By May 3, 2011 Read More →

Bicycle! Bicycle!

Quake View

By Efren Martinez

Bicycle! Bicycle!  I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride my bike.

And, why not! With Amgen Tour of California heading for Modesto this month, the wheels are already turning with most of us. I have recently awakened my Super 6 road bike from a long winter slumber, with the excitement of the Amgen tour racing into our city as well as looking forward to riding on those warm days this summer with the pack. Amgen is exciting, good for the local economy, as well as great free family entertainment.  It’s especially grand because it gets some of us moving and inspires fitness. This Modesto citizen is grateful that Amgen is coming to Modesto.

 Last year, the Amgen festival featured an amateur bike race. This year there will be one similar on May 14th at The Family Festival. “The Criterium” If you are up to making the Class A circuit at this race, you might want to start getting ready for it now. This race is for our local class A Cyclist, but make no mistake, these Class A Cyclists are fast and very serious about winning. So, if you’re thinking about dusting off your old Schwinn Varsity road bike you bought from Montgomery Wards back in the day, you might want to give it some serious thought before you sign up for this race. Lacking the experience in racing or even riding in a pace line could result in serious injury to you and others around you in the race. 

 A good place to start to get familiar with ridding in packs would be with the Class B riders that meet every Sunday at Raley’s shopping center in Village One at 2:00 pm.  It’s a causal 30-mile ride on country roads to Oakdale and back.

 For a much faster pace ride, there is a Class A riders group that leaves from Fun Sport Bikes on McHenry at 5:30pm every Sunday. This group is screaming fast!  I have ridden with this group and if you can’t keep up, they will leave you behind. This ride is a 30-mile bike ride to Oakdale and back. Theses riders average a lighting speed of about 22+MPH. When I first started riding with this group, I always wondered why they rode so fast as there’s no prize for the winner. Then it came to me why they go so fast, and yes, it’s all about a race on who can get there first. When we all take off, we start out in a warm-up pace line for a few miles till we get in the country then it’s all on. The blood gets moving rapidly through our bodies, muscles are fired up and the sweat is oozing out of our pores. Keeping hydrated is a good thing right about now. This is why from there on it’s a race. A race of who can get to the restroom first in Oakdale. I figured it out after a few rides with this group and started to leave a couple minutes prior to the pack for many reasons. It served well for my training last year in The Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon and I was also guaranteed to be the first to the restrooms at our destination.

 All kidding aside, the thought was that instead of keeping up with them; stay out in front so they don’t pass you. This gave me the mentality of racing with the cyclist always being in my shadows and coming up fast. It also served for safety purposes. If I break down out there, I can always expect the other cyclists on my back to aid me versus being left behind. Safety is essential in all sports, especially when riding a bike. Always wear a properly fitted helmet and when riding with others in a group, only ride with the class of riders you can keep up with. For a water retention tip, try carrying along some soy nuts with you. They are very high in protein and the salt that they are covered with would have similar effects on water retention in the body as if you where to take sodium chloride tablets prior and during a ride.

Note! This is not recommend for those who have high blood pressures and always consult your doctor to see if you’re healthy enough for any kind of exercise before starting.  Cycling is a great sport and hopefully the Amgen Tour will get you cycling all year long.

 For more information on these and other rides as well as the bicycle race mentioned here, log onto



Posted in: community, outdoor

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.