Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Notes from the Saddle" (May 2011) by Chuck Baden

(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.


No comments:

Post a Comment