Icebreaker bike ride will usher in 2013 bicycling season
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Wed., Apr. 3, 2013
To kick off the 2013 warm weather riding season, the Quinebaug Valley Velo Club will be hosting an Icebreaker bicycle ride in Putnam on April 21. The no-fee road ride will begin and end at the Putnam DMV municipal parking lot. Participants can choose between a 20-mile route from Putnam through Thompson, or a 10-mile route through Putnam and Woodstock.
Joseph Meier, a naval officer transplant who currently lives in Moosup, will lead the 20-mile ride. He's been a club member since 2010 and rides up to 150 miles a week in the summer, up to 80 in the winter. A bike wreck in the '90s put his bicycling on hold for years. After his own children started riding, he picked it up again. “It's a major hobby,” he admitted. “The roads around here are not bad for riding. The curves and hills are a part of it.”
QV Velo sponsors year-round club rides, with five or more evening rides in warmer months and Saturday morning rides in the winter. Rides range from slow-paced family rides on Wednesday nights to medium-paced road rides on Thursdays and fast-paced rides on Monday nights and Sunday mornings.
“New members join every year and they want to get better,” Meier said. “The only way to get better is to ride with people who are faster than you.” Rides get longer as each season progresses. In the fall, members often choose to participate in the 62-mile and 100-mile century rides held in Dartmouth, Mass.
Member Don Dauphinais calls the cycling community one big family. “The club bridges the gap between all the different styles of riding,” he said. But one thing remains the same. “Everything gets erased when you're on a bike. You see things differently. When you're on a bike, free of all your daily activities, there's such freedom.”
There is no rain date. Ride start time will be 11:30 a.m. sharp, with refreshments to be served at the Courthouse Bar and Grille beginning around 1p.m. Registration will begin at about 11 a.m. Use of approved bicycle helmets is required. Participants who would like to sign up as QVV members can do so at the Courthouse Bar & Grille following the ride. Liability release forms (required for ride participation) will be available at the event or can be downloaded from www.qvvelo.com. Membership forms are available at the event and online for those interested. Early arrival to find parking and to gear up is highly recommended.