Monthly Meetings & Socials
Folks on Spokes club meetings are held every month
(except November & December).
FOS is awaiting approval from Frankfort Public Library before in person meetings can resume. Members will be notified when that happens. Until we are able to meet in person, future meeting will be held virtually. Login information will be sent to members as soon as it is available. You can usually log in about 10 minutes before the meeting start.
Our meetings are open to the public.
FOS MEETINGS, 2020 - 2021 via ZOOM
Social meetings are scheduled to build membership cohesion and allow
members to mingle, socialize, and plan future rides and events.
April 22, 2021 General Meeting
Folks On Spokes got together via Zoom for the monthly general meeting, and a pretty good-sized group showed up, including a surprise attendee, Chuck Vasile! After an animated chat session, JoDell brought the meeting to order. She touched on the Spring Fling T-shirts; when they go on sale, it will be a separate order from the Spring Fling registration. She then turned over the meeting to our presenters; Barb Barnes & Roger Stoub.
Their presentation was on their Rhone River cycle trip in September/October 2019. The trip lasted about 3 ½ weeks, for a total of 438 miles. They planned out their route (that’s half the fun, right?) using map/guidebooks from Bikeline, Cicerone and Rick Steves.
Their trip began in Brig, Switzerland; they brought camping gear and used it once; they ended up having no trouble finding hotels and other accommodations for the evening. One of the more interesting accommodations was in the town of Morestel, France in what was formerly a convent of the Franciscan sisters! The convent was well-appointed with a very beautiful view, very scenic, and it had a cat who loved Roger even though Roger is not all that fond of cats. All along their way were beautiful churches and town halls. They met quite a few people, and they had a picture of a French couple that was biking also, and they ran into them a couple of times on their journey. France was a delight; they even rode their bikes through a winery! They lucked out with the weather, no rain which made for pleasant riding. The trails and roads were well marked, not too hilly and they rode anywhere up to 40 miles a day depending on what they were doing and where they were going.
They also saw ancient outdoor theaters; the one in Arles, France is still in use. It was the Roman Arena and it used to hold fights between gladiators and wild animals. Today, the only animals there are bulls for the “Bull games”, where ribbons are humanely placed on the bulls and the matador has to try to get the ribbons. Both Barb & Roger spoke highly of the freshness of the food, good-quality pizza’s, seafood, fresh breads for sandwiches, just delicious. They loved the variety of the wonderful produce that they saw on market day in Arles. The end of their trip was in Marseille, where they enjoyed being tourists on a hop-on, hop-off bus. They saw Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, a symbol of Marseille, which was stunning. Finally, they celebrated the end of their trip at a seafood cafeteria that was simply outstanding. Endless memories were made, great photos too, what a place to ride and visit…. As Roger said, “Europe; Best kept secret ever!”
March 25, 2021 Meeting
Jim Saplis, the owner of Orland Park Cyclery, spoke about e-bikes. E-bikes come in many styles now - electric-assist road bikes, mountain bikes, city and hybrid bikes suitable for trails or commuting, and bikes suitable for gravel roads and cyclocross. There are three classes of e-bike: Class 1 has pedal-assist with a top speed of 20 mph, Class 2 has a pedal-assist and a throttle with a top speed of 20 mph and a Class 3 is pedal assist only with a top speed of 28 mph. A battery and electric motor provide an adjustable assist. Some bikes come with throttle control.
Jim offered these tips:
a head light and a taillight are recommended as you will be traveling faster and want to be sure you are visible to the cars.
E-bikes are heavier than road bikes so be sure your bicycle carrier on the back of the car can support the extra weight.
Since batteries are expensive, enterprising thieves may try to steal them, so it is good to lock or remove the battery.
Be sure to check the local ordinances in the areas where you want to ride. Some states and towns have laws regulating the kinds of e-bikes that can be used on their roads and paths.
February 28, 2021 Meeting
The FOS general meeting was held on February the 25th. Fifteen members logged on to chat and catch up with one another and, of course, hear Larry’s presentation.
Larry focused on several aspects of bicycle safety. He began by recognizing that one must use good judgement when bicycling. Riders can avoid an accident by being seen. There is a reduction in crashes, whether its bikes, cars, motorcycles or mopeds when people use daytime or nighttime lights.
Being seen is especially important when riding on curvy, hilly roads and anytime there is poor visibility. Besides lights, reflective clothing is a great way to be seen. Be sure to arrange your gear so that drivers can see that it is a bicyclist coming their way. Watch your road position; be sure to stay solidly one way or the other.
Being heard is important too, especially on trails. We have an obligation to other trail users to ensure their safety as well as your own.
After covering some of the safety gear, Larry showed a video that drove home the point about wearing retroreflective gear. There was no doubt about its effectiveness and the cost is reasonable. Larry touched on the importance of bicycle safety in the early morning hours and at sunset. The tag line, “Where does Danger lurk? Your shadow knows.” If your shadow points at the car, it is likely the driver cannot see you. Larry concluded with a reminder to support bicycling advocacy efforts and bike shops.
January 28, 2021 Meeting
Our presenter at the January 28 ZOOM meeting was FOS member Kathy McElligott. In 2013 Kathy decided to do something she always wanted to do - a cross-country bicycle road trip! She chose to go with “Woman Tours,” a bicycle tour group out of NY. She packed her bags and brought her trusty 2008 Trek 2.1 ladies road bike out to California’s Dog Beach for a cross country road trip adventure that ended in St. Augustine FL.
Kathy gave a very interesting presentation where she described her experiences with the women in the group and her adapting to the rigors of the ride. She described her adventures in several places including Southern California’s Imperial Valley, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and finally, FL. Her presentation included many slides which made her adventures come alive for members.
The group Kathy rode with were aged 60+, they averaged about 55 miles a day and rode for almost 2 months. But as Kathy says, “Life is short, do it!” Her presentation was certainly motivating.
October 29, 2020 FOS second “Zoom” General Meeting
Seventeen members logged on to attend our 2nd general meeting via “Zoom.” Our guest speaker was Ben Hecke from the Will County Forest Preserve, their Community Partnerships and Outreach coordinator.
Ben spoke about the many programs offered by the Preserve. These include activities such as fishing, small motor boating, camping, canoeing & kayaking and of course, bicycling! Ben is passionate about camping and reminded the group that camping equipment is available from the Preserve for those who might be first-time campers and do not have their own equipment. He reported that lots of work has been done on the trails. Probably the biggest on-going project that is being worked on is connecting the Wauponsee Glacial Trail to the I&M Canal trail.
Besides the physical work that is being done, the Forest Preserve’s website, www.reconnectwithnature.org, is also a work in progress. The website lists events and has many useful online tools to help the public utilize the Preserve. Their interactive trail map at the bottom of their webpage is especially useful for mapping out a ride or a hike. Be sure to check it out.
September 24, 2020 FOS first ever “Zoom” General Meeting
16 members gathered to be the first members to ever attend a FOS General Meeting via Zoom, the online video conferencing software that has exploded in popularity since the advent of the Pandemic. Thanks to Larry Mysz, who hosted the event and provided the speaker (Ira David Levy), most the participants were able to hear, see and contribute their questions from their own homes.
The members came to hear about a fund raising, non-profit agency built around one man’s vision: to be able to an impact on people’s lives. Ira David Levy didn’t know how far he would go years ago when he first became interested in helping raise funds for Aids by riding in a cycling event to the cause. Even though he was young, he wasn’t as athletic as some of his biking friends participating in the event; they were buff and fit. Happily, he was very good at raising funds; in fact, he raised over $600 for this first event; but he had doubts about the ride itself; even his wife at the time dismissed his ability to keep up with the others. Still wondering if he could do it, he participated in the event anyway and much to his surprise, he did well and was not in “the back of the pack” as he had worried about. It made him realize that he needed to be around people who are supportive, who are positive. Biking made him feel empowered! This fund-raising encounter laid a groundwork for bicycling as an experience that provides self-esteem and self-worth while providing numerous health benefits. And, it became part of his life’s work.
Fast-forward several years and bicycling is still a strong component of his life. Ira, a professor of Journalism and Media Studies, has since spun his wheels for several other causes besides Aids. These include college funds for children who lost parents in 9-11, Leukemia and other charitable organizations. Besides his job, he produces the PBS television program Pedal America, and he has found time (how, I don’t know!!) to start a non-profit to help those addicted to opioids and other substances. Pedal4Life helps rebuild the lives of addicts by organizing bicycling programs & events; the success has had a significant reduction in relapse and with 100% of the participants reporting that they would recommend the program. Ira has honored his commitment to making an impact on people’s lives. As he says, stay focused on the task(s). Sometimes you hear the “no” voices. That’s okay, don’t fight it, but stay focused on the task. After all, each step gets you to your goal. It is the journey that counts.
After a Q&A session, Ron gave announced a “thank you” shout-out for the FOS annual picnic and expressed a hearty “onward!” for October’s potluck.
Thanks to our secretary, Sally Kleinschmidt, for great coverage of this meeting
Annual Potluck COVID Style - October, 2020
The End of Season hike on October 25 took place at Plum Creek on a cold, blustery but sunny day. Twelve members and Bo came out to hike our traditional path at Goodenow Grove. Hiking in a wind protected area went well. The colors were great. After the hike, members met at the shelter where we did our best to eat lunch and stay warm. Hikers were joined by a few bikers and some others who drove over to enjoy the afternoon. Due to COVID restrictions, most of us brought our sandwiches. Scott brought hot jambalaya which was a treat enjoyed by many. FOS members are learning how to have a good time together in spite of social distancing, masks and other restrictions.
Annual Fall Picnic - September, 2020
Our annual picnic was held Sunday, September 20 at Hickory Creek Preserves. It couldn't have been a better day for a picnic. The weather was perfect. Just under 40 members attended. Some chose to ride and many hiked the nearby trails.
This year, due to COVID, the club offered a boxed lunch with bottled water and a packaged desert. An awesome meal was prepared by Hienie McCarthy's. We dined on fried chicken, beef or mostaccioli. Members were masks and distanced and continued to navigate social functions during a pandemic. Thanks to all who came and all who helped pull off the event.
Our next club social is scheduled for October. Watch for information as the date gets closer. There will most likely be COVID accommodations that we will need to be aware of.
July 19, 2020 - Ice Cream Social
Although there was some heavy morning rain, the skies cleared up by noon and the Ice Cream Social was on. Eighteen members attended, all practiced social distancing and wore masks. JoDel was the only one to ride to the event. We visited past 2:30, reconnected and enjoyed our ice cream treats.
Thank you Audrey Hancar, Sally Kleinschmidt, John Victor and Jim Barnish for all your help. Thanks to all those that took a chance on the weather and came out to enjoy the afternoon. Hopefully we can have another gathering very soon.
February 26, 2020 Trip to the Art Institute, Chicago
Our group continues to be small on the FOS trip to the Art Institute in Chicago, but we have a great time and are always amazed at what we see and learn. This year four members, Fern Bienias, Andi Edington, John Victor and Al Sturges attended what has become an annual event. We started our day with breakfast at a Café nearby. We were able to go on two tours and had plenty of time to walk around on our own. This is a great way to spend a wintry day.
Feb 6, 2020 Pre-Valentine Social
There’s nothing like a cozy restaurant, good food and craft brews to warm up with in the middle of winter. Thanks to Fern, 19 club members got to do just that on a snowy evening for the pre-Valentine’s Day social held at Trails Edge Brewing in Frankfort. Our members enjoyed conversation and laughter, great appetizers and craft beer. Some of the offerings included Trail’s Edge specialty, smokey wings, and they did not dato chips, party tostadas, several kinds of pizza and fried cheese curds. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!