Hiawatha Bicycling Club


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  • 30 May 2017 10:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    HBC Members,

         I'd like to pass along some information from Tonka Cycle & Ski.  First, I am very happy to announce that Tonka will once again be providing bike mechanic services at the 2017 Tour D'Amico.  They have provided this valuable service to us for many years now.  This year, they have offered to provide this service at all 3 of our major TDA locations (Golden Valley, Wayzata, and Edina).  Tonka does not charge our club for this service.

         You may also be interested to know that Tonka will be conducting a used bike garage sale over the weekend of June 24/25.  This could be a great chance to unload that bike that rarely gets ridden, or to pick up a great deal on a used bike.  More details can be found in the attached flyer, or by checking Tonka's web site (http://www.tonkacycleandski.com) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tonkacycleandski/).  Location of the sale is Hopkins Pavilion,11000 Excelsior Blvd, Hopkins. 

    Greg Swanson

    2017 Tour D'Amico Director
  • 03 Apr 2017 12:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

                   You may be interested in hearing about a recent cycling event which I believe represents the best and worst the sport has to offer.  The best includes drama, fun, challenge, and interesting characters.  Unfortunately, this event ended in tragedy.

                   The event being described was the inaugural running of the Indian Pacific Wheel Race.  The race entails cycling 5,500 km (3,400 mile) across Australia, from Perth to Sydney.  The event organizer (and participant) was Melbourne cyclist and bike shop owner Jesse Carlson.  Roughly 70 cyclists entered the event.  The key characteristic of the event was its unsupported nature.  Cyclists were not allowed to accept any aid.  They carried their own food and water.  They were permitted to purchase supplies along the route, but only those that were available to everyone.  Most of the cyclists carried sleeping gear and slept in the scrub along the roadway, although some chose to stay in motels.

                   I became aware of this event by virtue of following the Youtube channel of Melbourne cyclist Mark Ferguson (aka The Cycling Maven).  Mark has been putting out a cycling vlog for the past year or so.  I have found his videos to be well made, interesting, and often humorous.  Mark put out a number of videos relating to the IPWR in the months leading up to the race.  As the starting date approached, Mark made the bold decision to quit his regular job, enter the race, and devote his energies to his cycling channel on a full time basis.

                   Other participants in the race included some world class endurance cyclists (among them Kristof Allegaert, Mike Hall, and Sarah Hammond), famous cycling journalist Rupert Guiness, and a smattering of other cyclists from around the world.  Social media coverage of the race was excellent, with a sophisticated GPS tracking service that allowed race ‘watchers’ from around the work to follow the progress of participants.  There were also frequent and excellent updates provided on various Facebook and Youtube pages. 

                   The race began on March 18, and it was quite interesting to follow the daily adventures and travails of the race participants.  Many dropped out along the way, due to fatigue or medical issues.  One participant was struck and injured by a car early on.  Another suffered an allergic reaction to medication, and had to be hospitalized (she subsequently returned to the starting point and restarted the race).  Kristof Allegaert and Mike Hall quickly forged to the front, and raced ahead of the remainder of the field.  Sarah Hammond maintained a strong 3rd place.  The leaders approached Sydney on March 31, with hours to go to the finish. 

                   Unfortunately, in the pre-dawn hours of March 31, Mike Hall was struck and killed by an automobile.  The authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident.  The driver was taken to the hospital in shock.  It is clear that the race leaders were extremely fatigued and riding at the limits of mental and physical endurance at this point in the race.  There is sure to be some public outcry regarding the level of risk taken in an event of this nature.

                   The IPWR was cancelled shortly after Mike was killed.  Some riders continued on with their ride, while others decided to abandon.  Various Mike Hall Tribute rides occurred on Saturday, April 1, throughout the world, including the city of Sydney.  It is very unfortunate that such an exciting and entertaining event ended in such a tragic way.  RIP, Mike Hall.

    IPWR Facebook page :  https://www.facebook.com/IndianPacificWheelRace

    IPWR website, with Tracker:  https://www.curvecycling.com.au/pages/indian-pacific-wheel-race

    Cycling Maven Youtube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB5vTUmuLCWqiTRDOApgR-g


  • 04 Aug 2016 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Below is a link to the Orange County Wheelmen blog about their view of Cycling Savvy. This is quite interesting.


  • 09 Apr 2016 11:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Two Important Questions.

    Recently, the marketing committee sent out a survey to our club members.  Among the findings from that survey were comments suggesting that one of the things our members value most about HBC was "fun rides, good ride leaders, opportunity to socialize, safe rides,  friendly people, and non-biking social events."  At the same time there were finding that the single most important thing we can do to improve our club is to have more rides at more locations.  There were also some comments about wanting more rides of varied nature and speeds and locations.  

    So I have been thinking about this, and my conclusion is that those finding pose two very important questions:
    1. As a club, what can we do to encourage our ride leaders to lead more rides, to lead different kinds of rides, and to step outside the box on the kinds of rides to lead.  
    2. As a club, what can we do to encourage more of our members to become ride leaders?  
    Our current ride leaders do an excellent job.  Last year we had 30 ride leaders who led 5 or more rides.  11 ride leaders led 20 or more rides and 22 of our leaders led 10 or more rides.  Given this, I believe the main thing we can do to increase the number and variety of our rides is to encourage more of our members to become ride leaders. But frankly, I am not sure how to do that.  

    So I am asking for your help.  If you are a rider, but not a ride leader, could you take a moment and think about what might encourage you to become a ride leader?  If there is something the club could do to help you gain the skills and confidence to lead a few rides in 2016, please talk to a board member or talk to me.  We would love to hear from you.

    And, for you ride leaders out there, who have been leading the same ride for many years, is there something we could do that would encourage you to do something different, let us know.  

    Ride Leader Training.

    Speaking of ride leaders, there are two ride leader training sessions coming up, one on Saturday, April 30th at 09:30 in the morning and the other on May 5th at 6:30 PM.  Both sessions are at the Bloomington REI, 750 West American Blvd in Bloomington. All ride leaders must attend one of these sessions in order to lead rides during the 2016 ride year.  If you cannot attend one of these sessions, contact Leon Webster who will review the changes to the ride leader manual and rules with you.  You can find a copy of the current copy of the Ride Leader Manual on our website.  

    If you aren't a ride leader, this is your chance to start the process to become a ride leader. There are many advantages to leading rides
    • You get to choose the starting location, the route, the food stops, in short, the whole kielbasa.  If you are unhappy because no one starts rides in your area, here's your chance to fix that.
    • You get to meet people who share at least one of your interests
    • You can share other interests with HBC members. In the past we have had rides that are geared around railroad history, historic house tours, music festivals, camping rides, moonlight ramble rides, etc. 
    • You can inspire people, motivate them and get them excited about bicycling.  Many ride leaders have tales of the novice who showed up, barely knowing how to shift gears, but was an enthusiastic member by the end of the season.  
    • Every now and then you can take club members down a rode they have never been on before.  You can go looking for neat rides, and share your discoveries with others.
    • Leading rides gets you on your bike.
    • You get to give something back to HBC.  As mentioned above, the thing that members value most about HBC is the rides.  By being a ride leader, you provide our most valuable commodity.

    Ride Stats updated.

    The Ride Stats on the website are now current through the end of March.  We are missing two rides that have not been reported.  I contacted the ride leader and hope to hear back in the very near future.  Just a reminder that you can find many interesting facts under the "RideStats" Menu at the top of the web page:
    • The "Top 20"  -- the top 20 riders by mileage and number of rides, broken down by male and female.  And the top 20 ride leaders in March.
    • Last Months Ride List -- A list of all the rides in the last month, organized by date.  Leaders, please check this to make sure all the rides you led are being reported.
    • Last Month's Dashboard -- a summary of how many rides we had, how many were cancelled, whether they were short, medium or long, which rides had the most riders, and who the mileage leaders were. 
    • YTD Dashboard -- similar to Last Month's dashboard, but shows information since the beginning of the ride year (November 1)
    • "MyStats"  -- a web page personalized for each member.  Includes a list of each ride that you have attended, the distance, the route and whether you were a leader or a rider.  Allows you to compare your progress to previous years.  This page is available for 2014 through the current ride month. 
    • the mileage dashboard and rider miles reports for 2014 and 2015.  You can see how the club as a whole did in the past two years, and see a list of each rider and how many miles they rode in 2014 and 2015

  • 22 Mar 2016 5:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi Greg,


    Thought I’d share this article I wrote which was published today by Star Tribune.




    Terry Kerber

  • 13 Jan 2016 5:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Because HBC belongs to the Midwest Sport/Ski Council (MSC), members qualify for a discount at Erik's Bike shops, and Joe's Sporting Goods Ski Shop.  To receive any applicable discount, inform the sales person of your membership in HBC and MSC.  No other evidence is required.

  • 08 Dec 2015 11:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ** New Board Members **

    Elections for the Board of Directors were held at the Annual Meeting.  New board members are:

    • Bruce Allyn
    • Jim Luoma
    • Bev Sorensen
    • Danette Vassilopoulos
    They replace the outgoing board members:  Bob Dean, Larry Narveson, Mary Wierschem.  Greg Swanson, Bob Bowen and Brian Williams are continuing on the board.  In addition, Elections for officers were held last week.  The new officers are:
    • President: Bob Bowen
    • Vice President: Jim Luoma
    • Treasurer: Greg Swanson
    • Secretary: Brian Williams.
    Many thanks to all of those folks who serve on the board, both past and present.  

    The minutes from the 2015 annual meeting can be found under the "Members" menu -- but remember you have to be logged into the web site in order to see the minutes.   

    ** Ride Stats are updated **
     The Ride Stats on the web site are current through the end of November.  In addition the 2015 ride year statistics have been finalized.  You can view them under the "RideStats" menu.  Remember that in order to see the "MyStats" page, you must be logged in.  Also, if you didn't participate in an HBC ride in November, the "2016" tab under MyStats will be blank.  But you can still click on the 2015 and 2014 tabs to see your activity during previous years. 

    ** We Have a Winner! **
    The members who attended the annual meeting chose a winner from among 5 semi-finalists in the HBC photo contest.  Dawn Wilson won for her photo of Bev Sorensen working on a flat tire while other members offered advice and encouragement.  Dawn wins a $50.00 gift card from One Ten Cycles.  Congratulations to Dawn and all the other HBC Members who submitted photos:  Tom Renner, Sue Selseth, Pat Smith Welles, Tom Renner and Diane Zeiss. 

    ** Ride Leader Breakfast **
    The annual Ride Leader Appreciation Breakfast will be held on January 9th, 2016 at 09:00.  The location is the same as last year, the Burnsville Old Country Buffet which is located at 14150 Nicollet Ave Burnsville, MN.  Ride Leaders can enjoy a hearty breakfast and share feedback about the 2015 Ride Year.  

  • 18 Sep 2015 6:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is going to be pretty brief because I am already late getting it out.  But here's the news as I know it for the past month:

    August Riding Statistics are Published

    The statistics for the month of August are available on the website.  Every month Carol Belair works with me to get the statistics published, so give her a big "Thumbs up" if you like having accurate and up-to-date statistics on the web site.  

    So far we have had 294 rides and 55,092 rider miles.  That puts on track to beat last year which had 306 rides and 61,660 rider miles for the entire year.  Many thanks to all our ride leaders who have done a good job of leading fun rides.  Especially grateful for the weekend rides and rides in the country.

    We moved the "My Stats" page from the members menu to the Ride Stats menu so that all the statistics would be in one place.  But you must be logged in to see your page (otherwise the web site doesn't know which page to show).

    Cyclists and Yoga  Some of you may know that I have been dealing with sciatic pain for the past year or so.  It is gradually improving and I am much better than I was at last year's annual meeting.  I credit Yoga with helping me a lot.  Several other members have commented to me that they enjoy yoga and it helps them to continue cycling as they age.  If you are interested in Yoga, there are several resources for you:

    In addition, yoga classes are available at the Y, Lifetime Fitness, and your local Yoga Studio.

    Nice Article about the joys of Cycling

    It seems to me that the Star Tribune has stepped up their coverage of cycling lately.  In addition to the yoga article I mention above, Here is an article about the joys of summer cycling.  It is very well written and evocotive of the pleasures we have riding in suburban/rural Minnesota this time of year.  

    The author, William Souder, also wrote a biography about John James Audubon that got nominated for Pulitzer Prize.  

    Volunteers needed

    You recently got a plea from Bob Bowen asking if you are interested in serving on the HBC Board of Directors.  Please give this request serious consideration.  It is your opportunity to help set the direction for the club.  It is also your chance to be creative and help the club become better.  We have four board positions to fill this year, so the more candidates the better.  Drop Bob a note if you would like to serve the club in this way. 

    If you don't want to serve on the board, there are other ways to help the club that involve less time.  For example, we recently added membership levels that renew automatically.   We need someone to draft template emails that get sent to each member at renewal time to make them aware that this membership option is available.  If you would be interested in drafting these templates, please send an email to "leon@leonwebster.com". 

    Annual Meeting and the Photo contest

    I saw in Bob Bowen's email that the annual meeting has been set for 10/25.  That means that you only have until 10/15 to get your photo submitted for the HBC Website photo contest and be eligible to win a $50.00 gift certificate to OneTen Cycles.  See the June News for details.  

    Falling all over our selves

    Earlier this year I fell down while riding my bike.  I was riding along, paying more attention to the conversation than the road, and the next thing I knew I was sliding along some gravelly pavement next to a railroad track.  Fortunately, the only damage was to my ego, which can use a bit of damage, and a derailleur.  A few dollars took care of the derailleur.  There are at least a couple of other HBC members who have fallen this year, and sustained minor damage to themselves.  

     So just a reminder to:

         * "Keep your eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel (bars)".  It only takes a moment of inattention in order to fall down because of a pebble, a small pothole, etc. 

         * If you are signaling for a turn, make sure that you can still control the bike.  Personally, I stop my signal just before I start to turn so that I can have both hands on the handlebar as I make the turn.  

         * When approaching an intersection, unclip early if you think you may have to stop.  Long ago I was at a 4-way stop and it was a "Minnesota Standoff"  You know what I mean, everyone is looking at the other person and saying "No, you go first".  I forgot to unclip and fell right over. 

         * Be careful going up driveways, or through trail ramps at intersections.  If you hit the little lip at the wrong angle, you may fall down.  This is especially true if you have a small wheeled bike like a recumbent.

         * Cross Railroad Tracks at a right angle.  You want to make sure that your wheel doesn't get caught in the tracks which will fling you right to the ground.  


    OK.  End of lecture.

    23000 Cannondale Mountain Bikes Recalled

    If you have a Cannondale Mountain Bike, you might want to be aware of this article in the Strib. 

    Got News to Share?

    If you have something you would like to share with your club members, please feel free to post it,  

    Thanks for reading.  Please send your feedback in the comments section.  

  • 11 Aug 2015 12:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ride statistics on the website are current through the end of July.

    You can see the most current information on the website, both under the "RideStats" menu item and under "myRides".  

    In the course of doing this month's statistics we found a few members who had duplicate member IDs.  Usually this happened when an individual member became part of a household membership, or a member let their membership lapse, and was assigned a new number when they rejoined the club.  Haggith, Carol, and I believe we have found all these problems and corrected them, but please take a look at your rides and make sure that you are getting credit for all the rides you participated in.  If not, contact Carol or Leon and we will do our best to work it out. 

    Put Your HBC Membership on "Automatic"

    In June I found out that my membership had lapsed for a about a week.  It turned out that I had never received the emails reminding me to renew my membership.  As a matter of fact, due to a software glitch we weren't sending reminder notices to household memberships.  The only way I noticed my lapsed membership was by logging into the website and noticing a small box in the corner mentioning my lapsed status.  

    Recent changes in our membership software, Wild Apricot, have allowed us to offer memberships that renew automatically.  When your membership comes up for renewal, you will receive an email indicating that your membership is about to expire. When you renew your membership, you may choose either a Household or Regular membership that will renew automatically in the future.  If you choose this option, you will never have to worry about forgetting to renew your membership again.  If like me, you hope to be an HBC member for many years, it makes sense to have your membership just renew automatically. You must use PayPal to have a membership that renews automatically.  

    Some Website Statistics

    I recently added some code to our website to enable some reporting to Google Analytics.  Google Analytics can track traffic to our website, and give us some information about how many people are viewing the website, how long they are staying at the website, which pages they are viewing, and which platforms they are using to view the website.  We have only been doing this for about the past three weeks, but still some interesting information is becoming apparent:

    • We get somewhere between 50 and 100 visits per day, with the highest volume days on weekends -- maybe folks looking for a weekend ride?  This includes a small number of visits coming from Russia, China, Germany, the UK and other foreign lands.  
    • When visitors come to our site, they view an average of 4.5 pages, and spend about 3 minutes on the site.  The most frequently viewed page is the "home" page.  Next most frequently viewed is the ride calendar, and the third most viewed page is the Ride Etiquette. About 25% of our visitors only view one page.  
    • About 25% of our visits come from someone using either a tablet or a smart phone.  Wild Apricot provides several themes that we can use as a basis for the website.  Our current theme is not particularly mobile friendly.  But in the near future John Zeiss and I are going to talk about converting the website to use a theme that is more friendly to mobile devices.   
    If you think there is other news that should be posted here, I would urge you either post it, or to send it to me.

  • 15 Jul 2015 6:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations To John Escritt And Crew

    As you know, the 2015 Tour D’Amico is now history.  John Escritt and the entire TDA committee did a fantastic job putting together another successful ride.  Many thanks to John and the entire crew for their hard work over the past several months.

    RideStats Are Current Through June 30.

    Ridestats reflecting your riding activity through the end of June have been posted to the HBC website.  Many thanks to all the Ride Leaders for getting their ride reports in, and to Carol Belair who monitors the stats and double checks the reports I produce.  Just as a reminder, if you look under the RideStats Menu Item, you will see the following items:  

    1. A list of all the rides reported in June
    2. The “Top 20” report
    3. A year to date “dashboard” that shows what kind of rides we have had, the biggest rides, and the mileage leaders for 2015

    In addition, The “My Rides” item under the Members Menu will give you a list of all the rides you have done this year.  I hope you find this information useful.  

    Add HBC Rides to your Calendar 

    “What?” the nice lady said to me.  “YOU mean I can see the ride calendar without going to the frickin’ Web Site?”.  

    Yes, Virginia.  It’s true. John and I have tried to make the web site as appealing as possible, but there are still hold outs who haven’t made the HBC Web Page their “home page” in the browser, and just want to get to the heart of the matter — when is the next ride?  You can the HBC ride calendar to your personal calendar so they appear with holidays, your friend’s birthdays, and other important events.    It is very easy to do:

    1. Go to the HBC Home page and notice the “Upcoming Rides” on the right side of the page.  If you look at the bottom of the ride list, you will see a small dropdown labelled “Add" that looks like a wifi icon:

    2. click on the small arrow to the right, and you will see a list of calendar types.  You may have to scroll down a bit to see the complete list of calendars

    3. Choose the kind of calendar that you have, and you will be guided through the steps necessary to subscribe to the HBC ride calendar.  If you have an Android device, or use Google +, click “Add to Google”. 

    HBC Ride Etiquette.

    It could be that I have become a grumpy old man, but it seems to me that we have been slipping on our ride etiquette.  I have been on at least three rides that left late because we were waiting for someone.  We don’t seem to communicate with other riders as well as we did in the past.  Riders sometimes block entrances and exits at rest stops.  I It also occurred to me that when someone new shows up, we expect them to learn to ride by “osmosis”, which isn’t really fair.  So I put together a brief list of what I think people should know and do before they come to an HBC Ride.  I got many of my ideas from the web page of the Central Indiana Bicycling Association.  One of the things the page says is that experiences riders should set a good example for others and offer “polite, constructive criticism”.   If you think that someone is not being safe , or you don’t like the way they ride, try to have a nice civil conversation with them.  I know that I am not perfect, and some of you may think of this as a guy in a glass house throwing a stone.  But if that is the case, I hope that you will mention it to me and we can have the conversation.  

    You can find the “etiquette” page under the ride calendar menu item.  I wanted to put it someplace where everyone can see it, but at the same time I didn’t want it to be the first thing everybody sees.  I am concerned that some folks may find it a bit “preachy”.  I would really appreciate some feedback on this page, and its placement in the world.  If I have said something you disagree with, or omitted something you think is really important, let me know.

    HBC Photo Contest

    I was out of town most of June, so there are some photo contest entries that I haven’t gotten moved to the web site yet.  Don’t worry if you don’t see your entries there.  I will get them up in the next week or so.  I spent my traveling time communing with the Grand Photo Poobah about the photo  contest, and I thought I should his thoughts and rules  explicit so you know how to enter and what he is  looking for:

    1. All entries must be submitted  to the Grand Photo Poobah, in care of my email address (Leon@Leonwebster.com), or posted on the Hiawatha Bicycling Club Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/hiawathaBike).  If you can’t post a photo to the page, ask Dawn Wilson or Haggith Nadav to help you. 
    2. Photos should be of HBC Rides or Members, and should show riders having fun.  Photos will be evaluated on several fuzzy criteria:
      1. Originality
      2. Aesthetics & Composition
      3. A sense of humor
      4. The PooBah’s general mood
    3. All Photos must be received no later than one week before the annual meeting.
    4. The Grand Photo Poobah will select a small group of HBC Members, acolytes, and hangers-on, known as “The Star Chamber”.  The Star Chamber will choose the 5 photos that they like the best.    
    5. At the annual meeting, each member who attends will get to vote for the photo they like best.
    6. Needless to say, by submitting a photo you grant HBC the right to use that photo on the website, and in other material used to promote HBC.  There is no crying over spilt milk when the photo goes viral and your entire high school class calls you to see if that was really you dancing with Tom Sellek while riding a unicycle and playing polo on the gym floor.  
    7. The winner gets a $50.00 gift to OneTen Cycles.  All other entrants get the lasting gratitude of the Grand Photo Poobah. 

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