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The Mid-Valley SPIN

Newsletter of the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club

March/April 2022 

Board Business

From the president

Paul Lieberman

The days are getting longer, the weather hasn't been bad, and we've been getting great turnout for our club rides.  It's really great to see 15-20 riders going down the road together. And it certainly is a lot of fun.  There are however some important things to keep in mind when out on a club ride. Safety, of course, is the top priority.  Riding in a group requires developing some unique skills. You need to be able to anticipate what riders in front of you are going to do and be able to react quickly, while at the same time realizing that there are riders behind you having to do the same.  And of course we have to share the road with motorized traffic as well. The first rule for sharing the road with both drivers and other cyclists is to always be predictable. Nothing upsets motorists more than having a cyclist do something really unexpected in front of them. It's no different in a group. You really want to know that the rider behind you understands your intention to stop before you hit the brakes.  Always communicate your intentions via hand signals, verbal warnings, or both.

Riding as a club often means putting a little more priority on courtesy than when we're out on our own. Drivers that might not get impatient when having to wait to pass a single rider can get really frustrated when encountering a group of riders, especially when we're spread out in two or more lines over a half mile or so. It pays to think about what you can do to help get that driver safely past the group and on their way. The last thing a driver wants is to come around a bend and see a bunch of cyclists spread out two or three wide across the road. If you can't see far enough back to know when a car is coming and get out of the way you should not be riding two abreast, even if you think you have a right to.  In a single line, riders can maintain a pace and keep the group safely moving forward. When people have to scramble to pull in when a car approaches the whole group has to slow down and react. Please save the conversations for when we're out on the quiet country roads where cars are few and far between. We are so fortunate to have so many of these, there is really no need to take chances on the busier roads.

Above all remember that when we're out on a ride we are all ambassadors for the bike club. We want the community to think of MVBC as good citizens willing to show as much courtesy to drivers as they show to us. With spring approaching, they're going to be seeing a lot more of us out on the road, and when they see how much fun we're having they just might decide to join us on the next ride.

Introducing new board member Rob Upson

We are pleased to announce our Advocacy efforts are now benefiting from the skilled and enthusiastic direction of Rob Upson! He has been working with Josh Capps the Active Transportation Program Specialist for the City of Corvallis.

Rob and his family recently returned to Oregon after living 20 years in the Caribbean. He grew up in the Portland area, rode with the Portland Wheelman, and raced actively at the junior level. His background is in Analytic Chemistry and Math Education, working at environmental laboratories and educational organizations in his early career. In 2012, he obtained his CPA license and entered Accountancy.  In his leisure time, you may see him riding his rainbow Rossin with original Campagnolo components.

"In my new role as MVBC advocate I plan to share monthly updates in the club newsletter. I've been reaching out to members for feedback on how best to serve the club.  Feel free to email me if you have any questions or requests.  This month I am sharing three summer projects in Corvallis:"

1. Van Buren Avenue will be getting buffered bike lanes as part of the resurfacing project.  The lanes will extend from Kings to 5th with curb bulb-outs at 11th St. 

2. The north portion of the 11th St bikeway project is underway. New signage is already installed from Harrison to Cleveland. Look for sharrows, speed humps and other "quick build" improvements this spring. The second phase of the project will extend the bikeway on 11th from Harrison to E Street.

3. Block 15 has a new bike corral with oversized bike parking spots.  Look for the new racks and signage at the Jefferson and 4th Street location. Let Block 15 know you appreciate the improvements next time you visit.

You can reach Rob at

club news

MVBC, the Corvallis Bicycle Collective and the Corvallis School District

partner to host a successful Free Bikes for Kids Event 

In a whirlwind, all-day event, more than 20 MVBC volunteers helped 40+ kids select their bikes and  get fitted for helmets  at Garfield School on April 2.

MVBC along with the Corvallis Bicycle Collective and the Corvallis School District Health Navigators collaborated on this project of refurbishing bikes, identifying eligible children in the elementary schools of Linus Pauling Middle School, Garfield and Lincoln Elementary and registering these families/children to receive a helmet and bike .

Photographer John Rodecker said, "It was great and I was surprised how many kids learned to ride bikes today. They picked it up so fast."

Volunteer Spanish translator, Teddi Crotti echoed that comment: "So many kids learned to ride today and with Nancy Meitle's "secret" instructions, I was able to help those kids learn. It was great!"

Other highlights the volunteers shared were helping a 16-year-old girl from Guatemala find a bike to help her get to high school where she is excited to learn English. Arabic translation by Mazen Suliman went above and beyond: when a family did not have a way to get the event, he drove to get them so they could select bikes for their family members: helping to give them the freedom that bikes allow.. 

This event was made possible by the following people:

  • Ilene McClelland- the inspiration for this project, and whose knowledge was instrumental to its success
  • Bruce Martin, Mark Gire, Steve Kadas - for their bike mechanics skills to refurbish  64 bikes
  • Nancy Meitle and her assistant crew members of Jordan Trippet and Kendal Artica for helmet fittings and bike cleaning 
  • Peter Wendel, Bill Dunn, Phil Histand, Joe Monteleone, Bruce Martin, Bruce Hecht  and Steve Harvey for bike transport, set up and tear down for the event
  • Spanish translation was provided by Randye Jensen , Teddi Crotti and Catalina Contreras Colin . 
  • Arabic translation by Mazen Suliman. 
  • Bike fittings performed by Matt Usner, Dan Miles, Rob Upson, Brandy and Michael Schuyler,  Mark Gire, Steve Harvey
  • Registration/check in  handled by Melissa Cowan and Paul Lieberman
  • Photography by John Rodecker

With the success of this event, organizers hope and plan for it to become an annual event. If you would like to volunteer for this worthy cause, contact Eileen Tokuda. 

Gear Storage Upgrade

How many coolers does it take to run a tour?!?

For several years now MVBC has been storing all of our gear for Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour (CBBT), Loop Tours and other events in member Tracy Hug's barn. This year Tracy was gracious enough to offer us a better space to keep the gear. CBBT Directors Rick Olson and Sam Stern went right to work setting up the space using recycled materials that Tracy had on hand, plus a storage cabinet donated by member Pam Bottom. Then the CBBT Transport team of Beth Brown, Beth Watson and Teddi Crotti got busy moving the stuff from the old location as well as a bunch of stuff that was left in Teddi's basement after last year's CBBT.

So thanks to the work of many volunteers, for the first time in many years our gear is well organized, clean and secure. It takes a lot of gear to put on the events we do.

There are many other roles to fill before and during the Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour on Sunday, August 14, 2022. This is the club's primary way of fundraising monies that go to the services we give back to the community: the free helmet program and  all the equipment for the bike education for area schools. Contact CBBT directors Rick Olson or Sam Stern to  help give back and lend a hand!

Weekly club rides

Melo Velo ride to join club offerings for spring on Saturdays

Have you, or a friend, ever wanted to go for a bicycle ride but thought our club rides were too long or too fast? Coming this spring, we have the ride for you! The "Melo Velo" will offer rides during the summer that are about 5-10 miles long and highlight low traffic roads. They will be no drop rides with a sub-10 mph pace. Helmets are required. This is the perfect ride for those new, or returning to biking. There may even be a stop for coffee and snacks! Check the club rides calendar for the routes and start dates. 

Gravel Rides are Rolling Out! Also expanding to Wednesday evenings

Beginning  in April,  our weekend gravel rides will resume Sunday mornings at 10 am.  The routes for each week are found on the MVBC Ride Schedule using this link:

These Sunday rides are designed to be enjoyed by riders who may be new to gravel as well as those more experienced. We travel along gravel roads, not single track paths.  It is advised that you have good tread, and tire widths of at least 40C.  

Start locations for the rides are usually less than a 30-minute drive from Corvallis. 

We ride rain or shine, and everyone is welcome to join! If you are not a club member and you'd like to ride as a GUEST, please complete the Liability Waiver Agreement at before you ride. Everyone should review our ride policies for a listing of ride group values, practices, and safety requirements

The Ride leader is the responsible party to make the determination to cancel a ride either before or at start time of ride if the following conditions are present:

·Extreme temperature: Under 32 or over 95 degrees

·High wind: Over 20 mph (particularly if gusts >20mph are expected)

Rain: Over 90% chance and/or heavy rainfall forecast during the ride

Very heavy fog

Wildfire smoke: AQI  over 100

Or other unsafe conditions; eg snow and ice

Additional gravel ride updates:

Our 7 pm weekday gravel ride on Wednesdays, which have been  nighttime rides during the winter, will become daytime evening rides as daylight savings time has arrived and has expanded the day light hours.  Experienced riders who enjoy hills and a moderate pace should consider joining this evening ride. 

If you are interested to be trained/mentored to become a gravel ride leader, please send an email to 

Happy Tailwinds!

Saturday Rides expand to include medium-fast rides

When group rides returned after the pandemic shut down, several riders and the MVBC ride committee recognized that the 9 a.m. medium/fast  ride, listed on the calendar, did not have a published leader and did not have a recognized attendance by members. With the Ride Committee’s support and endorsement, Rowan Debold and Mark Gire took initiative to scout out what kind of faster paced Saturday ride was desired. They discovered there was opportunity to build a better ride schedule that could be inclusive of fast-fast and medium-fast riders and they built a new ride schedule accordingly.

Both Rowan and Mark moved to Corvallis 1-2 years ago , with Mark coming from California and Rowan from Minneapolis.  They quickly sought out opportunities to ride with the club but found most of the group rides were either too fast, too slow or too long.

"A small group of fast riders were riding on Saturdays but they were too fast for us. Therefore, we decided to start a medium speed group ride. We followed Steve Gerdermann’s successful Wednesday ride model and asked him to be a co-leader on these Medium-Fast rides," Rowan said.

The pace is medium to fast depending on the terrain: 15-18 mph on the flats with pacelines at times. Distance is usually 30-50 miles with occasionally longer rides. Some of the routes are mostly flat while others have hills and occasional large hills, like the Saddle. They regroup as needed. Stops are usually short – just coffee and snacks. Most rides start at Osborn Aquatic Center with a few starting at other locations. Meet time is 8 am from June-Sept and 9 am from Oct-May. Departure time is 15 minutes after the meet time.

Eileen Tokuda, Chair of Ride Committee shared, "Those two guys have been instrumental in reviving interest in the 9 a.m. rides and have done a great job of promoting the ride. They have demonstrated flexibility in adapting the routes to invite a variety of fast riding styles and are consistent in following their no-drop policy. That is a tough line to toe, and their actions are consistent with MVBC values of encouraging camaraderie among riders while being courteous and safety conscious ride leaders."

community corner

Book Review: Bicycling with Butterflies

submitted by Eileen Tokuda

I totally enjoyed this book!  It chronicles a woman’s solo journey on bicycle, traveling 10,000 miles between Mexico and Canada as she follows the migration route of Monarch butterflies.  Her intention was to raise awareness about the problems Monarchs face as they make this annual trip.  Along the entire length of her trip, she gave presentations at schools and community events, teaching about how individuals can make a difference in helping the Monarch butterflies. Her cycling “secret” resonated with me …

“. . . a long trip is nothing more than a collection of miles. If I could bike one mile, then I could bike two. If I could bike two, then I could bike 10,000”

I liked her writing style.  She had a wonderful way of describing her experiences that captivated me as a cyclist and as someone who has a curiosity about these butterflies. She provided interesting insight into Monarch butterflies and the complexities of their annual migration. She engaged me in the manner in which she presented science and conservation issues without getting too preachy. 

You don’t need to be a cyclist or an entomologist to enjoy this book. The story is told with humor and a sense of adventure and passion for her subject.

It’s a wonderful read I highly recommend!

What’s in your ear?

Podcasts offer a great way to learn or be entertained while you’re driving, doing house chores or yard work. Hosts vary as much as the subjects but here’s some podcasts featuring outdoor and bike-related topics shared by MVBC member Lori Wilson. Most podcasts are available through a variety of listening apps. What are you listening to?

Peak Northwest: ~30 minute podcasts highlighting scenic places throughout Oregon.


REI podcast offering Wild Ideas Worth Living covers a wide variety of outdoor activities and includes features on people who are changing the landscape of the outdoors.

The Dirtbag Diaries includes stories of adventure and transformation through these activities.

MVBC service work continues on C2C trail

About 15 MVBC members joined the C2C volunteer trail maintenance leaders to 

help clean up the Sugar Bowl section of the C2C trail. The mid-March weather cooperated and the team helped remove invasive w

eeds, work to improve drainage and clear fallen tree debris on the Sugar Bowl section of the C2C trail.  

Members use this section of the C2C on MVBC's Coast Range Gravel Adventure in the fall. Others do day rides from Harlan and explore this area. This is one of many ways MVBC members give back to the community.

mvbc touring calendar 

MVBC members love to ride bikes and camp out together.  We have a full schedule of tours planned for this year. These are all posted on the calendar at . (It may be easiest to change the calendar view to month.) There are both road and gravel. long and short tours for every level of rider. We hope you'll consider joining us on one of these tours. Look for registration announcements sent out via the MVBC-Announce email list.

May 14 : Spring Overnight

Sart the season off with an overnight to test out your gear and get ready for the longer tours ahead. We will have a long and a short option. The long ride is to Willamette Mission State park and is about 100 miles round trip. We also call this the ferry loop as we take the Buena Vista ferry on the way out and the Wheatland ferry on the way back. The shorter route is to Independence river park and is about 50 miles round trip.

May 20 - 22 : Gravel Camp

Campout at Big Elk Campground in Harlan and spend three days riding the gravel roads and trails in the Coast Range. Optionally ride over on the C2C Trail.

May 23 - 25 : Columbia Gorge Campout - Eagle Creek spoke tour

Second annual camp at Eagle Creek and ride the old scenic Columbia Gorge. Read more on the website

May 28 - June 5 : Oregon Outback

This is a big one. Eight days of remote gravel bikepacking east of the Cascades. This will be the first year and a scouting trip. If it goes well it could become an annual event.

May - June : McKenzie Pass

While this is not a MVBC event, club riders often join together to ride the McKenzie Pass road before it opens to cars. The date is variable as the snow is plowed and work crews repair the road during the spring. From the travel Oregon website: McKenzie Pass is a well-known secret among the riding community. Why? Because at certain times of the year you can ride this road when cars can’t drive it. The pass is only open during the summer/fall season, but it’s often navigable by bike long before it’s officially open. Check with the Eurosport bike shops in Sisters for current access info, and check for current road conditions.

June 18 - 26 : Loop Tour I

Our annual 9-day classic bicycle tour. This year, we are Bending a Bowtie. Read more on the website.

July 8 - 11 : Mini-Loop Tour / Intro to bicycle touring.

Fun for the the whole family and for people just getting into touring who aren't ready for a full 9-day tour. Four days and three nights starting and ending in Corvallis. We need help planning this so if you're interested please contact us and we'll get you on the committee.

July 16 - 24 : Loop Tour II

The second group for Bending a Bowtie. Read more on the website.

September 10 & 17 : Crater Lake Ride the Rim

While not explicitly a MVBC event, many club members enjoy the Ride the Rim, car-free days at Crater Lake. This year's car-free days are set for September 10 & 17, 2022.  See the Ride the Rim website for more information

Sept 30 - Oct 3 : Coast Range Gravel Adventure

This year will be the 5th annual 4-day, 3-night bikepacking adventure in the Coast Range. This ride takes two days to the beach and two days back. Read more on the website.

save the date

Ride of Silence marks 20th year on May 18

Every third Wednesday in May, riders gather worldwide to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. The ride in Corvallis will start from Osborn at 7 p.m. 

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride. There are no registration fees. The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

Bottle Drop offers Earth Day special 20% bonus

MVBC members who use the special blue drop bags at the BottleDrop have the opportunity to get a 20% bonus when they drop their blue bags between April 11-23, during an Earth Day celebration. BottleDrop Give is celebrating Earth Day by contributing up to $35,000 to Blue Bag Fundraisers through their 2nd Annual Earth Day Give, a combination of matching funds raised and social media prizes.

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