Friday, February 27, 2009

Sign the Petition to support completing the Schuylkill River Trail

There was a large meeting in Center City last night about completing the missing portions of the Schuylkill River Trail. If you follow the link above, you can download the Power Point presentation, and view the map of the portions that need to be finished. It looks like the portion of the SRT in Manyunk are being looked at. Right now we have to exit the trail and bike through Manyunk which many folks do not like.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How NOT to get killed

PA Safe Passing Law Campaign
State Representative Rob Miller (R-York) is planning to introduce a safe passing law in that would require motorists to pass cyclists within 4 feet and protect cyclists from motorists turning right into their path. This would be the second time that Rep. Miller has pursued these changes to the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. The potential bill has twelve co-sponsors to date, but needs more. So far, Babette Josephs is the only Democrat and Philadelphia regional Representative who has pledged to co-sponsor. PA Bikes and Walks , a new online network of PA bicycle advocates, is asking all bicyclists to please call your Representative and ask that they co-sponsor Representative Miller's Safe Passage bill.


Chicks Chicks Chicks Everywhere

OK, so we do not look like the chicks above,
I can dream, no harm in that, right !!!!!!

I said the clinic was closed but added two more ladies, this response is UNBELIEVABLE.

This kind of interest tells me there is a market for biking for ladies that has not been met by most bike clubs. Either the club focuses on mostly men who are better than the average rider and the the rides are fast and hard. If women form a club, it is usually for the same purpose. Ride fast and ride hard.

Biker Chicks of West Chester Cycling is for women who want to bike and are scared to death to bike on the roads. They are scared to death to wear spandex and scared to death that they will fall over and look foolish.

Now I am old, fat and have fallen at least 30 times and looked about as foolish as can be. I wear spandex and I love it. So if the above reasons are holding you back, just look to me for inspiration.

Got 22 ladies now for the clinic, now my job is to get you ladies on wheels on the roads.

Squeezing the Chicks

Ladies, right now the clinic is full, I have 20 ladies coming and I am afraid my garage is going to overflow. Have not yet figured out how to work with the 20 ladies but we are tossing around a few ideas. So if still interested, I will start a waiting list as I am sure there will be cancellations from some folks.

Now if I could just get 20 BIKER CHICKS out on a Saturday morning, that would be spectacular.

Thanks for all the responses.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Benefits of Cross Training

Cyclists at risk for bone loss according to this article from the LATimes:,0,1785648.story

A fellow Biker Chick forwarded this article to me, I found it interesting and it points to the necessity of getting weight bearing exercise. Some suggestions are walking and weight lifting.

Tips for cyclists at risk of bone loss:,0,4426717.story

Monday, February 23, 2009

heading out for another ride this week


I will be hitting the roads again this week, can only do between 5-10 miles, so if any of you want to try a few miles, email me, looks like Wed afternoon will be good. I start at my house and head to Boot Road on back roads. NO hills and I go slow, remember, knee surgery a few weeks ago.

So if new to cyling and you want to try a few miles, come along.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

WCCC Biker Chicks are HOT CHICKS

Still calling chicks for our bike clinic and bike fitting lecture and dinner party. March 29 at my house, 206 E Virginia Ave, WC

Hoping to see lots of you, rsvp to my email address on right column of blog. Get your bike out of storage and plan on riding.

We will be starting VERY SLOW, so start riding early in the season, do not wait till August to decide to ride.

Ride often and ride for fun.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

out biking today

Four weeks from my knee surgery and I went out today and did 10 miles. Knee felt great and it was a wonderful day for biking. Sunny and nice and lots of folks were out jogging and even playing tennis. Saw boys playing basketball at Marshall Square Park.

So my training is underway, plan on doing 3-4 10-15 mile rides each week through March if the weather allows.

Cannot wait to be biking again in warm weather.

shoes and cleats and bike chains

Before the biking season starts, CHECK your shoes and cleats, tighten all screws and look at the cleat. If worn and in bad shape BUY NEW ones, cleats should be changed, they do not last forever.

If you get new cleats, save the old screws and put them into you bike bag, they may come in handy some day when a loose screw falls out during riding.

the Speeplay pedal, this option is a good pedal but it is a little pricey. If you buy Speedplay pedals do not buy the top of the line unless you plan on riding in the Tour de France with Lance. But you MUST get the Speedplay cleats and covers as the cleats for Speedplay cannot be walked upon as the mountain bike cleats can.

the KEO pedal- a good choice, this is the pedal i use, again there are different levels of perfection with these pedals, I do suggest buying a high level KEO pedal as you get the most float out of the upper price pedals and your knees will thank you.

BIKE chain, this is something that should be changed, i suggest each season to get a new chain, it is not expensive and worth the price of changing it. Get a good chain and keep it lubed during the season.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Two Bike Bags I like and use

I use this bag and like it as it has lots of room and attaches to the seat well. Easy to get it off, simply twist and the bag comes off while the bag holder stays in place.

I also use this bag. It is handy for your snacks, phone, camera and things you want to grab easily.

What should I put in my tool bag on the back of my seat????

1. Tire levers- used to remove tire from wheel rim.

2. Two extra tubes- make sure they are the right size.

3. Money - for emergency food

4. Some tools that fit your bike - carry an Allen wrench that fits the screw that keeps your seat post in place. In case you fall, your seat post can turn and you need the proper tool to loosen it so you can return it to the proper position.

5. Inflation system -either a CO2 system or a pump. I recommend this pump by Topeak

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Found a great ride for Chicks July 25, PLAN NOW

A seasoned cyclist or a weekend warrior, the River to River Heritage Bicycle Tour offers a great day of cycling that takes you from the Delaware to the Schuylkill River through two of Pennsylvania’s most historic counties – Bucks and Montgomery.

Trek lightly traveled roads adjacent to the scenic Route 113 corridor, through small, quaint towns with farms, churches and businesses dating back to the 1700s.

Designed like a figure 8, the River to River Bicycle Tour route begins and ends at the Penn Valley Church in Telford, Montgomery County, Pa. Rest stops at historic sites will provide refreshment. Lunch will be served.

Choose 25, 50, 75 or 100 mile routes through varied terrain. There will not be a mass start time for the ride, so plan your day according to the number of miles and average speed you will travel.

Two meetings about the Schuylkill River Trail

Ideally, for cyclists like the Chicks, these trails ultimately will be a godsend. They will be flat and car-free, two things that make biking especially nice. If all the proposed trails were to be finally finished, a cyclist could bike all over the area and never have to use the roads.

Talking Points For Tonight's US 422 Corridor Study Meeting

Tonights Route 422 Meeting at MCCC Pottstown - from 6:30-9 p.m. in the community room of the West campus of hosted by the Montgomery County Community College, 101 College Dr

1 - Corridor Communities update their master plans to require complete streets
  • Identify gaps in sidewalks in non-rural areas
  • Identify solutions to crossing 422 on foot or bike
  • Identify bicycle improvements, especially where barriers exist
  • Require bike parking in business districts and new commercial construction
  • Traffic calming plans
  • Safe routes to schools plans

2 - Connect and coordinate existing SEPTA, BARTA and Pottstown Urban Transit services
  • Service extensions to Exeter, Birdsboro and Boyertown
  • Bike racks on all buses

3 - Supplement or enhance Capitol Trailways Pottsville/Reading - Philadelphia commuter bus service
  • Serve US 422 locally from Reading to Pottstown (local stops)
  • Use Bus Wrap to identify commuter buses place schedules on BARTA and SEPTA websites
  • Install bike racks on buses
4 - Complete the Schuylkill River Trail and integrate into the regional travel network
  • Final product - A seamless, well maintained, paved shared use path from Center City Philadelphia to Reading with good on street access to nearby destinations


February 26 - Completing the Schuylkill River Trail to Create the Region's First Green Transportation Corridor - Academy of Natural Sciences

Completing the Schuylkill River Trail

February 26, 2009 (6:00 pm-8:00 pm)

Completing the Schuylkill River Trail to Create the Region's First Green Transportation Corridor

Organized by Schuylkill River Park Alliance

Academy of Natural Sciences
19th St and the Ben Franklin Parkway

Sarah Clark Stuart, Schuylkill River Park Alliance
Loree D. Jones, Executive Director, Manayunk Development Corporation
Joseph Syrnick, President, Schuylkill River Development Corporation
Gina Snyder, Executive Director, East Falls Development Corporation
Christopher Leswing, Assistant Director, Planning Supervisor,Lower Merion Township

The Schuylkill River Trail is an extremely popular and heavily used recreational asset and commuter route. It also has the potential to be much more: a connector between a variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods and suburban neighbors, the region's first green transportation corridor for multiple communities, a strong catalyst for economic development, and a critical access point to open space and commuting paths for underserved neighborhoods.
To be complete, the trail has critical gaps that need to be filled, and it needs to be extended southward, northward and into more neighborhoods. There are nine trail projects that, if constructed, would complete Philadelphia's Schuylkill River Trail from Delaware County to Montgomery County.
The Forum will detail the public benefits of a completed trail and describe the planned trail segments to make the case for the Greater Philadelphia region and its elected officials to work together to make these trail segments a priority and to fund their construction.
The organizations from the non-profit, development corporation and public sectors working together to articulate the vision for a completed and connected Schuylkill River Trail in the Greater Philadelphia Region include Schuylkill River Park Alliance, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Schuylkill Project, Manayunk Development Corporation, East Falls Development Corporation, Roxborough Development Corporation, Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and Bartram's Garden.

RSVP here:

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
See map: Google Maps

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

got this from a great blog on biking

this is a very good blog with lots of information

Basic Bike Care

Pump It Up
Probably, the number one reason bikes fall apart is because people ignore the tires. Here’s what happens: Bicycle tires have very little air in them. And bicycle tubes, which are made of butyl rubber, are porous enough to allow air to seep out. The result is tires softening over a period of about a week for road bikes and about a month for mountain bikes (though it depends some on tire size).

When the tires get soft, bad things happen. Some folks decide to stop riding the bike because they think they have flat tires and they put off getting the flat fixed because it means loading the bike in the car and dragging it down to the bike shop.

Others (and this is more common) don’t realize that the tires have softened and ride the bike anyway. Unfortunately, if you ride with soft tires, there’s a risk of rim and tube or tire damage should you hit a pothole or rock. The impact compresses the tire, allowing the object to smack into the rim, possibly bending the rim and puncturing the tube. Besides this, it’s much harder to pedal a bike with soft tires, and the tires wear quicker when used underinflated.

These reasons ought to be enough to convince you that it’s best to regularly inflate the tires. Road bikes should be checked before every ride and mountain bikes at least weekly. Use a good pump that has a built-in gauge and follow the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, which is written on the tire sidewalls.

Lube It or Lose It
A bicycle is made up of a bunch of moving metal parts, many of which are meshing with each other. In order to keep these parts from grinding each other to dust as you pedal merrily along, they should be lubricated.

Spinning parts containing bearings, such as the wheels, pedals, bottom bracket (what the crankset is mounted to), and headset (the mechanism that connects the fork to the frame and allows steering), come from the manufacturer packed with grease. About once a year, these components should be dismantled, checked and regreased. But, because special tools are needed and the work is required only occasionally, you may prefer to leave this job to a bike shop mechanic.

What you can do quite easily is lubricate the chain and pivot points on the brakes and derailleurs. Use a light lubricant such as Triflow and don’t apply too much, because that will only attract dirt and grit that can actually accelerate parts wear.

You can tell when a chain needs lube, because the links will appear bright and shiny, and when pedaling you’ll hear squeaking. But only apply enough lube to put a light coat on the chain. Any more than that and grime and gunk will build up. One good technique is to apply the lube (pedal backwards while the bike is leaning against a wall and put some paper down to catch drips), let it sit a bit and then wipe off the excess.

When I say lube pivots, I mean the places on the derailleurs and brakes where things move. For example, on a sidepull brake (as found on most road bikes), the brake pivots on bolts and you can apply a couple drops of lube at these points. Don’t get any lube on the pads!

For derailleurs apply the lube where the body of the derailleur moves. Here too, be sure to wipe off the excess.

Clipless pedals often develop creaking noises. Sometimes this comes from the shoes rubbing on the pedals and dabbing a bit of grease on the cleats will quiet the noise. If the racket is coming from the pedals, apply a few drops on the jaws and spring. Just be sure not to walk into your house in your cycling shoes or you’ll leave greasy prints on your carpets.

Keep It Clean
Mountain bikers, especially those who ride in the mud, should keep a cleaning kit in the corner of the garage ready for use at ride’s end. All that’s needed is a bucket with some sponges and dishwashing detergent and a nearby hose.

When you return from a ride, prop the bike up and spray off the majority of the mud and muck with the hose. It’s crucial to not blast the water sideways at the bike. Doing so may force the water into the pedals, hubs and bottom bracket, which may compromise the grease and bearings inside these components. Instead, spray water only from above and don’t ever direct it toward greased parts.

Once you’ve knocked off most of the dirt, fill the bucket with warm water and enough detergent to raise some suds and go to work on the bike with the sponge. If there are lots of nooks and crannies on your rig, consider getting various brushes, which will speed up the cleaning process. When you’ve scrubbed the bike fully, rinse off the soap by dribbling water from above. With a little practice, you ought to be able to turn a filthy mud monster into a sparkling wonder in about 15 minutes. And it’ll save the finish and help keep the parts running nicely because you’ve gotten rid of all the dirt and grime. Don’t forget though to relube things after the bath because if you leave the parts wet with water, they’ll rust.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bike Safe in PA

Wonderful site made by PennDOT with tons of information about biking in Pennsylvania.
Click on the link called TOURING to find all the marked routes that cross the state of PA. Route L goes through Chester County. Suggest you read the PA State Laws for cyclists.

Chester County lined up for 3 projects

King of Prussia Section
The Chester Valley Trail portion in Montgomery County

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 6:08 AM EST

President Barack Obama is in Denver today to sign the $787 billion economic stimulus bill he won from Congress, a measure he hopes will start the nation on the long journey back to economic health.

Of the nearly trillion-dollar economic rescue package, $46 billion is slated to help shore up the country's crumbling infrastructure.

Chester County's shot in the arm will come in the form of one highway, one trail and one sidewalk project, for an expected $20.2 million in spending.

"We're looking over our list of projects, we have to have them to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission by the end of the month," said Eugene J. Blaum, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman.

The projects are called "candidates" until PennDOT District 6 gets the go-ahead from the DVRPC.

"It's all very fluid right now," Blaum said.

If approved, the largest piece of the pie, $15 million, will go to the Chester Valley Trail, a 12-mile stretch that connects Exton with Montgomery County along an abandoned rail bed that parallels Route 30 and Route 202.

The stimulus funding will establish the trail from Route 29 in East Whiteland to Church Farm Lane in West Whiteland, Blaum said.

Another $5 million will be used to improve pavement and repair a bridge on the Exton Bypass from the Quarry Road ramps in East Caln to where the road connects with Route 202 in East Whiteland.

The bypass opened in December 1995.

Lastly, $1.2 million will be used for hundreds of curb ramps for sidewalks on state roads in urban settings in Chester County, Blaum said. The improvements are needed to bring the sidewalks into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All of the counties in PennDOT's District 6, which includes Philadelphia and the four suburban counties, will be getting curb cuts.

In all, District 6 expects to get about $275 million from the stimulus bill for highway improvements, though Blaum points out that nothing is set in concrete.

Projects were selected for a variety of reasons.

They had to be either projects that could get into construction quickly from a design standpoint or projects that did not require a tremendous amount of design, Blaum said. And they had to be projects that did not require complicated municipal approvals that would require long, detailed review processes.

For example, the widening of Section 300 of Route 202, a 6.3-mile stretch of Route 202 from North Valley Road in Tredyffrin to the Route 30 Bypass in East Whiteland, was not selected because of the timing.

Blaum said PennDOT will not be ready to put out bids on the northern half of Section 300 until 2010 and the south half until 2011.

And lastly, because the

stimulus bill was designed to create jobs, PennDOT looked for projects that would use a cross-section of industries such as the curb ramps and the $60 million Girard Point Bridge project on Interstate 95 over the Schuylkill River.

The bridge, a double-decked cantilever bridge, is a "massive" project that will create employment opportunities for workers in such industries as paving, steel repair and painting.

The selection of projects in Chester County has come under criticism from state Rep. R. Curtis Schroder, R-155th, of Downingtown.

Chester County, the state's seventh-largest county in population and its fastest-growing and perhaps most economically diverse county, had only three projects listed, Schroder noted.

By comparison, neighboring Lancaster County had eight projects, Berks County had 11 projects and Westmoreland County — with 116,000 fewer people than Chester — had 14 projects.

While Blaum said he could not comment on counties outside his district, he noted that of the 13 projects in the five-county region, Chester County had three.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Now this email made my day

from a Biker Chick, this email made my day, now this is Enthusiasm with a capital E, yes a good new bike will make a huge difference, I upgraded my wheels last Fall and I noticed a huge difference. Remember Chicks, NOW is the time to get ready and bike. We will be starting slow and easy, so start now, don't wait till July when we have all been riding a lot. You will struggle to keep up.

Read the Biker Chick email below:

I am so excited, i bought a new bike over the weekend
Specialized Dolce Elite. It has upgraded components vs
the Dolce, and I think will be HUGE improvement over my
"Loaner bike"
I am excited hed to ride a lot this season, with a goal of doing
a 100-mile ride by fall
thanks for all the info on the Blog.!@

Sunday, February 15, 2009

where are you in the wheels of life parade

Come on ladies, get some wheels and get some exercise, look for rides on the Schuylkill Trail to be posted soon. My knee is going gangbusters and I hope to be back on the bike on the SRT by March. So dust off your bike and get ready to ride.

Empowering Girls

Found this on the Net on a blog in Orlando

and original article was found at

Just a bike for these girls in India and it made it possible for them to get to school.

Pune, Maharashtra: When a media house recently recognised Armene Modi as one of the ’24 Real Heroes’ of India at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai, she attributed it all to the never-say-die spirit of young girls in Shirur taluka in Pune district who had shown such a zest for empowerment through education.

However, the story is that this desire for academic strength has come about only due to Armene’s innovative project under the banner of her NGO, Ashta No Kai. Armene has, so far, provided 300 cycles to the girls of this taluka to enable them to cover the long distance between their homes and schools or colleges.

This simple approach has empowered young women to rekindle their interest in learning and over the past six years, up to 500 of them have found access to education. Armene is a Columbia University-educated English teacher who teaches the subject in colleges across Japan.

This is, however, balanced with the projects powered by Ashta No Kai, the primary among them being to change the lives of women in the chosen villages of Shirur taluka.

“When I first visited the villages about a decade ago, I saw girls who had been married off at very early ages and were now tending to fields and struggling to take care of their homes and children. After setting up Ashta No Kai (which means ‘for a better tomorrow’) Armene helped set up self-help groups so that women would be able to save money and use it to become entrepreneurs.

“I then started kishori mandals for teenage girls to drive home the need for education as a tool of empowerment,” she informs.

When an appeal in local newspapers for cycles brought forth a reasonable response, coupled with the donation of a 100 cycles from her Japanese friends, Armene started a Bicycle Bank to reach out to those young girls who had decided to opt out of schools because they had no means to attend institutes which were in far-flung areas.

This has helped many girls to clear their SSC examination even though schools in Shirur do not have classes beyond standard VII.

“Most girls were forced to leave their education mid-way because they had to walk up to 10 kilometres for the higher classes. Parents were, but naturally, concerned for their safety and therefore would rather get them married at early ages than run the risk of securing education and special skills,” Armene explains.

Enthused by the success of this project, Armene announced scholarships for those girls wanting to pursue higher education. There were nine applications in 2004. In this year, there have been as many as 50 applications.

“Many of the girls who began using the cycles in 2002 are now on the verge of completing their degree courses in such streams as law, commerce, pharmacy and agriculture,” she states.

Ashvini Shelke and Kalpana Dange, for instance, are two such beneficiaries of the Bicycle Bank who have reached up to standard X.

“I can travel a distance of four kilometres to my school in 15 minutes instead of the one hour it took on foot. I can therefore study as also help out my parents at home,” Ashvini states.

Chester County Bicycle Coalition Meeting

Mary is a WCCC member and active cyclists, might be interesting to attend this meeting and see what is happening in Chester County.

Committee Chair:Mary LaSota

Next Committee Meeting Date: Monday, February 16, 2009 7PM

Committee Location:

Room 149
Chester County Planning Offices
601 Westtown Rd, West Chester

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This group looks super, all female bike trips, many local trips are planned, suggest you take a look at their site. Trips in Lancaster County and the Eastern Shore. All looks good to me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

take a bike vacation

a photo from the Bike and the Like Tour group in Martha's Vineyard

some links to groups that sponsor tours, hopefully chicks reading this post will add other tour groups in the comment section. one of the chicks has done many of the tours with this group and recommends it, I am going to try and remember this tour, it is already closed for this year, but it combines kayaking and biking right down in the Cambridge Maryland area, looks like great fun. good site for reviewing bike tour companies in America, worth looking at

another trail in the works

The Cromby Trail, will connect from the Schuylkill River Trail in Phoenixville and head up to Pottstown.

Some day we will have a wonderful network of trail, just hope it happens before I am dead and buried. But we have the Chester Valley Trail and the Cromby trail, both to be paved trails, in the works. Would be great fun to bike all over the place on trails and avoid the busy roads.

And as the residents of the bike clubs age, biking on flat terrain becomes more and more important.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

cool product - Adult Baby Wipes

Found these on the Net, look like they might be something good for families and sports' enthusiasts. Easy way to clean up after a long ride and when not able to get home right away to shower. Good for bike accidents when you need to clean a wound or your hands after changing a tire.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Women and Heart attacks

Do yourself a favor and TAKE care of your heart, learn the symptoms of a heart attack.

Women and Heart Attack

If you're a woman, you may not believe you're as vulnerable to a heart attack as men–but you are. Women account for nearly half of all heart attack deaths. Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men.

There are differences in how women and men respond to a heart attack. Women are less likely than men to believe they're having a heart attack and more likely to delay in seeking emergency treatment.

Further, women tend to be about 10 years older than men when they have a heart attack. They are more likely to have other conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure–making it all the more vital that they get proper treatment fast.

Women should learn the heart attack warning signs. These are:

Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest.

Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

Other symptoms, such as a shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

If you feel heart attack symptoms, do not delay. Remember, minutes matter! Do not wait for more than a few minutes–5 minutes at most–to call 9-1-1. Your family will benefit most if you seek fast treatment.

play like a kid

Life is too short to NOT be biking and having fun. Come on out and play like a kid and have fun. Biking is a great fun and good exericise. See you for our first ride on April 4. This ride will be on the Schuylkill River Trail, fun and easy, we will do the new Phoenixville extension while riding.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chester Valley Trail may be a reality someday

This bridge is READY, look for it if heading up rt 202 and going east on the Schuylkill Highway.

click above line for a great map of the proposed trail

Sunday, January 18, 2009 10:22 AM EST Daily Local News

We will believe it when we can walk it, but it looks as though the Chester Valley Trail may be on the fast track.

We — and any number of walkers and bicyclists and outdoors enthusiasts — have been waiting for the 12-mile-long trail connection between Exton and the Montgomery County line to be up and, shall we say, running, since it was first discussed in 1991.

But we know that in Chester County, a wait must come before good things arrive, especially when it comes to parks. Look at the county's former Embreeville County Park. Conceived in the mid-1980s, it was not until 2007 and its inclusion in the Natural Lands Trust's ChesLen Preserve that the 500 acres of natural beauty at Embreeville became something more than a dot on a map.

The latest in the Chester Valley Trail saga came on Tuesday, when county Commissioner Carol Aichele admitted to putting in a call to state Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler about the six or so miles of abandoned rail line land that the department owns, and which would make up the eastern portion of the Chester Valley Trail. Aichele described their chat as "a nice time," and by the end of the conversation, Biehler had apparently given the go ahead to turning over the land to the county.

That means, above all else, that construction of the trail could conceivably begin this summer.

It will also mean that construction of the trail will have a cost saving associated with it. Under the old arrangement, PennDOT would have had to approve all the construction, repair, and replacements associated with getting the trail in order. Not to shock anyone, but we understand that doing business with the state is considerably more expensive than doing business at the county level.

"The bureaucracy associated with working with the state agency is just staggering," county construction projects director Don Thompson said Tuesday. Even putting one stone back in a crumbling culvert would take extraordinary efforts to win approval, he said. With the state handing over the rights to the 5.5-mile segment it owns, Thompson said, the county stands to save significant time and money in years to come. The trail will cost some $25 million to complete, but Aichele said the funding is guaranteed through the state's Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).

The completion of the trail has long been sought by bicycle clubs, recreation buffs, and businesses and commuters in the Route 202 corridor. Aichele, who also serves as chairwoman of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, said many feel it would improve traffic conditions if commuters could stop and ride their bikes along the trail instead of remaining in their cars in Route 202 traffic jams. Local housing developers are also excited about the plan because it adds a selling point to homebuyers.

When it opens, it will be among the jewels of the county's planned trail network, and would allow someone to walk from Downingtown to Norristown and on to Philadelphia.

Again, we will believe it when we walk it, but we hope to be doing that soon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

just a reminder, bike clinic, fitting lecture and dinner


March 29, 2009

3-5:00 pm bike clinic

5-6:00 bike fitting talk

6-7:00 dinner

pick one or pick all to attend,

get your bike ready for summer, meet new folks

rsvp to

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dreaming of Cargo Bikes and Car Free Days

by Brooke Johnson
Friday February 06, 2009, 11:42 PM

I recommend the above blog for some cool stuff about living green in Pennsylvania

So, you want to stop driving a gas guzzling car and ride a bike. Only one problem; you have a few kids and lots of stuff to haul around. Solution? A cargo bike.

There are several different kinds of cargo bikes. What really makes a cargo bike different then an average bike is it's ability to hold lots of stuff. Most of them are extra long either in the front or the back. The Madsen pictured above is a "new" kind of cargo bike. Instead of having two wheels in the back or a cart in the front, this one is designed with a cart in the back, similar to a single wheeled bike trailer. The advantage of having a cargo bike over a bike trailer is that it is easier to control. Bike trailers have a tendency to pull a bike off balance making it harder to steer or turn.

The more traditional push-cart style bicycles or Bakfiets can be more then twice the price of the Madsen. Despite the price they are hugely popular in Europe and are gaining ground in Portland. I really love the Philadelphia made Haley bikes (trikes?) that are similar to Bakfiets but way cheaper and were designed to haul a drum set instead of children.

Another popular option is the Xtracycle. The Xtracycle frame can be attached to an existing bike or can be bought as a complete bike. The idea is a extra long bike that can hold everything from groceries to people on the back.

They are popular because they do not take up much space on the road.

All of these options sound awesome but are way beyond my price range. A friend is offering to look into building a cargo bike like the Haley bicycle for me so maybe one day I can ride around in style. Until then, I guess I will stick to my folding bike or look for a good used bike and just attach things to my bike rack. I also have a nice bike trailer I bought so I could take my daughter with me. It has a separate compartment for groceries etc. but not nearly as nice as having a cargo bike.

The hills and lack of bike lanes around here are not helping either.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Put yourself BACK on the Priority List in your house

Ride for Your Health

Bicycling can help solve two of our nation's leading crises: skyrocketing healthcare costs, which are damaging every sector of our economy, and the obesity epidemic, which in 2000 caused 400,000 deaths, 16.6 percent of all deaths recorded, due to physical inactivity and poor diet. A study of almost 200,000 General Motors employees found that overweight and obese individuals average up to $1,500 more in annual medical costs than healthy-weight individuals. By getting people moving again, bicycling can help improve Americans lose weight and improve their physical fitness. This could not only save lives, it could help greatly reduce the total costs to society of obesity, estimated at $117 billion per year (including $39 billion a year through Medicare and Medicaid programs, which cover sicknesses caused by obesity including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer).

Recreational bike riding is a safe, low-impact, aerobic activity for Americans of all ages. A 150-pound cyclist burns 410 calories while pedaling 12 miles in an hour-almost the equivalent calories of a McDonald's Quarter Pounder®. A 200-pound cyclist burns 546 calories while going 12 miles per hour-almost the equivalent of a Big Mac®.

Sources: Exercise and Your Heart -- A Guide to Physical Activity. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute / American Heart Association, DHHS, PHS, NIH Publication No. 93-1677 and McDonald's.

The President, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Surgeon General, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services have all recently expressed concern over America’s overweight problem. According to the CDC, 61% of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese; 13% of kids aged 6 to 11 and 14% of kids 12 to 19 are overweight. Obesity is second behind tobacco in U.S. health risk factors, contributing to 300,000 deaths a year.

According to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, approximately 70% of US adults are sedentary. This includes 28% who engage in no leisure-time physical activities and 42% who undertake less than 30 minutes of physical activity (such as walking) each day.

The Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health said, "Physical activity of the type that improves cardiovascular endurance reduces the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes and improves mental health. Findings are suggestive that endurance-type physical activity may reduce the risk of developing obesity, osteoporosis, and depression and may improve psychological well-being and quality of life."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Get a bike and BIKE

Really, what could be more fun than riding the roads with other women on great bikes. Ya get good exercise, you see nice scenery, you feel good, you sweat, you build muscles and I could go on and on.

BUT, you need to get a good female saddle. Make sure your bike does not have a man's seat. You need a female dedicated seat for a comfortable ride. Buy a good seat, and buy from a place that will give you a 30 day money back guarantee cuz it is tough getting a seat you like.

Seat placement, and height are very very tough to get right. A good bike fitter can help in this area but you need to use your own brain and figure out what feels good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Necessary Bike Gear

While you do not need a milk crate to carry all your bike stuff, you do need some bike stuff!

For anyone looking to get into biking, I suggest some of the following equipment:

1. Bike bag - fill it with 2 extra tubes, tire levers and an inflation system, either CO2 and or a pump. that attaches to your bike. Most pumps that come on bikes are not very good. So check out your pump and make it works.

2. ID - use Road ID, carry an extra insurance card or an old driver's license.

3. Cell Phone - a fully charged phone and put a contact in called ICE (in case of emergency) and put a number there of someone who is gonna answer the phone.

4. Money - carry some money in your bike bag for drinks or food.

5. Drinks and food - two water bottles, you can put water in or once we hit the really hot weather, you will want a rehydrating type liquid such as Gatorade in at least one bottle. Carry some snacks, cookies or any easy snack you have in the house.

6. Bike Gloves

7. Optional road bike shoes and cleats

8. Good bike pants

9. Sunglasses and a rear view mirror that attaches to glasses or helmet.

10. Some good common sense of how to ride a bike with traffic and some idea of where Chester County is and some of the main roads. If you do not live in Chester County, get a map and look at it. As anything can happen and you may get separated and need some idea of where you are if calling for help.

11. Cue Sheets, print these up from the WCCC ride page and bring them to the Biker Chick rides.

Monday, February 2, 2009

March 29 clinic and lecture and dinner

Seems to be a little confusion on the March 29 clinic, lecture and dinner. Everything takes place at my house, 206 E Virginia Avenue WC PA 19380.

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm- Bike Clinic which will include maintenance and what to carry on bike, how to bike in a group and anything else that involves biking.

5:00-6:00 pm Victor Atkins of Hot Foot Cycles will talk about bike fit and how to get a good fit with your bike.

6:00-7:00 pm dinner

You can come to all or any part of the day, so when RSVPing

make sure to tell me what you are attending.

Looking forward to meeting some new chicks

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Attention Chicks and Future Chicks

Upcoming Events for Chicks for March and April of 2009

1. Bike Clinic, meet and greet dinner party and lots of information on bikes, how to buy, size and fit and how to maintain your bike
, tentative date is March 29 3-7pm. Hope to have 2 WCCC guys to run the clinic and a guest speaker on bike fit. If you do not know how to buy a bike or how to change a tire or what to carry on bike to be safe, this clinic is FOR YOU!!!!

YOU MUST RSVP for this event. EMAIL me.

You can do just the clinic, or just the dinner or BOTH.

2. First ride of the season, April 4, Saturday, 9:30 am, we will either do the Schyulkill River Trail(SRT) or a short route in West Chester. And of course it is weather dependent.

3. Bike often and come out and do as many rides as possible. This year Biker Chicks is going to have a goal and that is to improve. If you are interested in riding, YOU CANNOT show up once a month and expect to be able to keep up with chicks who ride often. You must make plans to get a ROAD BIKE, or you will struggle on the hills in Chester County.

4. If there are women who want to ride hybrid bikes and bike slower, hopefully someone will come forward and be willing to lead these rides. If our group was large enough I could offer 2 different levels of rides.

5. Lots of area rides to look forward to:

a. French Creek Iron Tour - June
b. Dog Daze in August
c. Lancaster Covered Bridge in Aug

I would like to take large groups of Chicks to some of these rides. The ones above are the best in the area and not too far from home. I did all 3 of these rides last year and they were all FABO.

6. Saturday Club rides, every Saturday morning at 8:40 am leaving from the HotFoot Cyles Parking lot, we will start slow but work up during the season. If you never ride all summer and show up in August, expect brisk rides as the Chicks will have been riding and getting better. We cannot offer slow rides in late August unless someone is willing to step up and lead a second group. Hint, hint!!!!

7. Learn how to find places using Google Maps, please, do not email me for directions to places, learn how to use the WCCC webpage to check rides and learn how to check the blog for upcoming information.
I will publish information on the WCCC ride page and the blog. SO CHECK THEM!

The CALENDAR on the upper right corner of the blog will be kept up-to-date. Learn how to use it, all directions are on the actual calendar, just click and follow links. This is not hard stuff.

DO not call me and ask about rides. I rarely remember to check messages on my phone. Best to get me by email.

8. COME to the clinic, meet chicks and learn about bikes. Learn about how to ride on the road, how to signal others when riding in groups, and what you need to ride SAFE.