One of the positive aspects of 2020 was the fact that bicycling became the go-to sport to deal with the lock downs and social distancing. The bicycling industry was caught off-guard thinking that due to the pandemic their business would slow, when just the opposite occurred. People realized early on after restrictions were put in place that they could still get out and ride a bicycle to get exercise and help their mental state. As a result of the pandemic, the bicycling industry has had its best year of sales in many years. This has created a dilemma for those bicyclists that have been considering a road bike upgrade, or the purchase of another type of bike (such as a gravel bike), as bikes sales have been so robust that wait times for bikes have become lengthy.
Time will tell if this renewed enthusiasm for bicycling will last past the pandemic. But, for now we can look forward to gaining some more bicycling friends and maybe some new Club members. The problem for us is how to provide opportunities for all the newbies to join in on our rides. With the mandated COVID restrictions, it has been difficult to open up our ride calendar to new rides. However, a few of our long-time small ride groups haven’t really missed a ride this year. To my knowledge, none of them had caught COVID. One of the groups range in age from the mid 50’s to the upper 80’s. Our hope is that now that there are vaccines available, our communities will open up and we can start having more rides.
Our event-planning for this year will proceed based on the restrictions of the pandemic. If things open up, our first event could be the Everyone Loves Raymond Gravel Ride, which may occur in late March or early April. The Kirch Flat Century would occur on May 1, 2021. For now, we will be in a “wait and see” mode.
For now, we need to continue our daily riding, whether solo or in small groups. I am convinced that the bicycle is the best tool we have to deal with this pandemic. It provides us the opportunity to keep our sanity by getting out to exercise and avoid the feelings of claustrophobia from being cooped up in our houses. Exercise also helps strengthen your immune system to help ward off illnesses.
I want to thank Diana Dean for her efforts in putting together the Club member T-shirt giveaway. She single-handedly initiated the design, the production, and the distribution of the shirts. She will be having pick-up opportunities again in January.
I would like to remind everyone that we are all advocates for safe bicycling. Every time you go on a ride, your behavior will either reflect positively or negatively on bicyclists. The courtesy you give may be the best representation of our bicycling community. Just as in many aspects of life, it only takes the actions of a few bad apples to ruin it for the rest of us. The most egregious acts of bicyclists that cause motorists to hate bicyclists are:
- running red lights,
- running stop signs and
- riding two or three abreast in a lane.
Be mindful of these issues when you ride and avoid them when motor vehicles are present. Keep in mind it is permissible to go through a red light only if it is not recognizing you and after you have sat through a full rotation. The worst (and I have witnessed it) is bicyclists blowing through red lights violating motorists right of way. That’s the way bicyclists get killed.
I know there are those people (I call them “pedestrians on bikes”) who ride on the wrong side of the road, and blow through stop signs and red lights. They are not bicyclists but they reflect poorly against bicyclists because motorists lump all people on bicycles together. Thus it is incumbent on we who consider ourselves “bicyclists” to be as courteous as we can especially those of us identifying as Fresno Cycling Club members.
That is all I have for now. I admonish everyone to stay safe and healthy. Let us all hope the new year brings new riding opportunities and fun times.
The Prez: Dennis Ball