"Prez Sez" message from BCI President Mike Farrell


Hi everyone

       It's been a busy couple of months since my last report. We had two general meetings hosted by Penny Poorman, our Vice President. Great job, Penny. There were excellent topics and presenters, including a tutorial on the new web site by Jim Norman and Bill Sellin in February, and at the April meeting, discussions on various aspects of bicycle touring by Richard Sheff and Norm Moyers. Richard has hosted several tours for the club in the past and continues to offer exciting tours all over the country and in Europe too. Norm just took a group to Hawaii for a two week bike tour. And of course the food offerings at both meetings were excellent thanks to our Hospitality director Suzanne McCord, and thanks to Beth Sher, who helped out at the February meeting. We had over 45 attendees at the April meeting. Thanks for your support. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, June 28, at 7:00 PM at the IRWD Duck Club, at 15 Riparian View, Irvine. A new place. Club member Peter Gerrard, who works at Irvine Cyclery will speak on the latest and greatest in the world of bicycle accessories. Mark your calendars. We have hosted two Jersey Day luncheons thus far at the food court near Gelsons at Alton and Jeffrey after the Saturday ride on the first Saturday of each month, which were well attended. Several of the luncheon establishments gave discounts on all their food offerings.       

       Some of the upcoming events on our calendar will be the May 18 Ride of Silence, the June 25/26 Summer Solstice, and July 9, the OC Bike Rally. All info on these events will be posted on the BCI web site. A few comments about Summer Solstice. This event has been an ongoing BCI event for many years, organized and well run by Bill Sellin. It's the equivalent of two metric centuries, over two days, from Irvine to Carlsbad Saturday, and return to Irvine Sunday. This year the overnight accommodations will be at the Motel 6 on Raintree Ct in Carlsbad. A block of rooms has been reserved there for BCI but you'll need to call in your reservations soon to get your room. (There's a 10% discount for AARP members.)There will be a poolside dinner party on the Saturday evening. I will be riding this year so you can be assured that at my pace, the ride will definitely have a sweep, so no one will be left behind. And there are plenty of places to stop for food or rest rooms so it can be a leisurely ride. The fee is $25 for riders and $15 for non riders which covers the dinner cost and the hauling of your change of clothes at the hotel. Add the hotel accommodations. I booked my room already and it was $104 for two guests.

       In my last Prez Sez article I had asked for feedback, comments, and suggestions from anyone who wanted to communicate with me, either by email or phone. One suggestion had to do with the possibility of regroup points at certain points on the ride, in the interests of keeping the riders together as a group. At one time many years ago we used to have them - back in the early 90's. The member who emailed this and I had a back and forth communication about this and I brought it up at the last board meeting, so I wanted to let you all know what we thought and decided.

       At the time the regroups were utilized it seemed that the average pace of the riders was more uniform so when those who had gotten ahead stopped and waited, the wait was not all that long, no more than a minute or two. Today, in looking at the average pace, it seems like there are several paces from the 15-16 mph pace down to the 12-13 mph pace. So to ask the faster riders to either slow down or to wait for the slower riders would be unreasonable. Actually, it would be unfair to both groups. We are a social riding club, and the essence of the BCI riding experience is that everyone should be able to ride their own pace comfortably. So that means not having to wait for those slower than you and at the same time not putting pressure on the slower riders to feel pressured to try and keep up. If a rider wants to challenge him or herself to keep up with a faster group, that is a personal decision, and by all means they should go for it, and they will or they won't, and no pressure is put on any group to do anything other than what they want to do, pace wise.

       Another suggestion was the concept of A, B, and C rides, A being the fastest, B the medium, and C the slower. We felt that our concept of blue, yellow, and green rides was the BCI alternative.  Riders have the choice of distances and paces. Some riders even utilize portions of blue and yellow, or yellow and green, so there are sufficient options to accommodate everyone at whatever biking level they're at. However it was good to have the suggestion made, the discussion brought up at the board meeting and regardless of the decision, that the interaction between members and the board was positive and welcome. So I encourage more of you to avail yourself of my offer and feel free to contact me with any input whatsoever. I also had a compliant too regarding the temporary absence of posted rides beyond two weeks and that was addressed and the posted rides are now past a month, so everything that is communicated is paid attention to.

       Remember, the board and I serve at your pleasure so your feedback is welcome and needed.     

       One last issue. Signing up on the rosters at club rides. This is a critically important issue. BCI has in place an Insurance policy covering the riders, the club itself and the Board of Directors. In order for all of us to be covered the Insurers have certain demands that must be adhered to. For all of us that means your name must appear on one of the rosters for each and every club ride. No exceptions. If you don't sign up and you are in an accident on that ride, you are basically screwed. No coverage. You may have personal insurance, but being doubly covered means that you would most probably be covered for any co-pays which can be expensive depending on the severity of any injury.

       Let's not forget the possibility of a bicycle accident causing injury to someone else. You are not injured but they are and they sue you or the club. So SIGN UP before you ride. Lastly, non members need to sign the guest roster which contains a waiver clause. If you bring someone as a guest, of course they are welcome, but make sure they sign the guest roster. And if they enjoy the ride and want to come again, suggest they join the club. The $20 is no biggie,  but the insurance coverage could be a big deal too them.       

       Finally, in closing Kudo's to Bob McHenry, our Board secretary, for his efforts in promoting the Bicycle Safety classes over the last year and the wrist bands that he has designed for those having completed the classes. Bicycle safety and etiquette are a key part of keeping all of us safe when we climb on our bike and get out on the road. Many of us think we know it all but none of us know everything. And practicing it can be another matter. Way back in the early days of my membership when Pacelines was an actual newsletter, (paper!!) I used to write an article called "On Your Left" and in each issue, I'd address one or two different issues regarding proper riding safety and etiquette. So in closing I thought I would begin to mention one particular aspect of safety that stands out in my mind based on what I see from time to time. So this time I'll address stopping at intersections. The DMV manual lists bicycles as vehicles, subject to all the rights and responsibilities as all other vehicles. We are the slower vehicles so we have to adhere to that classification. Whenwe come to an intersection, specifically one that has a right turn lane. we should stop at the left of the right turn lane and to the right of the lane that is going straight through the intersection. What that means is that you DON'T STOP AT THE CORNER CURB!  When you do that, you 1) obstruct traffic that may be able to make the right turn on the red light or will turn as soon as the light turns green, and 2) you put yourself at risk if the vehicle making the right turn doesn't see you and makes his turn. You expose yourself to being hit. If you were a car, you wouldn't stop in the right turn lane if you were going straight. You can't do that when you are a bike either. You're still a vehicle.  Even if you're at the curb, you're still in the lane. I was riding north through San Clemente once on PCH and had the green but was close to the curb and a motorist came up behind me, didn't see me, and made the right turn and had I not seen him at the last second and swerved, almost falling,  he would have hit me. He never stopped. I almost learned that lesson the hard way.

       Sometimes riders come up to the corner and go up to the curb to hit the crossing signal. First, if there's traffic going straight, don't bother - the vehicles will trigger the mechanism. They don't need your help. If there's light or no traffic, hit the signal, then get back out away from the curb and back to the right of the ongoing traffic lane where you belong. You don't want to be in the right of a right turn lane under any circumstances. My tip of the day. Bye for now. See you on a ride.

       Mike Farrel