Notes from March

EACC Minutes, March 11, 2019

Eleven members and friends attended the March “Movie Night” meeting and participated in lively discussions of many topics.

Melissa Reeves mobilized the club in support of the "Back 2 Biking" project for adults returning to cycling. It's a three-tiered program that begins with the basics and ends with riders again comfortable navigating city streets on their own or bike-share bikes. She needs liability coverage, advertising, and a “voice of authority” to help her borrow ride-share bikes. The city has thus far been unresponsive. Melissa plans to approach the university.

The club offered to make participants honorary club members thereby allowing them to be covered by club insurance.

Rick Brock of Trek Auburn generously offered to provide bikes for those without.

Mike Hogan offered to design posters.

Melissa mentioned the emailing list that Bill Felkey compiled and wondered who might currently possess it.

We discussed the frequency and timing of the program. Melissa had envisioned three consecutive months. Others suggested three consecutive weeks.

Melissa has already lined up instructors.

Tim McDonald proposed and possibly Melissa agreed that the first meeting be on May 13th.

Larry Cook announced this year's Ride of Silence: Wednesday, May 15, 5:30p, from JBB/Opelika. Also reported from OBAC, that all are on board with the idea of the Greenway but funding still a challenge. Mike Hogan asked Larry to ask Shirley Lazenby to ask Mayor Fuller to join in this year’s ride.

Rick Brock shared the dynamics and economics of building and maintaining trails, particularly the Thread Trail, in construction in LaGrange. Become a Friend of the Thread Trail! The Tour de Troup scheduled for 11 May 2019 is a fundraiser. 

Rick has partnered with the Alabama Rural Ministry's annual three-day bike ride selling last years' jersey.

Kirk announced that AMBA returns to Auburn this year, the third week in May.

Angela for Bruno Ulrich announced the next Auburn Bike Committee Meeting: March 26, 7p, Auburn Public Library. A copy of ABC By-Laws was available to membership.

Chris announced this year’s time trial series, which run from April 30 to May 20, on five consecutive Tuesdays.

Kirk announced that the Bike Your Park event will again be held on the fourth Saturday of September, no longer in conflict with the Johnny Ray Century, which has moved to the second Saturday.

All this and more preceded the film, Pedal, about bicycle messenger culture in the early 2000s.


Notes from January

…with the new year come new resolutions. One of which is to better communicate what’s discussed during club meetings…

Minutes, EACC Meeting, January 14, 2019

A-O Tourism Bureau/Auburn Chamber of Commerce

The meeting came to order at 7:00 pm with ten (10) members present. The club brought in pizza and members brought in beer and other beverages. As we ate, we held elections, talked about possible club rides, and about a membership roster.


Members present unanimously re-elected the sitting officers:

  • Tim McDonald, President

  • Angela Lakwete, Secretary

  • Christopher Graff, Treasurer

  • Larry Cook, Social Media Head

 Club Rides

All agreed that as a bike club we need to hold more club rides. Chris and Tim proposed a time trial series on consecutive Tuesdays beginning on April 30 and ending on May 28. Registration would open at 6:00 pm with the first rider off at 6:30. It would be staged on Mrs. James Road, which was used last year and found to be relatively easy and quiet. Rick Brock, owner of Goldens Bikes in LaGrange and Trek Bicycle Auburn, offered to partner with eacc and to promote the series.

Members then discussed the possibility of club rides, their frequency, location, and type (gravel and road).

After much discussion it seemed decided to schedule a monthly ride possibly designed by different members but similarly structured. Members suggested different starts, in Waverly, at Red Clay, and/or at Trinity United Methodist Church, among others. All rides would be “no drop.” Rick reiterated that we need to let him know so that he can alert his customers and riders in Auburn and LaGrange.

Mindful of conflicts with other regular rides, Tim suggested the first ride be on the February 9, starting in Waverly. It could be called the “Two Bridges” ride and be either or both road and gravel. Greg thought we could do the Lafayette loop in May celebrating the birthday of Joe Lewis and call it the “Brown Bomber Ride.” Angela and others could lead a “Twin Silos” ride. Angela volunteered Larry to lead an Opelika ride. Greg offered to lead a ride in August on the last Saturday before football starts. perhaps starting at Trinity United Methodist Church. Ideas abounded!

Membership Roster

Bruno asked that current members’ names and emails be made. Chris said we would first ask members to opt in or out of a public membership listing. We would include those who opted in, and their emails, on a roster that would be available at meetings.

June meeting minutes

[As a prelude, we're going to try and be a little more reliable in sharing meeting proceedings. We want you to see the great things you might have missed, maybe pick up a thing or two. Do you know the story behind the invention of the quick release? Read on, it might save you at trivia night.]

East Alabama Cycling Club Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 11, 2018

James Trouse: Wheels: Old School/New School


Before introducing the invited guest, Tim (president) and others discussed the club’s second time trial, scheduled for the next day at the intersection of CR 188 and Hwy 14 at 6 pm. Also mentioned were upcoming rides particularly the Jackson Brevet in Braselton, GA, on June 16. Tim then introduced James Trouse, well known to all as the long-time proprietor and chief mechanic at The Bike Shop in downtown Auburn. James spoke extensively on the topic of wheels and the evolution of their constituent parts.

James tried to simplify a complex topic and always makes it fascinating, but these notes will reflect the struggle of a non-mechanic to paraphrase and summarize the thoughts and opinions of James and so to completely understand many of the points presented.

James began with an overview of the different designs for bicycle wheels and the variety of their components. The number of spokes has varied over time as has their shape and lacing patterns. A two-cross is more common on motorcycle wheels while the three cross is considered the most stable and comfortable design for the bicycle wheel. The rare four-cross is most fragile but is seen on touring bikes today. This cross is good on both large and small flange hubs. Radial spokes make for a stiff and often unreliable wheel in James’s opinion.

Continuing on lacing, James said that the “over under” spoke lacing pattern gave spokes flexibility under tension. The nipples stayed tight. It uses neighboring spokes to share tension load. Wheels thus threaded are more easily trued and stay trued longer.

When you see an “over over” or “under under” lacing you know the wheel was machine/factory made.

Answering a question from the audience, James discussed in depth the mechanics of the Sturmey Archer planetary gear. He thought that generally internal geared hubs wear out faster than chain and sprocket systems and the parts to repair them are not readily available. They are extremely sensitive to water and rust wears them out more than mileage. Still there are situations where they are preferable.

Spokes and wind: James said that side wind not head wind slows down a cyclist more. The best analogy is a sailboat tacking up river.

Bladed spokes: They had to be straightened after every ride. Back in the day, they had to be slotted into the hub which cause the hub to split and fail eventually.

Basically, James thought the best spoke is the standard rounded spoke with an elbow that threads into the hub and is secured to the rim with a nipple.

Hubs: James explained the relationship of the freehub and climbing and the evolution of the rear hub from the straight axle.

Hub body: James prefers a small body hub body where bearings, cones, and cups are more tightly supported.

Quick release/skewer: It clamps the frame on both sides. Evolved from an “accident” sometime between 1905-1920s that involved Tullio Campagnolo. He had finished a difficult climb and had to flip his rear wheel for a smaller cog for the downhill and lost his wing nuts in the snow. He also lost the race. But he later conceived the idea of the skewer to eliminate the separable and lose-able parts.

Double butted spokes: came out in the 1920s and again in the 1930s and are currently in use. Curiously, the Torrington spoke, out of Connecticut, were made for low end bikes but used in higher end bikes because riders liked the color, according to James.

The Bernard spoke, a French steel spoke, is the most reliable, James said.

Rims: The first aluminum rim was the Ambrosia rim. James had them on his 1962 Sears 10-speed J.C. Higgins bike. It had double-butted chromoly tubing. He eventually traded it for a Volkswagen, which he considered a fair trade.

Nightmare repair cases: Answering a question from the audience, James said disk brakes were his nightmare. He gave an explanation from a mechanic’s point of view for why they should be avoided.

Tim McDonald then brought out his new/old Vitus vintage 1987-91, a beautiful pink thing that he bought on ebay. When he brought it home, he discovered that the fork was bent. James helped him straighten it and they are assembling it still. Instead of sticking to the plan of all SunTour, Tim is installing a mixture of mechanicals.

Conversation continued as everyone asked questions about the vintage bikes they owned and the parts they found to restore them. James as always was a fountain of knowledge which he shared over brews and chips until we kicked ourselves out of the Chamber a few minutes after 9.

Submitted by Angela Lakwete, Secretary, EACC.

EACC Holiday Party

919 Cherokee Rd Auburn
Food & Cheer. BYOB

Come celebrate 2017 and plan a 2018 full of great riding and lively club meetings.

Swap Meet

Mon., Sept. 11, 2017; 7-9 pm
Swap and Sale Meet
@ Chappy’s Deli - Back Room
Glenn-Dean Shopping Center
near A-O Tourism Bureau

Bring clean stuff you don’t want; find stuff you’ll love!
There'll be jerseys (AU and Flyers), bike parts (including a 105 rear derailleur); wheels, an mtb frame or two, tools, and accessories.

RECYCLE: Bring your 700c tubes (no sealant) for recycling with Alchemy Goods.
REMEMBER: OBAC & EACC’s Johnny Ray Century, Sept 23, 2017.


Auburn Flyer's race weekend!

e-Howdy, fellow EACCers:

The Auburn Flyers’ race weekend (including USAC category races) is next weekend (February 25 & 26); Saturday road races and time trials on the back side of North Auburn fisheries units and Sunday criteriums in downtown Opelika (on “the other side of the tracks”).

We’re hoping for help in one or both of two activities:

Participate in the races (on-line details and registration at USA Cycling), and/or (preferably AND), help marshal the courses (also a nice, “front row” view of the races) by volunteering at .

We could really use the support in one or both regards, and I’d be eternally grateful!

Have a look, and thanks for considering it!