Although the winter has been mild, the first weekend in spring is the perfect time to thaw your bicycle and helmet and come out for the first White Clay Bicycle Club event of the season, the Icicle Metric Century.
Cyclists throughout the tri-state area look forward to this annual event as a chance to stretch their legs after a long, cold winter season. The Icicle Metric Century consist of three routes for every level of rider - 35, 50 or 100 K routes (estimated 22, 32 or 60 miles) covering moderately hilly terrain in the area west and north of Newark. Snacks will be available at the start as well as a well-stocked indoor food stop. Support includes maps, water bottle or cue sheet clip, painted route, SAG wagons, and use of tools/pumps. A helmet is required.
The White Clay Bicycle Club started in 1973, and according to WCBC President Carol Ireland, the Century event has been in existence since either 1974 or 1975. Ireland said the ride should attract between 400 to 500 people, depending on the weather.
Ireland, who has been riding since 1975, rides a recumbent bike, a bicycle that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position.
Kristie Augenblick, who has been riding for 15 years, rides a tandem bike with her husband.
With over one-third of WCBC’s membership being women, the 400 members range from beginner riders to the more experienced.
Both Ireland and Augenblick said they starting riding because it was an activity they loved as children.
“I was a Girl Scout, and I loved the freedom of riding the winding roads,” Ireland said.
But the WCBC is not all competition.
“It connects you with people that like the same sorts of things,” Augenblick said. “You hear the birds singing which you don’t hear in a car – sometimes you forget how beautiful it is.”