Monday, August 31, 2009

morning rides to start soon

September 9, 16, 30 Wednesday morning, 930 am, Meet at Shaws Bridge, 25 miles for September 9, meet at my house for September 16 and meet at Shaws Bridge

You must email me if you are planning on riding and if you have to cancel last minute, email me or call me. My cell phone number is in all my email correspondence.

email me at

remember, if you have to cancel, don't just not show up and leave me waiting at the Meet up, email me or call me or Tweet me, please

if no emails, these rides will NOT go

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rides for week of Aug 31

Tuesday and Thursday Sept 1 and Sept 3, leaving at 5:15, new time as it is getting dark quickly. So come out, this may be our last week of evening rides. Will see, once the evening rides stop, I will be posting weekday morning rides so check back to the blog.

Saturday September 5 -7:50 am Hot Foot, CUE # 4 - 30 miles down rt 100, cross Rt 1 continue on rt 1 and work out way back, nice ride, a few hills but nothing bad

Brunch Ride and New chicks policies for LONG rides

Too pooped to get any pics up but the Brunch Ride was fabo, we had some troubles along the way but learned a lot about group riding and what makes a good ride etc.

Food at Whip Tavern is just yummy, that is a place worth visiting again. and Yes, we will do the Brunch Ride again but with some changes.....

things we learned today..... and these policies are for long rides only, cuz all the zillions of short rides I posted all season are for practice and learning, and if you attended none of these short rides, you are going to be in trouble on our long rides. I do provide ample opps for riding and improving and on the shorter rides, you can go as slow or fast as you want, cuz the short rides are for learning and improving.

1. EAT before you ride, no matter when Brunch is, eat before the ride, do not plan on getting food at Brunch cuz anything can happen prior to Brunch, so take my advice, EAT, biking 43 miles is not a time to diet and not eat. I would rather ride with a fat chick with energy than a dieting one bonking on the ride.

2. the guy at the bike clinic today recommended a total bike cleaning by a shop once a year, you ask for a " drive chain cleaning" where all the parts are removed and cleaned and I would agree here,this is more than cleaning chain and cassette and this will help pinpoint any future problems, gear shifting etc, proper maintenance is KEY on a long ride

3. if going on a 40 + mile ride, make sure you can do 12.5 mph for the entire ride, if you cannot do this, , come more often to my shorter rides and build up your strength, to do a 43 mile ride at 12-13 mph requires that you bike and bike often, now we had a new chick today, age 25, first ride in 6 months, now she had no trouble but she is 25, she can do this, if past 50, this is hard to do, riding once in a while and then hoping to be able to ride a hilly ride at over 12.5 mph is not gonna work and just riding on the SRT is not enough to prepare for riding in Chester County

4. you must keep practicing, and riding to improve, we have a core group now that has been riding lots and hard all summer, we have gotten better, now we are not Lance Armstrong but we can do a good 12.5 to 13.5 on a ride with hills.

5. make sure you have tubes and inflation, now based on a problem I had at the Covered Bridge ride and I think Elaine had today, CHECK your spare tubes periodically, inflate them and see if they hold air, this can really be helpful on a ride when you get a flat

6. I post my cell number on the WCCC ride page when I post rides, put it in your phone and carry your phone someplace on your bike that you can reach once stopped, WHEN you run into trouble on a ride and are way behind, CALL ME IMMEDIATELY if I am ahead of you, and let me know what the problem is, cuz if it is a big hill back to find you, I ain't going back, sorry!

7. When doing a long ride, HAVE A BACK UP PLAN, have someone you can call and who will answer the phone, if you run into mechanical problems, we will expect you to call for help and the rest of us will continue the ride.

8. If you see right away that you cannot maintain the speed of the group, no matter how hard you try, consider then activating your back up plan., THIS is only for end of the season LONG rides, remember all the short rides I post are for preparing for the end of the season long rides

9. I post tons of rides, I am the 3rd highest in ride posting in the club, Frank is ahead of me and he is an animal, the 2nd person is only a few rides ahead of me, SO YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE for not riding, I have run newbie rides, oldie rides, short rides, long rides, slow rides, fast rides, so you have to ride. I have d0ne all I can to help you become a good rider by August, if you are not able to bike 12.5 at this time of year, again, I cannot help you, either you need a better bike or you need to bike more

That said, if you have not ridden this year, plan on coming out EARLY next spring and start riding regularly. Now we are not that fast, I mean I am pushing 60, how fast can i go?? really?? but i do improve and I get some stamina by this time of the year. Again, I am NOT SPEEDING but I do a decent speed at this time of the year.

YOU do not have to be Lance to bike with the chicks, but you HAVE TO bike all season long. We will do the Brunch Ride again, maybe even in October, but it is a long ride and we will do at least 12.5 and most likely even faster if it is not a hot day

Hot hot weather can slow us down, heavy winds too, so it is not an exact science. So take care of your bike, and BIKE. Come to my bike clinics, come to my short rides. Come to my rides.

I have invested hours and hours this season begging you to ride. If not riding at this point, I am not sure what else I can do.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

too wet, ride cancelled

saturday aug 29 ride cancelled, roads too wet, humidity too high, sorry

Friday, August 28, 2009

wet roads

for saturday Aug 29, rain and or wet roads cancels the ride, will not ride if the roads look wet in my neighborhood which is the boro of WC

SO far sunshine is predicted to Brunch Ride, be on time, leaving Hot Foot lot at 930 sharp

Bike Clinic at 2-4, tire changing and cleaning after,

if Brunch ride is rained out, tire changing and cleaning will occur BEFORE the clinic, so check back for details

how to become a cyclist

in the post below I talked about getting a good bike and I got this from a fellow chick .....

Completely agree! I did exactly that last year- borrowed an old, heavy road
bike-- looking back, I dont know How i managed to even finish the 45mile
LiveStrong challenge ride (I pushed the bike up a lot of hills)
This year, riding my new Specialized Dolce Elite, is PURE JOY and biking
is a completely different and fun experience.
so..this is my first hand testimonial that your advice is right on!"

This lady is now a cyclist and with her new bike she bikes more often and has become a first class cyclist. Plus since she bikes regularly, her skills and abilities on the road have also soared.

At this time of the year, late August, if you have been biking regularly, you should be peaking with your biking skills. You can ride several times a week, you can knock off a 50 mile ride without hardly thinking about it and you can enjoy it too.

If you do not see yourself in this post, you are still sitting at home wishing you had the time to bike and wishing you had gotten out this past summer. Chances are you have a bike that makes biking difficult and as a result, you DID NOT bike this summer, so your bike has proven to be worthless. No matter what you paid for the bike, it did not inspire you to ride it so you might as well sell it and start saving for a better bike. IF you are old like me, there really is nothing else more worthy of saving for.

Many many chicks are now peaking in their riding skills and are enjoying one fine hobby. For those us on good bikes, there is still room for improvement.

For those of us on bikes bought within the last 5 years, you can think now of how to upgrade your bike. Maybe a nice new set of wheels, a new crank or a better derailleur. Is your chain constantly dropping or is your shifting getting difficult??, then think about better equipment on your bike. Over the winter, pick one thing to update and do it. Even if you have a good bike, stuff wears out and new parts keep your bike just that, NEW!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

hey i want to ride a bike

1985 Cignal Talon

Recently we had a young chick email our cycling club, she is a recent college grad. She wants to take up bike riding as a sport and was looking for a used bike. The familiar complaint being I need a used bike as I have no money.

Biking is NOT a sport where getting an old used bike will somehow be ok. People say, "I will ride an old cheap bike and see if I really like biking."

Why does this bother me?? Well for many reasons but the biggest being your safety. I mean, if you take up golf and buy some old cheap clubs, no one is gonna get hurt when you slice and chip all over the course. Or if you take up tennis and get an old racket, again, no one is gonna get hurt. You may never get the ball over the net, but you can still play the game.

But with biking, an old used bike is just that, old and used. The bike will most likely not fit you. The bike will have old tires. The bike is being sold because the owner does not want it anymore. If the owner loved this bike, he would not be selling it. And if you are brand new to cycling, you really have no idea about bike equipment and what you should be looking for in a used bike. And you life depends on your bike and its stability on the road. On a downhill you can get up to speeds of 25 mph, and you had better be on a road worthy bike.

So that being said, what should you do to start road biking on a limited budget:

1. go to some bike stores and look at new bikes, do some research on components, gearing, derailleurs and tires and wheels

2. try to ride some new bikes at the bike store and figure out what size you need

3. get online, ebay is good for used bikes providing you have done some homework and research on what makes a bike good and what makes a bike bad

4. say you find a new bike in a store that you like, go to ebay and do a search for the brand and model and see what comes up

5. good used bikes can be found but not without doing some work and investigation, I rode with a fellow who found a great used bike and he is still riding the bike, but the bike costs over $1000 and it was used, so thinking a bike under $500 is somehow going to be a good bike is wishful thinking

Remember, biking is a great sport and hobby but your equipment should not be an after thought. Your life depends on the bike you are sitting on. Skimping on equipment is not a good idea.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

rides for week of aug 24

had a fabo ride on Tuesday eve, great great weather and such nice ladies, elaine, connie and kathleen

so far for this weekend, i have a Sat ride up, cue 104, 25 miles,easy ride and the Brunch ride on Sunday, 930 from Hot Foot, 9 :15 if you want to park at my house

email with questions

from the Bicycle Coalition of Phila blog

A new section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County may be under construction in the next few months. The segment would be at least 31/2 miles long starting at Township Line Rd at Cromby going through Spring City and on to Pennhurst. Construction will likely take place in the Spring of 2010. Cyclists going through would have to travel through the local streets in Phoenixville and crossover the Route 29 bridge to connect with the Providence Road trailhead in Mont Clare.

Montgomery County will be seeking funding to improve the Schuylkill Canal towpath in Mont Clare creating a similar road or gravel trail option that you now have between Manayunk and Shawmont.

View Philadelphia Regional Trails in a larger map

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

don't forget

Sunday Aug 30 2-4 Bike Clinic, Q and A, real live mechanic will be here, ask him anything, bring bike, will do tire changing and cleaning either before or after mechanic is here, up to you

Bring a good rag or old T shirt,

I have lube for the chain, and can help you with some basic stuff, as far as maintenance goes,

bring a friend, bring someone who might take up riding with the Chicks

see you soon

clinic follows Brunch Ride if weather cooperates

rides for week of aug 24

tues and thurs eve rides up for week of Aug 24, 530 pm at Hot Foot, 20 miles, it gets darker earlier, have some lights on bikes

Saturday Aug 29, gonna post a 25 mile ride, cue 104, this may change so check the WCCC ride page for latest updates

weather is iffy again for the weekend, so i suggest you check the blog and WCCC ride page for latest updates, also will post on Twitter

Sunday is the Brunch Ride, again, weather is so far iffy for the weekend

Sunday, August 23, 2009

one change for upcoming events

Hanks Place ride has been moved to October 3, nice fall ride, and Ellen has added a special ride for September 13, ride to the Kennett Mushroom Festival, details on WCCC ride page.

Saturday September 12 will be a regular Saturday ride. Cue to be posted later.

pay it forward

Chicks had a great ride today and while we were sauntering around hill and dale, Eileen said she found a chat board on the Net where motorists in Lancaster were posting about how awful it was on the roads for cars during the Covered Bridge Ride. There were over 4100 riders on the roads of Lancaster County with not enough support personnel, so things got dicey. Too many riders doing bad stuff.

I would have to agree with the motorists on this one as I wondered myself what in heck did the cars do. I saw some cars giving up and just riding in the left lanes for long periods of time.

I think we, as cyclists, now have to bike defensively and constantly try not to take over the roads. It is very easy in a group to get distracted and forgot about the cars. Or expect the cars to not mind riding behind us for long periods of time.

But with so many people texting and talking on cell phones, you have to bike with the notion that car is KING. For one thing, it is way bigger than a bike and way more deadly. I will repeat again and again, NEVER interact with a car when biking with me. We will simply ignore them, never clog up an intersection and get over fast when cars are coming up behind.

Maybe this is easier for chicks than guys. The guys can get confrontational with each other when a motorists gets nasty. Who knows??

I have an idea, next time you are on your bike, do something really nice for a motorist. An example, today on my way home, I got to an intersection, Washington and Darlington. Four cars were in line to cross in front of me. I waved the first guy, then decided to wave them all. They all had smiles on their faces.

So pay one forward and start a chain reaction. It just might help our image out there on the roads. Eileen said the hatred on that website was unreal. Remember your life depends on biking well. And on lessening the anger motorists now have towards cyclists.

It is easy to complain, let's take some steps to change that.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

coming in September

Hanks Place on Rt 1 and Rt 100 intersection

Some fun things planned for September. September and October are often the best months for biking. Fall colors and cooler temps make for nice rides.

But have two events I am planning for September.
September 12 Saturday ride, leave 8 am cue # 84 48.8 miles, will stop 2x , first stop will be a WaWa and the 2nd stop will be Hank's Place on rt 1 for breakfast/lunch, whatever you choose. Then we will bike the last 10 miles back into the boro.

September 27 I know I said NO MORE sponsored rides, but this one is very local and very small. Bike Fresh Bike Local. I would like to try the 50 mile ride, leave at 8 am and return to Victory Brewery in Downingtown for lunch. This ride starts and ends at Victory. I hope to drive this cue and see what this ride is like. It is a small local ride and I would like to try it.

Check blog for further updates.

Biking speed when in a group

As y'all know I run the Biker Chicks bike rides, right now in the West Chester Cycling Club, I am the only ride leader offering anything to folks other than very fast pace line biking.

For August 22, there are 7 rides listed not counting the Chicks. All are at 14-17 mph or higher and all will run a pace line. SO the only alternative to pace line riding right now are the Chicks. I post the speed at 11-13 and I do try very hard to stay in that range. But stuff happens.

It could be blazing hot and then I can barely bike and might manage a slower speed. It could be a cool day and I can go faster, if it is a flat ride, such as the Schuylkill River trail, that speed could be as high as 14 or so. Again all of this depending on weather, wind etc.

Sometimes I show up for a ride and I am the slowest in the group so I have to hustle to try and keep up. On the Covered Bridge Ride we headed out with 9 folks and I came in last of this group even though I was giving it my all. Lucky another chick stayed with me or I would have come in alone on this ride.

It happens, it is what it is. I do ask all to bring the cue, bring medical ID and cell phone, put my phone number in your cell. Bring snacks, high calorie, and bike tubes and inflation. Never leave home without having at least looked at the cue. Have some kind of back up plan. Many on the rides often volunteer their friends or husbands as a back up for you if no one is home. But you give it some thought when you take off to bike ride.

Talked to one WCCC member who refuses to carry a cell phone and she ran into trouble and thumbed home. Not sure I would recommend this. I am a stickler on safety. If you are not, do not expect me to take care of you if and when you run into trouble.

But come prepared for EVERY ride with cue and some idea of where you are biking. As ride leader now for over 3 years, it is a huge responsibility on my part to constantly be monitoring all the cyclists in the group. It helps if you are somewhat prepared, ride safely and do what i say if i see you doing something I determine to be unsafe.

I do the best I can, remember, this is a VOLUNTEER job and if I was not currently offering C rides, the WCCC would just be a club of pace line riders. I am trying hard to change this but I need you folks to show up for rides and actually DO THEM.

more yummie stuff from another chick

this one would travel well since it is a bar recipe

Peanut Butter Bars

In a large bowl, stir together ½ Cup Brown Sugar, ¼ Cup Peanut Butter (sugarless), ¼ Cup milk, ¼ Cup molasses or honey, 2 T canola oil and 1 tsp vanilla.

In a small bowl, stir together ¾ Cup whole wheat flour, ¾ Cup oats, ½ tsp baking soda and pinch of salt.

Add the oat mixture to the peanut butter mixture along with ½ Cup raisins or sour cherries, ½ Cup chocolate chips, ¼ Cup almonds, ¼ Cup sunflower seeds (unsalted) and 2 T ground flax seed. Stir till well blended. I used a kitchen aid mixer for this as it is hard to do by hand.

Spread batter into a 9 X 13 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. The mixture will be sticky, you might get better results using your hands dampened with water.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. Cool and cut into bars. Makes 18 bars. Narrow shapes fit into snack bags.

Try changing up some of the ingredients, examples.. raisins, dried sour cherries, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, soy milk, etc.

Serving size 1 bar = 1.69 oz * Calories 155 * Total fat 6.9 gm * Saturated fat 1.6 gm * Trans fat 0 gm * Cholesterol 0 mg *

Sodium 25 mg * Total carbohydrate 22 g * Dietary fiber 2 g * Sugars 12 g * Protein 3 gm

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunday Aug 23 ride if weather goes bad

Weather is looking very iffy for Friday and Saturday, if Saturday's ride is not a go, I am going to post a Sunday morning ride, 930 am, leaving from Hot Foot. It will be the same cue as listed on the WCCC ride page. 33 miles. Easy ride, after last Sunday's ride I am not anxious to go out and speed around the roads.

IF Saturday's ride is a bust, email me on Saturday and let me know if you would come on Sunday.

Chester Valley Trail may be a reality someday

this map is pretty good and gives a good representation of where this trail is and where it may hopefully connect with the Schuylkill River Trail for a detailed description of the CURRENT status of this trail. I have contacted the lead person Ian Currie and this was his response as to the approximate date of completion.........

"Yes, the trail will be completed, at least 6 miles of trail, by end
summer 2010; Valley Creek Boulevard (West Whiteland) to Church Road
(East Whiteland).
Additional sections are projected to be finished through 2011-2012, with
final completion in late 2012. Right-of-Way, design, many permits and
approvals have been cleared for the 12 plus mile trail. As with any
project of this size, schedules can be interrupted, and your continued
patience is appreciated.

The trail is coming. Thanks for your email, please enjoy the rest of the
summer season.



let's not be oblivious to the world around us

In the last few weeks we have, as cyclists, encountered some incidents involving cars and involving bike safety. One of our chicks was yelled at during a sponsored ride, another group from our club was harassed by a motorist while biking and we all know about the tragic accident during the Covered Bridge Ride.

I got an email from a fellow chick and she said it best in her response to an email about the tragic accident in Lancaster

"thank you for reminding us of the impermanence and fragility of our lives
WE do owe it to all of our families to be a little more vigilant / cautious in our riding...
I know we all get caught up in the moment, but none of us are riding in the Tour de France here.
it is recreation...even though accidents happen"

This lady is right, WE ALL need to be more vigilant and careful when biking. While Chicks seem to be one of the best groups on the road in terms of carefulness, we can all get better.

When driving a car, we constantly monitor the roads and other traffic. We use our rear view mirrors and side mirrors constantly, we monitor our speed and we think about what we are doing. One reason the cell phone and texting are getting so much press now is that they are contributing to accidents resulting in deaths.

But when on bikes just like when we are in cars, we have to constantly think about our impact on the roads, and our effect on the other cars, bikers and pedestrians.

In an instant, we can be a statistic. Here is a list of some things chicks will do during rides:

1. single file riding, only on back road with no traffic can we get 2 abreast and then with caution

2. watch for long lines of cars behind us and look for a spot to pull over and let them pass if passing is impossible for the car

3. watch our speeds on downhills, at any point, on a fast descent, we can hit a small animal or a hole or stick and go flying, so caution is suggested. I got this from another rider on the Covered Bridge,

"For my part, I'm a lousy climber, but I love to descend ... while I try to always go downhill alone, with a bit of distance away from anyone, a check of my own cyclocomputer revealed I went well over 30 mph at some points. While I feel comfortable doing so, I doubt my new-rider abilities justify such speed and I will be slowing down in the future. Imagine a crash at that speed!?!?!? ... I don't want to think about it."

4. no stopping and regrouping at intersections, we will stop and pick better spots for regrouping and resting

5. THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we will do, WE WILL NOT interact with motorists. One chick did the right thing when she was harassed by a motorist, she simply asked him to watch his language. But as a rule, I think it is best to ignore the motorist, nothing deflates an angry motorist more than being ignored.

so Safe riding to all, be careful and bike defensively at all times.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nifty stuff that can make a ride a happier place

for large holes in your tire, which I had on Sunday's Covered Bridge Ride, carry these sticky patches to stick inside of your tire to cover the large holes, on the CBM, I used a gel pack wrapper but it is very hard to keep it in place

I sat in this saddle for about 20 hrs during the Covered Bridge Ride this past Sunday, well not 20 hrs but it sure felt like it and I can now say, this is one fine saddle

I use a CO2 inflator similar to this one, and I buy my UNTHREADED cartridges online, unthreaded are way cheaper than threaded, if you have a bottom on your inflator, you can use unthreaded. Bought a box of cartridges at

I get 16 gram cartridges, seem to fill a tire to a good pressure

and on Sunday when I had to inflate my tire 2x, the inflator was very handy, especially in the heat

my snack food on the Covered Bridge Ride, cheap, easy and found in all grocery stores

bike ride fuel

some of you want all natural snack food on the bike rides, and I stumbled onto this, looks decent, although on the Covered Bridge Ride I simply snacked on Twizzlers while biking, easy and goes well in hot summer rides, but the cookies below look good too

Best Bicycling Fuel

Appalachian Trail Cookies

(as seen in Bicycling Magazine Dec. ‘08)

Cyclist and chef Michael Pfab, owner of Ciao, Italian restaurant in Allentown Pennsylvania created these delicious cookies that are also very good for you! “So many of the energy foods you buy are loaded with artificial ingredients, I created these cookies while running the kitchens for summer camps in North Carolina. I saw what the hikers were eating and thought, ”Turn that into a cookie, and you’ve got all you need to keep going,’ I’ll make 60 of these at the restaurant and take them all home.” – Pfab.

¼ cup shortening
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ cup shredded coconut
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon pastry flour
pinch salt
pinch baking soda
pinch ground cinnamon
2 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup raisins
⅓ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
⅓ cup M&M candies

Blend shortening, butter, brown sugar and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Add coconut, flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix only until blended. Fold in oats by hand, then mix in raisins, peanuts and M&Ms. Spoon out in equal portions on parchment lined baking pan. Bake at 360 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

for those who just read the blog in their email

many of you signed up to receive the blog posts via email which is great, but if you visit the actual blog, on the right side column is a link to our MEET UPS, you will find maps to Hot Foot, Shaws Bridge Park, the Schuylkill River Trail and MY house. SO if new to the group, go to the actual blog for this information.


pros and cons of large sponsored rides

since i just participated in a large sponsored ride, over 4000 riders maybe now is a time to talk about these rides and what they offer...

1. most times they are tons of fun and you get a chance to ride in other areas that you do not know, when i asked my son about sponsored rides, he said for him, in the beginning of his riding career, sponsored rides enabled him to ride 60-100 miles and not get lost, this was pre-GPS days for him,so he loved them, while now he shuns them as he has a GPS

2. clubs donate lots of money to good causes

3. you get the pleasure of support along the ride, potties and water

4. you can challenge yourself to do a Century when these sponsored rides are available, which is what i did last year by participating in the Seagull Century

so all of this is a good thing, but after a fatal accident on my ride on Sunday, I was forced to rethink the sponsored rides, so some down sides to a large ride, (also after a search on the Net i found many fatalies on sponsored rides involving cars and riders)......

1. more people on the roads than the roads can handle safely

2. cars forced to ride in the passing lane for long periods of time

3. many different levels of riding having to ride together, most bike clubs run rides every week but each level sticks together and they do not mix on the roads

4. very fast riders next to very slow riders

5. very bad riders next to very good riders

6. riders doing things that they never would if riding solo at home, crossing roads without looking, riding 5 and 6 abreast, riding faster than they do at home

So what to do. I just read on the Internet that in my county of Chester in Pennsylvania, that with government stimulus money, over 30 million dollars is being spent to redo all the curb cuts for the handicapped, the new cuts must have dimpled surfaces for the blind, this all coming about because in Erie Pa, someone sued the state of PA in regards to this matter and the result was the state had to redo the curb cuts, many many of these curb cuts are being put in places where there are NO sidewalks or if there are sidewalks, they are not handicap worthy sidewalks, but nonetheless, the lawsuit has forced this stupid waste of taxpayer money, and the state has to put curb cuts along highways etc where there are NO pedestrians

so what does this have to do with large sponsored rides

well this is the future i see, unless these bike clubs take steps to promote more safety on the rides, an eventual lawsuit being levied against a bike club

1.if a club wants to sponsor a ride with over 4000 riders, tons of support personnel is needed and not just at the rest stops, more folks at ALL intersections

2. possibly making pace lines forbidden

3. have folks sitting 100 feet or so ahead of dangerous turns with signs warning the riders

3. stagger starts possible

4. make several cues, one for A and B riders, one for C and D riders, with crossing points at the rest stops

While all of this sounds ridiculous to many, i do foresee a lawsuit down the road and these rides coming under huge scrutiny

what do you think?? these rides are hugely popular and are done all over the country but do you see local governments making some forced changes to these rides, and should they?? lawsuits down the road for these bike clubs??

angry local residents protesting the rides?? more police support being required??

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spectrum Cycles

This year I am getting my dream bike, a custom bike from Spectrum Cycles. I get to design my dream bike. Yes I said dream bike. Not only will my bike be built exactly for my size but I can pick all my components and paint job.

I am currently riding one of the Spectrum originals, a 1978 handmade steel frame.

This is my 60th birthday gift from my hubby. Told him I do not want a cruise, do not want a party, do not want a trip to Europe. All I want is a new bike. And I want one from Spectrum.

Now all I have to think about now is the color. Red, pink, polka dots, anything I want.

Custom bikes are usually bought by people who are either short or tall. Y'all know I am tall and most bike stores stick me on a man's bike, bad idea as I am not a man.

BIG DAY, Brunch Ride and Bike Q and A

August 30, a big day for Chicks, plan now and plan on coming, whatever you got going, change plans and come have some fun, once in a lifetime ride. Well not really but it will be fun.

Riding to Whip Tavern and having brunch, cue # 88 40 miles, EASY. This ride is for fun and not to hammer out some high exercise type ride. You must rsvp to me. SO i can give Whip Tavern a heads up as to how many of us may be coming.
Bike Clinic at 2 pm, Q and A with Exton Bike Store mechanic, ask anything you want, come learn about your bike. Remember, when biking, your life depends on your BIKE, it needs to be safe to ride.

If you want to park your car at my house before the ride and just stay for the clinic, be my guest, you can bring clothes to change into, if we get back early, you can clean your bike after the ride.

A day full of biking and bike maintenance.

Monday, August 17, 2009

the self centered mindset of the cyclist, I'm getting turned off by it

who the heck is this sign for??
cyclist or motorist??

I have been involved in bicyling with a bike club now for 3 years. Prior to this, I biked by myself and purposely rode from 5 am to 8 am to avoid cars AND to avoid being a nuisance on the roads. I really thought that as a cyclist, I should ride when few cars were on the roads.

Now I am in a bike club and there is no such thinking as this. I have found that it is all about the rider and his or her ride. Cars and others be damned. I have a right to the roads, I am going to ride on them and I am going to do whatever the heck I want to do.

If we want to run a 20 man pace line and zoom around at 21 mph +, that is our right and ya'd better get out of our way, cuz we have a right to be on the roads.

Yeah, yeah, I know you have a right but what the heck happened to thinking about someone other than yourself when on the roads. And yeah, yeah, I know motorists do the same thing and we call them jerks.

I was a a bike gathering tonight and one of the "elite" riders told me he goes to a popular area sponsored ride just to ride fast. He said they can run a large pace line and speed as much as they want since it is a well marked ride with lots of folks on the road. He told me he was incensed at how many people kept riding in the middle of the lane and did not know to get over. I was sitting there wondering when in heck has this same guy ever had to get over for a faster rider.

Never cuz he is only riding faster than a bunch of marginally good riders. I would just love to see these A riders riding with some real elite riders. It would be sweet justice.

Hey I know, I sound mad, I guess I am. The sponsored ride that I participated in had over 4000 riders, it was rumored that a rider was killed in dangerous riding. We saw the scene but could not confirm the details. This is insane. Am I the only one that feels this way, I think so. Most tell me to shut up, cyclists can and deserve to ride on the roads and ride fast if they want.

Good thing all motorists don't feel that way, hello, it is why we have speed limits. But in the world of biking, there are no speed limits, go as fast as you can and hope that the only thing you break is a collarbone or arm.

I was sorely disappointed tonight and knew I was the only one who felt this way. All I heard was how fast the folks went in the ride, we got back at 11, we did not see any problems. What problems, oh, they say to me, "you got run over by a pace line, then why didn't you get over faster?"

The fast riders have no idea of their impact on other cyclists or cars nor do they care. I am convinced of this. They are having fun and that is all it is about.

Call me old, I guess I am, but cycling on roads has to be a team effort not only between cars and bikers but between bikers and bikers. talks about livable streets. Yeah, where?? No one is willing to step aside for anyone.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

stick a fork in me, I am done

Some observations from today's Covered Bridge Metric.... and yes, that pic above is what i look like and yes I am done, NO MORE sponsored rides this year. Got so much sun today I am cooked, the first part of the ride before lunch was very good but after lunch, holy smokes, it got hotter than hell, really, i must use the word hell.

The heat was unrelenting from about 11:30 am and on. But despite this we were managing to plod along albeit with difficulty. Hey we are almost at 50 miles and kaboom, I get a flat on my front tire, and manage to fall onto Connie and damage her wheel, man, that sure sounds bad.

It's probably good that I fell on Connie as I might have been run over by a very impatient lady in a big car behind us. And from there it all went downhill.

We found some shade and I changed my tire, inflate it and voila, a few minutes later it is flat. Start over in oven like heat and get the tire changed and inflated. Connie has to call SAG after I flattened her bike.

Ellen cramped up very badly and almost walked the last 10 miles. Cassandra was again, way ahead, blond hair flying as she sped up and down hill and valley. Mary Pat took a short cut, and meanwhile Tom is waiting for her on some hot hill cursing his bad luck. He met us at our tire changing spot and collapsed. He finally got going again but it was a tough row to hoe and he also cramped up.

Eileen and Ron were a distant spot , we saw very little of them. Just eating their wake!!

One very funny thing I did notice, since shade was at a premium, every time we passed a decent sized tree, the bikers were all huddled under it, just like the cows do when out in pasture and seeking shade. I had to chuckle at this site,

A big bonus to our hotter than hell ride, is that I now look like a raccoon. Sunburnt face

and raccoon eyes from my sunglasses. And yes, i feel just like the little guy above.

Elaine and I were the last to come in and some guy had the nerve to yell at Elaine cuz she could not get over fast enough for him on some hill, I said, "we are slow", he says, " i can see that"

and on a very very somber note, we saw two accidents, one we came upon, it was a sharp turn and apparently the rider hit a hole and broke her neck and reports we heard were that she died. We saw another rider take a turn too fast and we heard he broke an arm or leg.

We saw many men and women riding way too fast for the crowds and the sharp turns. Not sure why so many folks need to ride with such speed on such a ride as Covered Bridge as it is crowded and the ride has many turns. I am even more committed in promoting safe bike riding, and today apparently speed does indeed kill.

Friday, August 14, 2009

one more post on safety

Not sure if you folks followed the story of the young jogger in Fairmount Park who was killed by a falling tree, she had no ID, no one knew who she was, she was wearing an ipod.

Last week I had a large group biking with me and I did not even know the name of one of the riders let alone if she had contact information with her.

SO AGAIN, here are your options

RoadID, either the wrist band with phone numbers or get the online version if you have a complicated medical history that would be necessary if rescue personnel are needed

, you can make a card with all your medical information, the site is privacy protected and nothing is stored on their site

carry an extra insurance card, old driver's license that is still accurate in terms of address

carry a working cell phone and put the contact name ICE and list a number of someone who will answer the phone and be able to make medical decisions if needed

if you bike a lot, and have no spouse or close by relatives, consider asking a good friend to be this person

your life may depend on it someday, we encounter aggressive drivers, and drivers on cell phones and texting

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

more on the road rage and what to do, here large groups prove safer

got this from my son who has been hit by a car himself and rides about 10Kmiles a yr...,0,6819271.story

She was at atlantic and military, which is a few roads out to the west. I have felt really unsafe out there recently... it's like the drivers are aiming for you sometimes. I am as experienced with the drivers as anyone can be, and I don't even know what to expect a lot of times. Just the other day a big 18 wheeler decided to pass me while I was going over the woolbright bridge(narrow 2 lane bridge with metal grates) right by my house. That was scary. It said she the girl was hit by a 94 year old woman.

Recently I have felt safer when I am with a big groups of guys biking 2 to 3 wide on the road. It seems like the cars are more willing to hang back, and wait for a good time to pass. When it is just me it's like they'll roll right up next to me like I am not even there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

unless it rains

if weather holds, Tues evening ride is On for today August 11 at 530

Monday, August 10, 2009

what do you think?? road rage and how to deal with it

one of our groups this past Saturday encountered a bad road rage incident, the ride leader got the license and a picture of the drivers, this ride leader

had 14 riders in his group, I had a similar size on Saturday around 14 or so, i had no idea i had that many as they must have come in late to Hot Foot and when i looked back a few blocks into the ride, i thought, where the heck did all these folks come from?

what to do?, do we ride with this many or do we split on these tights roads as Providence is?

and then regroup later in the ride on quieter roads?

my group went towards Glen Mills, i was a Nazi keeping everyone single file, it was nerve wracking as we were on roads that were like Providence, narrow, little shoulder and traffic, Westtown, Cheyney and Creek

but I felt my group was too large, i ran a figure 8 ride and we lost 8 rides for the 2nd leg making it much easier, just 6 of us

do we ride in large groups or should we lesson the chances for road rage by making our groups smaller on these busy roads

i have ridden on Providence, it is a busy road and seems to attract high speed cars, so maybe this should be addressed

as a club, we do nothing for our rep when we are in those large groups, it is hard to pass a group this large

i do know we have every right to be on the roads, but pulling over and splitting the group is just courteous

i constantly monitor the cars behind me and if on a busy road if we have a line, i look for a spot to move over so the cars can get by

i realize many of us are out and are cycling at high speeds and do not want to do this

but for saturday club rides, it is not a competition and this kind of courtesy might be what we need to do

high speed competition rides can be done but maybe the groups should be smaller for this type of riding

lucky for me Chick rides tend to be small so this is not a problem and obviously we are not riding at high speeds

but with the large group i had on Saturday, i can see the side of the drivers as i felt like a parade and it was tough for cars to get around us

what is your opinion, should clubs run large groups taking off together and then staying together even on busy roads and roads with no shoulders???

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Brunch Ride or Lunch ride, cue # 32-51 miles

33 miles to Whip Tavern and 20 back, anyone interested, only sunday left in Aug is Aug 30 as ellen and cassandra are doing Lance Armstrong's cancer ride on Aug 23

If the Aug 30 does not work we can do Saturday Aug 29 and just get lunch which would be just as nice

Who is up for this ride, will post according to what I hear, make a comment in the comment section stating your preference

anyone interested in doing this event??

there is a 35 mile ride that goes from the Strawberry Mansion bridge through the city, this ride is a very slow paced touring ride

was thinking we could park at the Spring Mill parking lot at the end of Conshohocken on E Hector Street

email me if interested

sunday brunch ride coming

spread the word, planning a Sunday brunch ride to Whip Tavern, I am working on a cue and will be posting back but was wondering when to do this??

take a look at the brunch menu, YUMMY

suggestions welcome, what route, which Sunday??

was thinking of Aug 30?? before the the clinic which we can do at 4-6

Frank did this ride a few weeks ago with some folks, so I am guessing bike attire is fine for brunch

Tentative cue, head out to West Chester Road near Coatesville and work our way over to the Whip and come home on Frog Hollow and Brandywine Creek Road. Maybe about 40 miles all together, easy pace, fun and relaxed ride, nothing fast and crazy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

great great ride today and rides for week of Aug 9

thank you to Mr Eileen for treating us to the donuts

The figure 8 ride proved to be one huge success. First leg was 22 miles with a stop at WC Scoop for water and donuts and bathroom and then we headed down Rt 842 and did cue #233. Again proving to be one fine ride. There was a sponsored ride going on down in the southern rt 842 area so we passed and were passed by many riders making it an even nicer ride.

We had about 15 riders total and only 6 continued on and it was a good thing as overall the total ride was just spectacular. Elaine, Eileen and Mr Eileen and Ellen and Libby and Connie did about 50 miles and managed to come back to the boro around 12:15

Lots of folks must be on vacations cuz the roads were relatively quiet making it even nicer.
Rides for week of Aug 9

so far forecast is for very hot on monday and tues and if this holds true I may move the ride to Wednesday at 530 and Thursday at 530. SO CHECK BACK via twitter or blog for LAST minute changes.

No chick ride on Saturday as I and other chicks are doing the Covered Bridge Metric and we are doing the 62 mile ride on Sunday Aug 16, anyone interested in joining us, email me. So far we have 6 or so chicks. My car has a spot for one more and Ellen is also driving and may have room too. SO EMAIL me if you want to either follow in the car or squeeze in.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Two miles in almost 20 years, what an accomplishment!! You go Chester County Commissioners, at this rate my grand kids might be able to use this trail. Montgomery County has had its portion of this trail, an overpass for the Schuylkill Expressway built for sometime and someone built the mile or so in Exton as part of that Main Street shopping center. But as Porky Pig or Bugs Bunny said, " that's all folks!"

(from the BCGP blog)

1 - Chester Valley Trail Phase 1 - PA Recovery (stimulus) website indicates that a contractor has been selected and construction will begin in October for a two mile section from Rt. 29 to Church Farm School Rd. Cosntruction is expected to be complete by next summer.

View Philadelphia Regional Trails in a larger map

Libby's Second Bike Rant

This rant is for women cyclists, especially women of my generation 50+ yrs old. Now many of you will NOT see yourself in this post but many should. Women tend to constantly run themselves down, tell others that they are lousy cyclists, that they go slow, that they cannot do this or that.

I often hear, " I cannot bike fast, I cannot do more than 25 miles" and the list goes on and on. One lady recently emailed me, telling me that she wants to do a sponsored ride with me and that she hopes I can go slow enough for her. Meanwhile this lady left me in the dust on the last ride I did with her.

So this lady should own up to the fact that she is a fine cyclist and can ride very well. And be able to admit it.

I never hear men come to a ride and say, "I am a lousy rider, hope you all can go slow enough for me."

Yet women constantly underrate their abilities, their skills and their speed on a bike. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a lady cyclist say to me, " I am tired and will be way behind in this ride" and then ride 300 feet ahead of me the entire ride and smoke me on the hills, I would be a rich woman.

I could go on and on about women and our well practiced role of constantly downgrading ourselves. We are either too fat, too old, too slow or toooooo something or other. Recently my twin sister and I got out some old highschool pics of ourselves and were amazed at how pretty we were. We grew up thinking we were ugly high school girls when in fact it was just the opposite.

This disconnect that women have is amazing to me. Our inability to see ourselves for who we really are. Ya'd think we would outgrow this distorted image of ourselves but NO, every time I go out on my bike with other women, this awful distortion rears its ugly head.

Right now I am riding with some terrific women cyclists. We are all past 50 yrs of age and all of us can knock off a 50 mile ride with 4800 feet of climbing.

SO LADIES, stop telling me you cannot ride, cuz I am getting tired of it. Own up to your great skills and admit that you are one smokin' good cyclist.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I made an error in the gearing post below, while all my math is correct the formula answer is not the distance traveled with each turn of the crank, it the effective diameter of the wheel,

while this sounds complicated, what is important is that you can still compare the answers for the formula

frontcrank/cassette cog times 27

with the smaller numbers meaning it is an easy gear,

big numbers means a hard gear

two cool rides coming

this saturday, August 8, the Figure 8 ride, will do a rest stop at my house, I will have some water and gatorade supplies, can use potty etc

next Sunday August 16, the Covered Bridge Metric in Lancaster, a great ride, will meet chicks at 730am sharp near the sign in table, suggest you register online prior to this ride

I can take 2 ladies in my car, leaving my house at 6 am if you want a ride.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

can't bike cuz ya hate the hills

We have our fair share of hills here in Chester County. Climbing these hills can be made easier with better gearing. Now you say, "what the heck are you talking about, Libby?"

Right now on my bike I have a compact crank. That refers to the two chain rings up front, one is a size 50, that means it has 50 little knobbies sticking out. yeah yeah, that is not the right terminology but ya know what i mean.

My smaller ring has 34, so the size of my crank is 50/34. A normal crank is 52/39.

Now you are still saying, "what the heck are you talking about libby?"

Well the sizes of your front chain rings and the sizes of the cogs in your cassette determines what your gears can and cannot do on hills and on flat land.

The cassette in back can vary. I am on an old bike so I only have 7 cogs, most of you have 10 cogs. The smallest having 10-11 little knobbies sticking out and the biggest having anywhere from 26-29 or maybe even more.

Now when i was trying to learn all this stuff, I had to have my brother in law and my son helping me naviagate the math. My son said his 3rd grade students know more math than me, well that is a given. But nonetheless, even my thick brain finally figured out the gearing

So if you take your largest cog in back, say it is 29 and your small front chain is 34. Divide 34 by 29 and multiply by 27, this works out to 31.6. This means each time your crank goes around once you cover 31 inches, hence you are spinning your wheels but this is a good gear for hills.

and for the flat land gears, take your largest ring up front, 50 (for me) and divide by your smallest cog in back - 12 (for me) and mlutiply by 27, you get approx 112 inches, again the distance covered with each revolution of your crank. By the way, the crank is the part where your pedals are, the arms holding your pedals.

God only knows I hope i have this right but i think i do. So to the point of my post. Yeah, i know, you feel asleep 3 paragraphs ago.

Look at your bike and see what the smallest ring up front size is and then look at the biggest in back. Remember, the smaller your formula answer, the easier it is for you to climb hills. 31 inches is an easy climbing gear, if your gear combos is higher than this which mine is, then climbing hills is gonna be harder than it needs to be.

I am getting a new bike this winter and I can pick my gearing plan in advance and I am deciding between a 3 front chain ring or a compact.

But with this formula--- front chainring divided by back cog times 27, I can compare the gears with a degree of knowledge.

A typical triple might be 50-39-30 and with a little math, I can now easily compare a triple or a compact or a normal crank and decide what I need.

Holy flying bike wheels Batman, I think i got it!!

p.s. this took me a full 2 days to finally comprehend this stuff but it was very worthwhile and very helpful

Monday, August 3, 2009

changing Saturday's ride, doing a figure 8

Ellen has come up with a great idea, 25 miles in two different directions, first cue is # 233, out to Westtown and # 232, the Cannery Road ride. The rides will cross right by the Hot Foot parking lot so you can either end your ride at 25 miles or continue and do another 25 for a total of 50 miles.

Come on out, good ride for beginners as the first part of the ride is just 25 miles. More experienced riders can keep going for and additional 25 miles.

Sounds like fun, come on out.

rides for the week of Aug 3 and New Ride Policy in regards to breakdowns

New Ride policy for Biker Chicks rides in regards to break downs on the road. As ride leader, I will stay with you until help arrives or at least is on the way. We have talked about having a back up plan, someone you can call to come get you if you break down. I realize some of you have no one you can call and I am not sure what to offer in this case. I have my husband I can call, but sometimes on rides, other ladies have offered their husbands to come get me so I think something could be worked out.

On the Quaker Tour, I had to bail out and both Connie and Judy offered their husbands to come get me. Last year I had to bail on a ride and my husband was out of town so one of the riders called his wife and she came and got me. So I think we can work things out on the rides.

Right now I can fix a flat tire and that is all I can do. So until we know more, any break down regarding chains and derailluers will be an automatic CALL for HELP. We will not try to fix the break down.

On areas sponsored rides, same policy in regards to break downs, we can FIX a FLAT and that is it, and since it is a sponsored ride, we will leave the disabled rider while she waits for SAG to come and rescue her.

tuesday eve 530, Hot Foot, if it is over 90 degrees tomorrow, i will not ride, so check Twitter for updates, Twitter username LibsM

thursday eve 530 Hot Foot

Saturday Aug 8 7:50 Hot Foot cue #137 29 miles

less miles this saturday, so hopefully some new folks might show up

AUGUST 16 Covered Bridge Metric, I already signed up for this event, biking in Lancaster County is a whole new experience, mostly flat to rolly hills and very pleasant. Lots of nice scenery. Lunch is part of the ride, last year it was Subway hoagies.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Eileen runs into a nasty motorist

this from Eileen after the Dog Daze ride....if any of you at this ride saw this incident, contact me and i will let eileen know..... WE MUST ALL support Eileen in this regards

Shortly after we left the second rest stop, we (Ron, Tina, Ed, me, and one or two other riders, not sure who they were) were approaching the corner at McCue and Church, which was marked as a left hand turn. I was about 2-3 car lengths away from the stop sign at the intersection, with my left arm out signaling a left hand turn. I heard shouting at the same time I was glancing in my rear view mirror, and saw a gray car approaching, passing the other riders (who were a short distance behind me). Since I was close to the intersection, I maintained my position in the lane and continued to keep my left arm out to signal my turn. The driver sped up, passed me on the left by going into the opposite lane (we were on a two lane back road with a yellow center line). As soon as he had passed me, he slammed on his brakes. I had to swerve around his car to keep from slamming into the back of his car. I hit my brakes, yelled "HEY!!" loudly as I came around the side of his car. The driver rolled his window down, made an obscene gesture at me, and started screaming at me to "Get the F... off the road, stay out of the F...... road!" etc. etc. I was startled, the only thing I said at that moment was "Watch your language!"

Ron rode up at that moment, and shouted at him to get lost. He peeled off to the right, we turned left. I got the license number of the car before he took off. This all took place in the space of less than a minute.

When I got home, I located the township of the intersection, and called the Avon Grove police department. The phone was answered by the PA State Police. They took the license number of the car, and asked if I thought I could identify the driver. I said that I thought I could, and they told me they are going over to talk to the driver and issue him a citation if he admits that he was driving the car at that time, and if I am willing to identify him and file a statement regarding the incident.

I'm not thrilled about having to make a statement and/or identify the driver, but if it gets one more crazy driver to be a little bit more careful around bicyclists, it's worth it.

So, Ed was also there at the time of the incident, do you have contact info for him? I told the State Police that there were several riders there at the time, and I might be able to produce statements from the other riders about what happened to back up my story (the famous back up plan!). Ed may also know the other riders, or else I can post something to the club email server to see if the other riders were from the WCCC.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

the F***ck Fall and meeting a nice new guy

Hey, finally, Libby does a ride and does NOT fall but some guy had a bad one. Coming up a steep hill to the rest stop and some guy cuts him off, and yes, he yelled one fine swear word, cannot blame him, he was on a brand new carbon bike. I did feel for him cuz if anyone knows what it feels like to fall in front of folks, IT IS ME.

Dog Daze was a tough ride today, course got changed and it was hilly and not quite as scenic as before. And it was pretty humid today. But Ellen and I and Ed and Don ended up riding together and did well. Don is a new guy and has to be one of the nicest new guys I have ever biked with. Young and nice, but most likely, he will improve fast and be moving up to faster rides. But for today, it was fun to talk to someone not only new to the club but new to Chester County.

Connie's chain broke and she called SAG support. Ellen had her bike at the shop and they did not fix what she took it in for.

SO we are back to square one, chicks just not getting good service at local bike shops. Not sure what the problem is, I am sure this is not limited to just chicks. When are bike stores gonna realize, repeat business comes when the shop has top flight repairpersons working for them.

I am sure this is hard to find, but it is certainly a problem from what i can see.