This year has been challenging, and in many ways disappointing for the Cycling Club. Having to cancel most of our events and curtail our normal ride calendar, yet we have been managing to get some riding done. I would like to thank all of our great ride leaders (you know who you are) who were willing to continue to lead rides even during this nearly yearlong pandemic. With its social distancing, mask-wearing and group restrictions, they managed to put on some small group rides while keeping everyone safe and healthy. As a group, we have been very fortunate in that there have been very few of our members that have been infected by the Covid-19 virus. Let’s keep up the good work and get through this pandemic, so we can get together again as a group and enjoy our rides.
To see what rides are happening, check out the FCC website, www.fresnocycling.com, or the FCC Facebook pages. The rides are updated frequently.
Looking forward to the 2021 Cycling Event season, our Ride Directors will be making plans for our scheduled rides in the anticipation that they will happen. Keep a lookout on Facebook and on the Club website, www.fresnocycling.com. Hopefully, the schedule will include:
- New Year’s Day Ride, January 1, 2021 (depending on Covid),
- Kirch Flat Century May 1, 2021,
- Tour de Femme May 15, 2021,
- Climb to Kaiser June 26th, 2021,
- Tour de Lakes July 31, 2021,
- Grizzly Century October 2, 2021,
- Bass Lake Double Century Oct 9, 2021, and
- Everyone Loves Raymond is yet to be scheduled.
I want to thank all the members who took the time to vote, and confirm our Club Board Members for 2021. At this time there is no clear winner for the position of Vice President.
DOUBLE CENTURY RIDERS
What do you do during a Pandemic if you’re a Double Century rider? You get out and do your Double Centuries virtually. How does that work? It means you get to set your own 200 mile route and you can do it in your riding area or where ever you want, but it has to be completed in a specific time frame. Of course, you pay a minimal entry fee (usually $50) to be “registered” for the virtual event. That said, several of our members took advantage of this and did their double centuries. A group that I was instrumental in helping get their DC’s completed while working as their SAG driver, was the group of Janet and Jim Lucido, Iris Justesen, and Sara Mata (see picture above), who completed 5 Double Centuries this year to gain their 1,000 mile certification. Janet and Sara are working toward getting 25 double centuries for which they have completed 18 and 17 respectively.
Others who took advantage during the pandemic were three of the Club’s mega-double century riders, Richard Hoff, Roehl Caragao, and Gary Ergrov. This year so far, Gary has completed 7 DCs, rode over 12,000 miles with 750,000 feet of climbing, has taken trips to the coast and over Tioga Pass. Richard has done 10 DCs and now has 179 Double Centuries and rode over 16,000 miles this year. Roehl has done 6 so far and is working on 7 and 8. Richard and Roehl also teamed up this year to do the 508 Challenge out of Reno, Nevada. Many of you may not be familiar with this event, but it is a 508-mile event that is completed by teams and individuals as fast as they can over a weekend. They not only completed the event in a timely manner, but set a new record for their age group.
VELO KINGS RACING
Richard Gabel, one of the founders of Velo Kings, submitted this to Fresno Cycling Club:
2020 marked the inaugural season for Velo Kings Racing, the newest Fresno-based team founded by Richard Gabel and Mark Tucker. While the team was only established in the final weeks of 2019, they have quickly grown to 31 members of various ages and abilities.
The first-year team competed for and was awarded the Northern California Northern Nevada District titles for Best All-around Rider and Best All-around Team in the 35+ Age Category, in a season abbreviated by Covid.
Locally, the team brought back the Beginning Racer Program to the community by hosting the four Sunday event in Clovis at the Pelco Business Complex. These events were well attended by recreational riders, novice racers, juniors, as well as racing veterans from throughout the Valley. The BRP series is anticipated to take place again this January and is open to all to participate or spectate.
The team regularly coordinates and hosts local group, training, and race paced rides so check out their website, www.velokings.com, for all the latest. The team would like to thank Fresno Cycling Club and all of the other local sponsors for the continued support.
Gravel riding is nothing that new, but what is new is all the new gravel-specific bicycles that the bike companies have been introducing over the last few years. Gravel riding has become a more popular option to road riding. For a few years now, FCC has embraced gravel riding with our ALL-ROADS RIDING GROUP on Facebook, and our annual Everyone Loves Raymond Gravel Ride event (cancelled this year due to Covid-19). Our C-D Ride Coordinator Henry Pretzer puts on gravel rides nearly every week. The benefits that riders love about gravel riding are a slower paced ride in countryside settings, little or no motor vehicle traffic, and great scenery that is more enjoyable with the slower pace.
We are very blessed, as there are a lot of great gravel rides around our area (especially in Madera County where they still have a lot of dirt roads in the countryside). If you have the opportunity, give it a try. Be careful though, you may get bit by the gravel bug. If you don’t have a road bike that you can put gravel tires on, you will want to get a gravel bike.
There are great local gravel rides that you can do at Woodward Park, Sycamore Island on the Madera side of the San Joaquin river west of Highway 41. One popular ride that a lot of riders do is the “Tesoro Loop” and trails. I generally ride gravel at least once or twice a week in addition to my road riding.
The Prez, Dennis Ball