GVCC President's Column: April 1, 2014
Bicycle Spoken Here, GVCC President: Doris Phinney
968-3143, cyclebug@aol.com

NEWCOMERS RIDE: Saturday, March 1, 9:30am, Java Station, Doris, 968-3143. Everyone is welcome to join this leisurely paced ride around Goleta or downtown for coffee. No one is ever left behind. You must wear a helmet to ride with the Goleta Valley Cycling Club.

WANT TO SUGGEST A RIDE? Contact Lori anytime to get your ride on the calendar: lorbonz@gmail.com In addition to the club calendar on the GVCC website, Lori has set up a Meet Up group, Santa Barbara Cyclists that you might like to join. Here is the website: http://www.meetup.com/santa-Barbara-Cyclists

The Meet Up group has 164 members and if you join you will receive email notifications of rides and you may post a ride of your own. For more information you may email Lori or check the website.

The History of Cycling's Greatest Record

by Marc Lindsay

It used to be magic. The record rubbed elbows with the 100-meter dash and the mile run. People watched on television and marveled at the super-human feat. And if you saw the record broken—and the pain and suffering that it took to accomplish it—you were left certain that no one would ever break it again.

The Hour record for cycling is simple. Ride yourself into the ground for one hour and see how much pain you can tolerate. When it's over, measure the distance.

American Frank Dodds, who rode 16.47 miles on a penny-farthing, recorded the first record in 1876. While that might not sound too impressive today, consider that a penny-farthing is a silly looking high-wheeled bicycle equipped with a gigantic front wheel and a rear wheel the size of a basketball.

Since 1920, each of the sport's greats attempted their hand at becoming the fastest cyclist in the world. From Jacques Anquetil to Fausto Coppi, you were not a true champion until you put a fixed-gear track bike in the velodrome and suffered for 60 minutes.

The height of the record's popularity came in 1972 when Eddy Merckx, the most accomplished cyclist in history, set a record of 30.71 miles that stood for 12 years. When asked about the effort, Merckx, known for his confidence and brashness, spoke with the humility of a man who'd been to war.

"The hour record demands total effort, permanent and intense, one that's not possible to compare to any other. I will never try it again," he said.

But somewhere along the line, the truth of the Hour record was lost.

In 1984, Francesco Moser of Italy broke the record with a ride of 31.78 miles with the help of a rear disc wheel, beating Merckx by over a mile. The new record was met with controversy.

Much of the debate centered around Merckx and Moser as competitors. Merckx pummeled Moser in nearly every head-to-head race they'd competed in. For many, it was the aerodynamic bike and the disc wheel that set the record, not the efforts of the man himself. Of those disgusted, Merckx was at the top of the list.

"For the first time in the history of the Hour record," Merckx said, "The weaker man has beaten the stronger."

The invention of time trial bars and aero helmets, all of which were unavailable to Merckx, gave competitors an advantage. The argument was that the record should reflect skill, strength and stamina—not aerodynamic innovations.

GVCC TANDEM: We have a nice Santana tandem donated by Hal and Fran Finney in 2010. Contact me if you would like to ride it sometime.

New Santa Barbara County Bike Touring Site

Bike touring fans can find a wealth of information on bike touring in Santa Barbara County on a new website: bike-santabarbara.org

Join our rides for fun and fitness!

The club offers a variety of rides from monthly newcomer rides to tougher tours up the local hills. Check the calendar and come ride with us!
Although many of us wear colorful biker clothes and have road bikes, we are tourers, not racers. Our greatest passion, and perennial source of discussion, is safety on the roads -- how routes can be configured for better bike safety and how bikers can make wise riding choices to maximize safety.
While it is true that some GVCC members enjoy chasing down younger race kit-clad speedsters, club rides are cooperative, not competitive..
Non-members are always welcome to come meet club members and try our rides out. Check the calendar and join us.

GVCC Email Mailing List

Goleta Valley Cycling Club has an email list at Google Groups. Club members can join or get off the list by contacting Janaki.
Please be aware when you reply to a group email, the reply goes to the whole group. If you only want to reply privately to the sender, don't send the reply to the gbike group. Instead, copy out the email address of the sender and send your email to that person.
In order to avoid exposing GVCC members' email addresses to the public, the messages and message archives are only viewable by group members. The mailing list is also not listed in the Google Groups directory and does not have a Google webpage.
Email posts go to all list members. Post by emailing gbike@googlegroups.com. Learn about Google Group options at Google Groups.