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George’s Bike Shop offers four week-day group rides

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Other groups, such as this one in February, also use George’s Bike Shop as a starting point for Ripon area rides.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED March 13, 2013 1:09 a.m.

George Ingerson won’t curse the sunshine and warm weather.

The arrival of spring means cycling season is in full bloom, and Ingerson’s livelihood is attached to the selling of bike product, parts and service.

“This is the busy season,” he said.

The owner of George’s Bike Shop just wasn’t expecting it so soon, as witnessed by his showroom floor.

His new product line – 2013 Felt and Bianchi road bikes – is still being shipped and won’t arrive for at least another week.

“I wasn’t expecting this weather,” Ingerson said, stepping through the saloon-style doors that separate the back shop from the store-room floor.

“The beginning of March is when the cycling season gets going again, but it started early because of the weather.

“I was planning on a wet winter, like everyone was talking about. It didn’t happen as much as everyone thought.”

Ingerson won’t waste the light and favorable conditions.

George’s Bike Shop greeted cycling season on Tuesday evening with its first group ride – a 28- to 30-mile spin for advanced riders that looped from Ripon to Riverbank and back. Riders in the advanced group pace at 19-22 mph, Ingerson said.

“A lot of the guys like this ride because it’s like a training ride for them,” Ingerson said on Tuesday afternoon while studying the course cue sheet. “Many of them are on one of the teams in the area.”

Ingerson will offer four week-day rides from now until October, ranging in distance and difficulty. Each ride is free to the public and begins at 6 o’clock. All that Ingerson requires is that each participant has a bike and a helmet.

Tuesdays and Thursdays will be reserved for the advanced riders, each of whom is expected to know the route in the event that they’re separated from the pack.

Wednesdays were George’s most popular rides last year, averaging between 25-30 riders for an intermediate 25-mile spin. Riders in this group average a 16-17 mph pace, Ingerson said.

It is a no-drop ride, meaning riders won’t get left behind.

“A couple of times we hit 40 riders,” he added, noting that Wednesdays’ showing is an accurate barometer for cycling’s growing popularity in the Central Valley.

“Cycling is pretty strong in the area. I’ve seen more and more people get into the sport in the last four to five months, based on the traffic in the store and on Facebook.”

He’s created a ride for them, too.

Every Friday Ingerson will host a clinic and short ride for the beginner rider. The clinic will cover etiquette, including group riding, pace-lining and how to pass other riders.

The ride will be approximately 15 miles and average a 12-13 mph pace.

Because of the influx of so many new riders, Ingerson saw a need for the clinic and ride each Friday.

It serves two purposes: 1) it provides training and education; and 2) riders can adjust to the sport at their own pace.

“A lot of the fast guys, they just want to get their mile in and don’t want to wait around for the others,” Ingerson said. “To keep them in the sport and to keep them from selling their bikes, I decided to put this ride together.”

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