WHAT?    Ride one of two spring centuries, either traditional or metric, in stages or all in one day.

WHEN?    Between Wednesday March 17 and Wednesday March 24, 2021.

WHERE?    Anywhere you like as long as it’s legal and you stay within the COVID-19 guidelines.

    ● Record your stages
    ● Take some photos
    ● Count your flats
    ● Have fun
    ● Be safe

    ● Total distance
    ● Longest single ride
    ● Total elevation
    ● Best wild flower photo
    ● Most flats
    ● Best Story

Submit your ride details to: veloclub@vcmonterey.org by March 26, 8 p.m.

FIRST VCM TRIVIA NIGHT – Tuesday 2/23 6PM – are you game?

Hello fellow VCM member!

Vanessa and Lesley have cooked up a game we know you’ll want to play.  They guarantee laughs … and who doesn’t need one?

–          Trivia:  Covering 6 categories
–          Hostess:  Alexa Trebeka
–          Date:  February 23
–          Time: 6-8 pm
–          Place: any room in your house
–          Attire: comfortably dressed (at least from the waist up)
–          Food: BYOB and BYOF (snacks, takeout dinner, etc.) 
–          ZOOM STATION: https://zoom.us/j/93839318184

Please arrive at 6pm and no later than 6:15pm – after that you will not be able to take part as teams will have been allocated. 

Of course, partners will be on the same team.

There will be PRIZES!

If you need help with ZOOM let us know and we can arrange a test run. 

Hoping you will join in,
Suzanne Kroeze
VCM Events Coordinator

Strawberry Fields 2021 is Cancelled

Dear Strawberry Fields Riders & Volunteers,
               Now I know why we had the roaring 20’s after the Spanish Flu and why we are going to have another roaring 20’s, 100 years later, after we get past this pandemic.  That said, we need to make sure our ride is completely safe for our 110 volunteers who make this ride happen each year and also for our riders.  For this reason, the Cyclists For Cultural Exchange board has decided to move the Strawberry Fields Ride to May 15th, 2022, the 3rd Sunday in May. I really feel this is our last time having to move the ride. Our country should be well under control by then and we feel May 2021 is just to soon to risk having the ride. If you have signed up for this ride your bib is still good. If you cannot make May 15th, 2022 then your bib is transferable to your friend. We will open registration for the May 15th, 2022 ride sometime around Jan 2022. Tell your friends. It’s going to be another amazing day riding through the Strawberry Fields of Watsonville CA and enjoying our rest stops & dinner at the end.  
Stay safe out there and get out and ride.
Cyclists For Cultural Exchange Board

Holiday Century Awards

We are pleased to announce the winners of the VCM Holiday Century Awards.
Each of the award winners is receiving a $25 Gift Certificate for the local bike shop of their choice.  Please congratulate these winners the next time that see them on the road!

Award Category Recipient
Century Male Finisher and Best Photo Ed Bredthauer
Century Female Finisher and Honorable Mention for Fixing Flat Christina Cuva Rodriguez
Longest Total Distance Male Edmund Gross
Longest Total Distance Female Billie French
Fastest Metric Century Male (tied for 1st place) Fred Neuhoff
Fastest Metric Century Male (tied for 1st place) Jose Kofman
Fastest Metric Century Female Vanessa Bredthauer
Elevation Total Male and Most Stages/Time/Coldest Jim Wrona
Elevation Total Female Beverly Zalan
Century with Warmest Weather Harry Rogers
Best Story Bob Evans
Best Story Roberta Myers

Best Photo – Ed Bredthauer


Best Story – Bob Evans and Roberta Myers

This story is about Roberta (Bert) Myers and Robert (Bob) Evans, two 86 year olds who met in 2013 in a bereavement group following the deaths of their long time (42 and 58 years respectively) spouses in 2012. After the 12 week bereavement program completed, a number of the group continued to socialize and get to know one another by going out to dinner and to plays at MPC. Bert was commuting  back and forth from her family farm in Massachusetts to her son’s home in Monterey. She was preparing the farm for sale and remodeling a newly purchased house close to her son’s home her in Monterey. In June of 2014 Bert was in Massachusetts, so Bob sent Bert a birthday card thinking her birthday was June 10. Bert politely informed Bob that her birthday was July 10 and she would be in Monterey then. Bob said he owed her a dinner when she arrived in Monterey. At that dinner they realized that they had many things in common, not just birthdays on the same day of the month (5 months apart) and thus began a blooming relationship.
Bob has been riding bicycles since he was a 14 year old paper boy. After his long time spouse had passed away and when his part time teaching at MPC allowed, he was taking cycling tours all over the U.S. and in Europe. After touring the Katy Trail in Missouri he flew to Massachusetts to visit Bert and see the farm. Later that fall Bert completed her move to Monterey and their relationship grew more serious.
In January of 2015, Bob fell for Bert, literally, breaking a hip at his son’s house in San Jose by missing a step, not cycling. Bert insisted on staying in the hospital with Bob as he waited for surgery. During that interlude they decided to get married on Bob’s birthday in March.
By 2017 they had new Bike Fridays and were cycling around town. However, Bob’s orthopedist was strongly recommending that Bob avoid falling. Rather than stop cycling they decided to switch to recumbent trikes. They were the oldest riders in that year’s Country Coast Classic in Cambria, CA
In 2018 they set off on a trip around the U.S. with the trikes attached to their little RV. During that 10 month trip they cycled all sorts of roads and trails from the French Quarter in New Orleans to the Great Allegheny Passage and the Erie Canal and trails of all types in between for a total of over 700 miles.
This year’s Velo Club Christmas ride inspired them ride a Metric Century
    Total distance  102 KM
    3 stages – longest stage 49.6 KM
    Total elevation gain: 1771 ft  
    Total ride time: 4:23:19

No flats
And that’s our story and we are sticking to it! Bert and Bob

Wishing you a Safe and Happy New Year!

Taking the Rough with the Smooth

If you enjoy cycling, then please invest the three and a half minutes it will take to read this . . . I promise it will be worth it – there is a carrot for you at the end!
Taking the rough with the smooth – why pay your dues?
Ever had a flat? Of course, you have. It is part of what we do. We ride our trusty, two-wheeled steeds on great adventures, relying on a slim band of rubber to keep us moving forward. Inevitably, sooner or later, that thin veneer that keeps you aloft is going to get pierced. Do you give up and throw the bike in the trash? Call your partner to the rescue and tantrum your way to the next, also sure to be short loved, leisure interest? No, you fix it and move on. It is called taking the rough with the smooth. Whatever we do in life we will come across hurdles – jumping hurdles is how we learn and it’s what makes us stronger.
This pandemic is a hurdle. Like everything in life, it too has a shelf life. It will end. Let’s not let it take our beloved club with it. 
Several people have approached me with tales of ‘others’ who cannot see any reason to join the VCM again in 2021. Sure. Why would you want to pay out hard earned $ to join a club that cannot give back right now? I completely get it . . . if that statement was actually true of course.
This is where I could list all our running costs, the fact that we are staffed by volunteers and the numerous hours that go into keeping the club alive, not least the events we hold each year, but also pondering how to operate during COVID. My guess is, that most of you will already appreciate all these things. 
But what of the real reason we exist?  It’s not just about the bike. 
Essentially, we are a Social Club with a bike problem.
What does the VCM do for you right now?

  • Like lots of other things it provides a Tradition. The VCM has been in existence since 1968. 52 years of something, day in day out, year in year out, is a tradition in my book. And traditions are a good thing – they allow us to pass on a multitude of things to others and to generations, not the least of which is cycling know how and the intricacies of that 1970 steel classic that you have hidden in the shop,  but also friendships, camaraderie and affinity.
  • A Focal Point for cycling in the local community – VCM is quite simply the first stop for anyone wishing to learn more about bikes. We serve a purpose in the community!
  • And then of course there is the hidden gem. The one thing that so often gets overlooked – Community. This is the magnet that attracts new people into our little band of like-minded brethren and sistren; and the adhesive that allows group friendships to remain and flourish – not for months, or years, but for decades. Do not underestimate what you cannot see. 
  • Got a bike problem? We have a solution in our ‘Answer Man’, Jan Valencia. If he cannot solve it, he will certainly know someone who can – right here – in our VCM Community.
  • Wear & Tear – when you ride it, it wears. Sooner or later, you will need ‘Shop’ help. VCM Membership gives you 10% Discount at all participating local, Community, bike shops. That’s local, not Amazon – with humans you can chat with . . . about bikes. 

Post COVID – The future of local cycling.
We do not know what the future will look like. This is a time of great uncertainty. What we do know is that more and more people are riding bicycles… and one day, COVID will be controlled… and we will find a way to be a cohesive club again. My prediction is fact – we already ride together, just not in the same organized fashion that we used to. Like lots of other things, we change to embrace this new and challenging era.  
Here is my plea. Help maintain this Social Club. Support us and join again in 2021. Help us evolve by suggesting how we can change. We encourage all club members to attend our board meetings. Come along and tell us what and how you think our club should look in the new, post COVID, Cycling Fanatic era! (Board meeting details are published on our web site)
Thank you for those last 3.5 minutes

  • Incidentally, 3.5 minutes is half as long as it takes to fix the average flat.
  • It is also 7 times shorter than once when working with our retiring President, Mark Kaufmann, who had an extremely troublesome flat with a tubeless a couple of years back (it was embarrassing for us too Mark – sorry).
  • It is also 30 seconds short of how long it takes to read our membership list which amounts to 200 members in 2019 – that’s 200 people who belong to your VCM Social Club! So you have a lot of friends then. Think about it.

And now for the Carrot…
Obviously we’d love to have you renew your membership. As encouragement, EVERYONE who renews before January 31st will receive a FREE Velo Club Monterey Cycling Buff – something very useful this time of year to keep you warm and covered.

Getting your Velo Club Buff is easy. Just renew your membership and one of our merry band of board members will hand-deliver your buff.  

How to renew…

  1. Follow this link to get the 2021 Membership Application Form
  2. Complete the form (On a desktop you can probably fill it out online).
  3. Sign and mail it to us along with your…
  4. Payment – Either a check or you can Pay Online via this link.

We’ll contact you to coordinate getting your new VCM Buff.

Finally, even if you decide not to rejoin, continue to enjoy cycling. Whatever you do, don’t sell the bike. Remember – it’s not just about the bike.

Chris Swainson

Velo Club Monterey

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