August 16, 2011 > Riding recreationally
By Giovanni Albanese Jr.
Photos By Courtesy of Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club
There's a saying that everyone has used now and again: "It's like riding a bicycle." That, of course, meaning we ride bicycles as children and it's a task with which we never forget. For a few hundred locals, that saying doesn't really apply.
Formed in 1972, Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club (FFBC) has been home to safe cycling for the past 39 years, promoting riding for recreational, health, pleasure and a means to transportation. Ranging from young children to adults in their 70s, the 365 members are of varying skill levels that ride for fun, health or competition.
For FFBC President Gary Smith, a member of the club for 10 years now, he rides to get away from it all.
"Riding clears my mind," said Smith, who choosing biking as his primary source of exercise. "When I am preoccupied with some matter at the beginning of a ride, it may be the furthest thing from my mind by the end of the ride."
FFBC is a nonprofit club that maintains memberships in various bicycling organizations ranging from local -- East Bay Bicycle Coalition; Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition -- to state -- California Association of Bicycle Organizations -- and even on a national scale -- United States Cycling Federation.
Of the members, 40 are part of the FFBC race team, which include women and juniors. This season, the race team competed in 160 races, resulting in five victories and 19 top five finishes.
For more than 35 years, according to the FFBC website, the club has been the sponsor to the Primavera Bicycle Tour, which spans the local area every April in four different race distances: 100 miles (Century), 100 km, 75 km and 25 miles. In addition, FFBC also sponsors the Cinderella Training Ride Series, which is designed to introduce women into riding. The series aims toward the completion of the women-only Cinderella 100 km every March. According to Smith, "many women have completed the Cinderella 100 km after participating in FFBC's training rides."
But, all in all, FFBC is about safe riding and having fun. For the thousands of people in the Tri Cities that haven't been on a bike in years, it's never too late to start. Joining FFBC is easy. For information on joining, visit the website, www.ffbc.org. For any questions, FFBC holds a general meeting on the second Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. at the Fremont Community Activity Center on Country Drive in Fremont.