Can we say that living a healthy life style through bicycling had an impact for us? I'm not sure, but what I am sure of is that several of our ride groups had continued riding every week for the whole year and none of them were ill. I know many of us are frustrated with social distancing and mask wearing protocols, but there is a positive effect. Not only are we protecting ourselves from getting the virus but fewer of us have had a cold or the flu so far during this time. A Doctor friend mentioned to me that the hospital she works at has only had one case of the flu so far this year. It seems the pandemic has taken the place of all other causes of death this past year.
Another positive aspect has been the increase in people walking, hiking and bicycling. During this past year, I have noticed many more people hiking on the trails that we used to enjoy almost exclusive for cycling. It is great to see so many becoming more health conscious. Common riding locations like Woodward Park, Sycamore Island, the Tesoro Loop, the San Joaquin River Trail have all been busier with people getting out and exercising. Remember, however, that it requires a measure of patience and courtesy by all users.
With all the new activity surrounding getting outdoors, it is a great opportunity to focus on the Club’s Advocacy efforts. FCC promotes a more effective bicycling infrastructure including more useful bike lanes, signage, and laws related to bicycling. We also need to work on developing more trails for walking, hiking and bicycling throughout the community and Fresno County.
Our Advocacy Director, Tina Sumner, has been busy since she took over for Nick Paladino. Although Nick has remained involved on a lesser scale, both Tina and Nick have spent many hours attending planning meetings at the local, county and state levels. A frustration with Advocacy is that many of the meetings are related to future planning, and the results of their efforts take time, waiting on plan approvals and financing.
One important aspect of Advocacy is having a voice at the table to let decision makers know the wants and needs of the bicycling community. This helps to make safer solutions to bicycling whether for transportation or recreation. There has been a lot happening in our area that has Tina busy attending meetings. Some of the items being discussed are:
- Palm Avenue Protected Bicycling Lane plan that would provide a protected Bike lane from downtown to the north end of Palm Avenue.
- Blackstone Corridor and how it could include bicycle lanes.
- In Fresno County, there is discussion on how bicycle travel on Academy Avenue from Herndon to Manning could be improved.
- There is discussion on how the Golden State Boulevard could be improved to provide a pathway or bike lanes from Fresno to Cities to the south.
- In Madera County, there was a recent request for input on the needs relating to Ave 9 from Valley Children’s Hospital to the Freeway 99. An email was sent out to members requesting input.
So things are in the works. For example, for years we have been working on getting Millerton Road widened from Friant to the Table Mountain Casino. If you haven’t been up there lately, there has been a lot of work done and we will soon have a good portion of that roadway fitted with 4 lanes and bike lanes. But, as the roadway is fixed, there will about a mile or so that will be without a bike lane for the time being. It will be completed as development continues and money is granted.
What can you do as members you ask? It is simple: whenever you're asked for input on a project via email of Facebook, take the time to give us your thoughts. When there are meetings (even on Zoom) take the time to show up. According to Tina our responses are valuable in showing support to her, and to our efforts to make changes happen. The more the input the better.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME
Apparently our County will soon enter the “Red Tier,” which means restaurants can have inside dining and we can have a little more freedom of activity. On March 14, 2021 Daylight savings time will take effect. The extra daylight in the evenings will allow us to increase our club ride offerings, bringing back our Tuesday/Thursday night road rides, as well as some gravel rides and mountain bike rides.
Of course, in order to do this we will need Ride Leaders to volunteer to conduct these rides. Contact our Ride Coordinators Henry Pretzer or Mark Locatelli and let them know what ride you want to lead. Be sure to check the Ride Calendar regularly and the Facebook pages Fresno Cycling Club Rides and FCC All-Roads Riders and Friends for scheduled rides.
BIKE THEFT ALERT
I want to make you aware of a Bicycle Theft Strategy that has surfaced recently. The strategy is to stake out places where bicyclists meet to start and finish their rides. The thieves will scope out the bicycles they want. They will then follow the unsuspecting rider home to see where they live. They will then determine how and when to go about stealing the bicycle from the house. This was relayed to us on a recent ride by a Fresno Police Officer who works Northeast Fresno.
This may be the strategy that was used very recently to one of our members whose bicycle stolen from her garage. The thieves broke out the middle window of her roll up garage door, accessed the manual open cord, opened her door and stole her bicycle.
If you keep your bicycles in the garage make sure you harden the target by either shortening the cord or removing it, or somehow protect it from being accessed through a broken out window. Also always make sure your walk-through door is locked even if it is in your back yard. Also, locks on your back yard gate or gates is advisable. It also helps to lock your bicycles in the garage to something solid that can’t be removed from the garage.
Be aware that the pandemic has created a high demand for bicycles. Bicycle manufacturers and retailers have struggled to keep up with demand. This has created a situation for thieves who can easily unload the stolen bicycles, thus bicycle thefts are sky rocketing. Just a last month the new Trek Store in Sunnyside had been broken into twice and suffered a huge loss of inventory. If you aren’t riding your bicycle, make sure that it is secured even in your own home. Many of us do this by storing our bicycles inside our houses.
The next paid event held by FCC will be the Tour de Femme, which is a women-only ride. As of now, the ride is still planned to be held. Ride Planner Janet Lucido along with Volunteer Coordinator Diana Dean are in the process of putting things in place to hold this event.
The Climb to Kaiser is unfortunately not looking good at this time. There are lockdowns on the roadways in the forest and so much construction activity that it may not be able to happen. But we are hopeful.
The annual Kirch Flat Century has been rescheduled to July 10, 2021.
A problem that the Membership Director Michele Sosa recently became aware was the fact that there were over 100 members who had not checked the "I have read and accept Membership Agreement" box. It is necessary that this box be checked, as it is the box that indicates that you have read the membership agreement and accepted the required insurance waiver. Without this box being checked it could result in your not being covered by the Club Insurance should you unfortunately have a bicycle accident on a Club ride.
All you have to do is log in to the Club website, and click on the "Join/renewal" button. That takes you to the join/renewal screen, navigate to the bottom of the form, click cancel. That takes you to your profile screen. You can check out your profile to make sure all your information is correct. At the bottom of the page you will see the "I have read and accept Membership Agreement" box. Make certain that it is checked! If it isn't go back, to the top and click on the Edit Profile box. Make the change and click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
FCC BICYCLE ITEMS FOR SALES Group
Any members that have bicycles or related items they want to offer for sale can do so on our Facebook Group FCC All things Bicycling Sell, Buy or Trade.
The Prez: Dennis Ball