WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE - Spokes Magazine

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WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE - Spokes Magazine

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JULY 2009

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IN THIS ISSUE [ OUR FAVORITE RIDES + UNDERGROUND RR + WORLD NAKED RIDE + MORE ]


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SITTING NEXT TO MY NEIGHBOR LESLIE at the community

pool this past weekend, my heart skipped a beat

when she said “so what did you guys think about that

biking weekend?”

Leslie, her husband Jim and their kids Abbe and

Owen, very athletic but not totally crazy about

cycling the way I am, joined us for the family friendly

Kent County Spring Fling, hosted by the Baltimore

Bicycling Club, a few weeks ago, and I wasn’t totally

sure how much fun they really had. Throughout the

weekend they seemed to enjoy themselves but you

know, you never really know.

About six months ago, against my better judgement

I really encouraged them to sign up for this event.

They attend a week-long karate camp every summer

with their two children (our kids ages), and I thought

they’d enjoy a biking weekend as well.

When you enjoy something as much as my wife

and children and I enjoy this biking weekend on

Maryland’s Eastern Shore, you sometimes lose objectivity.

For me, it’s a chance to see and ride with folks

I only see once a year at this event, and I’ve garnered

lots of new cycling friends as a result.

So when our neighbors surprised us and signed up,

I was a bit anxious. What if the idea of sleeping in a

college dorm room with their two kids and eating in

the college dining hall, walking down the hall to the

community girls or boys bathroom, and riding with a

bunch of goofy kids and families, wasn’t as much fun

for them.

Even though I practiced karate for years, a while ago,

the idea of taking my family to a week long karate

camp isn’t something I’d entertain (and I know my wife

RECUMBENT =

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wouldn’t do it). So, here I was inviting our neighbors to

something that might not just be their cup of tea.

Anyway, when Leslie asked me this question at the

pool, I told her it was always the highlight of my summer

and I really enjoyed the time having non-stop fun

with my family. It really gave us time to bond before

the craziness of summer took hold.

Anyway, after I answered, I asked “did you guys enjoy

it, I mean don’t say so to make me feel good, I won’t

take offense…?”

“Oh my gosh yes. We’re in for next year!” she

responded. She happily went on to ask how could

anyone not enjoy themselves, waking up in the morning

not having to worry about anything but getting

the day started with a walk to the dining hall. From

then on the day was planned out for you. By the time

you went to bed, you’d eaten a lot, ridden your bike a

bit, lounged on the Eastern Shore’s sandy bay beaches,

danced under the stars, gone swimming in the college

swimming pool, and spent a lot of time getting

to know and have fun with your kids.

Doesn’t get any better than that, we both agreed. And

she said they would certainly be back next year.

That’s just great! However, I will admit, I worried for a

moment Leslie would add: “by the way there still were

some openings in the karate camp later this summer.”

Happy trails,

Neil Sandler

Editor & Publisher

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THE

Fifty cyclists enjoyed the World Naked Bike Ride in

the nation’s capitol.

Touring • Racing • Off-Road

Recreation • Triathlon • Commuting

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Studio 22

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page 26

JULY 2009

EDITOR & PUBLISHER

Neil W. Sandler

neil@spokesmagazine.com

CALENDAR EDITOR

Sonja P. Sandler

sonja@spokesmagazine.com

www.spokesmagazine.com

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OUR FAVORITE RIDES

Editor’s Note: Those of us who write for Spokes are frequently asked about our favorite

places to ride. So here are our collective responses. We give you our favorite local rides, plus

our dream bicycle vacations. If you wish to share yours with us and our readers feel free to

contact the editor at neil@spokesmagazine.com We always like to learn about new places to

ride, and you, our readers, are undoubtedly the best resource for tips.

RON CASSIE

TriSpokes & Commuter Connection Columnist

For me, the first section of the Mount Vernon Trail,

the 7-mile stretch from Georgetown to Old Town

Alexandria, has served many purposes over the years.

I have taken first dates on this ride, pedaled it with

my daughter, trekked it with buddies to go spend a

Sunday watching football - and raced it as part of my

job when I was bike messenger.

Every time, a blast. For different reasons, of course.

The first time, I rode the trail, I’d asked an attractive,

bright, athletic woman I’d met at the Washington

Sports Club in D.C., if she cared to go along for a

Sunday morning ride. We met at Kramer’s Bookstore

Cafe in Dupont Circle for coffee, orange juice and

bagels and then spent the whole day riding down to

Old Town, shopping, going through the Torpedo

Factory, and eating a big lunch.

I’ve got to admit, working as a bike messenger, being

on the bike, definitely gave me the feeling I had the

home court advantage. We dated for a long time and

are still friends seven years later. That’s a good ride.

NEIL SANDLER

Editor

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a totally social

animal. Family members swear I’d stop and talk to

a dead dog in the middle of the road if no one else

was around. So it should come as no surprise that my

favorite place to ride has always been the social rides I

6 July 2009

Not long after, when my daughter Sarah was maybe

11, I took her - “forced” in her words – on the trail.

Best part, absolutely, was sitting with her watching the

planes comes in to Reagan National Airport. If you

haven’t been to Gravelly Park before they come in

like the Starship Enterprise after making a hard right,

seemingly a hundred feet over the Potomac.

As bike messenger, I had one client in particular that

regularly needed documents delivered to the courthouse

in Alexandria off Duke St. What a kick.

Middle of the day, maybe 2 p.m., business expected

to be a little slow for the next hour, and a call comes

from a Capitol Hill for rush job to the courthouse.

Fifteen winding miles there and back along the river.

The sun is shining. Can you get there, in out of the

courthouse, and back in under an hour?

Let’s roll!

Usually, there’d be a serious cyclist or two stealing an

afternoon workout on the quiet trail at that time of the

day. Expensive bike, gear, spandex, etc. Had to blow

those guys away in my cut-off shorts, toting a heavy messenger

bag to boot. At least, I could in those days.

My friend Rich and I used to make the jaunt on fall

Sundays to watch football and eat pizza at a great Old

Town sports bar called Bugsy’s with a million TV’s.

The ride back at dusk would be fine, but then it was

right to bed.

Okay, and the other memorable date down the Mount

Vernon Trail to Old Town was with an Italian opera

singer named Lucia. For real.

She packed a picnic lunch and kept making us stop to

look around at the flowers, ducks, and children playing

soccer along the way. We had ice cream in Old Town.

On the way home, stopping again, we watched the

sun begin to set on the water, sending a rainbow of

colors downstream.

“A Puccini moment,” she called it.

used to do almost daily in Rock Creek Park, especially

on the weekends and holidays when parts of the roadway

are closed to traffic.

Okay, there’s better scenery, better roads and certainly

less traffic lots of other places in the mid-Atlantic,

but it is still possible to get away from it all on the

hilly sections of Rock Creek Park just north of The

National Zoo, and speaking of zoos, where else can

you stop by for a quick visit to the incredible wildlife

at the zoo (the pandas have always been my favorite)

while out for a spin?

But all that being said, my favorite reason for listing

Rock Creek Park as my favorite is the social component.

Even when out on your own, you can ALWAYS

hook up with fellow cycling enthusiasts, at any possible

level of riding. Poke along with the tourists,

or hook up on one of the local racing club training

rides. There’s always someone to BS with in The Park.

As for my dream ride. I always hold out there the

dream that someday, somehow, I will get to travel to

New Zealand and get to see the incredible natural

wonders from the seat of my bike.

JOE FOLEY

Columnist – SingleTrack

My favorite riding in the mid-Atlantic is at Douthat

State Park, just north of Clifton Forge, Va. The park

is nestled in a valley with the Allegheny Mountains rising

from the eastern and western shores of a 50-acre

lake. Many of the parks’ 40-miles of trails are a legacy

of depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps work

projects and for a mountain biker, Douthat is an natural

amusement park.

From the western shore of the lake rises Middle

Mountain. The ridge rises slowly at first, housing a

network of singletrack that winds through the lower

slopes, ranging from the swoopy Huff’s Trail and

Locust Gap to the rocks of Blue Suck Falls. The trails

quickly turn upward as the infamous switchbacks of

Stoney Run take you up to Middle Mountain trail,

which rides the top of the ridge. From there you can

take a quick detour down to Tuscarora Overlook for

a great view of the park and then continue along the

top of the ridge. This is classic East Coast ridge top

riding, following the ridge as it rises and falls with the

mountain dropping off quickly to left & right. You

can return to the park on Salt Stump or continue

north, out of the park, into the neighboring national

forest lands until the trail drops you off the ridge several

miles north of the park.

While the eastern side of the park doesn’t have quite

the same elevation as the western ridge, it does have

Brushy Hollow. Once you’ve made your way almost

to the top of the ridge you traverse south along the

very aptly named Mountain Side trail as it hugs the

side of the steep hollows along the ridge and slowly

climbs towards the start of Brushy Hollow, a nearly

four mile singletrack downhill back. Starting with a

series of tight switchbacks, Brushy Hollow trail quickly

turns into a mountain bike roller coaster, zipping left

and right across the spines that drop off the sides of

the ridge until it finally settles down into a hollow

where it crosses back and forth through a stream bed.

For an extra challenge and extra thrill, try taking

Mountain Top instead of Mountain Side while you’re

riding to Brushy Hollow. The climb is brutal, but the

downhill back to Mountain Side is worth the extra

effort.

My dream ride is Fruita, Colorado. I’ve actually come

pretty close to riding in Fruita, but a poorly timed

broken collarbone (is there ever a well timed injury?)

forced me to back out of the trip. Home to the

eponymous Fruita Fat Tire Festival, held every year in

April, and to more miles of mountain biking that you

can imagine. From the lunch loops just outside town,

to the IMBA epic “The Edge Loop” in the Book Cliffs,

to the 142-mile Kokopeli trail that stretches from just

outside Fruita to Moab, Utah. Fruita has no shortage

of trails that I’d love to get my tires onto.


BRENDA RUBY

Feature Writer & SpokesWoman Columnist

The ingredients of my favorite ride EVER? Skee-ball,

homemade root beer, and whoopie pies! Where is this

magical place you wonder? Lancaster, Pa.

I’ve always enjoyed riding up there--maybe it’s the

novelty of it since I hardly ever get the chance--but I

was enchanted the first time I rode the Lancaster Bike

Club’s Covered Bridge Ride, held each August. The

friendly people, the well-groomed Amish farms with

their beautiful, sturdy workhorses in the fields, all the

bikes outside their churches on Sunday...there’s so

much to appreciate.

But the only problem with Lancaster in August is

the same problem around here in August...the heat

and suffocating humidity! Every time I did that lovely

Covered Bridge ride I kept telling my friends that we

need to come back when it’s not 100 degrees--literally,

it was 100 degrees one year. We were dying!!

You can easily organize your own weekend since the

Lancaster Bike Club generously has cues available

KEVIN BRUGMAN

Columnist – Family Cycling 101

As the Family Column Writer, it should not surprise

anyone that my favorite ride is at Chincoteague/

Assateague Island. My family has been going down

there for 14 years and it was the first place we took a

family vacation.

We have fallen in love with the 3 mile wildlife loop on

Chincoteague Island. As anyone with children knows,

riding with children requires more than just putting

in miles. While many folks find this a ride boring, we

find it a chance to ride together, look for nuances in

the wildlife, and check for any escaped ponies. After

on their website, but for a few years I’ve joined the

Baltimore Bike Club on their Weekend in Lancaster

held at the end of September. Little did I know the

first time I did this that we would encounter the largest

street fair Pennsylvania has to offer. The only thing

I love more than a good fair or festival is biking to

one and the Ephrata Fair was a delight to discover by

bike.

After our impromptu game of skee-ball along the

carnival midway, our route took us on to encounter

the Green Dragon Farmer’s Market and Auction, also

in Ephrata. It was huge and you could find anything,

from homemade Amish culinary delights (whoopee

pies!) to furniture. I didn’t know it at the time, but

it’s been going every Friday since 1932.

Our final surprise of the route took us past a roadside

stand with more homemade Amish goodness.

And free tastes of ice-cold root beer!

There were definitely a few hills here and there but

somehow all the unexpected delights made me forget

all about them-- glorious scenery, skee-ball games for

a quarter, lunch at a farmer’s market, and capping

the ride with homemade root beer and whoopie pies.

Yeah, life can’t get much better than that.

And now that I’ve declared it to be my favorite, I had

better get in my registration for this year’s ride!

As for my dream ride, how to choose? I’ve always

wanted to do a Bike and Barge tour in Amsterdam,

but that seems a little sedate. I’ve studied Italian on

and off for years in the hopes of one day going, but

would the difficult terrain tip the delicate beauty vs.

exhaustion balance? Ireland’s out because my seriously

sunny vacation there a few years ago would all

but ensure constant rain. And how could I top biking

from a friend of a friend’s chateau in France, with

meals on the porch under a lovely wisteria canopy? I

always say the place I’d go back to in a heartbeat if it

wasn’t a solid 28 hours of travel away would be New

Zealand. I’ve been lucky enough to go once and the

other-world beauty combined with the beauty of the

people made a lasting impression on me. The scenery

is at once lush and rugged and seeing as how the

sheep outnumber the people the only traffic jams

you’d encounter would probably put a smile on your

face. As their popular expression says, “no worries.”

we have ridden several times around the loop, we will

head across the island on the Black Marsh Trail to

the Woodland trail to look for some Delmarva Gray

Squirrels or go up to the overlook to see if any of the

Assateague Ponies are there. After that we may get on

the road and ride down to the Sea Shore visitor center

to see what has been added to the touch tank or if

they have any new Sea Horses in the fish tank.

It is where both my sons gained confidence in their

riding abilities. They realized that they could ride 10,

15 or even 20 miles when they were less than 8 years

old. This is the loop that Jonathon learned how to

properly ride in a pace line of three riders. It is also

where Jonathon really learned that you could take a

bad fall and you just get back up and ride.

To be an enjoyable location for a family, there has to

be more than just being on the bike. In addition to

the riding, we enjoy the entire island life style. The

beach is a completely undeveloped allowing plenty

of places to swim, boogie board, kite flying and sand

castle building. We can ride down to the beach and

look for shells in the early morning.

Downtown there are several good local restaurants

that serve children a multitude of foods from the

standard hamburgers and chicken strips to allowing

them to try local oysters, shrimp and clams. If you are

adventurous, you can always go down to the water’s

edge and throw out a chicken neck tied to a string

BRUGMAN continued on p.8

ERYN WILLARD

Art Director

Having only a year and a half of regular mountain

biking under my belt, my excursions to date have

only been local (minus one ride during a trip to

Hawaii). However, that isn’t to say that my local area

is anything to shake a stick at. The Frederick watershed

is known throughout the region and beyond to

be a playground for those of us on two wheels. It has

surely been a great training ground for me.

It’s my husband Chris’s “fault” that I began mountain

biking, and it didn’t start out pretty. I tackled a loop

in the watershed atop a hardtail with toe clips the first

time I followed him through the woods. Let’s just say

there was lots of fearful screaming and head jiggling

going on behind him as I made my way across the

rocky trails... So what brought me back?

The challenge brought me back a second time, and

it’s what brings me back on a weekly basis now. This

ain’t no C&O Canal. The watershed contains a network

of trails and fire roads that can be ridden in

WILLARD continued on p.8

LISA A. KILDAY

Contributor & TriSpokes Columnist

My favorite ride in the mid-Atlantic is around my

hometown of Alexandria, Va. Because I am a native of

Alexandria, I have biked up and down every hill and

street in the city. As a kid, I spent my summers on my

bike riding criteriums around Episcopal High School

and Ft. Ward Park, although we just called them loops

back then. At Episcopal and Ft. Ward, the roads are

basically car-free and practically within shouting distance

of my parents’ home.

KILDAY continued on p.8

July 2009

7


8 July 2009

Something Special!

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BRUGMAN continued from p.7

and catch a supper of crabs and then stop at the fresh

produce stand and get some fresh sweet corn and

have a supper fit for a king.

Our dream ride on the eastern seaboard is to go up to

Prince Edward Island and explore the island from the

Confederation Trail that spans the entire island. Being

on a long narrow island you are never far from the

ocean and there is so much history on the island to

see. The scenery, while not mountainous, offers a wide

variety of scenes and the small local villages promise a

hospitality that we would like to become accustomed

to. This seems to the perfect local to go tandem riding

with the family and spend time together.

KILDAY continued from p.7

While most people think of Old Town when they

hear Alexandria, the quaint section is charming, but

it is too flat in my opinion and often crowded due

to its popularity. The ‘real’ city of Alexandria has

some challenging hills and a few quiet streets as I

found out on a true single speed. As I got older, I was

allowed to bike down to the neighborhood where my

grandparents lived near the King Street Metro called

Rosemont. On more than one occasion, I telephoned

my mom to pick me and my bike up because I did

not want to climb up King Street’s gradual incline of

5% or Braddock Road’s short but steep 10% incline.

Sometimes, I still wish that I had a phone-a-friend

option when doing hill workouts off Russell Road, or

in the Park Fairfax and Shirlington areas.

I cannot leave out the popular Four Mile Run,

W&OD, and Mt. Vernon Trails of Alexandria.

Technically, the WO&D trail starts in the Shirlington

section of Arlington, but it connects to the Four Mile

Run Trail via an overpass across I-395. Short sections

of the Four Mile Run Trail and the WO&D Trail run

parallel to each other and periodically merge. The

Four Mile Run Trail is next to a creek, which drains

into the Potomac River. This section of the Four Mile

Run is not always scenic but serves as a useful shortcut

for cyclists to Miles 5-45 of the WO&D or to the Mt.

Vernon Trail near the National Airport.

As for the Mount Vernon bike trail, it is a practically

perfect bike ride except that it's relatively flat and

only has one hill near the estate. The route from Old

Town to Mt. Vernon can be a bit overcrowded and

the path is a little bumpy due to overgrown tree roots.

However, on the Mt. Vernon Trail, you may be able to

see Bald Eagles, our first president’s distillery, and Ft.

Hunt Park all from your bike, which makes a pretty

good ride.

If I could bike anywhere, I would take an epic trip

across Eastern Europe to Turkey and somehow end

up in Israel. My previous travels to Croatia and Greece

are fueling my wanderlust to follow the Simplon

Orient Express’ route through Serbia, Bulgaria,

Albania, Macedonia, and Turkey. This dream bike

route would be across two continents and focused on

the history of the medieval Crusades. The trip would

probably be about 4,000 miles and would stop at castles,

churches, mosques, vineyards, and volcanoes.

I have never had a chance to explore the Middle East

but would be willing to bike through Syria, Lebanon,

Jordan, and Israel because I will bike anywhere with

stunning scenery and ancient monuments. Biking

in Eastern Europe and the Near East is not as crazy

as you think. I have been told that there are many

undiscovered areas with people who are very friendly

towards two-wheeled tourists.

The epic journey would be my own Cycling Crusade

across Eastern Europe and the Near East. As necessary,

I would take a trip on a ferry, which would provide

much needed rest from my bike trip. My reward

would be meeting the wonderful people of the varied

8 July 2009

regions, learning exotic non-Anglo and non-romantic

languages, and enjoying the delicious food of each

culture. My final destination of the epic trip would be

near the border of Israel and Jordan where I would

retire my bike and treat myself to a well-deserved float

in the extraordinary Dead Sea.

WILLARD continued from p.7

loops, out-and-backs or end-to-end across Catoctin

Mountain (if you’re feeling really froggy). Wherever

you ride, though, expect to be tested.

The mix of terrain keeps things interesting. In the

course of one loop, you can cover rocky downhill (see

aforementioned head jiggling), creek crossings, narrow

singletrack and quad-burning climbs.

The climbs are my favorite challenge. There’s something

about climbing a hill. My husband hates them

(although he conquers them with ease), but I relish

the challenge. Stating the obvious, I’m not a fan of

the rocky decent. Give me a hill to climb, and I’m all

for it. I gauge my progress on certain hills throughout

the riding season, noting how far I make it each time

before taking a short breather, or how winded I am at

the top compared to the last ride.

I mentally encourage myself while taking on these

heart-pumping ascents. I get a little thoughtful when

I ride lately, too. I think of things like, “If you can

run a business, you can handle a little hill on a bike.”

“Think about how you’ll feel when you reach the top

– keep going.” Once I get there, heaving and needing

to stretch my legs, accomplishment washes over me.

Biking a hill as a metaphor for running a business?

Sure, I take my little “victories” with me for back-up

when I’m having a rough day in the office. Instead

of compartmentalizing these things I do to “feed”

myself, they’re mixed together to make a stronger me.

Can’t argue with that.

I love mountain biking. I also love pasta. So when I

read Steve Casimiro’s travel log (www.adventurelife.

org) on his trip to the Dolomite Mountains, Italy

replaced Moab as my dream mountain bike trip. The

idea of seeing Northern Italy from the seat of my bike

(rather than the window of a tour bus) sounds like

two vacations in one to me.

The mountain sport culture is rich in the Dolomites,

and as such, the area has a well-established trail system.

Rifugi, the inns along the trails, are a chance to

eat a traditional meal and get some rest in a real bed.

Talk about a reward after a day-long workout!

Reading about the crazy amounts of climbing I’d have

to do on a west to east trip across this region is mostly

what attracts me to it. Crazy, yes, but remember that

sense of accomplishment I mentioned earlier? Couple

that with the food, scenery and good company, and

it’s a dream vacation.

From the photos I’ve seen, the landscape varies from

wildflower fields to rocky peaks, unmarked trails to

waterfalls. Moab might have to wait...

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SENSORY OVERLOAD AT BIG BEAR

by Danielle Chmielewski

As a newcomer to the cycling community, I traveled to Hazelton,

West Virginia, June 13-14 for this year’s 24 Hours of Big Bear

not as a race participant, but as a fan...for two teams of friends,

each at opposite ends of the experience spectrum.

Team People’s Meat Racing has been in existence for nine years.

Conversely, Team Fatdumb just finished their second race, with

two new recruits. All together, both teams and their entourage

totaled 24 people. Twenty-four people joined together for 24

hours of racing, cheering on teammates, sitting around a campfire,

and sharing a love and enthusiasm for mountain biking.

With 24 people at our campsite, there was always someone

going out for a lap, coming back from one, and a surplus of supporters

to encourage the riders around mile three, on which the

trail was visible by way of the edge of the campground.

Since it was my very first year experiencing this event, I was on

sensory overload most of the weekend - tracking through mud,

feeling the heat from campfires, watching the LeMans style

start, hearing event founder Laird Knight’s voice over the loudspeaker,

and yelling my lungs out in support of my teams.

I was in awe of the pro solo riders, who, in many cases, did

more 12.7 mile laps in less time than it took some entire teams

to do. Equally as inspiring were the young kids who participated

in the 24 minutes of Big Bear; they were fearless and courageous

in their own right - and much more than I can say for my

few weeks of experience on my new road bike.

From rookies to returning riders, amateurs to pros, women in

pink plaid skirts and knee-socks to white polyester Elvis suitclad

men, the 2009 24 Hours of Big Bear brought 174 teams and

their followings together for a weekend of biking, comradery,

and spirited fun.

Next year I’ll be 24...perhaps that’s a sign to test the trail.

WHEEL

10 July 2009

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COME EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE!

AIR FORCE CLASSIC DRAWS THOUSANDS

TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA

A full-weekend of road racing attracted thousands of avid

spectators to the streets and scenic byways of Clarendon and

Arlington, Va., May 30-31. Dubbed the U.S. Force Classic, the two

days of races consisted of much more than the two featured pro

races. There was a Sunday morning fun ride, with nearly 1,000

recreational cyclists taking to the race course before the racers

later that day. And on Saturday hundreds of kids participated in

a number of kids fun races also on the race course.

On to the main events, thousands of spectators watched in awe

in the streets and cafes of downtown Clarendon, Va., May 30, as

pro road racer Chad Gerlach (Team Amore & Vita) held off the

hundred plus rider field in a solo breakaway that lasted over 60

laps, about an hour and a half. On several occasions, with the

audience going wild, Gerlach nearly latched onto the back of

the huge field.

But alas, he was caught, only to join seven other riders in a

final breakaway. The sprint finish saw Alejandro Borrajo (Team

Colavita-Sutter Home) almost blow the victory by raising his

arms in victory a moment too soon. Though he won by a tire, he

was almost beaten by a hard charging Kenneth Hanson (Team

Type 1) who unsuccessfully threw his bike to the finish line.

In the women’s race, Erica Allar (of Team BMW-Bianchi) broke

from the field in the final lap and powered her way to a clear

victory. She was the only member of her team in this event.

On Sunday afternoon it was Hanson’s Team Type 1 teammate

Shawn Milne who made all the correct moves. He caught on

to a 15 man breakaway with about a lap and a half of the eight

mile circuit remaining and then patiently waited to unleash his

sprint at just the right moment. Second place went to Charles

Dionne of the Fly V Australia team, with third to Scott Zwizanski

of Baltimore-based Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast.

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July 2009

11


THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

BIKING INTO HISTORY by MIKE WEINGARTEN

We turn left off of our route, down a small side street that goes nowhere, and dismount our

bikes. In front of us — the Ohio River, a half-mile wide and flowing swiftly — this is the

landmark that we’ve been anticipating. It is the same landmark that countless people of a

much different era had also anticipated, but with more extreme emotions of fear and hope.

12 July 2009

THIS WAS LATE MAY 2007. My wife, Joan, and I were

two and a half weeks into our first independent, selfsupported

bicycle tour. We were in the process of

learning the wonders of cycle touring — the adventure

of living on the road, of seeing new places from

a perspective much more intimate than through a car

window, and meeting interesting, curious, and wonderful

people all along the way. We were also biking

back into a tumultuous chapter in U.S. history: we

were riding the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route

(UGRR).

The product of a partnership between Adventure

Cycling Association and the University of Pittsburgh’s

Center for Minority Health, the 2008-mile

Underground Railroad Bicycle Route runs from

Mobile, Alabama to Owen Sound, Ontario, passing

through the mid-Atlantic states of New York

and Pennsylvania. It is an active memorial to the

Underground Railroad, a network of clandestine

routes by which African-American freedom seekers

attempted to escape for many years before and during

the Civil War.

In its short existence, the route has captured the

imagination of many: for the history and heroism it

recalls, and for the promise it holds today for those

who want to explore that history, and have an engaging

biking experience in the process. Adventure

Cycling Association produces detailed maps for the

route, guiding cyclists through the beauty of the

South, Northeast, and part of Ontario, and offering a

rich list of historical points along the way.

Joan and I began our ride in Mobile on a street corner

that had been, in pre-Civil War days, the site of

a slave market. It was an appropriate and thoughtprovoking

starting point. While a typical downtown

intersection in a picturesque city in today’s world,

the historical markers brought that other time to life.

Located a few blocks from Mobile Bay, where slave

ships would come in, this was the place where many

Africans, having already survived the horrific ordeal

of a trans-Atlantic passage in the lower holds of ships,

were sold as property. As we began our journey north,

we could not help but think of them, and the many

freedom seekers among them who took flight from

their captors and made desperate and arduous trips

north for freedom.

A network of safe houses and “conductors” located

along many different pathways (as opposed to any

single route) comprised the actual Underground

Railroad. And while the Underground Railroad

Bicycle Route follows a distinctly mapped route north,

it touches many of the landmarks that freedom seekers

used to make their escape.

From Mobile, the route works its way through the

rural and friendly-small-town South, across gorgeous

countryside and over surprisingly challenging

hills. It traces Southern rivers — the Alabama, the

Tombigbee, the Tennessee, the Cumberland — flowing

north toward the Ohio, the watery demarcation

that once separated “free” and “slave” states, and one

of the most critical objectives for those on the run.

Some of the most dramatic activity occurred along

this river as freedom seekers tried to negotiate their

way across, and slave catchers and law enforcement

tried to stop them.

As we rode north, day after day, we came to appreciate

the scope of the harrowing journeys that these


courageous souls had made. Of course, we were riding

touring bikes, rolling on paved, signed roadways, our

essentials stashed in our panniers, food and shelter

mostly certain, cell phones available for emergencies

— a far cry from the dangerous, secretive, nighttime,

bramble-filled paths that were taken in that other

time. It took us 2 1⁄2-weeks to reach the Ohio River

from Mobile. It took them the better part of a year.

After reaching the Ohio in Smithland, Kentucky, the

UGRR follows the river eastward for 500 miles, crossing

it a few times, allowing the rider to sample from

a number of historically significant communities

and sites along the way. For example, in New Albany,

Indiana, directly across the river from Louisville,

Kentucky, you can visit the Carnegie Center for Art

& History, an outstanding museum dedicated to this

period in history. Its interactive displays give you a realistic

feel for the activities, moods, and politics of the

time, as well as the extreme physical dangers for those

on the run, and for those providing them assistance.

Further east, in Washington, Kentucky, near Maysville,

there is a community of historic structures dating

as far back as the late 1700s, including the former

home of Marshall Key, nephew of Chief Justice John

Marshall, and father of a college friend of the then-

Harriett Beecher. On a visit there, Harriett witnessed

a slave auction, which made a lasting impression on

her and years later found its way into her book, Uncle

Tom’s Cabin.

Across the river in Ripley, Ohio, stands the home of

staunch abolitionist Rev. John Rankin. Located high

on a bluff overlooking the river, a lantern burning in

its window served as a nighttime beacon to freedom

seekers, guiding them to the safety of Rankin’s house.

At the base of that hill, on the river’s edge, is John

Parker’s home and metal shop. A former slave who

had purchased his freedom, Parker helped many with

their secretive and dramatic crossings to the Ohio side.

The UGRR continues on past Cincinnati (our hometown)

with a spur leading to the wonderful National

Underground Railroad Freedom Center. From

Cincinnati, the route heads north again, across Ohio,

much of the way on a glorious system of bike trails.

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Before this trip I’d always assumed that freedom seekers

reaching the northern states were free. Not true, it

turns out. Life was still incredibly dangerous for them.

The federal Fugitive Slave Act required that captured

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RAILROAD continued on p.14

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July 2009

13


RAILROAD continued from p.13

slaves be returned to their owners, and slave catchers

were active across the region, encouraging people

with cash rewards to turn in escapees. Hence, the

Underground Railroad network continued to be critical

for safe travel in the North, and for many, Canada

became the ultimate objective.

In Northern Ohio, we visited Oberlin, with its strong

abolitionist heritage, and Ashtabula, an Underground

Railroad terminus point from which freedom seekers

were ferried across Lake Erie, into Canada. The

bike route continues through the delightful lakeside

resort town of Conneaut, Ohio, across the northwestern

tip of Pennsylvania, and into the wine country of

northwestern New York. Here we rode through the

flat, expansive fields of grapes, with Lake Erie as our

constant companion. Roadside stands strained under

piles of fruit, and wineries proffered their goods for

those wishing to take a travel break. The Chautauqua

Institution, the famous conference center and resort,

lies near Barcelona, New York, about 12 miles off of

the route, and around the Buffalo area, there are a

number of Underground Railroad museums and safe

houses to be explored.

From Buffalo, we crossed the Niagara River into

Ontario, and officially went international. Once in

Canada, the bike route travels another 300 miles, passing

Niagara Falls, running through the Ontario coun-

14 July 2009

tryside, and skirting the major cities of Hamilton and

Toronto. The route ends in Owen Sound on the shore

of the Georgian Bay. Founded in the 1850s by fugitive

slaves, Owen Sound celebrates its heritage every year

during its Emancipation Celebration Festival.

The day that we completed our ride, we stood there

in the park, celebrating with satisfaction what we had

achieved. But in reading the displays, and thinking

back upon what we had seen, we could not help but

also celebrate the incredible journeys made by those

brave freedom seekers, and the actions of the heroic

characters that assisted them along the way, often at

great personal risk. Riding the Underground Railroad

Bicycle Route is a modern day cycling adventure, but

it is also an active tribute to the past.

Read about the route in more detail on Adventure

Cycling’s website: www.adventurecycling.org/routes/

undergroundrailroad.cfm


More resources for riding the Underground Railroad

Bicycle Route can be found at http://www.adventure

cycling.org/ugrr. Here you will find links free day trip

maps for the Ripley, Ohio area, Route Highlights,

and more.

TREK • Seven

Look • Mirraco

Surly • Raleigh

Castelli • Hincapie

Northwave • Louis Garneau

SRAM • Shimano • Campagnolo

Bontrager • Mavic • Rolf • HED

Web Extras

Author Mike Weingarten and wife Joan

Watch “Biking Through Black History,” a short, four-segment

video on the creation of the route, or check out

photos from Adventure Cycling’s 2007 inaugural tour.

Read the recent New York Times piece on riding the

Underground Railroad Bicycle Route.

www.thebicycleplace.com 8313 Grubb Road, Silver Spring MD 301-588-6160

July 2009

15


TRAIL TOWN PROGRAM EXPANDS

TO MARYLAND

The Trail Town Program and the Maryland Department of

Planning are pleased to announce the expansion of the Trail

Town Program into Maryland. Through an agreement with the

Department of Planning, Bill Atkinson, Principal Planner and

Dave Cotton, Regional Planner will divide their time between

planning department and Trail Town Program duties.

The director of the Trail Town Program, Cathy McCollom

said, “We are delighted to be able to effectively leverage our

resources with those of the Maryland Department of Planning

under the capable direction of Dave and Bill who are familiar

with the communities, visitor expectations and business development

opportunities in Maryland.

We are also grateful for the Appalachian Regional Commission

grant that allows the Trail Town Program to expand into the

communities of Cumberland, Frostburg and Oldtown over the

next two years.”

The Trail Town Program, an economic development initiative in

the communities that border the Great Allegheny Passage rail

trail, was created in 2007 to realize the economic potential of

the trail. The Program works with communities to better connect

to the trail, expand and attract sustainable businesses and

to capitalize on the economic impact of the rapidly growing

trail user market.

The Trail Town Program, with offices in Greensburg, PA, operates

as an initiative of The Progress Fund, a non-profit lender

specializing in business loans and technical assistance to tourism-related

small businesses.

Bill Atkinson and Dave Cotton will operate from their existing

offices in Cumberland. Atkinson said, “Coordinating with the

successful Trail Town Program will benefit all Allegany County

businesses by bringing new collaborations and opportunities

Laurel

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Center

14805 Baltimore Ave.

Laurel, MD 20707

301 953-1223

301 490-7744

Monday–Friday: 10-8

Saturday: 9-6

Sunday: closed

www.bicyclefun.com

16 July 2009

for regional connections. The visitor rarely notices municipal

boundaries and seeks a borderless experience. The cooperation

between Pennsylvania and Maryland in marketing and

maintaining the Great Allegheny Passage and the surrounding

towns is a model for trails across the country. ”

The addition of Oldtown represents the Trail Town Program’s

We can get

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first work beyond the Great Allegheny Passage. Oldtown borders

the C & O Canal Towpath which joins the Great Allegheny

Passage in Cumberland and offers a continuous trail experience

to Washington D.C. Other communities bordering the Canal

Towpath have expressed an interest in the Trail Town Program

and have begun the first steps toward participation.

“Trail Towns is a great program that dovetails with the smart

growth goals of the State and our department,” said Matthew

J. Power, Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of

Planning. “This is a great fit for MDP, for Cumberland, Frostburg,

the region and for Maryland.”

The Trail Town Maryland Program had previously completed

needs assessments in Cumberland and Frostburg to prioritize

projects. Based on those assessments, a Sign Committee was

created to address signage needs; including a comprehensive

business directory and safer crossings at Baltimore Street. An

electronic business directory/visitor kiosk opened at the trail

access area in Frostburg on May 1 and posted 1,400 hits in the

first two weeks of activity. Future work in Frostburg will include

a marketing plan to challenge trail users to “conquer the hill”

into Frostburg.

For more information on the Trail Town Program, contact

Cathy McCollom, Director, at 724-216-7420 or

cmccollom@progressfund.org. The Trail Town Program web site

is www.trailtowns.org and contains information on business

opportunities along the Great Allegheny Passage.

Anyone interested in starting or expanding their trail business

in Allegany County Maryland should contact Bill or Dave at 301-

777-2161.


AVAILABLE AT THESE DEALERS:

DELAWARE

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1907 Plank Road

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LEESBURG

BICYCLE OUTFITTERS

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RESTON

THE BIKE LANE

Reston Town Center

(703) 689-2671

STAFFORD

REVOLUTION CYCLES

100 Susa Drive, #103-15

(540) 657-6900

VIENNA

SPOKES, ETC.

224 Maple Avenue East

(703) 281-2004

WOODBRIDGE

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5813 Falls Road

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ELLICOTT CITY

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5732 Buckeystown Pike

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229 N. Market Street

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35 N. Prospect Street

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4540 Old National Pike

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9930 Reisterstown Road

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1066 Rockville Pike

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1404 S. Salisbury Blvd.

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THE BICYCLE PLACE

8313 Grubb Road

(301) 588-6160

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3200 Leonardtown Road

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RACE PACE

459 Baltimore Blvd.

(410) 876-3001

WASHINGTON, D.C.

GEORGETOWN

REVOLUTION CYCLES

3411 M Street, N.W.

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DEPARTMENTS

18 July 2009

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Bozzone Completes Double: Adds Eagleman Title

Atop Columbia

At the Columbia Triathlon in May, 24-year-old

Terenzo Bozzone of Auckland, New Zealand, won

in dramatic fashion, catching 20-year-old Andrew

Yoder of Columbia, Pa., over the last mile and a half.

Bozzone posted a time 10 seconds ahead of secondplace

finisher Yoder.

Sweeping the second of the two most popular, longrunning

and competitive Maryland triathlons in

back-to-back months, at the Eagleman 70.3 Ironman

Triathlon June 14 in Cambridge, Bozzone instead had

to fight off Richie Cunningham of Brookline, Mass.,

over the last mile and a half. He won the 1.2-mile

swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1 run in 3:51:11.

On the women’s side, Mirinda Carfrae, 28, a native

of Australia, bested Natascha Badmann, 43, a sixtime

former Ironman Kona world champion and

twice Switzerland’s Sportswoman of the Year, won in

4:16:52.

Carfrae beat Badmann by three and a half minutes.

No one else was within eight minutes of either athlete.

Desiree Flicker, formerly of Potomac, Md., took third.

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“I do like Maryland, it’s hot and humid, which I love,

and I stayed with a great host family for the second

year here,” Bozzone told SPOKES. “But, yeah, these

were two competitive races. I got off the bike with

a four-minute lead and my legs struggled a bit. I

thought four minutes was going to be enough. Then,

I looked over my shoulder and saw Richie weaving

his way up and, to be honest, I was quite surprised he

caught up. That was the kick in the pants I needed.”

Cunningham, rocking a 5:37 pace over the 13.1 mile

run, easily the best split of the day, cut three and a

three-quarters minutes off of Bozzone’s lead, finishing

16 seconds out of first place.

Carfrae, on the other hand, had to reel in Badmann,

an extremely strong cyclist regaining her form after a

bike spill at Kona last year, two miles into the run.

With the introduction of the Ironman 70.3 series in

2006, Carfrae captured the St. Croix and Baja titles

early in the year, going on to win a bronze at the

Ironman 70.3 World Championships in the same year.

In 2007, she came in second in four half-Ironman

distance triathlons before winning the 2007 Ironman

70.3 World Championships in world record time.

With four 70.3 wins in 2008, Carfrae has clearly

claimed the 70.3 distance as her own. She said just

competing against Badmann, who has won five

Eagleman titles, four in a row from 2004 to 2007

and owns the course record, was all the motivation

needed.

“Having a good bike split was the key for me,” said

Carfrae, who posted the eighth-best swim, third best

bike, and top running split. “I think maybe Natascha

passed me at about mile 40.”

Remarkably, exactly a week ago, Carfrae won

Connecticut’s new Rev 3 half-Ironman Triathlon, finishing

a minute ahead of Badmann, who took third.

“Two days ago, I thought doing this race was hopeless,”

Carfrae said. “It’s been a pretty good seven days.”


Out-of-towners dominated the pro results, only

Flicker, sixth-place women’s finisher, Laurel Wassner,

formerly of Gaithersburg, and Lindsey Jerdonek, of

Washington, D.C., had mid-Atlantic connections.

However, numerous local amateurs won or placed

among the top of their age groups.

Shandra Richardson, 29, of Gainesville, Va., won

the 25-29 age group – qualifying for a spot at the

World Championships in Kona in July – and was the

fourth place finisher overall. Her husband, Robert

Richardson, took 12th in the 35-39 age group, with a

personal-best 4:28:37.

Both have qualified and raced at Kona in the past; the

couple’s goal again this season.

“Winning my age-group and qualifying was the No. 1

goal,” said Shandra Richardson, adding that last year

her and husband went to Lake Placid to compete to

earn spots for Hawaii.

Two years ago, the Richardsons, who met training,

opened Rip Tide Swim and Tri (riptideswimandtri.

com) in Gainesville. Shandra, who also coaches swimming,

manages the store fulltime while Robert works

his daytime IT job for now, at least.

“We’ve survived the recession, but I don’t think that’s

happening soon, and I like my job, but maybe that

will happen someday,” said Robert Richardson, who

wakes up at 3 a.m. to start training before reporting

for work at 6 a.m.

The couple has one child, Madison, 2, and baby-sitting

grandparents who allow them to train cycling

together on the weekends. Next, it’s back to Lake

Placid to get Robert qualified for Hawaii.

“It’s really been a blessing for us to go to Kona together

as a couple,” Shandra Richardson told SPOKES.

Another local athlete, Lucas McCollum, of Frederick,

Md., won the male side of the 25-29 group, posting a

fast 4:12:05, three full minutes over his closest rival,

Dave Smith, of Virginia Beach. McCollum missed his

first goal – a 4:10 mark – but hit his second as top

amateur in his age group. McCollum, a former college

pitcher at Jacksonville State, was the sixth amateur

overall.

Unlike Bozzone, McCollum, was coming off a disappointing

experience at Columbia. But he bounced

back with the best average bike speed, averaging 25.3

miles per hour over the 56-mile ride, of any amateur.

He also delivered the best run split in his age group.

Sick with an upper respiratory illness at Columbia,

McCollum had to drop out of the race.

“This race was my top priority and I’ve been working

on my speed,” he said. “And did taper off (my training).

Everything went as planned, except the secondhalf

of the bike, it was pretty windy – that’s probably

where my two minutes went.”

McCollum noted getting off the bike after the blazing

split, was almost as much fun as winning the age group.

“To come back to rack in transition and not see any

other bikes there is a great feeling,” he said.

McCollum said he’s got the Spirit of Morgantown

tri and the Savageman event in Cumberland on his

schedule later this summer. He’s also pointing, however,

to Kona.

“Both are good training races,” he said. “Savageman is

one of the toughest triathlons around. Your legs feel

like they do after a full Ironman after that bike course.”

Omar Nour, 30, of Washington, D.C., was the second

overall amateur, and second in his age group, finishing

in both cases with an outstanding time of 4:08:47,

behind Mark Rochen, 34, of Downington, Pa.

Nour said a couple of years ago, before training for

his first triathlon in 2007, the Nations Triathlon in

D.C., of course, he weighed 220 pounds – at least 40

pounds heavier than the 6-foot- athlete goes now.

“I was sitting with some friends smoking shisha (a pop-

ular Middle Eastern tobacco smoked in a hookah) and

they said they were signing up for a triathlon,” said

Nour, who crossed the finish line grinning and dancing.

“I was like, ‘What is that?’ They told me, first you

swim, then bike, then run. I said, ‘Okay, sign me up.’"

A former high school swimmer at Georgetown Prep,

Nour had been racing on a “second or third-hand”

Cannondale until finally getting on a new Felt for

Eagleman.

“I got it fitted, and I told them to fit me in the most

aggressive position possible and I’ll make my body

adjust,” Nour said. It worked, he posted the secondfastest

amateur bike split, average just 0.1 mile-perhour

behind McCollom. Nour credits his brother

Diaa, with providing valuable training and racing

TRISPOKES continued on p.20

July 2009

19


TRISPOKES continued from p.19

reports – as well as assuming more of the workload

at their IT company – so he can train. And Dour said

Nation’s tri founder Chuck Brodsky has also served as

a strong mentor/resource.

Recently, the still-new-to-the-sport Egyptian-born

Nour got a surprising call: Egypt athletic officials

are launching an International Triathlon Union

squad and want him to participate. Who knows? The

Olympics could be in the future.

“I’m only 30 and endurance athletes don’t peak until

they’re 35 so there’s hope,” said Nour, an American

citizen. “I love the United States and would love to

represent this country, but that might not be possible.

We’ll see.”

George Altieri, who won this race a couple of times

in the mid-90s, now works for the Columbia Triathlon

Association with race director Robert Vigorito. Altieri

said that more than 1,700 athletes “got into the

water.” Although, he added, that number was down

from recent past events.

“We had the same number of registrations, that wasn’t

affected, but we had more no-shows,” said Altieri,

blaming the economic downturn. “People register

20 July 2009

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early. Then, I think as the race grew closer they got

more cautious about spending money to travel (for

out-of-state competitions).”

The other big difference this June was the weather.

Temperatures at last year’s Eagleman soared over 100

degrees on race day, pushing many athletes to the

brink of exhaustion. Amazingly, Altieri said, there

were no medical crisis.

“I can’t tell you how many pounds of ice we went

through, but we had more than 200 athletes require

I.V.’s,” he said. “No emergencies, however.”

This year, the Easton Ice Company truck, seemed

barely needed. A thundershower cooled things off

a little the night before. It was slightly humid in the

early morning; then, as temperatures rose during the

day, the humidity receded, making for near-perfect

race conditions.

Along with Easton Ice Company, several other local

groups turned out to support the event, including

the Dorchester Ruritan Club, which stayed busy selling

fresh hamburgers and real potato French Fries, as

well as Christ Episcopal Church, selling coffee, bagels,

hot dogs, sodas and snow cones all day long.

More than a dozen triathlon clubs, including the

Richmond Triathlon Club, Reston-area Tri Club, the

TriRats, the Annapolis Iron Crabs, D.C. Triathlon and

mid-Maryland Triathlons clubs, the Virginia Beachbased

Final Kick triathlon club turned out.

Marty Stiegmann, 49, of Glen Allen, Va., and a

Richmond tri club member for the last decade,

took fifth in his age group in 4:30:48. He said the

Richmond tri club has been booming in recent years

with more than 500 members.

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He noted that Richmond hosted the National

Duathlon Championships earlier this year and has

hosted the World Duathlon Championships in the past.

“It’s a great sports town,” said Don Rogers, 42, another

Richmond tri club member.

“With a lot of great venues to train,” Stiegmann

added.

Another Richmond athlete, Karl Kahsar, 21, was the

third overall amateur, in 4:09:36. And Linda Fournier,

51, also of Richmond, captured the women’s grandmaster

title in 5:15:27

William Wren, 61, of Arlington, won the grandmaster

title in 4:59:10.

On the flip side, Hunter Lussi, 16, of Kensington,

Md., and Hannah Lowell,18, of Catlett, Va., won the

17-19 age groups in 5:18:35 and 6:26:21, respectively.

Alyssa Godesky, 24, of Baltimore, won the 20-24 age

group in 5:19:10.

Kristen Andrews, 28, of Bethesda, won the 25-29 age

group, in 4:44:43. Brian Shelden, 39, of Washington,

D.C., won the 35-39 age group in 4:15:01.

Cris Carpi, 50, of Alexandria, won the 50-54 female

age group in 5:16:03. Herb Spicer, 54, of Frederick,

won the 50-54 male age group, in 4:21:42. Barbara

Mathewson, 60, of Virginia Beach, captured the 60-64

title in 5:35:26.

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COLUMNS

Going Big in Your Own Back Yard

Every now and then you get that yearning for a really

big ride, something that tests your fitness, your skills,

and your will, something that is, in a word, epic.

The epic ride has a different meaning for everybody.

For a new rider it might be riding every trail in a park

in a single ride or tackling some real backcountry

riding instead of riding at the local park. For the seasoned

rider it’s more likely that an epic ride will be

an all day affair with mileage nearing the triple digits.

Whatever you’re looking for, what an epic ride doesn’t

need to be, is far from home. In fact, there are a lot

of epic ride possibilities right around the major population

centers of the Mid-Atlantic.

Living in the suburbs means you probably don’t have

large expanses of backcountry riding out your back

door. Quite often, though, you do have a number of

parks with great trail networks within close reach, so

you can use those parks to make an epic ride where

none seemed possible before. By combining smaller

parks and back roads, you can often make a ride that’s

as challenging as any backcountry epic right in the middle

of the suburbs. With the exception of the Southern

Traverse, the rides that follow are just to get you started,

ideas that you can take to make your own rides.

All epic rides require careful preparation. Whether

you’re in the backcountry or in the suburbs plan on

the carrying plenty of food and water, extra tubes and

spares, a basic first aid kit, and of course, make sure

you have backup plans for when things go wrong.

Some of the rides I’m going to mention here don’t

have specific routes to follow or easy convenient maps

to download. Make sure you’ve got a good map of the

area -- I’ve tried to mention them here where they’re

available -- and make sure you plan your route, and

know where there are bailout points and where extra

food and water is available. Even in suburban parks,

cell phone coverage can often be spotty, so don’t rely

on them.

The Hoyles Mill Connector

With the completion of the Hoyles Mill Connector

trail running between the Schaeffer Farms trail system

and Black Hills Regional Park in Montgomery County,

Md., an accessible epic was born. With one trailhead

opposite the Schaeffer Farms parking lot, and the

other just outside Black Hills Regional Park, the connector

trail through Hoyles Mill Conservation Park

has joined these two parks with a mix of singletrack

and gravel roads (and a little asphalt) to create an

multi-park ride in northern Montgomery County.

As epic rides go this one is fairly easy to do. After a

spin around the Schaeffer Farms trails, head up the

gravel road from the parking to towards Schaeffer

Road and pick up the connector trail immediately on

the other side of the road. Follow the singletrack until

it drops you off onto the paved trail that surrounds

the SoccerPlex and make a left. Follow the soccerplex

trail for a short distance until you see the singletrack

start again on the left.

After a couple more miles of singletrack you’ll make

a left when the trail ends at Hoyles Mill road and follow

that to a right on White Ground road. After a few

hundred yards on White Ground road you’ll see the

official trailhead for the Hoyles Mill trail on the right

and rejoin the trail as it weaves around the edges of

fields ending at the intersection of Clopper Road

(MD 107) and Clarksburg Road (MD 121).

Cross Clopper road carefully and follow Clarksburg

Road across the bridge. Look for the trail to start

on the right soon after the end of the bridge. This

22 July 2009

SINGLETRACK by JOE FOLEY jfoley441@gmail.com

section of trail features some great swooping turns

around the banks of Little Seneca Lake. You’ll briefly

rejoin the road, but keep a lookout as the trail soon

starts up again on the right and leads you through to

Black Hill Road into Black Hill Regional Park. Make

a loop in Black Hill and the reverse these directions

back to Schaeffer Farms.

For more information on the Hoyles Mill Connector,

see the MORE website at http://tinyurl.com/hoylesmill

The Big MoCo Loop

When the Hoyles Mill Connector ride just isn’t long

enough, why not add in some of the other great parks

in northern Montgomery County. With Little Bennett,

Seneca Creek State Park, and the Seneca Greenway

trail the possibilities are almost endless. This ride can

vary from 35 to 60 miles depending no how many

of the parks you ride and the routes taken between

them. There’s no set loop here, so start with a map

and your imagination, pick which parks you want to

ride, and look for safe, low-traffic backroads to connect

them.

A typical ride will start and end with a loop of the

trails at Schaeffer Farms, take the Hoyles Mill connector

to Black Hills, then use the roads to get to Little

Bennett, and then on to the Seneca Greenway trail

heading towards the Clopper Lake area of Seneca

Creek State Park. Since the Greenway is closed to

bikes on the western side of MD 355, you have to

switch to roads to get into the Clopper Lake area

and the from the backside of Clopper Lake back to

Schaeffer Farms.

In the future you’ll be able to cut more of the road

riding out of this loop. According to Dave Magill,

Schaeffer Farms trail liaison for MORE, “by late next

year or the year after the Big MoCo Loop ride should

have even less road and more trail mileage than it

does now. Seneca Creek park management, working

with MORE, TROT and MCRRC, is proposing a 5 mile

connector trail between Schaeffer Farms and the trails

at Clopper Lake. MORE will lead the construction

and expects approval in time to begin building the

new trail this fall. And TROT will take the lead on a

proposed new spur trail that would connect Schaeffer

Farm almost all the way to the C&O canal, giving a

new off-road way to get to the Big MoCo Loop.”

The Fairfax Cross County Trail

Weaving its way 33 miles through Fairfax County, the

Cross County Trail, or CCT as it’s more commonly

known, allows adventurous riders to link together

popular parks like Riverbend at its northern end,

down through Colt’s Neck, Lake Fairfax, Wakefield,

Accotink, and soon the new Laurel Hill Park at the

Former Lorton Prison site in the south.

Weaving its way through the stream valleys that have

escaped development, an attempt at the full CCT isn’t

for the faint of heart. While some of the southern portions

of the route are paved or cinder trail, the northern

half through the Difficult Run watershed feature

less than a half mile of paved trail in 15 miles. Since

the route is a composite of many trails and is not fully

signed, make sure to have good maps and directions

before setting out on this ride. Information on trail,

maps, and cue sheets are available from Fairfax Trails

and Streams at http://tinyurl.com/fairfaxcct

The Patapsco Thru Trail

Linking the Avalon and McKeldin areas of Patapsco

Valley State Park, northwest of Baltimore, the

Patapsco thru trail is a work in progress and a challenging

ride.

The thru trail, shorthand for just about any route

winding its way through the 32 miles of park in

the Patapsco River valley between the Avalon and

McKeldin areas, started as a glimmer in the eye of

riders like former Baltimore, and now Frederick, resident

Joe Whitehair.

As Whitehair and Pat Miller said in the MORE newsletter

last year: “...start in Avalon, head north/west to

McKeldin, make your way back repeating as little as

possible while trying to ride as much singletrack as

you can find.”

There’s now a concerted effort on the part of the

park management and MORE to create a blazed

singletrack route along the full length of the trail, and

now it’s possible to do 80-90% of the ride on singletrack.

If you’re going to give this ride a try then make

sure you’ve got a copy of the Patapsco Valley State

Park (Complete Guide) Trail Map that’s available

from the Maryland DNR website at http://tinyurl.

com/dnrmaps and take a look at this description of

the Route put together by Whitehair at http://tinyurl.

com/thrutrail

The Southern Traverse

For those who don’t mind a little travel, the Southern

Traverse, a ride on that takes riders up to and along

the ridge of Shenandoah Mountain just south of

Harrisonburg, Va., is a certified IMBA epic ride and is

certain to not disappoint.

While the Appalachian ridges of the George

Washington National Forest certainly don’t lack for

epic ride opportunities the Southern Traverse is a

true gem. Featuring 10 to 15 miles, depending on

your route, of classic East Coast ridge riding, this ride

is one not to be missed. The epic route starts with

a fire road climb from the trailhead that takes you

1500’ up to the top of Shenandoah Mountain. From

there you ride south along the ridge, rolling up and

down for 10 miles of uninterrupted singletrack before

a long downhill drops you on a dirt road back at the

base of the ridge. From there you can ride the road

through the valley back to your car.

If you want to avoid the road ride, you can pre-position

a shuttle vehicle at the end of the downhill.

There’s a bailout near the end of the ridge, at

Jerkemtight Road, and only one intersection to worry

about, also at Jerkemtight.

For those looking for even more riding, you can

extend the ride by climbing Georgia Camp Hollow

SINGLETRACK continued on p.25


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COLUMNS

Growth: A Pleasant Dilemma

“Look it is a family with little children! Have you met

the other family with the two little children, they have

a boy and a girl”. That was the response we got when

we first went to the Kent County Spring Fling nine

years ago. There were not many families with children

and we tended to start clustering together.

Over the years we have seen a growth in the number

of families coming to this and other biking events.

When we first started coming, there were only about

five families that were coming with about nine children.

Last year there were 31 and this year there

43 children attending between the ages of 3 and

16. This has been by small gains every year. Three

years ago I talked Neil Sandler, the publisher of

SPOKES with his wife Sonja and two children, Emma

and Nathan, into attending. This year he talked a

neighbor with two children into attending. We also

had a family that had read about the Spring Fling in

SPOKES attend for the first time this year. And not

only is it parents with their children, there are a number

of cases with three generations of grandparents,

parents and grandchildren attending. As confirmed

by the increasing numbers, the family friendly atmosphere

generated by Frank and Kathy Anders and the

sponsoring Baltimore Bicycling Club encourages families

to continue to attend year after year.

One of the interesting things was the change in some

of the family riding styles. When we first started on

the Spring Fling, most of the children that had out

grown the trailers were either on tandems or taga-long

bikes. While I continue to see many of the

families with tandems, I am seeing more young riders

like Jeremy. That has created a pleasant problem for

TANDEMS =

Sharing

24 July 2009

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 fi ghting “oil addiction” with

human powered transportation.

Join the fi ght – 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.

FAMILY CYCLING 101 by KEVIN BRUGMAN kbrugman@cox.net

the family rides at the Spring Fling: too many riders

for a single group ride and an increased difference in

capability. There is the original family ride led by two

families, one leading and one trailing which had over

30 riders. A second family ride led by Gordon Peltz

and assisted by Bill Hester was started for families with

younger riders on their single bikes. After an instructional

class on Saturday morning, they led a 14 mile

casual ride. There were 26 riders including some

riders as young as 6 and 7 on their singles as well as

some on tandems.

Riding is not all that this event offers for families. The

city wide official events include boat races, parades,

festivals and a tea party. This is not a tea party with little

sandwiches and delicate cups of finely steeped tea.

This is a Boston style tea party with scuffles between

the British and the Colonials and things being tossed

off the ships into the river. Chestertown. Md., proudly

celebrates the lesser known second tea party of the

Revolutionary War. After the incident in Boston, the

British decided that their cargo ships were no longer

safe in the Annapolis harbor so they sailed them

across the Chesapeake and up the Chester River to

Chestertown. Unfortunately for the British merchants,

they soon found their cargo floating back down the

Chester River back towards Annapolis helped on its

way by the citizens of Chestertown.

The boat races on Sunday afternoon generate a lot of

interest for the young and old alike. There is always

a question of whether some of these boats will even

float let alone zip around the short course. This year’s

entrants included some conventional styles as well

as the children’s favorite caterpillar that ate its way

through the week, trailer home on pontoons, and an

out-house with a customer. There were even two that

had some form of bike power. Unfortunately none of

those won but it was still fun to watch.

In the evenings there are other activities for the

young and old alike. There is a desert bar every night,

and what child, young or old does not like ice cream

or cake? Then on Saturday and Sunday evening there

is a dance to finish the night off. While this occupies

the time of many, there were also big grassy areas that

were just right for different ball games and Frisbee.

For the older teens there were lots of quiet areas just

off the main thorough fares but still near all the other

activities where they could congregate.

It is also interesting to see the interaction of the folks

without children watching the children grow and

become active cyclists. One cyclist that had watched

our children grow up at the bike rally was heard to

playfully grumble about “Things are getting bad when

the family ride is passing us by!” As he said that, the

child that was in a trailer nine years ago, was leading

the ride at a respectable pace and ended the ride with

Jeremy in a five mile burst averaging over 18 mph ride.

Jeremy was just eight years old when we met his family

six years ago. He was on his single but could ride a

full 20 mile ride. He would be the youngest rider on

the family rides and all the adults would be watching

out for him, taking turn riding behind him. Many of

the kids, my boys included, who were just a year or

two younger were admiring him for being able to ride

on his own.


Last year I was without a stoker for a ride at the

Spring Fling and Jeremy volunteered to stoke for

me. We got a late start on the ride but with Jeremy’s

power on the back we soon caught up. It was Jeremy’s

first time on the tandem and he was having a blast.

That was when I found out that while the other kids

were admiring him, he was envious of them being on

the tandem. I would not be surprised that when he

becomes a dad, one of the first things he does for his

children is to buy a tandem to go riding with his children.

He was already talking about the possibilities of

riding with younger relatives on a tandem.

This was the year that my oldest son’s bike riding

seemed to explode. He has been a strong rider for

some time. When he was eight, he was doing 30+

miles and he has done some short tours with me over

the past couple of years. While he is a strong stoker,

he prefers the independence of the single. This

year he was eyeing his mother’s bike and thinking he

could ride it. I countered that he was only 12 and still

had some growing to do. With that admonishment, he

threw his leg over the bike and took off, once again,

proving me wrong. So for the rest of the weekend,

he rode his mother’s bike, his mother rode my single

and I was left to happily ride the tandem with my

younger son.

Being on a full size road bike seemed to invigorate

Jonathon. He was out in front on all of the rides,

and asking for more miles. On the Sunday picnic

ride, he and his mother did an extra 12 miles with

an adult group to expand his limits. The time with

Jeremy allowed him to really push himself to see just

what he could do. As some of the other adults, other

than Mom and Dad, started riding with him, they

convinced Jonathon that he needed to try clipless

pedals. So now that is the next item he wants to try.

Surprisingly as a 12 year old, he fits into my size 12

cycling shoes, so clipless pedals are probably not far

away.

One of Jonathon’s other goals has been to captain the

tandem. He did try to get on the front of the tandem

but quickly realized that he was not tall enough to

stand over the top tube on the tandem. Fortunately

for him, there were several folks with Bike Friday tandems.

He quickly talked his way on to a friend’s Bike

Friday. The big question was whether little brother

would get on the back. A month earlier in a friendly

game of touch football Jonathon had broken Jason’s

arm so there was not a lot of trust in the relationship.

After watching Jonathon tool around the parking lot

a couple of times, Jason said “Let’s Go!!” and away

they went. Starting was a little touch and go to begin,

but that is normal as any new tandem team will attest.

Soon they were whizzing around like a veteran team,

which they probably were.

After we rode our Monday morning ride with several

other families on a farm ride with obligatory stops to

see the cattle, we finished packing up and said good

bye to many friends that we only see once a year but

often e-mail or share holiday cards with. For the new

friends that came for the first time, all planned on

coming again next year confirming the family friendly

atmosphere.

For those planning on attending in 2010, the Spring

Fling is held every year over Memorial Day weekend in

Chestertown, MD. Registration generally opens early

January and generally sells out by mid April and it

seems to sell out earlier every year. For more pictures

from this and previous year’s events go to the BBC web

page for the Spring Fling to see the picture galleries.

http://www.baltobikeclub.org/index.pl/kcsf

SINGLETRACK continued from p.22

trail to the ridge. This gets you almost 5 extra miles

of riding on the beautiful ridge trail before joining

the regular route at the top of the fire road climb. If

you’re looking into the longer route, you’d be wise to

leave a car with extra food, water, and supplies or to

use as a shuttle at the end of the final downhill, as this

ride is almost 70 miles and 8-10 hours of riding when

done as a complete loop.

The 19th annual Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival

October 16-18,2009

�New rides for all skill levels from easy family rides to a challenging century

� Enjoy spectacular cycling in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley

�For more information and to register go to: www.shenandoahbike.org

Call 540 416 1267 or Fax 540 885-0269

For ride details, see the IMBA website at http://

tinyurl.com/imbatraverse and make sure to have a

copy of the National Geographic Trails Illustrated

Staunton/Shenandoah Mountain map (#791).

If you’re interested in either route, I’d suggest talking

to the guys at Shenandoah Bicycle Company in

Harrisonburg before you head out. They’re great at

helping with directions and you can pick up a copy of

the Trails Illustrated map.

July 2009

25


DEPARTMENTS

World Naked Bike Day

The signs said “Waterboard SUV’s,” “No dependence

on foreign oil,” and “The Earth is the Lord’s.” But it

was hard to keep to eye on the signs.

This was World Naked Bike Ride day.

About 50 bicycle activists, and what appeared to be an

equal number of supporters, and well, onlookers – all

with cameras – met at Franklin Park at 14th and K St.

in Washington, D.C. Saturday afternoon, June 13, for

the popular fourth annual event.

The ride itself, not a long affair, but a raucous one,

traveled from the park past the Capitol building and in

front of the White House for the annual group photo.

Startled tourists, quickly composed themselves along

the route, snapping unexpected mementos from

graduation and the family trip.

Okay, full disclosure here. In much of Europe, it

is safe to assume (and there is evidence in photos

online) that World Naked Bike Ride day jaunts are

actually genuine birthday suit treks. In D.C., the permitted

rides, simply come very, VERY close. Think,

strategically placed socks for the guys, Red Hot Chili

Peppers-style, and thongs and pasties, for the women.

However, the idea gets across.

As Roger Paul, one of the organizers told SPOKES,

the nudity is designed to draw attention to the

“nakedness” bicycle commuters feel on the road

everyday because of the lack of attention paid by

motorists.

“We share similar frustration in trying to ride bicycles

in a car centered culture,” Paul said.

For better or worse, the Washington, D.C., indecent

exposure law, according to local World Naked Bike

Ride day leaders, has been interpreted to mean that

only one’s sensitive body parts needs to be covered,

permits in hand, the ride has gone along free from

interference from the police.

Chris Baacken, 24, who works for a small non-governmental

agency that works on refugee resettlement,

and Sarah Grignon , 21, a local student, took turns

body painting each other in the park before the ride.

“Well, it sounded like a lot of fun,” said Baacken, who

added she commutes to work by bike. “And it’s a good

way to get bicyclists to get noticed by people who

drive cars. There is not enough respect on the road.”

“Getting doored really stinks,” Baacken added.

J.T. Stinson of the District’s Shaw neighborhood, did

26 July 2009

COMMUTER CONNECTION by RON CASSIE ron_cassie@yahoo.com

not want to mention exactly what he did for a living,

but stressed he was riding in his briefs to promote sustainable

transportation not nudity per se.

“You can see what my sign says, ‘Waterboard SUV’s,”

Stinson said. “I am here to help encourage sustainable

transportation policies. I’m a very strong advocate for

pro-bike, anti-car policies.”

Stinson, in fact, is also a very strong cyclist. He commutes

by bike 110 miles each week to Andrews Air

Force Base.

“Year round, rain or shine,” he said.

Stinson told SPOKES that he’s working on creating a

new D.C., bike coop in Shaw, currently in the beginning

stages, getting together with friends to repair

bikes for free on the weekends.

A little history. The World Naked Bike Ride was

launched in 2004 to help coordinate a large international

bike ride between many different activist groups

across the globe. The world’s first international Naked

Bike Ride in 2004 was between the WBNR group and

Manifestacion Ciclonudista in Spain, where the ride

remains hugely popular in numerous cities.

Prior to 2004, Manifestacion Ciclonudista and Artists

for Peace in Canada, independent organizations,

were organizing similar naked bike rides, with similar

messages of protesting oil and auto dependency. This

year, World Naked Bike Ride day was expected to

attract participants in at least 70 cities in 20 countries.

Everywhere, including D.C., as Paul noted, the dressing

code is “bare as you dare,” and no one is excluded

or chided for wearing clothes, be it bike shorts and

T-shirt, or whatever. Customs, bike decorating, body

painting are encouraged.

The event is basically good-natured fun, albeit with

a serious message. According to its website, WNBR

focuses on promoting cycling because “shifting to a

car-free lifestyle is one of the most powerful things a

person can do to make a real difference in reducing

negative environmental impacts on this planet.”

“Our message to the world is one of simplification,

human harmony and love. For a future to exist for

tomorrow’s generations, we have to stop wasting the

life blood energy of the Earth, stop fighting and killing

in the name of consumerist wealth accumulation

and learn to love and respect all life on this planet,”

said Conrad Schmidt, founder of The Work Less Party

and Artists for Peace and WNBR and organizer for

WNBR Vancouver, B.C.

“We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as

the best way to defending our dignity and exposing

the vulnerability faced by cyclists and pedestrians on

our streets as well as the negative consequences we all

face due to dependence on oil, and other forms of

non-renewable energy,” he explained.

While some may scoff at such radical advocacy,

Stinson believes it effective.

“I think more and more people are biking and

becoming aware of how convenient it is to be a

cyclist,” he said.

Stinson has also witnessed how one relatively small

action can lead others to act.

“I’ve been biking to work for three years and when I

started, I was only one (at my work),” he said. “Then I

got another guy into it. And then another started and

now we have five of us who bike to work every day.

“That’s five cars off the road, the way I look at it.”


�����������this year’s

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It’s Coming Just

Around the Corner!

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�����������������������������

�������������������������������������

������26-27 Columbia, MD

����������������

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Register for updates at ������������������

www.ulmancancerfund.org

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Griffi n Cycle

28 � July 2009

4949 Bethesda Ave.

Bethesda, MD 20814

(301) 656-6188

www.griffi ncycle.com

JULY 5 – DELAWARE DOUBLECROSS

The White Clay Bicycle Club’s popular annual 32 mile

double crossing of the state of Delaware, along with

a 62 mile metric century option. Starts and ends at

Middletown, Del., High School. For details contact

Jeff Phillips at doublecross@whiteclaybicycleclub.org

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

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

Road, Hybrids, Mountain, Kids

Parts & Accessories for All Makes

Trailers & Trikes

Family Owned – In Bethesda for 38 Years

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

AUGUST 8 – CUMBERLAND VALLEY CENTURY

The Cumberland Valley Cycling Club again hosts

this very popular (over 300 riders last year) tours of

Washington County, Md. Rides include a 26, 63 and

100 miler over low traffic roads going over stone

bridges and by green, picturesque farmscapes. Rides

start in Boonsboro, Md., about 1.5 hours from D.C.

and Baltimore. Great food! Portions of the proceeds

go to San Mar Children’s Home (last year over $2,000

was contributed). For details, or to register go to www.

bikecvcc.com

AUGUST 23 – RESTON CENTURY

Starting and finishing at the Reston, Va., Town

Center, this 27th annual tradition offers rides of 34,

65 and 103 miles. Fully supported by the Reston

Bicycle Club complete with a post ride party. For

details log onto www.restonbikeclub.org or email

info@restonbikeclub.org

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.

Ride with Professional Cyclist, Floyd Landis!

Save-A-Limb Ride

Metric Century – 30 Mile – 6 Mile Family Fun Ride

Benefits the

Save-A-Limb Foundation

Register Online Today!

www.savealimbride.org

Sunday – September 13, 2009 – 8:00am – 2:00pm

Oregon Ridge Park – Hunt Valley, MD

Picnic, Fitness Fair, Kid’s Carnival & Fun

SEPTEMBER 5-6 – SEVEN SPRINGS 24 HOUR

CHALLENGE

In its 10th year, the Subaru 24-Hour Champion

Challenge combines recreational fun and a challenging

adventure, while creating good-natured competition

for teams of friends, co-workers and individual

racers who compete for prizes and glory. The goal is

to complete as many laps as possible on the 12-mile

Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Pa., course in 24

hours. Competitors can race as a part of team or on

their own. The race begins at 12 p.m., Sat., Sept. 5,

and ends at 12 p.m., Sun., Sept. 6. Endurance, teamwork

and the ability to have fun are required! For

more information and to register call (866) 703-7625

or visit www.7springs.com.

SEPTEMBER 11-13 – TOUR DE CANAL

Since its inception in 1997, this event has raised more

than $1.5 million to fund promising research and

services for those who suffer from Alzheimers. This

series of very popular rides, ranges from a challenging

but fully supported two day tour of the entire 184

mile C&O Canal beginning in Cumberland, Md., and

ending in Washington, D.C., to a 100 mile route over

the same two days, to a one day 20 mile memory ride.

Here’s your chance to do the canal with support. For

details log onto www.alz.org/nca or call (800) 728-

9255, or (703) 359-4440.

SEPTEMBER 12 – AMISH COUNTRY BIKE TOUR

Tour the bucolic farmlands of Delaware’s flat Amish

countryside in this popular 23rd annual event. Nearly

1,400 riders participate in this tour. Loops range

from 15 to 100 miles. Food & entertainment. “Surf

& Turf” packages available for the entire weekend!

Friday night kayak tour. Funds go to prostate cancer

research. Kent County Tourism (800) 233-5368; or

register at www.visitdover.com Ask for free bicycling

map of the area.

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

SEPTEMBER 13 – SAVE-A-LIMB RIDE

Friends and supporters along with doctors and

patients of The Rubin Institute for Advanced

Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore are clip-


Great Gear For Cyclists...

ping into their pedals for this third annual event and

fund raiser to benefit the Save-A-Limb Fund. In addition

to bike rides (ranging from 6 to 60 miles), runs

and hikes, former Tour de France racer Bob Roll and

Tour de France veteran Floyd Landis will be on hand

to talk with participants. For details log onto www.

savealimbride.org or call (410) 601-2483

SEPTEMBER 13 – SOUTHERN MARYLAND CENTURY

The Indian Head 100 has routes of 16, 30, 63, and

100 miles through the scenic Potomac Heritage Area

of Southern Maryland. Register and go 7-9 a.m. from

the Village Green in the Town of Indian Head, 20

miles south of the Washington Beltway. Fully supported

by the Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club. For

details, visit www.ohbike.org or call (301) 567-0089.

SEPTEMBER 19 - AMISH 100

Enjoy the quiet rural charm of St. Mary’s and Charles

County. Steeped in history and culture, the Amish area

of Southern Maryland is laced with quiet country roads

made for cycling. Donations support the Three Notch

Trail. Ride day registration is from 7 - 9 a.m. Visit www.

paxvelo.com or email riderunrow@yahoo.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

Dual Action

Knee Strap

Patented strap takes pain

relief from knee degeneration

and overuse syndromes to

a higher level. Provides

increased support and

stability. Sizes: Sm-XL

1-800-221-1601 • www.cho-pat.com

Lutherville Bike Shop will lead a weekly road bike

ride, leaving from the shop Mondays at 6 p.m.

Proper riding attire required. Averaging 16 mph.

Approximately 30 miles A scenic road ride 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 5:30 p.m. for a 25 mile +/- ride. No one

will be dropped. Beginning May 1 the ride time will

change to 6 p.m. 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.

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

COLUMBIA TUESDAY ROAD & IRONGIRL RIDES

Spirited Tuesday evening road rides, 25.5 miles (or 18

T O

U

R

D

E

C A

N

A

L

for Iron Girl Triathlon participants) from the parking

lot of Princeton Sports, 10730 Little Patuxent

Parkway, Columbia, Md. Ride is same as that used in the

Columbia Triathlon (25.5 mile) or IronGirl competition

(18 miles). Weather permitting. Call (410) 995-1894 or

email ttomczak@princetonsports.com for details.

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.

SEPTEMBER 11 - 13, 2009

Choose from 3 rides:

184 miles ~ 100 miles

20 mile memory ride

Get Involved!

alz.org/nca

800-728-9255 • 703-359-4440


COLUMNS

...a look at women’s cycling issues in the

mid-Atlantic

We Can Do It!

Congratulations to all of us mountain biking women

who have conquered the trails, raced the races, and

own bikes that match our counterpart mountain biking

men! We deserve a big pat on the back!

These days there is no doubt that women are a part

of the mountain biking scene. Not only are there

numerous organized women’s rides and clinics; such

as the Maryland “Girlie Rides” and the “Ride Like a

Girl Rides,” but women riders can be seen taking over

the parking lots at trail heads on most weekends and

turning out in large numbers at the local XC and off

road adventure races. We also grace the covers of the

most popular cycling magazines, decked out in the

most fashionable mountain bike apparel, while riding

some of the hottest XC bikes on the market. Way to

go Girls!

However, while we have made our mark on the sport

as legitimate riders we are slightly behind in giving a

helping hand when it comes to building and maintaining

the trails that we have come to love. The Mid

Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) maintain and

build hundreds of miles of trails in Maryland, DC,

and Virginia. MORE is the local nonprofit mountain

biking club that organizes hundreds of rides throughout

the year as well as advocates for new trails while

building on and maintaining the current single track

we ride.

MORE schedules annual fall and spring trail work

days at every park it maintains, which adds up to

30 July 2009

SPOKESWOMEN by ANNE MADER

more than 3000 volunteer hours a year. However, only

about 10-15% of those hours are put in by women. So,

while there are many women out there who are definitely

giving back (some give a tremendous amount),

there are still some who need to get a shovel and get

out there. Anyone who rides the trails should take

a little time each year to give back, and we are not

the exception. Trail work can be a great way to meet

other riders. It can also be a great family event- bring

the kids and teach them that trails don’t just appear.

Hours and

hours of volunteer

service go

into every trail

you ride.

So, while we

are in the heart

of the summer;

ride, ride,

ride! But when

it starts to get

cooler, check

out MORE’s

fall and spring

trail work calendar

on their

website at www.

more-mtb.org

and give back

to the trails you

ride this summer.

Let’s show

those guys what

we can do!

Speaking of

giving back,

have you ridden

the trails at

Fountainhead

Park lately? If

you have, you

may be aware

that the trails

are in dire

shape and in

need of some

TLC! MORE

has been maintaining Fountainhead for over ten

years.

This amazing trail system is a mountain biking gem

in Fairfax County however, due to an increase in

ridership and the way the trails are built these trails

are becoming increasingly unsustainable. As a result,

MORE and the Northern Virginia Regional Park

Authority hired IMBA Trail Solutions to create a trail

plan that will help rehabilitate the trails and build a

sustainable trail system.

The rehabilitated trail system will provide a more

diverse trail for beginners to advanced riders. The

plan suggests a stacked loop system with skills areas

and an increase in mileage from seven miles to 12-

15 miles. A stacked looped system is very unique and

provides an opportunity to create levels of difficulty

the further one gets into the trail. As a result, the

trails can have increasingly more difficult trail sections

because riders will have trail options depending

of their skill level. This also increases educational

opportunities along the trail- so those of us who need

to learn certain skills will have the opportunity to

learn these skills before moving on to the next trail

section.

Trail features and armoring will also create a trail system

with unique features that enhance sustainability

while providing an amazing riding experience for all

mountain bikers. MORE and the park are very excited

to get this project underway. A website has been specifically

set up for this project at www.fountianhead

project.org.

The Fountainhead Project is a huge undertaking for

a small nonprofit like MORE. Not only does MORE

want to create a more sustainable trail system the

club also wants to maintain the challenging legacy

of the Fountainhead trails. As a result, the price tag

for this project

is larger than

many other

trail building

projects.

Fundraising has

been underway

for the

Fountainhead

Project for a

couple of years

and it will take

a few large

fundraising

efforts to complete

the entire

project.

However,

thanks to the

generous contributions

of

trail users and

funding from

Trek Bicycles,

REI, and Team

IMBA/SRAM;

the first

phase of the

Fountainhead

Project will be

underway this

fall!

MORE hopes

to use the first

phase of the

project to showcase

what can

be done at Fountainhead to create sustainable, fun,

and challenging trails.

However, the Fountainhead Project will only be successful

if volunteers step up the plate. This is where

WE can make a difference! It just so happens, that

Rosie the Riveter is helping to get the word out about

the Fountainhead Project. So it is only appropriate to

use this opportunity to call women riders into action!

MORE will need all of the volunteers it can get to

help out with this project.

Volunteers will be needed to haul, shovel, lope, and

cut new trail. A little muscle power is important, (not

a problem for us women mountain bikers) while trail

building knowledge is not necessary. By volunteering

you will be adding to the legacy of mountain biking

while giving back to the trails you love. You will also

gain an appreciation of what it takes to build and

maintain the trails you and thousands of others ride.

Keep an eye out on the Fountainhead Project website

for trail work dates, or sign up for updates on the site.

If you can’t make the Fountainhead trail work days

check out the MORE trail work calendar for other

options. We can do it!


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