Thursday Night “Slow” Rides
5:30 pm, Cayuga Professional Center Medical/Dental Plaza parking lot, West Hill.
This ride was initiated for people who either can’t or don’t want to strive for speed on their bikes, as well as for those who are new to cycling and nervous about their abilities. So, —
- if you aren’t sure how well you can manage riding on hills or on roads or in groups;
- if you are an experienced rider who only wants to go slowly and look around more;
- if you want to ride without going on roads with lots of traffic;
- if you want to take your kids out on a ride in a group but don’t want them to be dropped;
- if you don’t have the “right kind” of bike or the “right kind” of knowledge or skill
— well, then the Thursday night ride is one where you will be accommodated.
There will always be at least one experienced rider present to help with equipment and skills and to offer advice.
The rides will be chosen to fit the group that shows up. In general, they will be 15 to 20 miles long with few (if any) of the big hills. As the year progresses, we will probably get more ambitious, but never beyond the abilities or inclinations of everyone who shows up.
We felt the need for this kind of ride for a long time, and finally Russ Washburn made the commitment to start it. It quickly developed a following and carried into the second year with David Poles taking leadership. People taking part have showed up on road, mountain and hybrid bikes; two tandems made regular appearances; and we even have a recumbent on occasion!
The one firm requirement for participating is that you wear a proper bicycle helmet and have a bicycle. Beyond that, it’s good to carry a water bottle (dehydration is all too likely on rides unless you keep drinking), and the basic repair kit of tire patches, a pump and a tool or two. Someone will be glad to explain these needs if they aren’t clear.
The gathering place is at the Cayuga Professional Center Medical/Dental Plaza parking lot. That’s on West Hill, just past (north of) the entrance to the hospital on route 96. It’s about 2.5 miles up Cliff Street from the bridge over the inlet.
In the past, I attended quite literally every Thursday, so I could guarantee someone would be present to explain things. Since then I seem to have been diverted for many of the Thursdays, but there is enough of a constant contingent that you probably won’t be without an experienced guide present.
Getting to the start can be very difficult for many folks — it’s at the top of a long hill and the road is a very busy highway. However, there is a TCAT bus that arrives at about the same time as our ride starts.
The longstanding series of time trials has been held every Thursday during the cycling season, but is not an official or unofficial event of the Finger Lakes Cycling Club. The traditional meeting place has been at the Coddington Community Center just south of Updike Rd and Burns Rd on Coddington Rd. Festivities begin at 6:00, but be sure to check with the listserv for last minute adjustments. Lately, other courses for the TT have been used experimentally, so monitor the email for the latest.