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Extend National Bike Month by joining the Challenge! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 15:29

Join the CRBC team in the National Bike ChallengeBike month is over, but the fun continues. The National Bike Challenge runs from May 1 to September 30, and Team CRBC is currently #16 in the nation. Help us by adding your miles to our totals! 

Team CRBC's NBC stats

 
Living with hills Part 3 -- Keeping up with a group PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:30
Subtitle 1: Why do I always get dropped on a group ride?
Subtitle 2: How not to get dropped on a group ride!
Living with hills Part 1
Living with hills Part 2

If you've ridden with groups at all, one thing you've probably noticed is that the group either stays together well -- everyone riding at the same pace -- or it "rubber bands" -- stretches out with faster riders out in front, the main “peloton”, and the slower riders bringing up the rear, contracting when (or IF) the faster riders wait for the slower. 

The faster riders don't often wait. I found that out the hard way when I first started group riding. I would show up all enthusiastic and ready to go and within the first fifteen miles of a 50 mile ride, all I was following was the line on the pavement. The group had dropped me long before. Fortunately, I knew my way home and finished the ride vowing to keep up the next week. And the next week, it happened again. And the week after that. And the week after that...

However, what I did notice was that I was going farther each week before I got dropped, and eventually I was able to hang on and keep up.

So, one way to get better? Pick a group ride you know is faster than you, and try to stick with the group as long as you can. You will improve. A note on cycling etiquette, though. If you do pick a faster-than-your-ability ride to latch on to, be sure to tell the group leader and/or other riders you don’t expect them to wait for you if you get dropped. That lets them do their ride without worrying about you and you’ll be welcome the next time, rather than have the grumbling about that rider for whom they had to wait! If you’d rather have a more controlled improvement, read on.

I noticed it wasn't the big climbs where I lost the group. Most groups, except the very hard core, will wait at the top of a big climb to regroup. I was losing the group on the little rises and gradual inclines, where the group kept up their speed and I fell further and further back, unable to close the growing gap between me and the main group.

Now, group riding is very advantageous because you save 30% or more of your effort on a long ride. That's a big benefit, and it means you can go farther in less time. That leads to the ability to take longer and more varied routes, keeps you from getting bored with the same old routes, and you really get to know the back roads of your area.

That is, of course, if you can stick with them.

So, how do you get better and keep up? I already mentioned one way and that’s to just go and keep trying. But, you can also do a lot on your own.

You’ll need to find a loop route of 2-5 miles or so with enough undulating hills that are typical of the riding in your area. If you’re in the State College area, the Linden Loop is a perfect training track (Oak Hall to Linden Hall via Linden Hall Rd, and either turn around & repeat or for a more advanced training, return to Oak Hall via Rock Rd and Upper Brush Valley Rd. More on that below.).

Linden Loop -- lower loop profile
Linden Loop -- lower section profile

 There are four short rises along the section from Oak Hall to Linden Hall that are just enough to slow you down, and notice the whole distance is gradually rising. Your goal is to ride the section from Oak Hall to Linden Hall at a constant speed. What speed is that? Well, how fast does your group go? 12mph? 14mph? 16mph? etc… Pick a speed 2 or 4 mph under your intended goal, then give it a go.

As you ride the course, anticipate the coming rise and ready yourself for it. There are at least two ways to overcome these small rises: strategy or brute force. The strategic approach is to shift to a easier gear and increase your cadence – the speed your feet are rotating – just before you get to the rise. The change in gearing gives you a little more mechanical advantage and you’re shifting before you need to, so you can focus on moving your legs faster. The brute force approach is to stand up and power over the rise. Either works, so use the one that best fits your style of riding, or try both and see which works better for you. After you get over the hill, shift back to the harder gear and coast back to your target speed, but not faster – you want to “rest” and prepare for the next rise.

How did it go? Were you able to maintain your speed? If yes, bump up a mile or two an hour and try it again. If no, then back off a mile or two. Repeat this little exercise 4-5 times, and then take a nice, easy spin home and rest. Repeat this exercise two-three times a week until you’re at your desired speed. What you should find is that the little bumps seem to get smaller and that maintaining your speed gets easier.

What you are essentially doing here is intervals; small intervals, but intervals nonetheless. Next step? Try the whole Linden Loop, adding 4 more rises to your training. Now, it’s not likely (or necessary) that you’ll be able to maintain your speed on this section. Hill 5 is quite long, Hill 6 is quite steep, and hill 7 follows right on 6’s heels. The point is to get faster overall.

Linden Loop - upper section profile
Linden Loop -- upper section profile

As you tackle the longer and steeper rises, you’ll find the smaller ones “flattening out”. You can also improve your breathing and power by doing standard intervals (lots of references on the web for those). When you do get back to the group, try hanging out towards the end of the pack, but not at the very end – having another cyclist in front of and in back of you is the most advantageous place to be aerodynamically. Most groups will forgive you not taking a turn at the lead, especially if they know you’re struggling. Keep back and in a few weeks you’ll be ready to take a turn at the front.

Now, get out and keep up with that group!

 

 
2014 Bike Month Scavenger Hunt PDF Print E-mail

The Rules:

You may compete as an individual, with a partner, or as a team of 3 or more. All riders or groups must take a photo with their bikes at the designated locations. Some locations require you to leave your bikes parked nearby, however. Pictures need to be submitted throughout the month to Clay Chiles, Environmental AmeriCorps Member at State College Borough: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If pictures match the clues provided, you will get that location checked off. These pictures will randomly be shared and celebrated through SCASD and State College Borough social media, including @BikeStCollege on twitter.

A top prize will be awarded in each category for the most locations ridden to between May 1 and May 30. Also, a raffle ticket will be given to each individual for every 5 locations. Raffle tickets will be used for various other prizes. Winners will be announced on May 31st at the Extravaganza! (see below)

Have fun exploring the SC area with your family and friends!

It's safe & easy to ride to, or safe & easy to ride at the chosen locations. It is certainly ok to drive to the far off locations when safety is a concern for younger riders. The spirit of the hunt is to encourage you to experience these places on a bike.

The Clues:

See them on a google map here!

1) Musser Gap Greenway

Did you know that the bike lanes on Whitehall Road will soon connect with Rothrock State Forest? Heard of Shingletown Gap? Musser Gap is just west towards Pine Grove Mills. The Musser Gap Greenway is under construction, but the farm lane that it will connect with comes out to Whitehall Road near Blue Course Drive. Imagine the beautiful community park going in those fields and a connection from town to one of Central Pa’s most beautiful natural gems! Take a picture on Whitehall road with the Tussey ridgeline in the background and you’ll check this one off the list.

2) Orchard Park

Ever wonder where Orchard Park got it’s name from? Take a ride on the bike path there and see if you can snap a picture of the answer. It’s ok, you don’t have to be an in’cider to know where.

3) Walnut Springs Park

It’s no wonder why this park is named the way it is. Look around, most of those trees there are Black Walnuts, with the musky smelling nuts littering the ground. The gravel path used to be the old farm lane and helped connect the farm that used to be here with the Centre Furnace. Can you find any evidence of the farm? See if you can take a picture of some history that’s foundational to the settlement of this region.

4) Lederer Park

Just up the hill from Walnut Springs Park, this is a nice place to picnic and learn about some different tree species. This land was graciously donated by a sculptor, who’s mother now looks over the park. Pose with her and say Thank You!

5) Spring Creek Park

You can ride over land but here you’ll have to walk over water. See where I mean and see some neat work that Trout Unlimited has done.

6) Circleville Park

Don’t have a backyard, but want to grow your own veggies? See if you can find a great place near this park to set up crop.

7) PSU Arboretum

You’ll have to dismount your bike while you explore these lovely gardens. You might even lose track of time. Don’t worry though, you can take a picture near something that’ll help you find it again.

8) Park Ave/McKee Street Crossing

This intersection is passed by many riding into town from Overlook Heights. And soon enough, the Park Ave crossing will be improved to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to cross. While you’re near there, see if you can find an easy place to do some bike repairs at the Stuckeman Family Building.

9) Bernel Park

Have you been to this newest of Centre Region parks? Let your imagination take flight here. Any fun photos riding around welcomed.

10) Fairbrook Park

This park is worth the drive (or ride if you want to enjoy the extra width of Whitehall Road!). If you ride to the top of the park, you might need a break. See if you can find a seat with a mountain view.

11) Military Museum

This popular place to walk and ride is at the end of the South Atherton Street bike path. Not far from here are the headwaters of Spring Creek. Find a place to cross the water; a way that you woodn’t want to ride.

12) Blue Spring Park

In the winter this park hosts an ice skating rink. Find where the water flows when its not so cold out.

13) Millbrook Marsh

Millbrook Marsh wouldn’t be such a great place to visit if not for the hardworking coordinators and volunteers there. Take a picture with one of them and thank them for their dedication.

14) State Collee Borough building

How do you get a leaf inside a lightbulb? Park your bikes and head to the third floor to see if you can find this symbol. While you’re up there, say “Hello” to our bike riding Mayor! Pictures with either work.

15) Rock Hill Schoolhouse

May 4th would be the day to take this picture! Head out to Linden Hall to see this renovated piece of history. Did you know about the Penns Valley Rails-to-Trail plan? It was looking to bring a path that could go right by here. Bonus point if the picture has when the school was built in it.

16) Blue & White bike path

Get on it from Corl Street or West Campus Drive, then head towards Blue Course. Don’t go too fast or you’ll miss what grows beside you. This ones for the patient pickers with a sweet tooth. Please don’t eat anything unless you positively know what it is!

17) Toftrees

There are a number of ways to get to Toftrees by bike, but there’s only one way that gets you under the Mt Nittany Expressway. Find the underpass and you’ll have this one checked off.

18) Haymarket Park

Ferguson Township is no stranger to bicycle infrastructure! With the Blue Course Bikeway next to this easy-to-ride-to park, its easy to forget how close you are to everything. Find the clue that gives you a sense of distance.

19) Bellefonte Central Rail Trail

This great path is the result of the hard work from several regional partners. Can you capture them all in one photo?

20) Galbraith Gap (Rothrock)

This is one of the primary “gateways” to Rothrock State Forest and gets you on miles of gravel roads and dirt trails to explore. You’ll find plenty of folks parking in the gravel parking lot beyond Tussey Mountain, heading out for hikes and mountain bike rides. Get a picture with one of them and tell them about the scavenger hunt!

 

 
2014 National Bike Month Activities PDF Print E-mail

May 1-31, 2014 – Bicycle Scavenger Hunt
21 places within the Centre Region will be posted on the below links on May 1. You may compete as an individual, with a partner, or as a team of 3 or more.  All riders or groups must take a photo with their bikes at the designated locations.  Some locations require you to leave your bikes parked nearby, however.  Pictures need to be submitted throughout the month to Clay Chiles, Environmental AmeriCorps Member at State College Borough: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If pictures match the clues provided, you will get that location checked off. These pictures will randomly be shared and celebrated through CRBC, SCASD and State College Borough social media, including @BikeStCollege on twitter.

A top prize will be awarded in each category for the most locations ridden to between May 1 and May 30.  Also, a raffle ticket will be given to each individual for every 5 locations. Raffle tickets will be used for various other prizes.  Winners will be announced on May 31st at the Extravaganza! (see below -- you may need to click on "read more" or here to see the full article)

Have fun exploring the SC area with your family and friends!

Get the clues here!

May 1-September 30, 2014 – National Bike Challenge

National Bike ChallengeJoin the CRBC team! The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists — and encouraging countless new riders. It is a free and easy way to challenge yourself, your colleagues and your community to ride more while competing on a local, state and national level. The NBC aims to unite 50,000 riders to pedal 30 million miles before September 30. If you have a MapMyRide or Endomondo account, you can link it and your workouts will be automatically logged.

May 1-31, 2014 – Elementary School Bicycling Activities
Elementary students were issued “Bicycle Calendars” at their schools.  They should color in a spoke for every day that they ride their bicycle at least 15 minutes.  If that accumulates to 20 days

Read more...
 
Area Cycling News PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:21

Though it was a hard winter, the weather is clearing. Lots of things happening locally on the cycling front. Read on for info about rumble strips, local rides and charity rides and advocacy activities.

  1. Penn State Cycling Nittany Cycling Classic: The Penn State Cycling Club still needs volunteers for its bike race this Saturday out at Black Moshannon from 11:30am-1:10pm.  If you or anyone else you know would be willing to marshal a corner of the race course it would be a huge help to them.  Contact Andy Artz at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Cici Cruz-Uribe at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also ride the race! Come out and strut your stuff up Black Moshannon for the chance to win prizes and glory!  The winner of the Cat 4 race will also receive a free one-month membership to Fitology.
    INFO: http://collegiatecycling.org/eccc/wiki/uploads/Calendar/2014-Road-PennState.pdf
    REGISTER: https://www.bikereg.com/nittany-cycling-classic  
  2. Bike Month – May is bike month. CRBC is not currently planning any major events due to volunteer shortages, but the School district will be holding many events including a photo scavenger hunt, school challenge rides, and bike fair and group rides on May 31st. Stay tuned for more details.
  3. A Centre Region Bicycle Advisory Committee (CRBAC) has been formed from CRBC members, local bike club leaders, COG planners, police, and others. The committee’s purpose is to promote a safe bicycle experience through awareness, proper enforcement, intelligent planning and effective education in the Centre Region. This is part of our next steps in taking the region from Bronze to a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community!
  4. State College Cycling Club’s Tuesday evening road rides have resumed for the season:
    INFO: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/statecollegecycling/info
  5. RUMBLE STRIPS: PENNDOT District 2 announced at the State College Transportation Commission meeting that the district adopted a policy of no new side rumble strips unless the road shoulders are at least 6 feet wide. This exceeds PENNDOTs criteria of 4 feet and should be welcome news to area cyclists.
  6. Charity Ride season starts early this year. Here’s the lineup of local charity rides
    1. April 27 – Bestwick Spring Ride 36 and 74 mile rides with world champions.  
      INFO: http://www.bestwickfoundation.org/event/spring-ride-2014/
      REGISTER: http://www.sagepayments.net/eftcart/additem.asp?M_id=383539475157&P_id=193546
    2. May 4 – The Linden Loop  5 and 28 mile bike rides, 5 mile run, 5 mile walk.
      INFO: http://rockhillschoolatlindenhall.blogspot.com/2013/02/2013-linden-loop-registration-form.html
      REGISTER:  https://endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=7540154
    3. May 17 – Tour for Dyslexia 35 and 75 mile rides.
      INFO: http://tourfordyslexia.org/
      REGISTER: http://tourfordyslexia.org/register/
    4. June 28 – CVIM Cycling for Care
    5. August 3: PASA Bike Fresh Bike Local  25, 50, 75 mile rides (and Elk Creek brews for those over 21)
      INFO: https://www.pasafarming.org/events/pasa-events/bike-fresh-centre-county
      REGISTER: https://endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=7435553
Read more...
 
Active Commuting PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 September 2013 14:04

Many thanks to Dr. Melissa Bopp for attending Wednesday's CRBC meeting and presenting her findings from recent studies about active travel in Centre County. Melissa is a researcher in Penn State’s Department of Kinesiology. She discussed some of the significant influences on biking for transportation in our community and also examined some of the economic implications of active travel in downtown State College. It was a great presentation and gave us a lot to think about in terms of what we can do to further bike/ped travel in the Centre region.

You can download and view the presentation here:
biking_for_transportation_crbc_sept 2013.pdf

 
Meeting Minutes - August 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 September 2013 10:10

MINUTES of CRBC General Meeting

August 21, 2013

Meeting held at the State College Borough building.

Present:
• Jim Serene, President
• Brian Dempsey, Vice President
• Joan Potter, Secretary
• Paul Rito, ex officio
• Jean Bemis
• Roy Greenfield
• Geoff Wilson

The meeting was called to order by Jim Serene at 6:00 pm.  A quorum was present, and the meeting was ready to proceed with business.

Can CRBC Become a Dynamic Force for Bicycling in the Centre Region:
Jim Serene referenced a recent article from Bicycle Times describing how the Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition went about inspiring their community to get involved to improve cycling conditions.  The Coalition organized a “Biketoberfest” event that enticed 150 people to come together and become civically engaged – a fun event where cyclists connected, enjoyed some entertainment and food, and their voices were heard by city planners.  Jim would like to further discuss what CRBC can do to inspire more cyclists in our community to get involved. The State College Cycling group has a very large following, but they do not appear to be particularly interested in CRBC activities. How do we capture their attention and promote CRBC’s accomplishments?  Without the concerted efforts of CRBC members, roads in this area would still have rumble strips, bike paths and bike lanes would not exist, and the Centre Region would not be a recognized Bike Friendly Community. There is so much more to accomplish, but it requires the efforts of many, not just the few that have been actively involved in recent years.  Proposed asking SC Cycling if CRBC can post messages to their list serve.

Suggestion made to have more speakers at CRBC meetings to encourage attendance – perhaps a presentation of the Master Plan by Trish Meek and Tom Flynn; Rail Trail information; or Melissa Bopp from Penn State’s Kinesiology Dept about her study of biking for transportation.

The 4’ rule needs to be messaged to the community. One suggestion was leasing a billboard, and another was contacting PennDOT to request the lighted message boards on the outskirts of town be used to remind motorists.

Glass on Fox Hollow Road was reported to cause several flat bike tires recently. A request to sweep the roadside will be made to College Township.


Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC):
Formation of a BAC received a “vote of confidence” from the Transportation Land Use (TLU) committee. COG agreed to dedicate some of Trish Meek’s time to the BAC, which is great news.  Forming a BAC was the number one improvement recommendation that came with the Bike Friendly Community award. The BAC will serve as a liaison to bicyclists, businesses and the community, and will meet quarterly to discuss biking issues.

National Bicycle Summit representative:
The NBS will be held in March 2014 in Washington, DC, and FreezeThaw has offered to subsidize the cost of a CRBC member to attend. This must be someone who is passionate about bike advocacy and willing to share information from NBS when they return.

September 13th Bike To Work Day:
CRBC will have a table set up on the Allen Street mall to dispense information about cycling in Centre County. Volunteers are needed by the hour to staff the table.


There being no further business to come before the meeting, it adjourned at 7:05 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Joan Potter, Secretary

 
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