Monday, July 17, 2017

King and Queen of the Mountain

From the Peddalin Press:

July 17:

It’s the middle of July! Where has the season gone? It has been a tough one at times to get rides in consistently, yet I see many of you out there, and many more racking up some big rides via Strava. Despite the seemingly incessant rains, and the constant threat of rain on Tuesday nights, those who have taken the chance to come out have been enthusiastic to say the least!

This week, the format is a little different. The ‘B/BB’ route is for one and all to try, if they wish - it is the annual ‘King and Queen of the Climbs’ ride. NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT WISH to do this ride, the ride listed as the ‘A’ ride is an option. It is actually 1.5 miles shorter, though you’ll still have to do some climbing, though not as long as the other ones. The one thing I would ask is that if you are NOT an A rider, but are choosing this option, stay together, and regroup as needed after each climb when the group invariably separates.

For those DOING the B/BB route, here’s how it works. We roll out together from the Middle School in Boalsburg, then ride together as best as we can through Oak Hall, then Lemont, then Houserville to Rock Road. when we get to the 90-degree turn to the left to go up from the fishing area to the Airport, there is our first climb. The goal is to climb together. Now, if there are 25 riders all attempting this, it’s not going to go equally well. There is no start/finish line, there is no clock. I hope everyone is on the ‘honor’ system. It’s an all-out sprint to the top. The first one to arrive grabs 5 points. Second place gets 4, third place gets 3, fourth place two, fifth gets one. The rest…0. 

Once to the top, we wait for ALL riders to finish, then we roll and a gentle pace to the next climb, the hardest of them all, Upper Gyp. The last tenth of a mile the gradient is near 20% - not for the feint of heart! Once we cross the iron grate bridge at the bottom of the hill, we group together, then take off for Valley View Road. Same scoring system. Once EVERYONE has reached the top and had a chance to catch their breath and get a drink, we then roll along Valley View to the west until we turn left on Filmore. Once we get to the bottom TOGETHER, and all safely cross 550, we go all out to the airport, the top of climb #3. Same point system.

After we all get to Fox Hill Road, we’ll turn Right, and cruise at an EAST pace along the rest of the course until we get to College Avenue. We will gather right before turning RIGHT to go up SQUIRREL Drive, and then it’s every man and woman for themselves to the top! The fourth and shortest and final climb! 

Once done, quickly tally points (you will have to do this, because I will be NOWHERE in sight of the leaders!!!) to arrive at the overall winners. Prizes will be awarded to the top two finishers in both male and female categories!

For those of you like me, that don’t stand any chance of grabbing the prizes, this is an opportunity to simply test your climbing abilities! See how far you’ve come! And with others doing it as well, there’s support from everyone!

After climbing Squirrel Drive, gather just after turning onto Oak Ridge Avenue. There, the leaders have two choices: 1) go back down Squirrel Dr.; turn right onto College, then bear right on Elmwood, then go straight at the light onto Boalsburg Road to return to the finish. 2) Stay on Oak Ridge, go left at the end on Country Club, then RIGHT onto Branch Road, and find your way to the bike path along Atherton Street, turning LEFT on Villa Crest Drive to go around back to the Elementary School to return to the Middle School. Again, this is at the discretion of the leaders pending general consensus. This is a result of the bridge being closed on Branch Road.

We will repeat these instructions Tuesday night!

Don’t forget to tell your friends about the Thursday night ‘Slow and Easy’ Rides! We’ve had lower turnout this year, but this is a great way to introduce newer cyclists to riding on the roads at shorter distances and easier speeds! These are ‘no drop’ rides, so there will always be a ‘buddy’ at the back to make sure everyone completes the ride safely! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Are You Hydrated?

Peddlin’ Press

What a difference a few days make! Last week we had a great ride out of Fairbrook with nice weather. Then it went downhill from there, with temperatures stuck in the 50s with clouds Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There were windows to get out each day (I managed to sneak in some miles each day), but you had to dress in layers! The clouds parted for a time Sunday, only for the clouds to return and the winds to just howl in the afternoon! Today was considerably nicer, though still a tad windy.

Tuesday? Ride night? Picture perfect weather! Sunshine and temperatures in the 70s! And if you’re a fan of summer heat? We have that Wednesday and Thursday with highs well into the 80s - and some humidity, too!

While hydration is always important when you exercise, it becomes that much more so as the temperatures rise and we naturally sweat that much more. And if you’re like me, and you seem to sweat more than others, and you leach out electrolytes, it’s imperative to keep up with both fluids and electrolyte replacement! I don’t know if you’ve been out for any lengthy ride in the warmth and humidity of summer, and suddenly you got cramps in your legs. But if you have, you know how painfully debilitating that is!

I will readily admit this is one mystery that I am still trying to solve. At last Septembers’ Civil War Century out of Thurmont, MD, I consumed 240 ounces of liquids to combat fluid and electrolyte losses as we climbed nearly 7,000 feet with temperatures that peaked at 92 with dew points in the mid 70s. It was enough. I was two miles from the finish and locked up and needed further assistance from a fellow rider to get me even more liquids to limp to the finish line. So I am still researching how to beat this bugaboo for me, and welcome your input!

This week we are at the Mount Nittany Middle School for a 6 p.m. start. I will be posted the slate of rides for June and July later this week, so stay tuned!

Thank you to those who have volunteered to be ride coordinators already. You are lifesavers! There’s still plenty of room for more! The more, the merrier. It spreads to load out over many bodies, making it lighter and easier for everyone.

If you want to host a ride at any other time of the week, simply post it on the web site - when you plan on starting, where you’re starting from, how long the ride will be, and the pace you’re going to ride at! People are looking to ride all of the time!

See you on the roads!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

May Sometimes Brings Cool Rides!

We’ve entered May, though it feels like we have stepped backward into late winter all of a
sudden! But the rides go on! All you need to do is dress for the elements.
Which brings up a great question: how do you dress for cooler weather riding? Many of us
have shorts and jerseys and gloves. But if it goes below 60 degrees, many either ‘tough it
out’, or simply bail on riding, when the weather is still fantastic to ride in! In fact, many
actually prefer temperatures in the 50s to ride in as opposed to the 70s and higher. It’s a
matter of preference, I guess. I have grown to love riding in the very warm and humid
days of summer - as I get older, it’s easier to get loose and warmed up in that kind of

Some cooler weather gear items you may want to consider adding, if you don’t already
have them:

Knee warmers. This are ‘sleeves’ that are pulled up to the bottom or mid thigh, and most
cycling shorts go right over top of them so that you have your skin covered to the tops of
your shins. Studies have shown that when the temperature drops below 60 degrees, that
it gets hard on your knees if they are unprotected for a long enough period of time, and
you can do some damage to them.

Capri length ‘tights’. Shorter than full length tights, they serve the same purpose as knee
warmers. These can come either padded, like normal cycling shorts, or unpadded, in
which case a pair of cycling bibs or shorts would be highly recommended!

Full-length tights. Again, these can come with or without padding. In many cases, it really
depends on what temperatures you’re riding in. The colder it gets, most prefer these to be
fully padded so that you have a thicker tight on, and that’s sufficient to block the wind and
the cold.

Arm warmers. Much like knee warmers, these fit right underneath the sleeve of most
jerseys, and run the length of your arm to your wrists. Instead of wearing another layer or
windbreaker, sometimes this is sufficient. And it provides the added advantage that it is
an easy layer to shed if the temperature goes up, or you feel too warm.

Long sleeved jerseys. These are readily available in all sizes, and come in various
thicknesses, based on the temperature you plan on riding. Some are for 50s and 60s.
Some are thicker that can be worn down into the 40s. And the thickest can be worn to
freezing and below and offer more wind resistance. If you plan on riding in the rain, some
of these are also water resistant, and the best are water repellent.

Jackets. Again, several options to choose from. I am currently using one that is a light
windbreaker - just enough of a layer to help in the cool conditions to keep the arms and
core a little warmer. Mine also has detachable sleeves, so that you can ride with just a
vest on. You can get these in various weights. I prefer one that breathes under the arms
to let some heat escape. Some windbreakers that you might wear on a walk don’t have
this ‘breathing’ capability, and heat can quickly build underneath them. If you’re not
careful, you can start sweating too much, and actually add to you chilled discomfort later
in the ride as that moisture gets evaporated away from your body as you ride through the

Full-fingered gloves. Try out various thicknesses. If you’re like me, and you tend to sweat
a lot, this is another area to be careful of to not go overboard with protection!
Balaclava - these are great for temperatures in the lower 40s and below to keep your
head toasty warm!

Helmet covers. - A different way of reducing the amount of cold air coming onto the top of
your noggin, but not as effective.

Shoe covers. Some of these are merely for the ends of your feet - ‘toe covers’. Most are
neoprene ‘booties’ that fit over your cycling shoe and add a layer of protection to reduce
the impact of the cold air on your feet. Be forewarned, though - they do have holes in the
bottom of them so that your shoe can be in contact with clip less pedals, so there’s still a
way for the bottom of your feet to get cold with time. These are effective for a time, but
I’ve found they can still lose their effectiveness on the colder days.
Winter shoes. These simply have less air holes or vents in them. Some are more effective
than others. Do your research!

You can even get battery operated socks to keep your feet and toes warm!
A good guide as you begin the ride is to still feel a little chilled in the first 10 minutes of the
ride. After a while, your internal heat engine should start to counteract this effect, and you
should stay in a relative comfort zone for the rest of your ride.
The good news is that warmer weather WILL return, and much of the above will be
somewhat of a moot point. But now might be a great time to go bargain hunting and find
some of the ‘end of the season’ colder riding gear at great discounts!
As a reminder, all rides now through August will start at 6 p.m. This week: Fairbrook Park.

Hope to see you there!

Joe Lundberg

Monday, April 24, 2017

Looking Ahead to Lots of Riding

We're fast approaching the end of April already! The weather has turned nicer on a consistent basis, and I've seen a number of you out already. I am eager to see more and more of you as it gets warmer, and the semester ends, and people have a little more time to get out! 

We are still looking for eager volunteers who are willing to lead a ride! We will have another ride coordinators meeting Saturday evening, May 6th at Wegman's Cafe, hosted by Kurt Deutsch. If you want to learn the few simple things that it takes to take on this exciting responsibility, please let Kurt know - . 

It was nice to see a few new faces out this past week! If the weather holds tomorrow, I hope there are a few more that venture out! And I look forward to seeing the familiar faces, making new friends, etc. 

We are working hard to make it easier for YOU to post rides! Let us know as early as possible if you're planning to do a ride, and would welcome company! All you need to do is tell us WHEN you plan on starting; WHAT DAY/DATE you plan on riding, WHERE you plan on riding from, a BRIEF note about where you're planning to go, and the PACE you'll be riding at. For example, say I plan on a Fridayafternoon ride, I might submit something like this: Ride Friday, April 28 at 3:00 P.M. from Fairbrook Park. We'll ride for roughly 3 hours, some climbing, about 50 miles, with a BB pace, or about 16-17 mph. Simple as that! 

Are you looking for a fun event to try out? Think about the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour, hosted by the Southern Tier Bicycle Club. It's June 9-11, and for roughly $100, you'll have plenty of space to pitch your tent, or for a few extra bucks, you can sleep in a cabin. You get two breakfasts and two dinners for that price, plus SAG support for the various rides that are put on that weekend. I'm doing it again this year, so if you're interested in joining me, let me know!

Two of us are gearing up for the National 24-hour challenge coming up the following weekend in Middleville, Michigan. We're hoping it's not 92 degrees this year! It's a test of your endurance, if you're in to such things! If you have questions, ask me. I'll be glad to answer them! 

The following weekend will be the CVIM ride which will include a family fun ride, a half metric century, and a metric century, at last check in. More details to follow.

And WAY down the road, the annual club century will be held on SUNDAY, September 10. Route details will be forthcoming in the next month or so. We'll be looking for a couple of volunteers to man a rest stop or two as well. So, if you'd like to do a local century, and have never done one before, now is the time to start training! We'll be hosting a series of 'century prep rides' through the summer to get you ready.

See you on the roads,

Joe Lundberg
State College Cycling

Monday, April 10, 2017

Greetings, everyone!

I'm just back from a work trip to Pensacola, Florida (it was a tough assignment, but someone had to do it!). It was beautifully sunny the three days I was there, and the beach was beautiful! What I lacked was a bike, and the only place that would rent a road bike was charging $70/day! Needless to say, I decided running was the cheaper option. So thankful that I'm back here in beautiful Pennsylvania where I can ride MY bike, and where you CAN rent a bike for much more palatable prices! Kudos to our local bicycle shops!

If you have not as yet signed up to become a member of State College Cycling, take a moment to do so. Go to the State College Cycling brand new web site and check it out:
Also, to speed things up this year, we have an online sign-in form which you can use anytime to sign-in for the Tuesday ride, Thursday slow and easy and any special rides. Just go to 

Cue sheets are also posted on the site through the end of May.

Then, after you've poked around, here's the link to where you can sign up:
You can choose several options to pay - whichever is easiest for you!

Now that you've taken care of that little detail, I will make a personal appeal to all of you to become a ride coordinator! I'll make it as plain and simple as I can: WE. NEED. YOU! Your willingness to volunteer to lead a ride of any level from time to time makes my life much better! And I appreciate the differences you all bring to the table in the variety of ways you lead! Our next ride coordinator training session is coming up the last weekend of the month. If you wish to become a ride coordinator, e-mail Kurt Deutsch (e-mail) or myself ( We look forward to hearing from you!

A couple of dates to keep in mind: Saturday, June 24 looks to be the CVIM ride. As of the last notes I've heard, there will not be a century option this year, but that is subject to change. More details in the coming weeks. Also, Sunday, September 10 will be the date of our annual club century, with shorter options available! If you wish to train for this ride, especially if you've never ridden a century, we'll be hosting a series of century training rides through the summer to get you ready! Stay tuned for more details!

Lastly, we are looking to expand our rides! A number of you have expressed a desire to have more weekend rides. An effort is underway to start hosting these, probably on Saturdays, in May. More than likely, these will start at 8 or no later than 9, so that you can get a good, fun ride in and still have half of the day or more to do other things! And I'm hoping to start some Monday evening rides for CC and B level riders specifically, especially if I can solicit the help of one or two of you to make this work! Please drop me a line if you're interested!

This weeks' ride: Fairbrook Park at 5:30

Joe Lundberg
State College Cycling