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Spokin' Word, May 2019


Serving Chicago’s Southland

Meeting Program

Kathy McEllligott will be sharing two of her Road Scholar trips. The first is the GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE bike trip and the second is hiking to the GRAND CANYON and overnite stay at the Yavassupi Indian Reservation. We talked of a program last year already and I am pleased she is available to present her trips at this months meeting. Come join us and learn more of Road Scholar and the kind of adventure trips they offer.

Meeting Time and Location

May 23rd

7:30 PM

FOS General Meeting April 24, 2017; the first meeting since the Easter Ride!

By Sally

Approximately 25 members attended the General meeting. The meeting started with snacking on a wide variety of leftover Easter Ride cookies, thanks to all who contributed cookies this year! Then the pizza arrived, folks got a slice and everyone settled in for the meeting.  There were two guests and one new member: member, Gail J.; guests, Nancy G. and Jeffrey L.; welcome to all of you! We had not one but two speakers this time, Larry M. and Jim T., and lastly we then turned our focus to a recap of the Easter Ride from Chris O. Due to technical difficulties, Jim’s slide show was not available, so Larry stepped up to give an informative Safety presentation. Larry has been involved with Ride Illinois’s (  mission to improve bicycle safety for several years, teaching safe cycling (including several FOS members) and promoting the Bicycle Safety Quiz, a valuable tool for young and old alike to learn the rules of the road for cyclists. His presentation was titled “Emergency Maneuvers to Save Your Bacon”, and he paid particular attention to Quick Stops with maximum braking and Quick Turns to avoid a left hook or a right cross. With maximum braking, 2 actions occur: the rider’s weight should transfer as far as possible to the back and, while using both brakes, brake harder with the front than the back. With the Quick turn, without braking, the rider has to lean the bike with a quick right angle turn which allows the bike to fall and then quickly catch it & counter-steer. The video of avoiding the right hook really demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique, and video of the Quick stop maneuver looked challenging! Larry emphasized that all cyclists can learn these procedures, probably quicker than one might think; once they are mastered, be sure to practice them periodically so you don’t lose what you’ve learned. Remember there are situations that can turn deadly even though you are “JRA”, aka “Just riding along.”

Jim T. and Larry M.

After Larry’s presentation, Jim was persuaded to get up in front of the audience to speak about his many bicycle trips he has led and taken. Jim has been riding since 1995, taking day & overnight trips, exploring trails, greenways, rails to trails and urban bike paths. The list of the places he has been is vast, but here is a partial list of some of them: Monon bike trail, Iron Horse trail, Brickyard trail, Calumet Levy trail, Major Taylor trail, Cal-Sag trail, Centennial trail, Fox River Trail and (of course) Old Plank Road trail! Without his slide show, he painted pictures in our minds with the exact location of each trail and its’ terrain. He had recommendations of where to go for a bite to eat and a cold beer too! When asked to pick out a favorite, he said while he liked many, many trails, Salt Creek and Lackawanna were among those he would recommend to others. Jim’s encyclopedic recall of his rides was impressive, and he offered to put his presentation on the FOS website to see all the places he’s been. He then took questions from the audience; Mary Lynn M. wanted to know if Jim thought Google Maps was a reliable source of directions on his trips; He said he usually uses the service, but every now & then it can send him on a wrong turn. Irene V. suggested Rails to Trails for the bike paths that used to be along old railroad tracks. In fact, Lois J. likes those paths because the rails to trails paths are never more than a 30% grade due to their railroad ancestry.

Chris then quickly recapped on the ER; there were very few riders due to the winter-like conditions that day, and some of them needed a SAG ride back to Frankfort. There were no complaints from any government municipalities about the event. He mentioned there was some interest in having a make-up ride for the event due to the bad weather conditions and that it would be discussed at the next board meeting. He has chaired and/or co-chaired the ER for 3 years now, and he is ready to step down. Although the audience wished he would stay, they gave him a well-deserved round of applause for his service! Chris also said still has some ER T-shirts for sale from the ride, please contact Chris at if you would like one (or two!)

Upcoming Socials for 2019

July 21 Annual ICE CREAM SOCIAL-Gazebo in Praire Park in Frankfort, 11 to 2:30. There will be no general meetings in June and July so this will be a great time for a gathering . This is not the same weekend as the Blue Grass Festival.
September 22 Annual PICNIC-HICKORY CREEK PRESSERVES. LaPorte Road Access, Mokena. Catered and food served at 1 pm-Bring a dessert to share and be in the raffell for a prize.
October 27-Annual END of SEASON BIKE HIKE AND POTLUCK-Goodenow Grove, Beecher. Bring a dish to share, paper goods and drinks provided-eat at 1pm family and several other bike clubs invited.
November 21 Annual PIZZA PARTY, Aurelios in Frankfort 6:30 arrive, pizza 7, short meeting
Questions call Fern 708 747 7557 or e mail

Fos 3rd annual pancake breakfast March 31st. 32 attended and doors closed after 5pm. What a great to sit and relax but the best treat was hearing stories from Lois and Merkel of their sailing days. Tony chuck and fern asked many questions, what fun.


From Out In The World

Why the bicycle's future looks bright


From The

Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

The Helmet Update  -  Vol. 37, #2  --  May 7, 2019

Consumer Reports has published an article on their web page recommending as the number one buying criterion that helmet buyers:
"Consider a helmet with rotational force-reducing tech like MIPS or WaveCel if you can find one that fits your budget. It’s absolutely worth looking for a helmet that reduces rotational force,” says Anzalone. "
If you are inclined to accept that judgment we have a page up that matches their previous highest ratings for impact with Virginia Tech's highest ratings for concussion-level injury prevention, including rotational energy management:
Note that the Bontrager WaveCel helmets are too new to have dual test results.
We sent a WaveCel helmet to a lab for conventional CPSC-level impact testing and the results were good but not extraordinary.
Consumer Reports also announced that they are working on a helmet article for publication later this year.

FOS Calendar


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