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Monday, December 6, 2010


Dear valued friend and cyclist: 
We at Spokespeople are joining our (older) friends, the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, to assist them in trail construction, and trail maintenance on the east end. This group has managed hundred of miles of trails for decades, all with 100% volunteer effort. 
They are generally in their 70's and some even in their 80's, hauling out brush, chopping deadfall and lopping vines on a weekly basis, year round. They now need our help, and to be fair, we who enjoy hiking, biking, running on these wonderful trails, need to do our part to continue to have access to these trails. Below is a letter from trail maintenance guru Rich Poveromo, who is spearheading the adopt-a-trail movement, in order to have a more systematic approach to trail work. If you haven't already done so, please call him at 631.283.4591, or 917.584.7280 or email him at to volunteer and manage a section of trail. 
The maintenance is simple, and can be a little as a few hours over the entire winter, and a few hours a month in the summer. The rewards are multi-fold: camaraderie with swinging shovels and muddy tools, a great workout in the great outdoors, and the thrill of knowing that your efforts contribute to keeping the trails open and accessible to all! 
Please read Rich's letter and contact him directly, for whatever you can pitch in to do..Every hour helps!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

turkey day by BIKE...

Dustin the turkey heavily disguised as Joe Dolan in the 2010 eurovision song contest..
Hey turkeys!
You don't have to run, you don't have to hide..
This Thanksgiving, you can just go for a ride..

SPOKESPEOPLE annual turkey mountain bike ride..
Route 114
Thursday morning
Bring a box (or cash/ check donation) for the local food pantry..

Get the fire ragin' in the belly with a tour of the local trails.. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

addicted to biking? Join SPOKESPEOPLE..

from an old RockShox ad campaign..
..with nods to Jacquie Phelan, long time mountain biker and WOMBATs founder..
The Bicycle Addiction Test

  • Do you use Bicycles 2 or more times a week?
  • Do you find yourself going on ever-increasing numbers of rides?
  • Do you find that you cannot turn down a ride?
  • Have you tried unsuccessfully to limit your use of bikes?
  • Do people tell you that you have "changed" since you began biking?
  • Do you find yourself choosing friends because of their access to bikes or their bike use?
  • Do you have intrusive thoughts about biking?
  • Can you drive past a bike store without stopping?
  • Do you have an intimate relationship with your bike mechanic?
  • Do you habitually wear your bike shorts under your regular clothes?
  • Do you try to jump speed bumps while driving your car?
  • Do you become depressed, annoyed, or otherwise despondent when you can't use your bike?
  • Do you believe that your bike has some medicinal value in treating a problem you've had with energy, motivation, confidence, depression or sex?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you may have a serious addiction. We suggest that you seek immediate professional attention -- i.e: JOIN SPOKESPEOPLE..Scroll across to the BECOME A MEMBER or DONATE area and hit the big YELLOW button!
It won't change any of your "issues", but you will assist us with our outreach, improve trail access, and you will be in good company!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

NITE-RIDE! otherwise known as wooooohoooooo!!

night riding makes you feel fast (even if you are not..)

What? Night riding..
Where? In the woods, off route 114, park by the trailhead
When? Wednesday nights, 6pm start, round about 2 hours
How? with headlamp and / or helmet lamp: helmet is preferable, check here for superb lights, no cables. 
Why? Because we can! and it is SO much fun. 

Ride through the fall /winter blues, eliminate SAD symptoms, make friends with the DARK..have fun with your buddies all year 'round.
  • Bring: headlamp / handlebar mount lamp (Petzel headlight is not sufficient)
  • Warm gloves
  • Pump, Co2 cartridge(s), spare inner tube
  • Warm jacket / vest, arm warmers, bootie covers or calientoes
  • Snack for ride, 
  • Beverage of choice for bike, beverage of choice for after-biking!
  • Sense of adventure, couple of laughs
See you this week, beginning Wednesday, Oct 27th..

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mountain biking rules of the trail..

As the summer heats up, some cyclists ditch the bike and take to the beaches, some ride early morning on the road; while more us take shelter from the baking sun under the canopy of our local woods. Here on miles of trails, the temperature is a solid 5 to 10 degrees lower than on the street, the flora in full growth keeps shelter from the heat of the sun, and many of the trails lead to water!  As mountain bikers, we are happy to see new faces on the trails, both hiking, and biking, and offer these pointers to our fellow cyclists to keep the ambiance fun and the riding safe.

The following “rules of the trail” are direct from the IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) website ( which aims to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. SPOKESPEOPLE is affiliated with this group, with many of our members having dual membership of both organizations, as well as the local chapter C.L.I.M.B. (Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers) .
1. Ride On Open Trails Only: Respect trail and road closures -- ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as may be required.
2. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other exercise options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
3. Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Ride within your limits. Skids are not cool, they just indicate that you are not handling your bike well, and that you are insensitive to trail damage.
4. Yield to Others: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you're coming -- a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to all other trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. Strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.
5. Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (Stop riding, and ask if uncertain).
6. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding -- and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and use appropriate safety gear.
7. Give Back: Recognize the importance of the trails in your life by volunteering for trail maintenance and repair projects on a regular basis. Learn the skills needed to design and build sustainable trails. Cyclists from SPOKESPEOPLE have a strong liaison with the East Hampton and Southampton Trails Preservation Societies (, louis vuitton outlet store) and have logged many hours building and repairing trails for better riding now, and for continued fun in the future. Contact us at louis vuitton outlet for information, membership and rides!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Family Bike Adventures in Camp Hero State Park

As school ends and you are looking for fun activities for your whole family, why not take them on an adventure out to Camp Hero State Park? This is one of the coolest places to spend the day exploring, have a picnic, and a great place to bring your bikes to get around.

Camp Hero is so interesting to explore because it is an interesting mix of old military buildings, some partly overgrown over the past few decades, an intact “downtown” with barracks, chapel and dining hall, batteries, and of course the radar tower that is such a prominent feature of the Montauk skyline. Mix that in with a maritime oak-holly forest, a little bit of maritime grassland and unusually large mountain laurels, witch hazels and even black birches on the trails and there’s a little bit for everyone in your family.

When you pass through the main entrance, be sure to get a map; there is a great network of paved roads and mowed trails that make it easy to explore this former military area. Because there are so few cars, this is a safe place for young kids to ride around, especially in the shady area near the Camp Hero Road picnic area. The lack of visitors to this neat area also means that it’s easy for your whole family to cycle around together, without the worries of traffic.

One problem families with mixed-age children have when riding together is that their bikes are often different sizes and everyone is moving at different speeds. This can create frustration on the trail and anxiety for parents on roads. Not so in Camp Hero; the roads are quiet and the trails are wide and grassy, so everyone can have a great time using their bikes to explore an historic part of the East End.

We like to picnic off Camp Hero Road – it’s shady and has a nice loop for my kids to ride their bikes and scooters around on their own. However, there are sunny areas with tables near Battery 113 and closer to the Camp Hero downtown. Your family will love exploring the batteries and the little downtown and taking pictures by the radar tower – all on the quiet paved roads.

If you want to get off the road, the Battery 112 trail is well mowed and loops past intersections with three other trails, including the Paumonack Path. If you have little kids in tow, these may be better explored on foot. Other wide and easy to ride on trails are the Battery 113 trail Bluff overlook trail, which connects to Old Montauk Highway, another great road for your family to ride on.

All along the way you will pass buildings left over from when this area was part of the Coastal Defense System. Everyone’s imagination will be sparked when passing little closed up sentry buildings, bunkers, batteries and signs describing what life what like in Camp Hero when it was a military installation. If you head to the north end of the park, you will have spectacular views looking up at the Montauk Lighthouse, and may be able to see surfers in the water or surfcasters on the beach, depending on the tide and conditions.

It’s easy to have a family cycling adventure at Camp Hero. Take Route 27 all the way to Montauk Point. Just before the lighthouse, look for the sign for Camp Hero State Park on the right.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cyclists from across the US come to Southampton for Instructor Training

Last weekend, cyclists from across the United States came to Southampton to earn their certification as cycling Instructors. Spokespeople, the East End’s cycling advocacy group, hosted a League of American Bicyclist’s League Certified Instructor (LCI) course at Southampton High School. With more and more people looking for alternatives to their gas-burning cars for transportation, many are turning to their bicycles for a fun way to get around and stay fit at the same time. Spokespeople saw the need for more cycling education in our community.

As coordinator of Educational programs for Spokespeople, I contacted the League of American Bicyclists last fall about hosting an LCI training seminar in Southampton. The League put me in touch with Bike New York, which helped me find the instructors for two prerequisite Traffic Skills courses, which all candidate LCIs had to pass with an 85 or better. In addition to the prerequisite course, candidates had to complete and pass a rigorous pre-test based on study material sent before the LCI seminar.

The director of Bike New York’s educational programs, Rich Conroy, came out to Southampton to teach the all weekend course. “You’ll be very tired by Sunday afternoon” he told the candidates Friday evening. He was right. The LCI course started at 5:00 on Friday and ended at 4:00 on Sunday.

All LCI candidates were there to learn the skills and techniques to teach vehicular cycling to children, parents, teens and adults in their home communities. Vehicular cycling is the principle that bicyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles. This term was first used in the 1970s by John Forester, a transportation engineer, who emphasized that bicycles are vehicles that must be driven according to the rules of the road that are shared by all vehicles, motorized and non-motorized.

Candidates did class work, presented mini modules on cycling law (same as for other vehicles!), lane positioning, brakes, tire maintenance, nutrition and other aspects of being a cyclist that an instructor would have to teach their students. LCI candidates practiced and learned how to teach bike handling skills and avoidance procedures like the quick stop and instant turn. Sharon McCobb of East Hampton, who coaches youth and adult triathletes, said she will “use the parking lot drills whenever I start a new group as an introduction.”

The candidates also took two group rides that taught them how to manage a group of students on the road in various conditions. The road ride also assessed each LCI candidate’s skills at riding in traffic and in other conditions and hazards that could be encountered while on the road.
The ride also emphasized that cycling students need to learn confidence. Alyson Follenius from Springs wants the girls she coaches in her i-tri program to know “not only how to handle their bike safely but also know they have the right to be on the road.” After dinner on Saturday night, students returned for more class work and a night riding demonstration, where Follenius’s orange and reflective striped vest was the most visible. “No one’s going to miss her” said William Gerdes, LCI Candidate from Seattle.

Candidates from out of town also praised the LCI seminar and Southampton in general. “The countryside and village of Southampton is beautiful” said Allen Smith, a retired school teacher and Ironman triathlete from Waycross, Georgia. Smith is starting his second career – as a cycling instructor. “I want to make a difference in my community in regards to health and fitness. Georgia is one of the most obese states in the nation. I plan to offer courses in “Smart Cycling” courses in our schools, local YMCAs and other venues”

Rich Conroy from Bike New York felt that the LCI seminar in Southampton gave Spokespeople a “great foundation on which to build in terms of holding classes, getting more bicycle education into schools and working with young cyclists.” Hopefully, he added that these courses would “give Spokespeople the capacity to get more local cyclists prepared for League Cycling Instructor certification.” Smith also said that the courses the LCI candidates learned to teach will “help any cyclist be better prepared to ride skillfully, safely and confidently in the conditions they will normally encounter on the road.”

When asked about the one thing people should know about the League of American Bicyclists’ classes she had just learned how to teach, Jennifer Miller, program coordinator for SUNY Cortland Community Bike Shop and LCI candidate said, “Cycling is fun”
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