About Hans van Tol

Hans is a physicist/research scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at FSU, mainly dealing with researching new materials with magnetic resonance techniques. Born in the Netherlands, his bicycle was his principle means of transportation through his middle school/high school university years until getting a driving license and first car at age 25. Many evenings he could be found at the local track and field club, either training for himself or coaching the young athletes. When living in the French Alps he started riding his bike recreationally as well as for general fitness. After coming to Tallahassee in 1998 he did some recreational riding, and occasionally bike-commuted as well. In the last few years he has made the decision to become a more or less daily bicycle commuter, which triggered his interest in traffic safety issues, especially those related to cyclists. Florida is unfortunately not doing very well in safety statistics for pedestrians and cyclists. If drivers drive defensively and concentrated and have respect for the other road users hundreds of lives could be saved in Florida, and thousands of injuries would be prevented. Currently more than 1% of Florida's population is injured in a crash each year and about 8 people die in traffic each day. Just by not drinking when driving, by buckling up, and by avoiding distractions like cell phones these numbers could be reduced by more than half. By increasing the awareness about the dangers of driving and safe driving practice so many lives could be saved. As a reference Hans uses the traffic safety statistics of his native Holland, which with an almost identical population as Florida had only 640 traffic fatalities in 2010, which is 26% of Florida's number.

Ready for the Spaghetti? Register Now!

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Ready for the Spaghetti?   Register Now!

October 7 the Spaghetti 100 will take you along some beautiful rolling roads in north Florida and south Georgia. Either by riding or volunteering, you’ll be helping the Kids on Bikes program that is teaching our elementary school kids to ride bikes and ride them safely. For sign up and details see our Spaghetti 100 event page.

Spaghetti 100 Logo

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July 15: CCC Bastille Day Ride(s) and Picnic

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July 15: CCC Bastille Day Ride(s) and Picnic

Saturday July 15th Capital City Cyclists celebrates the summer and Bastille Day with rides for all and a picnic.

It all will take place at the Wakulla Station along the St Marks trail from 8 to noon.

The schedule:

Rides start at 8:00 am.

    –   Water and Gatorade will be available.

 Suggested routes are:

   –  Wakulla Station to St Mark’s Lighthouse  (About 32 miles round trip.) or a route using the Natural Bridge Rd to the 59 (36 miles).

   –  Wakulla Station to the town of St Marks. (About 14 miles)

   –  Family rides on the St Mark’s trail. (Distance determined by family riders.)

   –  Off road rides at the Munson Hills Trail about 7 miles north of the Wakulla Station trailhead.

 

Post ride light fare starts at 10:00 am.

   –  The club is providing light summer snacks and cold drinks.

   –  Please bring your favorite summer brunch items to share.

 

In addition to access to the St Mark’s Trail, the Wakulla Station trailhead contains an excellent children’s playground. Members are encouraged to bring their families.  Children’s bicycles and tricycles are very welcome. If you have questions, please contact Garry Breedlove at biscuits_glb@yahoo.com

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First Month of National Bike Challenge

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First Month of National Bike Challenge

The first month of the National Bike Month is over. Locally we now have 42 riders partipating, and in Florida the city of Tallahassee is placed second after Tampa. On our rear wheel though we have Gainesville and Orlando, waiting for their chance to overtake us. What is great to see is that FDOT placed first in workplaces for the month of May, not only in our local Capital City Challenge, but also in the state. Dick Rogers seems to like a challenge, as he is again the rider with the most points locally. For May he placed 39th (out of about 20000) in the nation, and 4th in Florida. The rider with the most points nationally is also from Florida. Amanda Coker rode an amazing 7600 miles in May. Mid May she finished a year of riding and set a new Guinness World record with 86573 miles in one year. She keeps going though, on the hunt for the 100,000 miles record. Incredible stuff. Talking about the national leaders, California just edged out Wisconsin for the best state. The top city (and this I would never have guessed) is Lincoln, Nebraska, while the top workplace by far is 3M (the main sponsor of the event). Top school: University of Nebraska, followed closely by Utah State.

Tell your friends and family to participate as well. You don’t have to ride much to be able to participate in the prize drawings each month, and each bike ride counts. Twenty points for each day you ride, and one point for each mile you ride. By riding often, you gather lots of points. Just sign up at nationalbikechallenge.org  If you use the Strava app, or have your bike computer data sync with Strava (e.g. via Garmin Connect) the miles totals will automatically sync with the challenge. Also you can log your miles manually. Join and make your miles count!

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President’s Paceline – May 2017

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It’s been a sad spring for the cycling community in Tallahassee. Two local cyclists were killed in traffic crashes within a few days of each other, leaving two circles of families and friends without their loved one. Steve Reker was out on a training ride on March 28, when he was hit by a car on US 90. He was a passionate cyclist and long-time member of the club. Always ready to help and encourage others, he was extremely well liked by everyone that had the pleasure of riding with him. Steve’s friend Pete Butler organized a memorial ride the very next day. On Wednesdays, Steve would ride either the Food Lion ride or the Wednesday Chaires ride. This time both groups would be riding in Steve’s honor with assistance from the LCSO. At the intersection of Baum and Capitola more than a hundred riders came together with Steve’s wife Christina and exchanged thoughts, prayers, and memories. Steve will be sorely missed.

Just a few days later Marlene Larmore was out riding the St Marks trail when she was struck by a car at Oak Ridge Road. She would pass away from her injuries a week later.

These incidents illustrate that the most important thing of any trip we take is that we get home safe, whether we drive a car, ride a bike, or are on foot. Crash statistics do not paint a pretty picture. In Leon County, the number of traffic crashes is up 50% with respect to 5 years ago. The number of injuries is up 32%. With 41 traffic fatalities in 2016 in Leon County we’re close to a 20-year record. Traffic behavior is getting worse rather than better. While it is easy to blame others, start with yourself. Set the right example, whether we ride or drive: Obey the speed limit, slow down when pedestrians are present, stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, use turn signals, don’t run red lights, don’t use your phone. Talk about it with your family and friends. Be safe.

Join the 2017 National Bike Challenge!

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Join the 2017 National Bike Challenge!

May 1st the 2017 National Bike Challenge will kick off. The League of American Bicyclists has taken the lead in the organization again, and the main sponsor is 3M. The goal is to get more people riding and people riding more and more often. Every day on the bike counts for 20 points and each mile adds another point. The platform itself will be somewhat simpler, and is now strongly integrated with Strava. Just goto https://nationalbikechallenge.org and either link your existing Strava account or create a new one. Miles can be entered manually, or synced via the Strava app or linked GPS devices. Each month prizes will be drawn among the participants. Riders from around Tallahassee will automatically be entered in the local advocacy challenge, the Capital City Bike Challenge set up by the Capital City Cyclists. This allows you to keep track of and compare yourself to other local riders. Again you can join different clubs, workplaces, schools etc. You can also create your own groups and ask your friends or colleagues to join. You do that by creating a Strava club, and importing the club into the national bikechallenge as a workplace, school, or club. Just sign up now. It’ll be fun, and it’ll help to show that Tallahassee rides !!

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Upcoming Rides and Events

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Mark your calendars for the following upcoming rides and events:

  • Feb 25 Chaires Classics – CCC Member Ride. Moderate Pace 16-19 mph. Start at 9 am from Chaires Community Center, Chaires Rd. 31 miles.
  • Feb 26 Havana Hills Spring Classic – Start 8:30 am in Havana, Florida. Ride 48 or 88 miles, with proceeds going to the Havana Volunteer Fire Fighters. See http://havanahillsride.weebly.com/ for registration info.
  • March 1 Cycling not working. CCC Ride. Havana Start and Finish: Parking Lot by Police Station 121 East Seventh Avenue Havana, FL. The usual ride is about 35 miles up to Calvary, GA. Sometimes the ride will be about 40 miles. Visitors Welcome!
  • March 4 Chaires Classics – CCC Member Ride. Moderate Pace 16-19 mph. Start at 9 am from Chaires Community Center, Chaires Rd. 31 miles.
  • March 4 Leon County EMS Safety Fair. 10 am-1 pm at JC Penny’s parking lot at Governor’s square mall. Great for the kids: Bike Rodeo and free helmet give-away.
  • March 5 Sunday Classics – CCC Member Ride. Guest welcome. Start from Panera/Books-a-Million parking at Village Square Drive @ Thomasville Road. Come out for the short (24 miles) or longer (36 miles) rides.
  • March 11 Champions Bike Ride. Organized by Science of Speed. Proceeds to a great cause: The Hang Tough Foundation. 67, 28, 7.5 mile rides and free Kids Fun Ride. See our blog and http://championsbikeride.com for registration info.
  • March 12 Sunday Classics – All Saints Ride. CCC Member Ride. Start 8 am (Daylight savings !!) across from All Saints Cafe on RailRoad Avenue. 40 mile loop. 16-20 mph typically.
  • March 18 Chaires Classics – CCC Member Ride. Moderate Pace 16-19 mph. Start at 9 am from Chaires Community Center, Chaires Rd. 31 miles.
  • March 19 Sunday Classics – Midway-Quincy Loop. CCC Member Ride. Start 9 am from Midway City Hall (off US 90). 40 mile loop. 16-20 mph typically.
  • March 25 Chaires Classics – CCC Member Ride. Moderate Pace 16-19 mph. Start at 9 am from Chaires Community Center, Chaires Rd. 31 miles.
  • March 26 Sunday Classics – Summit East Ride. CCC Member Ride. 11, 20, and 30 mile options. Start 8 am Summit East Tech Center. Take Apex Dr after crossing the I-10 on Mahan Dr and meet at parking lot behind Staybridge Suites.
  • April 1 Monticello Bike Fest century rides. See https://monticellojeffersonfl.com/event/monticello-bike-fest/
  • October 7, 2017. Spaghetti 100 !!

Need more info or comments? Email  hans@cccylists.org

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Champions Bike Ride – March 11

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Champions Bike Ride – March 11

If ever you want to ride for a good cause, this is the ride to join. The Champions Bike Ride on March 11 supports the “Hang Tough Foundation”. This wonderful foundation has a vision to take care of an entire family that has a child affected by a chronic or life altering illness or special needs in the Big Bend area. The ride features 67, 28, 7.5 routes as well as a Kids fun ride that start at the Centre of Tallahassee (previously Tallahassee Mall). This ride is co-organized by our past president Brady Irwin and the Science of Speed. Even if you do not ride, consider supporting the Hang Tough Foundation. For more information and to register: www.championsbikeride.com

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President’s Paceline

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President’s Paceline

I’ve had the pleasure to have been in a paceline with many of you, but this will be my first one that I’m pulling while sitting in a comfy chair, sipping a great local beer.

Cycling has always been an important part of my life. Born in the Netherlands, it would have been nearly impossible not to spend part of the day on a bicycle. When I was 4 years old, my mother brought me to kindergarten on a bicycle. I was in front, in a seat mounted to the handlebars, while my older brother was in a seat on the rear carrier. It was really exciting to get my first ”big bike’ when I was 9, so that I could ride my bike to school by myself. The bikes have changed over the years, but they got me to school and to university for many, many years. For me the bicycle was an economical means of getting to school, to work, or the track club, but not so much a sport. At the time, environmental or health considerations did not play a role for me. That changed a bit when I got to Grenoble, France. Work was in the valley, about 200 m above sea level. Home was in the mountains at around 1000 m. Most days I took the car (a Peugeot 205), but the days I took the bike (also a Peugeot) really made the ride home quite a ‘sporty’ exercise. However, it was not until the Maglab got me to Florida and I became a member of Capital City Cyclists that I ever rode in a paceline, and here I am trying to write one.

I’m honored to have been entrusted with the club’s presidency for 2017. This will be the club’s 35th year after its inception in 1982. That year the original TOSRV (Tour of The Suwannee River Valley) and a push for bikelanes on Miccosukee road led to the first cycling organization in Tallahassee. This combination of great rides with your club buddies as well as an advocacy platform to spread the joys of cycling is a great tradition that I am committed to continue.

There is a lot of positives. We see more and more cyclists on our roads. The city and county want to promote active transportation. But 2017 does present some challenges to the club. We’ve been very fortunate to have Paul McManus run the Kids on Bikes and the Trips for Kids Programs and be the Spaghetti 100 Ride Director for many years. However, Paul has indicated that he will not be able to continue to do that this year as his growing business requires his full attention. Fortunately, Paul will stay around as a board member, and we greatly appreciate all that Paul has done for our organization over many years. There are other challenges. Our membership is significantly below the levels of a few years ago. There are few new participants on club rides. We have not a lot of young members. Not a lot of women or minorities.

Fortunately, we do have a great board to address these challenges. Kelly Beacher is our capable treasurer, Sarah Dugger our resourceful secretary, Garry Breedlove is our welcoming vice president. And who does not know Jim Mann, our Ride Group and membership Director, advocate Joe Barnett, and Karen Loewen who will help with our communication. And we are very fortunate to have Paul McManus and our previous past president Brady Irwin to share their experience and knowledge.

Foremost, we are here to serve our members and to advance cycling at all levels. I will be pleased to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to share your ideas, criticism, thoughts. Just email me at hans@cccyclists.org.

Ride on,
Hans

Havana Hills Ride on Feb 26

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Havana Hills Ride on Feb 26

Spring comes early this year with the Havana Hills Spring Classic Bicycle Ride on Sunday Feb 26. The 88 or 48 mile routes take some of the most scenic and challenging roads in the Tallahassee area. You’ll get treated to lots of hills, and to views of southern mansions, oak trees, farm lands, and pecan orchards. The road is 100% paved and marked with White Arrows at each intersection. Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Havana volunteer Fire Fighters. More information can be found at the Havana Hills Ride website.

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Matthew Beard Memorial Ride to the Sea

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Matthew Beard Memorial Ride to the Sea

Ride begins on the St. Marks Trail at the Wakulla Station Trailhead on December 10th, 2016 at 10am. The ride is FREE and is intended to allow all levels of cyclists to ride to show their support of victims and survivors of DUI drivers. Riders will have support along the way, including snacks and drinks. The ride follows the St. Marks Bike Trail to the St. Marks River Park in St. Marks, Florida. Here is where the river feeds into the Apalachacola Bay at the Gulf of Mexico — a beautiful area in a little sea oriented town. At the park, riders will be able to make a dedication to a loved one, and sign a pledge to be a designated driver and not drink and drive. Free t-shirts OR water bottles will be given to partipants. The total out and back ride distance is 14 miles. The ride is organized by the Florida State University Police Department with support from the Florida Department of Transportation. Email Major Jim Russell for more information at JLRussell@fsu.edu. Helmets required – safety first! Please come out to make a statement that cyclists support DUI education and enforcement, to keep all of us safe!

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