Register for the WCC Tailgate Party!
June 8th, 2013
By Bari Wood - updated 5/24/13
Please register for our next WCC Event - our Tailgate Party! Join us for our multi-level rides starting in Armonk at a new venue in North Castle's Community Park. Following the rides, a great catered luncheon will be available for just $20! Please use the header link above to Register.
WCC Bike Camp on June 15, 2013
Join us. We're filling up.
By Bob Hermann - updated 5/23/13
Want to learn to ride a road bike? ride better and with confidence? ride faster? ride in groups? ride along with cars? ride over those hills? This program is for you. It focuses on safe riding and skill development.
Mariandale needs a guaranteed head count by June 8. We may be able to add a few more by June 12 if we don't hit the cap.
What is Bike Camp?
Our purpose is to help cyclists learn first-hand the skills that will make them comfortable that they can ride on the roads in a safe, enjoyable manner. We want you out on the roads with us.
A survey taken after last year's inaugural Bike Camp found we had happy campers. We're revising the format to emphasize what worked best and try some new things.
If you're not a club member, email firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll get a free trial membership for the rest of the year, effective when you sign up for Bike Camp .
What's the format?
We are planning a nearly all-day Saturday event, including classroom instruction and practice rides and drills. A menu of workshops and activities will be offered. We will have many seasoned ride leader to help you personally. Camp directors are Bob Hermann and certified instructor Kate Marshall. Event planning is by Christine Castaldo and Bari Wood.
We will be indoors. We'll have a film; an overview, with question and answer, with discussion about bike selection, fit, clothing, and problems one is likely to encounter. Break-out sessions will focus on particular skills and interest areas, such as "electronica" (Garmin, Strava, MapMyRide, etc.), nutrition and training to ride. This will be followed by a lunch break. While lunch is going on, your bike will be checked out for tire pressure and safe-riding mechanical aspects.
Afternoon session topics:
We will be outdoors, where you will take part in group activities on
- Starting, stopping, turning and shifting.
- Riding in traffic, including hand signals and left hand turns.
- Climbing and descending hills.
- The flat tire – our most popular demonstration last year!
- Basic mechanics and bike maintenance.
We can adjust this morning-afternoon schedule to deal with the forecast weather.
Bike Camp is at gorgeous Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center on the Hudson in Ossining. Morning coffee and a nice buffet lunch are included. You'll also get a reflective WCC safety triangle to put around your jersey or hang on your bike.
Bike Camp sold out last year. Price is $45. Register here.
Handling Injurys and Other Problems
By Steve Richman - updated 3/20/13
Before you lead a ride, or even go out one one, check out this excerpt from our guidelines developed for ride leaders. If you have some time you may also want to look at this great presentation on First Aid for Cyclists by Dr. Edward Fishkin.
Register Now for the Golden Apple Tour
Sunday, September 1st!
By Katie Marshall - updated 5/11/13
Enjoy a day of a carefree riding!
What people are saying about the Golden Apple:
“Amazed and impressed at the number of volunteers that did their jobs so well as a team.”
“Nice tree covered routes which were nice.”
“The picnic at the end is the reason I plan to come back again next year. It's well run and delicious.”
“I am a newbie, riding only 3 months and was nervous before the event. I needn't have worried; support, organization, food was great- all I had to do was pedal and pedal and pedal.... This was my first bike event; thanks for the positive experience. I will be doing more.”
“Quality vs. price excellent. I especially enjoyed the fact that there was still food, etc. when we came back from the 100-mile ride. Most events are usually already cleaning by the time I get back.”
“Been doing this ride for 10 years and WCC always does a good job.”
2013 Mileage Log
Back by popular demand
The mileage log as been a popular continuing feature in the January issue of Plain Spoke'n for some time. Going froward we are posting it on the web site so that it is easily downloadable. We now have two options available to us. You can print out a mileage log as a PDF and fill it in with a pencil or pen, or you can keep track of your mileage in an Excel spreadsheet version. If you don't have Excel, you can get Open Office for free that will read and write all Microsoft Office documents here.
Also, club member Peter Aaron contributed this ride log. Works a bit differently than the other two, but worth looking at.
Mysteries of gearing revealed
By Bud Kroll - updated 8/24/11
I confess. When someone would ask me “what cassette are you using?” or “is that a compact crank?” I would shrug my shoulders and change the subject. But curiosity finally caught up with me, and I sat down to figure it out. So here is the bike nerd’s guide to gearing, along with an Excel spreadsheet you can download from the WCC website to plug in your own data and explore the impact of the many gearing choices you can make on your bike: Gearing Cadence and Speed.xls
First some basics (please skip ahead if you already know this stuff). There are two sets of gears on your bike – the front, or crankset, and the rear, or cassette. The crankset is connected to your riding shoe - for every revolution your foot makes, the selected chainring on your crankset makes one revolution. The cassette is connected to the rear wheel – for every revolution the selected sprocket in your cassette makes, your wheel makes one revolution. The larger the chainring the longer it takes to make one pedal revolution for a given level of effort, resulting in it feeling “harder.” The opposite is true for the cassette – for every revolution you turn the chainring, the smaller the cassette sprocket, the more times the rear wheel will spin. So the “hardest” or “fastest” gearing combination is the largest front chainring and smallest rear sprocket. The “easiest” or “climbing” gearing combination is the smallest front chainring and the largest rear sprocket. We measure the combination of gears with a single number called the gear ratio, which is simply the number of teeth on the selected chainring divided by the number of teeth on the selected rear sprocket. The larger the gear ratio, the “harder” it is to pedal, and vice versa.
Road cycling cranksets come in three basic types: compacts, triples, and doubles, and with each type you have a choice of chainrings. Triples, as you might have already surmised, have three chainrings, while compacts and doubles have two. Some riders starting out in the sport choose a triple, as it gives you the widest range of gearing choices, with plenty of easier climbing gears. As riders improve they often move to compact setups, which offer a simpler gear changing pattern and lighter weight, but with a narrower gear ratio range than the triple. More advanced riders can choose a standard double, which generally trades off some of the easier climbing gears of the compact for more potential speed at the high end.
Each manufacturer offers many different choices, but I have chosen three popular pairings from Shimano’s Ultegra group for this example. The size of a chainring or sprocket is simply the number of teeth on the ring (you can count yours if you don’t know what you have). For the following examples I will use the gearing that I have saved in the original spreadsheet (which you are free to change): compact - 50x34 chainrings and 11-28 cassette, triple - 52x39x30 chainrings and 11-28 cassette, and double - 53x39 chainrings and 11-27 cassette.
In the graph from the spreadsheet, we can see that the triple (middle bars) gives us the widest range of gear ratios (4.42x) and the lowest gear ratio for climbing (1.07), but does so with some extra weight and complexity. The double (on the right) is designed for riders who don’t need as much help climbing (1.44) in return for more top end for speed in the flats (4.82). A compact (on the left) is a compromise between the two, with the simplicity and lighter weight of the double, easier climbing than the double (1.21 v. 1.44), but has less aggressive gearing in the flats (4.55 v. 4.82).
So how much speed are you giving up in the flats with the lower gear ratio of the compact? The spreadsheet lets you see this as well. In the tables below we can see that the higher gear ratio of the double allows for 1.7 mph faster speed at an 80 cadence (30.2 vs. 28.5). At a 100 cadence this widens to 2.1 mph (37.7 vs. 35.6). If this isn’t a show stopper for you, a compact crank may be a good choice.
The spreadsheet also allows you to see what speeds you can achieve with a given gear ratio and cadence. Want to keep up with a ride at 25 mph in the flats? You’ll need to maintain an 80 cadence on your compact in your 12 and 13 sprockets and large chainring.
The spreadsheet can also help you understand mysteries such as “when I move from my large chainring to my small chainring, what is the equivalent change in the rear sprockets?”
If I am on a flat approaching a hill in 50/13 (a gear ratio of 3.85), if I drop down using my chainring to 34/13 (2.62) I will get the same impact as a 50/19 (2.63) or an equivalent of 4 gears. This varies for different setups and at different starting points.
I hope this helps, but stop being a bike nerd and get out there and ride!
Tuesday and Thursday Night Training Rides Routes
By Bruce Wells - updated 3/01/13
The Tuesday and Thursday night training rides have started again for the 2013 DST season. Check the ride schedule for starting times and mileage, as it varies depending on the daylight available.
Many people have been asking for the routes for the Tuesday and Thursday night training rides. So here they are. They are listed in assending order by mileage. Each route is known by the road on which we turn around. So if we say we are doing Rt 22, that means we turn back on Rt 22.
The maps were done on http://www.mapmyride.com. They include elevation profiles so you can see the hills.