And the winner(s) are…

In January, I solicited for nominations for club member’s favorite organized ride, and then members were able to vote for their favorite of those choices.

Of the eight (8) single day organized ride nominated, the top choice was the Tour of Napa Valley. Held in August this has certainly been one of my favorites, although not the first century I ever did. Close (very close) in the number two position, is the Tierra Bella, held in April each year, and third place honors went to the Chico Wildflower, also held in April.

Tierra Bella 2013

Interesting to note is the absence of the Wine Country Century, a good choice for a first century for any rider, and one that falls on the first Saturday of May, allowing for folks to get prepared for it. And it sells out quickly each year, this year on the first day. There are certainly earlier centuries, the Tour de Palm Springs being held this Saturday, and the Solvang Century in March.

Wine Country 2013

Thanks to those who submitted a nomination and for those who voted.

The nominees were:
–Tour de Palm Springs
–Tierra Bella
–Chico Wildflower
–Grizzly Peak Century
–Sequoia Century
–Indian Valley Century
–AIDS/LifeCycle (multiday)
–Tour of Napa Valley
–Double Bay Double
–Foxy’s Fall Century

The Different Spokes listing of 2013 organized rides will be updated soon, stay tuned.

You Are All Cordially Invited to the 30th Anniversary Banquet!

On Sunday January 27 Different Spokes San Francisco will be celebrating 30 years of providing the LGBT community and its friends with fun, safe recreational cycling. The event will take place at Don Ramon’s Mexican Restaurante, 225 11th Street, San Francisco starting at 5:30 p.m.

painting of medieval feast
Let the feasting begin!

On Sunday January 27 Different Spokes San Francisco will be celebrating 30 years of providing the LGBT community and its friends with fun, safe recreational cycling. The event will take place at Don Ramon’s Mexican Restaurante, 225 11th Street, San Francisco starting at 5:30 p.m.

Founded in 1982 Different Spokes was one of the “first wave” of sports organizations in the San Francisco gay community. We’ve managed to survive and thrive to reach—gasp!—middle age! If you are a current member of Different Spokes San Francisco, you should already have received an email invitation to attend. If you are a former member or just a “fellow traveler”, you can still join in the fun and celebration by also going to the Pingg invitation site—just go to the following URL——and sign in. Please do so no later than Wednesday January 23. If you want to attend and it’s after January 23 and you haven’t reserved, please contact David Gaus ( and he’ll see what he can do.

The banquet will include a short (emphasis on the word short!) program with brief remarks about the club as well as recognizing those individuals who led rides in 2012, as volunteer rides are the life blood of the club. The dinner will be buffet style and there will be vegetarian options. Water and soda are included. The cost is $30 per person (including tax and tip) and you can pay at the door with cash or with a check made out to Different Spokes. Or, if you prefer to prepay, you can remit via PayPal to; be sure to mark the payment as a “gift”. Alcoholic beverages will be available however we request that you order and pay for them directly at the bar.

See you there!

American Conservatory Theater presents “4000 Miles”

Jaime Guerrero shared this on the DSSF Yahoo! list serve–

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) presents “4000 Miles”:

A poignant comic theatrical drama in which a hot 21-year-old Leo unexpectedly arrives on the doorstep of his feisty 91-year-old grandmother Vera’s New York apartment, dazed after a cross-country bike trip.

Sparks fly as Vera’s surprising political views collide with Leo’s carefree hippie lifestyle. When Leo’s old girlfriend shows up and he begins to reveal the mysterious events of his journey, Leo and Vera discover the fragile line between growing up and growing old. The winner of two 2012 OBIE Awards (including Best New American Play), 4000 Miles is “a funny, moving, altogether wonderful drama” (The New York Times) from one of today’s most celebrated new playwrights.

A.C.T. presents:  4000 Miles

Looking for a great night out with your bike? The American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) and the SF Bicycle Coalition have partnered to bring you two Bike to Theater Nights for the play “4000 Miles”.

You won’t have to travel that far to get to A.C.T. (it’s just downtown), but when you bike to the theater on January 17th or 24th, you’ll enjoy a special discount to the show and complementary secure bike parking provided by the SF Bicycle Coalition!

To buy discount tickets, visit: and enter code TRAVEL10. ($35 Orchestra, $25 Mezzanine, or $10 Balcony).

2012 Best of Poll: Your Favorite Organized Ride

Solicitation were made thru both the club’s Yahoo! group list serve and the Facebook group for nominations for best event or ride of 2012. Nominations have been compiled into a poll.

Nominations included specifics, such as the infamous cold and rainy Day 2 of AIDS/LifeCycle 11, and Day 2 of Double Bay Double at the opposite end of the temperature spectrum. Rather than list each of those as a separate event (out of a seven or two day event, respectively), the event themselves are listed.

The other organized rides nominated are features in the poll, along with a link to the event. Please make your vote count, where a 10 is your favorite event (could be of the year or always), a one is just an event you have never done, and 2 through 9 serve as the in-between not liking an event or just an okay event.

Vote now in the 2012 Different Spokes “Best of” organized ride (or event) poll open now thru January 31st. The results will be tallied in February, so check back.

To vote, go here now”!

Different Spokes 30th Anniversary Primal Club store is now open!

The Different Spokes Primal Club Store with the 30th Anniversary Jersey/Kit is open now.
You can place your order your new 30th Anniversary jersey/kit featuring the new club logo!
You must complete your order by Monday, January 14th. The store closes then and the order will go to production. Do not miss your chance!

You can order your choice(s) of:
Men’s (unisex) jersey: $54.00*
Men’s wind vest: $60.00
Men’s wind jacket: $83.00
Men’s short: $70.00
Men’s bibs: $85.00

*Subject to reaching the price point of 50 items, price could be slightly higher if we do not reach that quantity.

Because there is a minimum of 15 items, we were unable to offer any of the items in the women’s cut. Sorry, there was not enough interest in the poll.
Please consider the men’s jersey, see the Primal size guide here:

Orders will ship in mid-April direct to you.
Shipping charges will be $10/order.

Go to:

You can view the 30 Year jersey and kit final proofs at this link:

If you have any questions, please contact me: president at dssf dot org

And many thanks again to Bob McDiarmid for the design!

2013: Diehards With Modest Goals

January 1st brings high hopes, absurd goals, new zeal, and a practiced ignorance of everything that fell by the wayside in the past year. It’s the time of the year when gyms get their highest enrolments, we get dunned with Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig ads, and training plans for the year get inked. We wipe the slate clean (well, some of us just smudge the slate) and start over again. A blank slate looks so much more positive than one filled with excuses, lapses, and astounding failed resolve!

David Gaus's bike next to Mt. Diablo summit sign, 3849 feet elevation
Bag Mt. Diablo in 2013? Check!

Actually for me 2012 was a damn good year. After four years of wrestling with a knee injury I finally have been pain and irritation free for the latter half of the 2012. Believe me, nothing has been more dispiriting than repeatedly tweaking an injured knee and not being able to get it to heal. That was the best Christmas gift ever! Roger and I cycled our tandem through the French Alps in June and then the French Pyrenees in September. The highlights were challenging ascents up cols—the Col de Saisees and the Cormet de Roselend in the Alps, and Superbagneres and the Tourmalet in the Pyrenees—made all the more enjoyable by having a pain-free knee! Different Spokes didn’t do so badly either for hitting the big 3-0. We had an unusually high number of rides offered, our membership grew modestly but steadily, and we had a pleasant array of social events throughout the year including the club picnic in a new venue, Redwood Park, and the return of the Orinda pool party. Turnouts for rides especially the monthly Jersey Ride have been, well, not crowd swarming but still big and nowhere as diminished as the tiny grouplets we saw when the club was in the doldrums when it hit 20 years.

Starting off the year with a Big Ride, say up Mt. Diablo, is a statement. We resolve to ride awesome roads, climb and descend breathtaking hills, lead/participate in ass-kicking club rides, and hoover up scrumptious pastries whenever possible. We resolve to get stronger, train more, party more, and eat to excess more than ever. If you’ve been lurking on the sidelines, this is the year when you can resolve to come on a club ride finally. If you’ve been riding by yourself mostly, this is the year when you can resolve to show up on more club rides. And, if you’ve been coming to club rides for a while, this is the year when you can resolve to lead a club ride. Let’s make 2013 bigger, awesomer, and just way more kickass than 2012!

Resolution Ride group January 1, 2013
The Wild Bunch?

Speaking of kicking ass, nine people resolved and showed up for the club’s New Year’s ride up Mt. Diablo. No rain, good sunshine, and perhaps less excessive drinking meant we had a bigger than usual turnout. Riding up Mt. Diablo is a challenge at any time of the year, but on January 1 it’s like a slap in the face: do me if you dare. It’s friggin’ cold, sometimes there’s ice (or snow), and every honch in the area who isn’t doing the San Bruno Hill Climb is instead motoring up Diablo putting your measly, withered legs to shame for all the indulging you’ve been doing over the holidays. Those Christmas cookies and egg nog come home to roost when your hurling (in both senses of the word) up North Gate Road trying to catch your buds. David Gaus, soon to be past President, and Nancy Levin, soon to be ex-Women’s Outrach, came with something to prove: neither had been to the top before. David Sexton and Gordon Dinsdale were starting another intense year; last year both did over 12,000 miles (that’s a 1,000 miles a month!) and this year they’re contemplating doing a million vertical feet of climbing (that’s about 20,000 feet of climbing every week of the year. Since Diablo is about 4,000 feet, that’s like climbing Diablo five times every week.) The rest of us were just along for the ride—David Volkmann, David Goldsmith, Roger Sayre, and Peter Graney. The fabulous Mrs. Moy aka Roger Hoyer offered to meet us at the junction with hot coffee and freshly baked maple scones to take some of the sting out of the cold weather.

Basket of homemade maple scones and hot chocolate
Courtesy of Mrs. Moy!

All the local clubs were heading up as well—Valley Spokesmen, Diablo, and Grizzly Peak—so the mountain was swarming with cyclists of literally every type and shape, from BMX bikes to tandems to mountain bikes to every type of road bike. And, every age too from young preteens to lots of grey haired elders and everything in between. After woofing down as many scones and cups of hot coffee as we could, everyone took off for the final push to the top. It was like salmon heading upstream to spawn: cyclists were swarming everywhere, pushing upward and shooting downhill. In this madhouse were a few cars trying to make it to the summit as well. It was amazing that no one was hit. Speaking about salmon swimming upstream, the weather was very amenable until we started getting eastern exposures, which revealed that a nasty east wind was brewing. Fighting the headwind and feeling it sap what little body heat I had made me feel like I was in a mountain stream. The temperature was in the high 30s but the wind made it feel much worse. Just before the last pitch Nancy and I saw snow by the side of the road. The final 19% slog wasn’t blocked by a stalled car as it was last year, but somehow it didn’t feel any easier. Oh right, I was pushing a 42×24 gear instead of a triple. That would have been ho-hum when I was younger but I’m almost 60 and gears that high on major climbs are mostly a faint memory. But I made it! The top was crowded with cyclists and cars, the former mostly crowing over having made it all the way to the top on a frosty morning. Nancy and I were the last ones up and everyone else had already left to escape frostbite for sure. After piling on every piece of clothing we had for the descent we took off. We had to ride the brakes all the way back to the junction because of the traffic! Off we went to Danville. The temperature returned to the saner 50s by the time we got to the bottom. Lunch at Chow topped off the day: warm soup and more hot coffee! Great things this year? We shall see.

David Gaus hoisting his bike above his head at the summit parking lot of Mt. Diablo
David on top!

Medicine of Cycling Six Week Class

Evan Kavanagh passes along this flyer and information about a six week class for the public called “The Medicine of Cycling” featuring expert physicians, psychologists, trainers, and specialists covering important concepts for cyclists like bike fit, metrics, psychology, nutrition, and of course aches and pains! The course was adapted from professional education programming for sports medicine physicians and will be very high quality, but still accessible for a public audience.

UCSF Medicine of Cycling 2013 flyer

Registration is discounted to $60 until February 1st for the six-lecture series. He has already signed up for the series which starts February 28th and runs thru April 4th, at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus from 7-8:45pm.