Many members have already started cycling this year but for others, the 2017 cycling season is just now getting underway. I have cycled several club rides so far and have some observations concerning two issues. The first is potholes. I was on a ride from Teaneck to Piermont and the number of potholes, road cracks, and rough patches was disturbing. I was worried that someone was going to fall and get injured. Let’s focus our attention on the road and allow sufficient distance from the rider in front so there is time to safely react to any road hazards.

The second is “The Red Light of Death.”  This is when cyclists ride up along the right side of vehicles that are stopped at a red light or stop sign. Cycling rules of the road require us to get behind the last vehicle in line and wait our turn. I know it is tempting to squeeze through and get in front of the line, but drivers do not expect cyclists to be there and can unknowingly hit us when turning right. We are violating a traffic safety rule when we pass a vehicle on the right unless the vehicle is turning left or we have our own lane. Let’s be aware and be careful in these situations.

This summer we have some terrific events planned. May 13 is CycloFemme, a global celebration of women to honor the past, celebrate the present, and empower the future of women. The rain date is May 20. The annual CycloDude ride is on the same day

June 3 is the Annual Picnic, with a rain date of June 4. The picnic is being moved to Pascack Brook County Park in Westwood and will feature Gerald McBride’s BBQ.

June 4 will either be the Picnic Rain-out Date or a Rides Lunch. A Rides Lunch consists of BTCNJ rides from various start sites and ride levels, with a rendezvous for all at Pascack Brook County Park in Westwood for pizza. A small fee will be collected to cover the cost. The Rides Lunch will only take place if the picnic is not rained out. June 24 will be a joint ride with the New York Cycle Club, Westchester Cycle Club, and BTCNJ. The starting point will be in Fort Lee, NJ.

August 20 is our Ramapo Rally. All BTCNJ members are encouraged to participate. Registration is $35 until July 31. The Rally includes six routes ranging from 12 to 125 miles, breakfast, rest stops with nutritious snacks, healthy gourmet lunch, small gift, and a chance to win a new Giant bike. Group rides of various distances and ride levels will be posted on BTCNJ’s Ride Schedule for sign-up.

Please join Peggy and me at these events. We look forward to connecting with our BTCNJ friends and hope to meet new BTCNJ members throughout the summer.