Monthly Archive for May, 2012


For Immediate Release
May 14, 2012

: Sports, Assignment, Feature and News Briefs Editors, Cycling Press

For Further Information Contact:
Joe Herget; Executive Director, US Bicycling Hall of Fame (540) 903-3613,
PDF version of this announcement:   2012 Inductee Announcement


DAVIS, CA – Four legendary members of the cycling world will be inducted on November 3rd, 2012 into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.

To Drive or Not To Drive

Hamlet’s famous soliloquey deals with the ultimate question: should I stay or depart from this world. This isn’t a question I ever ponder because for all its problems, I love life. Yet I am assailed with environmental questions on a daily basis, the main one being: how do I shrink my ginormous Bigfoot carbon footprint into a petite Lotus Foot?

Hamlet pondered whether or not to plunge his bare bodkin into his gut. My existential question boils down to:  To drive or not to drive. Driving is fast, convenient, and relatively cheap when compared to public transportation. You don’t have to plan your trip with schedules, transfers, and correct change. You aren’t beholden to listening to the jerk behind you singing Van Morrison in the key of loud. You don’t stew at the station waiting for a delayed train. Rather, you simply jump in the car, put your favorite beverage in its holder, and accelerate. It is a no-brainer. A no-brainer but for the fact that every mile driven is a pound of carbon dioxide spewed into the atmosphere.

For an entire week, I went back and forth about whether I should drive my car to my friend Frank’s house in San Mateo or take public transportation. It is a relatively easy public transportation foray. Bike to Amtrak and train to Richmond, switch to BART, ride to Milpitas, and bike to Frank’s house. 3 hours, 30 minutes door to door. Roundtrip ticket, $50. Or I could drive. 1 hour, 30 minutes and $25 gas and tolls.

Extenuating circumstances included: Djina was on-call over the 24 hours I would be away, and I felt a bit guilty about leaving Solly on his own because that meant an awful lot of The Simpsons reruns. I could save both time and money if I drove, and I wouldn’t be chained to the train times. But the carbon footprint, Matt. What about that?

For five days I was on the fence, handcuffed by indecision. I started feeling the best way would be to stay home. Save money, save gas, play football with Solly. In the end, I rationalized that I’d make up the 200-mile round trip to San Mateo in eight days of bicycle commuting to work.

So I guiltily drove off.

30 miles into the trip, the engine made a new kind of sound. I pulled over and discovered a spark plug was not in its usual place. $270 and three hours later I was back on the road. Clearly, a lesson was to be learned. But what was it? It depends on whom you ask. If you ask me, the universe/God/karma/whatever was speaking slowly in simple sentences as if explaining to a small child: whenever you have a choice, don’t drive.  To Djina, the lesson was also abundantly clear: take the car in for routine maintenance, and spark plugs won’t fly out of engines. Solly’s take home was: you should have stayed home and watched The Simpsons. They had a new episode which was way better than going to San Mateo and there’s no carbon footprint.

If I am ever going to be serious about arresting global warming, I will need to learn this lesson. I suppose that goes for us all.

Davis Bicycles!: Pushing the limits

By Pam Cordano
How does a non-athletic, mother-of-two who’s immersed in a very busy life decide to ride her bike 545 miles down the coast of California?
In my case, it started with the chance meeting with an AIDS doctor who sent me a link to the AIDS Ride, an annual event in which 2,500 cyclists ride their bikes from San Francisco to Los Angeles in seven days to raise millions of dollars to provide critical services to people living with HIV and AIDS.
When I registered for this daunting ride late in 2010, my sedentary life thankfully turned upside-down. The only athletic thing I had ever done had been at the age of 16, when I joined a YMCA camp and rode my bike from San Jose to Yosemite. I didn’t know a soul doing the AIDS ride, but somewhere in my bones I believed I could do it, so I got a thumbs up from my husband and kids, gathered my courage and dug my barely-used bike out of the garage.
Initially, I was most worried about the fundraising component (each cyclist must raise a minimum of $3,000), but that proved to be the easier part, thanks to the generosity of family and friends. Training was the larger challenge, and believe me, it took me physically and emotionally beyond where I thought I could go.
I started riding to Winters and around Pleasant Valley Road when I could, and I joined a Saturday training team in Orinda to start a new and exciting relationship with hills.  We started with gorgeous rides along The Three Bears, Grizzley Peak and Morgan Territory, and our grand finale was Mount Diablo. Is there any better way to spend a Saturday?  These rides left me exhausted, but exhilarated and inspired. Bit by bit, I was gaining strength and confidence.
When I started riding 60 to 70 miles at a time, I ran into a major problem. At about mile 60, I hit a wall.  I got unbearably uncomfortable and wanted nothing but to get off the bike. The fresh air and flowers meant nothing anymore … I couldn’t go on.
Realizing I needed some help with this, I went to my go-to-guy at Wheelworks, Adam Smith. He was excellent in helping me find ways to dig deeper when I hit that wall. I learned something about the satisfaction that comes from pushing through hard miles and finding unexpected energy and resilience when I thought I was at the end of my rope.
Then I started having problems with my left iliotibial band (outer thigh) and knee. Hideshi at Fitness Garage helped me with tape, massage and exercises to do at home. He also taught me to say “I will do it” instead of “I can do it” on the road. Through the help these guys gave me, I learned about the invaluable importance of a support team.
My months of training culminated on June 5, 2011, when 2,500 cyclists from 40 states and 11 countries left the Cow Palace, along with 600 roadies and 250 vehicles. We averaged 80 miles a day and camped in Santa Cruz, King City, Paso Robles, Santa Maria, Lompoc and Ventura before a triumphant arrival in L.A. From the first moment, there was a brilliant synergy of seriousness and playfulness along the way. We raised a record $13 million, made lifelong friendships and had an unforgettable time in the process.
In my heart, I wanted to do the ride again this year, but worried that my kids might be tired of my being gone on Saturdays. When I asked them about it, they said, “Mom, you’re a lot nicer when you’re riding your bike!” So I’ve committed to another ride down the coast this June.

— Matt Biers-Ariel and Mont Hubbard are co-editors of the Davis Bicycles! column, published every other week in The Davis Enterprise. To offer a Davis Bicycles! column, write to them at or log on to to see instructions for authors.

Why we participate in the May is Bike Month Challenge at North Davis Elementary by Kristen Muir

By Kristen Muir

1.  For the mother who has a limited income and has left an old bike in the garage for too long and won’t use it since it is so beat-up, who comes to the Davis Bicycles! Bike Rodeo with her bike, learns how to grease her chain and works with the mechanics on site to bring new life into her bike, who then rides her bike with her children after driving her car for so many years.

2.  For the kindergarten student who has been riding with training wheels and was too scared to work on taking them off, until May is Bike Month comes along and gives her the reason to do just that. After seeing all the kids on the blacktop, riding through a variety of bike courses, she goes home with her mom and asks her to take off the training wheels, spends several hours over the next few days and is now riding her two-wheel bike!

3.  For the third-grader who announced, “I don’t know how to ride my bike.” When given the challenge by me, and her classmates, to use this month to learn, goes straight home and works with her parents on learning to ride her bike. Who talks with me and works with her parents to estimate how many “miles” she is riding when she is practicing over and over again. And who, by the end of the month proudly announces, “I can ride my bike!”

4.  For the students who get excited about the UCD Cycling Team members coming to our blacktop to participate in a Criterium-like “race.” Who stay and listen to those same cyclists as they talk about bike safety, the importance of following the street signs and wearing helmets.

5.  To hear students tell me that their parents are letting them ride to school with a group of friends for the first time, now that they see that they can ride safely. To hear parents tell me that their children are asking to ride their bikes to school instead of being driven.

6.   To see the amazement on students’ (and parents’) faces when we create a cool drink with a bike blender.

7.  When several students share their unicycling abilities and teachers and staff share their unique bikes (quad cycle, tandem, recumbent bike, etc.).

8.  So that Peter Wagner can come talk with students about his innovative bicycles, to discuss how he began creating his unique bikes as a sixth-grader. To see that glimmer in a few students’ eyes when they think to themselves, “I could do that!”

9.  To empower our students to make a difference in their daily life.

10. To meet a new family from Roseville who came to Bike Loopalooza to ride our Davis 12-mile bike loop, to see the elementary schools and homes in the area as they look at moving here.

For the children of Davis, the bicycle may be their first taste of freedom. They can go where and when they want without the help of their parents. What a great blessing to bequeath our children.

May is Bike Month, which is a great time to get more students on bicycles. But why stop at students? May is Bike Month is a great time for adults to reaquaint themselves with the beauty of biking. There are many activities to do: log your miles and help Davis reach a million bicycle miles, and go on the Tour de Cluck and the Bike Loopalooza, to name just some of the highlights.

And don’t forget, Wednesday, May 9, is Bike to School Day.

— Kristen Muir runs a PTA-funded physical fitness program at North Davis Elementary School and coordinates the school’s May is Bike Month activities.


City Council candidates respond to transportation-related questions

Davis Bicycles! and the Davis Bike Collective asked candidates for the June, 2012 Davis City Council Election five (5) transportation related questions.  Please read their responses and come to the Transportation Forum at Bike 4th on Monday evening, May 7 from 7-9 pm.