. I

guess, I am optimistic, I see a lot of good things for

the club in the future. For more information, visit

www.trirats.net.

Navy Wins Co-Ed Collegiate Nationals

Lubbock, Texas attracted more than 1,000 top collegiate

athletes April 18 for the annual USA Triathlon

Collegiate National Championships, battling chilly

early conditions and a challenging bike course at

Buffalo Springs Lake.

Both of last year’s winning teams repeated in 2009,

where athletes again competed on an Olympic distance

course (1.5 K swim, 40 K bike and 10 K run).

University of California--Berkeley, led by male overall

champion John Dahlz, edged the Naval Academy

by one point to win the men’s team race. U.C. San

Diego dominated on the women’s wide well ahead

of runner-up Colorado and the third-place female

squad from the Naval Academy. However, the Naval

Academy, competing against squads representing 103

Navy's tri team

college and universities from across the country, won

the combined Collegiate National Championship

ahead of Cal-Berkeley, Colorado-Boulder, and the

U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which, of course,

thrilled the squad from Annapolis.

“It was an awesome day,” says Navy co-captain Spencer

Waters. “We had seven guys doing the sprint, seven

guys doing the Olympic distance, and seven women

did the Olympic distance on a really cold, cold day. We

were so happy to beat Army, nobody gave us a chance

this year, especially our women’s team, which had a lot

of younglings. But they really came through.”

Navy’s other co-captain, Derek Oskutis, finished second

overall, 20 seconds behind Dahlz. Kyle Hooker,

Scott Terry, and Wes Bochner took 6th, 13th, and

24th on the men’s side.

In the Olympic distance race on the women’s side,

Lexa Gass, Tracey Bruce, Sarah Simmler, and Caroline

Barlow, took 7th, 21st, 22nd, and 26th, respectively.

Jake Johnson of the Naval Academy won the sprint,

with teammates Kyle Mayo and Waters taking third

and fourth, respectively.

“Derek Oskutis is our well-groomed horse,” Waters

said. “He’s strong all-around in everything, he’s got it

all. He’s the reason we’re a strong team, it’s his leadership.

Rather than taking a Spring Break trip, he led

the team on a training trip to Florida. That was the

turning point. That’s when we came together.”

Waters also credited team coach Billy Edwards, a professional

athlete - and Naval Academy grad class of

2000 - for motivation and guidance.

“He’s an inspiring guy,” Waters said. “He was in the first

wave that went into Iraq. He’s tough and he’ll make

you work. He’s spends a ton of time on the phone with

us and going over our training logs online.”

Waters said a typical training day for the Middies starts

with a 90-minute workout in the pool after morning

classes, and then another 90-minute bike ride in the

afternoon - usually in the “Tri-room” - following afternoon

classes, immediately followed by a run.

“We always run after biking, on the track or around

the soccer field,” Waters explained. “Trying to shake

out that awkward feeling after getting off the bike.

The bricks are important. We’ll do long runs on

Saturday or Sunday morning.”

He said one of the keys this year was “stealing” a

couple women off other Navy teams. Gass, he said,

for example was a runner on the cross country squad.

Simmler was a basketball player. Although, he added,

freshman Tracey Bruce “just came out of nowhere” at

Nationals.

“The girls all want to be like Justine Whipple,” said

Waters, mentioning Navy’s former collegiate champion.

“They’re young. They all caught the fever. They’re

going to be great next year.”


REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

photo courtesy of:

Jonathan Devich

This event is proudly

brought to you by

Sat. May 30 – Sun. May 31, 2009 | Arlington, Virginia

The 2009 Air Force Cycling Classic will feature two days of riding and

racing for all cycling abilities, from young kids to top pros! Participants

in The Air Force Cycling Classic Crystal Ride, Sunday, May 31st, will be able to

challenge themselves for up to 100km, or 8 laps, on the 12.5km course in and

around Crystal City.

Crystal Ride, a non-competitive ride

open to cyclists of all abilities.

Pros to compete after the amateurs.

Wounded Warriors

to Benefit

The 2009 Air Force Cycling

Classic will also offer cycling

enthusiasts the opportunity

to raise money to support

our wounded warriors, see

our website for more details.

For more information or to discuss sponsorship opportunities: info@arlingtonsports.org or visit our website.

Acceptance and recognition of sponsors or donors does not constitute

DoD, U.S. Air Force, or Federal Government endorsement.

www.USAirForceCyclingClassic.com


COLUMNS

SINGLETRACK by JOE FOLEY jfoley441@gmail.com

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Please join me in welcoming Joe Foley as our new

SingleTrack columnist. His introduction to our sport is truly

inspirational.

How Mt. Biking Transformed My Life

Eight or nine years ago I was standing in the checkout

line at a Barnes & Noble waiting to pay for a birthday

gift when I looked over at the “local interest” table that

was alongside the line. I picked up a mountain biking

guidebook that looked interesting, thumbed through

it, took a look at the map that showed the locations of

the trails in the book, and decided to buy it.

I can’t really remember what made me pick up that

book that day. I had a rather unloved Trek 820 that

I’d used to get around in college and had more

recently been sitting alone and unloved in the basement

of the D.C. row house I was sharing at the time,

but I’d never mountain biked before. My brother and

I might have talked about going mountain biking

before that fateful day, but those details don’t seem to

matter much now.

A couple of weeks later I loaded the heavy steel beast

onto my car, picked up my brother from my parent’s

house and tried to find one of the trails in the guidebook,

a place in Montgomery County, Maryland,

called “Schaeffer Farms,” that sounded fun. Within

minutes of putting knobby tires onto dirt I was

hooked and that first ride was just the beginning of a

passion that just keeps growing.

Over the next weeks and months I returned to

Schaeffer Farms many times and within a couple of

months had replaced the old rigid Trek with a brand

new, and much lighter, Gary Fisher. By the end of

that summer it was no longer a matter of whether I’d

go mountain biking at the weekend but would I go

Saturday and Sunday.

After a tearing my ACL the next winter mountain biking

became a goal to return to and road biking a tool

to help my recovery. When I was cleared to get back

on singletrack my scope expanded to trails further

afield, like Fountainhead and Gambrill.

For a while I’d been looking at the website of MORE,

the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, the local

mountain bike trail advocates, and more importantly

for me, the gateway to more trails. When I noticed

a meeting nearby I went along, and before too long

they was the source of most of my weekend rides.

Thanks to MORE I found out why I’d gotten lost at

Gambrill, explored the mountain bike playground that

is Patapsco Valley State Park and had my first glimpses

into the Frederick, Md., Watershed. But more importantly,

I met a great community of mountain bikers

that not only loved mountain biking as much, or even

more, than I did, but loved the trails themselves and

were passionate about maintaining them.

Along came the annual MORE camping trip to Douthat

State Park in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia

with it my discovery of the bounty of riding available in

the George Washington National Forest that drew me

to spend labor day weekend 2003 in Stokesville, volunteering

in the kitchen at the Shenandoah Mountain

100. I’d heard tales of the race and to my neophyte ears

was a challenge beyond consideration.

After two days of volunteering I was dog tired as I sat

in the pavilion surrounded by racers talking, laughing

about the day and enjoying post race beers. That

evening I decided that I would ride ‘the 100’ the next

year. Strangely, the fact that I’d barely finished a ride

that covered less than a fifth of course the day before

didn’t seem to worry me.

20 May 2009

Training rides started early the next year. I read Joe

Friel’s “The Mountain Biker’s Training Guide,” made

plans, hit the gym, and hit the roads in the cold of

January and February. I rode and I rode and I rode

and I rode. I raced the final 24 Hours of Snowshoe

that year, took road trips to ride more of the SM100

course and went up to State College, Pennsylvania

to ride the “East Coast North America Singlespeed

Championships of the Universe.” I even hired a coach

to help me train.

Standing in the starting field that cold Sunday morning,

I knew I’d already come a long way, but I had 100

miles to go and wasn’t sure if I’d make it.

That night, I was exhausted, shattered, but this time I

was back in the pavilion sitting around having one of

those beers and laughing about the day. It’d taken 15

hours and 10 minutes, and I was the last finisher, but I

was overjoyed.

I’d ridden (and walked) the last 25 miles with a

rider from Richmond, Brian Nutter. We’d never met

before, but we spent the last four hours of the race

just making sure that we both finished. It was the best

day I’d ever had, on a bike or otherwise and I knew

I’d be back.

The next year I started training earlier, did longer

rides, worked harder in the gym, and got serious

about how I ate. There were even more fun rides that

year. A trip to Douthat in the spring where I really felt

that I was not just getting better and faster, but really

changing who I was. I went down to Harrisonburg for

a stage of the Tour de ‘Burg that turned out to be an

ultra-epic 70 mile version of the Southern Traverse.

At the end of all of this I found myself back on the

starting line Labor Day weekend on another cold

morning, staring down another 100 miles in the GW

national forest. That evening I’d not just ridden the

100 again, this time I’d raced it and I’d knocked four

hours off my time!

Two months later I won the C race at the Granogue

Cyclocross in front of a girl I barely knew but who

would end up becoming my wife. More than just a

physical transformation, mountain biking had managed

to pry me out of my shell and in the process I’d

figured out a lot about who I was.

There are a lot of races still out there and a lot of

challenges left to be met. Two years ago a group of us

decided to race the Granny Gear 24 hour series. We

figured that just showing up for three or four of the

races would win us the Expert title. In the end we had

a competitor for the series crown and ended up doing

all but one race of the six races as the series went

down to the wire. We did win in the end.

So that was two years ago and now I’m looking for the

next challenge. Multi-day stage races look like fun,

in that sick and twisted way that epic mountain bike

rides are fun. I’d like to take a stab at the seven day

BC Bike race in British Columbia. It looks like it’s got

a fun course, but I’ve already got one challenge and I

don’t think the two will work together right now - figuring

out how to fit riding and racing into a life that

includes our new son, an eight-month-old bundle of

energy named Sam. The 100 will always be there and

it’ll always have a special place in my heart. This year

it’ll be the day before Sam’s first birthday and hopefully

I’ll be toeing the line again.

Allegrippis Trails Open May 9

The brand new 30 mile Allegrippis trail system at

Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania officially opens on

May 9. The trail system, built by IMBA Trail Solutions

along with six other trail construction contractors, in

partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers and

with the help of countless hours of volunteer labor, is

purpose built for mountain biking.

The system has trails for every rider. Rich Edwards,

trail guru with IMBA Trail Solutions, told SPOKES

“this is a notoriously rocky part of the state and it typically

yields very few options for beginner and intermediate

riders - these trails offer plenty of variety and

will definitely help expand the riding scene in the

Mid-Atlantic region.”

The opening will feature group rides, bike demos and

a visit from the IMBA trail care crew. Opening day festivities

are on May 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are

open to the public. Camping is available in the park

and you can register online at http://www.bikereg.

com/events/register.asp?eventid=8108

Virginia IMBA Festival Set for Memorial Day Weekend

Combine spring with mountain biking and that can

only mean one thing: camping trips. The Virginia

IMBA festival is happening once again this memorial

day weekend at the Stokesville campground, just outside

Harrisonburg, VA.

Not only does the weekend feature more than a

dozen organized rides ranging from kids and gravel

road rides to all day back country epics, but proceeds

from the event go back to your local mountain biking

club. Among the rides are several shuttled rides from

the top of Reddish Knob, and The Southern Traverse,

an IMBA epic ride with 10 miles of ridgetop riding.

To sign up for the trip go to: http://go.imba.com/

site/Calendar/1491445942?view=Detail&id=104161

FREE

CLASSIFIEDS @

www.spokesmagazine.com


COLUMNS

FAMILY CYCLING 101 by KEVIN BRUGMAN kbrugman@cox.net

Scouts Giving Biking Merit

At a recent school function, one of the other parents

started asking me a lot of questions about biking and

kids. Upon further discussion, I found out that their

6th grade son, Malachi, was starting the prep work for

his Boy Scout Bicycling Merit Badge.

While it often seems like there are a lot of pressures

to keep kids from biking, one of the groups that is

pushing for more biking from the boys, is the Boy

Scouts. While many think of hiking and camping as

Boy Scout activities, they also have over 100 merit

badges for a lot of other activities as well, one of them

bicycling which is an optional prerequisite for Eagle

Scout. The Boy Scouts have had this merit badge for

80 years and the 1930’s requirements were very similar,

except that the time restraint for the 50 mile ride

has been shortened from 10 hours to 8 hours.

Malachi joined the Boy Scouts last year and has

known how to ride for several years, but now that he

is working towards his Merit Badge, he is taking this

a lot more seriously. With the help of his parents and

fellow scouts, he started focusing on meeting the

requirements this past September.

The bicycling Merit Badge is one of the more popular

activities in his troop, so he has had some company

in getting this badge. Last September he started the

quest with a Scout bike hike from Herndon to Lake

Fairfax, Va.

The requirements for a merit badge are more than

just getting on the bike and riding. The scout has to

be able to perform a number of different activities

related to biking. If it is Boy Scouts it has to include

will cause all other users to clear out of their path. In

addition, there is no enforcement of the rules. Cyclists,

pedestrians and others often wonder all over the paths

with minimal regard for others. Next, paths are too

narrow to teach proper positioning for cyclists. The

average paved or semi-paved path is about six to ten

feet wide; however the standard cycling position is

about two to three feet from the edge of the road. On

a path, this would place the scout in the middle of the

path. Finally, trying to teach scouts to ride single file

in an orderly group on a path like the W&OD trail can

be an exercise in futility.

While road riding, the scouts are more contentious

in trying to ride single file so vehicle traffic can safely

pass. On an empty path, trying to enforce the single

file rule is virtually impossible.

While reading through these requirements, I was

impressed with how thorough the Boy Scouts were

about teaching these young men how to properly ride.

I was wishing we could make people getting their driving

license have to pass parts of it in order to drive.

It has been a team effort to learn how to maintain

a bike. Malachi has received support from the scout

leaders, other parents and perhaps most important,

local bike shops. By participating in these community

outreach projects, the local bike shops have garnered

future customers through interest and loyalty.

One of the valuable side benefits of working to get

his merit badge has to been to get his family involved.

As readers of this magazine know, cycling is a great

family activity that they can do together and have fun.

Malachi’s father suffers from diabetes and has genfirst

aid. The next requirements include performing

basic maintenance and understanding the basic

adjustments along with being able to fix a flat. They

have to understand and demonstrate proper riding

capabilities to include braking techniques and how to

ride while observing the applicable state laws. Finally

they have to show the proper way to make a left turn

from the center lane as well as an alternative when

the traffic is heavy and how to go straight when a

right turn lane is present.

After all of that, the scout has to make a number of

10 and 25 mile rides. He then completes the Merit

Badge requirement by planning and executing a 50

mile ride on quiet back roads in under eight hours.

I was interested to see that the Merit badge requires

the Scout to do the ride on the roads and that they

can not do it on local multi-use paths like the W&OD

or C&O Canal. There are several reasons why they

do not do it on the dedicated paths. One of the first

is that it does not require the rigor that road riding

requires. A full scout troop riding down a bike trail




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22 May 2009


RECUMBENT =

Comfort

PEOPLE ASK US

WHO RIDES RECUMBENTS?

We tell them avid cyclists

overcoming discomfort from a physical

condition, people coming back to cycling

for exercise who want more comfort,

and people that like to be different.

We welcome them all and try to help

them find the recumbent that

will get them out riding.

We’re fighting “oil addiction” with

human powered transportation.

Join the fight – park your car and

ride your bike.

bikes@vienna, LLC

128A Church St, NW Vienna, VA 22180

703-938-8900

www.bikesatvienna.com

COME TO OUR WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION

ABOUT OUR UNUSUAL PRODUCTS AND

CLICK USED BIKES FOR PHOTOS,

DESCRIPTIONS, AND PRICES OF

OUR PRE-OWNED BIKES.

erated a team to do the Tour de Cure. To date, the

team has raised over $5,000 in pledges.

For those not familiar the Tour de Cure first started

in 1991 and is a series of fund-raising cycling events

held in 40 states nationwide to benefit the American

Diabetes Association. In 2008, the Tour de Cure had

more than 38,000 cyclists in 78 events and raised

almost $16 million to prevent and cure diabetes and

to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

The Tour is a ride, not a race, with a wide range

of routes designed for everyone from the occasional

rider to the experienced cyclist. There are several in

the Mid-Atlantic region with rides out of Cooksville,

Hampton Roads and Reston. The Reston ride will be

held on June 14 and offers routes for everyone with

rides of 1 1⁄2, 12, 20, 32, 33, 63 and 100 miles.

As Malachi works to complete his merit badge and

the Tour de Cure, I will be periodically reporting on

his progress.

Youth Ridership Increasing

A recent study by the National Sporting Goods

Association shows that the number of people bike

riding in the US has increased by about 4 million to

44.7 million participants. The biggest jump in participation

has been in the 7-11 and 12-17 age groups.

While there is not an official reason, there is speculation

that gas prices in 2008 and the poor economy

has forced more teenagers out of the cars and onto

bikes. It may be that the poor economy may have

some positive health aspects.

The increase in cycling by youth has also been

reflected in participation in the Baltimore Bicycling

Club’s popular Kent County Spring Fling. There has

been an increase from 31 youth in 2008 to 43 in 2009.

All of the increase came in the 4-10 age group with

no decrease in the 11-16 age group. Considering that

there are only about 400 riders at the Spring Fling,

families make up over 10% of the total ridership.

While these numbers are going up, I still hear folks

grumble about how much of a hassle it is to go out

riding with their children. Getting all the bikes and

helmets packed, getting water bottles filled then

going somewhere to ride. Then only riding 5 to 10

miles and then packing it all up again and then going

home. I agree it is a lot of work, but our children are

only going to be young once.

As I mentioned last week, I grew up in South Dakota

where I could go out for the full day and ride all over

and have fun. I remember going out on fishing trips.

I had a single speed Sears bike with dual baskets on

the back. I would strap my fishing pole to the top

bar on the bike, put lunch and my tackle box in the

baskets and put a bucket over the handle bars. Going

out was not that bad. Coming home after a successful

day of fishing with the bucket full of fish could cause

some interesting gyrations as I rode down the road.

These are the memories I have of growing up. Making

the time to ride with my boys and then flying kites will

be the things that my boys remember.

It is interesting how much easier it gets as the kids get

older. Where once I had to pack the trailers and the

diaper bags and snacks and toys and it seems like the

kitchen sink. Now I only pull the four bikes out and

helmets and we are on our way. I have the problem

that my oldest wants to ride his single all the time

and never on the tandem with my wife or myself.

The younger one is willing to ride on the tandem,

but seems to want to goof off and make me push him

around. But they are out cycling with us.

We are still doing things together and it has paid off.

There is a school field trip coming up and my 6th

grade son wants me to come along, because although

I am first his dad, I am also his friend.

TALL BIKE TALES IN RICHMOND

By Mike McCormick

Richmond, Virginia’s tall bikes -- two-wheeled creativity or

something better left alone?

“Getting on it is kind of like getting on a horse, but you can’t

hesitate for even a second,” says Noah Cleveland, who builds

and sells tall bikes through his Shockoe Bottom shop Vtopvs

(pronounced Utopus).

“You get your foot up on it and swing over the back and get going.”

Tall bikes are rebuilds of road frames where one frame is

welded up on top of another with a single handlebar on the top

frame. The chain set is triangular with a very long chain linking

two front gears (an upper and lower) and one in the rear.

The pedals are set on the upper gear, which can make for the

mounting challenge. The height, though, has its advantages.

“The weird thing is you can actually turn a lot tighter, because

you’re up so much higher and you don’t feel the bike,”

Cleveland told SPOKES.

“Most of the times you get to an intersection and you either

learn how to stall, turn tight circles, or go down streets you don’t

want to go down.”

And as compared to a penny farthing (a high wheeled bike),

Cleveland notes similarities and differences. “You don’t have

that weird stiff feeling that you have on a penny farthing,” he

says. “But it will flip over like a penny farthing – a penny farthing

will flip over forwards, a tall bike, you try to pop a wheelie,

you’re going off the back.”

That unpredictability, though, is unsettling. “We don’t build

them,” says Luke Stevens, owner of Bunnyhop Bike Shop, in

Richmond. “To assume that risk, you have to build it yourself.”

Dennis Throckmorton, a mechanic at Rowlett’s Bicycles, estimates

there are about 60 tall bikes in River City. He’s built a few,

ridden a few, and helped friends build them. “The tricky part is

Photo Jake Orness

BIG AIR JEFF LENOSKY COMING TO

DOMINION RIVERROCK

Professional mountain bike free rider Jeff Lenosky will unveil

a unique bike competition at Richmond, Virginia’s recently

announced Dominion Riverrock set for May 15-16.

“The competition will be open to pro riders from around the

U.S.,” says Lenosky, who will be constructing a side-by-side

race course at Brown’s Island Park. “The overall winner will

be the one who does the best aerial stunts combined with the

fastest time. The emphasis is on the trick, and the obstacles

are 100 percent manmade. Brown’s Island is cool because

there’s a good elevation change – probably 30 to 40 feet of

drop over a half mile course.”

Dominion Riverrock, which is a celebration of river culture

and recreation will also have the Urban Assault Mountain Bike

Race, the James River Scramble Trail Run, the Filthy 5k Mud

Run, the Jammin’ on the James Boatercross whitewater kayak,

a free concert by Rusted Root and many more activities.

Go to www.sportsbackers.org for more info.

that both of the headsets need to be in a perfectly straight line,”

he says. “It has to be built around the steering.”

Throckmorton reckons the tall bike concept came to Richmond

area from Portland, Oregon. They can be found in other areas

of the country, as well. And he points out that the added wind

resistance and weight make it impractical for long rides, more of

a city bike with a certain cache.

“It’s been dubbed a ‘hey, look at me bike,’” chuckles

Throckmorton.

May 2009

23


DEPARTMENTS

COMMUTER CONNECTION by RON CASSIE ron_cassie@yahoo.com

Bike to Work Day, May 15

It seems a remarkable coincidence looking back. The

very same year the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956

launched the construction of America’s interstate

highway system; the League of American Bicyclists

launched their first Bike to Work Day.

Now, after a half-century of suburban and ex-urban

sprawl, car dependence, the celebration of the V-8

engine, as well as the dismantling of mass and alternative

transportation options, the long campaign for

healthy, sustainable commuting infrastructure appears

to have turned the corner.

Eric Gilliland, executive director of the Washington

Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), told SPOKES

that he expects 7,500 bicyclists to pre-register for this

year’s event scheduled for May 15.

“This is the 37th or 38th Bike to Work Day event in

the Washington, D.C. area, it’s been going on for a

longtime and it is one of the biggest in the country,”

Gilliland said.

Sponsored by WABA and Commuter Connections,

26 “pit stops” have been set up all over the region,

offering “newbies” the opportunity to ride into the

city with experienced commuter convoys and meet

other bicyclists (and colleagues) at Freedom Plaza

on Pennsylvania Ave. (Commuter Connections is

a program of Metropolitan Washington Council of

Governments.

The rally at Freedom Plaza, scheduled from 8-9 a.m.,

will include music from D.J.’s, and the Tune-ups, coffee

and bagels, a raffle, photo booth, free T-shirts for those

who register by May 8, as well as numerous speakers.

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“It’s a fantastic event,” Gilliland said. “A diverse group

of people show up. With the various pit stops and

commuter convoys, we try to demonstrate the safest,

simplest way to bicycle to work while making people

feel at the same time that they are a part of something

bigger than themselves.”

Always the third Friday each May, Bike to Work Day

has grown into an important national event, at once

celebrating bicycle commuting, helping new cyclists

to get started bike commuting, and also drawing the

attention of politicians and planning and transportation

officials.

Gilliland noted that along with the big event at

Freedom Plaza, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Arlington-

Rosslyn, and Tyson’s Corner, are typically some of the

other larger Bike to Work rallies around the area. He

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Rick Rybeck from DDOT and Neha Bhatt from D.C.

Councilmember Tommy Wells’ office

Monday-Friday 11am - 7pm

Saturday 9am - 6pm

Sunday 10am - 5pm

added that along with sending out invitations to the

entire D.C. City Council and Gabe Klein, head of the

District’s Transportation Department, WABA has sent

invites to a number of U.S. Congressmen, and even

President Barack Obama.

For more information on the Freedom Plaza rally,

visit www.waba.org, or contact WABA’s Henry Mesisas

at (202) 518-0524 or by e-mail at henry@waba.org.

Also new this year, the Washington Nationals will be

organizing a Bike to Work Day rally May 15 from 6:30

a.m. to 7:30 a.m. at the their new ballpark. Gilliland

noted the District’s major league baseball club has

been very supportive of bicycling, encouraging fans to

ride to games with a bike valet service and abundance

of bicycling parking facilities.

For more information on that event contact Tonnetta

Brown at tonnetta.brown@nationals.com.

Bike to Work Day Baltimore

It’s impossible to preview the entire Bike to Work Day

events in the SPOKES coverage-area, but outside of

D.C., the Baltimore regional events, sponsored by the

Baltimore Metropolitan Council also deserve a note

– they had their biggest pre-registration numbers ever

last year as well.

Also on May 15, of course, between 7 a.m. and 9

a.m., bicycle commuters will gather at locations

throughout the Baltimore region, including City

Dock in Annapolis, War Memorial Plaza at City Hall

in Baltimore, Courthouse Square in Towson, the

Government Center in Harford County and the Mall

in Columbia.

According to Stephanie Yanovitz, a Baltimore

Metropolitan Council (www.baltometro.org) senior

transportation planner, rallies are also being

planned this year for the Johns Hopkins University

Homewood campus, and thru the Collegetown

Network at Morgan State University, the Maryland

Institute College of Art, the Johns Hopkins University

Homewood campus, and the College of Notre Dame.

“It is anticipated that there will be as many as 1,200

registrants this year who register, registration is free,

at www.Bike2WorkCentralMD.com,” Yanowitz told

SPOKES. “Many registrants will receive a free T-shirt,

tire gauge and a free Adventure Cycling membership

voucher as well as useful information from

other sponsors.”

Household Travel Survey

The Metropolitan Washington Council of

Governments, which supports Commuter

Connections, its outreach arm - one of the co-sponsors

of Bike to Work Day – recently completed its

2007/2008 Household travel survey.

The results were part of data collected from more

than 10,000 households in the region.

According to the survey, the majority of all daily trips,

56.7 percent, are made by automobile with single

drivers. The next closest “mode” of transportation,

are automobile trips that include a passenger at 23.6

percent.

Walking at 8.6 percent, mass transit at 6.2 percent,

school bus at 3.7 percent and “bike/other” followed

last at 1.2 percent.

While the relatively low percentage of daily bike trips

would appear disheartening, Mike Farrell said that

number fails to demonstrate significant increases in

bicycle commuting in several jurisdictions.

“I think the big story is that jurisdictions that have

been pushing hard for mix-use transportation, such

as D.C., definitely Arlington and Alexandria, are see-

24 May 2009


ing more people commuting,” Farrell said. “Arlington

and Alexandria have the seen the largest increases

since 1994.”

Along with progress seen in jurisdictions that have

made a commitment to improving bicycling infrastructure,

the other encouraging news from the data

is the actual median length of daily trips – by car

– remains remarkably short. Bikeable, in other words.

The median single driver automobile trip, according

to the survey, clocked in at 4 miles. And, a full onequarter

of those trips, were only 1.5 miles long.

The median car trips with passenger were even shorter,

at 2.8 miles, and a full one-quarter of those lasted

just 1.2 miles.

As measured by purpose, shopping and meal trips

far out-measured anything else, at 30 percent. Work

trips were the second-most common overall, at 16

percent, followed by personal business at 13 percent,

social/recreation at 12 percent and picking someone

or something up at 11 percent. School trips followed

at 8 percent.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of

Governments completed its bicycle and pedestrian

plan for the national capital region three years, with a

goal of making pedestrian safety a priority over vehicle

movement, and accommodating pedestrians and

bicyclists into transportation projects, such as the new

Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

The plan also is designed to connect trails throughout

the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Overall, if completed, the regional projects, some of

which have been funded – others not – would add 680

new miles of paths and bicycle lanes, as well as other

facilities to the region’s transportation system.

The 2006 plan’s estimated cost for approximately 350

bicycle and pedestrian projects, is $530 million, and

was the first regional bicycle plan since 1995 when

it was formally adopted and the first-ever regional

pedestrian plan.

“The biggest success of the past three years (since

the plan was adopted) has been in the increase in

bicycle lanes, bike parking, bike sharing projects,”

Farrell said. “The District, Alexandria, Arlington and

Montgomery County have been leading the way with

bike lanes. Fairfax has too, through it’s building wide

the sidewalks next to roads for bikes.”

A critical project that is close to fruition, Farrell

added, is the Metropolitan Branch Trail, a proposed

eight-mile multi-use trail that runs from Silver Spring

to Union Station in the District. It also includes a segment

that will connect the MBT at Fort Totten to the

Anacostia Tributaries System in Hyattsville, Md., and a

connection to the National Mall.

The Metropolitan Branch Trail will provide direct

access to seven of the Metro’s Red Line stations, as

well as connecting the Washington area’s trail network

at the Capital Crescent Trail and the East Coast

Greenway.

Rent A Bike Now

A couple of years ago George Gill took what proved

to be a very frustrating business trip to Dallas. A serious

cyclist, riding about 4,000 miles a year, Gill found

himself with a free afternoon and couldn’t find a bike

shop to rent him wheels. In an unfamiliar city, trying

to locate the store closest nearby on short notice, simply

took too long. He ultimately gave up.

“I thought there has to be a better way,” Gill told

SPOKES.

He literally began writing a business plan on

American Airlines napkins on the flight home.

His new company, RentaBikeNow.com, launched last

month offering bike rentals in 144 cities across North

America.

It is the first coast-to-coast bike rental service that provides

bikes, accessories and tours so business, recreational

and social travelers can easily find bikes – and

riding maps - wherever they go. Basically, founder

George Gill said, the idea is a bit similar to what Avis

or Hertz does – rent a car, choose the make and

model from cooperating bike shops, the dates you

need the bike and arrange it all online ahead of time.

“We’ve been working about 18 months, quietly getting

the bike shops on board,” Gill said. “We have close to

200 now.” Locally, they’ve got bike shops on board in

D.C., Alexandria, Mechanicsburg and Winchester, Va.,

for example.

Through the service, cyclists literally from across the

globe can easily reserve quality bikes online from

participating bike shops before they travel throughout

the U.S. and Canada. It should be noted that

Rentabikenow.com is just starting out and doesn’t not,

by any means, comprehensive coverage across North

America. Bicyclists are going to have to go online,

select a destination and see what is available.

Several cities, however, like Chicago and San Diego

have a bunch of bike shops on board, others don’t

have any. Gill remains confident they’ll keep growing,

however. He ultimately hopes to take it international.

Bikes are presented online with specs, photos, pricing

and shop hours to help travelers find the perfect bike

and most convenient bike shop.

RentaBikeNow.com utilizes independent bicycle dealers

that, for the most part, offer a fleet of rental bikes

in various sizes, shapes and flavors including comfort

bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, kid’s bikes and

recumbents.

Reservations are as easy. A secured checkout utilizes

PayPal and major credit cards to collect a refundable

reservation deposit fee making the transaction as

secure as it is easy. Consumers pay the balance due

Laurel

Bicycle

Center

14805 Baltimore Ave.

Laurel, MD 20707

301 953-1223

301 490-7744

Monday–Friday: 10-7

Saturday: 9-6

www.bicyclefun.com

when picking up their bike. And through partnerships

with major mapping sites, the customer is even

provided good routes to ride on their printed confirmation

so they can review and plan before they reach

their destination.

“As the environment, gas prices and health awareness

continue to make headlines, it’s exciting to provide a

service that addresses these critical issues,” said Gill.

“Now, cycling is more available for enthusiasts and

casual cyclists alike.”

“Having launched in English, RentaBikeNow.com will

quickly add additional languages to accommodate our

global scope,” said company co-founder and technology

head Ray Schuhmann, another 4,000 miles-a-year rider.

The keys to success, Gill said, is to give the bike shops

a lot of flexibility in managing their own rental fleet

– from demos to hybrid comfort rental to re-conditioned

used bikes – and then giving the consumer as

much as choice as possible in terms of the bike and

price. Of course, being online, people can reserve

bikes in advance 24/7.

Rentabikenow.com, he said, makes its cut by adding a

$5 transaction fee

In spite of rapid growth, board meetings are still held

during exceptionally long bike rides, Rentabikenow.

com, owners say.

“I’m a marketing guy,” said Gill, who worked for Kraft

Foods for a longtime before starting his own marketing

consulting firm. “This really combines both of my

passions.”

He said the company began generating sales the first

day they opened in mid-April, with the first rental reservation

coming at Princeton Bike Tours in New Jersey.

“Closely followed by a bike shop in San Diego,” Gill

said. “I’m still trying to wipe the smile off my face.”

We can get

your bike in

and out of the

shop quickly

and riding

great again!

REPAIRS

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Featuring great new bikes from

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May 2009

25


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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FEATURING BIKES FROM:

To be listed, send information to Spokes, 5911 Jefferson Boulevard, Frederick, MD 21703 or e-mail: neil@spokesmagazine.com

For a more comprehensive list check out www.spokesmagazine.com.

MAY 2 – SIX PILLARS CENTURY

Character Counts Mid-Shore is sponsoring this fundraiser

at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near

Cambridge, MD. The event includes four ride choices,

including a 12-mile family ride, a 30-mile fun & fitness

ride, a 56 miler, and a full century. The event will

support Character Counts Mid-Shore, Inc., an agency

which provides the Winners Walk Tall Program in the

public schools in Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester

counties free of charge. The lessons, provided by over

200 character coaches, are based on the six pillars of

character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility,

Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. For details visit www.

charactercountsmidshore.org or call (410) 819-0386.

MAY 3 – FALLSTON DUATHON

Annie’s Playground in Fallston, Md., will be the

site of the first Fallston Duathlon. In support of the

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Contes Bikes of

Bel Air, Md., will host this event. Registration is limited

to the first 350 entries. Event begins at 7 a.m.

For details call the store at (410) 838-0866 or email

BelAirMD@contebikes.com

MAY 9 – CAPITAL TO CAPITAL RIDE

The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation is hosting the

Capital to Capital bike ride on May 9th. Riders can

choose to start from either Richmond or Williamsburg,

ride 100, 50 or 25 miles through Henrico and Charles

City Counties. The Williamsburg side will offer a 15-

mile family ride on the completed portion of the

Virginia Capital Trail. For more information and

online registration, visit: www.virginiacapitaltrail.org

MAY 15 – BIKE TO WORK DAY

Join thousands of area commuters for a celebration

of bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to

work! Meet up with your neighbors at one of 26 pit

stops all over the Washington metro region, ride into

the city with experienced commuter convoys and meet

your colleagues at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania

Avenue. Washington Area Bicyclist Association and

Commuter Connections invite you to try bicycling

to work as an alternative to solo driving. Help the

Washington region become a better place to ride. Bike

to Work Day is a FREE event and open to all area commuters!

For details log onto www.waba.org

MAY 15-17 – TOUR DE CHESAPEAKE

Celebrate the arrival of spring with a bike tour

through the wonderful, scenic and flat Mathews

County backroads along the Chesapeake Bay. Join 800

cycling enthusiasts on this tour, perfect as a family’s

first biking adventure, or maybe the intermediate

rider’s, and even the experienced veteran’s, season

warm-up. Choose tours of 17, 40, 60, or 80 miles.

Families especially will enjoy the abundant quiet,

scenic lanes winding down to forgotten coves on the

Chesapeake Bay, the East River and the North River.

Pedal in and out of the beautiful salt marshes instead

of traffic. Visit www.bikechesapeake.org for details and

to register online. For inquiries, call (757) 229-0507

or email info@bikechesapeake.org.

SIDI • MAVIC • BONTRAGER • DMT




Monday-Friday 10-7 Saturday 10-5 Sunday 11-4

1544 York Road Lutherville, MD 21093 410-583-8734

MAY 17 – COLUMBIA TRIATHLON

Celebrating its 27th year, the Columbia Triathlon is

famous for its outstanding race organization and its

fun and extremely challenging race course. Held in

Centennial Park, Ellicott City, Md. Consists of a 1.5k

swim, 41k bike, and 10k run. Even though the event

is full, it’s a great spectacle for on-lookers. For more

info call (410) 964-1246 or visit www.tricolumbia.org

MAY 22-25 – KENT COUNTY SPRING FLING

Join the Baltimore Bicycling Club and Washington

College as they host this 27th annual weekend event

along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Rides range from

11 to 100 miles on flat to rolling terrain. Stay at

Washington College’s dorm and enjoy great food, an

ice cream social, live music, blue grass on the square,

contra dancing, sock hop, and much more. For details

contact Frank and Kathy Anders at (410) 628-4018 or

email KCSF@verizon.net

MAY 23 – KID’S TRIATHLON

Greatest way to get kids into triathlon, this kid’s only

event, consists of two age groups, 6-9, and 10-13.

Younger kids do a 100 meter swim, 2 mile bike, and

0.75 mile run. Older group does a 150 meter swim, 4

mile bike, and 1.5 mile run. Held at Frederick, Md.,

High School, 650 Carroll Parkway. Registration is limited

to 150. This is a fund raiser for Joanna M. Nicolay

Foundation. For details log onto www.thebicycle

escape.com/frederickkidstriathlon.html

CALENDAR continued on p.28

26 May 2009


C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K


CALENDAR continued from p.26

MAY 28 – AN EVENING WITH BEN SEROTTA

Ben Serotta, founder of Serotta Bicycles, one of the

world’s leading manufacturers of high end performance

bicycles that have been ridden to victory at

the Olympics and the Tour de France, will speak at

Lutherville Bikes in Lutherville, Md., 7:30 p.m. Space

is limited, but if you are interested in attending contact

Ron at luthervillebikes@aol.com or (410) 583-8734.

MAY 30 – RIDE ON FOR CASA KIDS

Ride on the C&O Canal and quiet roads in the western

Panhandle of West Virginia in this fundraiser for

CASA for kids. Visit Civil War sites, historic homes

and the Shenandoah River. The 10 and 25 mile rides

begin at 10 a.m, with the 50 miler heading off at 8,

and the century at 7 a.m. Tykes on Trikes will begin

at 1 p.m. For more information contact Al Levitan at

levitan@frontiernet.net

MAY 30-31 – US AIR FORCE CYCLING CLASSIC

Registration for participation in the Air Force Cycling

Classic, now spread over an entire weekend has

opened. The Cycling Classic, positioned at the center

of the U.S. national road racing calendar and expected

to attract some of the nation’s top racers to its pro

events, will now allow more opportunities for cycling

enthusiasts of all abilities to participate. The weekend’s

events in Arlington begin on Saturday with amateur

and professional criterium races in Clarendon.

On Sunday cycling enthusiasts of all abilities can

challenge themselves on the U.S. Air Force Cycling

Classic’s 12.5 kilometer circuit in Crystal City during

the Crystal Ride, a non-competitive ride with an

option to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes

Fund. Following this amateur ride, the men’s pro race

will take place on the same course. Registration for

the amateur participatory ride is now open through

the event’s website: www.usairforcecyclingclassic.com.

MAY 31 – SHENANDOAH VALLEY HERITAGE RIDE

The Boys and Girls Club of Northern Shenandoah

Valley host this ride from The Winchester Medical

Center on West Amherst Street in Winchester, Va.,

and follow 10, 30, 50 or 70 mile routes through the

Shenandoah Valley. Ice cream and homemade brownies

awaits riders at the finish line. Details are available

at svhride.org or contact Rex Ritchie at (540) 678-

1528 or email hjrrer@aol.com

JUNE 5 - 7 – CHESAPEAKE BAY AIR RIDE

CBAR is a weekend long, pledge-based bike tour and

inline skating event. Open to all cyclists/skaters, novice

to expert. Routes go through Wicomico, Somerset

and Worcester Counties to Assateague Island or

along the shorelines. Choose from 20, 40, 62.5 or

100 miles on Saturday and 20, 40 or 62.5 miles on

Sunday. CBAR raises money for the American Lung

Association to prevent lung disease and promote lung

health through education, programs and research.

Start/finish, lodging, and activities, including our

famous crab feast, are held at Salisbury University in

Salisbury, Md. For more info or to register visit www.

marylandlung.org or call 800-642-1184.

JUNE 6-7 – BIKE MS: BEYOND THE BELTWAY

Join 1000 participants from across the mid-Atlantic

region for the National MS Society, National Capital

Chapter’s annual Bike MS event in Middleburg, Va.

Choose from several mileage options along our challenging

new route, and enjoy great food, beverages,

and live music at the finish line. Ride for one day or

two. For details, visit www.MSandYOU.org, call (202)

296-5363, or email BikeMS@MSandYOU.org.

JUNE 6-13 – BICYCLE RIDE ACROSS GEORGIA

Come discover Georgia by bicycle on the 30th annual

Bicycle Ride Across Georgia. The 2009 edition will

ride from Hiawassee to Clarks Hill Lake, and will feature

beautiful scenery, historic sites, street festivals, ice

cream socials, an End-of-the-Road party, and more!

Great fun for the family, groups or individuals. Daily

rides average 60 miles, approximately 400 miles total.

Longer Hammerhead options for serious cyclists. Fully

supported with rest stops every 10-15 miles. For more

information, please visit our website at www.brag.org,

or email info@brag.org or call (770) 498-5153.

JUNE 13-14 – 24 HOURS OF BIG BEAR

Coming up on its 18th year, the 24 Hours of Big

Bear, Hazelton, W. Va. (formerly the 24 Hours of

Snowshoe and 24 Hours of Canaan) is rolling out

the bike trail for as many as 200 teams, 50 solo riders

and more than 1,000 spectators. The race will take

place at Big Bear Lake Campland. While the racing

is a blast, you can also have fun as a spectator, volunteer,

or as support crew for one of the teams. In the

shadow of the legendary 24 Hours of Canaan, THE

original 24 hour mountain bike race, and then the 24

Hours of Snowshoe, this Laird Knight, Granny Gear

Productions event returns to the roots of the original

event, with great all around riding, fun camping venues

and a festival atmosphere. The location is about

three hours from Washington/Baltimore. For details

or to register visit www.grannygear.com

JUNE 13-14 – CHESAPEAKE CHALLENGE

Join the Maryland Chapter of the National MS

Society for a one or two day ride on Maryland’s

Eastern Shore. Routes range from 30 -100 miles on

Saturday and 30 & 50 mile on Sunday. Overnight at

Chestertown, Md. Route is fully supported with rest

stops, bike techs and support vehicles. To Register or

find out more, visit www.marylandmsbikeride.org or

call (443) 641-1200.

JUNE 14 – RESTON TOUR DE CURE

The American Diabetes Association again hosts this

very popular (last year over 1,200 cyclists participated)

series of bike rides, ranging from a 12 mile family

fun ride, to more challenging 32 and 64 mile fitness

challenges, and a full century. Starting and finishing

at the Reston Town Center Pavilion the longer rides

head through scenic Northern Virginia countryside

including the W&OD Trail and western Loudoun

County. Register online at www.diabetes.org/tour or

call 1 (888) DIABETES.

JUNE 14 – TOUR DEM PARKS HON!

The sixth annual Tour dem Parks, Hon! Bike Ride

begins at 8 a.m. at the Carriage House in Carroll

Park in southwest Baltimore. Choose from 12, 20, 30

mile rides and – new this year-- a metric century (60

miles). Routes wind through cool Baltimore neighborhoods

and parks. A barbecue with live music follows

the ride. Proceeds benefit bike and park groups in

the city. Register online at www.tourdemparks.org.

For more information, call Gary at (410) 396-4369 or

Anne at (410) 926-4195.

JUNE 19-24 – BIKE VIRGINIA

Twenty one years ago, 117 men, women and children

embarked on an adventure crossing Virginia on bicycles.

They rode from Charlottesville to our nation’s

colonial capital in Williamsburg, establishing what

has become the largest, multi-day, recreational bicycle

event in the Commonwealth. In 2008, Bike Virginia

is moving north. This year, more than 2,000 cyclists

on a rolling party will visit Charlottesville, Culpeper

and Orange, plus the wonderful countryside connecting

them. For inquiries, call (757) 229.0507 or email

info@bikevirginia.org.

JUNE 20-27 – GREAT OHIO ADVENTURE

GOBA is a week-long bicycle-camping tour which visits

a different part of Ohio each year. Bicycling the daily

50-mile route at a relaxing pace leaves plenty of time

for sightseeing and other tourist activities. See Ohio

while on two wheels with 2,999 of your closest friends!

Advance registration is required. For registration

materials and fees visit www.goba.com or call (614)

273-0811 ext. 1.

JUNE 21-27 – TOURING RIDE IN RURAL INDIANA

TRIRI will travel over hard-surfaced roads to take in

the sights of southwestern Indiana, using back roads

to travel to Newton-Stewart State Recreation Area,

Lincoln State Park, and Harmonie State Park. Average

65 miles/day on the days we travel to a new state park.

Three layover days offer short, medium or long loop

rides. Or, take a day off the bike to explore the park

instead. We anticipate 300-400 participants. (Routes

and mileage are subject to change; more details coming

soon.). Terrain ranges from rolling to hilly. Enjoy

camping or lodging in hotels or state park inns and

catered, sit-down meals under the state park awnings.

For more information, see www.triri.org , email

triri@triri.org, or call (812) 333-8176.

JUNE 27-28 – CATOCTIN CHALLENGE

Beautiful terrain, screaming downhills, fabulous rest

stops, plus riders cycle thru some of the mid-Atlantic’s

best historical sites, including the Gettysburg area.

Three ride options include: Saturday century with

a 45 mile return Sunday. 65 mile Saturday ride with

a 45 mile return Sunday and a 50 mile Saturday/25

mile Sunday. Overnight at the Blue Ridge Summit.

Three live bands playing poolside after Saturday’s ride.

Gourmet meals. All you do is bring your camping gear

to the starting points and go. Ride begins and ends in

Frederick County, Md. A minimum of $250 in pledges

for Habitat for Humanity. Limited to 175. Contact Phil

at (301) 662-5518 or pheffler@aol.com

JULY 25 – RIVER TO RIVER RIDE

Pedal Pennsylvania is hosting The River to River

Heritage Corridor Bicycle Tour, which starts and ends

in Souderton PA. The rides take cyclists between the

Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. This year’s route will

feature Montgomery County to start the day followed

by Bucks County. Most of the route is along lightly

traveled roads adjacent to Route 113, taking cyclists

through small towns with farms, churches and businesses

that date back to the 1700s. Most of the ride

offers rolling terrain, but there are a few climbs along

the way. Cyclists can ride routes of 25, 50, 75 or 100

miles; all routes are loops. Proceeds benefit Heritage

Conservancy, a regional leader in natural and historic

preservation. For details contact (215) 513-7550; www.

rivertoriverride.org

JULY 26 - AUG. 1 – BONTON ROULET

This legendary event is a festival on wheels through

New York State’s Finger Lake region. Limited to 500

riders, visit dozens of wineries, quaint shops, beautiful

lakes, and plenty of historic sites. For details call (315)

253-5304 or log onto www.bontonroulet.com

28 May 2009


JULY 13-18 – RAINSTORM

Challenge yourself with five century rides over five

days. On day six, join the Ride Across Indiana to ride

160 miles back to your point of departure. Stay in

Indiana State Park inns along the way, with catered

meals designed for athletes. If you’re a recreational

rider hoping to reach new fitness goals, a triathlete

in search of intensive time on the bike, or an ultra

marathon cyclist, this tour is for you. For more information,

see www.triri.org , email triri@triri.org, or call

(812) 333-8176.

JULY 19-25 – FANY RIDE

The Great Big FANY Ride will spin five hundred miles

Across New York – for it’s 9th annual ride. Explore

Niagara Falls, visit farm stands near the Erie Canal,

sample wines at Finger Lake region vineyards, ride

over 100 miles without a traffic light in the Adirondack

Mountains, and arrive in Saratoga Springs. SAG support,

marked roads, cue sheets, luggage transfer to

overnight campsites, optional bus to parking at start/

finish. In honor of each biker the FANY Ride makes

a donation to the Double H Ranch – a camp for children

with chronic illnesses. No pledges are required.

www.FANYride.com (518) 461-7646

SEPTEMBER 12 – SKIPJACK BIKE TOUR

Cycling past some of the most beautiful wildlife,

harbors and marshlands on the Eastern Shore of

Maryland on rides of 15, 30 or 75 miles from Deal

Island Harbor in Princess Anne, Md. Sponsored by

the Deal Island/Chance Volunteer Fire Co., the rides

begin at 7:30 a.m. T Shirts for All Riders, 3 Rest Stops,

EMS Available, SAG Wagon and of course the unforgettable

brownies.

For additional information visit www.visitsomerset.com

or www.dealislandmaryland.com

WEDNESDAYS AT WAKEFIELD MTB SERIES

Mid-summer evening, June 24 to July 15 - 4-race

mountain bike race series at Wakefield Park,

Annandale, Va. With 21 categories, including 10

junior categories for males and females in 2 year

increments ages 18 and below. Three races each

night: Younger Juniors (5:30), Beginner, Jr, Masters

(6:00), Sport, Expert, Clydesdale (6:55). Fun, Fast

Singletrack. Benefits Trips for Kids Charity. Pre-register

for series at www.BikeReg.com, Info at www.

potomacvelo.com, Jim Carlson jcarlsonida@yahoo.

com; (703) 569-9875.

LUTHERVILLE WEEKLY ROAD RIDES

Lutherville Bike Shop will lead a weekly road

bike ride, leaving from the shop Mondays at 5:30

p.m. Proper riding attire required. 14-16 mph.

Approximately 30 scenic miles through Loch Raven

Reservoir and surrounding areas. We keep the hills to

a minimum and invite all riders to the sport. Racers

recovering from the weekend are welcome as well.

We’ll ride as a group and no one will be left behind.

Call the shop for details (410) 583-8734. www.luthervillebikeshop.com

THURSDAY EVENING FREDERICK RIDES

A 15-19 mph road ride out of Frederick Bike Doctor,

5732 Buckeystown Pike, just off Route 355. Meet every

Thursday at 6 p.m. for a 25 mile +/- ride. No one will

be dropped. Rides cancelled if roads are wet, it is raining,

temps are below 40 degrees or winds are 20 mph

or above. Contact (301) 620-8868 or log onto www.

battlefieldvelo.com for details.

DC CYCLING CHICKS

Women’s only bike rides for beginners or those interested

in casual rides. DC Cycling Chicks offers weekday

and weekend bike rides. Visit http://bike.meetup.

com/340 or contact Susan Schneider at (202) 403-

1148 for details.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT MT. BIKE RIDES AT LOCH RAVEN

Lutherville Bike Shop will lead a weekly mountain

bike ride every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. from

the shop. The ride will leave from the shop and go

through Loch Raven Reservoir. Distance and speed

will vary based on rider skill level. Call the shop for

details (410) 583-8734. www.luthervillebikeshop.com

SPIRITED SUNDAY ROAD RIDES

Join the folks of the Bicycle Place, just off Rock Creek

Park, every Sunday morning (beginning at 8:30

a.m.) for a “spirited” 36-40 mile jaunt up to Potomac

and back. This is a true classic road ride that runs

year round. While the pace is kept up, no one is

left behind. No rainy day rides. The Bicycle Place

is located in the Rock Creek Shopping Center, 8313

Grubb Road (just off East-West Highway). Call (301)

588-6160 for details.

BALTIMORE SATURDAY RIDE

A fun but spirited group ride through Baltimore

County every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Depending

on turnout there are usually 2-3 different groups of

varying abilities. When the weather doesn’t cooperate,

we will have the option to ride indoors. Call Hunt

Valley Bicycles at (410) 252-3103 for more information.

HUDSON TRAIL OUTFITTERS RIDES

Join “HTO’s Cycling Club” for local touring and

mountain biking rides. Rides will be lead by experienced

HTO staff and will range from 10-20 mile trail

rides to 20-30 mile road rides. Arrive at 8:30 am for

pre-ride group stretching, rides will start promptly at

9:00 am. Go to www.hudsontrail.com for more information.

BIKES FOR THE WORLD

Bikes for the World collects repairable bicycles in the

United States, for donation to charities overseas, for

productive use by those in need of affordable transport.

Note: $10/bike donation suggested to defray

shipping to overseas charity partners. Receipt provided

for all material and cash donations. Bikes for

the World is a sponsored project of the Washington

Area Bicyclist Association, a 501 c 3 non-profit charity.

Collections will take place rain or shine. For a complete

list of locations and time of collections visit www.

bikesfortheworld.org or call (703) 525-0931.

FREE

CLASSIFIEDS @

www.spokesmagazine.com

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

I greatly enjoyed your article about Jeff Yeager and his lifestyle

(cover story in the April issue of Spokes). I can relate,

I’ve been using bikes as transport as much as possible,

never buying a new one.

It started in my college era when I picked up a hitchhiker,

who had a bike to sell, a five-speed Hercules for $15. I

thought I might need a bike, because I had gotten a few

speeding tickets.

I had that bike a long time and it made the whole C&O

Canal in four trips, camping and returning the next year. I

also commuted to work seven miles away.

I then traded a wood stove for a first generation Ross

mountain bike, it still works. I also acquired a Skyway

mountain bike that a friend crashed and busted the frame

which I got welded. It cost two bottles of my homemade

wine.

Next was a Giant road bike that I put many-a-miles on CAM

(Cycle Across Maryland) and other rides.

My latest acquisition is a Kestrel Talon, a carbon fiber

bike, for which a student needed tuition money. I live on

the Eastern shore about 40 miles from the ocean, I figure I

could make a one day round trip with that 18 pound rocket.

I am six miles from Princess Anne, where I can do all my

shopping with my bike, leaving the car idle as much as

possible.

Regards,

Ralph Bucca

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May 2009

29


OLYMPIC TRIATHON QUALIFIER COMING TO DC JUNE 21

by Lisa Kilday

On Sunday June 21, 130 professional triathletes from all corners

of the earth will compete in Washington, D.C., for the third leg

of the Dextro Energy International Triathlon Union (ITU) World

Championship Series.

The World Championship Series (WCS) has eight draft-legal

triathlons; the Grand Final is on the Gold Coast of Australia

on September 9-13. Competing triathletes will accrue points

to qualify for the Olympic Games. In contrast to previous

Olympics with a complex ranking system and considerable

political influence, the WCS will serve as the ONLY way for

triathletes qualifying to represent their country in the 2012

Olympic Games. In addition to the prestige of the Olympics, the

WCS will have a total prize purse in excess of $3 million with a

$150k prize purse at DC’s race.

Expect to see many similarities between the Nation’s Triathlon,

held in September, and the ITU race because the same management

team who brought the Nation’s Triathlon to DC is also

organizing the ITU race. Upsolut Sports, a sports event management

team based in Germany, will partner with the Nation’s

Triathlon team to help produce the DC ITU race. Upsolut Sports

produces many international events including the Hamburg

City Man, which is the world’s second largest triathlon and

another stop on the WCS ITU race schedule.

The race organizers have marketed the DC race as the Series’

“only North American stop” when in fact DC is the only stop in

the entire Western Hemisphere. The ITU race will be broadcast

live in high definition to over 100 countries. All of the races will

also have a live streaming video broadcast. For the first time,

the series will offer a premium streaming video broadcasting

with live heart rate and GPS data for select athletes.

The selection of the triathletes will depend on the ITU rankings,

which will be determined on May 3 after the first race in the

WCS in Tongyeong, Korea.

In conjunction with the ITU race, there will be an age group race

on the same morning as the elite race. The ITU race adopts the

traditional Olympic (international) distances, which are: 1.5 km

swim, 40 km bike, and 10 km run. The shorter sprint race is a

750 m swim, 20 km bike, and 5 km run.

The swim portion for all of the races will be in the Potomac River

starting at West Potomac Park (“the Polo Fields”) and swimming

under Memorial Bridge. The race organizers are also providing

an open water swim practice where racers (professional and

amateur) can test the waters of the Potomac the day before the

race. This is a popular feature of Nation’s Triathlon’s race.

During the swim start of an ITU race, the triathletes are methodically

lined up by their respective world rankings and either

dive off of a narrow boat called a pontoon or race to the water

from a beach. Another unique feature of the ITU race is that the

swim typically includes two laps where every racer is required

to exit the water either on a beach or a pontoon between laps

#1 and #2 and dive back in. Since the Potomac River does

not have a beach, the DC ITU race will have a pontoon start.

Halfway through the swim, the elite racers will jump on a pontoon

that acts as a floating checkpoint and scramble to the

other side of the pontoon and dive back in the water for the

second half of the swim.

The Olympic distance and sprint distance races will allow

amateurs to race on parts of the elite course, which pass by the

Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy Center, Washington Monument,

White House, National Mall, Capitol, Supreme Court, and

Library of Congress.

Unlike the Nation’s Triathlon, the run for the international distance

course will not feature the dreaded Hains Point shuffle,

but will instead twist and turn from the transition area at the

Polo Fields through the Mall and up Capitol Hill with a finish

near Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Ave. The shorter threemile

run for the sprint course will meander through the Mall to

a turnaround at L’Enfant Plaza and finish on Pennsylvania Ave.

The draft legal bike course for the ITU is an eight-loop five

km course following Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution

Avenue up Capitol Hill with a technical turn near the Library of

Congress and returns to Pennsylvania Avenue.

ITU triathletes are encouraged to work as a team to represent

their respective countries, although ultimately only the individual

ITU racer can qualify for the Olympics. USA Triathlon

(USAT) sanctions the age group races and drafting is not permitted.

The fast and flat run for the professionals will be on

Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd to 11th Streets and is four-loops.

The multi-loop format is a favorite for spectators who will see

the Pros speed by 12 times.

Although this monumental race is gaining praise locally and

internationally, registration for age groupers is on the high side,

$175 and $95 (Olympic- and sprint-distances, respectively).

Because all of the races are held on the same day, the amateur

racers will start at 6 and 6:30 a.m. The pros will start at 11 a.m.

(men) and 1 p.m. (women) in the heat of DC’s summer.

The ITU triathlon weekend will have an Expo, an ITU officials

training clinic, a youth clinic, and a post-race festival. Melissa

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Merson, the American representative on ITU’s executive

board, told SPOKES that the ITU race in DC is a “dream come

true.” Triathletes and multisport fans will watch 65 men and

65 women compete in the professional ITU race for a massive

amount of prize money and ultimately for a slot in the 2012

Olympics. The Nation’s Capital is a fitting place to showcase the

sport of triathlon and host an Olympic qualifier for the sport

that Americans invented.

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30 May 2009


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ARLINGTON

REVOLUTION CYCLES

2731 Wilson Boulevard

(703) 312-0007

BURKE

THE BIKE LANE

9544 Old Keene Mill Road

(703) 440-8701

LEESBURG

BICYCLE OUTFITTERS

19 Catoctin Circle, NE

(703) 777-6126

STAFFORD

REVOLUTION CYCLES

100 Susa Drive, #103-15

(540) 657-6900

MARYLAND

ARNOLD

BIKE DOCTOR

953 Ritchie Highway

(410) 544-3532

COLUMBIA

RACE PACE

6925 Oakland Mills Road

(410) 290-6880

DAMASCUS

ALL AMERICAN BICYCLES

Weis Market Center

(301) 253-5800

ELLICOTT CITY

RACE PACE

8450 Baltimore National Pike

(410) 461-7878

FREDERICK

BIKE DOCTOR

5732 Buckeystown Pike

(301) 620-8868

WHEELBASE

229 N. Market Street

(301) 663-9288

HAGERSTOWN

HUB CITY SPORTS

35 N. Prospect Street

(301) 797-9877

LUTHERVILLE

LUTHERVILLE BIKE SHOP

1544 York Road

(410) 583-8734

OWINGS MILLS

RACE PACE

9930 Reisterstown Road

(410) 581-9700

ROCKVILLE

REVOLUTION CYCLES

1066 Rockville Pike

(301) 984-7655

WALDORF

BIKE DOCTOR

3200 Leonardtown Road

(301) 932-9980

WESTMINSTER

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459 Baltimore Boulevard

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