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Cyclists pedal camaraderie with group rides
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The holidays have come and gone and now it’s time for a return to normalcy.

With that comes my fairly active lifestyle involving loved ones, family and an always growing number of friends. This includes the occasional group hiking trips and cycling functions.

Now, I consider myself a weekend rider. In other words, I try to pedal out on my road bike every few weeks; although, I do confess to using the word ‘try’ rather lightly here, having been pretty fair weather as of late on braving these wintry cold conditions these past few months.

I’ve been cycling for over a year, shaking loose the dust and cobwebs off a pair of my old mountain bikes at first before finally investing in a Scattante road bike from Performance.

I’m beginning to look more and more like a cyclist, too. I recently purchased a bright, neon cycling jersey to go along with the cleated bike shoes and the padded cycling lycra shorts underneath a pair of semi-baggy gym shorts.

As of yet, I’m still not quite 100 percent committed to the all-spandex look.

Since taking up this outdoor activity, I’ve found members of the cycling community to be rather welcoming to outsiders.

For example, I received an invite to take part in the Presidents Day ride from San Francisco to Mill Valley for lunch.

Leading the way is Gary Colburn, who welcomes anyone interested to meet at the south lot of the Dublin / Pleasanton BART station at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 21.

From there, the plans call for boarding the 8 o’clock train to San Francisco with bikes in tow to the Embarcadero, regrouping behind the Ferry Building.

 I’m told it’s a tourist-paced ride, covering the city streets and shore, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and on to Larkspur for lunch.

The return trip to SF is via ferry.

I’m also planning to take part in the benefit ride for the Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired planned for Saturday, Feb. 26, in Linden.

De Vinci’s Delicatessen and Catering is sponsoring the fundraiser consisting of events of 25 miles ($35) and 67 miles ($40). Add $5 if registering on the day of the ride.

Fees cover maps, route sheets, SAG vehicle, radio communications, and rest stops with plenty of eats.

In addition, De Vinci’s will cater the post-ride meal.

The ride traverses along the orchards and vineyards of San Joaquin, Calaveras and Stanislaus counties.

More information can be obtained by calling Joni Bauer at 209-466-3836 or logging on to

Just for fun, we’re planning to take another ride to Frank Raines Park at Del Puerto Canyon, meeting in Patterson (Wendy’s or Jack in the Box parking lot) at about 9 a.m. this Sunday.

As I often hear in the cycling circle: Anyone is welcome to join.

I’ll be the guy who halfway looks like a cyclist.