Bike Your Park Day September 28, 2019

Bike Your Park Day logoThe Adventure Cycling Association has designated September 28 as the annual Bike Your Park Day. The principle is simple: ride or bring your bike to a park and ride it! Do it for all the reasons you enjoy riding, and maybe a bunch of bikes mysteriously showing up at a park could help bring the need for better accommodations to the attention of park staff.

The foothills have a great assortment of parks available for family-friendly or more ambitious riding. Even if the other 364 days are park your bike day for you, there’s something on this list for you. Visit Adventure Cycling to register your ride and, if you register by September 22 you are entered for a chance to win a Co-Op Cycles adventure touring bike (perfect for the mountains).

Tom Frost Memorial Hill Climb on Old Priest Grade

The MLBC helped with the permits and staging of the August 24 Tom Frost Memorial Climb on Old Priest Grade. Board Chair Rob Williams worked with Flatlander Films and Tuolume County on permitting and operations issues, and Robert Leibold graciously loaned traffic control signs and barriers for the event and road closure. Nikki Grimes, Jack Becker, and Carl Baker helped with local knowledge, check-in, implementing the closures, and parking. Four of us (2/3 of the Board) also did the climb, each setting a personal record!

Congratulations are due to Erv Kroeker who made it up the hill at 78 years young.

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MLBC Board Members On the way up OPG!

A post shared by Motherlode Bicycle Coalition (@motherlodebike) on

The event was a great bike experience, and also a fitting memorial of Tom Frost for the climbing community. The event sponsor, Flatlander Films is producing a documentary about Tom Frost, a legendary climber and a cyclist too. See https://flatlanderfilms.com/ and make a donation if you can afford to do so.

The MLBC is proud to have played a part in supporting and participating in the climb and is hoping to contribute to a second annual event. It was a treat to see cyclists coming and going to Coulterville and on other routes in the area throughout the morning and afternoon.

See also:

Key figure in 1960s Yosemite age of climbing innovation dies at 82

More than 100 bicyclists signed up for Inaugural Tom Frost Memorial Old Priest Grade Hill Climb

No way. Well, OK, I’ll ride Old Priest Grade

Cycling Camp in Tuolumne County

Are you looking for cycling training in Foothills and Sierras above Groveland? Check out http://tourdebicycling.com/ Ride with Seana Hogan, Transcontinental Record Holder at this new cycling camp. https://seanahogan.com/

L’Etape California by Le Tour de France

I recently participated in the Le Tour De France L’Etape California in Folsom, California.

L’Etape California by Le Tour de France challenges cyclists on a course comparable to an Alps Mountain Stage.

There were two route distances: riders chose 90 miles 7,500 feet of climbing, or the short ride 60 miles and 4,000 feet of climbing in the Sierra Foothills.

I was motivated to participate because of my enjoyment of watching the Tour on TV each summer or attending four different Tour de France races. This summer I am attending four stages the 2019 Tour de France in the Pyrenees and plan to pre ride Tourmalet before Stage 14.

Also, Folsom is a bike friendly community and I wanted to experience riding and training in this cycling friendly community.

My cycling goal was to win two KOM Stages in the 60 mile course. I knew from SBC weekday rides, I could increase my training routines, train with a stronger rider and win two KOM stages for my age category, 60-64.

The two KOM segments were KOM 1, Salmon Falls Road, a 3.5 mile climb, 5% average gradient, 960 ft elevation gain, and KOM 2, Foresthill Road, 3 mile climb, 5% average gradient, 850 ft elevation gain.

(The KOM segments timed results for 500 plus cyclists, ages 17-76, ranged from 14 minutes to 60 minutes.)

My KOM times; KOM 1, 20.57 and KOM 2, 19.06. I won first place by 8 seconds over the second place winner. There were twenty-five men in my age group who raced in the 60 mile route.

I trained for eight weeks with SBC BikePals, Walt Ebbett, Keith Smith and one special ride with SBC Member Frank Oligaray. My training rides included weekday SBC rides, several Sonora Big Hill rides, and Coach Keith dragging me around Folsom and El Dorado County at “his speed and pace”. We didn’t stop much to eat bagels or drink coffee! On my first 50 mile, 4000 feet of elevation ride with Keith I told him I was feeling a bit overwhelmed! I was tired and my legs screaming to stop.

While riding in Folsom, I learned the value of bike advocacy and how one person can make a difference in promoting cycling as a healthy and safe activity. The cycling lanes and share the road signs make cycling safer. I heard repeatedly that the former City Manager of Folsom created the Johnny Cash Bike Trail system and was responsible for creating cycling lanes and posting Share the Road signs.

My time at Folsom Bikes Coffee Shop, the Grinder with other cyclists was pure bliss. The City of Folsom is a bike friendly city and has a strong bike advocacy community. It is no wonder the Amgen Tour and Tour de France Organizers sponsor bike events in Folsom.

The 90 minute drive to Folsom to ride bikes is clearly worth the time commuting!

Participating in the E’Tape California reminded me that I’m not too old to have fitness goals and my role as Co-Founder of the Motherlode Bike Coalition.

I learned how important bike advocacy is and how I’ve failed to be more active as Co-Founder of the Motherlode Bike Coalition. During the last two years I spent more time writing a blog rather than organizing bike rides in the Motherlode. And, thinking ahead to 2020-2025 I realize there is an opportunity to make the Motherlode a Cycling Destination like Folsom. Most cyclists are not aware, Cal Trans awarded Calaveras, Toulumne, Alpine, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties Cycling Tourism Grants. These grants are to identify popular cycling roads, needs and determine how to promote cycling in Cal Trans District 10.

And, my cycling experience in Folsom has motivated me to take action and sponsor Tuesday bike rides starting and ending in Valley Springs to promote cycling tourism in Calaveras and surrounding Foothills Counties.

The MBC Ride Series Is to Ride Locally, Ride Local Bike Events, and Set a Challenging Ride to Accomplish. This series officially begins Tuesday, January 8, 2019.