trying to get more cyclists out

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

By Kevin Duke Green Valley News

The Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocate Committee (SCVBAC) is doing everything it can to get more people cycling.

Besides the new proposed West Desert Preserve path (see story on A1), the group is organizing various rides in the area to get more people on the road and planning for the annual Ride of Silence in May.

They’ve also had great success with their new jersey, and have already sold out of the 120 or so they originally ordered.  “We’ve ordered 50 more and they should be in soon,” Bill Adamson, co-chair of the SCVBAC said.
Five different groups for on road cycling, and two mountain biking groups offer potential riders many different options for breaking into the sport.
The SCVBAC cites a study done on cycling in Portland, Or., where 60 percent of the respondents said they were interested in riding, but had concerns about safety issues holding them back from taking up the sport.
“These rides are geared toward reaching those people,” Adamson said. “They can start at the bottom if they want, and then work there way up to the faster riding.”  The rides begin at shorter distances and slower speeds for beginning riders, and progress all the way up 40 to 60-mile rides for advanced riders.
“Golden Spokes” rides are “short neighborhood rides around 10 miles” and leave from the GVR West Center at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
The next step up are the “Riders of the Golden Age” rides, which are 25-mile relaxed road rides at a slower pace.
Two groups go on longer treks, from 40-60 miles, with one riding at a slightly slower pace and making periodic stops.
Mountain bikers aren’t forgotten, with two different groups led by members of the SCVBAC.
“We’re trying to let people know that the rides are available,” Chuck HIll, webmaster and member of the committee said.
The Ride of Silence is one of the groups biggest annual events, and will take place on May 16.
“We have about 100 people show up for the ride,” Adamson said. “We’re really proud of the participation that we get.”  The annual ride’s purpose is, “to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured, to raise awareness to the existence of bicyclists and to ask that we all share the road.”  The organization will be busy publicizing the ride the next two months.  “We always follow the same agenda every year,” Adamson said.
The seven-mile ride will leave from the East Center at 6 p.m., and will follow the established guidelines, riding in single file with no talking at an easy pace.
Most of the group rides are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays and leave from the West Center and other locations.
More information on the group rides is available on the organizations website, at