The first Mt. Comfort Air Show Ride was a spur-of-the-moment idea as we rode in the vicinity of the show last year. This year was planned, but the weatherman tried to scare everyone away. And we would have stayed dry if we hadn't opted for ice cream on the way home. But we all agreed, the ice cream was worth the getting wet!
We had a couple of delays to start with, but we had time. Dave Crandall brought his granddaughter Brennen along, Then he discovered his bottom bracket was totally shot. So we made a short detour to change bikes and we were on our way. We rode from Falls Park to Greenfield and we ate at Carol's Cornerstone Café on U.S. 40 just two blocks east of St. Rd. 9. On the way to the restaurant Crandall was pushed to keep Brennan entertained, so he was weaving all over the road like a race car driver before the restart. As if keeping up with the group while pulling a trailer isn't enough!
By the time we got to the restaurant, we had accumulated a decent group. Dave Crandall and Brennan; Chuck, Sandy, and Michael Baden (Sandy drove down to pick up Michael); Dave Elliott; Steve and Francie Seybert; Paul Meuthing; and Steve Rybolt. At the restaurant we had put in our orders and the waitress said it would take longer because of the fried chicken. Immediately, we looked at Michael Baden and he pointed at Dave Crandall, and Dave said, "It was her." Brennan, with her big smile, said "I did it." What a hoot!
We rode the trail west and then worked our way to Mohawk and then west to the road on the east side of the airport. We located ourselves on an abandoned farm driveway. We had just gotten settled when a sheriff's deputy pulled in and told us we were illegally on airport property. But since we were on bicycles and we were obviously resting, we could stay until we were rested. Nice guy... thank you! We later realized that they were not allowing any vehicles on the north/south road.
We stayed for about two hours and saw lots of airplanes of all vintages. We saw some amazing maneuvers and of course, we tried to ID the many planes, especially the WW II planes. We saw a very good group of five jets but we didn't know who they were. At first we thought they could be the Blue Angels, but the markings were not right. I found [later] on the internet that they were the Heavy Metal Jet Team -- a first-year aerobatic team out of Lancaster, Penn. We even saw a refueling plan fly over very low. Our location was almost in line with the runway, so the planes flew right over our heads, especially when landing.
Someone suggested that this ride should be a "mandatory" club ride. Well, that might be a bit much, but if you weren't there, you definitely missed one of the best.
(Chairman's Letter excerpted from May 2011 newsletter...)
I would like to start this column by thanking Tom Frazier for the five years of service as chair/president of our club. Sorry to burst your bubble, Tom, but I knew when I accepted the job that you would be there to assist me as I learn the ropes -- I will be calling. Our Anderson Spoke and Wheel club has been providing ride opportunities, promoting cycling safety through instruction and contributing to other local cycling activities for 23 years. That is a tremendous achievement by those who have provided the support necessary over the years.
For those of you who do not know me, I am a retired mechanical geek. I enjoy road and mountain biking and have been fortunate to have traveled extensively participating in both. I enjoy adventure travel with the bike, leisurely social riding, as well as occasional racing. Other pursuits include working on and racing European formula cars and water sports. I became aware of the Anderson Spoke and Wheel club [several] years ago and knew I would have a place to pursue my hobby later in life. My first official day of retirement was spent on the Monday ride and was my initial reconnecting with the group. I receive support and encouragement from my wife, Sandy, and our two (adult) kids, Michael and Elizabeth.
I am excited about the possibilities for our club as the year evolves. We have some great ride opportunities coming up and some potential new routes! Be sure to check your newsletter/calendar, [Google Group messages, and the website] closely to stay current.
If you haven't paid your dues yet, please consider getting them to Rosemary Frazier as soon as possible. In addition to great rides we hope to have some exciting and informative presentations later this year. These should cover a broad spectrum of topics from training to wellness to bicycle travel and adventure as well as bicycle maintenance. We are looking for ideas as we work to bring relevant activities to you. I am interested in your suggestions so please do not hesitate to bring them to my attention. Do not forget our May 19 meeting -- a great place to bring your ideas. Stay tuned.
Speaking of rides, is it ever going to warm up and quit raining this spring? The bicycle boot camp cycling trip to Florida could not have had better weather than we experienced this year. Since returning, I have had to take time to reflect on cycling and safety. While in Florida, a cycling couple had the misfortune of having a van execute a right turn into/across the bicycle lane they occupied. Broken bicycles, too much road rash, and a dislocated shoulder resulted. I was crossing a street on a bike trail with the light and a walk signal in the crosswalk when I found myself way too close and almost coming into contact with a truck and trailer making a right turn on red at about 30 mph, without stopping, but brakes screaming.
Some of our own have spent way too much time recovering from accidents last year. I see no common denominator, but it does serve to remind us that we can never be too cautious. We are in the minority on the road; if there was ever a case to justify defensive riding, road riding makes the case. We need to be ever aware, need to communicate with each other and at times (four-way stops), with drivers on the road. We need to evaluate the type of riding we are doing and make sure the conditions are conducive to doing so safely. We need to look out for each other as we participate in our group rides. (I feel we do a very good job of this in the club -- one of the advantages to our group.) We can do everything right and still have a bad result. No one is perfect, so please just take a minute and think about safety when starting a ride so that you can continue to enjoy the great sport of cycling.
Polish your bike, air up the tires, and get out and ride. Until next month, see you in the saddle.
Saturday, April 23, Steve Rybolt sent out a Google Group message suggesting an afternoon ride from Falls Park. With a few peeks of sun showing, several of us decided to take him up o the offer. Leaving Falls Park with Steve were Chuck Baden, Doug Nelson, Steve Seybert, Paul & Nancy Muething, Dave Jones and Dave's grandson, Trent Rice.
About a mile out of town, after passing the first barking dog, it started to rain. Doug stopped to remove his hearing aid and Steve Seybert said he wasn't riding in the rain, so he turned around and headed home. The rest of us agreed and turned around, too Arriving back at the park, we stopped at the shelter to talk. After a while the rain seemed to stop we we set out again.
Trent was having a little trouble shifting on the hill out of town, and soon we discovered why. After a big push, his left peddle came off -- crank arm and all! It was hanging from his foot as he was still in the toe clip! Great rider that he is, he managed to kick it off, stop the bike, and dismount without falling. We all stared in disbelief. Kudos to you, Trent, for a job well done!
Dave rode back to the park to get his truck while the rest of us headed into the wind. By then, Paul and I decided we were just going to Lapel for ice cream while Steve, Chuck, and Doug took a little longer route. Meeting up in Lapel, we ate with Dave and Trent. After that, Steve and Chuck took off for parts unknown while Doug, Paul, and I took off in another head wind (how did that happen?) for the ride home.
The group enthusiastically gathered at Killbuck Valley School for the March 20 ride to Mill Street Inn, the home of the best pancakes in Indiana. We found good smooth roads for our adventure, only detouring 1/2 mile from our planned route. The ride over was a breeze with the wind at our backs, averaging a torrent 12 mph and arriving with energy left and ready for lunch.
True to Broc tradition, we did our best to rid Mill Street of their excessive amount of pancake batter, using (of course) sugar-free syrup. Well, that was except me -- I felt I needed the full-fledged gooey stuff. We ate and exchanged 100% true biking stories (well, almost 100%), then wiped the goo from our lips and headed for home.
The wind forgot to change directions while we were eating, so the route home was a bit more challenging... but what the heck -- we are tough bikers , so we endured! While trekking home, I thought, "What would Broc do?" and then it hit me... we should stop for ice cream to settle those sweet pancakes we had for lunch. So my bike got confused and I found that we were at Cammack Station looking at more sweets, but as we ogled the suger-laden treats, our stomachs revolted and we realized that we were not as tough as Broc, so we got back on our two-wheeled machines and headed for home.
The weather was great, as was the company: riders included Dave Elliott, Francie Seybert, and myself. We traveled 38.5 miles with no bicycle issues. Dave now rides a great-looking raleigh road bike, so future riders better look out!
(Excerpt from Feb. 2011 Spoke and Wheel newsletter...)
I decided to get a jump on 2011 weeks ago by signing up for the Polar Bear Ride in Kokomo.
New Year's Day began with rain and dropping temperatures, but the weather was sunshine with windy, colder conditions at the start of the ride. I'm not sure how many were there, but my guesstimate would be about 50 riders. A quick scan of the crowd didn't turn up any other Spoke and Wheel members, but if I didn't see you, I apologize.
Since this is my first year riding the Polar Bear, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but the route was well marked and quite scenic. It's a good thing I was facing that very strong west wind at the beginning of the ride, because I would have been struggling otherwise. Considering northern Indiana is known for its flat farmland, I was surprised that this route had several rolling hills. However, I passed quite a few ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers which always make a ride more enjoyable.
Going on a new ride always brings some surprises. My most memorable moment was a male cyclist wearing jeans, work boots, and riding a girl's bike with cobwebs on it. Maybe a well-intentioned New Year's resolution?
The Polar Bear Ride was a great start to 2011 and I'm looking forward to an enjoyable ride year!
(Excerpt from Feb. 2011 Spoke and Wheel newsletter...)
Message from Nancy Tibbett, Executive Director, Bicycle Indiana:
Greetings and Happy New Year!
It’s finally here! The day has finally come: On Jan. 3, the I Share the Roadlicense plate hit the road in Indiana. A key point to remember: $25 from every $40 I Share the Roadspecialty plate fee goes to Bicycle Indiana to support our efforts to improve cycling in Indiana.
As we've told you in previous notes, Bicycle Indiana’s goal is to see 8,000 plates issued our first year. This is an aggressive goal, and we’ll need your help to make it happen. We’ll use proceeds from the plate sales to support our ongoing cycling advocacy and education programs, and to provide grants to local cycling organizations. This grant process is not yet defined, but we will introduce and define it for your members in the coming year.
Thanks to the support, drive and dedication of Indiana cyclists, as of January 3, 2011, you can obtain your I Share the Roadlicense plate from the BMV and proudly display your pedal passion even when you’re driving.
If ordering online, be sure to click the box marked “Allow BMV to share my information with this organization.” If ordering by phone or in person, let the BMV representative know you want to share your information.