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Ride Coordinators

  • Wish the Bella’s would offer more rides and more options? Perhaps on weekends, evenings, or a time that would better suit your schedule?
  • It’s fun and easy to coordinate a ride! Instead of riding solo, put your ride on the calendar and see who shows up to join you. It’s a great way to get out on your bike plus meet other riders.
  • If you’d like some help, ask someone to co-lead your ride. If your ride breaks into a faster and more moderate group, your co-leader can lead part of the group if you agree to meet up later in the ride. A co-leader is also great if you’re new to the area and feel unsure of the routes.
  • Or, offer a Bella’s N Fella’s ride. Your fella can lead part of the ride, letting you ride at the pace you prefer. Let him buy you lunch after.
  • Co-leader and Fella’s rides are a great way to offer a ride that appeals to more than one level: whether it’s beginner/intermediate or intermediate/advanced.
  • Destination rides are another fun way to organize a ride. Start and end at your favorite bakery or brew pub, for example.
  • Whatever level you choose to ride, chances are great that someone else will want to join you. You’ll be helping to add to our great list of Bella rides, making our club even better than ever.
  • Want help getting started? Contact our Ride Coordinator, Shannon Bergstedt at sfbergstedt@gmail.com. She can help you map out rides and/or suggest routes of your preferred length and level of difficulty.

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Bend Bella Cyclists 

Ageless Magazine – Bend Bulletin

March 2015

(double click on pages to read)

Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.29.56 Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.30.29 Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.30.49 Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.31.04

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Coordinating a Bend Bella Cyclists Ride

updated February 2015

1.  Research your ride; know where you plan to go!
-Take a map along with you so others will understand the trail/route you plan to ride.

-If possible, contact Moe with the map ahead of time so it can be published on the website and Facebook.

2.  If you have any questions about coordinating or leading a ride, need route suggestions or information, please call or email the ride lead coordinator:

Shannon Bergstedt

sfbergstedt@gmail.com

(425) 941-0944

3.  As soon as possible prior to the day of your ride, send an email to Moe at bendbellacyclists@gmail.com.
***Please use this format when emailing your ride details:

When: Date and time

Where: Meeting place, including ready to roll time

Ride Details: to include:

-Route – be specific

-Style (ROAD vs. MTN)

-Difficulty of Ride: (ability level – ex: advanced beginner)

-Length of ride

-Expected Duration of Ride

-Ride with GPS data (If available)

-Any other info (shuttle, lunch stop afterwards, etc.)

For more information: email and cell number

4.  Prior to leading your ride, pick up blank waiver forms at Pine Mountain Sports (ask the staff for the Bella’s Box in the back office; waiver forms are in the box.), or you may download them from the website (www.bendbellacyclists.org).

5.  Arrive 15 minutes early to meet and greet riders.
-Check for Bella sticker (members will have Bella’s sticker on helmet or backpack)

-If no Bella’s sticker, a waiver MUST BE signed (even if they have previously filled out a waiver). This is a REQUIREMENT for our insurance.

6.  Before riding:
-Make a quick check of all bikes; mention tire pressure, seat height, water, tools available, and first aid kit.

-Ask about ability and experience of riders.

-Exchange cell phone numbers, especially if the group is large and there is a possibility of becoming separated.

-Designate a leader and a sweep.

-Both leader and sweep MUST have each other’s cell numbers.

7.  During your ride:
-If you are riding in an area with no cell service, it is the leader’s responsibility to be aware if there is/are rider(s) that are absent and arrange to have a rider retrace the route to locate them. The group WILL NOT advance on the ride until the absent rider(s) is/are located.

– If a rider decides not to complete the ride with the group, or decides to go a different route than what the group is doing, she MUST inform the ride leader. The Bend Bella Cyclists will NO LONGER be responsible for the rider’s safety.

8.  After your ride:
-Return waivers of non-Bella members to the Bella’s box at Pine Mountain Sports. Please email Moe at bendbellacyclists@gmail.com if waivers and membership fees are at PMS.

-Email Moe at bendbellacyclists@gmail.com if any situations arose on the ride that you feel the ExComm should be made aware of.

9.  If something comes up and you cannot lead the ride, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find a replacement leader.
-Requests for replacement ride leader can be posted on the Bella Facebook page or send an email to Moe that can be forwarded to the Bella group.

-If no replacement leader is found, the ride will be cancelled. Moe will notify the members in an email and on Facebook.

10. Here are some suggestions for rides. 

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Bicycle Resource of Bend

Screenshot 2014-12-20 17.10.21

 

 

Bicycle Re-Source of Bend (www.bicycleresourceofbend.org) is a non-profit community organization founded by Mike Martin and Jeff Schuler in December of 2010. Jeff, as our spokesman and volunteer organizer and Mike as our lead mechanic, instructor and shop manager, work tirelessly along with many of our key volunteers by taking in donated bikes, then rebuilding and refurbishing them at our small Central Oregon location. The remaining unusable parts, we attempt to recycle or donate ( … the environment is important too.)

We accept bicycle donations from anyone. Once rebuilt (with any parts that may be needed) and checked for safety, we fulfill requests from community outreach organizations (including churches, schools, charities and government agencies). Many times the bike is a persons only form of transportation.

We just finished donating nearly 200 bicycles to kids for Christmas through various charities in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson Counties. We continue to donate bikes to veterans, homeless, and people with jobs, but no transportation.

We are always in need of bikes to fix, parts for bikes and money to buy parts to fix bikes. We are a 401(c)3 non-profit and any donations are tax deductible. Bikes and parts can be donated at any Hutch’s Bicycles location and a receipt will be given for tax purposes. Cash donations can be made at Hutch’s to the Resource account there that will offset the cost of parts for repairs. You can contact Bicycle Re-source of Bend at 541.382.6977.

Hutch’s Bicycles locations:

Westside: 725 NW Columbia St., Bend (map)
Eastside: 820 NE 3rd St, Bend (map)

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THINK! Cycling

The number of cyclists seriously injured has increased in recent years, faster than the increase in cyclists out on the roads.

The facts

  • The number of cyclists killed increased by 10% from 107 in 2011 to 118 in 2012
  • The number of cyclists reported to have been seriously injured increased by 4% from 3,085 in 2011 to 3,222 in 2012
  • Pedal cyclist traffic levels are estimated to have risen by 1.2% over the same period
  • Most (92%) of these accidents involve another vehicle

THINK! safety tips for drivers and cyclists

The campaign consists of a series of tips, developed to educate and remind drivers and cyclists about the correct way to drive and ride, and reduce the number of collisions on the road.

drivers look out for cyclists at junctionsdrivers look out when getting outMotorists leave room for cyclists
cyclists ride central on narrow roadscyclists ride a doors width from parked carsCyclists always stop at red lights

THINK! advice for when you’re driving

  1. Look out for cyclists, especially when turning – make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them
  2. Use your indicators – signal your intentions so that cyclists can react
  3. Give cyclists plenty of space when over taking them, leaving as much room as you would give a car. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened
  4. Always check for cyclists when you open your car door
  5. Advanced stop lines allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows
  6. Follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights

THINK! advice for when you’re cycling

  1. Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
  2. Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
  3. Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
  4. Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility
  5. Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights
  6. THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.
 

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A few things every female cyclist should know              

   

Last weekend’s doubleheader race at Alpenrose was off the charts. Maybe it was the sunshine or the incredibly fun course design, maybe it was the good company, maybe it was the smile on my face as I pedaled to the start line, or the lack of stress and pressure I put on myself. Whatever it was, I had fun – and I am going to keep on having fun.

Cyclocross is the most fun on two wheels – I am quickly remembering why!

Oh, but on to the real purpose of this blog post – A few things every female cyclist should know.

I believe there are a few bits of important information that should be included with the purchase of every pair of cycling shorts and shared with every woman who makes the decision to ride her bike. Information that should be shared but isn’t, for risk of embarrassment or ridicule, or simply because the “right question” isn’t even known.

If just one person finds a bit of usefulness out of the following, I will deem it a

success.

  • No need to wear undies with your chamois. Cycling shorts are designed to be worn directly against your skin with the mission of keeping you comfy and chafe free. Don’t mess things up putting a layer of abrasive cloth between you and your carefully engineered chamois.
  • And speaking of staying chafe free… Chamois Cream, Butt Butter, Cham Jam – whatever you want to call it, use it, every time you ride your bike. My preferred method of application is to apply a generous amount directly to my crotch region / sensitive parts, but you can also lather the chamois directly, before putting on your shorts. Either way is effective; figure out what works for you.
  • Take off your chamois as soon as you are done with your ride, race, or cool down. Do not walk around in your shorts because you think you’ll look cool. The best thing you can do is to air yourself out; pull on breathable fabric underwear and loose fitting pants or a dress.
  • Do not put these shorts back on until they have been washed! This is not optional. Do not wear dirty cycling shorts. If you have worn them, they are dirty.

To read the complete article and get more advise on what to wear and what to eat from a pro,  click here.

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Girl Power

      8 Spring moves for top mountain bike performance 

by LINDSEY VOREIS on MARCH 27, 2014 in MOUNTAIN BIKING

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Girl Bike Love website.

Lindsey Voreis | Photo by Forrest Arakawa

 

     Spring is in the air. Time to dust off those mountain bikes and prepare for a shred-happy summer. But first let’s make sure your body is strong and ready to slay single-track like the warrior princess that you are. As the trails dry out we can’t just jump on and go without some proper prep. Even spin class and road rides don’t totally prepare you for wild, dirty fun. Some bike enthusiasts may live in a place where the sun shines year-round, but for those of us who live near snow-covered hills, our bikes sit in the stable and hibernate for much of the winter. So if you have taken time off the mountain bike, care for your body so you can be strong like ox when the trails beckon.

If you don’t crash often, mountain biking is a fairly low-impact sport. Low-impact is good, but it’s smart to mix in some cross-training moves that pound the bones a bit to help keep them strong. Here are a few tips to ease you back into mountain bike season with a strong body, mind and spirit.

Lower body

  1. Box Jumps: Use a box at the gym, a park bench at the playground while your kids play or use the lowest bleacher at a school. Whatever you can find, jump everybody! Jump! Jump! With feet hip-width apart jump on and off and land lightly in a squat position. Do three sets for one minute each. Strengthens quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes which creates power for strong climbing and stable descending.
  2. Run (creatively!): Personally, I don’t love running. It just hurts sometimes but in small doses it can be oh-so-good. You don’t have to run often and you don’t need to run on pavement. Get creative and run trails, run up and down bleachers or run stairs. Do run/walk intervals or get that cardio up with some longer runs if you can handle it. In reality, a few short (35 min) creative runs per week should keep your bones solid and ready to rock.
  3. Jump Rope: Want happy bones? Who doesn’t! Jumping rope is something you can do anywhere and it’s great for your bones. Not much more to say about that. Get a rope and start jumping. Do 10 one-minute intervals. Push yourself, I promise you’ll feel great when you’re done.

Upper body

     Don’t forget your upper body. Mountain biking is not just legs. Many people don’t realize how much upper body is used in mountain biking. Especially in technical terrain, the upper body needs to be strong, fluid and ready to react.

  1. Push-ups: I know push-ups are hard. I tend to give up before my sets are done when my wimpy side takes over. However, push-ups are a great way to strengthen the shoulders, arms, back and core without needing a gym or weights. Do it! Start slowly and gradually work up the numbers. Try three sets at one minute each. If you get stuck, hold plank position, but suck in that gut, tighten the butt and keep the back flat.
  2. Medicine ball toss: Tossing a medicine ball with someone is a good way to strengthen the shoulders, back and your reaction time. Find a partner and a heavy ball. Bring the ball into your chest and toss straight ahead without hyper-extending the arms. We do a lot of pushing down and pulling up on the bike so this is a great way to prepare to put that front wheel where you want it to go!
  3. Yoga: Yoga is a great core workout. It’s wonderful for mind relaxation and helps you practice staying in the moment. I’m a bit of a spaz, so relaxing without racing thoughts and a fidgety body is difficult for me. When I’m on my bike I feel Zen and in the moment, otherwise, I have trouble slowing my thoughts. I use Yoga to balance the body and mind. It’s good stuff.Like I always say in my clinics: “Don’t allow thoughts that sabotage you, only thoughts that serve you.” And don’t forget to breeeeeathe.
  4. Abs: Strengthen those abs so you don’t use the handlebars to hold you up! Our core should be what holds us up so our arms can move freely with the bike and the ever changing terrain. Crunches, old school sit-ups, plank, and boat pose (on your back with arms at your side lift legs, chest and arms, suck in gut and hold) are great ways to strengthen that core.
  5. Take a lesson: (From me of course! *wink*) Taking a lesson is a great way to understand fundamentals that you my never have heard before. I find that beginners as well as people who have been riding and racing for 25 years always learn something new to apply to a better, more efficient, safer and stronger mountain bike experience.

We all want to ride for life so take good care of your body and let the bike take good care of your soul.

Lindsey Voreis is a certified mountain bike instructor who teaches skills clinics around the globe, and runs Ladies AllRide.

 

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Phil’s and Wanoga bike trails to be one way

      Some singletrack west of Bend will be uphill/downhill only   

By Mark Morical / The Bulletin

March 25, 2014 at 12:01AM

     For mountain bikers climbing uphill, seeing another cyclist flying down toward them can be awfully intimidating.

Conversely, for mountain bikers cruising downhill, having their flow interrupted by slamming on the brakes for an oncoming uphill rider can be incredibly frustrating.

Seeking to limit such conflicts – which are becoming commonplace on the popular and oft-crowded singletrack system west of Bend – the Central Oregon Trail Alliance and the Deschutes National Forest announced they will designate one-way trail routes for select singletrack in the Phil’s and Wanoga networks.

Starting April 5, Phil’s Trail will be downhill only from the three-way intersection at Kent’s Trail (junction No. 18) to Phil’s Trailhead, a section known as Phil’s Canyon. Ben’s Trail will be uphill only from Phil’s Trailhead to Forest Road 300.

In the Wanoga network, Tyler’s Traverse Trail will be downhill only from the intersection of Kiwa Butte Trail to Conklin Road.

Clear directional signs are scheduled to be posted at the affected trails by April 5, according to COTA.

By some estimates, the number of mountain bikers in the Phil’s Trail complex has nearly doubled in the last few years. Safety was becoming a concern, and COTA members – who volunteer to build and maintain Central Oregon’s world-renowned singletrack – believed they had to act.

COTA chairman Woody Starr said the group has received numerous comments about the directional trails – many from riders who enjoy descending Ben’s Trail.

“They can still come down Kent’s and Phil’s,” Starr said. “We’ve got hundreds of miles of trail. The proposal affects 7 miles of trails. A couple (of COTA) board members were even against it. They came around to see the light of it.”

COTA cited several benefits of directional trails:

Safety- Directional trails allow users to choose a route where serious, head-on collisions between uphill and downhill riders are not a concern.

Less conflict: Increased traffic led to more conflicts when users were not heeding proper trail etiquette, which includes yielding to uphill riders.

Continuity- Directional trails will increase continuity of a ride, with little or no stopping to let others pass .

Perceived solitude- While Central Oregon trails are more crowded than ever, riding on directional trails can make it seem that there are fewer people on the trails.

Keeping singletrack single- As trails become more crowded, the continuous passing of users going both directions has harmed the trails. Many riders simply ride off the trail instead of stopping to let the uphill rider pass. Directional trails make for minimal passing, keeping them singletrack.

Longtime Bend resident Phil Meglasson, for whom Phil’s Trail is named, said he supports the directional trails plan. Meglasson was part of a group of mountain bikers in the early 1980s who first started riding on game trails and building singletrack trails west of Bend.

“It’s an idea whose time has come,” Meglasson said. “The number of riders out there is increasing so quickly that we just have to start going to one-way trails. This winter at Maston (near Redmond) and Horse Ridge (east of Bend), it’s also been very obvious the increase in the number of riders. I don’t know why, but the last three years it’s really increased a lot. I’d say it at least doubled, maybe even more.”

Meglasson acknowledged he will miss being able to climb the trail through the small canyon named for him, but he understands the pressing need for change on the trails west of Bend.

“That has been here for years, and we were used to going up there and riding up and maybe not meeting a single person coming down,” Meglasson said of Phil’s Canyon. “That was great, but those days are long gone.

“You have to think about what you’re losing for what you’re gaining, but overall I think it’s a good plan. It’ll definitely be an improvement in the long run.”

And as for riders paying attention to the “one way” and “do not enter” signs that are to be posted by April 5?

“There’ll be a few people who don’t see the signs,” Meglasson said. “But as many people that are using that area, they’ll quickly get schooled into following the signs.”

Starr said the signs will be “very clear” and added that COTA will have an informational booth at Phil’s Trailhead to explain the changes.

COTA notes on its website that there is no law against riding the wrong way, but adds that riding against traffic “wouldn’t be much fun.”

In choosing which trails to designate as one-way, COTA’s aim was to provide the longest and most uninterrupted loop while maintaining the most ride options.

According to COTA, Ben’s Trail is a natural up-route because it has the most intersections, making more turn-around loops possible. Phil’s Canyon is revered by locals as one of the more steep and thrilling descents in the Phil’s Complex. Kent’s Trail is rated as the easiest trail in the complex and will remain two-way to allow novice riders a relatively tame uphill/downhill route.

Tyler’s Traverse was built recently as a downhill route and features the greatest elevation loss per mile of any of the Wanoga trails.

The idea of directional trails is not new within COTA. According to Starr, over the last few years COTA has received much feedback about trail crowding, collisions and trail widening.

“We’ve been collecting comments for years,” Starr said. “People hate encounters. There’s been some bad, devastating ones.”

COTA plans to collect comments on the directional trails at least through Labor Day, but Starr encouraged riders to try the one-way loop before commenting.

“If they go out and actually ride the loop that we’re proposing to be one way, and you get back to the parking lot and there’s 100 cars there, but you saw two people, I think that’s a win,” Starr said.

For more information, visit www.cotamtb.com. To contact COTA about the issue, email directional@cotamtb.com.

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Bend Bellas cycling group

Local bike organization for women gaining in popularity

By Beau Eastes / The Bulletin / @beastes

Published Mar 17, 2014 at 12:01AM

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Bend Bellas women’s cycling group

What: Kickoff meeting

When: Thursday, April 10, 7 p.m.

Where: Pine Mountain Sports, Bend

Web: www.bendbellacyclists.org

Email: questions@bendbellacyclists.org

Sheri Fayal’s “aha moment” came on the Whoops Trail, but it was far from an accident.

An occasional mountain bike rider who would “tag along” on rides with her husband when they moved to Bend three years ago, Fayal had never dared going down the notoriously fast and flowing trail in the Phil’s Trail complex west of town. But then she joined the Bend Bellas, a local women’s cycling group.

“Whoops was always so intimidating,” says Fayal, 47, who began biking with the Bellas last spring. “My husband eventually went down Whoops with a GoPro (hands-free video recorder). … I watched the video and thought, ‘I can do that.’

“Several of us (Bella riders) had never done Whoops before, but we mustered up the courage and did it,” Fayal adds.

“We were screaming ‘Woo-hoo!’ — taking the turns and jumps and using all these different skills on this rolling terrain. That was my aha moment of, ‘OK, I can do this.’ ”

Helping develop “woo-hoo!” experiences since 2004, the Bend Bellas host their annual kickoff meeting April 10 at Pine Mountain Sports. The organization, created, to enhance women’s cycling experiences, road and mountain, has grown from about a dozen members its first year to more than 100 who paid the $25 yearly dues in 2013.

“Women ride differently than men,” says Lynne Herbert, 45, who has been a Bella member on and off for the past five years. “Women are a little more chattier with each other and there’s a little less competition out there and the riding is lighter in terms of intensity. And some women are intimidated riding with men. They’re worried they’re not good enough or they’re not a gear head.

“Basically,” Herbert adds, “being with other women, it feels safer to (mess) up.”

All riding abilities are welcome, Bella president Barb Smith says, and riders are never left behind during a ride. Ever.

“Initially, it’s a physically and mentally comfortable place for women to come to,” says Smith, a 64-year-old retired physical education teacher from Northern California. “I can’t emphasize enough, (the Bellas) is a place for riders with similar abilities. … We never drop anybody. Someone can show up for a ride and their ability might not be what the group needs, but they’ll never be dropped. We’ve all been in that position where we felt like the weakest in line. You don’t forget how that feels.”

Leaders often break down basic techniques during beginner rides, Fayal says, pointing out things like how best to take a banked corner or handle a fast downhill section of trail.

“It’s just so awesome to see each other supporting one another and clapping,” she adds. “It’s empowering to meet those challenges and it’s great fun to be part of a group.”

With participation numbers exploding, Bella riders have numerous options of when to ride, where to ride, and whom to ride with. The 9-to-5 crowd typically organizes evening and weekend treks, while the retired set and cyclists with a less conventional work schedule hit the trails just about any time the weather permits. Ride descriptions are always fairly detailed, including distance, length of time, and a suggested ability level.

“It’s just a great group of ladies that really want to support one another,” says Fayal, who in one riding season went from novice to ride leader after building confidence and riding skills with the Bellas. “There’s ladies 15 to 20 years older than me that kicked my butt, and it was fantastic. They help us newbies out.”

The Bellas tackle cycling adventures all over Central Oregon, everything from beginner mountain bike rides to Tumalo Falls, road rides up to Mount Bachelor, and scenic — but challenging — routes around Waldo and Suttle lakes. The group is essentially a social club with cycling problem, as members often get together in the offseason for things like yoga, wine tasting and holiday parties.

“We enjoy each other’s company and we like being around one another,” Smith says. “Some of my best friends are through the Bellas.”

—Reporter: 541-383-0305, beastes@bendbulletin.com.

 

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Top Five Acts of Kindness Between Cyclists

Posted on artscyclery.com   by   

Like it or not, riding bicycles is a selfish pursuit. Really, all that time you spend training isn’t helping anyone but you. Even those of us who are saving the world by commuting everywhere on a bike still burn through petroleum-based tires and lubricants, ride on frame materials requiring huge energy expenditures to produce, and are dependent on gasoline-powered transportation to get the goodies into our hands and onto our bikes. That’s not to say we shouldn’t all be riding bikes instead of driving cars as much as possible—we should—it’s just to make a point. Still, in spite of all the time we spend on a bike directing pleasure toward ourselves, it’s not uncommon for our behelmeted comrades to lend a helping hand when needed, even if that energy could be spent chasing a fake podium spot in an imaginary contest of egos. Here are five examples of how you can help make our little world a better place.Be a pal by taking an extra pull at the front when needed.
Be a pal by taking an extra pull at the front when needed.

Taking extra pulls—One of the most valuable commodities in cycling is energy. If you can produce more of it than anyone else, you will win the race. If you aren’t racing, you’ll be able to complete a longer ride in the same amount of time, or, finish earlier and start reloading your muscles with liquid carbohydrates of one form or another. Thus, spending more than your fair share at the front of the line is one of the greatest displays of benevolence a cyclist can bestow. Pulling home a friend who has bonked, or blocking the wind for a partner who wouldn’t be able to keep up on a side-by-side excursion will earn you karma points redeemable in the form of effortless climbs and searing canyon descents, so stock up when you can.

Waiting for the ride to regroup offers the chance to rest and shows you care.

Waiting for the ride to regroup offers the chance to rest and shows you care.

Waiting—Along with energy, time is the most important element in a cyclist’s world. The success of riding before work, at lunch, or of a leave-work-early-for-a-quick-loop ride all depend on the efficiency of the riders involved. Stopping is unacceptable, and even slowing down for too long can be cause for failure. Arriving home to a family already seated around the dinner table or getting to work to find your co-workers pouring their second cup of java is not the way to put future rides on the schedule.

The costs of waiting for slower riders are both tangible—late for work—and spiritual—fewer miles and broken flow. Because of this, waiting, whether at a trailhead, junction or at the top of a climb, is not to be expected unless agreed upon beforehand, and appreciation must always be shown for this selfless act. A heartfelt “thanks for waiting” along with a cold apres-ride beverage is sufficient.

Like burning your matches for the enjoyment of your riding companions, time spent waiting for other riders carries a karmic reward in the cosmic revelation of faster lines and fewer flats when you rip through them.

Don't let your buddy bonk. Pass them a gel!

Don’t let your buddy bonk. Pass them a gel!

Sharing food and water—In the Survival of the Fittest conditions of a group ride, which are so often competitions without a prize, every resource is coveted, including fuel sources and temperature regulation fluid. Gels and bars are costly items, and are allotted according to precise pre-ride caloric consumption estimates, so there is usually not an excess of carbs packed in anyone’s pockets for a ride. Water is heavy, so carrying too much is a burden, while running out might ruin the ride and, possibly, the rest of the day as well.

Given these precepts, when someone notices your empty water bottle halfway through the ride, or sees that you are painfully struggling up climbs that usually fall away beneath you, the assumed course of action for them to take would be to turn up the power and drop you off like last week’s laundry. After all, that’s one less challenger to the City Limit Sprint Championship Title. In a kinder environment, a gel is usually passed your way; an offer to pour some water into your bottle is made, and while these gestures may seem casual to the bearers of such gifts rich with assets, be assured that they are not.

While repayment is probably not necessary, proper tribute is. Recognize the sacrifice being made—your colleagues are sacrificing their own opportunity for glory to make sure you make it home safely. If you happen to be in the position to save someone’s ride and do, the cycling gods will most likely repay you with 50% off expired nutrition product sales at your local bike shop.

Chris Mathis gets paid to work on the pro's bikes, but he's a nice guy, and happy to help if you need it.

Chris Mathis gets paid to work on the pro’s bikes, but he’s a nice guy, and happy to help if you need it.

Providing Free Labor—While this may loosely be defined as commensalism, it is still a sacrifice of time by the laborer that could be used riding their bike instead of working on yours. If you have a friend who doesn’t mind providing free tune-ups, do the right thing and make it a symbiotic relationship by bringing several cold beverages of the laborer’s choice. If you own the tools and bike stand, a substantial libational reward for your knowledge and expertise awaits you if you have chosen your friends wisely.

One example in this category of pure parasitism is on-ride repair, including tuning derailleurs, replacing tubes, and repairing broken chains. If you are on the receiving end of such munificence, repayment must be made. Replace any items that came from the master’s personal cache, along with a burrito and a beverage, plus dessert.

This trail lies next to a major highway, but you'd never know it's there. Photo: downhillnews.com

This trail lies next to a major highway, but you’d never know it’s there. Photo: downhillnews.com

Sharing Trails and Routes—It could be considered the duty of more experienced cyclists to provide knowledge of where to ride. After all, roads, unlike waves to surfers, are not a limited resource. If you ride the 227 out to Lopez Lake at the same time I do it won’t mean less pavement for me. And, after all, a glance at Google Maps will reveal all the roads in your riding area anyway.

Sharing the location of mountain bike trails, on the other hand, can be a bit more nuanced. Trails might be heavily used and their locations traded freely among the populace, or be ridden by a select few who keep their whereabouts a closely guarded secret. Usually secret trails are either built on private property, have purpose built jumps and/or wood features, or are just well-cared for, braking bump-free, bermed slices of fun. Perhaps they are all of the above. Usually the secret leaks out, and once the self-aggrandizing Stravanauts figure out where these gems are hidden, the berms get destroyed, corners are cut, and what was once packed dirt turns to powder. Like surf spots, once a trail is overrun by outsiders, the little slice of Eden turns into Gomorra.

If you have been invited to ride one of these trails by its keepers, respect the gift you have been given. Do not reveal it’s location to others, and do not ever bring anyone else to ride there. Whenever you meet up with your benefactors, you owe them a gratisselection from their list of favorite beverages. If you are lucky enough to be one of the gatekeepers, you should probably just keep your mouth shut—those berms will never be the same.

Bonus Acts of Kindness

Sharing CO2 Cartridges—Those things are expensive, and should be treated as a soldier’s personal first aid kit; always use your buddies on them, so yours will be ready when someone needs to use it on you.

Giving Random Cyclists a Wave or a Nod—Help foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie. After all, everyone could do better with a bit more friendliness in our diet.

Pointing Out Obstacles—You have to do this. In fact, we have even made an instructional video about proper hand signals. Even though it’s compulsory on group rides, it is still performed solely for the benefit of your fellow cyclists, and thus makes the list.

Selling Your Old Parts to Friends for Cheap—Industry and shop folks, this especially pertains to you. Spread the love and give your buddy a deal on the nine-speed derailleur you have sitting in your toolbox. Actually, just give it to them. Bicycle karma will see to it that you are compensated.

 

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