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EDUCATION 

Education Director, Alex Maslanka, alexmaslanka@comcast.net

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  • Monday, July 04, 2016 5:25 PM | Alex Maslanka (Administrator)

    The League of American Bicyclists is planning to hold their next League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Certification course in Napa from Friday August 5th through Sunday August 7th. LCIs serve as instructors and ambassadors to both the cycling and general community by spreading the word about the far-reaching benefits of cycling.

    Learn more here...

    http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=af1945bda964b4dcf4edff2c3&id=9986b26127&e=8576a1281f

  • Tuesday, April 12, 2016 3:52 PM | Alex Maslanka (Administrator)

    This new clinic will focus on the many skills needed to ride safely and responsibly in a group. Led by Richard Anderson, Steve Backman, and Dave Smith, this clinic will be held from 9a-2p with the start at the Foss Creek School, 1557 Healdsburg Ave. in Healdsburg. This is another great opportunity to learn new skills, build confidence, and ride safely. Here is an outline of what you can expect...

    SRCC - Cooperative Group Riding Clinic

    General Guidelines

    - Bike handling skills, situational awareness, consideration of others and the ability to adapt one's  riding behavior are far more important than "paceline rules".

    - Be a student of the best riding skills and practices we observe in the riders around us.

    Specific Skills  & Guidelines

    1.  Establish & communicate group norms.

         ~ Before the ride - determine the type of ride, route, pace and regroups

    2.  Relax, breathe and maintain a soft focus.

         ~ Keep eyes looking ahead;  look around and through riders in front of you

    3.  Hold your line & ride predictably.

    4.  Ride consistently, and continuously adjust to the group.

         ~ Maintain the group's pace and level of effort;  ride to encourage group cohesiveness

    5.  Maintain constant omni-awareness.

         ~ Be attentive and cooperate with the riders around you

         ~ Be mindful of traffic, road conditions and the general environment

         ~ Be considerate of other riders, pedestrians and drivers

    6.  Communicate.

         ~ Clearly point out hazards by gesture and voice (as appropriate)

         ~ Telegraph or signal changes by gesture and voice - be obvious

             - changes include starting, slowing, stopping, turning, starting up or down hill, etc.

         ~ Respectfully moderate surging riders, or let them go

         ~ Maintain "group think";  ride as a part of the group

    7.  Focus on your riding; it is all that you can control

         ~ Challenge yourself to continuously hone your skills;  one never "arrives"- Don't:  

         ~ overlap wheels  ~ surge

         ~ make sudden changes ~ ride as an outlier"

    Cat - Dog Analogy ~ Cat = individualistic, Independent, self selective 

    ~ Dog = cooperative, cohesive, adaptive to others



  • Sunday, March 27, 2016 10:00 PM | Sheherezade Adams (Administrator)

    One of the classes offered by the SRCC education program is called Home Care for the Bike. The objective of the class is that participants learn how to check over their bike so that they can be proactive in maintenance -- notice a problem and address it before it causes a safety problem or a brakedown on a ride. We go through a checklist that participants can use at home and provide a handout that covers the material. There are two versions of the handout, one for rim brakes (mechanical only) and another for disc brakes (hydraulic or mechanical). Those handouts are provided below. Please remember these are designed to go along with in-person instruction, and they assume a certain level of experience and proficiency.


    SRCC home care for the bike clinic – handout for bikes with rim brakes

    Use this list to remind you of the steps we went through in the clinic. By doing a thorough check over of your bike you increase the chances your next bike ride will be safe and not delayed by mechanical problems. Consider doing this checklist every 250 miles, any time you’ve noticed any new sounds or problems while riding, any time it’s been a while since you’ve ridden the bike, or any time something happened to the bike such as a crash or being knocked over. Before every single ride check your tires have enough air, that brakes are functioning, that your quick release levers are closed, and scan for damage to frame, tires and cables.

    1. Put bike on a bike stand if you have one. If your frame is made out of carbon fiber over tightening the clamp on the bike stand can damage the frame. If you have a metal seatpost you may wish to clamp it there to eliminate the possibility of frame damage.

    2. Open the brakes and take off both wheels. If you do not have a stand you can try to hang the bike by the nose of the saddle, for example on a sturdy tree branch or by a strap hanging from the rafters. Otherwise you can rest the bike on the side without the gears, or turn it upside down protecting the seat with a rag and taking off handlebar accessories.

    3. Clean frame, looking closely for any cracks or other signs of damage on the frame or fork. All cleaning on your bike can be done with a rag wetted with a dilute solution of a mild soap, such as Simple Green. Something which is designed for cutting grease, such as citrus degreaser, is helpful for cleaning the chain and all the parts it touches.

    4. Inspect brake pads- if you can’t see the grooves they need replacing, if the wear is uneven they need to be filed down and adjusted, if they have bits of metal you can pick them out, if they are shiny you can file them.

    5. Clean and look closely at each wheel – check the condition of the tread and sidewall of the tire, too many cuts in the tread or cracks in the sidewall mean tire is at the end of its life. Clean off rim, using fine sand paper if necessary to remove brake pad material. Check condition of rim, if it is very worn in the center (concave) rim may be at the end of its life. Check for cracks near the spokes. Clean gears on back wheel by ‘flossing’ with a rag, make sure they are securely attached to wheel, check for excessive wear.

    6. Clean the two jockey wheels on the rear derailer, check for excessive wear. Occasionally put a drop of lube in the center of each.

    7. Put wheels back on. Put the bike right-side-up on the ground, open and close both quick release skewers to make sure the wheels are in straight. Make sure both brakes are in the closed position. Put bike back on workstand.

    8. Check all bearings to make sure none are too loose (or too tight).

    9. Spin each wheel looking at a brake pad as it goes around. If the wheel appears to move back and forth double check that the wheel is in straight. If that does not fix the problem, the wheel may need to be trued. A minor wobble is okay, but a larger one should be addressed. Squeeze all spokes, checking for broken spokes. All of the spokes on the same side of a wheel should be about the same tension.

    10. This step cannot be done with bike right-side up and tires on ground. While turning the pedals shift through all gears making sure they work smoothly and well. If it is missing a shift, or making a clicky-clicky sound when in certain gears it may need the cable tension or limit screws adjusted. Take a look at the cables and housing that connect the shifter to the derailers, cables that are rusted, frayed or kinked may need replacing. Occasionally drip some lube into all housing.

    11. Spin each wheel and test the brakes. If you have to squeeze the lever too much before it stops the wheel the cable may need adjustment. Your brakes need adjustment if you notice any of these problems: brake shoes rubbing the rim when brakes are not depressed, brakes rubbing tire, only part of brake shoe is hitting the rim, other part hangs below the rim, left and right side do not hit the rim at the same time.

    12. Clean your chain using citrus degreaser and a rag, an old toothbrush can help too. If the chain is too stretched out, has a stiff link or a link that has any other problem you need to replace the chain. One way to check if it is stretched out is with a ruler- 12 links should measure between 12 and 12 1/8”, if they are longer than that it is time for a new chain. Use chain lube to lube your chain. You may wish to wipe off excess lube with a dry rag.

    13. Ensure tires have enough air. Check accessories such as rack, bag, pump, or computer are firmly attached and functioning.


    SRCC home care for the bike clinic – handout for bikes with disc brakes

    Use this list to remind you of the steps we went through in the clinic. By doing a thorough check over of your bike you increase the chances your next bike ride will be safe and not delayed by mechanical problems. Consider doing this checklist every 250 miles, any time you’ve noticed any new sounds or problems while riding, any time it’s been a while since you’ve ridden the bike, or any time something happened to the bike such as a crash or being knocked over. Before every single ride check your tires have enough air, that brakes are functioning, that your quick release levers are closed and tight, and scan for damage to frame, tires and cables. If you have hydraulic brakes check all hoses and fittings for leaks.

    1. Put bike on a bike stand if you have one. If your frame is made out of carbon fiber over tightening the clamp on the bike stand can damage the frame. If you have a metal seatpost you may wish to clamp it there to eliminate the possibility of frame damage.

    2. Take off both wheels. Do not squeeze brake lever with the wheel out if you have hydraulic brakes, if you think you might do this by accident, stick a piece of cardboard where the rotor (that’s the round metal thing a little smaller than a plate on one side of your wheel) normally goes; If you do not have a stand you can try to hang the bike by the nose of the saddle, for example on a sturdy tree branch or from a strap hanging from the rafters. Otherwise you can rest the bike on the side without the gears, or turn it upside down protecting the seat with a rag and taking off handlebar accessories. If you have hydraulic brakes they will feel squishy afterwards for a little while if you turn the bike upside down or on its side and if there is an existing problem with the brakes turning it upside down or putting it on its side may make it worse.

    3. If you have hydraulic brakes, inspect all hoses and fittings for leaks, if you find one do not ride bike until this has been repaired. Consider having the entire system bled once a year. If pulling the brake lever does not feel firm or if it becomes more firm with repeated pumping of the brake lever, you may have air in the system, have them bled before using.

    4. Clean frame, looking closely for any cracks or other signs of damage on the frame or fork. All cleaning on your bike can be done with a rag wetted with a dilute solution of a mild soap, such as Simple Green. Something which is designed for cutting grease, such as a citrus degreaser, is helpful for cleaning the chain and all the parts it touches.

    5. Brake pads should be checked periodically for wear, typically once the remaining pad is the thickness of a dime it is time to replace pads though manufacturers differ on this; do not touch or spill fluids on brake pads; check that bolts that hold caliper onto frame/fork are tight.

    6. Clean and look closely at each wheel. Avoid touching or getting oil on rotor. If rotor is dirty it needs to be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, if it is bent it needs to be straightened or replaced, if it is cracked or damaged it needs to be replaced. Rotors which are concave or thinner than 1.5 mm are worn out and need to be replaced. Check that bolts that hold rotor onto wheel are tight. Check the condition of the tread and sidewall of the tire, too many cuts in the tread or cracks in the sidewall mean tire is at the end of its life. Check for cracks in rim near the spokes. Clean gears on back wheel by ‘flossing’ with a rag, make sure they are securely attached to wheel, check for excessive wear.

    7. Clean the two jockey wheels on the rear derailer, check for excessive wear. Occasionally put a drop of lube in the center of each.

    8. Put wheels back on. Put the bike right-side-up on the ground, open and close both quick release skewers to make sure the wheels are in straight. Disc brakes put more stress on hubs than rim brakes, skewers need to be tight and checked regularly. Make sure both brakes are in the closed position. Put bike back on workstand.

    9. Check all bearings to make sure none are too loose (or too tight).

    10. Spin each wheel looking at rotor as it goes around. If the rotor appears to move back and forth double check that the wheel is in straight. If that does not fix the problem, the rotor may be bent. Squeeze all spokes, checking for broken spokes. All of the spokes on the same side of a wheel should be about the same tension.

    11. Spin each wheel and test the brakes. Pads should not rub rotor. If you have noticed squishiness or reduced braking power or brake lever can be squeezed all the way without activating the brakes pad spacing may need to be adjusted, cable may need adjustment or hydraulic system may need to be bled.

    12. This step cannot be done with bike right-side up and tires on ground, though you could do it by riding the bike in a safe place like an empty parking lot. While turning the pedals shift through all gears making sure they work smoothly and well. If it is missing a shift, or making a clicky-clicky sound when in certain gears it may need the cable tension or limit screws adjusted. Take a look at the cables and housing that connect the shifter to the derailers, cables that are rusted, frayed or kinked may need replacing. Occasionally drip some lube into all housing.

    13. Clean your chain using citrus degreaser and a rag, an old toothbrush can help too. If the chain is too stretched out, has a stiff link or a link that has any other problem you need to replace the chain. One way to check if it is stretched out is with a ruler- 12 links should measure between 12 and 12 1/8”, if they are longer than that it is time for a new chain. Use chain lube to lube your chain. You may wish to wipe off excess lube with a dry rag.

    14. Ensure tires have enough air. Check accessories such as rack, bag, pump, or computer are firmly attached and functioning.





  • Thursday, March 17, 2016 3:59 PM | Alex Maslanka (Administrator)

    Having moved to Santa Rosa from Boulder, I am very familiar with Flagstaff Mountain. It's a very popular climb for local riders. At 3.7 miles long with 1,174 vertical feet of climbing, it is not unlike a number of climbs in Sonoma County. What happened to this ex-professional cyclist on Flagstaff yesterday illustrates the need to always be aware of where you are on the road and reinforces the need not to drift toward the midline on descents...

    http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_29644529



  • Monday, March 14, 2016 11:12 AM | Alex Maslanka (Administrator)

    CYCLING and CONCUSSION

    PART ONE: TEN QUESTIONS

    While the data is a little old, it does underscore the degree of risk involved in cycling as it relates to sports-related injuries. In 2009, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons reported that of the 447,000 sports-related head injuries that were evaluated in U.S. emergency departments, 86,000 of them were related to cycling accidents. That made cycling the biggest cause of sports-related head injuries with football being a distant second with 47,000 head injuries reported. A common result of these head injuries is what has been historically referred to as a “concussion”. Let’s look closely at what this term and it’s implications means.

    1) What is a concussion?

    There are many definitions. There are formal detailed medical definitions and there are functional definitions. I prefer the latter of the two. I like the following, “a concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function and is usually caused by a blow to the head”.  Many people assume that concussions involve a loss of consciousness. That is a misconception. Often, a person with a concussion never loses consciousness. Another misconception is that that one can have a “minor” concussion. There are no “minor concussions” , as we will discuss in question #9.

    2) How do they occur?

    The brain is cushioned inside the skull by cerebrospinal fluid. In the setting of an abrupt, violent blow to the head, or even rapid deceleration, the brain can collide with the inner surface of the skull. This puts the brain at risk for tearing of blood vessels, pulling or shearing of nerve fibers and bruising of brain tissue.

    3)Who gets them?

    The contact sports of football, ice hockey, boxing, rugby, and soccer are often cited in the press as having a high incidence of concussion. The study referred to earlier obviously implicates cycling as an at-risk activity. When you consider the mechanism of injury outlined in question 2, we are all at risk pretty much all the time. Motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults, and occupational accidents are other other events that can result in concussion. 

    4)What are the symptoms of concussion?

    Confusion is a primary symptom. It’s principal features include an inability to maintain an organized stream of thought, lack of awareness, easy distractibility, and an inability to carry out goal-directed movements. Confusion, however, is only one of the symptoms in a long laundry list of uncomfortable disorders. Prolonged headache, visual disturbances, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, impaired balance, memory loss, ringing in the ears, and light sensitivity can all occur. 

    5)How can you recognize that someone may have a concussion?

    Signs observed in someone with a concussion may include a vacant stare, slow response to questions or instructions, easy distractability, disorientation, slurred or incoherent speech, incoordination, memory deficits, and a period of loss of consciousness. Seizures are uncommon for this degree of brain injury and, if present, would suggest a more severe condition.

    6)What should be done

    If the symptoms and signs outlined in questions 4 and 5 occur after a blow to the head, a health-care professional should be consulted as soon as possible. A loss of consciousness or change in mental status requires a 911 call.

    7)How is a concussion diagnosed?

    The acute evaluation of an individual with possible concussion includes neurologic assessment and mental status testing. Prolonged loss of consciousness, persistent mental status changes, or abnormalities on neurologic examination require neuroimaging, specifically, a cat scan of the brain. It is possible to have a normal CT scan and still have a concussion.

    8) How is concussion treated?

    For those with an uncomplicated concussion a period of physical and cognitive rest is often recommended for at least 24 hours and sometimes longer depending on the symptoms present. This means avoiding general physical exertion and limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration. Headaches should be treated with Tylenol. Pain relievers like Advil and aspirin should be avoided as they may increase the risk of bleeding.

    9) What are some of the residual problems associated with concussion?

    Postconcussion syndrome may include headache, dizziness, disrupted thought processes, and mental disorders resulting from disease of the nervous system. “Postconcussion Syndrome” will be the topic of Part 2 of “Cycling and Concussion”.

    Post-traumatic vertigo includes dizziness that may be accompanied by hearing symptoms and balance problems and contributes significantly to disability after concussion. 

    A very rare complication exists that is generally fatal. This occurs when there is diffuse swelling of the brain following a second concussion while someone is still symptomatic from an earlier concussion. Again, this is very rare.

    There is evidence that individuals who have had one head injury are at increased risk of recurrent head injury with some studies showing a six-fold increase in risk. 

    10)Can concussions be prevented?

    Bicycle helmets can reduce the severity of accident-related head injury but concussion can still occur. Being visible to drivers, being predictable with your behavior on the road and communicating well with your fellow cyclists will all contribute to avoiding an injury in the first place.

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2016 9:06 AM | Alex Maslanka (Administrator)

    Additional free bicycle maintenance clinics are available at the Santa Rosa Performance shop, 1993 Santa Rosa Avenue. Two clinics per month are offered and the posted schedule extends out to July as of this writing.

    http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Content_10052_10551_-1_SpinDrClinics


  • Saturday, March 05, 2016 11:34 AM | Alex Maslanka (Administrator)

    The class will be offered Tuesday, April 5th at 7p.m. Registration is limited to 40 and there are 28 places left as of this writing.

    https://www.rei.com/events/bike-maintenance-basics-level-1/santa-rosa/137522

  • Thursday, March 03, 2016 9:59 PM | Karen Gould (Administrator)

    Check out these photos from the Group Cycling Skills for "A" Riders taught on February 28, 2016 by Steve Kroek, Bob Owen, Richard Anderson and Darrin Jenkins.  

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2016 11:11 AM | Sheherezade Adams (Administrator)

    We encourage everyone to be certified in CPR and First Aid, and take a refresher course if it has been over 2 years since you took the class. To find out about classes offered by the Red Cross in the Santa Rosa area click on this link. Note, some classes combine on-line and in-person elements, others are entirely in-person.


  • Monday, December 07, 2015 7:25 PM | Anonymous

    The following classes are coming up. You can sign up here:  http://dev.bikesonoma.org/our-work/traffic-skills-101/

    These classes satisfy requirements for the ride leader training program.

    Upcoming Class Dates:

    Classes are held at the Coalition office in downtown Santa Rosa at the times shown.

    Smart Cycling A (Classroom)

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Instructors – TBD

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Instructors – TBD

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Instructors – TBD

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Instructors – TBD

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Instructors – TBD

    Smart Cycling B (On Bike – Requires Completion of Smart Cycling A)

    Saturday, May 15, 2016 9:00am – 1:00pm: Instructors – TBD

    Smart Cycling Fees: $20 for General Public and only $10 for Coalition members.

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