|Vol 34 l No 9 l September 2020 |
A guy walks into a bar with two friends and says, "I'm buying! We'll have a Corona and two Hurricanes." The bartender gives him his order and says, "That'll be twenty twenty."
Sorry for that one, but it's the only humor I know about this year. We still need to be careful about our social distance and masks, but if we can still laugh a little together we can get through this together. I have deeply missed seeing everyone at our annual August picnic. Our club has grown geographically over the years and the picnic has been a great way for riders from all over to meet and share. We'll have to have a nice big bash next year to celebrate it's return. Maybe we'll have double cheeseburgers to make up for the ones we didn't eat this year.
September is the beginning of that magical late summer/early fall riding. Sure, the sun is setting earlier, but it's still warm out. In fact, it's quite nice that it's not so brutally hot that we have to battle with dehydration. All those miles from June, July and August in our legs that make us feel like we were born to ride. Those same miles have made hills into challenges instead of obstacles, and long all-day rides a special joy. There is a particular pleasure in rolling through farm fields of ripened crops. It's also a great time to explore new roads and find interesting places to take a rest stop. More coffee shops and food shops have figured out creative ways to safely reopen. And this year we can even watch the Tour de France in September, likely (and hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In the words of The Immortal Bard, William Shakespeare, said, "Summer’s lease hath all too short a date." So get out there and enjoy the glories of September riding. Those biker tan lines will fade, but the memories will last forever.
Steve "Keep Summer in Your Heart" Muth
SCU COVID-19 Mitigation Measures
SCU COVID-19 Mitigation Measures
SCU will continue to practice the Mitigation Measures (found here: https://suburbancyclists.org/docs.ashx?id=636920) . The virus is not gone, and we need continued vigilance to prevent a resurgence and a retreat to greater restrictions. Thank you to all members and ride leaders who continue to act responsibly!
Safety & Legislation Update
by Jay Sitkin
Safety & Legislation – August 2020
Do you remember Napoleon Dynamite? He laments to Pedro, girls only want boy friends who have great skills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsiiIa6bs9I.
We cyclists are like that too, we only want to go out with someone who has great bike handling skills. If we’re not riding alone, then be it one other person, a Covid-19 limit of 10, or a peloton, there is a certain confidence and calm that comes with knowing that the cyclist in front, besides, or behind you knows how to handle their bike.
Today, as I write this, the first stage of The Tour has begun and it’s now 24 miles from the finish on a big decent and it’s raining. It’s very important that these riders have skills. Do you remember this iconic moment from a tour past: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haEbtHiUcBc (Tour de France – 2003 – Stage 9)? Say what you will about Lance, he knows how to handle his bike.
Yes indeed, Safety = Skills
Over the last year, MapMyRun has published a series of educational videos about basic bike handling skills. I urge you to review them and add these tips to your skills saddlebag, MapMyRun Blog Bike-Handling Basics:
- Bike-Handling Basics #1: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/bike-handling-basics-1-how-to-corner/
- Bike-Handling Basics #2: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/bike-handling-basics-2-how-to-descend/
- Bike-Handling Basics #3: Bike-Handling Basics #3: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/basic-bike-handling-3-how-to-ride-on-rough-surfaces/
- Bike-Handling Basics #4: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/basic-bike-handling-4-how-to-ride-out-of-the-saddle/
- Bike-Handling Basics #5: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/basic-bike-handling-5-how-to-ride-in-a-paceline/
- Bike-Handling Basics #6: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/bike-handling-basics-6-how-to-do-pro-tricks/
- Bike-Handling Basics #7: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/bike-handling-basics-7-how-to-draft/
- Bike-Handling Basics #8: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/bike-handling-basics-8-how-to-shift-gears-on-a-road-bike/
- Bike-Handling Basics #9: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/bike-handling-basics-9-how-to-sprint/
- Bike-Handling Basics #10: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/bike-handling-basics-10-how-to-climb/
Finally, not everyone can ride in the south of Spain and so every now and then the weather is going to be bad. Riding in the rain requires additional skills and preparation. Here are some tips from the Reelbuzz team:
Dealing with Wet Weather On A Road Bike
Road biking can be highly dangerous when the roads are wet. Wet weather radically alters the conditions for the rider, meaning the techniques employed in dry conditions have to be adjusted accordingly.
Not only does wet weather potentially lead to a soggy and uncomfortable cycle ride, there is also a significant effect on a bike’s tyres, brakes and also on a cyclist’s cornering ability and visibility. Here’s a guide on how to be prepared for and able to deal with wet weather riding.
Rain affects the grip of tyres on the road meaning that it is necessary to reduce speeds. It’s worth considering your choice of tyres to suit the conditions and the seasons. For example, some riders will have a more than one set of tyres, with heavier tyres with greater grip being used in the wetter months and the lighter more slick tyres being used in drier months. In fact some riders go one step further and will have more than one bike, often with a winter/commuter bike setup with grippier tyres, and then a race bike with faster tyres for the better drier conditions. If your budget won’t stretch to more than one set of tyres, then good all-round tyres that work well year-round are worth buying.
It’s a fact, wet brake pads are less effective in slowing your bike. To keep the brakes in a condition where they will produce some braking even when wet, it is best to plan ahead and brake early. The pads rubbing against the wheel rims wipes away the water so they can respond when pressed, but most rims will require a full revolution before the brake pads clear the water from the braking surface and begin stopping.
An alternative to regular caliper brakes is disc brakes (more commonly found on mountain bikes), which are far more effective in the wet...
Remember that brake pads will wear out far quicker due to the mix of road grit and water than in summer months so be sure to check them over frequently. An alternative to regular caliper brakes is disc brakes (more commonly found on mountain bikes), which are far more effective in the wet, and more and more road bikes (and even some pro road racing teams) are starting to employ disc brakes, thus improving braking safety in the wet.
Cornering in the wet
When cornering, it is best to keep the cycle more upright than in dry conditions. Lean the body more into the turn than the bicycle itself, essentially shifting as much of your weight on the outside pedal as possible.
By doing this, you will be able to corner with a reasonable amount of speed, as the body will tend to remain balanced over the bike even when the tyres pass over surface hazards such as painted lines. Remember to adjust your speed accordingly; you won’t be able to take a corner in the wet at the same speed that you normally would.
Remember to adjust your speed accordingly; you won’t be able to take a corner in the wet at the same speed that you normally would.
In heavy rain, visibility can be poor, with water running into the eyes and spray coming up from other vehicles or cyclists. Glasses with clear or yellow lenses can help produce the best visibility in heavy rain, but not if they are covered in spray and rain! To counter this problem, wear a waterproof cycling cap placed under your helmet to help shield your glasses. If the rain causes problems with the lenses steaming up then you could use an anti-fog product to prevent further problems. Also it is best to make yourself visible to others with a brightly coloured rain jacket and lights on your seatpost and handlebar.
Puddles, pot-holes and patches
The road surface will be at its most dangerous just after the rain has begun. During this early rain oil buildup will start to rise to the surface, causing the road surface to become hazardous. Spot these oil slick patches by looking for rainbow-edged patches on the road. Also, be extra careful to avoid going directly over metal surfaces such as drainage grids, manhole covers, cattle grids, painted lines on the road, as they all become very hazardous when wet. At the same time, avoid puddles as you don’t know what it lurking beneath. We’ve all seen the YouTube disasters of the unsuspecting cyclist who enters a puddle only to find what lurks beneath is a hidden construction hole.
Cycling in a group in wet conditions
When riding with others, it is best not to ride directly behind the rider in front as this throws up spray and grit, even if they have mudguards. Also, stopping distances will be affected in the wet so it is best to keep a safe distance apart to avoid collisions.
If you are planning for riding for any length of time in the wet then attach some mudguards (fenders).
To avoid annoying all those in the group, if you are planning for riding for any length of time in the wet then attach some mudguards (fenders). For ease, you can get ones that, although they are quite as effective as full mudguards, are quick-release and attach to the seat post. Remember, the rider turning up on a rainy-day group ride without mudguards is destined to ride at the back of the pack. Not only will a mudguard keep your fellow riders happy, it will also help keep your feet, legs and behind drier.
Dress for the conditions
Riding is the wet is little fun if you are soaked through after the first few minutes. It really is worth the investment in some decent cycling specific wet weather gear to make your riding as comfortable as possible. A lightweight and breathable waterproof jacket, ideally with a dropped tail at the back, will keep you dry in almost all the worst of conditions. Make sure any layers you wear have wicking qualities to draw away sweat and that they are breathable so that you don’t ‘boil in the bag’ and arrive wet from the inside out. Wear waterproof socks and cover your shoes with overshoes to insulate them, or find some waterproof boots (such as Gore-Tex ones) which prevent the need for overshoes. Full fingered water-proof and wind-resistant gloves will also prevent your hands getting cold.
In wet conditions your bike will take a bit of a hammering and nowhere more so than the chain. Grime from the road will end up in your chain and mechanism, and if left for too many days after a ride it will quickly start to rust. Clean and thoroughly dry your chain after a ride before lubricating to increase its longevity.
Ideally, use a heavier ‘wet lube’ to lubricate your chain so that all the lubricant doesn’t wash away in the wet. A heavier lube will attract more dirt and grime which will require you to clean and lube your chain more frequently, but the effort will be worth it when the alternative is a worn or rusting chain which then quickly wears out other moving parts on your trusty steed.
Get a rain bike
Some people deal with wet weather by not riding at all, but that is the coward’s way out. Others opt to have a dedicated rain bike or winter bike which they will use when conditions are not expected to be pleasant. This rain bike will usually have tyres with better grip in the wet, plus mudguards kept on permanently so you don’t have to keep taking them on-off dependant on conditions. Often people will relegate the first road bike they bought to the status of ‘rain bike’ when they buy a new upgraded cycle. This way you can ride on in the rain and be comfortable you are not trashing your new pride and joy, which you can keep on standby for important events and summer riding.
SCU Photo Contest
Thank you to the members who submitted their beautiful, funny, and interesting photos! The first prize and honorable mention winners by category (including the picture location and description) are:
Cyclists, Bikes, Bike Gear
First Prize - Tom Kelso - Pine Creek near Cedar Run, PA - Bicyclist on Pine Creek Rail Trail
Honorable Mention - Tom Kelso - North East, MD - The tire, the nail..
First Prize – Michael Fuller - Western Rd and Rt 113/Pike Springs Rd - Another Scavenger Hunt? Fun find :)
Honorable Mention – Tom Kelso - Philadelphia, PA - Street scene. Black lives matter.
First Prize - Mia Mengucci - Harleysville, PA - Out for my first real bike ride of the season and have been wanting to visit here since the slow reopening of the area. Wanted to also support our local LBS and 2 wonderful people who are so much a part of SCU on multiple levels.
Honorable Mention – Monica Coleman - Woodlawn Ave near Allentown Rd in Lansdale - Sign seen on a ride. Reminded me of another election in the SCU club awhile ago.
Views and Vistas
First Prize – Jennifer Weiss - Berks Road, Worchester - I caught this hazy sunset over this farm just before 8:00PM while pedaling up the hill.
Honorable Mention – Deane Armstrong - Whitehorse Road, Berwyn, PA - A view that riders of the COS Monday Evening group have seen a hundred times.
See below for the first prize and honorable mention winning photos. To see all photos submitted for the contest: Click Here to See the 2020 Photo Contest Album. Winners will be contacted by Linda McGrane to arrange delivery of prizes. Winners for each category can select either a $25 WaWa gift card or a one-year family SCU membership extension. Honorable mention winners can select either a Quad water bottle or a cap. Congratulations to our winners!
We would like to thank Michael Albany and Gary Trapuzzano for reviewing the photos, awarding the winners, and providing your overall guidance and expertise for the contest!
Cyclists, Bikes, Bike Gear
First Prize - Tom Kelso
Pine Creek near Cedar Run, PA
Bicyclist on Pine Creek Rail Trail
Cyclists, Bikes, Bike Gear
Honorable Mention - Tom Kelso
North East, MD
The tire, the nail..
First Prize – Michael Fuller
Western Rd and Rt 113/Pike Springs Rd
Another Scavenger Hunt? Fun find :)
Honorable Mention – Tom Kelso
Street scene. Black lives matter.
First Prize - Mia Mengucci
Out for my first real bike ride of the season and have been wanting to visit here since the slow reopening of the area. Wanted to also support our local LBS and 2 wonderful people who are so much a part of SCU on multiple levels.
Honorable Mention – Monica Coleman
Woodlawn Ave near Allentown Rd in Lansdale
Sign seen on a ride. Reminded me of another election in the SCU club awhile ago.
Views and Vistas
First Prize – Jennifer Weiss
Berks Road, Worchester
I caught this hazy sunset over this farm just before 8:00PM while pedaling up the hill.
Views and Vistas
Honorable Mention – Deane Armstrong
Whitehorse Road, Berwyn, PA
A view that riders of the COS Monday Evening group have seen a hundred times.
A Tribute by Jim Howat
Here we are, heading into September
It has been a summer we would rather not remember
We have hit the roads; we have been biking
Which of course is to our liking
We have felt a sense of absence under the summer sun
We have had a limited amount of fun
While for a lot of people, summer is the best time of year
We have had to live it under a lot of fear
This summer has indeed been a different one
We have missed out on a lot of fun
It has been quite different to say the least
No picnic or pizza parties have meant no fun, no feast
We will have to wait again for next year
And we will continue to live in fear
Wait until next year, as the saying goes
Where will we be with this all of this in a year, who knows?
As is par for the course, summer has been hot
But as far as enjoying our usual activities, we have not
In the summertime, whoever heard of hockey and basketball?
That is supposed to end in the spring, and resume in the fall
A shortened baseball season in front of cutouts
The only visible people are on the field and in the dugouts
Sports fans have had limited entertainment, that’s for sure
It has to be that way until we have a Covid cure
Who even knows for summer Olympic athletes what the future will hold?
If they will be able to strive for medals of bronze, silver, or gold?
They put in a lot of time and effort, they trained so hard
And along came Covid, and from the games they were barred
Let’s hope that when next summer comes around
The pandemic will be over, and rewarding times will again be found
Cancelled and Postponed Events
Cancelled and Postponed Events
Be sure check Jack Elias' famous Calendar of Regional Events for an updated, chronological list of cancelled or postponed regional events. Jack is updating the list as information is provided.
The following is a list of the “live” fully-supported events for the remainder of 2020. All other events have been cancelled or will be unsupported virtual events. See the SCU Calendar of Regional Events for additional information.
Sat. Sept. 12, 2020, AJF Ride 4 Autism, Yardley, PA.
Sat. Sept. 12, 2020, BR2RB Bike-a-Thon, Quarryville, PA.
Sat. Sept. 12, 2020, Amish Country Bike Tour, Dover, DE.
Sat. Sept. 12, 2020, Bikes & Beers Delaware, Big Oyster Brewery, Lewes, DE.
Sat. Sept. 12, 2020, Ride for New Beginnings, Laurita Winery, New Egypt, NJ.
Sun. Sept. 13, 2020, Cinco de Mayo Benefit Bike Ride, Exton, PA.
Sat. Sept. 26, 2020, Bikes & Beers Parksburg, Victory Brewing, Parksburg, PA
Sun. Sept. 27, 2020, Giro del Vino III, White Horse Winery, Hammonton, NJ.
Sat. Oct 3, 2020, Adamstown Dirty Dozen Hill Climb, Reinholds, PA.
Sat. Oct. 3, 2020, Ride for Trails, Gettysburg, PA.
Sat. Oct. 3, 2020, Savage Century, Newark, DE.
Sat. Oct. 10, 2020, Bikes & Beers Hershey, Troegs Brewing, Hershey, PA.
Sat. Oct. 10, 2020, Hope for Life C3 2020, Nazareth, PA.
Fri.-Sat. Oct. 16-17, 2020, Ocean to Bay Bike Tour, Bethany Beach, DE.
Sun. Oct. 18, 2020, Farmland Ride, Flemington, NJ.
Sun. Oct. 18, 2020, Oktoberfest Ride, Blueprint Brewing Company, Harleysville PA.
The Sourland Spectacular will take place with limited support on Sept 5-13. Pick your own day to ride, and a rest stop with water and a port-a-potty will be available.
BCP's Annual Fall Foliage Weekend
BCP's Annual Fall Foliage Weekend has, unfortunately, been cancelled. See bcpweekends.org for the update. BCP will reach out to those who pre-registered.
2020 Tour de France is ON!
The 2020 Tour de France kicked off Saturday, August 29th and will run through Sunday, September 20th. The race was moved from July due to COVID. The race will be particularly mountainous this year, running through the Alps, Massif Central, Pyrenees, Jura, and the Vosges. There will be 29 categorized climbs and five mountain finishes.
There are 22 teams of 8 riders competing in the Tour. Each team is allowed a total of 30 members, including staff. The teams must stay in their "bubbles" (except for the actual race) and will be regularly tested for COVID. If any team has two or more positive cases of COVID, the whole team will be excluded from the race.
for a schedule of the events and more information where to watch. It can mainly be seen every morning (except September 7th and 14th) on NBCSN but moves to a different station several days (i,e, NBC for more popular weekend race days). NBCSN usually rebroadcasts each stage in the evening. Check your local listings. Click HERE
for the official website of the Tour de France for more information on the route, the riders, and leader boards.
Mileage Tracker and
Universal Mileage Logs are available
The universal mileage log features include:
- A universal log that is good for any year.
- An automatic summation of mileage and number of rides and
computation of the average ride distance.
- Displays six charts of mileage, number of rides and
The mileage logs can be found in the Documents Library on
the SCU website.
Go to SCU's Documents Library and scroll down to "Ride Documents" and “Mileage
Please give a warm welcome to SCU's newest members
Joseph Fisher- Berwyn, PA
Jon Shapiro - Elkins Park, PA
Signature Event Director
Digital Communications Director
Public Relations Director
Linda A. McGrane
Ride Leader Director
Safety & Legislative Director
Regional Calendar Editor