Check out the bios below of our member extraordinaires...
Spring 2012 Spotlight on Abel Rivera
Abel has been athletic all his life. Growing up in Mexico, he was an avid soccer player. About 11 years ago, he took up tennis and won a couple tournaments. When his ankles began giving him trouble three years ago, he started biking. He currently rides a Motobecane Immortal and is the Captain of a Cannondale II Tandem.
When Abel began riding three years ago with Brian Dooley, he claims they couldn’t keep a 14 mph pace, even when drafting. Now, 35 pounds lighter, he has completed three Double Centuries for the Triple Crown.
Abel enjoys challenging himself and putting together long bike tours. Abel’s first tour was in June 2010 from San Francisco to Pismo with four other riders. They rode about 75 miles per day and camped each evening. Then, in June of 2011, he arranged a trip along the 380 mile Selkirk loop covering two states and Canada for a group of Kern Wheelmen. Next on his agenda is Utah during Spring Break, the Great Western Bike Rally in Paso Robles in May, and the Northwestern Tandem Rally at the end of June. Plus several more Double Centuries, including Solvang March 24th on the tandem.
Abel has two beautiful daughters. Melanie and her husband just had their first baby on Halloween and Abel is learning baby talk. Jennifer has finished her Bachelor’s Degree and has signed a contract to teach Special Ed at Almond Tree Middle School in Delano. She is also working on her Masters.
Spring 2012 Spotlight on Eric Pyle
Eric has been riding for seven years, most recently on a Trek Madone 6.5 road bike. He tries to ride 100 miles per week because he likes how he feels afterwards, plus he lost 32 pounds the first year and riding has conditioned his legs for hunting. He enjoys organized rides, night rides after work, and the occasional race. He is considering a new TT bike, but not until his wife, Brandi, gets a new road bike first! During the week, he sticks to the bike path, the hills east of town, and spin classes with Kerry and Joe.
He met his goal for this year, which was earning the Triple Crown. The Davis Double was the first and it took a lot of determination to complete due to major mechanical failures. At mile 130, the chain came off during shifting and the derailleur tore off from the frame. SAG showed up and loaned him pliers so he could break the chain and convert it into a fixed gear. “I could maintain a constant 14 mph with a high cadence.” The 70 miles he had left to ride took an extra three hours. His light didn’t last that long and quit about 20 miles from the finish. Jim Winfrey stuck with him and helped him limp back to the finish. Eric is a devoted family man. He assists Jim Pappe with a youth mentoring ride on Tuesday nights with TGR. They work with the kids on technique, safety, and competitive riding. He is assistant coach for his oldest daughter’s soccer team and his younger daughter’s baseball team. He proudly reports that both girls are doing an excellent job in school and he looks forward to the day they will ride with him.
Eric also enjoys camping with his wife, Brandi. They have been married to for 18 wonderful years. He sings in the church choir in a men’s ensemble, the praise team, and he has sang bass for a professional quartet traveling up and down the state.
Fall 2011 Spotlight on Patrick Mason
This quarter’s Spotlight On is Patrick Mason. Anyone who has met Patrick knows that he is an amazing individual. He is a dedicated husband, marine, cyclist, triathlete and now “farmer”. Patrick was born in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. He started cycling with a mountain bike when he was 14. He couldn’t drive to where there were trails, so he would always just ride on the road. Therefore, one day his dad pulled out an old Peugeot from the 70's and taught him how to be a roadie. He instantly fell in love with the speed on the road and this also helped him stay in shape during basketball’s off-season. He just loved being in the saddle. He rode during high school but never did any competing other than one triathlon relay. Five days after high school graduation, Patrick joined the Marine Corps and headed to boot camp. He never really did much cycling between the three deployments to Iraq and with always training for the next deployment, cycling got put on the backburner for a bit. While in the corps, he always knew cycling would again become a big part of his life after he got out. After the corps, in 2009, he moved to Bakersfield to work for an almond packaging plant. He lived on the east side of town and googled rides in the area and found Round Mountain in his backyard. After riding a few months, he decided he wanted to race. His first race was De Vlees Huis. He entered the Cat 5 race and when he showed up he realized Cat 5 wasn’t the "beginners" he thought it was. He came in 6th from last and when he got back in his car that day he knew this was something he HAD to keep doing and was motivated to improve. When asked what motivates him to train, he said the following: “I think we are so blessed to have the ability to be active. There are so many men and women who have lost that ability whether on the battle field or civilians through medical or accidental tragedies. How dare we, who have the ability, waste the gift that God has allowed us to have by being inactive.” Patrick and his wife Laura have been married 3.5 years and she is the greatest cheerleader he could ask for. She is out at all his time trials and triathlons. He is so thankful for how supportive she is of the hours he spends atop two wheels and a chain. Next year, Patrick plans on doing a few out of town time trials (Piru and Fiesta Island) as well as continue to improve his times here at our local Team Go Ride Time Trial Events. For these races and the triathlons he participates in, Patrick rides a Velo-Vie Time Trial Bike. He also would like to race in De Vlees Huis and Golden Empire Classic, as well as a few other out of town road races. For these races and road riding, one can find him on a Specialized Tarmac. His favorite re-occurring Kern County ride is the Thursday Night ride and his favorite Kern County route is Lion’s Trail, even though he claims to be on the Bakersfield Worst Climbers List. (I disagree but I am probably on that list too, so I’ll add it since he said it) If there is one thing that stands out about Patrick is the fact that he is so encouraging on and off the bike, people around him are drawn to him, and is an inspiration to many. On group rides he is the one hanging back to let someone else draft off him to catch up to the group. He considers himself extremely lucky to be a Bakersfield cyclist and to live in a city that has a support system as experienced and helpful as the Kern Wheelmen, Team Go Ride, Action Sports, and Bike Bakersfield. Well Patrick, we are lucky to have those organizations but Bakersfield is equally lucky to have role models like you in the community!
Summer 2011 Spotlight on Larry Bailey
Larry started riding in 1983, but his resolve fizzled over the next few years and he stopped riding about 1993. His new job gave him a view of the bike path. As he watched everybody cycling day after day, the bug bit him and he began riding again in July 2009. A passion for cycling, including health benefits and meeting new people, is what keeps him in the saddle. “I feel better when I work out,” he states.
Larry’s everyday ride is a Specialized Roubaix. He mostly rides the club rides and the occasional organized century. For an everyday ride, you’ll find him on the bike path, Round Mountain Road and the hills east of town. He tries for a mix of speed and climbing with a goal of 350-450 miles per month. One goal he accomplished was to ride the Tour of California Pre-ride in May 2010. This ride was 115 miles with 6000’ of climb and grades of 14% with a couple of 18% thrown in for good measure.
Larry has become passionate about time trials. Last November after a spin class, he overheard a conversation about the Piru TTs. Two days later, he was signed up. He recently purchased a Trek Speed Concept TT bike. One can often find him at the Team Go Ride time trials on Round Mountain Road working on improving his time.
In June of 2011, Larry joined six other Kern Wheelmen for an amazing trip around the International Selkirk Loop. The 380 mile ride began in Washington, then continued through Idaho and Canada as it looped back to the starting point in Washington. The riders took turns driving the SAG vehicle which also carried the food and camping gear.
What’s next for Larry? He’s been running on his treadmill and plans to add some running events this fall/winter.
May 2011 Spotlight on Richard and Jo Stewart
This month’s spotlight is on Richard and Jo Stewart, these member extraordinaires are dedicated to providing a platform for cyclists to become introduced to cycling, improve their skills, and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Richard and Jo have been riding bicycles since childhood. They bought matching bikes about the time they got married—52 years ago—and rode every weekend for the first two years. Richard went into the Marine Corps right after college, so the riding stopped. Richard got some miles on military bases. How about Okinawa traffic? Then, their 2 boys were born and there were not the modern seats, trailers, etc. to take the boys, so that stopped the riding too. They now have 2 boys, 3 grandchildren and their cat-Thumbs.
When Richard retired from the USMC, he and the boys rode their bikes to and from Frenso State. In 1996, they bought an IBIS tandem, and have been riding it since. They aren’t sure how many miles they have on the tandem, but probably over 50,000. They started riding centuries, and in 1999, they began training for Doubles. They have attempted 7 doubles, finished 4 on the tandem and Dick has finished a total of 11.
They ride to stay healthy. However, they say, “With age creeping up on us, our joints are talking to us and we have had to back off from the hard stuff.” They managed to do one tour with Adventure Cycling—258 miles over 6 days, with 13,000+ feet of climbing. Prior to the tour, they were riding about 150-200 miles per week. Now they are riding the tandem 2-3 times a week and the tandem on the Sunday morning Slow Spokes ride. They have accomplished what they set out to do—the double Centuries. They earned a Triple Crown, and now just ride for fun and health.
The furthest they have traveled to an event was to do Cycle Utah. They said it was a beautiful tour, with great weather, except for the next to the last day when they got caught in a thunder storm. It was rather scary, as they had lighting all around them. That particular day began with beautiful weather, so they left their rain gear with the truck. Needless to say, they got soaked. They spent about 6 hours riding uphill to 10,400 ft. and had to SAG the last 30 miles downhill. The only time they had to SAG.
They joined Kern Wheelmen in 1998, when they moved to Bakersfield. Richard and Jo started up the cycling group “Slow Spokes” about 5 years ago and is now a vital part of the Kern Wheelmen organization to introduce new riders to cycling and to help other riders maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Their motto: “Every ride an adventure. Every rest stop a feast.”
April 2011 Spotlight on Klaus Benamy-Hackel
This month’s spotlight is on Klaus Benamy-Hackel, this member extraordinaire is a dedicated and motivated cyclist and triathlete. Klaus attends the general member meetings and one can tell right away his passion for triathlon. The unique thing about Klaus is that he started cycling in 2007 when he decided to do his first triathlon in Santa Barbara at the age of 57. He obtained his first bike 2 months before the race, actually a friend of his said hey my wife has a bike she doesn’t use, you can have it. He hasn’t stopped since, well maybe to upgrade his bike! He rides a Sette Primo and says his favorite ride around town is out to Lake Ming and back. He rides three times a week, which includes the Lake Ming route and he also rides Round Mountain once a week, and the other ride is out to Enos Lane on the bike path and back.
Of course, being a triathlete one has to be motivated in more than just the sport of cycling, but also in swimming and running. Motivated he is. He has logged over 914 miles in the McMurtrey Pool and is an active member of their 100 mile club. He also is very active in the Bakersfield Track Club events and if you don’t see Klaus in the pool or on his bike, he is running. He has done a marathon in 4 of 6 continents and he’s got plans to complete marathons in Rio and Ghana this year to finish that off (he doesn’t plan on doing Antarctica and who can blame him!).
Klaus completed his first Ironman in 2010, at the age of 60. For an Ironman, you start out your day with a 2.4 mile swim, then do a 112 mile bike (which he completed at a pace of 17.64 mph pace!), then follow that up with a marathon (26.2 mile) run. When asked about that race, he said the key for him to completion of that event was training well, that is the most important thing you can do before you race. His results showed he was well prepared. He has plans for doing Ironman Arizona this year and an Ironman in Germany next year. This may mean that he’s ready to start tackling an Ironman in 6 continents!