The Prez Sez:
Greetings fellow cycling club members and friends.
Well, it has been 5 months and there seems to be no end in sight for this Covid pandemic. The Club has been forced to cancel all of our cycling events for the year. Our Ride Calendar, although still active, is minimal at best and many riders are reluctant to ride in groups of more than 5 to 10. To say that this has put a damper on our cycling for the year is an understatement. Thankfully, cycling is one of the few activities that we still are able to do and abide by the state-mandated Covid Protocols.
The beauty of bicycling is that it is multifaceted in its benefits. There are so many ways to enjoy riding a bicycle. Not only is cycling a great form of transportation and exercise, but it is also a great form of therapy, especially during this time. A bicycle is one of the ways you can get out of the house and into nature. With all the varieties of bicycles, there is no end to the types of riding you can do.
There are cruisers, hybrids, BMX, Road Bikes, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bikes and many of them now also come as electric bikes. You can cruise on one of the many trails around the cities, you can ride at Woodward Park, there are some many routes on the road and trails in the mountains. Your options are nearly limitless. So take the opportunity to get out and ride as much as you can. It has been shown that cyclists who maintain good conditioning are in better shape to fight off sicknesses and viruses.
Red Light Runners
I don’t know how blunt I can be about this: BICYCLISTS, STOP RUNNING RED LIGHTS!
Is it going to take someone or a group of cyclists getting injured or killed from running a red light before this nonsense stops? As drivers of motor vehicles, we know how dangerous it is when vehicles run red lights. The many accidents are proof of that: people die. For bicyclists, running red lights is like playing Russian Roulette: sooner or later the car that you didn’t see will get you.
Recently, a group of cyclists heading out for a Sunday morning ride nearly caused a tragic accident when the leaders of the group rode through an intersection against a Red Light. An FCC member who was stopped for the red light witnessed the near catastrophe. Either the riders misjudged the distance and speed of the vehicle (who had the right-of-way), or they were so focused on their riding that they didn’t notice the vehicle coming into the intersection. This also applies to Stop Signs.
This behavior is exactly why the California legislature (supported by the CHP) won't pass the so-called Idaho Cycling Law (which allows stop signs to be treated as Yield signs, and Red Lights as Stop Signs) in California. They don’t think cyclists would even abide by those rules! This type of behavior just proves their point. We all complain about motorists, but then we as cyclists do this kind of stuff. I see cyclists run red lights all the time. But for goodness sakes if you do, make sure there are no cars coming.
Currently, the only legal way to run a red light is if the light is not detecting your presence. Then it is permissible to treat it as a stop sign, after you have sat through a complete cycle of the light. As a cyclist you don't stand much of a chance against a vehicle, and if you're leading a group and run the red light you could be held accountable for causing others to follow you and be killed or injured. It's not worth the few seconds you save by running the light.
Another issue that comes up every so often is the problem of a group of riders taking up the whole lane on our local roadways. This is one of those issues that is always up for debate as to who has the right-of-way. The Law is somewhat vague in this area so it depends on whose interpretation of the law you follow.
There are many bicycling advocates who state that when a road or travel lane is not wide enough to share with a vehicle, the cyclist has the right to take the lane. Taking the lane can be done by one cyclist or however many will fit in the lane.
Unfortunately many motorists aren’t aware of the law when this applies and it can be a source of irritation for them. As well, many traffic officers tend to cite the Far to the Right Rule and neglect the exceptions, which are enumerated in the vehicle code. The point here is to remain vigilant and courteous, and get over to allow the vehicles to pass as soon as practicable.
I had put out a call earlier in the year for anyone to take on the task of coming up with a design for a new Club Jersey and Kit. Club Member Monique Moe answered the call, and came up with a cool looking design. She submitted it to the Jersey Design Committee, who then made a few tweaks and after working with the designer at Voler, came up with a new jersey & kit (jersey & shorts/bibs). Because of the Covid pandemic, it has taken more time than anticipated to get it completed. As a result the majority of the riding season will have passed by the time the jerseys could be delivered. It is unlikely that many members will want to order the new kits at this time. We will therefore hold off placing our order until the first of next year.
Due to the pandemic, there are many people getting bicycles and getting out to exercise that haven’t ridden a bicycle in a long time, or have never ridden a bicycle. Some of them may not be aware of the laws and rules that govern bicycle riding. When you come across these folks, offer to help them along if they are struggling, or are unfamiliar with proper riding protocols. Also, invite them to join the club!
BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
I recently received this:
“I wanted to give a big shout out (thank you) to Dennis Ball and the Fresno Cycling Club. A couple months ago while on a FCC mountain bike ride, I made a mistake - went over my bars and broke my wrist. Thank goodness, I had my insurance through work. However, I still had a $1750 deductible and a $5000 OOP to cover. Little did I know that by being a paid FCC member, I was entitled to insurance coverage that helped with the costs. So far, my bills have totaled somewhere around $74,000 (and I’m still going to rehab). I would have paid at a minimum, $6750. But in my case, due to my work insurance and secondary (FCC coverage)? I am only going to pay $500. That’s all I am required to pay. So thank you FCC. I am no doubt so fortunate and appreciative that you had my back. And to the rest of you? Pay those dues when ya get the renewal. To those who are new? Join us, sign up. It’s worth it. More rides will come soon (I will lead them if need be) and... it’s good to know you have a little coverage if something were to happen on an FCC member ride. I hope to see you out on a ride soon. “
Hoping to get over this pandemic sooner than later. Stay safe everyone, especially while out riding.
Remember our Club’s motto: Ride Safe and Ride Legal.
Hope to see you on the road soon.
The Prez, Dennis Ball