Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cycling club members pump each other up for bike rides

Cycling club members pump each other up for bike rides
By Joe Giovannetti | Daily Republic | September 12, 2008

Solano Cycling Club members Paul Torres, center, and Bill Kingson, in yellow make their way up Photo by Mike Greener

VACAVILLE - The warm summer wind blows briskly through the Davis Road Park and Ride parking lot off of Interstate 80 in Vacaville. The sun has just begun to set.

Here, six people on bicycles -- Glen Grant, John Stewart, Rick Baschiera, Marianne Baschiera, Bill Kingson and Paul Torres -- have gathered for the Solano Cycling Club's weekly Wednesday evening ride.

The Cantelow Ride, as it's known to the members, is a 20-mile journey that begins in downtown Vacaville and goes through Lagoon Valley before finishing back at the starting point.

The club members rate the Cantelow Ride as an intermediate-level ride; the 20-mile course includes a significant number of hills. Seasoned pros shouldn't have much trouble finishing it, though most people shouldn't expect to get up off the couch and complete it without some training first.

'We try to vary the difficulty of the rides so people of different levels can join,' said Glen Grant. 'The group is for people trying to get into cycling. There are other clubs in the area that are good for people who are good at cycling and have been doing it a long time. We do a variety of rides, some that are more difficult than others, but we encourage people who are new to it to come out and try it out.'

Grant has been with the club since 1993, one year after it was founded. Stewart has been attending for the last two years. Torres and Rick and Marianne Baschiera have been involved with the Solano Cycling Club from the beginning.

The newest member present at this Wednesday evening ride is Kingson, who joined the group in June.

'I moved here from Maine with my wife and we were looking for good rides and it wasn't easy to find them,' Kingson said. 'I enjoy cycling with all these cool people. Camaraderie, having people to ride with, lights a fire under you. When you know there is a ride and other people expect you to be there, lame excuses don't fly. They'll ask where you were.'

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

At a glance

For more information about the Solano Cycling Club, including information about scheduled rides, visit http://groups.yahoo.com and search Solano Cycling Club.