Monthly Archive for March, 2012

DB! March Announcements

Davis Bicycles!
Late March Announcements

Tireside Chat with Ted Buehler: History of Bicycling in Davis
Sunday, Apr. 1, 4:00 pm
U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, 3rd and B Streets

Davis bicycling researcher Ted Buehler is the featured speaker for the first of two “Tireside Chats” on the history of bicycling in Davis. Ted’s presentation is based on his master’s thesis research at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. The first public presentation of Buehler’s research famously filled the Davis Varsity Theater in February 2007 when Davis Bicycles! was founded. Ted will present the seeds of policy favoring the bicycle in the 1950s and early 60s supported by UC Davis, grassroots organizing and the election of a pro-bike slate of city council members in 1966 and the first bike lanes in 1967. He will also present highlights of support for bicycling since the 1960s, the rebirth of bicycle advocacy in Davis since 2005. He will conclude by discussing possible next steps for Davis. In addition to founding Davis Bicycles! in 2007, Ted also co-founded the Bike Church, now the Davis Bike Collective. He currently lives in Portland where he participates in the Bike Temple and the advocacy group Active Right of Way.

The City of Davis this year is observing the 45th anniversary of bike lanes. The U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame will host an additional presentation on this history on Sunday, April 15, also at 4pm. This Tireside Chat will feature former Davis city council member Maynard Skinner who was elected in 1966, and former Public Works Director Dave Pelz who helped design and implement the first Davis bike lanes.

Both talks will conclude around 5pm, leaving time for participants to ask questions and meet the speakers.  Admission is free for members of the USBHOF and Davis Bike Club, or is included with the daily Hall of Fame admission fee of $3 Student/Senior and $5 General.

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‘Being the change’ to ride our bikes more

Although I do a lot of bicycling for exercise and recreation, staying motivated to keep doing it is still a challenge for me. Many of us have aspirations to start riding, to ride our bikes more frequently and farther, or to ride up hills. Social rides and challenges offered by the Davis Bike Club and other groups are a great way to motivate oneself.

After moving from San Francisco to Davis several years ago, I missed the many hills and interesting sights. So I was less inspired to ride and missed getting as much exercise biking compared to before.

Then I joined the Davis Bike Club and signed up for its “March Madness.” To participate, you choose a challenging mileage goal for the month of March and pay a registration fee. You are on the honor system as you ride to your goal. Any miles you ride your bike count: around town, to work, to school or long excursions. Proceeds go to school bike safety efforts.

After I started participating in this challenge, I was riding more than ever. From there, I proceeded to fulfill lifelong ambitions to ride the Big Sur coast and the 200-mile Davis Double Century.

Currently, I am helping to organize and lead a series of hill climbing rides with DBC. We started with a modest amount of hill climbing, and are working our way up step by step to mountain-size ascents.

At the same time, another informal group is training for the “Cinderella Classic,” a 65-mile womens’ ride a few weeks from now. This informal group is organized by my friend Susan Ashdown, who embodies what this essay is about: inspiring and motivating less experienced bicyclists.

Like me, Susan doesn’t claim to be the expert with all the answers about training for longer rides. “I am what you call a spark,” she says. “If I don’t know the answer I will try to find it and get back to you.”

She became the organizer “… because I always wanted to provide a connection point for women to cycle together, to provide a supportive place. I had gathered a few good folks to help them begin cycling further than the grocery store.”

Susan’s training group often has multiple rides a week. Since they started training in January, their long weekend rides have increased by five miles each week, with gradually more hill climbing. Participants include a large age spread, and a few men.

A recent training ride for the Cinderella Classic enjoyed a stop at Danny's Donuts in Old Sacramento.

In addition to March Madness, the Davis Bike Club offers its members two yearlong challenges: riding a century (100-mile ride) or a metric century (100 km, or 62 miles), once a month. A hill climbing challenge is planned for April. More information on these and Susan’s group rides are at

Susan, who plans to organize more training rides throughout the year, sums things up better that I can:

“It comes down to people wanting to do these things: cycling, or raising funds for others. They just need the connection point and spark. I guess that is what I provide.

“I feel, and I know others do as well, that cycling is a way they can contribute to others in need and ‘be the change.’ Often not only being the change for others in need, but also in their own life by making the donation or by cycling in a fundraising event, creating a ‘hero’ effect.

“Because that is what people are when they step out of their own world and step up to say ‘yes, I will be the change’ for you.”

— Russell Reagan produces the online newsletter of the Davis Bicycles! advocacy group.

Bicycling challenges and Davis Cinderella Group contact info.

These are some opportunities for distance riding challenges and group training rides described in the DB! column in the Enterprise on Friday, March 2.

The Davis Bike Club offers these mileage challenges:

The Hill Climbing ride series is also among the many rides organized by DBC.

Susan Ashdown’s Davis Cinderella Training Group is on Facebook. If you’re not on Facebook, contact Susan via e-mail: