New Fresno Cycling Club Members August
Welcome to the Club!
THE PREZ SEZ
The Rough Draft September, 2016
Greetings fellow bicyclists and club members!
Don't hang up your bike just yet there is still a lot of good riding ahead:
• The 12th Annual Tandem/Recumbent Rally is on Monday (Labor Day) Sept 5th at Peach and Alluvial Railroad Park at 07:00 am, free to members and guests, 65, 30 & 20 milers. Upright bikes also welcome.
• The Tour de Fresno is on Sept 17th
• the Lighthouse in Morro Bay is on Sept 24th
• The Grizzly Century is on Oct 1st
• the Bass Lake Double Century is on October 8th
• the Valley Girls Ride is on Oct 15th and these are just the local rides! Add in all the rides on the Club Calendar and the impromptu rides we all come up with at the last minute in the Club’s Facebook groups! Coming up in October and new to Fresno will be the CENCALVIA open streets event on Oct 2. Ventura street will be closed off to motor vehicle traffic between Cedar and First street from 11 am – 3 pm to allow people to walk, dance, ride bicycles and socialize. The Fresno Cycling Club will be a sponsor along with other community organizations to support the Fresno County Bicycle Coalition in getting this exciting free event started in the Central Valley. This type of event started in Bogotá Columbia as a once a month event where
Volume XLVI, Issue 9 - September 2016
they shut down the whole city to motorized traffic. It has spread to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montana and in parts of Europe. Mark the date on your calendar to attend, it will be a blast.
What is bicycle advocacy all about? It is working together with federal, state, and local officials to create a safer environment for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians. It requires the creation of new laws, the setting of new street design standards, developing better infrastructures, providing education, and enforcement. There is little argument from the community that our roadways and infrastructure need to be safer: all forms of transportation and movement can benefit by a more thought out and inclusive plan. We (bicyclists) recently had the opportunity to provide input into the future planning of the Fresno Area Active Transportation Plan (ATP). There was some good feedback provided, however there could have been a lot more had there been more bicyclist participation. Don’t rely on the minority of us to get the work of advocacy done. If you do, then you have no right to complain about the outcome!
For 54 years, the Fresno Cycling Club has served the bicycling community as a source for organizing membership and activities to bring the bicycling community together. It has been an organization that has played a significant role in supporting bicycle advocacy over the years. We now want to work within our community to make bicycling an everyday occurrence. We want to see bicyclists on every road, whether it be for recreation or transportation. We want to gain the respect of motorists, by being respectful to them and to the laws and rules that govern the use of our roadways. We want to see bicycling in all our neighborhoods and communities. We want to unite all bicyclists in this effort to create a cultural shift. Fresno County has a lot of bicyclists but in order to create change we need to be united under one umbrella. We need to partner in this effort with the Fresno County Bicycle Coalition, which is the driving force in Bicycle Advocacy in our County. If you want to help in this effort, then remain an active member or become a member of the Fresno Cycling Club, a team of passionate bicyclists, who love their sport and love their community.
At a recent meeting with California State Bicycle Advocacy Director Dave Snyder, he shared the work they have accomplished over the past few years. Successes such as 1) getting the “Three Foot Law” in place, 2) changes to the standards that govern Cal Trans and local municipalities in roadway construction to include complete street designs, and 3) getting a design for “Protected Bikeways” implemented. He advised that his organization is working for bicycle advocacy on the State level and requested that our club members support them with a membership donation. https://calbike.nationbuilder.com/join.
During the discussion I posed a question concerning what it would take (a law passed or a rule created) to get appropriate charges filed against drivers who kill bicyclists. It seems there have been several incidents this year where bicyclists have been killed in California at the hands of motor vehicle drivers, and the drivers have been getting off with either no charges or misdemeanor charges being filed. He said that it seems to be a “cultural thing:” the general population and those in law enforcement and prosecution don’t consider the death of a bicyclist at the hands of a motorist to be a big deal. This is outrageous to me and as the President of the Fresno Cycling Club, I feel that we need to do something. In order to affect change it is necessary to create a Movement. I think the time is ripe for a Movement of Bicyclists in our community to unite in an effort to change this perception. I will be looking for others who wish to work on this concept to determine what the Movement should look like and what steps we can take to make it happen. One of the first steps will be to partner with the Fresno County Bicycle Coalition. The FCBC has been actively involved with getting positive changes to the bicycling infrastructure in Fresno County. There are other local organizations as well that can help with this movement.
ELECTION FOR BOARD MEMBERS
Just a quick reminder that Fresno Cycling Board member positions are open for nominations at the next General Membership meeting on October 12, 2016. If you have the desire to serve this great club in a Board member capacity the following are elected positions; President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Advocate, Newsletter Editor, A/B Ride Coordinator and C/D Ride Coordinator. If you have what it takes to take this club to new heights, then you are encouraged to get involved.
Have a great September!
See you on the road,
THE PREZ, Dennis Ball
In an effort to increase the reliability and value of our communication with Club members we have recently started using the email service Constant Contact, a well-known email service, to send out emails pertaining to Club business and activities. The idea of constant contact is not to flood your in-box with a bunch of worthless emails but increase your confidence in knowing that the emails you receive from the Fresno Cycling Club are not junk or spam emails. The emails that you receive are intended for your benefit as a Club member to keep you informed. All we can do is send them out, it's up to you to decide what to do with them. Know that the FCC emails are to promote and inform you of upcoming events, rides, club activities or alert you to Advocacy Calls-to-Action. The service is also useful for sending reminder emails to current members to let them know when their membership expires and as a reminder to renew. It is also useful to contact former Club members in an effort to encourage them to renew their memberships. Please open your FCC emails! It lets us know that you value the information, and by all means lets us know your preferences regarding what information you wish to receive.
What’s a Bicycle Driver?
Have you heard the term “bicycle driver” before? It is a term used by many in the bicycling community of advocacy referencing the activity of bicyclists? When you consider the fact that bicyclists are operating a vehicle (yes, bicycles are vehicles) on the roadways, and that they are to abide by the same rules as applicable to drivers of motor vehicles, it makes sense. The unfortunate problem we have as bicyclists or bicycle drivers is one of extreme vulnerability. It takes a certain amount of courage and confidence to immerse yourself into the traffic as a bicycle driver. Bicycle drivers do not always depend on Bike Lanes or trails to safely get them where they want to go. They depend on following the rules of the road and taking their appropriate positions in the road when necessary. For example, when lanes are too narrow to share, they take the whole lane and position themselves either in the middle of the lane or to the left of the lane depending on the roadway condition. Unfortunately, many inexperienced bicyclists are intimidated by 2,000 to 4,000 pound or more vehicles and are reluctant to take their proper position in the roadway. They therefore create a dangerous situation for themselves by trying to ride at the extreme side of the road where it can be dangerous. Many recreational bicyclists do not learn how to ride in traffic as bicycle drivers. Riding a trail or riding on a country road is not the same as riding in traffic. When more cyclists are willing to ride in traffic and obey the traffic laws, the greater impact we will have in creating a safer riding environment.
As with any sport or outdoor activity, there are inherent dangers involved and bicycling is no exception. For bicyclists, it is important that we are constantly aware of our surroundings. Not only do we have to be aware of the other vehicles around us, but we have to be constantly vigilant in looking for road hazards that can cause us to crash. It is necessary that we point out hazards to our fellow riders, especially when riding in a pace line. It seems lately that there have been a lot of riders involved in crashes whether involving another vehicle or road hazards. It just illustrates my point that it is so important to always be alert, ride safe, ride legal and always wear the proper protective gear. Helmets are a must. Let’s all do our part to help make our streets safer for all. Obey the traffic laws, don’t run through stop signs and red lights when other vehicles have the right-of-way, don’t ride two or three abreast when there are vehicles attempting to pass you, and be courteous to other bicyclists as well as other motorists. Riding is our passion and we must be passionate about our safety.
See you on the road.
Fresno Cycling Club