By Lorie Ham
When you think about a perfect summer hobby, cycling is a great choice! You can get exercise, enjoy the scenery, and maybe even make some new friends. Mennonite Aid Plan General Manager Jerry Linscheid has been riding a bike since he was a kid. “As a kid growing up, biking was my main mode of transportation to school and to get around Reedley.”
In late 2014, an opportunity to participate in a Rotary charity ride turned Jerry’s hobby up a notch. The ride was from Visalia to Monterey (220 miles) in 3 days. His cycling would never again be just for transportation.
While Jerry doesn’t belong to a cycling club, he does claim Sunnyside Bicycles in Fresno as his shop. They sponsor 3-4 rides a week, usually beginning at their store. “I tend to start from Reedley and try and figure out where I can meet up with the group.”
Jerry says that there are advantages and disadvantages to riding in groups. Disadvantages include not being able to choose your own pace, and you have to be careful not to crash into one another. Advantages include safety in numbers, and you have support if something breaks.
One of the things Jerry likes best about cycling is the people you meet. “People share food, equipment, and anything to help a fellow biker.”
However, most of the time, Jerry bikes on his own. He likes to head north out of town towards Pine Flat, Watts Valley, or sometimes Wonder Valley.
When cycling in the summer, you have to be sure to stay cool. “The main thing is to start early enough. Once it gets to noon, it is too hot to be out on the road on triple digit days. I carry two water bottles and a water backpack. I take every opportunity to refill water bottles. If it gets really hot, I’ll soak my cap and jersey to cool off. I’m monitoring my water, so if I run out, it is within 4-5 miles from home.”
To keep his bike in shape, Jerry takes it in for a tune up once a year. To stay safe on the road, he adheres to the following safety tips:
- Have lights on your helmet and bike that are on even in the daytime.
- Wear bright clothing.
- Use a rearview mirror to watch cars approaching from behind.
- Obey the rules of the road and try to be as predictable as possible to other drivers and try to anticipate when a driver may not see you.
Thankfully, Jerry hasn’t had any real problems on the road. “I’m really pleased at how courteous the vast majority of the drivers are.”
If you have an expensive bike and want to make sure it is covered, please give your insurance agent a call. They are always happy to answer any questions you have.