Rolling Along

Madison Area Bicycle Club
prepares for 2015 season

The club grew to 72 members in 2014

(March 2015) –One of the best things about living in the Ohio Valley is experiencing the change of the seasons. Just when winter seems like it is never going to end, the temperature rises and the sun emerges from the clouds. This is an indication to the members of the Madison (Ind.) Area Bicycle Club that the time has arrived to wheel out the bikes and get them ready for riding through the rolling hills and regional scenery.
Club President Mickey Waller says that the current club was “resurrected” in 1995. He says this because there has been a long history of bicycle clubs in the Madison area since the 1800s. The existence of these historic bicycle clubs are well documented, with one of the most prominent founders being 1880s drug store owner, William C. Heberhart, who organized the Madison Bicycle and Athletic Club.

Special Rides

  • April 4: 5K Spring Sprint & Polar Bear Ride
  • May 9: Molly Dattilo Run-Walk-Ride
  • June 13: Community Bicycle Rodeo
  • Aug. 22: Madison Ribberfest's RibberRide
  • www.MadisonBicycleClub.org

The current bicycle club is seeing rapid growth. 2014 saw a jump from 42 members to 72. The strength of the club’s present numbers inspired members to develop more community events. The group now sponsors numerous fundraising rides supporting organizations such as the Jefferson County Animal Shelter.
The fourth annual 5K Spring Sprint and Polar Bear Ride is early on the 2015 agenda. On April 4, bicycle club members will line up with the 5K runners and walkers in order to celebrate spring as well as raise money and recognition for the Jefferson County Animal Shelter in the Spring, Sprint & Polar Bear Ride. Two rides will be available to those wishing to participate.
A 4.5-mile ride is available for families. More adventurous riders have the option of signing up for the longer 24-mile ride. SAG stops will be set up for both rides at the halfway mark. SAG is an acronym for either “support and gear” or “support and grub.” It is the latter that will be offered for this ride since participants will be able to use the stop for drinks and healthy snacks in order to refuel for the final portion of the ride.

Madison Bicycle Club

Photo courtesy of Tom Pritchard

Madison Bicycle Club members pose during a ride. They are (from left) Chuck Spencer, Byron Nagel, Bob Canida, Charlie McPeek, Christopher Grote, Mickey Waller, Marty Leiske and Dominic Grote.

Prior to the Spring Sprint, there will be a pair of rides available for students on Spring Break. Suggested by the City of Madison, the bicycle club will play host to young riders ranging in age from 13-18. The ride will be 10-15 miles, and riders will be accompanied by volunteers from the bicycle club. Interested parties must contact Waller by March 15 at mickeywaller77@gmail.com.
Another event focusing on local youth will take place on June 13 at Bicentennial Park. The Community Bicycle Rodeo is being organized with the Pilot Club and will offer bicycle safety and maintenance training to young people from five to 14 years of age. An obstacle course will be set up for additional fun and Jefferson County Sheriff John Wallace will be handing out helmets.
Also on the 2015 calendar are the Molly Dattilo Run-Walk-Ride on May 9 and the Madison Ribberfest RibberRide on Aug. 22.
In addition to these events are regularly scheduled rides. Monday and Thursday evening rides will be offered from March to October. Monday rides are considered more rigorous and are recommended for seasoned riders.

Madison Bicycle Club

Photo courtesy of Tom Pritchard

Madison Bicycle Club riders (from left) Marty Leiske, Mickey Waller, Geoff Walburn and Byron Nagel stop for a break during a century ride.

Thursday night rides offer three options to accommodate riders at several levels. Riders can choose from 10, 20 or 30-mile rides. Beginning in April “girlfriend” rides will be offered on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and are appropriate for riders ranging from beginner to intermediate levels. Also on Saturday mornings, beginning in May, longer rides will be offered that also provide riders with an opportunity to be tourists. These rides include the Stream Cliff Farm Ride, Meander Bethlehem Ride, Railroad Cafe Ride, and the Friendship Saloon Ride among others. Mountain bike rides, time trial routes, and a New Year’s Day ride all combine to keep club members busy for a good portion of the year.
Club Secretary Tom Pritchard says that riders of all levels should feel welcome to join and can do so for a yearly fee of $20 per person or $30 per family. Pritchard adds that he began as a leisure rider and has built up his strength and endurance to the point that he now looks forward to longer trips. It is Pritchard’s goal to one day complete a ride that spans the country.
“We all have to start somewhere,” he adds. “That’s why we offer the beginner routes.”
Vice President Stacey Crawley adds that the bicycle club is also ideal for people who are training or looking for motivation to increase their performance. “It can get lonely out there while you’re training,” she says. “It really helps to have someone to talk to.”

• Membership information and ride routes can be obtained at www.MadisonBicycleClub.org.

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