Gallatin Valley Bike Club

Picture, if you will, groups of spandex-clad bicyclists racing out Springhill Road. Or a string of cyclists cruising up and down Paradise Valley. Or a rodeo clown giving talks on bike safety at the fairgrounds. Sound interesting, like something you�d like to get involved in? Then the Gallatin Valley Bike Club (GVBC) has something for you.

Composed of over 100 members, the GVBC has been hosting practical events in our community ever since its genesis some twenty years ago. Key among their most popular pragmatic events is the GVBC�s training series.

It�s common sense that before racing, there�s a ton of training to do. And it�s also commonly known that even if you really love to race, sometimes it�s harder to get motivated to do this endless training than it would be to teach a fish to ride a bike.

To answer the need for accountability, GVBC�s training series offers members the chance to meet every Tuesday night from late April through mid-September to race. Every other week, the race resembles a mini Tour de France. It launches with a mass start at the beginning of Bridger Canyon, enabling cyclists to work on their �pack technique,� and ends at Bohart Ranch. Alternate Tuesdays, members race out Springhill Road, starting staggered in heats, competing with the clock to gauge their speed without the influence of a pack.

Racing a little too hard core? Although the words �bike club� conjure images of cyclists racing in circles around a track, GVBC offers other events that might interest you. For those who want to log time on a bike, without the pressure of a stopwatch, the touring series is perfect. �Touring� is just what it sounds like: a day outing via bicycle to enjoy the scenery. GVBC tours from Paradise Valley to Hyalite Canyon and everywhere in between most Saturdays of the summer. The tours generally leave from their start destination at 9:00 in the morning, and cover anywhere from 40 to 80 miles.

That�s a lot of ground to cover on a bike, but if you�ve always wanted to do this sort of thing, GVBC�s touring is a great opportunity. For example, if anything goes awry during the ride, instead of being stuck hitchhiking back to ground zero, you�ve got the security of knowing that there�s somebody close by who�ll be able to help you, before you resort to sticking your thumb out in the wind.

Even if you aren�t interested in racing or touring, GVBC runs events that are useful to anyone. For starters, if you need to rid yourself of a bicycle-related impulse buy, or if you�re scouting for some new gear, the GVBC holds an annual bike swap. It�s too late this year�the swap�s usually near the end of April�but it�s never too early to ready yourself for next spring.

GVBC�s bike rodeo is another great event that requires no long rides. The rodeo is perfect for you if�as much as you hate to admit it�you need to refresh your bike etiquette, or if you�re tired of being a broken record and would love to have someone else tell your kids how (and why) to be safe riding around town.

So, whether you�re the competitive type who wants to race, the mellow type who wants to bike more, or the contentious type who just plain wants to brush up on bike etiquette and safety, GVBC has something to offer you. Give them a call at 585-5632.