Valley Spokesmen Bicycle Club

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Welcome to the
 The 41th Cinderella Classic - April 8th, 2017
We're counting down the days. Will you be ready?
Starting Saturday January 7th, 2017 the Feather Pedals will be leading the first of 13 progressive Saturday conditioning rides to help riders prepare for the Cinderella Classics and Challenge. 

The Feather Pedals (FP) is a no cost cycling group within the Valley Spokesmen (VS) that organizes group ride opportunities for women. Men are welcome to join the rides too! FP is a group guided by the fundamental values of achievement, encouragement, and leisure cycling. The name "Feather Pedals" was created to describe a "lighter" or slower-to-moderate speed casual riding group for all levels of riders.

PLEASE NOTE: The Feather Pedals Yahoo Group will no longer exist. All communications and information will be integrated into the Valley Spokesmen web site, to Valley Spokesmen Club members who have "Subscribed" to the VS email list, and on the Feather Pedals Facebook page.



 We are proud to announce 2017 plans for the Valley Spokesmen Bicycle Club (VSBC aka VS) Feather Pedals (FP) referred to as VS FP. This will be our 9th year of offering Cinderella conditioning and monthly social rides.


Saturday, 1/7-4/1:  FP Conditioning Rides

Saturdays, 1/14-2/11:  (3) Skill Sessions 15 Minutes Before these Rides

Saturday, Date(s) TBD, FP Apparel “Try-On” @ Ride Start Location:  Details To Be Announced

Saturday, 4/1:  Cinderella Conditioning Graduation Ride and Celebration – Location and Details To Be Announced

Saturday, 4/8: The Event!  Valley Spokesmen Bicycle Club 41th Cinderella Classic/Challenge: A 65 Classic or 85 Challenge mile recreational bicycle ride (not a race) for women/girls only. Males do not ride Cinderella – they do the organization, support, rest stops, and SAGs for the Cinderella riders.  However, males are welcomed and encouraged to join us for the VS FP Cinderella Conditioning rides each week.  Cinderella event details are located at

Sunday, 4/9:  Post Cinderella Gathering Celebration – Location and Details To Be Announced



The 41st Cinderella Classic 2017 is on Saturday, 4/8.  The 13 VS FP Cinderella

Conditioning rides begin Saturday 1/7 and progress in miles each week for 13 weeks until 4/1. 

Ride 1 will be an easy ~20 mile orientation ride with each following week gradually progressing in miles. Ride 13 is the last ride before Cinderella so it’s our graduation ride which intended for celebration and social purposes vs conditioning.  The location and start times are different for rides 1-6, 7-12, and 13 to allow for variety in routes as well as a later start time during the colder weather and earlier times for the longer distances. The rides will be SAG and Sweep supported whenever support resources are available (details will be announced in each of the pre-ride eMails sent the Wednesday before each ride).


Ride Start Times / Locations:

  • Rides 1-6: 1/7-2/11 @ 10:00a from Sycamore Park & Ride in Danville
  • Rides 7-12:  2/18-3/25 @ 9:00a from BART in Pleasanton
  • Ride 13: 4/1 @ 10:00a – Location and Details To Be Announced
  • Suggested Arrival is 30 minutes before start time to allow time to sign in, get positioned with a ride group, join the skills sessions, etc.  When available, we have limited support resources so will not wait for late arrivals.  You are welcome to ride the route on your own or catch up with the group at a regroup location.  If you ride with the group, please remember to sign in with the SAG.  If you are unable to meet up with the SAG during the ride to sign-in, please send an eMail ASAP after the ride to the Host letting them know to sign you in.
  • Cancellations:  Ride Host will announce any ride cancellations due to weather conditions by 7p the evening before the ride via the VS member eMail list (member must subscribe to receive eMail) and via the FP Facebook page AND if the updated morning forecast appears to be clear for the estimated duration of the ride then the Ride Host will send an updated notice by 7:30a to via VS eMail and posted to FP Facebook announcing the ride is on.



We are doing our best to continue to keep to our original mission of being a volunteer social cycling group within the Valley Spokesmen (VS) Club group guided by the fundamental values of achievement, encouragement, and leisure cycling.  The name “Feather Pedals” was created to describe a “lighter” or slower-to-moderate speed casual riding group.  All levels of riders from beginner to experienced, women and men, and all ages are welcomed.  Helmets are required for all riders.  We are not a training program or a competitive riding group although we do offer opportunities to learn riding skills.


  • Requesting All Riders Become VS Members After 3 rides with VS FP, we request all riders become VS members.  Club Memberships are for a period of 1-year from 1/1-12/31.  Individual $25.00; Family $35.00. To receive VS member eMails of ride changes, etc. be sure to “subscribe to vslist”.   eMails will include communications from VS and those specific to FP rides; this is the recommended option to ensure no communications are missed.  For membership details and to join: 
  • Moderate Progression of Miles & (1) Route:  The moderate progression of miles will apply again in 2017, however, we will only offer (1) route instead of (2) routes.  In 2016, we referred to routes as a Classic route and a Classic+ route; in 2017 it will simply be referred to as “the route”.  This change is part of our overall continued simplification process.  Experienced riders who want to add more miles and/or climbing for an additional challenge or to prepare themselves for the Cinderella Challenge have the option to modify the routes themselves, however, will not be SAG or Sweep supported when support is available.  We have found as the miles on our rides become longer we have many more riders returning to the routes with less miles and do not have the volunteer staff to support this smaller group of Cinderella Challenge event riders.  The progression of the miles each week will help provide conditioning for the Cinderella Classic but not the Challenge.  We will continue to have a New Riders Group for the Cinderella Conditioning rides.  The riders in this group may be new to outdoor riding, riding in a group, returning riders, etc. who would like to ride with newer riders and receive some extra attention from our experience VS and/or FP riders.
  • Revised Routes:  In response to rider’s feedback to limit the number of turns and eliminate trail riding (with the possible exception of very short distances to gain access to roads) the routes have been again revised. The links to all the Cinderella Conditioning routes will be listed on VS Ride Calendar by end of December 2016 and the Monthly Rides will be added by April 2017.  Also, the links will be included in all pre-ride announcement eMails to VS members who subscribe to eMails and posted to the FP Facebook page. 
  • IMPORTANT:  Please print/download the routes after the pre-ride announcement is sent on the Wednesday before each ride to ensure you have the finalized route. It’s very possible the posted routes may be revised.  All routes will have a link to ridewithGPS which provides route details -- easy to read cue sheet, map of route, elevation, etc.-- that can be printed or displayed on your Smartphone.  ridewithGPS has for fee membership options providing route navigation with turn-by-turn guidance with voice prompts. See for details. Please remember to bring your own route sheet either in printed form or downloaded before the ride.
  • Staging Locations - Sycamore Park and Ride in Danville (Rides #1-6) & BART in Pleasanton (Rides #7-12); (except is the Graduation Ride #13 – location and details to be announced):  We will continue to stage in two locations to provide more route variety and to allow riders have more opportunity to practice riding the Cinderella route.  
  • Rides 1-6, 1/7-2/11:  Stage at the Sycamore Park and Ride lot located at the Northeast corner of I-680/Sycamore Valley Road (exit) interchange (same location as 2015).  The Sycamore Park and Ride parking lot in Danville is located at the Northeast corner of I-680/Sycamore Valley Road (exit) interchange just off of I-680.  There are NO restrooms.  There are multiple establishments nearby and/or on the routes so please plan accordingly and remember to patronize the establishments utilized.
  • Rides 7-12, 2/18-3/25:  Stage from BART in Pleasanton in the left Southwest corner parking lot. Directions: 1-580 East, Hopyard exit towards Dougherty Road, Right onto Hopyard towards Pleasanton, Left on Owens Drive, Left on Pleasanton Parking Lot (Willow Road is on right).  Park in the Left Southwest corner of parking lot. 
  • Ride 13, 4/1:  Graduation Ride – Location and details to be announced.
  • Cancellations / Collaborate with Fellow VS FP Riders:  See details about cancellations above.  If a ride is cancelled, riders are welcome to collaborate via the FP Facebook page or via VS eMails to make plans to meet up for an unsupported ride either on either Saturday or Sunday.  Be sure to join the Feather Pedals Facebook Page:
  • Monthly Rides:  Since the Cinderella event is April 8th, the first monthly ride is May 20st and continues each month through December (weather permitting).  Monthly rides will be ~30 miles.  For the monthly social rides, we have only one route.  They will continue to be the 3rd Saturday of each month starting at 9:30a with a 9:00a arrival time suggested with the exception of “Beat the Heat” months. June through August, there is an earlier “Beat the Heat” start time of 8:30a with an 8:00a arrival time suggested.  Routes will be posted to the VS Ride Calendar by April.  Staging locations:
    • May-August from the Sycamore Park and Ride in Danville
    • September-December from BART in Pleasanton
  • Additional Monthly Rides - FP “Birds of a Feather” (BoF) Show & Go Rides:  Additional rides will either be posted to the VS ride calendar and FP Facebook or will be “show and go” rides.  These additional rides will be called "FP Birds of a Feather” … ride together!  Please help us offer more and different FP rides by becoming a ride host for these rides.  Never hosted a ride?...please ask us for help.
  • NOTE:  These rides do NOT replace the normal monthly rides.  They may include more adventure type rides meaning they are not the standard FP routes and may be more appropriate for the experienced and advanced rider or for a FP rider who wants to take on a new challenge with other FP riders.
  • “Birds of a Feather” (BoF):  These rides provide FP riders with an opportunity to ride routes together that are different and more challenging than the more standard monthly rides.
  • “Show and Go” Rides:  A “show and go” ride is a ride whereby a group of riders meet at a staging area at a certain time, agree upon a destination and a route, and then ride that route.  These rides will be posted to the FP Facebook page and via eMail to VS members but not to the VS ride calendar because they may be announced with short notice i.e. the day before the ride.  These rides may be more advanced than the monthly rides in terms of length (30-50 miles) and climbing thus not appropriate for beginners unless a rider wants to take on a new challenge with other FP riders. They may be staged from anywhere i.e. Tri-Valley, Orinda, San Francisco, Marin County, Sacramento, etc.  They may or may not be no-drop rides.  The rides likely to be no-drop are rides ridden in congested areas i.e. San Francisco, Oakland or areas not familiar to the participating riders.  Some examples: Calaveras to the Wall, Palomares Road, The 3 Bears, Pleasanton to Bay Bridge Trail, return by BART, Routes ridden on the Progressive Dinner out of Escalon, SF Ferry Building to Tiburon or Larkspur and return by Ferry, American River Trail to Folsom Lake, From Watt Avenue and Folsom Blvd, and many others.
  • FP Apparel:  FP continues to become recognized and complimented on the roads for our custom cycling apparel.  In 2017, we will continue to offer FP riding apparel that will be available to you for purchase.  Please direct any questions to  Carol Coronado at  
  • Try On Before Rides:  We hope to arrange for try on opportunities before some of the rides.  Dates and details to be announced.
  • Private Try Ons:  For private try-ons or help contact Michael Hernandez, JAKROO, Director of Sales, 5673 W. Las Positas Blvd. #201, Pleasanton, CA 94588, 800-485-7067 ext. 107,
  • Basic Skills Sessions:  For the Cinderella conditioning series, Meredith Nielsen with Wenzel Coaching will host 3 basic skills sessions that will take only 15 minutes.  These sessions will take place before the regularly scheduled rides and are geared to helping everyone become a better rider.  This is important because there is more to riding a bike than just pushing on the pedals!  Learning and practicing fundamental bike skills can help make your riding safer and more fun both as an individual and for others in the ride group.  Learning to develop smooth and efficient pedaling can make you less tired at the end of a long ride. Proper use of your brakes and good cornering techniques can help you feel more confident when descending.  Sound individual skills will make you a better riding companion on group rides like the Cinderella.  Please take a moment to read “Rules of the Road” and “Pack Riding Skills” under Download on  Contact Meredith for any individual training needs and please thank her for volunteering her time to teach our group how to ride efficiently and safely.  Watch for Skills dates to be announced.  For more information, contact Meredith at  Additionally, Meredith will announce via eMail to the VS group the details of her 5-hour long bike skills trainings as they are scheduled.

(3) sessions will be held 15 minutes before roll time in the Newcomers area.

1.     January 14th:  Helmet check, proper tire pressure, bike lights, proper emergency identification, basic bike position, starting/stopping. 

2.     January 28th:  Emergency braking, basics of group riding etiquette 

3.     February 11th:  Shifting and cadence, slowing/speeding up and being smooth on the bike 


Meredith Nielsen
USAC Level 2 Coach

  • Bike Basics / Bike Clinics:  All riders will be asked to change their own flat tires on our rides.  This means having the tools and skills to do so.  There are multiple ways to learn how to change a flat tire i.e. contact your local bike shop about clinics offered, uTube videos, etc.  We suggest taking time to learn how to change a tire ‘before’ you ride vs on a ride.  Our SAG support is based on availability and/or limited and cannot be responsible for tire changing support. Reminder:  It’s recommended that all riders have a bike tune up at a local bike shop before starting the ride series
  • General Questions:  For additional questions that are not addressed in this Announcement, contact Karin Ball at
  • Let’s Celebrate!:  We have 2 opportunities to celebrate our Cinderella conditioning success – at the Graduation ride #13 and the day after Cinderella  Both are no host events.  Guest welcomed.  Details to be announced.

·       Graduation Ride:  Location and details to be announced.

·       After Ride Cinderella Gathering Celebration:  Location and details to be announced.

  • Rules of the Road:  and see below.  Be sure to know and demonstrate these rules on all rides.  Be a Rules of the Road leader by helping others demonstrate these rules too. 

From your FP Volunteers….Keep Riding for the Fun of It!  Ride On…Ride Safe!

The Feather Pedals Volunteer Team

RULES OF THE ROAD – Know Them and Demonstrate Them!

The League’s five “Rules of the Road” are the core of the Smart Cycling program and will prepare you for a safe and fun bike commute no matter where you are riding.

Follow the Law

Your safety and image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights and duties as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.

Be Predictable 

Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.

Be Conspicuous

Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with others and don’t ride on sidewalks.

Think Ahead

Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.

Ride Ready

Check that your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are closed. Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.