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  • All Ages and Abilities

    All Ages and Abilities
    Bicycling on Southern Oregon Streets Should Not Require Bravery

    Making Bicycling Safe for Everyone

  • In Memoriam: Phil Gagnon

    The Siskiyou Velo Bike Club lost a well-loved member on December 4, 2021. Phil Gagnon passed away unexpectedly during a bike ride with two friends along the Applegate River. The cause of death was natural causes; it was not due to a motor vehicle accident. He was 90 years old.

    Phil was a past President of the SV Bike Club (2011-2013). He initiated the “Slo-Mo” (leisurely-paced) cycling group that rode Saturdays. This group morphed into the “Trikers” rides on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Still considered a leisurely-paced ride, the Trikers group consists of people with e-assist trikes. According to Cookie Webb, chatting and laughing with Phil during a coffee stop was a highlight of many of his rides.

    In addition to leading Saturday rides, Phil coordinated multi-day rides in Oregon and out of state. He loved planning where to stay and what the routes would be. Often riders stayed in one or more motels along the way. Sometimes riders carried their gear and camped along the route. Ken Kelley fondly remembers a 6-day trip with Phil on the International Selkirk Loop through Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia. They carried all their camping gear; it rained only one day(!) and everyone had a great time.

    Ken Kelly remembers Phil as always making “you feel so welcome… He was friendly and never had a cross word for anyone.” He seemed to know everyone in the club. He was always curious about new places, which probably inspired him to lead cycling/camping trips. In his former life, Phil had been a graphic designer in advertising. A gifted artist since childhood, in recent years he was especially active in the Urban Sketchers of Ashland – you can find the group on Facebook – and also in a calligraphy group.

    Phil died doing what he loved – riding his trike along a beautiful road on a gorgeous day with friends. We will miss his warm and generous heart and the good times we had riding with him.

    – Written by Lisa Brill

  • Nov Board Meeting Notice

    Members,

    PLEASE NOTE: Vaccinations are required to attend the board meeting, and the Library requires masks indoors, no exceptions.

    The Nov Board Meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, Nov 30, from 4:30 – 7:00 PM at the Medford Library, 205 S. Central Avenue, in the Carpenter Conference Room.  I’ve attached the draft agenda (November 2021 Agenda).  Any member can attend.  If you wish to attend, please notify Harlan Bittner.

     

  • IN MEMORIAM:  SUE HUTCHINSON

    IN MEMORIAM:  SUE HUTCHINSON, 84

         LAST RIDE:  JULY 3, 2021

     

    I never met Sue, but when Membership Chair, Matt Walker described her as a slender woman who wore a multicolored, fluorescent cycling outfit on a bicycle painted the same, I realized I had seen her on the road many times.  She was always riding alone, smiling as we exchanged waves.

    Club members Elizabeth Zell and Jean O’Donnell told me Sue was a dedicated athlete who previously participated in running events and triathlons.  She stayed in excellent physical condition by swimming and lifting weights at the YMCA in Ashland.  But most of all she was the consummate bicyclist, riding her bike almost every day according to her neighbor, John Slawta of Land Shark Bicycles.

    Local news media had very little information about the collision which ended her life.  I contacted members of Jackson County Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team to learn more.  They could not provide a lot of details because of the likelihood of criminal prosecution, however I did not ascertain the following:  At about 6:30 am on July 3rd, Sue was westbound on Pioneer Road from Colver Road when she was overtaken and struck from behind by a vehicle driven by Lucas Patterson, 18 years old, who then drove away.   Patterson returned to the scene later and was arrested for Hit and Run with Injury and Reckless Driving.  Police suspect Patterson was driving while impaired (under the influence) and they are awaiting lab test results.  The Police emphasized Sue was riding legally and did nothing to cause the accident.  In their words, “She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

    The Police also told me, “Pioneer Road is a very dangerous road for bicycling.”  I asked what led them to that conclusion and they said the road was narrow with no shoulders and a drop off on each side for drainage.  I pointed out the pavement is good, visibility is excellent, traffic is light and although there are no shoulders, the traffic lanes are standard width so there is plenty of room for vehicles approaching from the rear to pass safely.  In my view, Pioneer Road is a safe road to ride on as I often do.  Any danger for cyclists there is due to dangerous drivers, not a dangerous road.

    This is another sad story about a cyclist killed under circumstances that defy logic.  She was riding early in the morning on a lightly traveled country road with the sun at her back. The pavement was dry and in good condition.  Yet she was struck from behind a vehicle driven by a young man. Though the cause of his actions are yet to be determined, ultimately there is no excuse for what happened to Sue.  We lost one of our own and it could have been anyone of us.

     

    John Fries

    Siskiyou Velo Board Member

  • Velo Melo Saturday October 9th. Gold Hill <-> Rogue River

    Saturday October 9th, eleven Velo Melo cyclists including ride leader Phil Kolczynski, enjoyed perfect weather  exploring remote Galls Creek Canyon south of Gold Hill. They also toured Valley of The Rogue Park riding to the City of Rogue River.

    The group stopped by The Rogue River for a break and relaxed for this photo, then returned to Gold Hill for 26 miles.

    (Part of the Group elected the optional climb up Sardine Creek Canyon to the paranormal “House of Mystery,” adding 9 more miles; the manager was so impressed that we cycled up to her tourist destination, that she has extended an invitation to return, use her facilities, and check out the Oregon Vortex.)

     

  • Velo Melo Ride Sat. Oct. 2

    Sixteen (16) Velo Melo Cyclists, including guest/new riders, gathered at Twin Creeks Pavilion for the 33-mile “Tour de Table Rocks” Ride Saturday, Oct. 2.

    Ride Leader Phil Kolczynski reinforced by John Fries, co-ride leader, split the big group in half and enjoyed smoke-free ideal weather and a refreshment break at Rainey’s store.