Slow Spokes specialize in PS (8-10 mph), 10-30 miles, flat rides on Saturday mornings. Riders that only get to ride 1-2 times per week will find these rides are easy to do and shouldn’t leave them exhausted for other priorities in their lives/family. Also, these are good rides for bicycle commuters that want to do something different on Saturdays. Or, train for commuting.
Riders that have medical/physical limitations may find these rides are something they can do. Most rides are really flat (Bike Path and Shafter). Some have small rollers like Hart Park/Lake Ming/Rattlesnake. We did Caliente-Twin Oaks. It averages 1% grade (according to Dale), but, has a couple of stretches that are steeper, but doable.
Rides vary from week-to-week. Our shortest (12 miles) Hart Park & Lake Ming. Our longest (32 miles) is Caliente/Twin Forks. Cold, wind, and rain are ok. Lightening or ice cancels rides. Rides off the Bike Path will be in traffic. Please wear a BRIGHT jersey and follow “car” rules.
If you can maintain a 9 mph pace on the Bike Path, you are welcome to join us. To test, set your bicycle computer, ride out 5 miles, and then return. Should be close to 9-10 miles in one hour. If your test shows you are better than this, make your first KW ride with us. See how you do and discuss other ride groups and routes.
Glass, thorns, sharp metal things, etc. are facts of life in Bakersfield. Best not to run over them. But, they can be sneaky and get a tire, maybe two, anyway. Please be sure you have 2-3 tubes, tire changing tools, tire pump, and be able to change a flat. Also, bring a patch-kit in case you run out of tubes. If you don’t use 700c’s, you can’t count on other riders having the tubes, tools, or pump you need. You will get ‘moral support’ (jokes, comments, hints, graded for style points, etc.) and physical help as needed. If you need a class on fixing flats, we can schedule one. Always bring a cell-phone, but, they don’t get a signal everywhere. Can’t fix a flat? It may be an 8 mile walk back to your car, especially on the Bike Path from Stockdale Hwy to Enos Lane.
These are “social” rides not “training” rides. When possible we ride side-by-each and actually carry-on conversations. Topics vary depending on riders and interests. A lot of bicycle stuff. Our riders have a variety of jobs, hobbies, etc. We get some interesting/strange topics. Sometimes we get a test about things from last week’s ride. However, we do maintain the 9-10 mph pace. After all we are trying to burn calories and improve fitness.
Rides usually start early-morning and last 2-4 hours. Start time depends on temperature, traffic, how busy a restaurant is, etc. Most riders work in air-conditioning. We don’t want to have heat problems on a ride. Typically rides start at 0700, 0800, or 1030 (Ethel’s). Some rides are timed to hit the restaurant after it opens and when we can best get in.
We try to have a midway pitstop/rest stop at a restaurant or mini-mart for snack/brunch, etc. Remember some riders have a “going” problem. Most rides are on populated/busy roads. It’s not appropriate to use the bushes, etc. Remember “Eat to ride. Ride to Eat”. Ordering ala carte a/o sharing a meal is cheaper and more comfortable on the ride back.
Want to ride faster? Do intervals? Do it. Ride on ahead at your pace. Attack that hill! Recover back to the group.
Want to ride further? Ride to/from the start point. Most rides have options for adding miles and climb.
Rides are posted on www.KernWheelmen.org, Rides. Also, we have a Slow Spokes eList where we amplify information about the ride, publish Ride Reports, and pass-on information of interest for Slow Spokes. Two emails per week. Sometimes another with special information. Addresses are not given to anyone else. Subscribe to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ride to Live, Live to Ride
Richard & Jo Stewart