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The Mid-Valley SPIN

Newsletter of the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club

From the President ...

by Paul Lieberman

As we've said many times, the club accomplishes what we do because of our many wonderful volunteers. This is the time of year when we reach out to membership to fill important board and committee positions. I'm going to duplicate here what went out as an email not long ago, because it's that important.

The MVBC has a long history of collective volunteerism that has enabled the club to become one of the premier riding clubs in the Willamette Valley. We have benefited over the years from the unique skills and talents of our membership.

As we approach our November Annual members meeting it is time to solicit nominations for open Board and Committee positions. This year we have a number of opportunities as members have served, and in many cases exceeded, their three year terms. Please review the opportunities described below and anyone from the Board Recruitment Committee (Dave Gifford, Eileen Tokuda and Paul Lieberman would be happy to meet with you and describe what these positions are designed to do to keep our events, rides and club infrastructure vibrant.

  • Secretary
  • Member-at-Large
  • Ride Committee Chair
  • Touring Committee Chair
  • IT Committee Chair
  • Web / Newsletter / Social Media Committee Chair

As you can see most of these are committee chairs, but if leading a committee is not your style, we also need energetic members to take on any number of small tasks within these committees. Every little bit helps, and we welcome your involvement!

If you can collaborate, take initiative, are diligent with following up tasks, and respectful of diverse opinions, we'd welcome your interest, skills and involvement with club functions.

Serving on the board or on committees is a rewarding experience! Reach out to any one of us at:

Past board members share their experiences ...

"I was finishing up three years as Treasurer, when I was blind sided at a board meeting, and nominated to be President. I had never been the president of anything, run a meeting, or thought that I was a leader type person.

I learned during my two years as president that I could do all those things. I was forced to play a leadership role, and found that I was able to plan and chair bike club and board meetings, control board members who tried to exert more influence than others, write a monthly article for the newsletter, and in general do a satisfactory job as president.

It was a learning and growing and fulfilling experience to be cast into that different role, and I am glad that it happened. "

Matt Mathews


"As secretary, my job kept me updated on the latest events and activities of the club, and it gave me a voice as a board member in the board's decision making. It was fulfilling to be able to help in leading the direction of the club."

Doreen Millar


"First, I want to say that serving on the MVBC board was fun. Over the years, I had the roles of vice president, advocacy rep, recording secretary, and membership secretary.

Being the vice president was truly enjoyable. I very much liked planning the monthly programs and introducing presenters at the general meetings. I tried to have a variety of topics, so that there would something for everyone over the course of the year. I made many new cycling-related contacts during that time.

Being the advocacy rep was especially appropriate when I had that role, because I was also chair of what was then the Corvallis Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commission. I had an inside track into working for better cycling infrastructure for our city and I loved promoting Corvallis’ cycling culture! "

Susan Christie


"I feel that being able to take a role as board member ( VP 2 years, Prez 3 years, Former Prez as member at large for one year) was important to me to help in the direction the club was taking, especially leading the club board in some important decision making, such as whether the club should accept helping albany with the NWTR 2018, which ultimately was a big boon for bike education. Volunteerism is always a challenge but rewarding at the same time, both personally and for the group which benefits from it.

Rann Millar

Membership Benefits ... 

MVBC Routes library gets an update

The Ride Committee is pleased to present an improved Route Library, including exciting updates to our old cue sheet routes.  This update includes more than 300 routes and can be accessed at weekly rides. The library is organized by the general direction of the route from Corvallis and by starting location and/or destination. This expansive update comes after a tremendous amount of work by the "Routes" subcommittee of the Ride Committee, chaired by MVBC Route Librarian, Nelson Binggeli and including Rowan DeBold, Mark Gire and Larry O'Keefe.

There is a set of entirely-paved routes and a set of routes that include gravel roads. The library presents information about each route, including mileage and elevation gain and includes links to Ride with GPS route maps and cue sheets.

If you have comments or wish to propose a new route, please contact the MVBC Route Librarian (Nelson Binggeli) at

Discount for Gaia off-line mapping service 

Enjoy a 20% discount on the annual costs for a Gaia GPS program.

This app is an all-in-one navigation app for off-road biking and hiking.

The GAIA GPS program offers some of the best off-line maps for gravel riding, hiking, backpacking, backcountry skiing and more.

With a Gaia GPS Membership, you can download maps to your mobile device and take them with you into the backcountry. Navigate anywhere in the world, even without cell service. Download any map from Gaia GPS’s map catalog so you’ll always have a map with you on your adventures.

This program allows you to record your distance, total ascent, and speed of your trip.

It allows you to view your location – in real time - so you always know where you are on the map. Drop waypoints to mark trailheads, trail junctions, water sources, favorite campsites, and viewpoints.

$31.99 per year after discount. GAIA for MVBC

Advocacy Community Corner ... 

Join the "Get There Challenge," earn prizes for riding, sustainable transportation choices

There's still time! Since many of our members already choose to commute by bike, October offers an opportunity to win prizes for logging trips. There are local and regional prizes. Riders will need to create a free account, so sign up today! The challenge runs October 3-16, so don't miss out! Get There Challenge

Starker Forest tree planting, fire danger continues into fall 

Many members hold Starker permits for riding in the nearby timer lands owned by Starker. (Permits are free. More info is at Starker Permits.) Starker recently issued this reminder: 

Be extra cautious. Avoid parking in tall, dry grass. Smoking and all fires are banned in the forests. It is hunting season. Be aware of your surroundings and know that others may be recreating nearby. Our gates will be closed to drive-in hunting until the Oregon Department of Forest West Oregon District declares and end to fire season. You can check out website and FaceBook page for updates. Not all Starker Forests gates will be open for hunting.

We are waiting for some rain so we can begin planting trees. The seedlings we plant in the fall are able to grow their roots before going dormant for the  winter.  This solid foundation sets the seedlings up for a great next growing season.

Websites provide information on road closures

It's a bummer to head out for a ride and run into a closed road. These websites list closures for various surrounding counties, helping to avoid the backtracking bummer. 

Benton County Road Closures

Linn County Roads

Polk Road Closures

Marion County Road Closures

Buena Vista Ferry (& Wheatland Ferry)

MVBC Zoom meeting hosts mayoral candidates 

The mayoral candidates recently "met" on zoom to share information about their platforms and how it pertains to bicycles and sustainable transportation. You can watch this Q&A session on the YouTube here: Mayoral Q&A

Condolences to the family of bicyclist killed on Riverside, 

The MVBC wishes to send its condolences to the friends and family of Kelli Lyn Kennedy, the cyclist killed on Riverside Drive.

For the information gathered by Hasso Hering see Fatal bike crash report.

Bicyclist Legal Rights Information Card, consider carrying one with you

MVBC Stories

The Marys Peak Rolling Geology Seminar:

MVBC hosted a geology ride up Marys Peak recently. In the link below, Susan Christie shares the experience.

The Marys Peak Rolling Geology Seminar.pdf

MVBC provides helmets at Corvallis Fire House open house

MVBC's Nancy Meitle continues to distribute free and low cost helmets to the community. This is another local event where MVBC helped give back to the community. FireDeptOpenHse.pdf

Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour a huge success

by Rick Olson, CBBT Director

The 43rd Annual Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour was a huge success thanks to more than 60 club member volunteers. This ride is the chief fundraiser for the area bicycle education and helmet programs that MVBC funds each year. 

Just over 600 riders explored the backcountry roads of Linn County and ended their ride with the traditional root beer floats at the Expo Center. In addition to the traditional floats, this year MVBC member Beth Brown and her Celtic band, Fionnghal provided post-ride entertainment. 

It takes a lot of hard work by our club volunteers to put all this together and once again, the MVBC proved up to the job. Thanks to all who contributed time and effort. We look forward to next years' event on August 13, 2023. If you haven't tried volunteering in the past, next year is sure to be a great event, building on the success and momentum of the last couple of years.

Upcoming Events ...

Bike Indy, Drop the Hammer, October 15-16

The fall installment of Bike Indy's quarterly Drop the Hammer event is coming up! These free events offer rides through the Independence and surrounding area for all levels of riders. Options include a 3-mile family ride to ~70 miles, road to gravel. The rides are designed to be enjoyed AND for those with a competative streak, there is a Strava segment to "drop the hammer" on and there are prizes for the fastest riders. 

The Annual Members Banquet & Meeting returns, Sunday, November 20

Mark your calendar and save the date! After two years on zoom, this year's annual member's meeting will return again as an in-person, sit down meal. At the Annual Meeting, we review and approve board nominations for the coming year and we discuss outcomes of our primary club events and plans for our upcoming year.

Without a doubt, one of the highlights is the big reveal of the Loop Tour destination for the following year.  This year's banquet will be a catered meal held at Imagine Coffee, Sunday, November 20, from 5-9 p.m. Cost of the meal is $30 per attendee. For those who cannont attend in person, we will have a concurrent Zoom meeting link to allow you to hear the presentations of the annual meeting. A link for registration will be emailed out soon for you to RSVP.

MVBC Holiday Party, December 17

Join in some holiday fun with your fellow riders! We'll gather from 1-3 p.m. at Common Fields Pride Pavilion in Corvallis. Members will receive a coupon/token towards their meal. There will also be a few door prizes so come join the fun. Holiday attire is welcome!

from the road ...

MVBC Coast Range Gravel Adventure

Riders welcome sunny days and gravel roads!

We had nine riders and a dedicated SAG driver for this year's CRGA. Whereas last year we had the worst imaginable weather, this year we had the best. Sunny days in the 70's are hard to beat.

Left to right: Peter, Betsy, Lyle, Eileen, Robert, Paul, Tracy, Christi, Betty, and Rann

Here is what some of the riders had to say about the ride ...

"Wow, What an adventure! Perfect weather! Outstanding riding partners! Awesome scenery! For me, a first timer on the CRGA, I wasn't sure how I would handle the climbs, single track section, and fist-size gravel in some areas, but it all went well, and I had the time of my life, especially away from so many internal combustion vehicles we always find on the highways. It was a real joy to be out there, doing it. " - Rann

Picture: Paul, Rann, Peter, and Robert midway up Hilltop Road with Mary's Peak behind us.

"The challenge was worth it." - Lyle

Picture on right: The big reward on day 2 is getting to the ocean. It really helps when it's 75 degrees on the beach.

Another big perk on the coast is great food. With 2 hard days behind us we indulged in a great meal at Luna Sea in Seal Rock.

"First-timer on this route and would heartily! recommend. Couldn’t have ordered more perfect weather. Four days of forest, rivers and ocean; privilege to ride in company of this well seasoned group. This ride was good for the soul. Thank you to all." - Betsy

"Best ride ever. Perfect weather, great riding companions, challenging route. Let's do it again." - Robert

Picture: After a pleasant 12 miles up the beautiful Yachats River Valley, road NF-54 climbs steeply into the mountains. Rann scouts ahead while Peter  and Betsy anticipate the climb and Christi chats with Eileen.

“Being SAG for this trip was an excellent experience.  It gave me the opportunity to take in all the beauty of this route without the workout, which I usually enjoy,  but was glad to forego this time!  The riders were inspiring and it was a delight to be their support person!" - Eileen Tokuda

"Even though I carried my own gear, it was certainly nice to know Eileen was around and willing to lend a hand (or a cheese stick!) to anyone in need. For me, one of the great things about this club ride is that I could continue to dial in the way I loaded my bike: I found out that I had everything I needed on my bike and I didn't bring too many "extras." That said, SAG did have a spare tire, tube, pedals, etc. just for that "worst case scenerio" plus fresh fruit and veggies that were a special treat!" - Tracy Hug

Picture: Eileen, Peter, Lyle, Betsy and Christi at Salmonberry Campground on the final night of the ride.

You can find more information about this ride, including the route, on our website.

Books, podcast, videos and more ...

Book review: Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

by James Nestor, review by Tracy Hug

Shortly before the pandemic hit, I heard about a book on NPR that was about breathing. I read a lot of non-fiction and some of it can be a little dry. Fortunately, this book is an example of what non-fiction can be. Author James Nestor has written a book that is scientific but also offers historical and personal insight into our breathing patterns and habits. 

As riders, breath is important and this book offers tips and strategies to improve breathing for sport and for life. 

If you'd like a bit of how a former pro cyclist applied the information in this book, check out this YouTube from Roadman Cycling.

 Wild and Scenic Film Festival Returns, November 17

The 2022 Wild and Scenic Film Festival comes to the Whiteside Theater on Thursday, November 17, 2022. Doors open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7. This year the theme is "Currents of Hope." Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 student (university/college) and $5 youth (HS and under).

Tire Talk: Tips and Tricks ...

by Tracy Hug

While we were on the Coast Range Gravel Adventure, there was a lot of talk about tires: width of tire, tire pressure and tubed versus tubeless. With the ride being a mixed terrain ride, the majority of riders were riding bikes with tubeless tires.

For a 101 on tubeless tires and the pros and cons, see the article by MVBC's David Lerman from the September 2021 newsletter Tubeless 101.

Apparently I'm known for getting flat tires (tubed and tubeless!) and I can change them, but I'm slow at it. Fortunately, I often ride with ride leader Betty Tucker and she can change a tire in no time flat! (Pun intended.) Now, I've been riding tubeless about two years and I'm still learning the tips and tricks so decided it would be good to share some things I've learned. 

Silly terminology!

Not all tires are tubeless compatible, but many are. There are different notations on the tire depending on manufacturer. 

I won't go into all of them here but I'll tell you an embarrassing story: I had a set of tires and they didn't say "TR" on them (what I had seen on my other tires to indicate they are "tubeless ready." The words printed on the tire were 2Bliss. Apparently, my brain did not see the connection until it was pointed out to me (hint: read 2Bliss aloud if you are still having trouble!) This link has a long FAQ about tubeless tires, including Tubeless abbreviations

Plugs, bacon, darts, dynaplugs: these are all things to help fill the puncture if the sealant alone isn't enough.  This is a whole other topic to explore! Google away! Yes, they look like bacon!

Let the sealant do it's job!

The sealant is in the tube for a reason. In the past, if sealant was spurting out, I would stop and use a plug to fix it: I have bacon, I have Stans Darts but I finally realized the hole I was creating to put in the plug was sometimes bigger than the original hole. Some wise-person, aka: Robert Williams (long-term MVBC-member and my first loop tour SAG), rode by my leaky tire and said, "just ride it." It wasn't a big leak and it quickly sealed. Aha! That's what this sealant is supposed to do! Also putting the puncture down, when stopped helps the sealant pool to the spot that it's needed. 

Another ride friend told me, "Every time I have a sealant leak, I just think, 'Oh, that's a flat tire that I didn't have to stop and fix.'" I like that mindset!

I picked up another tip that if you rub some dirt on the hole, that can also help seal it. This has worked for me but I've also read you should clean the dirt off, so maybe it was just a coincidence! 

Choose your air pressure

Part of the allure of tubeless is being able to decrease your air pressure for rocky surfaces to get a smoother ride and improve your contact with the surface. All tires will have a pressure range listed on them and you can check the manufactures website for exact details of your tire. Within the recommended range, there are multitude of factors that go into your choice of pressure. A simple, easy place I found to start is at tire pressure calculator on the Rene Herse website.   A more detailed guide is at GrvlBicycle

Check your sealant level

Sealant does dry out over time and should be checked every 3-6 months (depending on climate, etc.). While we were in camp on the CRGA, Peter Wendell had a clever way of checking sealant level: using a cut-off zip tie as a dip-stick. Yes, this requires a valve core remover (which I do carry) and extra sealant in case you need it (yes, I have that too!) I found this helpful video from Park Tools about tubeless tire installation and checking your sealant level with the zip tire method.

Sometimes new tires will weep along the tire or sidewall. This can also be true of older tires. This means you need to add sealant more often. 

What about the sealant mess?

There was someone with a latex allergy on the trip and when my tire was leaking, this rider backed off. At the time, I didn't know if my sealant was natural latex or a synthetic. Turns out, Stans NoTubes is natural latex. Not a problem for me, but now I feel more informed if I have a leak and someone with a latex allergy is riding behind me in the sealant vapor trail!

I've heard concerns about having to put a tube into a tire with the mess of sealant. In two years of riding tubeless, I've (knock on wood) never had a flat that didn't seal itself or I used bacon or a Stans Dart on. 

This video shows the way to put a tube in a tubeless tire: is there a bit of mess from the sealant? Yes. The suggestion from the video is if you're on the trail, use leaves or a clump of grass to help get the sealant out of the tire (if it's eco-friendly sealant). After removing the sealant, putting the tube is the same as if you're riding a tubed tire. Putting a tube in a tubeless tire.

What can I do to help if my tubeless friend has a tubeless leak?

If you see a leak, mention it. Sometimes I can hear a leak happening but sometimes there's too much noise around to hear it. Sometimes I can feel the back of my knee getting sticky (think Elastigirl!)

If you don't have a latex allergy, offer to put a finger on the leaking spot. The goal is to not lose too much air while the rider looks for their plug of choice. 

Whatever you choose to use, tubes, tubeless or the next great thing that comes along, a little knowledge, an inflation method, a few tools and a willingness to learn can help you enjoy the roll!

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