IT’S ALL ABOUT OUR MEMBERS
Welcome to the Harrisburg Bicycle club (HBC). We are a recreational cycling club devoted to encourage and promote the riding of bicycles; safely, enjoyably, at all skill levels and on all forms of bikes. We are here to help guide you in your cycling activates and we have many opportunities to become involved. Get informed through:
• The HBC Website – www.harrisburgbicycleclub.org
• Facebook - Keep up to date on the latest happenings of HBC on Facebook!
• The HBC Membership meetings – HBC meetings in the months of Jan., Feb., and March that provide members a chance to get together in the winter months and learn about topics related to cycling.
• A Mentor – an experienced rider and club member that has volunteered to help guide new members in their cycling endeavors with the club. Mentor names and contacts can be found here.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SAFETY
• The only two things required to join a club ride or cycling activity is to wear a helmet, and not using headphones or other devices while cycling that put you and others at risk (PA law).
Other recommendations include:
• Carrying some form of identification on your body and not just on your bike or in your helmet.
• Carrying a spare tube the right size for your bike 'just in case' and a basic repair kit.
• Some method of tube inflation like a pump or CO2 cartridge
• Carry water and a snack.
• Reading through the PA Bicycle Driver’s Manual. This manual lists the PA laws of cycling on public roads and streets and where and how to ride with traffic. You can obtain one through your local driver licensing location or http://www.dot.state.pa.us Click on More Links, then Bicycle/Pedestrian Information, then PA Bicycle Driver’s Manual.
• Visit the Bicycle Access Council on the web: http://www.bicycleaccess-pa.org The Bicycle Access Council is a non-profit advocacy organization that serves as a forum for Pennsylvania bicyclists and as an ombudsman for bicycling issues.
Method of giving hand signals:
• Left turn – the left hand and arm shall be extended horizontally.
• Right turn – the left hand shall be extended upward, OR the right hand and arm shall be extended horizontally.
• Stopping and slowing – the left hand and arm shall be extended downward.
• Hazard in the road – pointing with the right hand to the hazard.
Commonly used voice commands when riding: Always use voice commands together with hand signals. A rider may not see a hand signal because another rider blocks their view or they weren’t looking at the time the hand signal was given. They may not hear or understand the voice command because of other noises around them. Using both helps ensure understanding.
• “Car back” – alerting your fellow riders there is a car approaching from behind.
• “Car up” - alerting your fellow riders there is a car approaching from ahead
• “Car left” - alerting your fellow riders there is a car approaching from the left.
• “Car right” - alerting your fellow riders there is a car approaching from the right.
• “Slowing” - alerting your fellow riders you are slowing down.
• “Stopping” - alerting your fellow riders you are stopping.
• “Gravel”, “Hole”, etc. - alerting your fellow riders of approaching road conditions.
• Refrain from using or responding to “Clear” – it may be clear for the rider ahead of you , but things happen in an instant and it may no longer be clear for you.
• Do not call “Clear”. It may be clear for you at that moment and not clear for the cyclists behind you. It happens that quick!
When riding with a group:
• Never overlap the front wheel of your bike with the rear wheel of the bike in front of you.
• Stay behind the leader - if your in front of the leader, your on your own ride. It is not the leaders responsibility to chase after you if you have gone ahead of the group and traveled in the wrong direction.
• When you must form a single line, state your intentions both verbally and with a hand gesture and WAIT for a space to open up before moving over.
• Always be aware of the riders around you.
• When turning a corner make sure the rider behind you sees the turn.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RIDE LEADERS
The rides wouldn’t happen without dedicated HBC members volunteering to lead and plan rides and events. There are many opportunities to get involved. To volunteer contact a ride coordinator or click on volunteer in the Quick Links area of the HBC home page.
Ride Captain - HBC Member approved by the Operations Committee to be the overall coordinator of the Regular Rides.
Ride Coordinator - a club member who has been approved by the Operations Committee as a coordinator for a specific Ride Area or special ride.
Designated Ride Leader - a club member who has been designated as a ride leader by a Ride Coordinator.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RIDES
To find out when rides are scheduled go to the HBC website and can view them on our calendar. THE POSTED RIDE TIMES REFLECT THE TIMES THE RIDES DEPART, SO PLEASE PLAN ON ARRIVING EARLY ENOUGH TO BE READY TO RIDE BY THE PUBLISHED SCHEDULED TIME.
Regular Club Rides - rides which are scheduled on a regular, repeating basis with a designated leader, as well as rides which are scheduled with regularity but not on a fixed schedule.
Regular ride area locations:
To find directions to the starting points of club rides click on Maps to Rides in the Quick Links area of the HBC home page. Many of the ride locations have more than one classification leaving from that area. Ask any member on a bike to direct you to the area in the parking lot your ride is departing from, and they should be able to direct you.
• Hershey - Briarcrest Square
• Harrisburg – Lenker Park & Aster Drive & City Island
• Grantville - Cross Roads Cafe
• Mechanicsburg – Mechanicsburg High School
• Carlisle – Carlisle Commons & K-mart
Email Distribution List Rides are rides that go out regularly or ad-hoc that are communicated to HBC members through email. You must subscribe to the individual notice and ride lists to receive these notices.
To subscribe go here (you must be logged on with your username and password). Follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.
Special Rides and events – rides that are typically not repeated within a cycling season. Some of these rides are open to the general public and for which a fee is charged.
Annual Special rides and events:
• Ice Cream Social
• Spring Fling
• Finger Lakes tour
• Annual Summer Picnic
• Three Creek Century
• Kings Gap Time Trial
• Fall Tour & warm-up rides
• Colonial Williamsburg trip
Trail Rides – rides that take place typically on rail to trail paths, locations vary.
Non-HBC Events - rides or events which are not a Regular Ride, a Special Ride or event. Information can be found on the HBC website under Non-HBC events.
Skill levels (Ride classifications)
If you're just getting started and are unsure of your riding ability join one of the "D" rides and DO NOT worry about holding people back because you're 'too slow'. We all started that way. You can also call the ride leader listed in the Spokesman for the ride you're considering and they can assess whether the ride is appropriate to your ability.
• B+ = Speed will generally average 17-19 mph. Expect to maintain a fast pace for distances up to 50 miles. Riders unable to maintain classified pace may be dropped.
• A = For riders seriously interested in competitive bicycling. Speed will average 20+ mph. Riders unable to maintain classified pace may be dropped.
• D = Social - for the cyclist who enjoys an easy social pace. 10-speed bike not necessary for these rides. Speed will average 8-10 mph, distances generally 8 to 12 miles. No rider dropped.
• D+ = Social – for the cyclist who enjoys an easy social pace. 10-speed bike not necessary for these rides. Speed will average 9-11 mph, distances vary. No rider dropped.
• C = Casual - for the cyclist who would like to socialize but wants the challenge of a longer distance and a bit more challenging terrain. Average speed, 11 to 13 mph, slow easy pace on hills, distances generally 15-30 miles. Stop about every 10 miles, more if necessary. No rider dropped.
• C+= Experienced - for the experienced group cyclist. Rides generally longer with more hills than casual ride. Average speed 13-15 mph, distances generally 20-45 miles. Stops when necessary. No rider dropped.
• B = Training - a faster pace for experienced riders in good physical condition. Steeper hills are a possibility, with pace slowing a bit going up, but riders are expected to stay with the group. Average speed 15-17 mph, distances generally 25-50 miles. Riders should be in good physical condition and capable of maintaining a steady pace. Few stops if any. Riders unable to maintain classified pace may be dropped.
• B+ = a bit faster than the "B" (Fast Group) rides and could cover a longer distance. Speed will generally average 17-19 mph. Pace will slow a bit uphill, but riders are expected to stay with group. Expect to maintain a fast pace for distances up to 50 miles. Riders unable to maintain classified pace may be dropped.
• A = For riders in top physical shape and seriously interested in competitive bicycling. Speed will average 20+ mph. Few hills are anticipated, but riders are expected to maintain pace uphill. Emphasis on conditioning. Riders unable to keep up with group may be dropped.
WHEN NOT RIDING
When not riding the HBC is involved in other events and community projects, some include:
• Bicycle maintenance clinic in January
• Texaco Rd. clean-up day
• Winter membership meetings
• Annual summer picnic (includes rides)
• Bicycle awareness and safety
• HBC benefit of 10% off at sponsoring bike shops.
HOW IT ALL HAPPENS
The HBC operates through the Operations Committee, committees formed for special rides and events such as the Fall Tour and the HBC banquet, ride coordinators, editors, webmasters, and a host of other positions. All are through volunteers like YOU. Support your club and give of your time – Volunteer today!
Commonly used cycling terms you may hear on a group ride:
• Cadence - Pedaling rate, in revolutions per minute of one of the cyclist's feet.
• Clipless - A type of pedal and matching shoe in which the shoes lock into the pedal. The clips cannot be seen when clipped in, hence "clipless."
• Draft - to ride close behind another rider which gives a cyclist an advantage by protecting the rider from the wind.
• Granny gear - The smallest chainring on a bike (in the front), combined with the biggest sprocket/cog (in the back) to make the lowest gear.
• Higher gear – moving to a smaller sprocket/cog on the back cassette or a larger chainring in the front making it harder to pedal.
• Lower gear – moving to a larger sprocket/cog on the back cassette or smaller chainring in the front making it easier to pedal.
• Mash – To pedal hard in a large gear.
• Pinch Flat - A flat tire where the inner tube is pinched by the rim
• Pull - To take a turn at the front of the group in a pace line, maintaining the same speed of the group.
• Spin - To pedal at a high cadence
• Sweep – Designated rider who stays at the back of the group.
• "SAG" - comes from a 1930s British expression about riders "sagging" off the back of a group. It was adopted in the 1940s when road-racing restarted in Great Britain to mean a following vehicle into which riders sagged when the effort became too much and they dropped out a race. SAG is sometimes described as an acronym for 'support and gear', 'gear' referring to: mechanical support.
• SAG wagon - Support motor vehicle following long races or recreational rides to assist stranded riders and pick up riders unable to complete the event.
• Toe Clips - Clips or straps that secure the rider’s feet to the pedals