Fresno Cycling Club - April 2024

Rough Draft

April 2024


     Happy Spring everyone. Greetings to all our great bicycling friends and club members.

     This year is getting off to a great start for bicycling. We have been enjoying some great weather between the intermittent rainstorms allowing us the ability to get out and get our conditioning started as the riding season gets underway. Even though many of us ride all year long, it seems that you don't have the opportunity to get in shape for those long rides during the winter months. Unless you are hardcore like some I know and can ride in the cold and wet weather. It is especially tough for those of you who work and have to juggle getting rides in with all the other obligations of life. To help with conditioning the Killer Bees group this year started getting involved with a spin class on Tuesday nights put on by Club member Edwin Van Sprew at GB3. Still, other members use their stationary bikes at home. The recent change to Daylight savings time will allow us to get in those evening rides so those who work can get out and enjoy some additional ride time.

     Our first event of the year, the 6th Annual Everyone Loves Raymond gravel ride was a huge success. Kudos to Ride Director Henry Pretzer and his amazing planning committee and our great volunteers for bringing it together. This year we were blessed with not having to postpone or reschedule it due to bad weather. We did however have rain just before the ride started and just as it was ending, but thankfully we enjoyed a beautiful day for the ride. There were only a few of the last riders that got rained on. Thankfully all the riders had finished before the hailstorm hit with only the cleanup crew left finishing up loading the trailer. It was an amazing day. Look for RD Henry Pretzer to share his take on it below.

     April is the month that our club riding gets started in earnest, look for our ride calendar to expand as we experience warmer spring weather and longer daylight hours. I encourage all our trained Ride Leaders to get out and start putting more rides on the Club Calendar and of course, all our Social Media outlets, see listed below.

     Our next Club event will be the 34th Annual Kirch Flat Century and rides on May 4th, 2024. What started as a small group club ride with a ride leader and one SAG volunteer who carried lunch to the Kirch Flat campground for the riders, has grown over the years into a fully supported event with SAG, 5 rest stops, 6 ride variations on 5 routes. This year we have reduced the price to encourage more members' participation. Check out the event information and register at: Our Kirch Flat event offers the most variety of rides to allow all our members and guests to ride except the volunteers we need to put on the rides. Speaking of Volunteers, we already have most of the Rest Stops covered but we could use some for the logistics of loading and unloading equipment, check-in, and registration, helping at the finish with serving the after-ride meal. Contact the KFC Volunteer Coordinator at

     We are still looking for members who want to fill a few vacant “Board of Directors” and “Standing Positions” spots.

     1. One important position for the Board is the Volunteer Coordinator who helps the Ride Directors and event coordinators fill necessary volunteer positions.

     2. Another is the Ride Director position for the Kirch Flat Century and Rides.

     An important Standing Position is the Time Trial Director who is responsible for coordinating the Monthly Time Trial Series. William Haines did a good job of it last year but could not do it this year. The Time Trial Series historically starts in April. Contact any Board member if you're interested.

     We did have one other Board position open, but it has been taken. It was the Editor of the Rough Draft position. Many of you may not realize it but the new editor has been doing the Rough Draft for the past several months and he has been doing a great job. Some of you may know him but others may not. I want to take the opportunity to introduce our Club’s new editor David Wright, he has been involved with the club since 2021 and has taken on the task of editing and publishing the Rough Draft, he has also began helping with sending out Club emails to the members. So, when you get emails from David, know that they contain important information. David is active in the Killer Bee Ride group and Ride Leader currently leading the Tollhouse Century Ride Training rides. Thanks for stepping into this position David.

     Have you heard of the Pareto Principle more commonly known as the 80/20 Rule? It is the common concept that 80% of work is accomplished by 20% of a work force. It is often evident in clubs and organizations where 20% of members are active and 80% or so are inactive. One misconception is that the 80/20 rule adds up to 100%, it doesn’t as the percentages are estimates not exact. This is especially true when it comes to volunteering to help with events and putting on rides. I hate to say it but unfortunately this is a common occurrence in membership organizations even with our Club as great as it is. We continually rely on many of the same folks to volunteer to put on rides and/or help with events. Our recent ELR event we had the opportunity to utilize more volunteers to help staff positions, the feedback from the volunteers was they had a great time helping the riders have an enjoyable ride. Some first timers admitted that they had no idea how much fun and rewarding it is to volunteer. Some benefits of volunteering are getting to know more of our fellow members, the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the Mission of the Club by fostering more bicycling activities and contributing to the overall success of the Club in the community. So please consider volunteering, with more volunteers it makes it easier for others to participate in the rides.

     Well, that’s all I have to share for now. Hope to see you on the road, on the gravel or in the dirt.

     Remember to always ride safe and ride legal.

The Prez
Dennis Ball


     Kirch Flat Century and Rides on Saturday, May 4th.

     Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 15th 

     Climb to Kaiser and Tollhouse Century on Saturday, June 22nd


     The sixth edition Everyone Loves Raymond was one for the ages. The event was held March 23 and was a story of timing.

     While the week leading up to the event was warm and springlike, the rain came late Friday night and continued until early Saturday. When the sun finally came out, Footman Park and parking area were pretty muddy, but that didn’t stop the hearty gravelers from showing up ready to ride. Off they went at their 8, 9, and 10 am start times.

     The nearly 250 registrants was an all time high for ELR. They were treated to pre-ride coffee and doughnuts, along with amazing post ride tacos from Tacos Rios de Agua Viva and beers provided by Donaghy Sales. The 2024 ELR rider swag bag included a long sleeve ELR t-shirt, ELR beanie, and an ELR stainless steel tumbler. Out on the course the riders had full SAG and communications support provided by the Clovis Amateur Radio Pioneers (CARP). 2024 ELR offered three aid stations and course monitoring staffed by our legendary friendly FCC volunteers.

     As the post ride party was winding down, the stormy weather was ramping up. By late afternoon, after all had finished riding and post ride celebrating, the wind came up and the skies opened to dump heavy rain and even hail on the cleanup crew. Undaunted, our dedicated team wrapped up the venue in spite of the downpour and another successful ELR event is in the books.

     So the timing (mostly) worked out and the riders were the beneficiaries, as it should be.  A big thanks goes out to all of our volunteers, the Raymond Community Association, our sponsors, and our ELR committee members … and especially to our riders.

We look forward to the next time!

 Henry Pretzer


     Most members don't know the club tracks two different C2K records.  The record everyone knows is for any self-powered multi-speed bicycle. The lesser known is the single speed record, first established in 1982.  Ken Herrington, Club Historian told me about the history of the record. Club Member Arthur Smith first rode C2K in 1981 on a fixed gear road bike, outfitted with rim brakes of course, in 1981.  He finished the event in 14 hours, 17 minutes making him the first ever to complete the entire course on a single speed bike. We know, this sounds crazy but as Arthur pointed out at the time, the first Tour d' France was on single speed bikes so why not C2K? 

     The following year, Arthur lobbied the board to establish a single speed division as it didn't seem fair he would have to compete for a course record against multi-speed bikes.  The board conceded to Arthur's request and in 1982 Arthur was the only entry in the single speed division of C2K. Arthur was committed to beating his time of the year before and beat it he did.  He finished in 12 hours, 56 minutes.  A record that would stand 21 years.  

     In 1983 Arthur and two others entered the single speed division and none of the three entrants finished the event.  In 1984, Arthur got transferred to Arkansas and there were no entrants.  In 1985 the club removed the single speed division from C2K.  

     In 2002 Ken Herrington wrote an article for the July edition of the Rough Draft commemorating the 20th anniversary of the single speed course record. Club member Bob Jensen, who had just completed the 2002 edition, decided he would make an attempt at Arthur's record but first he had to sell the board on bringing back the division for the 2003 event.  After attending five consecutive board meetings, the board decided to give Bob what he wanted and the single speed division was brought back for 2003.  After nearly a full year of training, Bob beat the 21 year old record finishing the event in 12:27:38. Another record that would stand for 21 years, until last Wednesday.  

     After I learned about the record from Ken Herrington, I was relaying the story to club member and local legend Richard Lawley who was convinced he could break the record.  He told me how when he was in junior high he rode his single speed bike to places such as Sky Harbor, and one time, Prather on a dare from his friends.  That dare won him $20.  He was planning the attempt for March 30th, but with the storm coming he only had a small window of time since the road just recently opened.  So, on Wednesday, March 27th, Richard set out on his modified 1985 Peugeot Tourmalet single-speed at 5:33 am.  His wife Jill and I (as a board member and impartial witness for the record attempt) followed in Richard's truck. And I must say, those stories about Richard's exploits in junior high must have been true.  With limited training Richard established a new course record on a single speed finishing in 12:05:55.  Congratulations Richard!  

     Thank you to Richard, Jill for driving sag, and Ken Herrington for his information about the history of the record so this could make it out in the April 1st edition of the newsletter.

David Wright


Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024   

6:30 PM

Me N Eds Victory Grill

4010 N Cedar Ave


Your Membership Renewal Date:



     The Fresno Cycling Club is looking for members that would like to help on this event with the Fresno Cycling Club booth. We want to have members that would like to demonstrate to kids and help them learn about riding bikes. We could use about 4 to 6 volunteers that like to work with kids. Contact the Prez at

     Children's Day takes place April 27th from 10am-3pm at Dickey Playground. It is a free event with lots of games and prizes for kids. Fresno Fuego will be there with their mascot. The mayor's office will be there. There will also be pick up soccer games, face painting, pinatas, food trucks - it is going to be a great party! 


1. Weight Management and Fat Loss

Cycling habitually, especially at a high intensity, can help lower body fat levels, promoting healthy weight management 1 . Additionally, including sprint and strength training alongside regular cycling may temporarily increase metabolism and build muscle, allowing you to burn more calories even at rest. Read More.

2. Stronger Legs, Happier Joints

Cycling improves overall function in your lower body, strengthening your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves without overstressing your joints. For even stronger legs, consider adding weightlifting exercises like squats, leg presses, and lunges to your routine. Read More.

3. Beginner-Friendly Fitness

Riding a bike is fairly simple, making it an excellent choice for beginners. If you’re new to fitness or recovering from an injury, start cycling at a low intensity and gradually increase as you get fitter. Even sedentary individuals can benefit from cycling, making it an ideal introduction to exercise. Read More.

4. Heart-Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Cycling enhances cardiovascular health and may improve cholesterol levels. Studies suggest that indoor cycling positively affects total cholesterol, boosting HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Read More.

5. Boosted Mental Well-Being

Focusing on the road or your cadence during cycling helps develop concentration and awareness of the present moment. Research shows that biking outdoors improves cognitive functioning and overall well-being, especially for older adults. Read More.

6. Low-Impact Exercise for All Ages

Cycling is easy on the joints and a low-impact form of exercise suitable for all ages. Whether you’re riding to the shops, park, school, or work, it’s a healthy, fun way to stay active. Read More.

Remember, every pedal stroke takes you closer to better health! So, hop on your bikes, Fresno Bicycle Club members, and let’s ride toward wellness.



  • Kirch Flat Century and Rides – Saturday, May 4
  • Ride of Silence – Wednesday, May 15
  • FCC 30 Day Climbing Challenge - May 18 through June 16
  • Climb to Kaiser and Tollhouse Century – Saturday, June 22
  • Grizzly Century and Gravel Rides – Saturday, Oct 5
  • Bass Lake Powerhouse Double Century – Saturday, Oct 12
  • Tour d' Femme - Saturday, Oct 26


     Have a group picture from a recent club ride?  Submit it to for a future edition of the Rough Draft. Please include the date and the destination of the ride.  See the picture at the top of this newsletter as an example.


     The FCC 30 Day Climbing Challenge is just 6 weeks away.  It begins Saturday, May 18th and ends Sunday June 16th, giving you five full weekends to get out there and climb, climb, and climb some more.

     The five levels of the challenge include:

     Tollhouse - 5,000 feet of climbing in 30 days

     Kaiser - 10,000 feet of climbing in 30 days

     McKinley - 15,000 feet of climbing in 30 days

     Denali - 20,000 feet of climbing in 30 days

     Everest - 30,000 feet of climbing in 30 days

      This is a free event for club members. If you have cycling friends who want to participate and are not club members, now is a great time to join.  They can get a huge discount on Kirch Flat and can participate in the Climbing Challenge.  Look for an email with registration details coming out in Mid-April.  


     Yes, you read that right, shift happens and sometimes it’s not smooth, crisp, or clean. But don’t load your bike up and take it to the LBS just yet. Try harder… I mean give adjusting your shifting a try first. You never know, you may fix the issue and learn a valuable skill along the way. However, if you don’t fix it with the few simple steps below, get it to the LBS and let a professional bike mechanic handle it.

     Most of the shifting problems occur when the derailleur is not properly in line with the cogs (or teeth of the sprocket) causing the chain to jump, skip, fumble, or fall.

     Looking at a derailleur can be a bit confusing with little screws, a chain winding its way through some jockey wheels, and a spring-loaded arm constantly wanting to push it all away from the cassette (that’s what the rear set of cogs are collectively called). But you only need to know a little bit to fix minor issues. The chances are your bike was set up properly at one point and except for physical damage, the cause of poor shifting is mostly caused by a cable that is too loose.

     Most bikes will have barrel adjustment screws somewhere along the cable between the shift lever and the derailleur, and sometimes there a more than one. The first step is to identify if it’s the front or rear derailleur and then locate just one barrel adjustment screw. Then while off the bike and preferably in a bike mechanic stand, turn the cranks in a forward motion, and while turning the barrel adjustment screw ¼ turn at a time in the direction that is more difficult until the chain settles in on the gear you’re trying to achieve. Then shift up and down the cog to each gear one at a time fine tuning by no more than a 1/8  turn. If you reach the end of the threads on the barrel adjustment, it’s time for new cables.

     There is no need to get out a screwdriver or a hex end wrench and start undoing screws and bolts, let’s leave that to the seasoned mechanics that know what each one of those little buggers does. If your attempts at aligning your gears are not successful, you lost nothing but a few minutes of trying and now you get to visit the folks at the local bike shop.

Richard Lawley


    The following is a list of FCC ride groups and locations to find FCC Rides.

FCC Website




  • 2024 Tollhouse Century Training Group (a group of FCC Killer Bees on a mission) – B+/C- rides (15-16mph pace on the flats), 40 – 90 miles and 2,500 - 6,000 feet of climbing. Riding 3 Saturdays per month to prepare for the Kirch Flat Century on May 4th and the Tollhouse Century on June 22nd. Find us on Strava by searching under clubs for 2024 Tollhouse.  Any active FCC member can request to join.  You can also email for more details if you do not use Strava.

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