President’s Corner – December 2015

Welcome to the new VeloRaptors website. We hope you find it useful, informative and easy to navigate. Special kudos to Randy for his efforts to make this happen.

We are launching this new site in concert with the Christmas Party. A big Thank You to Fred and Alyston for hosting the Christmas party, and to Leslie and Cheryl (Just Delicious catering) for planning a  great menu. As usual  everyone’s culinary contributions will be fabulous and make this a great foodie event.

By now most members have received their VeloRaptor socks, designed by Steve L. Steve he also did the ordering, while Sally G and Susan C. did the distribution duties.  No getting around it – they are some cool socks

This year we have managed to schedule a 3rd Saturday ride every month, with good participation. Some rides have had 20 or more riders, and several different members have volunteered to lead rides. This has been a nice way to find new routes in the Bay Area and beyond.

We also continued to support BORP this past year (article below), both with the Bike Wash and with a team of 12 riders in the BORP Revolution.  Moreover, we raised in excess of $14,000 for BORP – a major contribution to their cause!   Most of the team did the 60 mile ride that explores the Sonoma wine country around Healdsburg.

This year’s Yosemite and Slovang rides were very special once again, and planning is in the works for them again in 2016.  Pictures of last year’s rides will be feature at this year’s holiday Party.

One bit of housekeeping.  Randy Mellin, our president for the past four years, will reach his term limit on the Board in May.  In July, your board elected me to succeed him as president, providing continuity in the transition. I am delighted to contribute to the club in this role, and look forward to many great biking adventures and social events with all of you.

See you on the road!

-Steve B.

President’s Corner April 2015

Hello VeloRaptors:

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – The VeloRaptors annual meeting is scheduled for May 31, 2015. The meeting will be part of our normal Sunday ride and will be held at approximately 9:15 am at Sibley Park (our normal rest stop). The Board of Directors at our last Board meeting asked Robin Brumell and Susan Stewart if they would like to serve an additional term as Board members and they graciously accepted. So, accordingly, the full Board agreed to nominate both of them for a new term as Board members. As always, if you would like to nominate another individual, you can submit their name to Randy Mellin (

As in past years, Steve Blair has posted some new articles on his Bakery Blog that I am sure you will enjoy

The March Solvang ride was a great success, and the weather was perfect. We had a great group of riders, friends, and significant others. The lunches and dinners were spectacular, and as always, a fun time was had by all. A big thanks to Robin for putting this ride together once again.

Just a reminder of some upcoming rides you might be interested in joining:

  • Cycle for Sight
  • Primavera Century (closed)
  • Wine Country Century
  • Grizzly Peak Century
  • Ride For A Reason
  • VeloRaptors Yosemite ride
  • Marin Century
  • Chico Wild Flower

As always, ride safely, and follow the guidelines in the “Streets Smarts” safety booklet.

2014 Ashland and Beyond

Fall is a great time for biking in southern Oregon and in early October a few VeloRaptors spent a week riding first in the countryside around Ashland and then a section of the Oregon coast.  All the rides around Ashland were fabulous, especially the ride up Mt. Ashland.

Riding on the coast was a bit different, but a good time was had by all

You can read more about riding around Ashland here

and about Bandon to Brookings on the coast here

2014 BORP Ride


For the past several years many of the VeloRaptors have participated in the BORP Revolution, riding the backroads of the Sonoma Wine country in support of athletes with disabilities ( This year was no exception, and a group of us rode the 65 mile routes.

Together we raised around $14,000 for BORP. This year was also special, because our team included Jorge, a disabled athlete, who cranked his hand cycle the entire 65 miles – way to go Jorge! This was no small accomplishment, in fact, Randy (our team leader and Jorge’s minder) was prepared to for a 45 mile ride and had to recalibrate his efforts for the day.

You can read the complete article by clicking – here.

2014 San Francisco Scenic Ride

Sept. 28 Dale P. and Kevin M.  lead a ride along the famous 49 mile Scenic Drive through San Francisco and hitting many of the highlights of our lovely city.

  • Quick tour of the beautiful SF City Hall
  • Cable Car Museum
  • Chinatown
  • Coit Tower
  • Musee Mecanique at Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Lombard St. squiggles
  • Fort Point
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Several attractions in Golden Gate Park
  • Twin Peaks
  • Embarcadero (including peeking in through the right field fence at the start of a Giants game to wrap up the day)
  • All the beautiful points (and some rather mundane ones, unfortunately) in between

Make no mistake, parts of this ride were quite challenging and not for the faint of heart.  Challenges included numerous cable car, trolley and train tracks, several hills, traffic congestion, lots of “rusty” tourists riding rental bikes and gawking, etc.  The route was roughly 49 miles, with 4000 ft or so of elevation.

This was a sightseeing trip, as well as a lovely bike ride and many of the stops were shorter than a visit you might make to say the Cable Car Museum.  


You will find the ride report here

Third Saturday Rides

Third Saturday Ride series. 
The purpose of the Third Saturday Ride series is to expand the uniquely VeloRaptor ride experience to include some of the many fabulous Bay Area routes.  Rides are generally 40-60 miles and of varying difficulty, but usually include a lunch/coffee stop.  Moreover, as the routes may not be well known to all the riders, there is a ride leader. Our ‘no drop’ policy will be in effect. The specific route for a given Third Saturday will be announced a couple of weeks in advance (or more).  

Our July ride was in Marin and around 20 riders rode a loop from Nicasio to Tomales and back.  In August, a group of 10 did the Two Bridges ride.  In September nearly 20 riders met again in Marin for the Ride and Plunge, and in October, 9 riders ventured from Orinda to the BearClaw in Pinole, returning via the Bears.  

Future rides: 

Nov 15 – Larry DiCostanzo will lead a ride in Marin over the Marshall Wall

Dec 20  – Sally Goodman will lead a ride

Jan 17 – Tom Willging will lead a ride from San Jose to Mt. Hamilton (and back)

Feb 21 – TBD

Mar  21 – Kevin M.  Will guide a Tour of Tri-Valley area on new bike friendly roads

If you have a favorite loop you want to include, or want to lead a ride please contact Steve Blair, Robin Brumell, Sally Goodman or Larry DiCostanzo regarding a route and a possible date.

The next ‘Third Saturday Ride’ will be November 15.  Details to be announced. 

-Steve Blair

Solvang Ride 2014

Hello VeloRaptor’s. 

Great VeloRaptor’s rides.  This years’ three day Solvang ride was a great success shared by many of our members and their significant others.  The group of about 28 spent three days basking in marvelous weather, riding hard, and enjoying great meals. You can view the groups experience as described by Steve Blair here.