The Rough Draft
A Monthly Update from The Fresno Cycling Club  - September 2018.

The Prez Sez

Greetings club members and fellow bicyclists. 

  Our summers seem to be getting ruined by the larger fires in recent years, creating a smoky environment for us. This makes for very unhealthy air. As a result, our riding has been extremely curtailed the past few months. It was necessary for us to reschedule July’s Tour de Lakes due to the bad air quality. 

   The only real escape from it has been to go to the Central Coast to ride. We had always done the Tour de Lakes in July as a ride to escape the Valley heat, but if the fire & smoke trend continues, we will be forced to not only escape the heat but the smoke as well.  We may have to consider doing more rides on the coast during the summer months in years to come. 

Bob Brooks/Tour de Lakes

   Our rescheduled Tour de Lakes ride was held on the 18th of August, with air clear enough to ride in. There was a good turnout for the ride. It was a lot of fun, 

and we had a number of great comments on the food and SAG offered with the ride.

   The Bob Brooks memorial ride coincided with the TDL, on August 18th, as it was one of Bob’s favorite rides and it was a fitting memorial ride to honor his legacy as a long time FCC member, national racing and international bike racing champion. 

   Whether or not you knew Bob, check out the testimonials to Bob on our website (, which will help you understand the importance he played in cycling, in and out of Fresno!  Also, be sure to check out the link on the website to pictures that Nancy Dooley took that day.

Upcoming Rides

Now that the summer’s extreme heat is hopefully behind us, there are some great rides on the calendar (see for more details).  These include:

  • First up is the Annual Old Tollhouse Time Trial on September 8th,
  • On September 12, the next in the series of Belmont Time Trials,
  • On September 15, the 10th annual Tour de Fresno
  • On September 22, the SLO Lighthouse Century
  • On October 6th, the Grizzly Century out of North Fork, 
  • On October 13th, the Bass Lake Double Century
  • On October 20th, the Hammer Rally Gran Fondo and festival, held at the backside of Millerton Lake, and 
  • On November 17, the First Annual “Everyone Loves Raymond” gravel ride in Raymond, CA 

   These are just the paid event rides. There will be plenty of Club rides as well, such as the Herrington Sacramento American River ride in November, and the Central California Off-Road Cyclist’s club’s (CCORC) Homegrown Cyclocross series of three events starting in October. Keep an eye on that Ride Schedule.

Cycling Advocacy

   I hate to sound like a broken record, but as a Cycling Club that advocates for and supports safe bicycling, I must remind everyone that we must set the example for others to follow. I know none of us are perfect, but we must always be vigilant and aware of our surroundings. We must respect ALL users of the roadways if we ourselves want to be respected. We complain all the time about motorists not giving us our 3 feet, “coaling” or “dieseling” us, not yielding to us at various times, etc. Drivers in turn complain about cyclists running stop signs and red lights, riding two or more abreast blocking their roadway, and one of the most dangerous, stopping in and blocking the roadway while we rest or complain about motorists. 

   Not all cyclists, of course, are members of the Fresno Cycling Club. But, because the Fresno Cycling Club is the most visible and well known, we are the ones that get blamed for the missteps made by all cyclists. I have even had members confide to me that they don’t wear the Club jersey as they don’t want to be beholden to follow the laws. Really!!! Is it really that hard to follow the laws? If we want motorists to follow the laws (even though doing so may inconvenience them, ie., following slow bicyclists who are taking the lane when the lane is too narrow to share), then we can endure the inconvenience of taking our turn at a stop sign or stopping for a red light. Gaining the respect of motorists will not happen overnight but when you think that most motorists do respect us and it’s a small minority of motorists that have a problem with us, it is in our best interest to try.

   If all cyclists in the Central Valley would join the Fresno Cycling Club it would increase our collective voice for cycling advocacy. Then, if drivers blamed the Fresno Cycling Club for any cyclist’s misstep, it would be legit. I don’t understand why a bicyclist wouldn’t want to be a part of our cycling family, and be willing to promote safe legal bicycling. We are not calling on every cyclist to be perfect, but just being courteous when sharing the road goes a long way toward improving our relationship with our big brothers, the motorists. Not only do you get the benefit of injury gap insurance when on a Club ride, but you get the benefit of Club discounts at the bike shops and some restaurants. Also, you get the shared wisdom of many veteran members. Invite all your friends to join you on a ride. The more we can promote proper riding behavior, the better riders we become.  

Riding in a Group

   One of the main things we like to do is promote club rides. It is so cool when a large group of 30 or so riders get together on a ride. One of our standards is that of "no rider left behind" on a Club sponsored ride. We indoctrinate our ride leaders to make sure that when leading a ride that they finish the ride with as many riders as started. Of course there are exceptions, but if a rider drops out of a ride for whatever reason it is important that the ride leader at least be informed by the rider or another rider of the circumstances. Lately, there has been some discussion about relatively large groups and the unsafe conditions they can pose, especially when the group tries to stay in one or two large groups, either pace-line riding or in a peloton (2-4 abreast). 

   There is a feature of groups called the “Group Mentality,” which suggests that when riders form a large group, their dynamics change. They feel more empowered, less vulnerable and more willing to take chances that individuals wouldn’t take. Larger groups also tend to be more intimidating to some motorists, making them nervous around cyclists.  Thus, they become irritated with us. I think it is time we tell our ride leaders to encourage the riders to form smaller sub-groups of 5 to 10 when riding together on a large club ride. Often, this occurs naturally, with the various riding abilities, but it is much safer for riders to be in smaller manageable groups and this should be encouraged.  

   I hope everyone continues to have great rides, be safe and support safe and legal cycling.  

That’s all for now. See you on the road.

The Prez, aka Dennis Ball

The Grizzly Century is Back

  For the first time in 24 years, the Grizzly Century Ride will be hosted by the Fresno Cycling Club.  This event will take place on October 6th, 2018. Until recently it has been the efforts of Mike Nolan and the Community of North Fork who have been responsible for hosting this fabulous ride. This charity event has been the backbone fund-raiser of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway and North Fork Community for nearly 25 years. The majority of the proceeds have been invested in maintaining and improving the amenities of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway. It is hoped that with the support and coordination provided by the Fresno Cycling Club, this tradition will be able to continue. 

  I am reaching out to all our members and supporters of the Fresno Cycling Club and Cycling Community to support this great worthwhile Bicycling Event. You can register for one of the 4 rides of the event at: or volunteer to help out by contacting me at 

The Bass Lake Double Century

  The Fresno Cycling Club may not be noted for putting on HUGE rides (such as a Cal Classic or Levi Granfondo), but we sure do put on some well-supported ones. One that has been around for a number of years is the upcoming Bass Lake Powerhouse Double Century (or, Bass Lake DC, or BLDC for short). It will be held on October 13, 2018. The BLDC Ride Director Angelo Quitorio and his band of FACT volunteers will once again put on this great Double Century event. The BLDC is one of the many qualifying Double Centuries that riders vying for the coveted Double Century Triple Crown or 1000 Mile jerseys will ride in. 

  This year’s route will be the same revised route as last year. The majority of comments by riders last year was that they loved the new route. This revised route allows the riders to ride up to the Bass Lake area in mostly daylight hours and those that ride in later darkness enjoy a more rider-friendly route with little traffic to deal with. This year, riders will be treated to finishers medals upon completion of the ride. Bass Lake DC Kits are also available for purchase by contacting the ride director Angelo Quitorio. Go to to get more information and register for the ride. 

Keep an Eye on the FCC Website and Facebook Pages

   Please check out the FCC website for the latest Ride Calendar.  This gives a more accurate picture of upcoming rides, as it's updated constantly.  

   Please also check the Facebook pages for FCC, as well as the various "subgroups" (FACT, Killer Bees, All-Roads, etc.). (Links to their Facebook pages are on the FCC website).  There may be additional rides posted there.

Shop Talk with Devin

  Devin Bovee, the FCC A/B Ride Coordinator and manager of Steven's Bike Shop Clovis location, also writes a blog for our website.  

Check out Devin's latest blog posts 

His most recent blogs discuss:

  • Rear Derailleur Maintenance
  • Bike Fitting
  • Getting Back in the Saddle
  • Chain Wear

Ride Groups

  Our list of Ride Groups is growing. It’s exciting to see our members have so many options to ride. The purpose of ride groups is to provide a way to connect with riders of like abilities and styles of riding. I encourage everyone to check out the various ride groups and ride with as many as you can, as often as you can. We are trying to provide more and more rides to accommodate as many ride schedules as possible. If you have a ride group that you like riding with that isn’t yet one of the listed ride groups, please contact me or one of the Ride Coordinators, Henry Pretzer or Devin Bovee to have your group added. 

  The current schedule for these, and other Rides, can be found on the FCC website:  

  • The Tuesday/Thursday morning Ride Group - Lead by Nancy Dooley and Ken Herrington. B/C rides
  • The Diana Dean and Larry Allred Ride Group - B/C rides.
  • The Mountain Men/Women - Ride Leader Tom Braner. C/D rides
  • The Velominati Ride Group - Lead by Greg Schoonard and Jeffery Simpson. C/D rides
  • The Killer Bees Ride Group - Ride Leaders Joseph Cassinerio, Cody Hill, Leon Thiessen, Michael Stevens. B/C rides
  • The FACT (Filipino American Cycling Team) Group - Ride Leaders Angelo Quitorio B/C/D rides.
  • The Steven’s Bicycles Ride Group - Ride Leaders Devin Bovee and Tina Kutzbach. A/B/C/D rides from their shop.
  • The Sunnyside Bicycles Ride Group - Ride Leaders Vanessa and John McCracken. A/B/C/D rides from their shop.
  • The Bike Shop at Woodward Park Group - Ride leaders Joshua Houssiere and James Zumwalt. A/B/C/D rides from their shop.
  • The Rubber Soul Bicycles Ride Group - Ride leaders Jon Stewart and Helen Guenther. C/D rides from their shop.
  • The “A” Train Ride group - A rides
  • The Social Train Ride Group - Ride leaders Mark and Michelle Locatelli. A/B Rides
  • The All-Roads Ride Group - Ride leaders Henry Pretzer and Susan Smith. B/C/D gravel and road rides.
Reminder:  see, including pages Ride Codes and Rules of the Road for a full explanation of the A/B/C/D codes above. 

Upcoming FCC Board Meeting

  WHEN:  Wednesday, Sept 5th, 2018  6:30 PM 
  LOCATION:  Sequoia Brewery North
                       (Champlain & Perrin)

Bicycle Shops and Other Supporters

   For many of us, eating and riding are the two major things in life.  We all rely on and support our local bike shops.  These are the people dedicated to making sure that we can all safely enjoy what we do.  A few local restaurants go out of their way to accomodate cyclists.  Please be sure to support these folks, and tell them you are an FCC Member!

Other Items:
Click Link Below, or go to
   The Fresno Cycling Club is a group of some 800+ cyclists who enjoy bicycling as recreation and sport. As a club we seek to offer cycling events and activities that span a spectrum of cycling interests. Club rides are scheduled year round and range from novice level to 200-mile expert rides. We protect the rights of cyclists by following local, state, and national affairs as they concern cycling. Club members receive a monthly newsletter listing ride schedules and other information of interest to cyclists.  Don't wait another minute! Join now! Welcome to the Fresno Cycling Club.