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Fast and Fabulous

New York's GLBT Cycling Club

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    News from the Board – 2012

    The newly-elected board of Fast and Fabulous would like to wish our membership a happy and cycling-friendly New Year. We’re embarking on our second full year as an independent nonprofit organization, and there’s plenty to be done. The first item on all of our gay agendas is to join, or renew, membership in the club, by going to http://fastnfab.org/joinus, downloading a membership form, enclosing a check for $30 to the Fast and Fabulous Cycling Club and mailing it to our treasurer, Phil Greenwald. His address is on the form. As the city stripes new bike lanes and launches a bike share program this year, we believe it’s an exciting time to be involved in cycling. We’re looking forward to bringing you a great year of rides, dinners, activism and fellowship.

    We’d like to increase our active membership this year, so please remember our club motto (or at least one of them), “We recruit”, and encourage anyone you know who might be thinking of dipping a toe in the water, if you’ll pardon the inappropriate sporting metaphor. Or mention our gay camaraderie and fine dining to tempt any seasoned cyclists you might know to join us. Newcomers don’t have to join for the first ride, so they have a chance to kick our tires (as it were) before committing. We want to attract as diverse a cycling population as we can reach.

    Many of you are aware that John Chapman, the club’s former calendar editor, was killed by a speeding motorist in Plumstead Township, Pa., while on a club ride to the Weisel Hostel in Nockamixon State Park, a dozen miles further on, last Memorial Day weekend. John’s killer has not been apprehended, and the club plans to conduct a leafleting campaign along Rt. 413/Durham Road, the highway where the accident took place, on the anniversary of his death. But it’s also our goal to assure the safety of cyclists here in the city. If you are on a bike you should not have to fear for your life. To that end, I urge you to support Transportation Alternatives (http://www.transalt.org), which is conducting a campaign to bring the number of cycling deaths in New York City to zero.

    While we do need to watch our backs, we certainly can have fun, and it’s long been a tradition that Fast and Fab is the eating club with a cycling disorder. Our new vice president for events, Eric Lehman, eglehman1@gmail.com, is taking the monthly dinners out to the boroughs and calling them our Wheels to Meals program. We’re encouraging everyone with a bike to take it out to dinner. Do wear a helmet and do bring a lock, do come to dinner and do have a blast!

    Bicycle advocacy starts with teaching the next generation of cyclists how to ride, and the new vice president for rides, Bob Nelson, will be volunteering with Bike New York’s Teach A Kid to Ride program. Bike New York volunteers go out to parks and parking lots around the city to teach kids of all ages how to ride. It’s not complicated, it builds goodwill and brings exercise to kids all over the city. Bob, at fastnfab@yahoo.com, will let us know when and where to saddle up. Bring your smiley face!

    Not everyone rides skinny tires. April Tam, at_nyc@hotmail.com, and her fearless crew of mountain bikers explore trails both within the city (Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows, Queens; Wolfe’s Pond Park in Tottenville, Staten Island and High Bridge Park in northern Manhattan) and in New Jersey, Westchester and Long Island. Her goal and ours is always to provide enough variety of experience to challenge beginners but keep the hawgs happy too. We’re almost always on winding singletrack with optional technical features such as jumps, logs or stream beds. Sometimes we’ll coordinate with the crew from Outbike New Jersey. Holler at April with ideas for getting the bikes – and riders – down and dirty.

    Some of our members (we’re looking at you, Robert Sinclair, Erica Jacobs, Patrick Chin-hong, Terry Farrow and, leader of the pack, Tim Guscott) like to rack up the miles and already have a couple of big rides in their sights. There’s the 145-mile version of the Montauk Century in May, the 130-mile Boston to Provincetown Ride in June and a proposed Albany-Montreal-Albany ride over three days in early August. Bob also hangs out with this pack, so if this sounds like your cup of lubricant, get in touch with him at fastnfab@yahoo.com.

    And some of us aren’t highway hawgs; we just want to get out and see the world from a bike seat. We’re known as Fast and Fabulous, but not everyone realizes that the name refers to the two ends of the spectrum that we want to serve. So we always try to have a couple of easy, open-ended rides on the calendar. In January, meet Bob at Stumptown Coffee Roasters at Broadway and 29th on the 15th, a trip to coffee-lover’s heaven. We’ll head up to Central Park for a lap or two afterwards, just to feel the caffeine’s forward momentum.

    For many more of us, it’s the end as well as the means that counts, so we like to offer rides to cool destinations. Last fall we did the Bartow-Pell Mansion in the Bronx, and a few years back we did the Kendall Sculpture Garden on the Pepsico campus in Purchase, to name just a couple. We had a great shoreline ride and a tasty veg-friendly meal at Bloodroot, an earthy feminist restaurant in Bridgeport, Conn., in September. And Michael Thompson is planning a four-day weekend this spring in Sharon Springs, a wonderful old resort town in upstate New York. Ride, yes, ride, but show me some cultcha once I get there!

    Finally, we’d like to point out that while we like to have rides listed on the calendar at http://www.fastnfab.org, there’s no rule against popping out an e-mail to the list the day before a ride and telling the world your plans. Rides are always more fun with company and the e-mail list will get you some. Do let us know if you have some particular cancel conditions (wet pavement, temps below freezing, etc.) and give us a cell number so we can confirm. And ride on!!