One of the sure signs of Spring are bicyclists on the roadways. They have anxiously awaited the rising temperatures and longer days to pursue their passion, being outdoors and burning calories astride their beloved Treks, Giants, Specialized or other exotic road bikes. In April one group of avid cyclists, the Springfield Cyclonauts, is kicking off their 52nd season in the Pioneer Valley with a full slate of Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday rides of 25 to 50 miles in length. All rides are recreational, some in the 15 to 20 mph range, others slower. Many include a breakfast or lunch stop and range from Northern Connecticut to Southern Vermont and from the Worcester area to the Berkshires.
All cyclists are welcome to join our club rides. Club President Betty Siwinski says cyclists are welcome to try us out before deciding to join our club. Schedules and ride descriptions can be found on our website at www.cyclonauts.com. The only requirements are to have a bike in good working order, a bike helmet and a love of cycling. We hope to see you on a ride soon.
THE SENTINEL • THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2015
Cyclists Have Legal Right to Ride
To the Editor:
I am a 24-year resident of Belchertown and I have always loved living and working in this town mostly due the friendliness, courtesy, and generosity of the people who live here. I was therefore extremely disappointed by the behavior of a motorist this past Wednesday. I belong to a bicycle club in which various members of the club take turns leading rides in their communities. Last Wednesday I was leading a ride in Belchertown, all members were riding single file as far to the side of the road as possible, when a women passing us in a car yelled out “get off of my road.”
If I had been the only one she yelled at, I wouldn’t be writing this letter, but she yelled this at several of our club members as she passed them. Apparently her impatience was due to riding behind a school bus that had slowed down and waited to pass safely as cars were coming from the other direction. I would like her to know however that not only do cyclists have a right to the road legally; they also buy gasoline and pay property taxes. Also, cyclists are good business. We all had breakfast at Kristina’s Café that morning and at Almeida’s the previous Saturday.
Our club brings people to town that would not ordinarily be here and many times they return on their own once they discover how awesome Belchertown is, especially our restaurants. I was somewhat embarrassed by her behavior because I know that Belchertown residents are better than this. We have mostly experienced courtesy from drivers in this town. As most of us realize, cyclists have a legal right to ride on our local roads and they also support our local businesses.
For Some Seniors, Staying Fit Is As Easy As Riding A Bicycle
by Andrea Bugbee
Special to Healthy Life
Reprinted with permission from The Recorder of Greenfield, MA, and Andrea Bugbee, author
This brightly-colored breakfast bunch represents the mid-week contingent of Springfield’s Cyclonauts Bicycle Club, a recreational cycling club that has rolled throughout the Pioneer Valley since 1965. For a paltry $10 annual fee, this member-managed group offers organized bicycle outings on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Some weekend rides travel a full 45 miles and zip along at 18 miles per hour. Other rides are less challenging. All offer an easy, inexpensive venue for exercise, sightseeing and companionable fun.
But the Wednesday Cyclonauts have a character of their own. They stand out because a majority of their regular riders are retirees in their mid 60s and early 70s. “It’s not that the other riders are necessarily younger, they’re just faster,” laughed 74-year-old Feeding Hills resident, Elsa Rosenak, while enjoying the camaraderie of the group’s traditional pre-ride breakfast.
“We’re the old contenders, so we usually do 25 to 30 miles for a ride,” explained Ray Bourbeau, a retired Sears service technician from Indian Orchard who volunteers to lead many of the Wednesday rides. Bourbeau often pedals the weekend rides as well, and announced that he had just logged 111 miles over three days. He’s 69.
Don “Mountain Man” Maynard also frequents both the Wednesday and weekend rides. But this athletic 81-year-old from East Longmeadow is a true gentleman. He uses a heavy old mountain bike for the Wednesday rides. That’s so he doesn’t leave the rest of the group too far behind.
Cyclonauts Bicycle Club