April 2008 - Spokes Magazine


April 2008 - Spokes Magazine

Serving Cyclists in the Mid-Atlantic States APRIL 2008


BY Bike



Photo by Karen Kim


of the finest places to live in the world if you love the

outdoors. Great place to bike too, if you can locate a

bike to ride (but more on that in a moment).

I was on a work trip, and happened upon Seattle’s

huge bike expo held inside a pier along the magnificent

Puget Sound waterfront. Thousands of visitors

to the expo had opportunities to hear and learn from

sponsors of numerous local cycling events, as well as

examine the latest and greatest products from local

bike shops and vendors. I even met my counterpart,

the publishers of the 37-year-old The Bicycle Paper,

the longest running regional cycling tabloid in the

country. (If I may boast for a moment, their current

issue was 20 pages long, while the March issue of

Spokes I handed them was 40 pages long!).

For a couple of days I was able to marvel over the

sights, sounds and smells (i.e. fishy bouquet) of

Seattle. As much as I could easily live there, the maddening

traffic, the very steep hills of the inner city,

and the persistent rain (literally sunny one moment,

sprinkles the next, followed by a heavy downpour)

made me long for home.

But, I needed to try and ride their magnificent trails.

So I began calling bike shops to rent one for a couple

of hours. They don’t rent bikes there this time of



Westminster, MD

Save the date: APRIL 26, 2008

Get those bikes and

cycling legs in shape

& enjoy the beautiful

Carroll County countryside!!

year, I found out. Some shops won’t rent at all. Just

great! So Seattle is supposedly a wonderful place to

be a cyclist. Maybe next time, I’ll bring my own bike,

and I’ll be able to report back to you.

Speaking of rain, I know my miles are way off this

year and I am longing for some spring time sun and

warmth to soothe my bike legs.

In years past I’ve made a point of seeing the cherry

blossoms in the nation’s capital by foot or bike. This

issue’s cover story has some wonderful tips (and

recent additions) to make viewing the blossoms by

bike more doable than ever before.

If you happen to see a man and a woman captaining

tandems with a seven year old girl and five year old

boy on back, make a point of saying “hi.” We’ll be out

there with all the other tourists. It’s a mid-Atlantic tradition

we love, and if you’ve never done it, grab your

bikes, read this month’s story, and then brave the

crowds... I promise you won’t regret it!

Happy Trails,

Neil Sandler

Editor & Publisher

Show and Go – 8am to 10am

Lunch (included) – 11:30am to 3pm

Bike Route Options:

Metric Century

36 miles

family/novice rally (8 mile) rides.

Radio sag and sweep on all routes until 12 noon.

Rest stops, maps, cue sheets.

Plenty of free parking and nearby motels.

Easy location at Dutterer’s Family Park in Westminster, MD

(just off Rt.140; 25 miles W of Baltimore, 20 miles E of Frederick).

$25.00 Registration includes:



30 day pass to Westminster

Family Center, full service

gym. ($55 value)




Entry into drawing for door

prizes (totaling $1,000.00).

Winners posted at Noon.

50/50 Cash Drawing.

Drawing at Noon.

To register and for further information go to or call:

www.active.com or www.tourdecarroll.com

Call 410-848-2433 ext. 221

Check at your local bike shop. Same day.

100% of the funds raised directly

benefit West End Place Adult Day Services

(Carroll County’s only private, non-profit

service for low income seniors).



Blossoming of the cherry trees serves as the beginning of

the bike riding season for many.

page 6

Touring • Racing • Off-Road

Recreation • Triathlon • Commuting

SPOKES is published monthly eight times a year — monthly March

through September, plus one winter issue. It is available free of charge at

most area bicycle stores, fitness centers and related sporting establishments

throughout Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and parts

of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia.

Circulation: 30,000. Copyright© 2008 SPOKES.

All rights reserved. No reprinting without the publisher’s written permission.

Opinions expressed and facts presented are attributed to the respective

authors and not SPOKES. Editorial and photographic submissions are

welcome. Material can only be returned if it is accompanied by a selfaddressed,

stamped envelope. The publisher reserves the right to refuse

any advertising which may be inappropriate to the magazine’s purpose.

Editorial and Advertising Office:


5911 Jefferson Boulevard

Frederick, MD 21703

Phone/Fax: (301) 371-5309

e-mail: spokesmag@comcast.net

APRIL 2008


Neil W. Sandler


Sonja P. Sandler


Studio 22


Don’t Miss an Issue!

Subscribe to

Name ___________________________________

Address _________________________________

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Send check or money order

payable to:


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8 issues

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April 2008


★ ★ ★ ★ �����������������������

Meet the challenge of cycling

through Central Florida’s

Polk County. At the highest

elevation on the Florida

peninsula, Polk County greets

you with open, rolling

hillside roads. Attack our

off-road trails or pedal along

one of our country roads

lined with orange groves,

and take in the scent of

orange blossoms.

Our rich, natural setting

is enhanced by more than

554 shimmering lakes,

picturesque towns, charming

bed and breakfast inns,

cyclist-friendly hotels and

much more. During your stay,

enjoy our great dining,

antique shops, exciting water

sports, Major League Baseball

Spring Training and over

500 holes of golf.

Ask for your free Cycling

Information Kit by calling

800-828-7655, ext. SP4.

Then get set for the ride of

a lifetime in Central Florida’s

Polk County.

600 N. Broadway, Suite 300 • Bartow, FL 33830 • 800-828-7655, ext. SP4 • FAX 863-534-0886

Touring Ride In Rural Indiana®

Overnights in state parks

Catered breakfasts & dinners

TRIRI® 2008:

June 22-28 • New Route

in South Central Indiana


July 7-12

Five century rides

over five days preceding

RAIN - Ride Across Indiana


September 14-19 • Central Indiana

www.triri.org (812) 333-8176


active cyclists will read your ad here!




29th annual BRAG RIDE

Join BRAG 2008, June 7–14, from Atlanta to St. Simons Island

1600 Riders • Street Dances • Ice Cream Social

End-Of-The-Road Meal • Great fun for Families

60 Miles Average per Day • Hammerhead Options

Layover Day • Rest Stops Every 10 – 15 Miles

For more information, visit www.brag.org,

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

Other 2008 Rides:

• Spring Tune-Up Ride, Madison, GA,

April 18-20

• SummerRide, Jasper, GA,

August 9-10

• Bike Atlanta, Downtown Atlanta,


• Georgia BikeFest, October

Save the date in 2008


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Miller Senate Offi ce Building, Annapolis, MD

Come meet you legislators and hear from national and local experts on issues

of importance to pedestrians and bicyclists. For additional information contact

Richard Chambers at 410-235-3678 or rchambers@onelesscar.org


Friday - Sunday, July 25 - 27, 2008

Mount St. Mary’s College, Emmitsburg, MD

Join us in celebrating the 20th year of Cycle Across Maryland with three days of

cycling in Western Maryland


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore’s largest recreational bike ride is back with great tours around the

city’s Inner Harbor and historic waterfront neighborhoods

All event proceeds support One Less Car’s advocacy for better cycling,

walking and sustainable transportation. Learn more at www.onelesscar.org.

6 April 2008


EVERYONE KNOWS WASHINGTON, D.C., in the springtime

is lovely. Everyone. And that’s the problem.

Each year throngs of tourists pack the Tidal Basin and

Mall for a glimpse of those petal-producing trees. But

should locals simply resign themselves to getting their

blossom fix from the breaking “bud watch” reports on

the local news?

As much as locals disdain the rapid influx of tourists,

and the way they always seem to be standing on the

left of Metro escalators, the tourists snap us back into

realizing our good fortune. If ever there was a reason

not to be jaded about what D.C. has to offer, the sublime

beauty of the cherry blossom trees is it.

But locals (who, thanks to ever-expanding urban

sprawl reside anywhere from D.C. and out to

Loudoun and Frederick counties) know a thing or

two about avoiding the cringe-inducing crowds cherry

blossom season brings.

“Driving the Tidal Basin is madness! Absolute insanity!”

rants one Silver Spring resident. “Why drive when

you could bike?”

Indeed, the best way to enjoy the blossoms is to avoid

driving downtown all-together.

“With all the bike routes available, there’s no reason

not to bike downtown; it’s the best alternative to

driving,” echoes Henry Mesias, program assistant for

WABA (Washington Area Bicyclist Association).

Because WABA believes, as Mesias notes, “having a

safe and convenient place to park your bike can really

make a difference,” WABA will once again be offering

their free bike valet program on weekends during

the Cherry Blossom Festival (March 29-April 13). This

year, the bike valet will have two locations: the south

side of the Jefferson Memorial grounds and the southwest

corner of Independence Avenue and 15th Street

(near the Washington Monument). Hours of operation

are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays.

At either of these locations you simply drop off your

bike and pick it up whenever you’re ready to leave.

So yes, if you want to bike into town, you can unload

your bike, walk around the Tidal Basin, have a picnic,

go to a museum, heck, even see an IMAX movie, all

the while knowing your bike is safe and secure.

If you’re towing a trailer or using a longer bike such

as a tandem or recumbent, Mesias adds that the valet

Photo: Washington Area Bicyclist Association

areas will have space for these. The valet areas will

be open for use during the entire festival, but only

staffed on the weekends.

Along with the bike valet areas, bike parking racks are

available along the Mall, by the Lincoln and Jefferson

Memorials, and the Smithsonian. Additionally, temporary

bike racks have been set up at the following locations:

the National Building Museum (401 F Street,

NW), the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H

Street, NE), and the corner of 12th and Pennsylvania

Avenue, NW. Not staffed, you will need to bring a

lock, but these also offer the convenience of parking

your bike.

Stumped how to get in to town? Ellen Jones, Director

of Transportation for the Downtown Business

Improvement District (and former WABA executive

director), says “People really need to think about

their transit plan and have a strategy; the worst thing

would be to do it on a whim.”

No matter where you live, there’s always the option of

biking (or driving) to your nearest Metro stop and taking

the train. Metro allows bicycle riders to bring their

bikes on Metrorail cars anytime during the weekends

and during off peak weekday hours. Riders with bikes

must enter the rail cars from the end set of doors.

The closest Metrorail station to the Tidal Basin is the

Smithsonian (on the Blue & Orange lines), but dur-

BY Bike



Photo: Bike & Roll Washington, D.C.

ing the peak blooming period of March 27 – April 3,

and during the entire Festival, you should plan for

this station to be overly congested. Jones advises, “To

avoid a less than optimal transit experience, people

should consider the L’Enfant Plaza station (on the

Blue, Green, Orange & Yellow lines) as an alternate.”

She adds, “Taking a bike to the Smithsonian stop

on weekends in the peak bloom period would really

be questionable judgment” and notes that going to

L’Enfant Plaza adds less than a half-mile walk/ride

and avoids many of the headaches associated with the

Smithsonian stop.

At either of these locations you’ll be just minutes

away from the heart of the action and can easily bike

around town or over to one of the bike valet areas or

racks. Jones adds, “Once you have your bike downtown,

the city is very bikeable.” While city traffic won’t

move as fast as it does in the suburbs, “people need to

be cognizant of opening car doors and jaywalkers.”

If you’re feeling more adventurous, WABA can also

help determine a safe biking route into the city, no

matter where you’re coming from. Their website,

www.waba.org, offers area maps to buy or download.

The official website of the National Cherry Blossom

Festival (www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org) also

offers the Bicycling Information Map (displayed with

this article), which shows routes into and through

town, along with the bike parking areas. Their FAQs

section also gives specific biking/walking directions

from Metrorail stations.

Though not shown on this map, a great way to get

into town, especially for families, would be to take

the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT), which starts in

Bethesda. While this paved trail can be crowded, the

safety for children is in knowing you won’t encounter

any cars on it. According to WABA’s Mesias, “you

would take the Capital Crescent; follow it as it turns

into the C&O Canal Towpath. Hang a right onto the

Rock Creek Park Trail and then exit the Rock Creek

Park Trail at the Lincoln Memorial and you are on

the Mall.”

It’s worth noting that the CCT trailhead is in the

heart of Bethesda on Bethesda Avenue, has many

parking lots nearby, is Metro accessible, and is easily

reached by the connecting Georgetown Branch Trail.

For a trail map visit www.cctrail.org.

Do be aware that though this is a rail trail with a

small grade along the entirety (and only one hill in

the form of an overpass), the trip into town is slightly

downhill, making the return trip up an ever-so-slight

incline. Little legs can make it just fine, but allow

extra time on the way back for a stop or two.

If you’re not sure your youngster can make it the

whole length, consider parking in one of the neighborhoods

along the trail and join the route closer into

town. One option might be to park along MacArthur

Boulevard, NW, near Norton Street (Loughboro

Road is on the other side); bike along Norton Street;

once this short road ends, there is a dirt trail off to

the right, running behind the Dalecarlia Reservoir

facility, which quickly leads down to the CCT. It will

put you on the trail just one mile from the trail’s end

and another two miles from your actual destination.

Again, the trail map online will help you plan your

starting point.

Another option, from the Virginia side, is to take the

Custis Trail, which intersects the WO&D trail at almost

exactly the 4.0 mile marker. This trail follows along I-66

and takes you into Rosslyn, at which point you can go

left, crossing the Key Bridge and head into Georgetown

or continue straight onto the Mt. Vernon Trail towards

Arlington National Cemetery. If you cross the Key

Bridge you may want to hop onto the C&O Canal

(access it immediately after crossing the Key Bridge-

Photo: Washington Area Bicyclist Association

you’ll loop down and need to carry your bike down

some stairs) or if you picked up the Mt. Vernon Trail,

you can take Memorial Bridge over to the memorials.

Another good resource showing these trails and others

can be found at www.bikewashington.org.

Once you’re set on getting into town you’ll need a

plan. Just because you’re avoiding the drive doesn’t

mean you’re avoiding the crowds; having a plan, no

matter how minimal, will curb your crowd frustration.

Whether you park your bike or decide to navigate the

area, consider any of the following:

Park your bike at the 15th Street bike valet, walk

up to Independence Avenue and hop on the DC

Circulator bus to grab a bite to eat at the muchlauded

café in the National Museum of the American

Indian (or visit any of the other museums). The

Circulator bus runs on the weekends from 10 a.m.

to 6 p.m. and can be picked up at many points along

Constitution and Independence Avenues. (www.dc


A good option if you don’t want to park your bike is

the National Park Service ranger-led bike tours. These

free tours start at the Jefferson Memorial at 1 p.m.

during all weekends of the Festival.

View the annual Cherry Blossom Regatta from East

Potomac Park on April 5, noon – 5 p.m. View WABA’s

area bike maps, or the Bicycling Information map to

plan your route there.

Witness the Lantern Lighting Ceremony at the Tidal

Basin in April 6, 2:30-4 p.m.

Everybody loves a parade! The annual Cherry

Blossom Festival Parade will be April 12, 10 a.m. –

noon. It runs along Constitution Avenue from 7th to

17th Streets. Go early, park your bike and stake out a

space along the parade route. Afterwards, bike down

to East Potomac Park to see that Park’s usually laterblooming

trees. Want to leave your bike at the valet?

Get yourself to the free parking shuttle pickup/dropoff

point by the Jefferson Memorial and let the shuttle

take you to Hains Point. Hop back on at any of the

shuttle’s stops to return.

Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival—after the

parade, the Japan-America Society presents the

nation’s largest Japanese street festival, stretching for

six blocks through downtown DC. Takes place April

12, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue between

14th & 10th Streets.

While these events are fun for you and your biking

buddies, they also lend themselves to quality family

time. But not everyone in your family has a bike, so

what to do? You can rent adult or kids bikes from

many area bike shops. Or you can rent from Bike

the Sites (www.bikethesites.com), located at The

Old Post Office Pavilion (12th Street, NW, between

Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenue; Federal

Triangle Metro). Rentals for adult bikes are a minimum

$15, maximum $35 per day while children’s

bikes rent for $10, up to $25 per day.

If you don’t want to navigate on your own, sign up

for one of their Blossoms by Bike tours. This 5-6 mile,

two-hour ride bikes to the Tidal Basin, East Potomac

Park and beyond.

Stuart Naranch, Marketing Manager for Bike & Roll

Washington, D.C. says, “The guides have different

routes depending on the crowds” and if needed the

tour guides will have participants walk their bikes

through congested areas. The regular price of the

tour $32 (adults) and $22 (child) is reduced by $5

if you show up with your own bike—making it an

ideal way to share an outing with friends who haven’t

brought their bikes out of storage.

If you simply want to see the blossoms and not partake

in any festival activities, it’s well known among

bikers familiar with the area that East Potomac Park

and Hains Point tend to be free of the pedestrian con-

Photo: Bike & Roll Washington, D.C.

BLOSSOMS continued on p.8

April 2008


BLOSSOMS continued from p.7

gestion which plagues the Tidal Basin. Though sadly,

the Awakening sculpture has been recently removed,

the 3.3 mile circuit is usually remarkably less crowded

than the Tidal Basin. This may change, however, as

the National Park Service and Festival organizers promote

motorist parking in this area by offering a free

shuttle service to the Jefferson Memorial.

Still, while the Tidal Basin in mobbed, East Potomac

Park should be an equal draw with its nearly 1,700

trees. And if you’re visiting the blossoms a bit after

the predicted peak, you’ll be pleased to know that

the deeper pink double-blossomed Kwanzan trees

which dominate this area, peak a little later than the

Yoshinos, the majority of which surround the Basin.


If you’re short on time or can’t be persuaded by the planned

festivities and the picture-perfect photo opportunities a visit to

the Mall would bring, many local neighborhoods offer a tamer

cherry blossom experience.

Since trees bloom a little later in the suburbs as well, you don’t

have to miss out on the blossoms-by-bike experience if you

need slightly warmer temps to be coaxed to ride. But remember,

while the cars may be going slowly, it’s because they’re

looking up at the trees, not necessarily for you.

Kenwood neighborhood in Bethesda—this not-so-secret gem is

located right off of the Capital Crescent Trail (barely a mile after

the trail starts in Bethesda; turn off on Dorset Avenue which

crosses the path). Biking up and down the tree-lined streets will

leave you understanding why this is a favorite for many locals.

Be sure to pull your bike over and buy some lemonade and

A-1 Cycling



Mon - Sat 10am-9pm

Sun 12pm-6pm


Clock Tower Shopping Center

2451-13 Centreville Rd.

(703) 793-0400

8 April 2008


Next to Best Buy

7705 Sudley Rd.

(703) 361-6101


Photo: Bob Bloomfield

No matter your approach, while setting out on your

quest of sakura hanami, the tradition of blossom

viewing, remember that the cherry blossoms are not

only harbingers of Spring, their fleeting beauty also

cookies from some of the neighborhoods enterprising kids. You

can also join fellow bike enthusiasts on the Potomac Pedalers

popular Tenley ride (Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., April – September)

who ride their 10-mile Cherry Blossom Special route during the

first few weeks in April (www.bikepptc.org).

Foxhall Village—west of Georgetown at Foxhall and Reservoir

Roads, the story-book Tudor-style houses are made all the

more enchanting by bursts of cherry trees throughout the


Stanton Park on Capitol Hill—off the beaten path in northeast

Washington at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and

Massachusetts Avenue, you’ll find mostly neighborhood children

and dog walkers beneath the cherry tree canopy.

Birdsong Lane near Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg—

perhaps not a bike destination unless you’re local, but a quick

Bicycles & Equipment for the Whole Family!


A-1 is a family-run business focusing on quality and service. Our staff is trained

to superior standards to create a bicycle enthusiast's dependable source.


reflects the fleeting nature of perfection...the perfection

of the day will pass, but so to will any perfect

plans that fell short.

drive down this dead-end street would make for a nice detour

during your commute or weekend errands.

Sligo Creek Park in Silver Spring—meander along the parkway,

parts of which are closed to car traffic on the weekends.

Watts Branch Parkway & College Gardens in Rockville—if you

find yourself by Montgomery College, Rockville campus, take a

ride down College Parkway, or a little further south, but still in

the vicinity, try Watts Branch by Woottons Mill Park.

Cherrydale in Arlington—take the Custis Trail to North Quincy

Street; Cherrydale will be immediately before you hit Lee


Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna—Close to the Dulles

Toll Road and Beulah Road, this may prove a little more difficult

to get to by bike, but well worth the visit.

We stock products from:









Photo: Bike & Roll Washington, D.C.




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D C R e g i o n ’ s N e w S i g n a t u r e E v e n t



The U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic participants will ride on a

12.5 kilometer circuit in and around CRYSTAL CITY that will

challenge them for up to 8 laps or 100km. Following this

amateur ride, the nation's top pros will compete on the same

course. Come out to ride, compete or just to cheer!


Crystal Ride: A challenging participatory

amateur ride in and around Crystal City

Service Academy Races: Bragging rights up for grabs

Men’s Pro Circuit Race: Feature event will showcase

US and International pro teams

Kids Races: Kids 9 and under get the

spotlight in Crystal City

Support the

Raisin Hope Fund



heard from me I had just gotten back from Health

Net presented by Maxxis Team training camp with

two duffle bags full of gear and high hopes for the

season. I was in Tucson then and still am as I write

this now. I still have the gear and the high hopes and

exactly nothing else has changed. I haven’t raced. I

haven’t left Tucson and I haven’t done my taxes.

I went to camp with the thought that I might be

picked to race the Tour of California but the fact is

the team had already been chosen. A lot of my friends

back home in DC think “Hey you’re a pro. You’re

good. What do you mean you’re not racing?” It comes

down to this; there are 12 guys on Health Net-Maxxis

and only eight spots for the California team so some

guys have to stay at home.

The management considers the strengths and weaknesses

of each guy and picks the team that will race

best against the competition at that race and the terrain

there. So you won’t see a climber like me doing

very many crits and you won’t see some of the crit

specialists doing the long hilly races at altitude. It’s

really very simple. And as much as I would have liked

to race in California I believe we did have a great

team there. To prove my point look at what myself

and most other observers consider the most exciting

day of racing, the final stage. On yet another rainy

day there was a five man break up the road including

George Hincapie from High Road and my teammate

Rory Sutherland. Rory who was already wearing the

Most Aggressive Rider Jersey from the day before was

only just beat by George in a sprint for the line but it

was still an amazing finish for our team. Rory was my

THE ROOKIE +1 by MATT COOKE youvebeencooked@yahoo.com

roommate at camp and to see him battling with the

ProTour riders fired me up for a few days.

Although Redlands is getting closer I still have yet to

race and in a way it makes me miss the opportunity to

race every weekend like in DC. In the winter we had

Tradezone every weekend and then as of the Jeff Cup

it seemed like there was a race every week.

I actually have a pretty funny story about me in Jeff

Cup. I am always the first to make fun of myself and

now that I am pro I am even more likely to tell about

my follies as an amateur, of which there were many by

the way. I think it was in 2004 when I was still a triathlete

but I was doing Jeff Cup for training. I was in the

Pro1/2/3 field I believe and halfway through the race

I had to take a natural break very badly. Some guys

can go off the bike and it makes a huge difference if

you can do that in a four plus hour race rather than

stopping. But at the time I couldn’t do this. So when

the field seemed to be slowing down I stopped at the

side of the road, relieved myself and then started a

chase that had no end. After a lap of riding in vain

I rode back to my car with my tail between my legs,

packed up and got outta there before anyone could

come back and ask me what happened. To date, that

was one of my least pro moments.

I have exactly four more days before I move to

Boulder for the season and I aim to soak up as much

of Tucson as possible in that time. Before I leave I’ll

do the Saturday morning Shootout and climb the 27

mile Mt. Lemmon one last time. I’m going to miss the

constant 70 plus degree weather but it’s time for me

to get the season started.


Wish me luck and email any questions you think I

might be able to answer. See you on the roads and

don’t forget to wave.


Matt Cooke, 28, of Washington, D.C., upset the nation’s elite

road racing hierarchy, July 8, 2006, by winning the 176-mile

national championship road race in Seven Springs, Pa.

He rode as an amateur member of the LSV/Kelly Benefit

Strategies team in Baltimore, but last year he became

a pro racer. After his team Navigators Pro Cycling Team

folded, Matt signed on to race for Health Net-Maxxis in

2008. Matt will continue to educate and entertain SPOKES

readers each month with his description of life on the

road. Matt would love to hear from you, email him at




and become a

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(301) 424-0990


April 2008




trolley and a wife who shocked him with demands

for a divorce, Jeff Schalk of Harrisonburg, Va., might

never have become one of the nation’s up and coming

professional mountain bike racers.

And if the 34-year-old architectural engineer hadn’t

chucked that career for one in cycling, Tour de

France’s dethroned 2006 champion Floyd Landis

might have actually won last year’s Shenandoah

100 mountain bike race in the mountains near

Harrisonburg, instead of coming in second after

Schalk, who set a course record in winning.

But the former college rowing champion did get

smashed by a trolley while riding his bike from a job

site to his office in San Francisco four years ago, and

although his bike and helmet were destroyed, he was

lucky. He “only” suffered two separated shoulders, a

gash in his shin that required stitches and a mild concussion.

Fortunately, for Schalk, the time he spent in the hospital

enabled him to ponder his life at the ripe old

age of 30, and helped him make some strategic life


“You know how life always looks greener on the other

side? Well, I had it made. I was living the yuppie

life, but it’s not what I wanted. At least not after the

divorce hit me,” the 6’1, 160 pound Trek East Coast

factory team pro confided in SPOKES.

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Schalk

studied engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo,

where he was a member of the West Coast champion

lightweight four man rowing squad.

After graduating in 1998, he joined some fellow rowers

who were recreational mountain bikers.

“We didn’t race. I figured my competitive athletic

career was over when I graduated at the age of 22,” he

recalls. Two years later he married his college sweetheart,

also an engineering graduate, and they worked

as engineers and bought a fixer upper in trendy

Marin County across the Golden Gate Bridge from

San Francisco.

“Two years into our marriage my wife came to me and

said she didn’t want to be married anymore. For me,

it was totally out of the blue. I thought we had the

ultimate yuppie life.”

They divorced, sold their home, and Schalk moved

into San Francisco, where he continued to work as

an engineer. He continued riding with friends and

commuting to work by bike. By now, he’d gotten into

racing, albeit very gradually. But his athletic skills took

hold and he quickly rose through the amateur ranks.

“I really didn’t think I had much of a chance at a

professional career in sports since I wasn’t into basketball,

baseball or football,” he recalled. But once again,

Schalk was broadsided. This time by a trolley. Or

more accurately, Schalk broadsided the trolley.

The front wheel of his road bike got caught in a trolley

track and Schalk vaulted across the roadway into

the path of an oncoming trolley. “I hit the trolley,

rebounded into traffic, and I hit the car of an undercover

cop before I landed on the pavement.

“People were gathered all around me. I was nauseous

and felt awful.” His examination of his life began during

the ambulance ride to the hospital and continued

during his hospital stay.

“That’s when I decided to pursue my dream of living

the life of a professional athlete, and to try and make

it as a pro mountain bike racer. I decided I would live

on the nest egg I’d gotten from the sale of our house.

I figured, worse case scenario, even if I got no spon-

12 April 2008

sorships I could race for two years while living off the

money I made from selling the house.”

For the next year, Schalk kept working in San

Francisco and he raced as a semi-pro. During this

year, he became very encouraged by winning both

the California state series and national mountain bike


“Everything went perfectly. At the same time, my

girlfriend (who was earning her doctorate degree

from UC San Francisco) got a job offer from NIH

(National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.). I



That's Jeff Schalk on the right.

decided it was time to quit my job and follow her to

the East Coast.”

Having never so much as visited the mid-Atlantic

area, Schalk packed his bags and he and his girlfriend

moved into an apartment in D.C.’s Dupont Circle


“It was a complete bold adventure. I had no idea what

riding here was like, and even less of an idea what racing

here was like. D.C. seemed to be a nice city to live

in and had lots of nearby parks to ride in. I also knew

that (Trek pro mountain bike racers) Chris Eatough

(seven time 24-hour national solo racing champion)

was based in Baltimore, and Jeremiah Bishop (one

of America’s top cross country pros) was based in

Harrisonburg. So, I knew it was doable.”

A year earlier, at Schalk’s first pro race at the

Mammoth ski resort in California, Schalk had introduced

himself to Bishop and picked the veteran pro’s

brain about the life of a pro mountain biker.

“I don’t know if he thought I was serious, but when

I got out here I contacted him right away. Jeremiah

agreed to meet me for a ride. We went out to Front

Royal and rode the trails at Elizabeth Furnace. It

was winter and it was the first time I’d ever ridden in

snow! It was only about an inch of snow but I thought

it was so strange, but at the same time fun. Trails back

here are generally much more rocky and technical

than I was accustomed to. As a West Coast rider I had

no idea what to do with mud or rocks. Truthfully, a

hard tail bike (with no rear suspension) was all you

needed on the West Coast. I can’t compare the heinous

rocks of Elizabeth Furnace with anything I’d

ridden before. I also remember the first time I rode at

Gambrill (State Park in Maryland). I had no idea how

difficult riding could be.”

Just prior to this first ride with Bishop, Schalk had contacted

Steven Hoover, the manager of Trek’s East Coast

factory team. Schalk described his experience as a racer

and discovered there was an opening on the squad.

“My dream was falling into place, quickly. A few

months earlier I’d won the California series and now

here I was on a pro team getting ready to live the life

of a professional athlete. That’s as good as it gets.”

Schalk quickly immersed himself into the highly

competitive world of Harrisonburg’s Shenandoah

Mountain bike culture. He rode regularly with Nick

Waite (also a mountain bike pro, currently riding

for Kelly Benefit Strategies) Bishop, Chris Scott of

Shenandoah Mountain Bike Tour, and others.

Schalk attributes his rapid climb in the sport to his

dedication and to his methodical nature. “I’m incredibly

meticulous about my training. I keep training logs

that document pretty much every aspect of what I do

and how I train. I have spread sheets upon spread

sheets. I can tell you within five minutes how much

riding and training I’ll do in a week. Everyone who

knows me knows I’m over the top ridiculous.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty laid back as a person,

and I’m not a neat freak, but when it comes to my

training I try to control everything.

“I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I turned

pro at 33 and I knew the clock was ticking on my pro

career. I couldn’t and wouldn’t waste time.”

No question, the highlight of his short pro career

was winning last year’s Shenandoah 100 race in the

mountains near Harrisonburg on September 2. He’d

had good results early in the year, coming in second

at Greenbrier in Western Maryland behind national

champion Todd Wells, a first at Big Bear Lake in West

Virginia, and first in the two man open division at the

seven stage British Columbia Pacific Traverse (teaming

with Chris Eatough).

Reigning Tour champion Floyd Landis had been

challenged earlier last year by mid-Atlantic mountain

bikers who wanted to see Floyd return to the mountain

bike fold by entering the legendary 100 mile

Shenandoah event.

“Floyd came in a couple of a days early to pre-ride the

course with a couple of us, Chris Scott and myself.

Floyd had no idea who I was, but after riding together

I think I left him with the feeling I could be tough to

beat. On one pre-ride it was just the two of us, and

we raced each other up those hills. We both had our

poker faces on. He kept talking on the climbs, and I

remember being worried. I mean here I am working

pretty hard on the climbs and he’s still talking.

“Now admittedly, his skills seemed a little rusty. It had

been probably ten years since Floyd had ridden competitively

off-road. He seemed especially rusty in the

rock gardens. So I thought the only way to beat him was

to pull away on the technical sections, because he was

going to be hard to pull away from on the fire roads. I

mean his cardio capabilities are pretty legendary.

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TRADING continued on p.14


April 2008


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14 April 2008

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TRADING continued from p.13

“On race day I was really on. I was riding as good as I

can ride. I don’t care if it was 100 percent fire roads. I

was going to be hard to beat. I attacked like hell from

the start. I rode the first 30 miles at the front, just

me and two others. Floyd was about a minute back.

I attacked again at the 30 mile mark hoping Floyd

wouldn’t be able to bridge back to the front. I ended

up riding solo for the final 70 miles!”

Schalk’s time of seven hours, five minutes, set a new

course record by 10 minutes.

“After the race, Floyd came up and congratulated me

and shook my hand. He ducked out pretty quickly.”

Schalk knows his skills are improving every year and

intends to compete for the coming few years. He

recognizes that his strength is more as an ultra-endurance

racer than in cross country. This year he intends

to do more 100 mile events, and defend the BC stage


“I’m just going to see how it goes. I’m still doing a

little bit of engineering work for (a few) West Coast

companies (this past winter designing a canopy for a

high rise office building going up in downtown San


“It’s important for me to keep my mind sharp and

keep my foot in the other world. I can’t believe I’m

going to say this in public, but you know how it’s

always greener on the other side, and I’m sure people

who have office jobs are always thinking how cool to

be able to ride your bike for a living, but as much as

I like mountain biking, on those really tough days,

when you have a killer five or six hour ride in freezing

rain, the wind blowing and nothing feels right, I

dream of sitting in a nice warm cubicle, peering into

that computer screen and sipping coffee. I can tell

you I didn’t necessarily see that happening when I was

sitting in that cube working as an engineer.”

Where does he see himself in five, or ten years? “I

have no idea. But I can assure you that whatever it is,

I’ll be in it 100 percent. When I decide to do something

I give it everything.”

The All-New







2008TK_FuelEXV2_spokesmag.indd 1 2/26/08 2:55:03 PM





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3411 M Street, N.W.

(202) 965-3601



celebrates her 26th year of living with and successfully

fighting cancer.

What better way to celebrate than with bike rides with

her cycling friends at Team in Training (TNT), the

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s training program to

raise money to help the battle against cancer?

Robinson, 48, a former competitive country western

dancer, took up cycling in the mid-1990s with the

popular Jewish cycling club Bike & Brunch. By 2000,

she was looking for a cycling challenge and joined


“I was celebrating my 18th year as a Hodgkins (lymph

node cancer) survivor,” she recalls. “My friend Caren

Thaler had been battling cancer since the mid 1980s,

so she and I decided to train (with TNT) for the

Santa Fe century.”

Thaler had breast cancer, was treated and went five

years in remission. But it returned. She fought it

again, and it returned a second time. That’s when

they did the Sante Fe ride. Sadly, two years after that

ride, it returned a third time and Thaler died in

December 2002.

“Caren fought as long and as hard as humanely

possible. She was the one who encouraged me to

get involved and do something positive,” Robinson


In 2000, Robinson told friends and family she would

“take them with her on the Sante Fe century for

$118.” What that meant was she would write their

names on her legs, for $118. The 118 represented

one dollar for each mile of the century, plus one

dollar for each year Robinson was cancer free at the

time. Robinson had two legs full of names and raised

over $7,000.

In 2007, Robinson trained and rode in the Tour de

Tucson century with TNT. This time her legs were full

of names of contributors who donated at least $125,

representing a dollar for each mile plus one dollar

for each mile of being cancer free. Robinson raised

an incredible $14,275, the ninth highest amount of

the nearly 600 participants from around the country.

This year she is currently in training for the June 1

TNT century ride in Lake Tahoe. She will serve as a

team captain for the first time.

“My role is to keep all my teammates motivated and

help them achieve their goals in both riding and fund

raising. Not everyone is a strong rider but we will all

cross the finish line. Nobody is left behind.”

Robinson, who is a graduate of Milford Mills High

School in Baltimore, Catonsville Community College,

Towson University, and Johns Hopkins (with a masters

degree in behavioral sciences) is administrator of the

American Board of Medical Genetics in Bethesda.

She stresses how battling cancer changed her life forever

and she is forever diligent about getting medical


“Everyone goes through that ‘why me’ phase, but for

me it comes down to someone had a purpose for me.

It only made me a stronger person. As the saying goes

‘that which does not kill me only makes me stronger.’

“It’s those tough days, say a cold rainy and windy

Saturday morning, when you are out there riding

your bike, that you think for a moment: ‘I could be

at home in my warm, dry bed.’ But you quickly catch

yourself, and remember how lucky you are. A lot of

my fellow riders (in TNT) ride in honor of someone

who has passed away. I’m a little different. I ride in

celebration of life. The fact that I, and many others,

have been lucky to live through all this.”

16 April 2008














The inspiration to start a full-service bicycle store

initially began more than ten years ago, Wayne Lerch

said, when the Metropolis Bike Shop closed on

Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

“We went there all the time,” Lerch said, referring to

Chuck Harney, his longtime cycling pal — and now

business partner at The Bike Rack in D.C.’s Logan

Circle. They wrote a business plan, but struggled to

find the right location and financing. Ultimately, they

let the idea go.

“I think the timing just wasn’t right,” Harney recently

told SPOKES.

Instead, Lerch, 50, founded Capitol Home Inspection,

a company which he still manages successfully.

Harney, 46, who had a background in business, decided

to go back to school and become a social worker.

He wanted to work counseling alcohol and substance

abuse clients.

“I came about it honestly, I’ve been sober myself

since 1991,” he said. “But after 10 years I was getting

burned out.”

Eventually they decided to re-visit the old business plan.

The Bike Rack grand opening: May, 12 2007

A decade ago, it was questionable whether or not the

14th St. N.W. neighborhood where Harney lives was

well-situated for a bicycle store. Whole Foods hadn’t

arrived yet, neither had the high-end furniture stores,

the theaters, the galleries, the coffee ships — or the

condos. It was still a little rundown in parts and a little

sketchy once the sun went down.

In the meantime, they either rode up to City Bikes

in Adams Morgan, out to Revolution or the Bicycle

Pro in Georgetown for gear and repairs. The former

District Hardware store in Dupont Circle was nearby,

however for Lerch, a former road racer, and Harney,

a competitive multi-sport athlete, that shop (since

moved near the George Washington University campus

in Foggy Bottom) didn’t offer high-end accessories

or equipment.

Capitol Hill Bikes soon took over where Metropolis

left off, but meanwhile the revitalization of the 14 St.

N.W. and Logan Circle-area had begun. It linked with

rejuvenated building on historic U St. N.W. — ethnic

restaurants, clubs, condos, shops and niche retail —

with an ever-expanding Dupont Circle gentrification

past 16th St. N.W.

With young urban professionals moving in, plus green

and recreation-minded couples, a need for a local

bike shop arrived as well.

“The demographics changed,” Lerch said.

“It was a no-brainer,” Harney added.

They re-wrote their business model about two years

ago and by the summer of 2006 they had signed a

lease at 1412 Q St. N.W and Harney had quit his job.

“We thought finding a place would be tough, but we

lucked out,” Lerch said. The previous tenant had

been a problem and the landlord wasn’t interested in

doing any of the repairs,” Lerch said. “We were able

to negotiate a fairly favorable lease. We did the demolition,

knocking down doors, peeling paint and carrying

trash ourselves, and hired a general contractor to

do the repairs.”

They left exposed the natural brick and designed the

exterior of 1920-1930-era Federal-style in classy gray

and black to match the feel of the neighborhood.

18 April 2008


“It’s 1,000 square feet and we have 500 square feet of

storage out back,” Lerch said. “It’s small, little shop.”

The former tenant, a doggy day care business, was

pretty much driven out by neighborhood complaints,

Lerch and Harney said. They wanted to make sure

they’d be welcome before they actually inked the deal

and knocked on doors around the block to introduce

themselves and listen to concerns. It sent the tone

immediately for the kind of bicycle store they looked

to build.

“Essentially, we wanted to become the bike shop of

choice for the area,” Harney said. “We wanted to

emphasize our commitment to the community. And

be a warm and friendly and create a non-intimidating

environment — which is huge,” Harney said. Despite

its relatively small quarters, they set out to serve the

high-end customer while not losing track of the average

rider or newbie. So far, they been able to attract

everyone from road racing and multi-sport crowd, to

the local D.C. bike messenger business (there are the

closest downtown shop), to commuters, to women

looking to join their first group ride.

“In about 6 and 1⁄2 months, we achieved our sales

goal for the entire year,” Lerch said.

The repair team is led by David Fike, a USA Cycling

licensed race mechanic. Fike was recommended by

several cycling friends and recruited from Peloton

Bicycle Shop in Rhode Island where he was the lead

mechanic/shop manager. Previously, Fike had served

as the director of North East Racing Services for Fuji/

ASI and race mechanic for Pedros/Mavic. Fike is a

respected master wheelbuilder and in the last 14 years

he has provided support for numerous races and special

events including the Empire States Aids Ride and

Braking the Cycle.

“They got a hold of me just before New Years in ‘07,”

said Fike, who added about 3/4 of the service at the

shop has been coming from neighborhood with the

other 1/4 consisting of high-end wheel building and

“race-ready type stuff.”

“It’s was a good opportunity for me,” he said. “The

shop is great. The city works for me, too. I met a girl

in D.C. and got married. I can’t complain.”

Quickly last year the store began to sink roots and

grow weekend rides from the shop. They support

local cycling-oriented organizations and have held

workshops on bike maintenance as well as techniques

for beginning triathletes and competitive cyclists.

Store manager Dave Fike, Wayne Lerch, and Chuck Harney.

Their website, www.bikerackdc.com offers an events

page calendar to check for upcoming rides and workshops.

They also maintain a 2008 “Race and Train”

calendar and a e-mail discussion group that now has

signed up more than 200 people.

On Saturday mornings at 7:45, they organize a race

pace training ride intended for those who race or

intend to. The ride meets at Pierce Mill in Rock

Creek Park and the distance is approximately 40

miles. On Sunday mornings as the weather warms

they will again begin offering group rides for new and

lower level riders, which last year attracted as many as

35-40 people on good days.

“I think now that we’ve been opened a year, we’re

learning what we like, and what will work and won’t,”

Harney said. “We want people to ask a lot of questions,

so we get to understand what they need. We’re

in this for the long haul.”


A good independent bicycle shop still remains one of the

treasured resources of bicycling–among the best places

to learn about places to ride, meet locals to ride with, and

learn about new products. Oh, and they also do a super

job fixing the bike stuff you break. “My Bike Shop” is a

regular feature of SPOKES in which we give you a look into

a local shop and the folks behind it.















































































…a look at women’s cycling issues in the


Iron Women

According to the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention, 210,000 women are diagnosed with breast

cancer every year. Unfortunately for Nicole Weaver, a

sports enthusiast from Annapolis, she is one of those

210,000 women. Fortunately for Nicole, she has a

fighting spirit and a strong group of friends who are

fighting right along with her.

Nicole has always been very active and enjoyed the

outdoors. She and her friend Judy Acosta met sailing

and also enjoy mountain biking and road biking

together. Last year, Nicole decided to race the

IronGirl Triathlon in August and recruited Judy to

race and train with her.

In preparation for her training and racing, Nicole

bought new road and mountain bikes and jumped in

to training on a more serious level.

The IronGirl went well for both Nicole and Judy;

both finished their first ever triathlon smiling, in a

little over two hours, and immediately resolved to do

another. Unfortunately, one week after the IronGirl

tri, Nicole found a lump in her breast and was diagnosed

with Stage II breast cancer in September 2007.

Not one to take things lying down, two weeks after

having a lumpectomy on October 1 of 2007, Nicole

and Judy hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim in one

day. They covered 21 miles and about 8,000 feet of

elevation in 12 hours and 25 minutes!



20 April 2008



We tell them avid cyclists

overcoming discomfort from a physical

condition, people coming back to cycling

for exercise who want more comfort,

and people that like to be different.

We welcome them all and try to help

them fi nd the recumbent that

will get them out riding.

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








SPOKESWOMEN by THERESA RICHARDSON t_richardson@verizon.net

Nicole returned from her trip to start her first

round of chemotherapy treatment in November. In

December, Nicole’s determination to continue doing

what she loves through her treatment lead her and

Judy to sign up for the 2008 Columbia Triathlon,

which takes place on May 18.

Even though the race is two weeks after her final chemotherapy

treatment, Nicole is determined to race

and do well.

Not only does Nicole continue to fight to maintain

her active life, she and her friends have taken on the

challenge of raising $30,000 to help fund breast cancer

research. Nicole is grateful for recently released

medications that help her cope with the side effects

chemotherapy and that help her maintain her active

lifestyle, and wants to contribute funds to continue

this valuable research.

To that end, Nicole and her group of friends created

the Blister Sisters. One of their main fundraising

activities is to participate in the Avon Breast Cancer

Walk in Washington, D.C., in May.

The Blister Sisters, which is now 14 members strong,

are raising money for the walk, as well as training

together for the two- day event. So far, they have

carried out two Stairway To A Cure events at the

Annapolis Athletic Club. Members and non-members

of the gym donate money in exchange for a 15 to 30

minute stair stepping workout. These two events have

raised close to $5,000.

Another fund-raising activity the Blister Sisters organized

is a raffle of a Trek Wasabi Cruiser bike donated

by the Bike Doctor Waldorf. Raffle tickets are $10

each and can be purchased on the Blister Sisters website

(www.blistersisters.org) or at their many fundraising

activities. The final drawing for the bike will take

place on May 31 at the Coconut Ball at the Maritime

Museum in Annapolis. Between their Stairway to A

Cure events, the bike raffle, the sale of t-shirts, and

the fund raising for the Avon walk, the Blister Sisters

have already raised $31,000 for the Avon Fund.

Nicole truly is an inspiration She continues her

full-time work as a technology and operations advi-

sor for a non profit called Women for Women

International while receiving her treatment and taking

on the job of creating Blister Sisters and leading

its fundraising activities along with her friend Judy

Acosta. Oh, and don’t forget that she’s also training

for the Columbia Tri in May! She is another

example of one of the many amazing women in the

mid-Atlantic area doing great things. Check in at the

Blister Sisters website (www.blistersisters.org) for upcoming

fundraising activities and to track the progress

and activities of the Blister Sisters.

Theresa Richardson is a Pro XC Racer for Bear Naked

Cannondale, and co-owner of the Bike Doctor, Waldorf, Md.

Reach Over


Bicycling Enthusiasts

Call 301-371-5309


Arlington Sports, Inc., the promoting organization for the

United States Air Force Cycling Classic, May 4th in Crystal City,

Va., will help members of the United States military who have

sustained Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) during their service to

our country. Funds raised at the race will go to the Raisin Hope

Foundation, established to help individuals who have suffered

TBI by providing critical funds for research and medical care


Cycling enthusiast of all abilities will be able to participate in

the Crystal Ride event to be held just prior to the racing, and

thus support this cause. Beginning and ending at the US Air

Force Memorial, participants will be able to ride on a 12 1⁄2

kilometer circuit in and around Crystal City that will challenge

them for 100km.

Professional teams will follow the ride, including a separate

Service Academy race.

Registration for the amateur participatory ride is now open

through the events website. Active duty and reserve military

personnel receive a $10 discount.

The Raisin Hope Foundation was founded by professional

cyclist Saul Raisin, who suffered from TBI following a racing

accident in France in 2006. Saul’s remarkable recovery from

his injuries inspired him to begin this effort to help others with

similar injuries.

“If I ever ride a bicycle again, I want to help people like me,”

Saul told his family while still recovering in the hospital. He has

inspired others through his extraordinary return to competitive

cycling and a book sharing his amazing story, Tour de Life: From

Coma to Competition.

“Many of our country’s military members returning from Iraq

and Afghanistan suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury. As a premier

athlete who also suffered from TBI but has recovered from

his injuries, Saul Raisin is an inspiration. I am very pleased that

he is associated with the Air Force Cycling Classic,” said the

Honorable William Anderson.

“We are excited by Saul’s commitment to support military members

and their families who have been affected by TBI, and look

forward to participating with him at this event.”

Saul is committed to supporting the United States Air Force in

the month’s leading up to this event and beyond to determine

how his foundation can best assist those members of the military

who have suffered from TBI.

For additional information on the U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic

visit www.arlingtonsports.org

Saul Raisin (right) with NCVC’s Myron Lehtman.

The U.S. Air Force Memorial

April 2008



Annapolis Triathlon is ON!

22 April 2008

After some concern that the

Annapolis Triathlon might not

come off this year, registration

for the second annual race,

scheduled, for September 7,

2008 has officially opened on

the www.tricolumbia.org website.

The 1.5K Swim, 40K Bike, 10K Run inaugural race in

2007 in the historic city is not only Maryland’s state

capital, but home to the United States Naval Academy

and one of the top collegiate triathlon squads in the

country. but it is now the site of what will become one

of the nation’s premier triathlon events.

The 1500 m swim takes place in the Chesapeake Bay,

in brackish water (a mix of salt and fresh water).

Water temperatures in September are typically in the

mid 70’s, depending of course on summer precipita-

TRISPOKES by RON CASSIE ron_cassie@yahoo.com



Spinervals Cycling DVDs • Camps • Online Coaching • VO2max Testing

Personal Training • Personal Training/Coach Business Consulting

Visit www.coachtroy.com or call (410) 823-7000

tion. USAT wetsuit rules will be in effect (no wetsuits

allowed if water temps exceed 78’ F). The swim route

is anticipated to be a beach start, point-to-point, style

course marked by orange and yellow Day-Glo buoys

with participants exiting for the transition.

The scenic 40k bike route traverses rolling countryside

and farmlands of Anne Arundel County with

several moderate climbs along well maintained

paved roads including the historic, brick streets of

Annapolis. There is professional motorcycle support,

but the bike course is not closed to traffic. The yellow

centerline rule is always in effect.

The 10k run course map is still being finalized. The

course will be primarily out and back, flat and fast,

according to the tricolumbia website. There will be

aid stations providing support both in hydration and

spirit approximately each mile of the run.

This event is produced in cooperation with Anne

Arundel County, the City of Annapolis and the State

of Maryland and has been ranked by Inside Triathlon

Magazine as the 13th “Best New Race.”

The race starts at 6:30 a.m. The minimum age to compete

is 15. The race limit is 2,000 participants.

Frederick and Hagerstown Youth Triathlons


Martha Herman

has been and

athlete for years,

and has completed


marathons. But

last year her

daughter, Emily,

11, did the

Hagerstown Youth Triathlon and the experience really

opened her eyes.

“They had 72 kids participating and a wait list for 72

more,” Herman said. She had organized some events

in the past, like local 5 Ks, talked to race coordinator

Ken Racine and thought, “Why not in Frederick?”

And so, now Maryland kids (and those from D.C.,

Virginia and West Virginia, too) from ages 7 to 13 will

have another chance to participate in the multi-sport fun.

The Frederick Kids’ Triathlon on Saturday, May 24,

at Frederick High School. The youth event consists

of 100 meter swim, a 2 mile bike and 3/4 mile run.

It costs $35 before April 1 and $40 until the event.

Online registration closes May 14. The website can be

found at http://www.fredericktri.com

The race course is designed for the youth athlete

in mind and offers many viewing opportunities for

moms, dads and other spectators. Each competitor

will have their own swim lane. The swim will be in an

indoor pool and will consist of 2 laps (4 lengths). The

bike course loops around the high school and middle

school. Each competitor will make 3 laps on their

bike. The run will be on the track and each competitor

will complete 3 laps.

Each youth triathlete will receive a T-shirt, cap, water

bottle and a medal afterwards.

“The goal is to encourage kids and get them to think

about fitness as a lifetime goal,” Herman said. “Once

they cross the finish they’ll feel great. They might

now swim well, or run well, but they’ll do one of three

events well and that’ll make it worthwhile.”

Herman said that she noticed when her children

(she also has a 14-year old son named Sam) got to

middle school age that if they or their friends weren’t

involved in a team sport like lacrosse or soccer, they

likely weren’t getting enough exercise.”

“That’s the age they start watching too much television

and playing computer games,” Herman said. “P.E.

twice a week for an hour in school doesn’t cut it.”

Her daughter Emily is scheduled to compete in both

triathlons, and she expects Brian, her 9-year old will, too.

TRISPOKES continued on p.27


Reprinted with permission of the Frederick News-Post and

Randall Family, LLC.

MATT BARRETT AND JOHN STANN have set out to film

the limits of human endurance. The pair grew up

in the Myersville, Md., area, running track and cross

country in high school. Since then, they’ve run marathons

and recently began competing in triathlons.

Now they want to film others as they compete.

“We used to watch Kona (Hawaii Ironman) in the

early days, and seeing these iconic people crawling

across the finish line literally in heat exhaustion was

fascinating,” Barrett said.

For their first project, they documented the Annapolis

Triathlon on September 9, 2007,

Barrett and Stann wanted the film to show that finish

line drama, plus other highlights, in their documentary

series, Race Day Films DVD Series. They have

also completed a second DVD about the Nation’s

Triathlon, in Washington on September 29.

Both those triathlons were inaugural events.

Participation in marathons and triathlons has

increased exponentially in recent years. Barrett and

Stann reasoned that expanded participation in these

events meant burgeoning interest. They haven’t quit

their day jobs, but they thought there might be a market

for films about major endurance events.

“We try to show these are normal people with lawns to

mow and bills to pay,” Barrett said. “They are teachers,

nurses, research scientists, engineers. We want to

humanize them.”

Barrett and Stann are familiar names in the mid-

Atlantic running community. Both took part in track

and cross country at Middletown High School before

graduation in 1992.

In college, Barrett was a walk-on at Virginia Tech’s

track and cross country team. Stann attended Virginia

Military Institute. He did not take part in collegiate

sports, but trained for road races, and talked Barrett

into running the Shamrock Marathon with him in

1993. They ran the race in 3:10.

After college, they stopped competing for a while.

Barrett, now 34, has two young children, and Stann

has five children. Barrett works at the National

Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaitherburg

and Stann is a civil engineer in Front Royal, Va.

Barrett, who lives in Ellicott City, resumed competition

a few years after college. He had always been a

runner, but he took up cycling, and found his niche.

He participated in criterium races, and quickly

became ranked 40th in the nation.

In 2000, he took part in the Columbia Triathlon, and

then the Eagleman, a half-Iron distance triathlon in

Cambridge. Since then, he has focused on Olympic

distance and half triathlons. The past two years, he

and Stann also completed the Chesapeake Man, a full

Iron distance triathlon in Cambridge.

Barrett said he’d like to one day qualify for the Hawaii

Ironman. But it isn’t the athletes at the top end he

wants his films to focus on. Instead, it’s the effort, the

pain, the fatigue, the sheer joy of finishing, whether

it’s a 10K run, a two-hour sprint triathlon or a 17-hour

Ironman triathlon.

Plans are to film documentaries on several major road

races as well as triathlons.

The camera captures the early morning starts, the

mass of swim caps bobbing through the water, the

focus of the cyclists and the rhythm of the runners. At

the finish line there is exhaustion and relief.

The DVDs also offer viewers a video feel of the bike

and run course. The filmmakers tested the course

with a camera, and hill grades are provided for those

who want to try out the course on their bike trainers

and treadmills. A triathlon-certified coach narrates

the course and offers tips, and also shows examples of

what people do right and wrong during races.

“It’s a chance to visualize,” Barrett said, something

many experienced athletes find valuable when preparing

for races.

Barrett and Stann are executive producers for

the films. Kevin Hershberger is the director. Kera


Cannondale • Cervelo • Kona • Ridley




(410) 252-3103

10% OFF Next Purchase With This Ad

expires 4/30/08

John Stann and Matt Barrett

O’Bryon, an Emmy-nominated actress who has done

projects for Discovery Channel, National Geographic

and Fox Family Network, serves as the interviewer and

narrator of the documentaries. She weaves the action


For more information on the DVD series and to see

future developments, check the website, www.raceday


April 2008




wanted children and we knew that we wanted them

to be involved our active lifestyle. With the canoe it

was not a big problem, we just had to plan on small

life jackets. And when a friend offered up his used

child trailer, I snapped it up even though my wife was

not even pregnant. Then after we had our first son I

was at the bike store and saw another trailer on sale

at almost give away prices, I snapped that up on the

assumption that we were going to have a second child,

which we did.

A number of manufacturers now make a variety of

trailers and trail-along bikes that act like a second

bike hooked to the lead bike. These trailers and tagalongs

have been the saving grace for a lot of families

that wanted to keep riding. They provide a great way

to get the kids involved in biking and then keep them

with you until they can ride well on their own.

I often hear folks talk about how much of a hassle it

is to go out riding with their children. Getting all the

bikes, trailers or tag-a-long bikes and helmets packed,

getting water bottles filled then going somewhere to

ride. Then only riding 5 to 10 miles and then packing it

all up again and then going home. I agree it is a lot of

work, but our children are only going to be young once.

I grew up in South Dakota where I could go out for

the full day and ride all over and have fun. I remember

going out on fishing trips. I had a single speed

Sears bike with dual baskets on the back. I would

strap my fishing rod to the top bar on the bike, put

lunch and my tackle box in the baskets and put a

bucket over the handle bars. Going out was not that

bad. Coming home after a successful day of fishing

with the bucket full of fish could cause some interesting

gyrations as I would ride down the road. These

are the memories I have of growing up.

Making the time to ride with my boys and then flying

kites will be the things that my boys remember.

One of the ways to maximize the memories and minimize

the packing is to find someplace to ride and

camp. Riding on the Mason Neck Trail in Fairfax

County, Va.., is a great way to make those memories.

The campground at Pohick Regional Park has always

had plenty of camping spots and have added a number

of camping cabins for folks who want to get away

from it but not too close to the ground. Staying at

Pohick Park allows for biking to George Mason’s family

home. This spot has gotten a lot more attention

since the NCAA tournament a couple of years ago

and is a pleasant visit.

Most folks visit Mt Vernon and will stand in line for

some time to get in the house. At Gunston Hall, it is

possible to walk right in with no wait. The tour groups

are very small; sometimes you may even have a per-

24 April 2008

FAMILY CYCLING 101 by KEVIN BRUGMAN kbrugman@cox.net

sonal tour with just your family. Being in an intimate

setting also allows for children to ask questions about

how things were. Ask about the faux oak doors.

Mason Neck State Park requires an entrance fee

for folks to drive in, however biking in is free, even

encouraged. There is a small visitor’s center with

some exhibits. They also schedule guided canoe trips

back up into Kane’s Creek. These waters are generally

quiet, just the place to introduce a budding paddler

to the joys of backwater canoeing. If the tide is coming

in, you can make it all the way back to a beaver

dam and have good chance of seeing lots of wildlife,

some of it relatively close up.

Pohick Park also gives children of all ages things to

do. There is a miniature golf course, and a Frisbee

golf course as well as lots of hiking trails to wander

on. The campground has a large open meadow to

play on. The best thing is that the park is seldom

crowded except for the major holidays.

What was once old, is new again!

For those not familiar with the history of the tandem,

the early tandems would place the female stoker in

front and the male captain in the back. At the time it

was not considered polite for a woman to have to look

at the back of the man and of course it was not allowable

that the woman be allowed to steer. Building

upon that idea, there are some neat bike ideas coming

out for riding together.

A few years ago the Love Bike was designed for parent

and child biking. This bike has the parent sitting in

the back with the child sitting in front. The handlebars

are swept back to surround the child and allow

the parent to steer. While the design does not allow

for sharp turning, it does allow the parent to cocoon

the child. This would be a great for children that are

afraid of falling and hesitant about riding. While I

would not do a 50 mile ride on this bike, it is a great

beach bike or short trail riding. You can find more

information about the Love Bike at


Another idea is the Kidz Tandem, similar to the old

style traditional tandem where the steering mechanism

was designed so that steering, breaking, gearing

are in the back, allowing the child to pedal freely

while easily talking to the parents all while enjoying

the view.

Don’t Miss an Issue!





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The front of bike will accommodate children from

age 1 and up, with a weight limit of 100 with a range

of child seats from child seats to conventional bike

seats. If you don’t have a child, you can adapt the

front to a pet carrier or cargo. The design allows for

better control of the bike in traffic although it may

take a little experience to get used to the steering that

would be similar to a long wheelbase recumbent. This

is a bike that I would not hesitate to do a 50 mile bike

ride on. More information can be found at http://


A quick plug to keep your bikes in good repair and

to build a relationship with your local bike shop, you

never know when it will be helpful. I recently had the

front seatpost of one of the tandems seize. I tried all

the standard fixes, soaking in penetrating oil, dribbling

in ammonia, and even some heat. Nothing

worked. I took it into by local shop and they took

on the challenge. After a couple of weeks of trying

all the tricks in their book, they finally had to cut out

and chisel out the seat post. Well I now have the bike

back complete with an overhaul and as good as new

thanks to Bikes@Vienna.

After giving back my tandem, John showed me an

adaptable tandem trike coupler that they recently

put in stock. I often wondered who would ride a trike

and then I met up with some riders on various rides.

Some of the folks just enjoyed the notoriety of a trike,

while others had never learned how to balance on a

regular bike and enjoyed riding a fast high tech trike.

However in some cases there are long time bike riders

that have had a stroke or suffer from a disability that

affects their fine motor skills. They can still pedal,

steer and brake fine, but they are still want to go out

riding. A trike gives that capability and freedom.

TREK • Seven

Pinarello • Colnago

LeMond • Raleigh

Giordana • Hincapie

Descente • Louis Garneau

Sidi • Shimano • DMT

Bontrager • Mavic • Rolf • HED

Coupling two trikes together provides many of the

benefits of a tandem without the weight and expense

of a tandem trike while retaining the ability of independent

biking. Check out the following location for

more information: http://bikesatvienna.blogspot.com/.

One last thing before I close. I recently came across

a web bike cartoon strip that really hits the spot,

Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery. Yehuda is a

retro cyclist and part owner of the Kickstand Cyclery.

Yehuda experiences all the joys and pitfalls of bicycling

and the general relationship with the public.

The web site is http://yehudamoon.com/

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

April 2008



Clydesdales Need to WatchTheir Weight Too

This article is being written poolside on Marco Island in

Southern Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. The wind is blowing,

the sun is bright, and I am many miles from my mountain


This morning the family went for hike on a trail that was

labeled “mountain bike trail.” On that three and a half

miles of flat sandy trail we saw two black snakes, all sorts

of lizards, a wide variety of birds, a few small alligators,

but not one mountain bike... there were tire treads... but no

mountain bikes.

It is hard for me to write an article about mountain biking

when I am so far from my bike, but being on the beach will

make any person, cyclist or not, think about their fitness,

their form, and their weight. It is the onset of the mountain

bike season and I am starting to think about my weight.

Being a 40 year old adult I am finding that my baseline

weight has started to increase each year. I need to take control

of my weight instead of just letting things bulge out of

control. This is not about dieting, this is about common

sense. It is not so much about sacrifice as it is about moderation.

Yes, it is about change, change that will take discipline.

Change is an active process that will involve a conscious

effort to alter previous behavior and previous bad habits.

These changes will be for the better and the results will have

a positive ripple effect upon my life.

This is not a diet... just monitoring my consumption by

using some common sense and exhibiting some will power.

Clydesdale Mountain Bikers

In the sport of mountain biking there are an assortment

26 April 2008

SINGLETRACK by JOEL GWADZ gwadzilla8@yahoo.com

MattyD: mud splattered after PVC’s

Greenbrier Challenge, a popular spring classic.

of classes. Classes are broken down by sex, age, ability,

and weight. The race category that measures weight is

called the Clydesdale Class. The term Clydesdale is borrowed

from large heavy draft horse. In mountain biking

to quality for this class each racer must weigh more than

200 pounds. I am one of these racers.

It was roughly a decade ago at the Granny Gear

24 Hours of Canaan where I raced on a four man

Clydesdale team with my brother called Boxer’s

Revenge. It was the Clydesdale Class that really got

me exciting about racing. This was a small class where

I was able to compete against other racers with similar

body types. It is hard for a six foot four inch male

weighing over 220 pounds to identify with the skinny

140-150 pound expert racer.

It was in the Clydesdale Class that I learned the competition

and camaraderie of mountain bike racing.

But, just because I am a Clydesdale it does not mean

that I should not be conscious of my weight and monitor

what I am eating.

Winter Weight

Winter weight is not uncommon among cyclists,

but for me last season I did not ever shed my winter

weight, which has me realizing that I need to be more

pro-active about my weight by controlling my diet.

Over the past few years I witnessed many of my teammates’

bodies change as they grew more focused, more

fit, and faster on the bike. Rather than hire a coach or

read a book on weight loss I decided to consult them

for some guidance on proper diet and keys to weight

loss in the form of short answer bullet points.

Being Mindful of What I am Eating

Current DCMTB-City Bikes Continuum Energy

Solutions mountain bike team captain Matt Donahue

said that weight loss was not his goal but rather a

pleasant side effect to his elevated training plan. For

MattyD it was about following an exercise training

plan which involved better food.

Eating fruits and vegetables instead of processed

foods and fatty snacks was one simple suggestion that

MattyD offered. This is a matter of minding what I am

eating rather than dieting.

Weight is about a balance between calories burned

and calories ingested. To lose weight is simple... burn

more calories than are being taken into your body.

My activity levels are increasing at a good early spring

pace with some preparation for the rapidly approaching

mountain bike race season. For me, minding what

I am eating will be a cumulative effort of many small

things. These small changes are as simple as getting

the burrito without cheese and pouring less sugar in

my coffee. There will still be the occasional chocolate

bar with almonds and there is now way that I would

sacrifice pizza, but I will monitor the quantity of these

things. Like so many things this process is about common


Talk is nothing without action. That is why things

need to move to a conscious level. My efforts will

involve intentionally adding healthy foods into my

daily meals while consciously removing/decreasing

other less beneficial foods.

My older wiser brother Marc, who is also a teammate,

shared with me the obvious wisdom of portion control.

My brother stressed that we do not need to eat

until we are stuffed. So often I eat for pleasure and

eat until I can eat no more. That behavior needs to be

modified. Those habits were fine when I was a growing

boy, but this boy does not need to grow any more.

Last race season I watched Marc drop ten pounds.

This weight loss was not only visible in the shape of

his body but also in his race performance. The physics

of strength to weight ratio or power measured in

wattage is not really how I think. But we all know that

it is easier to carry less weight up a hill than more,

this means that if you are the same strength but weigh

less you will move faster.

In addition to these recommendations on portion

control and being mindful of the solids that I am

consuming it is also important to be conscious of what

fluids are being put into my body. Fluids are an easy

area to start with the minding of the consumption. Again

this is more about moderation than dieting, working

at rational levels of consumption.

LESS SODA is a quick and easy change to implement.

The consciousness of consumption goes beyond the

limiting of all of those cans of Coke. The minding of

the consumption extends to sport drinks. So often after

a ride or a run I go to the fridge and grab a bottle of

Vitamin Water or my all time favorite Gatorade when all

the body really needs is water. Water is precious.

Consume greater quantities of water in place of these

other drinks. Coca Cola will still be chilled in the fridge,

but the consumption will be less frequent. The natural

impulse to crack open a Coke with every meal must be

stopped. The increase in water consumption is a natural

habit as my riding picks up, but the frequent ingestion

of sports drinks is a habit that I need to break. It

is important to reach for regular old water rather than

colored water with unneeded calories. After all... it is all

about calories... calories consumed and calories burned.

It is easier to consume fewer calories than it is to work

out more and burn more calories.

Being lighter would mean being faster. Cyclists do not

only seek lighter bikes but it is desired to have lighter

bodies. Due to the basic strength to weight ratios

lighter racers are better climbers. Which means it is to

the advantage of any cyclist to be as light as they can

be so that they are not carrying any extra weight up

the hills.

I will always be a Clydesdale... but I do not have

to carry all this excess weight around. Clydesdales

need to weigh over 200 pounds, I do not need to be

over 230. Never do I expect to weigh less than 200

pounds... but I could most certainly afford to be a few

pounds less than my current weight.

With all the focus that riders put on getting a lighter

bike some of us other cyclists could do better to

focus on carrying less weight on our body. My older

and faster mountain biking cross racing brother also

shared this pearl with me: finding a healthy weight is the

TRISPOKES continued from p.22

For more information, Martha Herman can be

reached at martha8908@aol.com (301-667-2518) or

Ken Racine at kcracine@myactv.net (301-991-0461).

You can use the Contact link above.

This race supports the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma

Foundation whose mission is to promote prevention,

early detection and research to end melanoma.

The 2008 Hagerstown Youth Triathlon is scheduled

for Saturday, July 26, at Martin L. Snook Memorial

Park. That race is similar in format with 100 meters

swim, 2 mile bike and 3/4 mile swim. This race is

supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Washington

County and Ken Racine at kcracine@myactv.net (301-

991-0461) can be contacted for more information.

Mid-Maryland Triathlon Club and Howard County

Cycling Advocacy

Sadj Bartolo, of Columbia, an enthusiastic 65 - 69 age

group triathlete has stepped down as president of the

Mid-Maryland Triathlon Club, turning the leadership

responsibilities over to Chip Warfel.

“I did it for three years, I felt like it was time,” said

Bartolo, who competed in her first Half-Ironman

last year at Timberland in New Hampshire. She said

she’s only registered so far this year for the Columbia

Triathlon and IronGirl race, also in Columbia. She

has several vacation trips planned with her husband

goal; it is not necessarily about being as light as possible.

Be assured... I am not trying to get skinny. Skinny is

not part of my future... but I do not need to be fat.

Snacking on carrots may be a better option than a

bag of chips. In fact decreasing the amount of processed

foods is lumped right into the obvious with less

soda. Less processed foods and an increase in fruits

and vegetables just as MattyD suggested. I truly love

fruits and vegetables. I just need to train my mind to

reach for those things rather than all those junk food

junky options I have been lunging for over the past

many years.

Team mate and friend Kent Baake recommended eating

a salad with each meal for the pleasure of salad

and to aid in decreasing the amount of the main

course consumption, again it is about portion control.

Kent snacks on apples, nuts, or enjoys a PB&J with a

dash of honey or maple syrup. This is a fight that can

be won through small efforts.... efforts as simple as

selecting sorbet instead of ice cream.

Kent also mentioned avoiding hydrogenated oils and

high fructose products. In the last few seasons Kent

has been focused on increasing workout times and

decreasing eating. Again... that obvious balance of

burning more calories than the number of calories

ingested. This is all done by being mindful what is

being eaten.

This is not so much about sacrifice as it is about moderation.

Portion control is the key. What I select to eat

and drink is as important as how much I choose to eat

and drink. Riding and exercise are part of the equation

as well. I need to be consistent in my workouts.

This will aid in the burning of calories.

As mentioned it is not imperative for a mountain bike

event to offer a Clydesdale category for me to compete

but it does often add to the fun.

Potomac Velo Club (PVC) is not only offering a

NORBA/UCI quality mountain bike race at the

Greenbrier Challenge just outside of Hagerstown,

Maryland on April 27th, but there are also Single

Speed and Clydesdale Classes. While in some of

the multi-lap night relay events in the Mid-Atlantic

neither The Baker’s Dozen on April 19th as hosted

Robert, also a Mid-Maryland member, and may fit in

an end-of-the-season race or two.

A self-described recreational triathlete for over 20

years, Bartolo has said she most loves getting new people

into the sport and has been putting on one day

triathlon clinics with two friends for three years. She

is also a certified Level I USAT triathlon coach.

Bartolo added that the Mid-Maryland Triathlon has

club has joined with several other Howard Countyarea

groups to form the Bicycling Advocates of

Howard County (BAHC). The Bicycling Advocates

of Howard County is a coalition of the representatives

of the Baltimore Bicycling Club, Howard County

Cycling Club, Mid-Maryland Triathlon Club, The

John Hopkins University APL Cycling Club, as well as

representatives from the Columbia Association, The

Columbia Triathlon/Iron Girl Triathlon and other

community groups and individuals concerned with

road safety issues in Howard County.

The goal of the organization, which already has had

several meetings is to work with the Howard County

Government, and other government agencies when

needed, on improving the safety of roads in Howard

County that are the most heavily used by bicyclists.

Their next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 14.

For more information contact Jack Guarneri at jack.

guarneri@jhuapl.edu or e-mail BAHoCo@gmail.com.

More information can also be found at http://sports.


by Plum Grove Cyclery out of Leesburg, nor the

Team Bike Works’ The 12 Hours of Lodi Farms in

Fredericksburg Virginia offer Clydesdale classes... but

these rolling courses with no significant climbs tend

to disadvantage the larger rider less.

Later in the season in June, Granny Gear’s 24 Hours

of Big Bear in Hazelton West Virginia will host its

third race of its six race 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race

Series with a Clydesdale class.

Then locally in Northern Virginia there are plenty

of Clydesdale race options; PVC hosts its summer

training series. Wednesdays at Wakefield in late June

will have a Clydesdale class while the folks at EX2

Adventures have added a Clydesdale class to their

four race Cranky Monkey Series and the 12 Hours of

Cranky Monkey.

More information on any of these races can be found online

with the assistance of GOOGLE.


One of the area’s newest mountain biking races is bursting at

the seams, and sponsors report more than double last year’s

registration, and the race isn’t until April 19th.

The Leesburg Baker’s Dozen, a 13 hours mountain bike race

held on a privately owned farm just north of Leesburg, Va., off

Rt. 15, has 332 preregistered racers as of March 25, and sponsors

at Plum Grove Cyclery expect quite a few more to sign up,

making it the largest mountain bike race in the state of Virginia.

The race begins at 11 a.m. and ends at midnight. Categories

include solo, two and three person teams. Last year’s solo event

was won by Steve Schwartz.

The course is a 7.6 mile loop, mostly flat, winding, singletrack,

not very technical, but over sections of limestone outcroppings.

For registration go to Plumgrovecyclery.com



Now is the best time to bring your bike in

for a tune-up — or to schedule an

appointment for a cleat alignment or bike fitting.

Stop in and check out our great selecton of

parts, accessories and bikes from

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April 2008




Yorker magazine, famously used to yell at writers who

were at loss for words, “that nothing is indescribable.”

Well, Ross never met Chris Rhoten.

Words just don’t seem like enough. You want video

and music, too. And mud and paint.

Rhoten is the lead singer and guitar player in a 20years

and running hard rock/punk band called Iron

Boss. But he’s never smoked a cigarette, taken a drink

or drug (except for once at the Burning Man festival

when someone slipped him mushroom tea.)

He’s raced motocross professionally and has broken

his shoulders, ankles, feet, toes, ribs and nose in the

process — as well as his back and neck in an industrial

accident at work. But at 39, everything works pretty

well and he swims, bikes or runs every day.

He’s has had bit parts in the movies “Cry Baby” and

“Avalon” and has done some television commercials,

but never took an acting class in his life. He’s built

bicycles for the likes of Russell Crowe.

A mechanic by trade, Rhoten’s worked at the Carroll

County landfill for the past 10 years. He makes the 30mile

commute by bike.

He often doesn’t sleep at all on Saturday nights,

preferring to go out for 75-mile bike rides from

Westminster to Frederick or Gettysburg and then

come home and work in his enormous shop on

Frizzelburg Road until the sun comes up.

“I always try to include a ride up Gambrill Road (a

huge climb in the state park by the same name),” he

recently told SPOKES.

28 April 2008

COMMUTER CONNECTION by RON CASSIE ron_cassie@yahoo.com

Green-conscious, he built a vegetable oil furnace to

heat the place through the winter, collecting used oil

for free from area restaurants.

A steel sculptor, showing his art at the colorful, highlyregarded

SOWEBO festival, and now he’s about to

open a bike shop in Martinsburg, W. Va.

He began entering triathlons several years ago, and

Laurel Bicycle Center

We have always been focused

on trying to make your

cycling experience as

enjoyable as possible. Striving to provide

the highest quality of service plays a big

part in reaching that goal. Whether you ride

only a few times each year or cycle every

day, have a basic bike or the latest racing

machine, we make a point of treating every

cyclist as an important customer. We want

you to have fun riding! Regardless of what

and how much you ride, we are here to

help. We have a small but talented staff of

older and extremely experienced people,

dedicated to making your visit to our store a great one. They are truly

motivated to help people, and really care about you, not just how

much you spend. We know how to work on bikes old and new, and our

advice and guidance for purchasing a new bike is simply the best. We

are proud to have been here to serve this community for over 50 years,

and intend to be here for many more.

—The Sawtelle Family and staff of Laurel Bicycle Center

Laurel Bicycle Center

14805 Baltimore Ave.

US Rt.1 across from Laurel Mall



Monday-Friday 10 am-7 pm

Saturday 9-6/Closed Sunday

Former Carroll County professional motocross rider Chris Rhoten

has done well, except however, race officials have a

hard time finding some bare skin to write his number.

He’s covered in tattoos.

Oh yeah, he’s married and has a three-year old son.

He takes the boy for 40-mile rides in his bike seat on

the C & O Canal.

Rhoten, obviously, isn’t one to take the easy or conventional

path and that includes his daily commute to

the landfill.

First, he gets up and leaves by 5 a.m. everyday. To

increase his mileage, he doesn’t take the direct route

along Reisterstown Road, but winds through back

roads and dirt trails — which is why he doesn’t typically

use one of his road bikes, instead peddling a

Cannondale hybrid so he can ride fatter tires.

He packs his saddlebags with tools, patches, tubes,

tape, a thermos of coffee, food and change of clothes.

However, this isn’t some fancy white collar job he’s

heading to on K St. with an employee locker room.

“No, there is no where to shower,” Rhoten said, with a

laugh. “I try to drink a lot of water and get clean from

the inside out."

“I’m just filthy at work anyhow,” he continued. “I work

at the landfill. Believe after I get off, people standing

in line next to me at the Wawa would never guess I do


He’s ridden in the snow, in zero degree days, on rare

days when he’s had to change three flat tires, but he’s


About four years ago, he said, he went on his annual

mountain biking trip with his buddy Dick Burleson,

a former motorcycle racing national who turned 60

years old recently and what he said changed Rhoten’s

life. Well, turned it up another notch at least.

“He had broken all these bones, too, over the years,”

Rhoten recounted. “And what he told me was you

got to keep moving your body. You’ve got to exercise

like crazy and never stop because the minute you do,

those things will stiffen up on you, and then you won’t

ever be able to do the same things again.”

Rhoten had been mountain biking since he was a

teenager and racing motocross. He said he did it, like

a lot of the motorcycle guys did, to stay in shape. And

he eventually started road riding, commuting to an

earlier job with Carroll County for several years in the

Great Gear For Cyclists...

mid-90s. He stopped, however, and just peddled off

and on – other than his mountain biking — for years

until Burleson pushed him to do more.

In 2006, he said he kept a log and documented riding

11,000 miles.

His wife Jessica has done some marathons in the past,

still is a pretty avid runner herself and supports his

bike riding and commuting, he said.

“But, yeah”, he laughed again, “she told me, ‘You’ve

got a problem’, when I was doing that much riding. I

was ridiculous.”

Rhoten said one day, about eight months ago, he just

stopped keeping count. The batteries in his bike’s

computers died and he didn’t bother to replace


“I do what I can now and don’t worry about it anymore,”

Rhoten said. “There never is enough time to

do everything anyhow.”

Yes, and with his wife in nursing school, the ever-busy

mechanic is opening up a bike shop, the Eastern

Panhandle Bicycle Company, with an old BMX buddy,

Ryan Webber, at a new shopping center April 2.

“It’s huge, 3,200 sq. feet,” Rhoten said. “It’s definitely

something neither one of could have done alone. It’s

too much business for me and it’s too much manual

labor for him.”

Rhoten said he’’ll split time between his day job at

the landfill where he can retire with benefits in six

and 1⁄2 years and will work at the shop as the lead

mechanic on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and


Meanwhile, he’ll avoid driving his truck and his car –

even though he’s converted them to run on vegetable

oil like the furnace — as much as possible.

“I don’t ever see a reason to jump in there and turn it

on if I can ride a bike,” he said.

He also offers some advice for people who think they

want to start bicycle commuting. Or mountain biking

or doing triathlons – or starting a punk band or making

steel sculptures for that matter.

“Just do it,” he said. “People spend all this time preparing,

telling themselves they’re starting slowly, and

then they never get around to doing it.

“It’s not what the doctor will tell you, but jump right

in, I say,” he continued. “You’re body will get use to it.”

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House Bill 143, known as the “3-foot bubble bill”,

One Less Car executive director Richard Chambers

acknowledged recently appears to be dead in the

Maryland state assembly. The legislation, with 11 cosponsors

in the House, that requires a driver of a

motor vehicle, when overtaking a bicycle or a motor

scooter, not pass unless the driver can do so safely with-

out endangering the rider; and requires a driver of a

motor vehicle to yield the right-of-way to a person who

is riding a bicycle or a motor scooter in a bicycle lane.

The bill has strong support of Baltimore County

Delegate Jon Cardin, for example, and the support

of Delegate Maggie McIntosh of Baltimore City, the

chairman of the Environmental Matters committee,

among others, Chambers said. The major obstacle

in getting the bill out of committee, however, seems

to be Delegate James Malone, the vice-chair of the

Environmental Matters committee and whose district

includes Baltimore and Howard Counties.

“The fear that legislators say they have is that legislating

a safe passing distance will create confusion for

drivers,” Chambers said. “The law-makers who have

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defeated it say they don’t want to turn drivers into

lawbreakers and are concerned about enforcement.

Malone told me he didn’t want to bring it forward

(for a vote).”

Chambers added that 10 states now, including Florida,

Wisconsin, Minnesota, Utah and Arizona, have

enacted similar legislation, with at least two states,

Utah and Florida, writing citations for violations. He

also noted that the bill has the support of AAA Mid-


Chambers added that he hopes to work with the State

Highway Administration to come up with a safety

campaign, if the bill remains stalled. However, pulling

COMMUTER continued on p.30

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preregister for the duathlon, seminars, and clinics go to


April 2008


COMMUTER continued from p.29

$1 million from an increasingly tight budget will be a

tough challenge as well.

The One Less Car executive director said that Senate

Bill 492, which could allow bicyclists and pedestrians

to use state-owned bridges, has better chance of success

this session.

As the law stands now, bicyclists and pedestrians

are not allowed to use the Bay Bridge or the Hatem

bridge over the Susquehanna River or the Nice bridge

over Md. Route 301 and the Potomac River.

“This would at least eliminate the prohibition and

allow the state to give access if, for example, sidewalks

and bike lanes are put in place,” Chambers said. “And

if passed, it would allow the state to plan differently in

future construction efforts – that’s where the real benefit

comes into play.




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30 April 2008

“I think that will be a big win as long as the house

agrees to it,” Chambers said. “We seem to have more

success in the Senate than the House, however.”

One Less Car and bicycling advocates in the state

have also been working for several years to pass

legislation that would stiffen the penalties for reckless

drivers who hurt or kill pedestrians and bicyclists.

Currently, House Bill 667 is being back in the

Judiciary Committee.

Sponsored by Delegates Luiz Simmons of

Montgomery County and Daniel Riley of Harford and

Cecil Counties. The bill, entitled - Manslaughter by

Vehicle or Vessel - Criminal Negligence would make

it a misdemeanor for a person to cause the death of

another as a result of the person’s driving, operating,

or controlling a vehicle or vessel in a criminally negligent

manner; establishing the circumstances under

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National Bike Summit keynote speaker

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negligent manner for purposes of the Act.

Right now, Chambers said, the largest penalty some

could receive under state for, say reckless driving or

extreme speeding, that lead to death of a bicyclist or

pedestrian is a $500 fine.

Record-setting National Bike Summit

The eighth National Bike Summit concluded on

Capitol Hill Thursday, March 6 with a call to action

from Representatives James Oberstar (D-MN) and Earl

Blumenauer (D-OR), and with the announcement that

Congressional staff themselves will benefit from a pioneering

bike-sharing program later this Spring.

Rep. Blumenauer introduced House Congressional

Resolution 305, supporting the creation of a national

bicycling strategy, immediately prior to the Summit

with the co-sponsorship of Oberstar. More than 200

visits with Congressional offices by the record number

more than 500 Bike Summit participants yielded

immediate results with several new co-sponsors coming

on board, including the influential Rep. John

Duncan, (R-TN).

In their Senate visits, bicycling advocates urged support

for Senator Harkin’s (D-IA) newly introduced

Complete Streets Act of 2008 (S. 2686) and welcomed

Senator John Kerry to the ranks of the Senate Bike

Caucus. The caucus also gained new leadership with

Senator Olympia Snowe (R-RI) agreeing to co-chair

the group with Senator Durbin (D-IL).

The highlight of the three day Summit, however,

may have been the announcement of a Capitol Hill

bike sharing program by House Chief Administrative

Officer Dan Beard. Under the program to be

launched “no later than bike week in May,” staff and

members will be able to use a fleet of bikes to get

between House office buildings, to run errands and

get exercise.

Beard was recognized by the League of American

Bicyclists for his leadership in promoting bicycling as

part of his “greening” the Capitol initiative.

“We are delighted the Summit exceeded last year’s

record attendance figures by almost 100 people, and

that for almost half the participants this was their first

Summit ,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League

of American Bicyclists. “More than 70 local bicycle

dealers, the CEOs of the biggest brand names in bicycling,

on- and off-road bicyclists all join together at

this unique event to speak up for bicycling,” continued


“We heard a consistent message from the opening

speaker, David Jones Jr., Chairman of the Board of

Humana Inc., to the heads of AASHTO and APTA, the

Director of the District Department of Transportation

Emeka Monomee, and our Congressional champions

that this is a perfect time for our message to be heard.

Gas prices are rising again, the effects of climate

change are becoming more evident daily, obesity levels

continue to rise, and our transportation system is in

need of major change.”


Momentum is Your Friend, or…How to Self-

Propel Across America Pulling Your Family

Joe Kurmaskie (the Metal Cowboy), top right, rode cross

country with his 5 and 7 year old sons last summer.

Author Kevin Brugman and family welcome them to D.C.

MANY OF US HAVE DREAMED that once we retire, or

hit the big lottery, we will have the time to ride across

the country. For others, the thought of long distance

riding with our children or parents is likewise a

thought that we often focus on. Unfortunately for

many of us these opportunities are never realized.

Joe Kurmaskie, an adventure writer, decided not to

wait and in 2005, embarked on a cross country trip

pulling his five and seven-year-old boys and the ashen

remains of his father across the country.

“Momentum Is Your Friend: The Metal Cowboy and

His Pint-sized Posse Take on America” is a journal of

interesting stories from their journey. Often I would

read and wonder if the chapter I had just read had

really happened just the way Joe told it or if it was the

product of an over-active imagination. Then I would

think about my own boys and realize that these could

have happened.

This story starts off with the realization that many

folks probably questioned his sanity. He tells of his

maiden ride through the neighborhood:

Neighbors stop weeding their flower beds and let hoses

spill water down porch steps as we wobble by. “Feels like

a parade,” Enzo calls from the trailer. I can barely hear

him at this distance, but I’m glad he’s enjoying himself.

“We are the parade,” Quinn points out. … Speed seems

to level out our ride so I increase it. More reactions from

front porches and other pedestrians. A blind man could

read their expressions. “Would you look at that! He

thinks we haven’t thought about some foolish jailbreak

from the daily grind? But what sort of man acts upon

such things? And with kids in the bargain?!

Joe walks a careful balance between describing the

fun and excitement that they had riding through

places like Yellowstone National Park and painting the

pain that he sometimes felt going through the mountains.

One of his chapters deals with a chance encounter

with a BMX bike rider. The rider regales them in

stories of jumping in the rock quarries with landings

in the water, then looks out over Joe and his boys’

rig and exclaims that if what he does is considered

extreme then what Joe is doing is truly extreme.

He devotes another chapter to riding through

Yellowstone National Park, being chased by a bison,

and the hospitality that was extended by other

cyclists. Another chapter deals with the exhaustion

that sometimes accompanies long distance touring

as he lies fetal on the roadside just outside his childhood

hometown in Kansas and his boys try to revive


“Come on, Dad,” Quinn pokes at me with a bike pump

in the same fashion I’ve seen him use on roadkill. “Get

up! We’re almost over the rainbow.” I’m lying yards

from afternoon rush hour traffic. The mercury tops

106 degrees and Quinn’s reference is to both the Judy

Garland classic and the name of the steepest hill in

Kansas City . . . “No one’s out of gas around here until

I say so,” Quinn barks, parroting one of my favorite

self-help seminar lines. He gets in close, eyeing me with

the disappointed glare of a high school football coach.

“Get up. We’re in the Emerald City.” I don’t even make

an attempt. “Emerald City for you two, maybe,” I say.

My breathing is reminiscent

of someone locked

inside an iron lung.

“For me, it’s all tornados

and flying monkeys right


If you have ever enjoyed

any of the other “Metal

Cowboy” books, you will

find yourself in comfortable

surroundings with

this book. He combines

Huck Finn’s activities

and Mark Twain’s

natural born story teller

skills in relaying the

events of riding with

his boys in a humorous

way. It is not a story

about the mechanics

of bike touring or how

to raise children. It is a

book about the joys of

touring and the people

that you meet along the

way. Joe reminds us that

there is a lot of good

left in this country.

“Momentum is your

Friend” is $25 for a

signed hard copy and

can be ordered directly

from his website: www.


Another of Joe’s activities

has been to establish

Camp Creative.

Camp Creative blends

artistic and literary skills

with outdoor activities,

primarily biking

but including hiking,


is the ultimate calorie-killing studio


sailing, kayaking, etc. His focus is “The antidote to

X-box carpal tunnel in ten year old’s and ten year

old’s at heart.” In a show of support, the publisher

of “Momentum is your Friend” is currently donating

80% of each book sale, $20, to “Camp Creative.”

In the interests of full disclosure, I met Joe Kurmaskie

a number of years ago at a book signing for one of his

earlier books. At that time we discussed the pleasures

and challenges of riding with our sons. Last year he

finished his cross country ride with his sons at our

home and they were our guests for several days. I am

currently trying to talk him into getting dual tandems

for his family to use for future riding.

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April 2008



CampWoodward: The East Coast’s Land of OZ

Tucked away in the grassy foothills of Pennsylvania

about 15-20 miles from anywhere is a place that most

BMX riders and fans would consider a Mecca of

sorts...or is that sports? If you are into Extreme sports

like BMX, skateboarding, FMX, or even more socially

acceptable sports like cheerleading and gymnastics

you may have heard of Camp Woodward. It is located

in the middle of Amish Country, where daily life has

a slower pace and proves to be a lot less hectic than

any urban area that you’re familiar with. It’s about

30 minutes from State College, Pa., and Penn State


The camp has been in operation since the early

1970’s where it was conceived and built as an Olympic

level Gymnastic Training Center originally. It wasn’t

until the early 1980’s that they developed a summer

camp program for the new sport of BMX. Now teenage

boys had a “summer camp” other than band

camp or soccer camp to look forward to when school

let out in June.

Camp Woodward has really grown over the years and

now has expanded to a total of three locations across

the USA. Woodward East remains in the same location

it began over 35 years ago, and there are newer

camps in Wisconsin, and California.

During the mid 1990’s BMX/Freestyle jumped into

the limelight with the introduction of the Extreme-

Games, which was later shortened to X-Games. The

camp grew right along with the crazy non-traditional

sports tagged Extreme Sports, like skateboarding,

BMX, Inline skating, and freestyle moto-cross.

These days the amount of space dedicated to gym-



32 April 2008


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








BMX MID-ATLANTIC by BRIAN CARON coolbmx2c4me@aol.com

nastics is fairly small in comparison to the 17 parks/

buildings dedicated to skateboards and bikes. The

camp offers week-long sessions in the summer months

mostly comprised of teenagers, although any child

from age 7-18 is permitted.

During week #12 and throughout the winter they

offer riding sessions for those 18 years and older.

These Action Sports Getaways allow older enthusiasts

to take advantage of the indoor ramp parks on a winter

weekend while everyone else is home shivering

from the cold.

It’s amazing after being involved in almost every facet

of BMX/Freestyle bikes over the past 20 years that I

never took the trip a few hours north of the Mason-

Dixon Line to experience what Camp Woodward

had to offer. That changed in late February 2008

when I was asked to attend a Weekend at Woodward,

accompanying Team Slacker that has team members

from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Unfortunately I was nursing a lower back injury at the

time and wouldn’t be able to ride much but I felt it

would be a great opportunity to see the place that really

put the East Coast on the map for BMX, and I could

put together a first-hand account for SPOKES readers.

Because of its location there are no Interstate highways

that lead directly to the camp so the journey

there is mostly comprised of two lane roadways that

wind around and over the farmlands. It’s located

about 40 miles from Interstate 81/ Route 15 in the

Harrisburg, Pa., area. It’s not uncommon to pass several

horse drawn buggies along the way. Of course

getting there is only half of the fun! Due to the number

of riders in our group (around 10 or so) we had

a caravan of three cars loaded up with anxious riders

ready to brave the frigid outside temps to spend a few

days at this Action Sports retreat.

Shortly after arriving I realized that pictures just don’t

do this place justice. To say I was a bit overwhelmed

would be an understatement. They had as many or

more ramps, jumps, and obstacles than I had seen

in a lifetime of riding, and that’s just the ones that

weren’t buried under a foot of snow!

During the summer months this place is completely

carpeted with riders from all over the world, with

sometimes as many as 1000 campers at a time! Team

Slacker was only going to have to contend with about

30 other riders on this weekend.

Although they only have two warehouses open (Lot

8 and Cloud 9) during the winter weekends, there is

more than enough room for everyone. Lot 8 is comprised

of a maze of ramps, wooden bowls, vert walls,

and box jumps. One of the unique features of this

facility is the foam pits and ‘resi’ jumps. The foam pits

make for a proving ground for new tricks, with a pool

full of eight inch cubed compressed foam blocks,

riders can land any way they have to with or without

their bike and not risk any serious injuries if they bail.

If they feel confident they can take the tricks to the

resi-ramp which is a four foot high box jump with a

plastic type surface on a foam foundation to land on,

like a huge wrestling mat or gym crash mat. Falling

or sliding on this surface sure beats hard concrete or

splinters from wood.

My buddy ‘Afro’ Tony Smith learned back flips in

about 30 minutes! In fact probably half of the riders

in our group progressed by leaps and bounds

solely due to these ‘training’ ramps. Joey ‘Poke’

Richards pulled off a huge double back flip into the

foam. Slacker/Groove Merchant/Haro rider Dan

Depre just about mastered front flips but didn’t have

the initiative to take them to the wood ramps. Dan

has REALLY progressed over the last few years and

impressed everyone in attendance with his HUGE 360

and 720 variations.

Cloud 9 is what the name suggests; it’s like being on

top of the world. There are even recliners on top of

the ramps to chill and watch other riders from the

video game lounge. It has a total of three foam pits

including two huge ones off to the side of their monster

12 foot halfpipe. It’s not uncommon to meet up

with some pros from time to time while you’re there

too. Steve Mccann was hittin’ up the halfpipe, blasting

12 foot airs like nothing. Jamie Bestwick was in

the house and I got to meet him. Kevin Robinson was

away for a competition though.

After the initial couple hours of warm-ups and riding,

some serious shredding took place on Saturday evening

after dinner. The team members range in age from 14-

36 but everyone is like a kid in a candy store and on a

level playing field when they ride together. The main

thing I realized is that it’s all about the nick names.

Midget, Slow, Rope, Poke, Nate-Dog just to name a few.

I don’t even know Midget’s last name but his actions

speak louder than words! He blasted trick after trick

with ease stalling airs out on the 12’+ vert wall and

launching out of every ramp in the place. He hails from

Falling Waters, W. Va., and has been an outstanding

rider since he was 12 years old and got the nick-name.

Look for a rider profile on him in an upcoming issue.

Bryan ‘Rope’ Ropelewski set his goals to learn no-handers

over the weekend and did just that. Nate Horner

not only proves his skills time after time on a bike but is

an outstanding photographer as well!

My first trip to Woodward was impressive, not only

because of the talented cast of riders but the setting

and staff at the camp as well. Nobody came home

hurt and everyone learned something and progressed

in some way or another, and even made a few new

friends as well. So whether you are 7, 17, or 37 give

Camp Woodward a chance. If you have the opportunity

check it out for their summer camps or their

weekend riding retreats during the off-season. You will

be as impressed as I was for sure.

BMX Briefs

Dan Depre 360’s over the spine in Cloud 9

Joey “Poke” Richards on the monster spine ramp/halfpipe

The upcoming 2008 Olympics still have the industry

and the sport in top gear. For up to date information

on the Olympics or any facet of BMX it’s easy

to check out www.genesbmx.com. They have daily

updates to keep you informed locally, nationally and


Tracks around the area are all noticing more interest

and new recruits to the sport. Richmond BMX has

recently added a paved starting hill and first corner

just to raise the level of competition and decrease the

time spent on track prep for sure. Check them out

this season: www.richmondbmx.com

Rainy weather during March pushed back several

tracks opening days in Virginia and Maryland, but by

the time you read this, the 2008 season will be in full

swing I’m sure.

In bike shop news Germantown Cycles and Avalon

Cycles have changed their name at both locations to

Avalon Cycles. They will still house and operate the

skatepark at the Elkridge location as well as continue

running their BMX demo program with free bike

loans for beginning BMX riders. Contact either location

for info or on the web at www.avaloncycles.com

River City Cycles in Williamsport, Md., has noticed

the increase in BMX consumer traffic and is now

dealing S.E Racing as well as KINK BMX bikes to

answer the call.





Get ready for Spring.

Our staff can help you

pick just the right bike

for YOU!


with this coupon

Buy any adult bike and get a $50 Wheel Nuts Gift Card!

Buy any kids bike and get a $25 Wheel Nuts Gift Card!

Offer valid thru April 30, 2008

SAVE $20

with this coupon

Take $20 off our Precision Tune Up Package (Reg. $85, Now $65).

Offer valid thru April 30, 2008


302 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Ryan Hullinger speeds around a corner en route to another victory

Check out these and other area shops if you are interested

in getting into BMX in any capacity. I’m sure

they can set you up right.

Monday-Friday 11am - 7pm

Saturday 9am - 6pm

Sunday 10am - 5pm


www.jamisbikes.com • www.diamondback.com • www.dahon.com

April 2008



Griffin Cycle

4949 Bethesda Ave.

Bethesda, MD 20814

(301) 656-6188



All cyclists and their families are invited to join this

15th annual weekend ride held in Madison, Ga.,

hosted by BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia). Flat

to gently rolling hills. This is a fun time for the whole

family and a great time to get in shape for BRAG!

Various ride options available daily as well as daily

rates for those who cannot ride all weekend. Plenty

of food, music and entertainment. For more info visit

www.brag.org or email info@brag.org


Check out the scenery of Carroll County, Md., and get

those winter-lazy legs in shape for the summer. Ride

the 4th Annual Tour de Carroll and enjoy the beauty

and great rides that the county has to offer. All proceeds

benefit West End Place, Carroll County’s only

private, non-profit service for low income seniors.

There are rides for all skill levels ranging from a full

metric (63 miles) 36 miles, and 8 miles. Check out

this event and register at active.com. Call (410) 848-

2433, ext. 221 for details.

34 April 2008

Road, Hybrids, Mountain, Kids

Parts & Accessories for All Makes

Trailers & Trikes

Family Owned – In Bethesda for 37 Years


Following a record-setting biking and hiking event in

2007 that saw fundraising and participation numbers

increase by over 150 percent, the Kennedy Krieger

Institute’s 2008 ROAR: Ride on for Autism Research

event will grow again this year. In addition to the 25

and 10-mile recreational bike rides, from Oregon

Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville,

Md.., serious cyclists will have now the opportunity to

tackle the challenging 50-mile route, while families

will enjoy the low-mileage, youth fun ride and one of

the areas best playgrounds. Registration begins at 7

a.m.; 50-mile and 25-mile routes begin at 7:30 a.m.;

10-mile, kids ride, and hiking trails begin by 8:30 a.m.

For details or registration log onto www.ROAR.kennedykrieger.org

or call 443-923-7300.


One of only 18 high-level mountain bike races on

the USAC National Calendar (one of only 2 in northeast

U.S.) Includes Maryland State Championship

titles, plus qualifications to attend the U.S. National

Championships in Mt Snow, VT in July. In 2007, more


To be listed, send information to Spokes, 5911 Jefferson Boulevard, Frederick, MD 21703 or e-mail: spokesmag@comcast.net

than 550 racers participated. Located at Greenbrier

State Park near Hagerstown, Md. For details log onto

www.potomacvelo.com or contact James Carlson at



Cyclists of all abilities from rank beginners to

America’s top pro racers will be able to participate

in U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic in Arlington,

Va.Participants will be able to ride on a 12 1⁄2 kilometer

circuit in Arlington, Va., that will challenge

them for up to 8 laps or 100 kilometers. Following

this amateur ride, a series of amateur and pro races

will be held on route in Arlington and Crystal City.

Registration for the amateur participatory ride is now

open. :Log onto www.arlingtonsports.org. Active duty

and reserve military personnel receive a $10 discount.


A new ride for this year, the Virginia Capital to Capital

ride follows the proposed trail route that will connect

Jamestown to Richmond. The ride will have starts in

CALENDAR continued on p.36






















CALENDAR continued from p.34

both Richmond and Jamestown. There are parts of

the trail that have been completed at both ends and

a new section is scheduled to open about the time of

the ride. Gov. Kaine has committed to complete the

Capital to Capital Trail by the end of his administration

in 2010. Families can ride from Jamestown for

shorter distances on a paved off road trail or continue

on the road for different distances. Registration and

information can be found at www.virginiacapitaltrail.



Join thousands of area commuters for a celebration

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

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

stops all over the Washington metro region, ride into

the city with experienced commuter convoys and meet

your colleagues at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania

Avenue. Washington Area Bicyclist Association and

Commuter Connections invite you to try bicycling

to work as an alternative to solo driving. Help the

Washington region become a better place to ride. Bike

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

For details log onto www.waba.org


Celebrate the arrival of spring with a bike tour

through the wonderful, scenic and flat Mathews

County backroads along the Chesapeake Bay. Join 800

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

first biking adventure, or maybe the intermediate

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

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

Families especially will enjoy the abundant quiet,

scenic lanes winding down to forgotten coves on the

Chesapeake Bay, the East River and the North River.

Pedal in and out of the beautiful salt marshes instead

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

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

or email info@bikechesapeake.org.


Young Life Metro DC hosts this 100 mile ride, with

shorter rides of 25 and 50 miles, to benefit Metro

Washington teens with special needs, teen moms,

disadvantaged and typical teens. Rides begin and end

near the FDR Memorial in West Potomac Park, D.C.

and loops into Virginia and Maryland. Food, support,

and T-shirts for all riders. Details and registration

at ww.NationalCapitalCentury.com or by phone at



Join over 750 participants from across the mid-

Atlantic to celebrate the National Capital Chapter’s

26th Anniversary Bike ride. Presented by the

Washington D.C. area Land Rover retailers, this

year’s ride begins and ends from Franklin Park in

Purcellville, Va. The ride takes you through beautiful

Northern Virginia wine country over a one or two day

period. Choose from a variety of mileage options, and

enjoy this unforgettable experience complete with

live entertainment, great food, picturesque views and

more. For details log onto www.MSandYOU.org; call

(202) 296-5363, or email MSBike@MSandYOU.org


From 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Lake Needwood Park in

Rockville, Maryland. Hudson Trail Outfitters invites

you to this popular event at which representatives from

Giant, Felt, Rocky Mountain and Fuji, as well as well as

a number of boat manufacturers to permit test rides.

36 April 2008

Admission is free. For details and directions to the park

go to www.hudsontrail.com for more information.


Celebrating its 26th year, the Columbia Triathlon is

famous for its outstanding race organization and its

fun and extremely challenging race course. Held in

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

swim, 41k bike, and 10k run. For more info call (410)

964-1246 or visit www.tricolumbia.org


From 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Rockville, Fairfax, Tenley

Circle, Pentagon Row, and Annapolis locations of

Hudson Trail Outfitters. Learn how to change a flat

tire and clean a chain. Join HTO’s bike experts and

learn the basics of bike repair. Learn how to fix a bike

on the trail, how to make sure your tires are patched

correctly and how to degrease your chain. We will

teach you what repairs you can do yourself, and how

to know when you need a mechanic. Go to www.hudsontrail.com

for more information.


Join the Baltimore Bicycling Club and Washington

College as they host this 26th annual weekend event

along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Rides range from

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

Washington College’s dorm and enjoy great food, an

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

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

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

email KCSF@verizon.net


This bike tour is a American Lung Association event

to benefit children with asthma through programs

and desperately needed pulmonary research efforts in

order to find treatments and cures for lung disease.

Routes go through Wicomico and Worcester Counties

to Assateague Island or along the shorelines. Saturday

rides are 20, 40, 62.5 or 100 miles; Sunday rides are

10, 20 or 40 miles. Chose between one or both day

tours. Start/finish, lodging, and activities are held at

Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md. A crab feast follows

Saturday’s ride. For more info or to register visit

www.asthmaride.org or call 1-800-642-1184, ext. 221.


Celebrate National Trails Day with a bike ride on

country roads in the Rural Tier of Prince George’s

County, Md. Routes of 24, 46, and 64 miles from the

Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary will take you to scenic rest

stops overlooking the Patuxent River. Fully supported

by the Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club. For details,

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


Join the Maryland Chapter of the National MS Society

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

Shore. Routes range from 30 -100 miles on Saturday

and 30 & 50 mile on Sunday. Overnight at Salisbury

University. Route is fully supported with rest stops,

bike techs and support vehicles. To Register or find

out more, visit www.marylandmsbikeride.org or call

(443) 641-1220.


Come discover Georgia by bicycle on the 29th annual

Bicycle Ride Across Georgia. The 2008 edition will

ride from Atlanta to St. Simons, and will feature

beautiful scenery, historic sites, street festivals, ice

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

Great fun for the family, groups or individuals. Daily

rides average 60 miles, approximately 400 miles total.

Longer Hammerhead options for serious cyclists.

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

more information, please visit our website at www.

brag.org, or email info2@brasg.org


Coming up on its 17th year, the 24 Hours of Big

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

Snowshoe and 24 Hours of Canaan) is rolling out

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

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

place at Big Bear Lake Campland. While the racing

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

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

shadow of the legendary 24 Hours of Canaan, THE

original 24 hour mountain bike race, and then the 24

Hours of Snowshoe, this Laird Knight, Granny Gear

Productions event returns to the roots of the original

event, with great all around riding, fun camping venues

and a festival atmosphere. The location is about

three hours from Washington/Baltimore. For details

or to register visit www.grannygear.com


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

a different part of Ohio each year. Bicycling the daily

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

for sightseeing and other tourist activities. See Ohio

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

Advance registration is required. For registration

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

273-0811 ext. 1.


23nd annual ride from Betterton, Md. Start 7 - 9 a.m.,

tandems at 8 a.m. Ride 50, 78, 86 or 104 flat miles

or a 27 mile loop to Chestertown. $20 until May 15,

$25 after. Bring your father and he rides FREE (it

must be Father’s Day)! Six food stops, fully supported,

swimming in the Chesapeake Bay at ride’s end.

Proceeds benefit Lions Club Leader Dog Program

for the Blind. Blind riders ride free. For details email:



Twenty one years ago, 117 men, women and children

embarked on an adventure crossing Virginia

on bicycles. They rode from Charlottesville to our

nation’s colonial capital in Williamsburg, establishing

what has become the largest, multi-day, recreational

bicycle event in the Commonwealth. In

2008, Bike Virginia is moving west! The cities of

Bristol and Abingdon, Virginia along with Kingsport,

Tennessee will play host to an influx of 2,000 cycling

enthusiasts. Bike Virginia has partnered with The

Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail for

this year’s event. The Crooked Road celebrates the

roots of Appalachian and mountain music through

festivals, concerts, radio shows, and jam sessions.

Visit www.bikevirginia.org for details and to register

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



Lutherville Bike Shop will lead two weekly road bike

rides. Both rides will leave from the shop at 5:30 p.m.

Proper riding attire required. Easier Ride: Monday

nights at 5:30 p.m. 14-16 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.

Fast Ride: Tuesday nights at 5:30 p.m. 18+ mph

Approximately 40 miles A fast ride through Loch

Raven Reservoir and northern Baltimore county. This

is a hilly ride with sprint points to keep the heart rate

up and the competition fierce. The goal of this ride

is to ride fast and ride hard. Great for racers training

during the season. We will set a few designated wait

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



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.


Every Sunday at 2 p.m. meet at Cameron Run

Regional Park, 4100 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria,

Va.,. for a free family fun ride. Trail is paved, two ride

options: 5.6 or 6.9 mile loops. Both lead to nature

area. Visit bike.meetup.com/288 or contact Susan

Schneider at (202) 403-1148 for details.


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

biking rides. Rides will be lead by experienced

HTO staff and will range from 10-20 mile trail rides to

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

group stretching, rides will start promptly at 9:00 am.

Go to www.hudsontrail.com for more information.

April 14 - Rock Creek Park: Family Ride: A 16 mile

road ride from DC to Maryland. A paved bike trail

and a few light traffic streets. Road or mountain bikes.

Meet at Foggy Bottom Metro Station.

May 18 – Loch Raven Reservoir Mt. Bike Ride: Enjoy

14 miles of logs, creek crossings and fast downhills

on this intermediate to advanced mountain bike ride.

Meet at the church on Seminary Road, corner of

Seminary and Delaney.

June 22 – Rosaryville Beginner Mountain Bike Ride:

Ride an eight mile smooth groomed track loop. Mt.

Bike is a must. Meet at Rosaryville State Park, $3 parking



Spirited Tuesday evening road rides, 25.5 miles (or 18

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.


The Bicycle Escape, in conjunction the Mid-Atlantic

Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE), is hosting night mountain

bike rides at Gambrill State Park on the 1st and

3rd Wednesday of each month through the end of

April. The rides begin at 7 p.m. Because Gambrill

offers some of the most technical terrain in the region

these rides are for experienced mountain bikers only.

It is also necessary to have a high quality lighting system.

Due to the extreme popularity of these rides and

the group’s agreement with Maryland’s Department

of Natural Resources riders must register to attend.

More information and registration is available at www.

thebicycleescape.com or call (301) 663-0007.


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


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.



THE BIKE LANE in Burke and Reston, Va., is now

hiring for full time mechanic, sales, and assistant management

positions. We are looking for enthusiastic self

motivated people who love cycling and enjoy working

with people. Experience is preferred. Excellent pay

and benefits. Please fill out an on line application at

www.thebikelane.com or email info@thebikelane.com

for more information.


ROAD BIKE – Bianchi Eros, men’s 23 inch frame, 21

speeds, excellent condition, all original, early 1990’s

model. $225. Cash. (301) 797-1713.

FOR SALE – 1955 racing bike Frejus Toreno, all

Campagnolo, 1960 two California choppers. 2006 Trek

Madone 5.2, all Dura Ace. Best offer. Call Dutch (410)

208-1497 in Ocean Pines, Maryland


YAKIMA ROOF RACK – Carries two bikes with a special

rail to hold a tandem bike. For car without roof

rails. $200. (301) 371-5309.





Details: NO PHONE ORDERS. Ad listed in next

issue. Limit of 25 words. Add 50¢ per word over.

Print or type message, including classification.

Send to:

Spokes Classifieds

5911 Jefferson Boulevard

Frederick, MD 21703


A fun but spirited group ride through Baltimore

County every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Depending

on turnout there are usually 2-3 different groups of

varying abilities. When the weather doesn’t cooperate,

we will have the option to ride indoors. Call Hunt

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

BIKES FOR THE WORLD - Collection Schedule

Bikes for the World collects repairable bicycles in the

United States, for donation to charities overseas, for

productive use by those in need of affordable transport.

Note: $10/bike donation suggested to defray

shipping to overseas charity partners. Receipt provided

for all material and cash donations. Bikes for the World

is a sponsored project of the Washington Area Bicyclist

Association, a 501 c 3 non-profit charity. Collections

will take place rain or shine. For further info, visit www.

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

Bicycles may also be dropped off for Bikes for the

World during store hours at selected bicycle retailers:

Bikes of Vienna, 128-A Church Street, Vienna VA;

Bob’s Bike Shop, 19961 Fisher Avenue, Poolesville MD;

Race Pace, 8450 Baltimore Natl Pike, Normandy

Shopping Center, Ellicott City MD;

Pedal Pushers, 546 Baltimore & Annapolis Road,

Severna Park MD.

Please remember to leave a $10 donation (check

preferred, payable to “BfW”) with each bike; BfW will

mail you a receipt good for tax purposes.

April 2008




Whether you want to analyze your sports diet, get

an answer to your questions about creatine, or find

a new recipe for chicken, you can get an amazing

amount of high quality food, nutrition and health

information on the Web. The trick is, what’s quality

information and what’s hokum? Here are some of my

favorite websites; perhaps this information will be a

helpful resource for you, as well.


If you have questions about fueling for exercise, The

Australian Institute of Sport (whose mission is to

help educate Olympic athletes and coaches) offers

abundant sports nutrition information. Click on Sport

Science/Sport Medicine and you can find out how

to fuel for your particular sport (triathlon, running,

rugby, rowing, etc.), as well as fact sheets and articles

that offer answers to your questions about sports supplements,

including antioxidants, bovine, colostrum,

glutamine, whatever.


Wonder how your sports diet stacks up? This website

lets you analyze the protein, carbohydrate and fat

content of your diet, and helps tract your food, exercise

and weight goals. Just enter into their nutrition

calculator what you typically eat in a day, and you’ll

learn how well you eat. Note: The key to getting accurate

nutrition information is to measure the true portion

sizes of what you eat. That is, how much granola

do you actually consume--one cup? two cups? Measure

food; don’t guess!


Wonder about caffeine? aspartame? chocolate? You’ll

find the answers to your food questions on this site

sponsored by the International Food Information

Council Foundation, a non-profit organization who’s

mission is to communicate reliable information about

food, food safety and nutrition. Just go to “search”,

enter the topic, and enjoy articles that answer your



Do you have questions or concerns about how to eat

to lower your cholesterol? Either search for information

about your food of interest (soy, fish, eggs etc.)

or click on Healthy Lifestyle. Also explore Delicious

Decisions for abundant heart-healthy recipes.


Wonder about the nutritional needs of infants?

your grandparents? your children? yourself? The

National Agricultural Library’s Food and Nutrition

Information Center provides abundant information

about nutrition throughout the lifecycle, food safety,

the Food Pyramid, a search tool to look at the nutritional

value of the foods you eat, plus a wealth of

nutrition information.


If you are struggling to find the right balance of food

and exercise, this site offers helpful information as

38 April 2008


well as videos of professionals who can help you find

peace with food. There’s no need to struggle on your

own; this site can help you develop a better relationship

with food and your body.


Are you really getting what you pay for when you buy

nutritional supplements? ConsumerLab.com monitors

the quality of vitamin and mineral supplements,

herbs, nutrition bars, protein powders and numerous

other health products so you can learn which brands

offer you the best for your money. Some of the information

is free; some comes with a fee. An annual subscription

is $29.95; a single product review is $12. The

site could likely save you that much money...


Just about everyone knows someone who is afflicted

with cancer. This website helps translate the latest

research into healing food suggestions to help cure or

prevent cancer.

www.nlm.nih.gov The National Library of Medicine

offers easy-to-understand medical information for

the general public (click on Medline Plus) as well

as access to the latest research published in medical

journals (click on PubMed). If you want the latest

news on creatine, vitamin C and exercise, or carbohydrate

loading, simply search the topic of interest and

wade through the abstracts.


Have no idea what’s for dinner but want something

tasty? You’ll find lots of food ideas on this website-not

only 8,000 recipes but also nutrition information

about each recipe and a customized food shopping

list. You can look for recipes according to health

needs (low cholesterol, diabetes), time available to

cook, nutrition, and taste (that is, are you hankering

for comfort food, gourmet food, holiday foods, taste

of the world, chocolate?). You can also choose from

the list of the most popular recipes. The Spinach

Stuffed Chicken Breasts (preparation time: 10 minutes;

cooking time: 35 minutes) sounds good to me!


If you are thinking about a vegetarian lifestyle,

this website, sponsored by Vegetarians Unite!, was

designed to create an Internet vegetarian community.

It offers over 4,300 recipes including kid-friendly

foods, plus chat rooms, articles, books, even veggie

poems. A fun site!


Looking for a local sports dietitian who can help

answer your personal nutrition questions? This

site, sponsored by SCAN, the American Dietetic

Association’s dietary practice group of Sports &

Cardio-vascular Nutritionists, offers a referral network.

Just click on your state, and you’ll get a list of

sports nutrition professionals who can give you personalized

attention. Don’t let nutrition be your missing


Don’t Miss an Issue!

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See the line of Felt bicycles at the

following authorized Felt dealers:


Rehoboth Beach


4100 Highway One






160-C Jennifer Rd




415 S. Broadway


College Park


9217 Baltimore Blvd




6925 Oakland Mills Rd





Weis Market Center


Ellicott City


8450 Baltimore

National Pike




229 N. Market St


Lexington Park



21540 Great Mills Rd


Owings Mills


9930 Reisterstown Rd





12085 Rockville Pike


Felt is available at

all HTO locations



459 Baltimore Blvd



Falls Church


2826 Fallfax Dr




24511-3 Centreville Rd




7705 Sudley Rd




19 Catoctin Circle, NE


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