People who love the outdoors, riding bicycles and interacting with fellow members from the community can enjoy the many year-round activities with the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club.

The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club was “founded in 1970 to promote safe and legal riding of bicycles and to encourage bicycle riding as an accepted mode of transportation,” according to the club’s Web site.

The club consists of about 500 members, mostly over the age of 40, but the club is definitely something college students can participate in and enjoy, said Stu Goldenberg, the club’s newsletter editor and also a mathematics teacher at Cal Poly. Students should “come out and have a good time,” he said.

“Every day of the week there’s a ride somewhere,” Goldenberg said. “North County, South County, North Coast and San Luis – Some are short, some are longer, some are really hard rides, some are very social, stop and eat, socialize and ride.”

The club has monthly meetings, Goldenberg said. “We have some business and we have some entertainment,” he said. Entertainment includes slideshows of recent rides, bike health, fitness and eating.

General membership meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo City/County Library. The meetings are intended for those considering membership but are open to all members.

Board of Directors meetings are held the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Coast National Bank in San Luis Obispo and are open to all members.

The third Thursday of every month the club has a booth at Farmer’s Market and is open to the public for any questions between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. in front of the Kevin Main Jewelry store on Higuera Street.

Thursday night rides are held weekly beginning at French Park in San Luis Obispo at 6 p.m. The ride can last anywhere from 25 to 52 miles and includes scenery through Arroyo Grande, Corbett Canyon, Lopez Lake and Hi Mountain.

“We also put on two big rides a year which is where we make money that we turn around and give away,” Goldenberg said. “One is coming up the end of this month, the wildflower.”

The Wildflower Century will take place on Saturday, April 30. Fifty, 75 and 100-mile routes are available through the cities of Templeton, Shandon and Creston, where the rides end with a barbeque dinner. The ride sells out quickly and registration is not available the day of the ride. The registration fee is $45.

The other ride the club puts on is the Lighthouse Century, which will take place rain or shine on Saturday, Sept. 14. It begins at Cuesta College and winds through Los Osos, Morro Bay and Cayucos, where lunch is served, then on to Cambria and the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse before returning to the college for a hot dinner. Scenery includes zebras, elephant seals and Morro Rock. This ride also sells out quickly and registration is not available the day of the ride. The registration fee is $40.

All of the funds raised from the club’s rides help to sponsor scholarships for the Cal Poly Wheelmen, Shandon High School and support programs at Creston Elementary. They also help “contribute to the maintenance of mountain biking trails and support bicycle advocacy organizations, promote helmet use in our (San Luis Obispo) area,” according to their Web site. The club strictly enforces a “no helmet, no ride policy,” and all minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Free safety classes will be held on May 9, 16 and 20 for San Luis Obispo County residents. The goal of the class is to help riders refine their cycling skills, ride their bike safely and confidently, learn to be visible and predictable and avoid crashes and falls, according to the club’s Web site.

The classes are open to members of the public that are 16-years or older and are also offered in July, September and November. Bicycles are only needed for Saturday classes.

“You’re certainly welcome to come try us out for a few rides, but if you want to run with us regularly you need to pay the fee,” Goldenberg said. The fee “doesn’t even cover the cost of the newsletter we send out each month.”

Membership is $15 per year and family rates are available for $22 per year. For more information visit their Web site at www.slobc.org.

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