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Fast and Fabulous

New York's GLBT Cycling Club

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    What does the name mean?

    We tend to fall into two major groups of ability: fast and non-fast. The latter are called “fabulous,” because we are. Some say that we are actually an eating club with a cycling disorder, and that “Fast and Fab” refers to the speed with which fork travels from plate to mouth.

    What are some of the nicknames for Fast and Fab?

    The most popular is Fat and Flab, used especially at our monthly dinners. We have also heard Fast and Furious, Flap and Gab, Nap and Nag, Nip and Tuck, Frump and Fag, and Slow and Damaged. We invite you, the reader, to submit your own version.

    How fast do you guys go?

    This is THE single most-asked question, and perhaps indicates a level of anxiety that is not commensurate with our cycling abilities! We’ve adopted the New York Cycle Club ride classification, which uses a letter and number: A is fast with few stops, B is intermediate and C is fab with lots of stops; the number is average pace in mph over level ground. What “fast” and “intermediate” and “fab” mean are up to the ride leader, another good reason to RSVP. Riders on a B15 ride, a fairly common listing, should expect occasional stops to regroup and a moderate pace of about 15 mph or less. We care about your well-being, and so require that you wear a helmet and not use earphones or earbuds on our rides. The distances in the ride listings are always round trip.

    Do you have to be queer?

    No, and in fact we have a few members who are not, although they prefer not to be outed as hetero. If necessary, we will be happy to help you select a new color for the living room, spiffy up your wardrobe (cycling and non), help you re-examine your tastes in art and music, and instruct you on the basics of the successful dinner party.

    How do I become a member?

    Read our Join Us page and find out.

    How do I find out about the rides?

    Get yourself on the Fast and Fab e-mail list, which gets updates about the rides every week if not every day or search our Calendar. Send us an e-mail to join our e-mail list. (Because we have had trouble with spammers trying to join the list, we need to ask for your full name, postal address and e-mail address, and whether you’ve been to a Fast and Fabulous ride or other event. If we know you, you get posting privileges. If we don’t know you, you can still receive mail from the list but can’t post, at least until you’ve shown up for a ride or event. Best part about getting posting privileges is that you can arrange spontaneous rides without having them listed in the Fast and Fab newsletter or posted on the website).

    So I’ve joined up and I want to go on a ride. How does that happen?

    First off, call the ride leader. Call the ride leader, call the ride leader, call the ride leader! If they decide to change the meeting place or time and don’t know you’re coming, you won’t have any way of knowing that.

    Next, be prepared.  Helmets are mandatory for all rides, and the ride leaders are instructed to disband the ride if someone insists on riding without one. Also, even if you don’t know how to fix a flat tire, please bring a spare tube that fits your bike! Someone else on the ride will know how to change the tube, and you won’t hold everyone up while we try to figure out how to get you to the nearest public transportation. Other things you should bring (and learn how to use!): a set of Allen keys (hex wrenches), a set of tire irons (despite their name, they are little levers made of plastic that help you get the tire off the wheel rim), at least one water bottle and some money and identification, including whatever hospitalization insurance you have. You never know when you might need to use it!

    Are there women in Fast and Fab?

    Lately it seems like there are more women than men, especially at the monthly dinners. A good rule of thumb for meeting same-sex persons is that rides led by women tend to attract more women riders, and rides led by men tend to attract more men. Among the general membership, which is about 120 paid members, about a third are women.

    Who decides where the rides go?

    Homo Bike Central attempts to elicit ideas for rides from among the membership. When that doesn’t work, we start calling up people to guilt-trip them into leading rides. It is during this process that the final destination of a ride emerges.

    Do you guys race?

    There are a handful of racers among us, who do the Kissena races in Prospect Park or the Century Road Club Association (CRCA) races in Central Park. Both Kissena and CRCA are very conscientious about trying to bring new folks into the racing circuit and have coaches to help new riders. If you want to race, you should join both the USA Cycling and either Kissena or CRCA, though don’t do it until the calendar year in which you plan to race, since all memberships expire Dec. 31.

    People also do biathlons and triathlons, and there is a queer triathlon team called the New York Tritons. Team co-captains Claudia Cummings and Les Jones will be happy to answer your questions about the sport, and the group has its own e-mail list on Yahoo! groups.

    What makes you a queer bike club?

    We dress up at parties, wear funny hats and march in the Lesbian and Gay Pride parade every year. Some of us even have same-gender relationships!! We are tolerant of homosexually-challenged individuals, as long as they do not display their affections in public.