Feather Pedals 2024 Announcement

Conditioning Ride Series Starts Saturday, January 20

We are pleased to announce the 2024 plans for the Valley Spokesmen Bicycle Club (VSBC aka VS) Feather Pedals (FP).  This will be the 15th year of offering the Cinderella Conditioning ride series. FP is a group that focuses on encouragement, achievement and leisure cycling.  

About Feather Pedals

Feather Pedals is a cycling group within the Valley Spokesmen that provides a conditioning ride series specifically designed for the Cinderella Classic Metric Century.  While the Cinderella cycling event is a women-only ride, men are always welcome to join our conditioning series.  

About Conditioning Rides

The Feather Pedals Conditioning Series is organized by a volunteer cycling group with the VS Club. All levels of riders from group ride beginners, to experienced and all ages are welcome.  The Conditioning Series is free of charge but we do ask that, after 3 rides, you join the VSBC.  


You must register online for each ride.  

Go to www.valleyspokesmen.org/ridecalendar and click on the ride to register.  All communications and information is integrated into the Valley Spokesmen website, and emails are sent to VS Club members who have “subscribed” to the VS email list, and on the FP Facebook Page.

Helmets are required for all rides.


Before 1/20/24: Prepare!  Schedule your bike-tune-up, practice tire changing, etc.

Saturdays 1/20/24 - 4/6 24 : FP Conditioning Rides

Rides - Dates, Start Times, Staging Locations:  See VSBC Ride Calendar for ride details.

1/20/24 Ride 1 - 10:00 am - 20 miles from Sports Basement, 1041 Market Place, San Ramon

2/03/24 Ride 2 - 10:00 am - 25 miles from Sports Basement, San Ramon

2/10/24 Ride 3 - 10:00 am - 30 miles from Sports Basement, San Ramon

2/17/24 Ride 4 - 9:00 am - 35 miles from Sports Basement, San Ramon

2/24/24 Ride 5 - 9:00 am - 40 miles from Mike’s Bikes, 6754 Bernal Ave., Suite 710, Pleasanton, 925.223.8267

3/02/24 Ride 6 - 9:00 am - 43 miles from Mike’s Bikes, Pleasanton

3/09/24 Ride 7 - 8:30 am - 48 miles from Mike’s Bikes, Pleasanton

3/16/24 Ride 8 - 8:30 am - 53 miles from Mike’s Bikes, Pleasanton

3/23/24 Ride 9 - 8:30 am - 57 miles from Las Positas, 917 Clubhouse Dr., Livermore

3/30/24 Ride 10 - 8:30 am - 60 miles from Las Positas, Livermore

4/06/24 Ride 11Ride 12 - 9:00 am - 40-45 miles from Las Positas, Livermore (Celebration lunch at Beeb’s Restaurant after ride)

Staging locations

We will stage in 3 locations for rides 1-12 to provide more route variety and to allow riders to have more opportunity to practice riding for the Cinderella.  There will be restrooms at the start locations.

Rides 1-4 - Sports Basement, 1041 Market Pl, San Ramon, CA 94583

Ride 5-8 - Mike’s Bikes, 6754 Bernal Ave., #710 Pleasanton, CA 94566. Park in the South side of the parking lot between CVS and Safeway close to Dupont Drive.

Ride 9-11 - Las Positas Golf Course, 917 Clubhouse Dr. Livermore, CA (see map for location)

Park as close to Airway Blvd as you can in the southeast corner of the parking lot away from the Clubhouse.


Valley Spokesmen Bicycle Club 48th Cinderella Classic/Challenge/Lite -  Saturday 4/13/24  

The 48th Cinderella Classic event is a recreational bicycle ride for women/girls only.  Males do not ride the Cinderella - they provide the organization, support, rest stops, and SAGS for the Cinderella riders.  However, Males are welcomed and encouraged to ride with us on the VS FP Cinderella Conditioning rides each week. Click HERE for Cinderella event details and registration. 

There are 3 routes:

  • Cinderella Lite is 40 miles of a relatively flat route with a few moderate hills.

  • Cinderella Classic is a metric century (62 miles/101km) and is mostly flat with a few moderate hills.

  • Cinderella Challenge is approximately 94 miles with almost 5,465 feet of climbing and is for experienced and extra-conditioned riders only.

FP Conditioning Rides

The 12 VS FP Cinderella Conditioning rides are geared towards the Classic route.  The rides begin on Saturday, 1/20/24 and progress in miles each week for 12 weeks until 4/6/24.  Ride 1 will be an easy 20 mile orientation ride with each week gradually progressing in miles.  Ride 12 is the last ride before Cinderella so it’s our time to celebrate with a shorter graduation ride followed by lunch at Beeb’s Restaurant.  The start location changes every 4th ride and the times change as the rides get longer,  Ride details will be announced in each of the pre-ride emails sent the Wednesday before each ride,  Online signup is required for each ride.  Go https://www.valleyspokesmen.org/ridecalendar and click on the ride to register.  Registration is open to members and nonmembers.  We do ask that you become a member of Valley Spokesmen after your 3rd ride. 

Ride Design

The rides are designed for a moderate progression of miles each week for Cinderella “Classic” Riders.  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 and be fully self-supported.  

Ride Support

Many time, other riders may be willing to help fellow riders in need, but it is always recommended that riders be prepared to be self-supported and have someone to call to be picked up if necessary because there is no SAG (Support & Gear).  Some rides will have a “Sweep” when available for the Classic route only to help ensure no rider is left behind.

Ride Groups & New Rider Support

We will divide riders into 3 groups:

Group A - Departs at start time. Faster, more experienced riders with a pace of 15-17 mph.

Group B - Departs 5 minutes after start time. Moderate pace of 13-15 mph

Group C - Departs 8 minutes after start time. Slower pace of less than 13 mph. (We recommend Group C for those new to group rides as well).

Route Sheets

Links to all the routes will be listed on the VS ride calendar.  The links will also be included in all pre-ride announcement emails to VS members who subscribe to receive emails and posted to the FP Facebook page.

You must print and download your own route sheet after the pre-ride announcement is sent on the Wednesday before each ride to make sure you have the final route. Sometimes the posted routes are revised due to road condition, construction, etc.  All route have a link to Ride with GPS which provides route details such as easy to read cue sheets, maps, elevation gains, etc - that can be printed or displayed on your smartphone.  Ride with GPS has for-fee membership options providing route navigation with turn-by-turn guidance with voice prompts.  See www.ridewithgps.com for details.


The Ride Host will announce possible ride cancellation due to weather conditions by 7 pm the evening before the ride and confirm by 7:30 am the morning of the ride if the ride is cancelled or a go.  The Host’s decision to cancel a ride depends on multiple factors including how dry the roads will be for the duration and location of the ride.  


Stay informed either via FP Facebook or VSlist email.  For FP Facebook join the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Feather-Pedals-Riding-Club-188690581149894/

To receive VS emails, riders must be a current VS member, subscribe to the vslist, and must renew the membership by February 2024 or be removed from the VS email list.

Emails will also provide alerts to additional club rides, ride changes, road issues, socials, etc.  VS emails is highly recommended.  From the VS website home page:

  1. To become a member, go to “Grab Bag” at the top of the page and then “Join Us”.

  2. To subscribe to emails, go to the bottom left of the home page of the VS website under “Keep in Touch with the VS List” and “Subscribe to vslist.”

  3. Each year, ensure your membership is current/reviewed by February or you will be removed from the vslist.

Become a Valley Spokesmen Member

The Valley Spokesmen provides this FP Cinderella Conditioning Ride Series free. However, we request that after you have ridden with us 3 times, you become a member.  Club Memberships are for 1 year from 1/1-12/31.  The annual cost for an individual is $25.00 and for a family is $40.00.  For membership details and to join go to https://www.valleyspokesmen.org/level

FP Apparel

The Feather Pedals Kit is available through Jakroo.  Just click on the link below to place your order:


Be sure to order your distinctive Feather Pedal Cycling Kit now and you will have it in time for the Cinderella!

Contact Jakroo at 800-485-7067 with any questions.

Bike Basics/Bike Clinics

All riders should be able to change their own flat tires on our rides.  This means having the tools and skills.  There are multiple ways to learn how to change a tire “before” you ride on a VS ride.  Reminder: It’s recommended that all riders have a bike tune up at a local bike shop before starting the ride series.

Rules of the Road

A bicycle, in general, must be operated on a roadway and in the same manner as a motor vehicle. Traffic citations are issued for violations of the vehicle code to bicycle riders, regardless of age or whether you have a driver’s license.The most common violations for which citations have been given to bicyclists:
  • Riding on the left side of the center of the road.
  • Failing to stop at stop signs, stop lights. Unclipping and touching your foot to the ground without coming to a complete stop does not constitute a stop.
  • Riding a bicycle at night without appropriate lights and reflectors.
The most common motorist violations for which bicyclists must be on the lookout:
  • Oncoming motorists making left hand turns in front of the bicyclists.
  • Overtaking motorists passing and turning immediately in front of the bicyclist.
  • Opening car doors. It is unlawful to open a car door on the traffic side unless it is safe to do so and can be done without interfering with traffic.
The popularity and enjoyment of group bicycle touring is developed around some common courtesies. The main concern of the touring group is that all members of the group get to their destination safely and pleasantly.

STOP AND HELP – other members of the group with any breakdowns that occur.
LEAVING THE GROUP - Tell the ride leader if possible, but in all cases make sure you let some other member of the group know.
RIDE A STRAIGHT LINE – Don’t weave, wobble or wander. It makes everyone behind you (including auto drivers) nervous and burns up more of your energy.
PASSING OTHER BIKES – Always call out “on your left” to let the bike riders ahead know you are going to pass. don’t try to sneak a pass on the right between a rider and the curb.
MAKING A TURN OR CHANGING POSITION – Look behind and check for other bikes and cars coming up from the rear.
USE HAND AND VERBAL SIGNALS - Since bikes are not equipped with brake or turn lights you must use your arms and hands to indicate your intentions:
Left arm straight out to the left indicates left turn. Left arm at right angle with hand pointing up indicates a right turn. Left arm at a right angle with the hand pointing down indicates slowing and stopping. The law requires these 3 signals. You may also use your right arm pointing straight out to indicate a right-hand turn. We go the extra mile in safety signals by using our hands and vocal chords to do the following:
  • Point out road obstacles, i.e. rocks, gravel, broken glass, drainage grates, and potholes.
  • Using your right arm to point, and then call out, car right when you see an automobile exiting from a driveway or intersection.
  • Always use your arms as pointers and your voice to draw attention to any impending obstacles.
Never think that someone else is loud enough for the cyclist in front of you to hear him, always add your voice and "pay it forward or backward" depending upon the situation. For example, when coming to a stop with 20 fellow cyclists, ALL 20 cyclists should be calling out, “Stopping”. This keeps everyone alert and being alert is "smart cycling".
  • "Car back" - used when you hear a car approaching from your rear. When you hear a fellow cyclist saying "Car back" you must also say it so the cyclist in front of you can hear it, and on up the line.
  • "Car up" - used when riding on a narrow roadway and you have a car approaching you.
  • "On Your Left" - used EVERY TIME you pass another cyclist. Always check behind you before passing and call out your intention BEFORE you are alongside the cyclist you are overtaking. NEVER pass another cyclist when a car is approaching from behind you. If another cyclist is passing you, please move as far right as is SAFELY possible. You must pass in single file, never in tandem or more, this is very unsafe, as you will be crowding into the oncoming traffic lane.
  • "Door" - used when riding along parked cars. Watch all cars that are parked and if you see someone in the driver's seat, call out "Door" to signal to the cyclists behind you that a car door could open at anytime.
  • "Tracks" - used when approaching railroad tracks. Always cross railroad tracks at a 90-degree angle to avoid getting your tires trapped in the tracks.
  • "Slowing" - used when slowing to make a stop or beginning to pull off the road to stop.
  • "Stopping" - used after you call out slowing and are ready to come to a full stop. If you are stopping to rest or stretch or even, god forbid, change a flat, it is crucial that you pull completely off the bicycle lane of traffic.
  • "Clear" - used when passing through an intersection that has NO stop signs on any corner. This is potentially a very dangerous situation. So slow before you proceed and look both ways before calling out "Clear."
  • "Turning" - used when making any type of turn and always in conjunction with the appropriate arm turn signal.
  • "Merging" - used when you have been stopped and are getting ready to rejoin the bike lane of traffic.



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