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The Mid-Valley SPIN

Newsletter of the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club

Welcome your 2024 board of directors

David Gifford, President 


Advocacy Director: Rob Upson

Treasurer: Melissa Cowan

Secretary: Patti Watkins

Membership: Eileen Tokuda

Newsletter Editor: Tracy Hug

Touring Director: Peter Wendel 

Ride Director: Betty Tucker

IT Director: Paul Lieberman

Director-at-large: Steve Harvey

Director-at-large:  Steve Martel

Director-at-large: Chris Kniefl

From the President ...

by Dave Gifford, MVBC President

It is my great honor to assume the mantle of President of the MVBC this year.  Not only has it been in the able hands of Paul for the last few years, but the list of previous Presidents is filled with a "Who's who" of the most important cyclists of Corvallis.  I hope that I can live up to the honor.

One of the main things that has struck me  as I have tried to get my head around this new role is the shear scale of this organization.  I am working to learn about all the different groups and what they are doing in hopes that I can help them in some way, and am continually astonished by the quantity of groups working on projects, and the depth of many of them.  The number of tours being planned for this year is an amazing testament to the club and its members.  The weekly rides are always well planned and the level of dedication of the ride leaders and the loyal following of riders is also impressive.  Bike repair workshops are now a thing, collaborating with the Bike Collective.  In the background, there is so much happening to get things ready for the Covered Bridge ride, advocacy efforts, marketing, and also this newsletter, which I always find impressive.  For an all-volunteer organization, it is great to be involved in something that is doing so much.

Our February general meeting will have Nancy Meitle as our speaker, explaining how deeply the club is involved with the all-important task of getting EVERY kid in Corvallis on a bike.  Nancy's example should continue to inspire all of us to get a little more involved.  The board is trying hard to get a handle on all the different ways that Nancy is pushing Bike Education forward so that we can get more people to help her accomplish all of her dreams.  Given enough resources and volunteers, she would have every student in the district participating in an age appropriate Bike Ed course every year.  If you are unfamiliar with how much Nancy and the club do in this most important area, be sure to log in for the meeting on February 19.

Is this the year that you want to get more involved with the club?  Ride more? Offer some time to help with one of the many Bike Ed or city events? Go on one of the many tours that are being planned?  All these opportunities are out there, and if my experience is anything to go on, the more involved you are, the more fun you are having.

I look forward to seeing more of you this year on different rides and tours, and I hope to be able to serve with you in some volunteer capacity as well.

Advocacy Corner ...

by Rob Upson, Bicycle Advocate

Advocacy for bicycling is so fundamental to the club’s mission that it is included in the By-laws.  The third and fifth objective of the club under Article 2, “To encourage allocation of facilities for cycling on public lands,” and, “To promote recognition of the bicycle as a vehicle used for pleasure, health, and economical transportation.”

Article 8 of the By-laws tasks the club Advocate with keeping “the board and general membership informed about how they can participate in advocacy process.

Last month the Advocacy Committee asked members to comment on the City of Corvallis Strategic Operational Plan (SOP). Members responded in force! Your comments are found at page 57 of the February 8, 2024, City Council work session meeting packet.

Thank you!  Your voice matters.  The strong support for Neighborhood Bikeways is making a difference.  The city’s transportation department will soon make a proposal to provide more funding for the Tyler Neighborhood Bikeway. The additional funding will be partially designated to design safer intersection crossings for cyclists and pedestrians. We will keep you updated when that proposal is formalized during the 2024-2025 budget process.

As always, check out the Advocacy and Education webpage for updates on all the activities of the Advocacy Committee. 

Giving back ...

Thank you for the continued giving

The spirit of giving continues with our club members: when MVBC member Barry Hurff renewed his membership, he also made a donation in the honor of Bob and Marge Fry to be used towards the bike education program.

Upcoming Events ...

The MVBC calendar lists MANY events in our area. (I recommend putting it in "month" mode.)

Club Event Dates for 2024

Loop Tour 1: June 22-30

Loop Tour 2: July 20-28

Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour: Sunday, August 11

Other area events

April 19-21 Spring Classic, Brownsville 

May 11 Mohawk Valley Metric Century, Coburg

June 14-16 Swift Summit v. 7 (200, 100 or 50 miles) Lebanon

July 5-7, 2024  Northwest Tandem Rally, Corvallis

September 22, Hophead Hundred, Independence photo by John Rodecker

Ride Committee Report

February is the unofficial Ride Leader Appreciation month!

Thank you to all of the MVBC ride leaders. Your commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to shepherd fellow cyclists in the rain and cold, over debris-covered roads, through busy intersections, planning and posting weekly rides and emails, and taking the time to make the rides safe and enjoyable for all... is appreciated and valued by all the members of the club and community. Thank you!

Club kudos to Rowan DeBold and Mark Gire for the ongoing leadership of the Saturday Mod/Fast and Wednesday rides, Betty Tucker for the Saturday Tenners rides, Justin Wirth and Robert Franklin for the Wednesday evening gravel rides, and, lastly, big pastry-kudos to Steve Gerdemann for his Friday rides. Most of us would be, literally, lost without you!

Also, thank you to all the folks behind the scenes, planning and organizing upcoming events – tours, camps, special one-day events and our signature CBBT event. It takes a group of passionate folks to ensure we keep the ride calendar full of opportunities. Thank you!

If you have an interest in learning more about what ride leaders do or if you have an interest in leading a ride, kindly reach out to the ride committee ( or chat with your ride leader on the next club-led ride. We're always interested in discussing new routes, new rides and new ride leaders. Chat with us!

- Ride Committee

MVBC Touring Committee adds wide variety of touring options 

by Peter Wendel, MVBC Touring Director

Get ready for an epic riding season ahead as we gear up for an array of thrilling tours! With your valuable input from our recent survey, we've been busy crafting an exciting lineup based on your preferences.

A whopping 80 members chimed in to share their tour preferences, showcasing the enthusiasm for overnight adventures within our cycling community. While we expected to narrow down our options, it's incredible to see that all 17 tours received significant interest and support for both riding and planning.

This high level of engagement demonstrates the passion and dedication of our members, setting the stage for an unforgettable season of exploration and adventure on two wheels. Stay tuned for more updates as we finalize the details and bring these tours to life!

Starker Forest allows access to their private lands through free permit system

by Nelson Binggeli, MVBC Routes Librarian

Starker Forests is a locally owned timber company that manages thousands of acres in the Oregon Coast Range. They offer free permits for recreational access to their lands.

About Starker permits

Starker offers free recreational permits for up to six tree farms that must be renewed annually. Please note that ebikes are not allowed on any tree farm. Also bicycling is not allowed on the Dan Farmer Tree Farm and permits for the Beaver Creek Tree Farm are reserved for members of a local motocross group (the Flat Mountain Riders). Two roads that pass through the Beaver Creek tree farm do not require a permit: Beaver Creek Road and The Grade. If you park at a Starker gate, leave a copy of your permit on the dashboard. It is also recommended to carry a paper or electronic copy of your permit with you on your ride. 

Obtaining Starker permits

Information about how to obtain permits is available by phone (541-929-2477) or on Starker's access our lands webpage. As of 2/11/24, this page stated: "All visitors to Starker Forests must obtain a free recreation permit. Permits are available for out of town current permit holders via phone by calling our office. If you are local and/or getting a permit for the first time, you are required to visit our office. We like first time permitees to view the map and go over rules and regulations."

Recommended tree farms

A thorough description of Starker Tree Farms is available on the Mid-Valley Backroad Bicycling website. The following three tree farms are highly recommended: Eisele Summit (#23); Tum Tum (#67); and Upper Marys River (#69). Also, recommended are the following: Alder Creek (#1), Evergreen (#25), and Soap Creek (#59). If you plan to use the Old Peak Road section of the C2C Trail, a permit for Ridge Route (#53) is needed.

MVBC’s club permit

The MVBC Starker Permit is reserved exclusively for use during MVBC sanctioned gravel rides. The permit should be carried by the leader(s) of each ride either in paper or electronic form. Designated ride leaders may request a copy of the permit by contacting the MVBC Route Librarian at

February is Black History Month: Recognizing Black Cyclists in US History

In honor of Black History Month, The Spin is sharing these links to offer a chance to learn more about the early Black cyclists who faced racism and oppression and how it continues to impact Black cyclist lives today. If you want to make a difference in addressing the systemic racism that affects our bicycling community and beyond, you can begin by understanding the lived experiences of cyclists of color.

Black History in Cycling Timeline: from Standford Research Park: This is a good place to start for a general understanding of the timeline of contributions and changes through the years and includes many links for additional articles. 

Systemic Racism Can't Be Fixed Without Tackling it Within Cycling: from Bicycling Magazine, 14 Black bikers share what it's like being Black in the cycling world (from 2020). 

Black Cyclists Who Paved the Way: from Bicycling Magazine, highlighting Major Taylor, Kittie Knox, The Buffalo Soldiers and the riders of "Love of the Great Out-of-doors"

Black Girls Do Bike: From their website: Our primary focus lies in promoting the joy of cycling, particularly among women and girls of color.

MVBC offers bike clinics at Corvallis Bike Collective with volunteer "wrenches"

by Craig Lalley, MVBC member (& volunteer coordinator of several bike clinics!)

Greetings, fellow pedal enthusiasts! Our Bike Clinic sessions have been a roaring success. The air was thick with the scent of chain lube and tire sealant. 

Attendance and Repairs

Despite a few elusive no-shows, our dedicated crew tackled some two-wheeled challenges with gusto. 

  1. Bicycle Spa Day: One lucky bike enjoyed a thorough clean and tune-up. We pampered it like a high-maintenance celebrity, and it’s now rolling smoother than a jazz sax solo.

  2. Tubeless Tire Tango: Two  tubeless tires. A couple of stubborn burps, but nothing our seasoned mechanics couldn’t handle. Actually Kent did it pretty much by himself.

  3. Derailleur Drama: Ah, the heart-pounding moment when a derailleur gets swapped out. One trusty steed received a full derailleur replacement, complete with fresh cables. It’s now shifting gears like a ninja in silk pajamas.

  4. Cable Conundrum: Another bike had its cables replaced. Steve delicately threaded those slender lifelines, ensuring smooth braking and crisp shifting. It’s like giving a bike a new set of vocal cords—music to my ears!

Our Bike Clinic isn’t just about wrenches and grease; it’s a crash course in bike wizardry. Participants reveled in the art of maintenance and the thrill of minor repairs. Remember, every tightened bolt and adjusted brake pad brings us closer to bike nirvana.

Shout-Outs to Our Ace Mechanics Doug P. and Mark G.

Let’s give a standing ovation to our Ace Mechanics of the Month: Doug P. and Mark G. These tireless tinkerers are the unsung heroes of our club. They’ve fixed more chains than Houdini and resurrected more bikes than archaeologists. Doug and Mark, you rock (and roll)!

Calling All Wrench-Wielders

If you’re itching to spin a wrench or flex your Allen key muscles, MVBC is considering doing this again next month.   I am looking for more volunteer mechanics.  Most of our bike issues are about as challenging as a gentle hill climb.   

If you are interested in going to the bicycle clinic or being a volunteer mechanic please contact me directly via e-mail preferably at

A note from the MVBC board: A big thank you to Craig Lally for helping to coordinate the recent bicycle clinics: Craig saw a need and volunteered to lend a hand! This type of active club member is what sets our club apart from others. If you would like to contribute to the club, contact any of the board members or fill out our volunteer survey

Loop Tour 2024: Coasting Six Rivers

The loop Tour Committee has been hard at work planning Loop Tour 2024: Coasting Six Rivers. Riders will travel by six rivers and three lakes. Loop 1 is June 22-30 and Loop 2 is July 20-28. 

Starting this year, we are offering a discounted student rate for those enrolled in a college degree program. Although to date, 2024 registration fees have not been determined, the student rate will be the same as the child rate, which in 2023 was $100.

This year the tours depart from Corvallis, riding south around Eugene and Cottage Grove Lake into Sutherlin then turning west toward Reedsport, stopping overnight along the way at beautiful Loon Lake.

After a layover day in Reedsport, we'll turn toward home and make our way along the Smith River to another scenic camp spot, the Smith River Campground. The final night of the tour finds us in the Fern Ridge Lake area and then we're back in Corvallis on day 9.

The day 4 destination has been confirmed at Loon Lake Resort where if you would rather not camp, there are rooms, yurts and cabins for rent.

The final Loop Tour 1 campsite is confirmed at Richardson Park on Fern Ridge Lake, but because camping there is not available for Loop Tour 2, we have arranged to stay at nearby Elmira High School for the second tour. The facility is clean and comfortable with showers and covered areas and they assure us the sprinklers will be turned off!

Priority registration will open sometime between mid-March to the first part of April.  Any MVBC member can register during priority registration, but those members who have volunteered for MVBC throughout the year will have priority if the tours have more than the 35 participant limit.  More information can be found at

The Loop Tour page on the website is here.

To look through the power point from the annual meeting, click here

For route summaries and registration details click here

Look for annoucements on registration dates in another month. We hope to see you on Loop Tour!

OSU Grad podiums in Belgium for Team USA Cyclocross

Clara Honsinger, an Oregon State University graduate, is part of the Team USA Cyclocross team. In January, she podiumed in Zonnebeke, Belgium, taking 3rd in the elite women’s C2 race. It was the third top-10 placing this month for Honsinger, the elite women’s national champion. 

Clara Honsigner

Books and more ...

El Ciclista Nomada - The Bicycle Nomad: a Podcast from DuoLingo, a short movie

by Tracy Hug, MVBC newsletter editor

As some of you know, I listen to podcast while I'm doing outside chores like weeding and lawn mowing (yes, I use hearing protection ear muffs with bluetooth!) I also speak a little Spanish, so I enjoy listening to the podcasts produced by DuoLingo, in Spanish. Recently, I heard one that added one more of my interests into the mix: bicycle travel!

In this story, Rafael Millan-Garcia travels from his home in Mexico City with his dog Rosco with no known destination: by the time he "finished" his wandering journey, he had covered many weeks and many countries. It eventually lead him to find a new home in Leadville, Colorado where he owns a unique bike shop: Leadvelo Bicicasa

The DuoLingo podcasts are geared toward intermediate Spanish speakers, so don't be afraid to give it a try! 

El Ciclista Nomada

If Spanish or podcasts aren't your thing, you can watch a short movie here

Upcoming events

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