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Our Road, Midline gets a makeover!

FLCC’s adopted road, Midline received a facelift with new paving. The old sign warning of poor road conditions is gone, replaced by smooth-as-glass blacktop. Many thanks to the Tompkins County Roads Department for getting through their ambitious schedule this year. Many of the roads our members use, such as Dubois Road now have widened roadways and excellent surfaces.

About this time of year, FLCC’s Advocacy Committee asks you to pay attention to road conditions and let us know of specific segments we can bring to the County’s attention. Before too long, it will be but a summer’s memory. Feel free to email me directly wshang@yahoo.com.

Finally, during this upcoming downtime, the Advocacy Committee could use your computer word processing and artistic skills to make up signs and displays to teach drivers and cyclists alike. Don’t like how that pick-up passed you? Now here’s your chance. Please consider giving us 1-2 hours of your spare computer time to make the cycling climate more friendly. You know how to contact me! -Bill

FLCC Social Ride and Fall Picnic

What: FLCC Social Ride & Fall Picnic
When: Sunday 10/1 @ 2 pm (BDT ride) 4-7 pm (picnic)
Where: ride starts in the Cass Park Ithaca Children’s Garden parking lot. Picnic is in the nearby pavilion.
To celebrate our successful 2017 season, the Finger Lakes Cycling Club will be hosting a slow roll, social ride on the Black Diamond Trail (https://blackdiamondtrail.org/) Sunday 10/1  at 2 p.m.., followed by a pizza and potluck picnic in the Cass Park pavilion from 4-7.
Members and non-members, as well as riders of all levels, abilities, and ages are welcome. Join us as we gather, welcome cyclists new to the club, and share stories of the 2017 season. Come for just the ride, the picnic, or both. There will be a raffle, lawn games and more…
To give us an idea how much pizza to order, if possible, please RSVP at:  http://tinyurl.com/ycdyadeg.
Last October we celebrated the opening of the newly surfaced Black Diamond Trail (BDT) Cass-to-Taughannock section. This year, no speeches, just fun. The BDT is pressed cinder, suitable for all types of bikes. Expect a gentle 2-3% incline all the way up. To find the base of the BDT, stand in the Ithaca Children’s Garden (CG) parking lot with your back to the CG front entrance, and look up the hill, and you’ll see the trail. It runs up to the Taughannock Park overlook, about 8.4 miles.
Hope to see you there!
If you have questions or would like to help with set up or clean up, please be in touch.

Thanks for the improved riding!

During the last week, I had opportunity to ride the newly paved shoulders of Warren Road from Hanshaw Road to the Golf Course. We had requested Tompkins County Roads make paving this section a priority.  Even though the request was not on their budget, we are extremely pleased with their response. Riding on a now hard surfaced and widened pavement should give cyclists, as well as pedestrians a much improved sense of safety and distance from the passing cars. From us to them, “Thank you!”
Please take a moment to see the post-paving photos.
We would also like to take this opportunity to invite FLCC members to join the Advocacy Committee to improve the riding experience throughout the County. We especially need members to create and assemble material for membership and promoting cycling safety. Email Bill at wshang@yahoo.com if interested.


On Your Left — Sandy Fitterer

Some months ago, I was horrified to hear that Sandy was in Buffalo’s great cancer center with a dire illness. Don and the family kept a daily, sometimes twice-daily, blog that provided information about her condition — and it was a story of unbelievable courage and strength, of glimmers of hope among cruel reversals, and the overarching love and support for Sandy. On July 6, the story came to a conclusion.

Sandy was involved in so many things, touching so many people in the community! The Finger Lakes Cycling Club was only a small part of it. Yet, she was undeniably one of the core people in the club, volunteering for events, supporting our activities, and always “being there” when needed. Our loss is great, but I want to extend our sympathies to Don and the rest of the family for their truly incalculable loss.

Here is part of the obituary prepared for the press:

Sandra Hale Fitterer, age 57, passed away on July 6, 2017 after a tough battle with severe gastrointestinal graft versus host disease, a side effect of her bone marrow transplant that occurred on November 15, 2016.  Sandy was a patient at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and beloved by all the nurses and doctors that had the honor of treating her.


Completed: 2017 Young People’s Bike Tour

Just to let everyone know that the club organized a great event this past weekend, the Young People’s Bike Tour, with 120 participants (including 60 kids from ages 4 to 17), biking a total of about 48 miles along the Erie Canal towpath trail east of Rochester, and camping in Fairport on Saturday evening.  A full cadre of about 20 volunteers supported numerous rest stops, lunch stops, gear transport, food prep/cleanup, and campground setup/takedown.  Everyone had a great time, despite the chilly rainy weather yesterday morning, with hot chocolate greeting people at the end point picnic lunch in Newark, NY.

This is an annual event and is part of Adventure Cycling’s initiative called Bike Travel Weekend, taking place the first weekend in June, across North America and around the world.  Our club helped inspire this initiative, which has spread to over 900 trips with approximately 7,000 participants.
Here’s a link to an online photo album from the bike tour.  Anyone with this link should be able to view the album and download the photos, as desired.
Thanks again to the numerous club member volunteers that help to make this great event run smoothly, and to all club members for providing support by way of the website, insurance, and other means.  You are helping to spread the joy of bicycle travel to a new generation of riders.
Steven Powell
Tour Director
2017 FLCC Young People’s Bike Tour

Wednesday Women’s Rides Begin

May 10th, 2017
The first Wednesday night Women’s Road Ride (WRR) of the season was a huge success. Over 40 women met in the parking lot of East Hill Plaza to kick off the first ride.  Although we all ride for a different reason, it is safe to say that all WRR ladies show up for the fun, fitness, and friendships. The rides, which occur every Wednesday evening during the cycling season, foster camaraderie and fitness among the women cyclists.  WRR participants encourage each other in the sport, build confidence on the bike as the season progresses, hone group riding and road safety skills, and train for races and other events.
WRR is a successful FLCC tradition in its 7th year and was started by local cycling sensation LiLynn Graves.  It was carried on by Cynthia Schnedeker for several years, and now the responsibility lies with me.  It’s an honor to work with such a talented and dedicated group of cyclists and sometimes a challenge to keep it all organized! Thanks to all the ride leaders who volunteer every week, the rides usually run quite smoothly. I think that a key to the success of WRR is that there is a ride for cyclists at all fitness levels, with rides that leave every Wednesday evening that vary in their paces, elevation challenges, and distances.  WRR has a ride for women of any cycling ability and has mentorship built into all the rides.  As your VP for WRR, my goal for 2017 WRR is to continue to grow the group by getting more women passionate about road cycling.  We are nearly double in number as compared to where we were at the start of our season last year, which is excellent!  I also hope this season enables our current cyclists to challenge themselves on the bike and to renew cycling friendships. See you on the road!
-Michelle Heck

FLCC Annual Meeting is May 21

Please mark your calendars for our annual meeting, scheduled for Sunday, May 21 from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Just Be Cause Center (large conference room), 1013 West State Street,

The schedule will be:

-3:30-5pm…Meet at Cass Park parking lot behind Ithaca Childrens’ Garden for slow ride up the Black Diamond Trail
-5-6pm…Pizza, salad and dish-to-pass dinner and social hour in the large
conference room of the Just Be Cause Center, 1013 W. State St., Ithaca
-6-7pm…FLCC Annual business meeting.
We’re meeting later into the season than usual, and have lots to talk about this year! Non-FLCC members are warmly invited to join us for this event. If you’re a member who needs to renew your membership for this year, you’ll have an opportunity at the meeting.

Pizza (including vegetarian and gluten-free options) salad and drinks will
be provided, but please also bring a dish to pass if you wish.

Hope to see you there!


Signup Now for Young People’s Bike Tour

Announcing the opening of signups for the June 3-4, 2017 weekend bike tour along a central portion of the Erie Canal towpath trail, organized by the FLCC Touring Group. Its the 9th Annual FLCC Young People’s Bike Tour!

You are invited to go to the Tour Announcement Page: http://tinyurl.com/2017YPTtap to read more about the tour, and to download the Tour Information Packet: http://tinyurl.com/2017YPTtip .  Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis, and in past years the trip has filled quite quickly, so we encourage people to signup as soon as possible.

Some Background On The Tour: Our bicycling route will be on the beautiful Erie Canal towpath trail and the Rochester, Syracuse, and Eastern Trail, from Newark to Fairport (and return), with overnight camping on the grounds of the terrific Perinton Community Center.  The total weekend biking distance will be approximately 47 miles.  This is a great opportunity for first-time bike tourists and campers to experience the fun and utility of bike touring. For trip veterans, this is similar to our 2016 route, but we’ve added an additional 5 miles to Saturday’s riding along with two extra-special activities:
1.  A trailside lunchtime pizza party (including healthy additions of salad & fruit) on Saturday.
2.  A visit with the animals of Lollypop Farm, located right along our Saturday route.  Lollypop Farm is run by the Humane Society of Greater Rochester and they feature a farm walk and petting area, along with self-guided tours of their pet adoption center (dogs, cats, rabbits, etc).  You’ll have a chance to see and interact with sheep, goats, llamas, pigs, horses, emus, and deer.
All of this is in addition to the great bike riding and fun of camping on the grounds of the Perinton Community Center.  The community center features an amazing indoor water park with slides, lazy river, and hot tub. (There’s also some quiet study space available in the community center for any kids that need to do some weekend schoolwork on Saturday afternoon/evening).
This low cost activity ($35 per person) is run at break-even cost and is made possible by the great volunteers of the FLCC and the cycling community: people like you!  We need you to volunteer.  Volunteers are needed to staff the rest stops, drive support vehicles, assist at road crossings, supervise campground setup, and help with dinner & breakfast prep, among other tasks. Most of these are non-biking volunteer positions, but all volunteers will have a chance to bike one day, and do their volunteer job on the other day of this weekend event. We will provide transportation for your bicycle so that you can volunteer on one day, and bike with your family or group on the other day. We also gladly accept adult volunteers without young family members, who would like to serve as a volunteer. If you would like to volunteer, then signup along with your family members (if any) using the same online Registration Form as all other participants, and you’ll be given an opportunity to state your volunteer job preference within that form. We will then contact you to discuss and confirm your specific volunteer role.
Thanks again to the volunteers that make this event possible (including master chef and food coordinator Doug Dylla <DougDylla@aol.com> and registration coordinator Ted Caldwell <dtedcaldwell@gmail.com>), along with all FLCC members that support this activity by way of website support, club insurance, and other forms of guidance.
Looking forward to a great 2017 Young People’s Bike Tour on June 3-4, 2017!
All the best,
Steve Powell, sp35@cornell.edu
Tour Director, 2017 FLCC Young People’s Bike Tour

Young People’s Tour 2017

Keep the weekend of June 3-4, 2017 open on your calendars for the return of this bike tour that is specially designed for families, kids, teens, and adult chaperones.  We’ve selected the Perinton Community Center in Fairport, NY to be our overnight camping location.  This is the same overnight location as last year, with the amazing indoor water park, however, we are looking at a new location to start the bike tour.

One possible starting location is south of Rochester near Scottsville, where we would ride north along the Genesee Valley Greenway trail, connecting to the Erie Canal trail to Fairport.  Alternatively, we could start north of Rochester near Lake Ontario, and ride south along the Genesee Riverway trail, connecting to the Erie Canal trail to Fairport.  Both routes would be approximately 30 miles long, with virtually all riding on car-free trails.  The final route selection will be made in the spring, after evaluating the condition of the trails and any possible construction zones.

IMPORTANT: Volunteers willing to give up one day of riding are urgently needed.  This is a large bike tour and we need 10 to 15 adult volunteers to help make this trip possible.  The number of volunteers will determine how many bicyclists we can support.  Past tours have been in the range of 35 to 125 bicyclists.  Full-day volunteer positions include rest/lunch-stop staff, U-Haul truck driver, and road crossing assistant.  Each of these positions require a full-day commitment for Saturday or Sunday, and we will provide transportation for your bicycle so that you can volunteer on one day, and bike with your family or group on the other day.  Please contact me directly now at sp35@cornell.edu if you can volunteer for a full-day role.

I realize that not everyone can volunteer for a full-day due to their family situation or other factors, so there will be other shorter volunteer roles such as food prep and cleanup for Saturday dinner or Sunday breakfast at the campground.  These are important roles and we all appreciate your willingness to volunteer.  I will collect names for these shorter volunteer roles at a later date, during the tour signup process.

Signups:  Full-day volunteers contact me now — see above paragraphs.  We will open general signups on approximately April 1, with an announcement to the FLCC listserv and a posting to the FLCC website.  At that time we will provide a link where you will be able to download the trip information packet.

Here are some additional details for the trip, so you can “Save the Date” and get ready for the April 1 signups:

What:  A weekend bicycle tour with 1 night of camping along the Erie Canal Towpath Trail near Rochester for families, kids, teens, and adult chaperones.

When:  Saturday, June 3 to Sunday, June 4, 2017.

Where:  We will meet in a currently undecided location near Rochester, NY area on Saturday morning, then ride our bikes approximately 30 miles along several trails including the car-free Erie Canal Towpath Trail to Fairport, NY and camp at the Perinton Community Center.  On Sunday, we bike approximately 30 miles back to our starting point, ending mid-afternoon.  FYI, Rochester is approximately a 2-hour drive from Ithaca.

Cost:  $35 per person, which includes food for the weekend (lunch & dinner on Saturday, breakfast & lunch on Sunday, plus rest stop snacks both days), camping, showers & swimming at the indoor pool/waterpark at the Perinton Community Center.  Also included is transportation of your camping gear and personal items from the start point to the overnight location on Saturday, and return transportation of these items back to the start on Sunday.  For anyone who would like to carry gear on their bikes, the club has a large supply of Donkey Boxx panniers to loan out or for low-cost purchase ($10. each).  FYI, the club runs this trip at-cost.

All the best,
Steve Powell

Regional Rides for 2017

It’s cold outside, but we’re planning to ride! Here’s a list of 2017 summer and fall rides in (or near) our area. Perhaps you’ll find something here  to dream about and plan for.