Rolling again

Teen cycling club rides again

After grant money ran out, members raised enough to keep pedaling
2013-02-16T21:14:00Z 2013-02-17T20:19:08Z Teen cycling club rides againKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
February 16, 2013 9:14 pm  • 

A group of teen and adult cyclists left Napa High School at about 9 a.m. Saturday for a ride to Rutherford.

Setting out for the 40-mile journey were 10 teenage members of the newly baptized Eagle High School Cycling Club and their mentor, Ken Chapman, a Napa police officer and longtime bicycle enthusiast. The other adult cyclists along for the ride along the Silverado Trail, Yountville Cross Road and Skellenger Lane included members of the Eagle Cycling Club.

“We create lifetime cyclists,” Chapman said as the teens pumped air into tires and put their cleats and helmets on.

The high school cycling club, based at Napa High School but open to all students in Napa County, is debuting this year with a new lease on life.

Formerly known as the Napa High School Bike Team, the group formed in October 2011 thanks to a grant through the Napa County Office of Education. The money paid for the club’s 17 road bikes. But the grant, whose terms required a paid administrator, ran out in December, and the bikes were returned to the Napa County Office of Education.  

Knowing the grant money would run out and that the bikes would have to be returned, the club set out to raise money for new bikes last October. By January, the club had raised $20,000, including $10,500 from Eagle Cycling, enough to buy 15 new Trek bikes and other equipment.

Other donations included $1,000 from a fundraiser, $500 from the Napa Police Association and $3,000 from a technology executive. Wineries donated, as did bicycle shops and other businesses.

“Everybody seemed to be very supportive of the club,” said Napa High senior Eric Boessenecker, the club president.

The team also became affiliated with the Eagle Cycling Club, a group of about 150 cyclists. The high school club, which now has a dozen members, schedules rides three times a week.

Members of the Eagle Cycling Club on Saturday said cycling gives teenagers an opportunity to exercise and an alternative to other organized high school sports.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for promoting cycling in general,” said Gary Delucchi.

Any high school student who wants to join the club is assigned a bike, cleats and helmet if he or she does not have the equipment.

“It’s nice to be able to eliminate the notion that this is only for people who can afford nice road bikes and such,” said Boessenecker, who took on cycling after a swimming injury. “That’s why I like it,” he said of the club.

Conor Josten, 17, a surfer and skateboarder, joined the club about a year ago.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Josten said. “It’s a good way to spend time with friends. And it’s a good workout.”

Katarina Grohs, 17, said she started riding with the club in September because she wanted to start training for a triathlon. “It’s awesome. It’s been great,” she said.

“Everyone is really helpful. I’ve learned a lot about the sport in general,” Grohs said as she pumped air into a tire.

Gabriel Genes-Peralta, 17, said he hopes to find a cycling club when he goes to college, as he loves the feeling of cycling.

“There is nothing that is quite the same,” he said.

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(5) Comments

  1. glenroy
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    glenroy - February 17, 2013 9:57 am
    There should be an annual bike license fee, tax and lic like the DMV annual fee, tax and lic, the monies to be used for bike roads only...only problem is we all know the funds would be dumped into unearned benefits file and they’d never build a path much less a road.
    It boggles the mind to see all those bikes on the Trail each weekend when every other auto/truck drivers’ been to a ‘tasting’ or four…
  2. napa1957
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    napa1957 - February 17, 2013 1:11 pm
    Curious as to what happened to the 17 Road bikes provided by the grant (and why would a club need a PAID administrator? Waste of $$)? Are they just deteriorating in a warehouse somewhere? Taken to the dump? Does anyone know? Doesn't make sense that the club had to go buy more bikes if these were available...even to purchase from the grant at a reduced price.
    I think its a great program, and hope it grows tremendously, but I really hate to see money wasted!
  3. Madison Jay Hamilton
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    Madison Jay Hamilton - February 17, 2013 9:51 pm
    Every "motorist" has his/her hand out for tax dollars paid by bicyclists. Every "motorist" takes more from taxpayers than he/she contributes in gasoline tax and fees. If you're a "motorist," you are on the dole. "Motorists" are a drain on our economy. "Motorists" who become upset when seeing bicyclists disobey traffic laws must be livid when finding out the exact number of dozens of dozens of tickets given out in Napa each month for traffic violations. Per mile traveled, fewer bicyclists are killed than "motorists." Bicycling is safer than driving. Every road is "suitable" for riding bicycles. Every boulevard is a bike boulevard. "Motorists" better get used to seeing a lot more bicyclists on the road, as the price of gasoline isn't going down significantly any time soon. Those diesel pickup trucks are expensive, noisy, and spew deadly particulate matter into the atmosphere, whereas bicycles are inexpensive, quiet and cause their users to become healthier with each mile traveled.
  4. Madison Jay Hamilton
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    Madison Jay Hamilton - February 18, 2013 9:08 am
    Finally, glenroy finds a group on which he wants to raise taxes!
  5. Madison Jay Hamilton
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    Madison Jay Hamilton - February 18, 2013 9:10 am
    Concern trolls must be losing sleep wondering about all the money spent on high school football programs (a much, much, much larger amount of money).
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