ESSG-2015 Cycling

1atstart Once again, the Empire State Senior Games’ cycling events were held at Greek Peak in Virgil, organized and staffed by FLCC people. Mark Rishniw was, as customary, the invisible hand behind everything — invisible on race day because, also as customary, he was out of town.  But, a quorum of the usual suspects (Dave Heck, Glenn, Marcia, Jack, . . . you know who you are) were there to place signs and cones, mind corners, keep track of everyone, and award winners.

1approachingThe stars of the day, of course, were the people who turned up to compete. I’ve put up a bunch of photos on Facebook — the awarding of medals and some people in the road race as they passed my corner. The photos are on the Finger Lakes Cycling Club facebook page.

Race Results

These are PDFs of the results for the three racing events of this year’s games. You’ll find photos of the winners receiving their medals as well as some photos of action on the road race on the FLCC Facebook page.

White Church bumps

There were some warning grooves cut across White Church Rd., on either side of the sharp curve by the cemetery on the Brooktondale end. They really made a mess of bicycling and several people complained loudly. ahead2Fortunately, the county road people took these complaints to heart and filled in the right-most 22″ or so of each groove, for bicyclists to have a place they could get past this hazard.

While it’s great to have the needs of cyclists addressed, I still feel that this situation isn’t quite up to snuff. Good cyclists don’t ride along the fog line, much less outside it. And, the amount of smooth pavement inside the fog line is only a very few inches. A normal, prudent line to take along a road would put the cyclist at least a foot away from where the safe passage is located; it would mean the cyclist gets the full brunt of that groove.

In addition, there is no warning that these dangerous grooves are there. One must spy them, then find the accommodation at the edge of the roadway, and make sure that one’s wheels both arrive in that small strip of safety — before doing it again for the next groove in the set of three.

This matter has seen a satisfactory conclusion for those few individuals who have visited the site, inspected the problem, and identified the solution. I don’t think it provides anything for people on that road for the first time or people on recreational rides expecting normal pavement conditions to prevail. I don’t know if it is likely to result in injury, though it clearly seems possible. I know that I’ve hit unexpected bumps and had to struggle for control of my bike on occasion. Still, maybe this can be left alone.

But, the lesson I would like to take from this episode is that the county road people are willing to listen and to make things work for cyclists as well as other users of the road. The only problem is that they don’t get to hear from the cyclists’ viewpoint until they’ve already gouged up the road. So, we need to establish a way for the projects in the county, town, and city to be run by a cyclist committee before being finally approved. In most cases, we’ll probably have little to add or quarrel with. But, in many cases we’ll see simple, inexpensive modifications that can make a huge difference. The FLCC advocacy committee has been trying to have input on the Borg-Warner exit redesigns on Warren Rd. I hope this pattern — seeking input before beginning work — becomes the norm in our region.

Warren Rd. safety

Ever since a cyclist was killed in traffic coming from the Borg-Warner plant on Warren Rd., many people have been thinking how to modify the two Borg-Warner driveways so that cyclists and pedestrians can have safe passage past those points. The effort has been led by Bill Shang, who lives up there, and several other club members have added their opinions and expertise. I’ll try to provide more info on the chain of discussion on this topic as soon as I can.

I’m posting this here so that we can link to the rather large PDFs sent by John Dennis, showing plans for the intersections — documents way too large to make it on our club email list.

This is John’s letter regarding those images:

At the risk of sowing confusion, I am attaching four images.  The two file names that end in “..by Licht” are the important ones for your consideration and comment.  Rob has replaced the hazardous acceleration ramp with the Stop-signed T-intersection at Warren which allows drivers to look left and right with equal ease before proceeding.
I hadn’t realized there was any rumble stripping entering the bike lane.  If it is still there in these images, I’m sure Rob can address that as well.  I’m forgetting when Bill Shang returns, but perhaps we should aim to share imagery with the County by the end of this week?
Joe, Kyra, & others, please advise whether further edits are needed to Rob’s images. Rob has looked at most of the intersections on Warren and has added the Post Office intersection as an example of a standard T-style intersection which is safer for both cyclists and pedestrians (EXISTING warren rd intersection.pdf).
Borg Warner Exits Plan-2.pdf shows the improvements that Tompkins County has tabled for our review.
Best,   John

 

MDWG-2015

pathlineIt’s barely more than a month to Memorial Day weekend and we need a very quick show of hands from those who would want to take part in the annual Memorial Day Weekend Getaway, this year in Montreal, Quebec.

As usual, we would plan to get to Montreal on Friday evening to sleep in the hostel, leaving all of Saturday and Sunday for exploring the city; on Monday there will be the option of one more ride in the morning before heading back home.

Please reply right away if you want to participate — email me: info@flcycling.org. I’ll know by Tuesday, April 21, if the trip is a “go” this year.  The details:

Dates: May 22-25
Location:
Montreal, QC
Lodgings: Montreal Hostel (HI)
Type: Bunk dorms (very limited possibility of private double)
Cost: Approx $100/person for weekend (3 nights)
Distance: ~ 300 mi/5 hr by car from Ithaca.

We made this our destination a couple years ago and found ways to deal with a rainy weekend. Even so, we got a lovely ride in during a break in the weather. But, there is a great deal to do in that city besides biking, so I think everyone had a good time. I think we need to go back and experience it in good weather.

Again, please let me know as fast as possible whether you would plan to go. The hostel needs to be booked right away.

Rate the Rides

We’re looking for feedback on the Sunday rides — which ones do you like and want to do again; which ones would you rather never got scheduled again; and what your suggestions are to improve the routes and the rides. Please take the survey. Sorry, it will take a bit of time, but it’s your club and we need to know what you’d like!
(If the survey doesn’t fit your screen, try this direct link: http://aozolins.polldaddy.com/s/flcc-sunday-ride-update)

President in the press

Adventure Cyclist

Adventure Cyclist, March 2015

The current issue of Adventure Cyclist, the magazine of the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA), has a photo including our club president, Steve Powell, in its regular “Letter from the Director”column. The column lays out the whirlwind of activity throughout New York State regarding  bike touring that included a very well-attended event at Cinemopolis in Ithaca on January 27. The ACA director, Jim Sayer, contributed to the Ithaca event and Steve was also involved with some of the other events in New York City and Saratoga. The upshot is that a lot is happening these days with regard to popularizing the use of bicycles, and touring is getting a huge boost in the process. And our club president is taking an active role in supporting and extending ACA activities. To follow these issues, visit the ACA website and consider becoming an ACA member (members get that magazine).

FLCC Annual Meeting

FLCC Annual Meeting — Sunday, March 29, 5:30-8:15 pm

A social hour (with food), followed by a special speaker, and then the club’s annual business meeting including officer elections.  The club will supply pizza, drinks, plates, and utensils.  If you would like to bring a salad, side dish, or dessert to share, that would be great, but it is not required.  RSVP appreciated to: <info@flcycling.org> so we can order enough pizza.
Special Speaker — Jim Reed — Q&A on N.Y. Bike Law  
(FYI, Amelia Habicht’s presentation has been postponed to a future date)
Jim Reed is with the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira and will make a presentation and then conduct a Q&A on N.Y. bike law.  Jim will also describe his affiliation with BikeLaw.com which is a nationwide network of bike lawyers.  BikeLaw.com just officially partnered with the League of American Bicyclists, and will be playing a much more significant role in the bike advocacy movement.  It’s a real treat to have a bike law expert on hand and we all look forward to his presentation — bring your bike law questions with you.
 
The club has some great events and activities planned for 2015, starting with the Hollenbeck’s race in early May, and a slate of overnight bike tours also starting in May.  This is in addition to our regular weekly rides starting when the weather breaks in the spring.  Come to the annual meeting and renew your cycling friendships and come voice your opinion regarding any of the club’s activities and vote for the officers.
Speaking of officers, you may notice below that there are several unoccupied positions, so now is a great time for you to serve as an officer.  Nominations can be made by email to <president@flcycling.org> or at the meeting.  Self-nominations are permitted.  Note: it is perfectly fine to have multiple candidates for officer positions.
If you are not yet an FLCC member then you are encouraged to attend and meet some of the officers and club members that are passionate about cycling.  And a reminder to all members that now is time to renew your membership for 2015.  Your membership fee helps support local races, tours, group rides, youth events, charity sponsorships, the club website, club insurance, plus other cycling related activities.  The renewal process is very easy and can be done online.  Just go to:
http://flcycling.org/welcome/membership-application/

Continue reading →

FLCC membership renewal time!

It’s the season to renew your FLCC membership. Take a minute and do it right away — use any credit card.


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More details are available on the Membership page. If some question or problem is impeding your doing this, please contact info@flcycling.org and we’ll resolve it.

Off-Season Touring Event

biketourcampOff-Season Bike Touring Get- Together/ Dinner/ Celebration

Tuesday, January 27 — This is an informal evening of food and fun where we can hear about some of the bike touring adventures that our club members and supporters have experienced over the past cycling season, and dream about new adventures for 2015.  Presentations of up to 10 slides are welcomed (please email your photos in advance, see below for email address).

**PLUS** A Special Presentation by Adventure Cycling Association’s Executive Director Jim Sayer:
Learn the latest about bike travel and cycling advocacy in North America — including Adventure Cycling’s work on a new Bicycle Route 66, the brand new Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route, and the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

Adventure Cycling Association is a nonprofit organization, with a mission to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle.  Established in 1973 as Bikecentennial, they are the premier bicycle-travel organization in North America with more than 47,000 members.  They research and produce cycling maps for the Adventure Cycling Route Network, one of the largest cycling route networks in the world at 42,180 miles and growing. They are also the lead organization working to create an official U.S. cycling route network, the U.S. Bicycle Route System. Once complete, it will be the largest official cycling route network on the planet.

This will be a fun occasion.  Whether you’re just curious about bike touring and want to learn more, or you’re already a seasoned traveler, let’s get together to exchange stories and get inspired for next year’s prime cycling season! Continue reading →

Cascadilla Hill Climb 2014

It was a beautiful day for the longstanding FLCC tradition.  The Gimme coffee, the CTB cookies, the sunshine & camaraderie couldn’t be better.  This year the Stroock family dominated the brackets while Glenn won the grudge match.

There were racers from as far as Elmira and as close as the Cascadilla neighborhood this year.  Thanks to all the participants for making it such a fun event.  Thanks also to Andrejs, Steve & Glenn for advertising, organizing, set-up, clean-up and for keeping the Hill Climb part of Ithaca lore.

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