Vol. 2


No. 4

All the news that's fit to print and then some.

Work to live, live to bike, bike to work.


      There were 19 riders that "found Wyben". Unfortunately, we found that Wyben Orchards no longer exists. The weather was hot and extremely humid. We did include a stop at the Corner Variety where we all refreshed with cold drinks. It was too hot to eat. We did follow the original route and found new pavement in areas - and no bridges were out. The ride went without mishap, only one flat tire; no dog bites this year.
      At the end of the ride, we gave Joyce and Fred a chance to try out our tandem. Joyce was reluctant to be Fred's first passenger, but soon he demonstrated that he was a trustworthy and confident captain. Many thanks to Beth and Pete Sutch for blessing us with cold watermelon at the end of the ride.

- Charlie & Eileen Meyers      

Sept. 21 - COVAC (Conn. Valley Century)

Just wanted to let you know that the weekend in Hampton Beach was well supported by FHF, Yankee Pedalers, and Cyclonauts riders. A group of 20 or so went out both nights for dinner. On the ride itself, there were about twenty or more of us that stayed together almost through the entire ride. We stopped at each of the sags for cookies, cookies and more cookies and some fruit and at the lighthouse for hot dogs, clam chowder and burgers. Lots of laughs were shared by all.

- Beth           

      A most gorgeous day greeted the 20 riders who showed up for the Fall Foliage tour - calling for a prompt departure at 10 a.m. Not a mile down the road, however, one of the fearless leader's shift levers completely FELL OFF. The entire group, still together, heard Beth yell in a frantic voice, "Pete, Pete...I need your help..." (He was leading, while Beth was closer to the rear). While half the group continued on the tour, the other half stayed with Beth and Pete searching the area for the bolt that mysteriously loosened itself and popped out, John diligently riding all the way back to the starting point. The bolt was never found, but there is a happy ending to the story. The key player in the FHF portable bike maintenance team was our dear friend Bruce. Totally prepared for just about anything, he rummaged through the rear bag on his tandem and lifted out a tool bag. Then, after much digging around in the tool bag, he produced an extra bolt and all the tools needed to successfully put Beth's bike back on the road. THANKS BRUCE and all the rest who helped a fellow FHF rider in need.
      We were all one big happy family, reunited in Williamsburg, before ascending upwards [as opposed to "ascending downwards"?] on the Ashfield Road. We regrouped once again for lunch - in a sunny spot in front of Elmers Store in Ashfield - all of us arriving before the 12:30 p.m. closing. We had our worries, though, that Joyce and Jack would never make it. They were nowhere to be found. It seems at Route 116, instead of taking a LEFT, as the directions indicated, they headed right - possibly to beat us all to the fun and excitement waiting for us in Conway at the Festival of the Hills?!
      By the end of the ride, the hot cocoa idea was scrapped for ice cream ... the last of the season at the Dairy Bar in Florence (Al's treat - he had found a $20 bill on the road and treated us all - Thanks Al). Oh, those summer days are gone again.

- Beth & Pete Sutch      


      Twenty-one riders enjoyed a beautiful, warm (75 degrees) October day on this 41-mile loop from Sunderland, north along the Connecticut and Millers Rivers, to Northfield and back. The exceptionally warm weather, particularly after a very rainy weekend the weekend before, contributed to a leisurely pace. The assembled crowd made the most of every rest stop, particularly those along the river, and the lunch stop near the Northfield Mountain recreational area.
      John Fitzpatrick and John Gustin took a detour off of some of the gravel sections of the route and continued up the paved portion of Route 63 to rejoin the group in Northfield. [I don't know about John F., but I took the detour to catch up to the group. I noticed a problem with my rear tire after unloading my bike. I decided to fix it before leaving the parking lot. Be sure and catch an upcoming Newsletter to find out what the problem was, and my tip on how to fix it. -web ed.]
      Upon the group's return to the parking lot at the base of Mt. Sugarloaf, we were greeted by swarms of "Halloween" ladybugs - it looked like something out of a science fiction movie.
      A great time was had by all in some of the best weather experienced all year.

- Jack Fitz-Gibbon      

      For a change (from last year), no rain, no flood! 75 degrees and sunny - a wonderful day for any kind of ride, but especially one in the woods and near the river - Westfield River, that is. A lunch stop at the Chesterfield Gorge was filled with conversation, sightseeing and sunshine. The weather had everyone in high spirits. An enjoyable ride was had by all.

- Charlie & Eileen Meyers      

Nov. 8 - SHOW AND GO
      There were three participants according to new member-to-be Gary Moore, who learned of the ride from our Website. Elsa Rosenak and Mary Libby were the other riders. The ride left from the Mill River Recreation Area. Elsa and Mary led the ride, a good one according to Gary, who came back for more Nov. 14.

      14 riders rode the ride. Riders met at the foot of our driveway from where they were greeted by a leaf man wearing a bike helmet and sitting in a lawn chair. The ride took off up the road and over the fields and through the woods and up and down the mountains and back to Al and Marion's for the happy hour and the sumptuous, scrumptious potluck and happy meeting. In addition to the ride, there was a short impromptu hike with three participants. * See below for minutes of the meeting.

Nov. 15 - SHOW AND GO
      According to Beth Sutch, there were five riders and they rode "Around the Range". She said it was "really nice".

[The other four were: Julie, Russ, Karen and me. It was quite windy. We left the parking lot around 11:20 a.m. deciding to take a counter-clockwise, 37-mile ride around the Holyoke Range. We stopped at the Tailgate Deli in South Hadley for lunch. We arrived in time to see them hoist a large (maybe 6-foot in diameter) wreath up onto the outside of the building. - web ed.]


Sept. 19 - POTLUCK and MEETING

Twenty-two people met at Joyce and Fred's new house. Great food with Fred over the grill with your choice of hotdogs, hamburgers or cheeseburgers!

Treasurer's report: $[...] in our account. Eileen Meyers requested an increase in the monies to be given to the hosts of our potlucks. Voted in was an increase from $20 to $30.

New business: Sally discussed the century ride to take place the next day. Volunteer workers were briefed on construction of Falls Road, times and scheduling of help, and subversive arrow copying by "Tour de Franklin". (Was there a sale on white spray paint?) So be aware riders, this group copied our color and letters.

Fall schedule: Sally called for volunteers to lead (read coordinate) fall rides. Only a few were forthcoming and these were for the mountain bike rides. Marion suggested scheduling "Show & Go's" for road rides. (Let's hope there's a better response for the spring schedule. Cue sheets are available; we need leaders. Think about it.)

Meeting adjourned early due to morning start for the century at dawn.

Respectfully submitted,
Pat Vinskey



Thirty-nine people met at Al & Marion's house for an evening of good food and talk. A small group did a mountain bike ride early in the day, hilly, but fun.

Treasurer's report: $[..] in our account.

Bicycle Pavilion: Marion informed our group of the new bicycle pavilion to be located on the rail trail by Valley Bicycle. [Near the intersection of the rail trail and Middle Street in Hadley.] This building will house an "awesome" collection of antique bikes. This is being run by a non-profit group hoping to educate visitors on the history of bicycles, alternative transportation, sustainable energy, and bicycling issues. They need volunteers and donations. The Club unanimously voted to donate $100.00.

Host for potlucks: Have a potluck at your home and be $30 richer! Amount is based on expenses. Hosts are responsible for happy hour (more if they like).

Don Maynard Memorial Ride: Bill Burgart asked that the club consider matching funds raised during Don's Memorial Ride. Majority seemed in favor but idea was tabled until spring potluck.

Email: Freewheelers.org

Officers: Julie Miles reported nominations for officers. [The current party will remain in power for another year.]

Annual Banquet: [After much "discussion", we selected a date, place and menu.]

What: fruits, veggies, salads, roasted red potatoes, vegetarian lasagna, salmon, tenderloin tips, and a dessert table! The treasury voted to subsidize the desserts!!
Entertainment: Al Hathway's traveling slide show on "The Great Divide Mountain Bike Ride". Sounds like a great time!!
[Current club members will a receive dinner reservation form included with their membership renewal form (via "snail-mail").]

Respectfully submitted,
Pat Vinskey


Attending the Kickoff Ceremony for the Bicycle Pavilion on September 25 were Marion Gorham, Beth and Pete Sutch and Bill Schafer of the Freewheelers. The Bicycle Pavilion will be located at the opposite end of the building from Valley Bicycles on the Norwottuck Rail Trail. The Pavilion will be a museum and visitor's center featuring a spectacular collection of 17 bicycles from as far back as the Civil War, along with Art Nouveau [New Art] bicycle posters and assorted bicycle history artifacts and memorabilia. It will contain a small library, a gift shop and two public restrooms. Construction of the museum will take place this winter. Individuals from the field of education, business, cycling, history, art and museum administration are invited to participate in its creation. A Grand Opening is planned for spring 1999.


WINTER NEWSLETTER: I'd like to be able to hand out the winter newsletter at the banquet on Feb. 6. Please send me any late ride reports, photos, jokes, cartoons, summer vacation reports, news about biking or bikers, whatever. It's your newsletter. Help!

- Marion