JANUARY — 2020 

Potomac Pedalers Calendar of Events

by Anne C. M. Hyman — President PPTC

Happy New Year, Pedalers!

I’ve never been a fan of resolutions. To me, they sound too governmental, and as a result a bit too self-damning for solid lifestyle changes. I appreciate the turning of the calendar page (and perhaps subsequent burning of the old year in effigy if it’s been particularly difficult), and with it making promises to oneself that are meaningful and beneficial in as many ways as possible for the year to come. I remember the year I promised myself that I’d never use a grocery store plastic bag ever again (long before they started charging for them), and that year I swore I’d finish my dissertation (nailed it), and that other year where I swore off cake and pie and cooki-oops, that one didn’t stick. This year, instead of making a promise or two, I was introduced to an awesome concept at my gym, which tossed out the idea of “resolutions” and replaced them with “challenges”.

I fully champion the concept that growth happens outside of a person’s comfort zone. It’s a chance to embrace change, examine multiple possibilities for solving a problem, and finding a solution that will not just benefit yourself, but perhaps inspire change in those around you. Successful conquering of challenges require planning, road maps, and troubleshooting- in other words, effort and a serious desire to change. But rising above these challenges, no matter the size or range of impact, can make anyone a better version of themselves. And if everyone tries to become a better version of themselves- because they understand and want to explore their potential for greatness- the impact on those surrounding them can be awesome.

This is how I’ve been thinking of this new year for Potomac Pedalers. Growth and change need to happen for the club’s prosperity and survival. We face many modern challenges that didn’t exist when the founders established our club, but I feel the same spirit of camaraderie and passion for cycling is still there at the heart of everything. Cycling advocacy is as important as ever, as we’re reminded of those we’ve lost this past year. Inclusion of those who haven’t fully discovered the thrills of cycling is something we’re going to work on diligently this year, along with re-establishing crucial relationships with local bike shops and other cyclist-friendly businesses. And of course, working on ways to enhance your membership experience as a Pedaler through special events and member benefits. The Executive Committee is already working on a plan to celebrate our volunteers at the end of this month, as well as host a region- wide Ride Leader meeting in March, along with our special events throughout the year and our pinnacle ride of the Back Roads Century. We’re here for our members, and we hope that many of you are able to acknowledge the good that Potomac Pedalers has done for you.

What our 2020 challenge as a club comes down to is this: We need to come together as a cycling community again. For us as an existing club, and for the community in our area who has yet to discover us. My personal challenge is when I look ahead to 2021 on the BikeDC weekend and I ask cyclists if they’ve heard of Potomac Pedalers, I want the answer to be an enthusiastic “yes”. Even better if they’re already a member.

So I’ll leave you with this: if you’re seeking your own challenge for 2020, let it be to share what PPTC has given you over the years with those who have yet to discover us. Maybe that means stepping out of your comfort zone and introducing yourself to a new cyclist on the road and talking to them about PPTC. Maybe that means visiting one of our Local Bike Shops and going on a shopping spree while wearing a PPTC jersey. Maybe that means leading a new ride and helping to fill our calendar. Maybe that means facing new ideas and policies the ExCom will enact without an immediate allergic response to change. If we can all meet this challenge, we could do so much for our club and our cycling community.

Be safe, ride well, and I’ll see you on our first ExCom ride later this month.

Resolutions for 2020 Cycling
By Ed Hazelwood – ExCom Member at Large.
A few things to think about in December as you consider your cycling resolutions for the new year.

  • Be on time for group rides. Rides start on time. Do not leave your friends waiting.
  • Introduce yourself to new commers at a group ride. Be friendly.
  • Do not use aerobars in a group ride. Period. End of discussion.
  • Obey the rules of the road. Do not blow stop signs or red lights.
  • Treat all fellow riders with respect.
  • Ride the group ride at the advertised pace. Don’t blow up the group.
  • Show up for group rides with a well-maintained bike.
  • Ensure your seat bag contains a spare tube and tire levers at a bare minimum.
  • Do not ride with earphones.
  • Do not half-wheel your riding partners. It puts everyone in danger.
  • Do point out major holes and dangers to riders behind you.
  • Lead some group rides for the club.
  • Design a new ride for all to try.
Baby it's Cold Outside
By Ed Hazelwood – ExCom Member at Large.
The coldest part of the year is upon us, but some of us don’t want to stay indoors and off the bike.

It’s hard to keep riding when your feet feel like frozen cinderblocks, your hands like bricks, and your face is freezing. But it can be done, and it can be done safely. What follows are some tips on how to dress for a variety of temperatures. As you probably figured out back in November when it gets to 60° or colder you need to star with a base layer a short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, shorts, lightweight socks, regular gloves and bring a wind vest.

At 60° swapping knickers for shorts or add knee warmers go with thicker socks and forefinger gloves at a cycling cap.

At 55° Switch to bib-knickers from shorts or add leg warmers or swap in tights. Wear a
mid-weight long sleeve wicking jersey and carry a wind jacket just in case. Full fingered gloves are a good idea too.

50° Go with thicker gloves add a thin hat under the helmet and consider toe covers for your shoes to help keep your toes warmish.

45° Break out the thermal tights or thermal shorts with thermal leg warmers switch. Time to start using a heavier base layer. Depending on your preference either a thermal vest or jacket.

40° We start getting serious. If it is a wet day or even just threatening it, never go out for a ride without your rain gear. Use thermal shoe covers or switch to winter shoes if you have them. Wear a thermal jacket or thermal vest paired with a wind jacket. A neck gator or balaclava will help you neck, face and keep the cold wind out of the top of your jacket. Lined windproof gloves really help that first 5 to 6 miles before warm blood is flowing to your fingers.

35° Heavier tights with wind block panels or bib tights with the same. Mittens generally are warmer than gloves but less agile for breaking and shifting. My preference is serious winter gloves with a pair of windproof lobster gloves over them.

30° Add a windproof long sleeve jersey or a windproof base layer. This can be better than the added bulk of layering multiple jerseys.

25° And below consider wearing a base layer underwear. Use addition leg or knee warmers under your bib tights. Finally add windproof shoe covers.

Any colder than that and you are on your own.
Save the Date!
PPTC Lewes Weekend is April 24-26, 2020
Registration details coming .