Elmhurst Bicycle Club logo.

The Cue Sheet


Bicycle Club of the Year.

Elmhurst Bicycle Club is the League of American Bicyclists' 2009 Bicycle Club
of the Year for Region 4.

Our President's Message

Photo sample Happy December EBCers! This year sure went fast. I want to open this message by saying how pleased I am to serve as your President another year. I promise to do my level best to make this club the best that it can be. I am so blessed to have a great Board of Directors to help me accomplish this goal. When Pussanee and I first joined in 2005 we were struck by how friendly and accommodating club members were. They made us feel very welcome and treated us warmly. I want to make sure we continue that great heritage and make all members and guests feel like they belong.

As you go about the hustle and bustle of the Christmas and New Year Holiday, please take some time to reach out to those less fortunate and see if you can make their situation more festive. If you can’t afford a monetary donation, please consider giving your time, which is often more needed.

“Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall and the genial flame of charity in the heart.” Washington Irving

I look forward to seeing all of you at our Christmas Party. Please make your reservations now; it is a very festive event that really allows members to socialize and share experiences in a great atmosphere. Purchase your tickets here: Christmas Party Tickets

Finally, Pussanee and I want to wish every EBC member a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



A Ride Report: The Biking Expedition into the Ladakh (Land of High Passes) Himalaya

by Pravin G Patel

map of India area

Pravin was riding at the very top of India!

I am glad to be home among friends and family after a month long biking expedition in the Himalayas. Our party of four bikers spent twenty-four days biking and hiking in the Ladakh Himalaya in India. The Ladakh, located at an average elevation of 12,000 feet, occupies the western part of the high arid desert of the Tibetan plateau. The plateau lies north of a 1,500 miles long arc of Himalayan mountain range. It is an area of dun color jumble of mountains, high plains, saline water lakes, and emerald rivers carrying glacial melt.

Previn and his bike

Pravin, a cosmic spec amidst the gorgeous scenery.

We arrived with our bicycles in the town of Leh (altitude of 11,500' above MSL) on October 22nd. It had taken a sixteen-hour flight to New Delhi, an overnight stay and a short flight. The early morning flight to Leh in clear cerulean skies over the snowy Himalayan giants was mesmerizing. The picturesque mountains garlanded with vein-like emerald rivers from 35,000’ looked like a fairy tale. They also left me questioning my audacity; how are we going to go around them with a set of wheels and puny legs.

Five days of rest and drinking lots of water helped acclimatize our bodies to the altitude of Leh. While we rested and assembled our bikes, Stanzin, our guide, put together a team of six to help our expedition. The team included Stanzin, our guide/bike mechanic, a cook and his helper and three drivers for three vehicles. We had to carry 22 days' food and bottled drinking water, our belongings, and five bikes.

Ladakh is sustained by four principle rivers; the holy Indus, Zanskar, Shyok and Nubra and countless subsidiaries. Mighty Indus originates from a watershed around the revered mountain Kailash in Tibet, the Shyok from the Rimo glacier and the Nubra from the 75-km long Siachen glacier. Both glaciers tumble down from four 8,000-meter-high mountains including the second highest mountain K2. The Zanskar River begins in the central Ladakh. There are numerous high passes separating river valleys and many large saltwater lakes. The lakes are remnants of cataclysm plate tectonic collisions over 35 million years ago.

Over the centuries, people of Tibetan stock have settled along these rivers. They are friendly and welcoming of strangers. Each village would have a mani wall, a chorten, a stupa and a gompa (see definitions below ) and barley fields irrigated by glacial melts. The whitewashed homes surrounded by poplars and willows and fenestrated with wooden windows are topped with dry grass and festooned with prayer flags. The people grow vegetables and barley in their hill-terraced fields and raise yaks for milk.

• Mani Wall: Pile of Buddhist Mantra inscribed stones placed along a trail or at a village entrance.
• Chorten: A stone structure with a square foundation symbolizing the earth, a dome symbolizing water, and thirteen tapering steps of enlightenment symbolizing the element of fire.
• Stupa: A hemispherical structure containing relics typically the remains of monks or nuns that is used as a place of meditation.
• Gompa: A Buddhist monastery, place of worship and meditation with a religious school for monks and students.

A stupa in the foreground and a monastery (left) and chortens (right) in the background at the village of Shey

A stupa in the foreground and a monastery (left) and chortens (right) in the background at the village of Shey.

Prayer Flags and the Pangong Lake (at 14,600' altitude)

Prayer Flags and the Pangong Lake (at 14,600' altitude).

Our expedition started in earnest after five days of acclimatization in Leh. We had to cross an 18,000' pass out of Leh. We had a distant view of Karakoram giants from top of the pass. On a typical day we woke up early and got ready to roll around 8:00 after a hearty breakfast of potatoes, eggs, tea, porridge and cereal. We broke for a packed lunch of boiled potatoes, eggs, cheese, nuts, tea and juice by a riverside and concluded our biking day in the late afternoon. The cook would have hot tea and appetizers ready for us when we arrived at our night spot. We would have dinner of soup, rice, vegetable curries, beans, chapatis and tin fruit early in the evening and get into our sleeping bags around 8:00. The days were sunny, windless and temperatures got as high as 55 degrees while nights were sub-freezing. We stayed mostly with local families in their homes except for three nights when a "guest house" was available. We stayed only one night in our tents.

In the Shyok River valley near Agham village

In the Shyok River valley near Agham village

Biking along the Indus River near Leh

Biking along the Indus River near Leh

The Indus River Gorge near the village of Batalik, the last Indian outpost.

The Indus River Gorge near the village of Batalik, the last Indian outpost.

The roads in Ladakh are developed by the Indian military. They run along the principle rivers of Indus, Nubra, Shyok and Zanskar. While biking, we would have a murmuring river on one side and a mountain on the other. They are narrow, twisty and in many places dynamited out of shear rock faces. There was always a danger of rocks tumbling down upon us. We saw crews of local men clearing roads of fallen rocks. The roads are either up or down and never level. The gradients ranged from 2%-12%. However, side valley roads are another matter. They were relentlessly going up at 5%-10% making us crawl at 3-5 mph for hours at a time. At places where side streams join the main rivers, glacial alluvial fans develop. We had to traverse these 3-5 km wide fans. Here the roads with no tarmac and gradients of 2%-8% had gravel and chunks of rocks. It would be out of the question to ride such sections at such an altitude at grades higher than 8%. Our daily mileage would vary from 18-40 miles. We were allowed by the military to bike in a couple of valleys where no bikers had gone before. It was a no man's land devoid of vegetation, humans and vehicles with shear granite peaks on both sides of the roads. As it was the beginning of the winter, we saw only a few touring bicyclists and tourists around Leh. Mostly, it was ourselves with our thoughts, our bikes and raw nature surrounding us on most days. Amazingly we had no mechanicals and only one flat for over three hundred miles of biking. Although biking was generally pleasant at 10-12mph, there was always a menace of altitude. We had to just be patient and persistent when an uphill climb came, which was often.

The crux of our expedition was reaching the Pangong Tso (lake) at the altitude of 14,600'. We reached it late in the afternoon after pedaling relentlessly uphill at grades of 2%-12% for 34 miles with switch backs which came at the end of the day. It was an overwhelming sight to come upon a 134-km long body of indigo blue water at such an altitude. The lake is ringed by high snowcapped brown mountains. The utter silence and solitude and its serenity left us speechless, numb to our senses and ecstatic at the same time. We walked its shores the following morning at the sunrise to take everything in one more time. It was special to see the first rays light up the mountain tops and lake.

Biking along the Indus River Gorge was a personal favorite for me as the river is an integral part of the Hindu civilization developed some 2,500 years ago by early settlers from the central Asian steppe to the subcontinent. The solitude gave me plenty of time for self-reflection and realization; that we are an infinitesimal part of this unfathomable and inscrutable spinning vortex of vastness around us; that we are here temporarily, and that there are things beyond our comprehension.

It is possible, in the future, to arrange a biking trip in this area if enough members are interested. Only general biking fitness, a spirit of adventure, and a willingness to try something new is all that is needed.

I would like to thank Vince and Louis from Chicago and Milan, my cousin, from India for taking a leap of faith with me. I would also like to express my gratitude to all the EBC members for their support and encouragement. My gratitude also goes to the support team of gregarious Stanzin our guide, knowledgeable Wontuk our cook, always helpful Ponchuk, the cook's help and three drivers Sonam, Girmeet and Jigmet. Without their help and knowledge this enterprise would not be possible.



Vince Gatto Sets New EBC Record For Most Miles In One Year

by Tom Preston

EBCers group photo

At Panera Bread in St. Charles. That’s Vince kneeling in center. Way-to-go!

Above is a picture of the group which came out to ride Isaac R. Samayoa's Blue Skies Ride Friday, November 3rd, with Vincent Gatto as he broke Ed Gin's record for most club miles in one year. Sorry you had to work, Ed. We missed you. Congratulations Vince! And thank you, Vince and Amy Gatto for the after-ride party at your house. Great food, beautiful home. And thank you, Gary Busching for snapping this photo. Best wishes to you in your new job. It's been great riding with you and Donna. We always enjoy your posts on Facebook. Thank you, also to Chuck Dean, Gary Beardsley, and Hollie Long for riding with our tandem at the back of this pack of Friday Fast Riders. Forty-three miles at forty-three degrees with NNE winds at 9+ mph. (WE did NOT do the Munger Loop.) We're sure everyone in the restaurant enjoyed as we ALL sang "Happy Birthday" to Loren during our break at Panera Bread.

Tom and Ginny Preston

Editor: Ed Gin’s mark of 9,486 miles in 2010 was eclipsed on the ride discussed above. Now the question is: Can Vince make it to 10,000 miles?



Thanksgiving Hike and Dinner at White Pines State Park

by George Pastorino

ebcers at white pines sp.jpg

We give thanks for a wonderful day at White Pines State Park!

Another great day for Judy Mikesell's Hike and Dinner at White Pines State Park in Oregon, Illinois. It was a beautiful sunny day!

This is a beautiful State Park with great hiking trails and they do a great job with the Thanksgiving Feast as well.

Thanks to Judy for organizing this great EBC Annual Event , this the 11th time Pussanee and I have done this very festive event.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone......George and Pussanee

Stepping Stones at White Pines sp

Please keep your balance!

    Susan navigates a creek bed.

Susan navigates a creek bed.



Make Your List, Check It Twice, EBC Will Party Tonight!

Hope you can make it. The Annual EBC Christmas & Holiday Party will be held at Angelo's Restaurant the same night as our club meeting: Thursday, December 14, starting at 6:30 p.m.

      41 North York Road
      Elmhurst, IL 60126

      ...along the side and behind the restaurant, as well in the parking garage across the street

      ...for a club member is $8.50 per person, and $15.00 per guest.
      * Sign up for the party can be done via Pay Pal, when paying your 2018 dues.

Christmas Party Registration and Tickets

Photo sample


Ride Report – 11/27 - Centennial Trail to the Great American Bagel

by Susan Sperl

Nancy Shack led a small group of us on a familiar ride along the Centennial Trail. But it was special because it was very late November and the weather was delightful.

On the ride we saw a barge pushing 5 loads, brand new pavement, and sunshine. Two deer jumped out in front of us crossing the trail just missing Nancy’s front wheel. A little further down we had 4 deer leaping on our right. They eventually crossed over the trail into the woods.

It was great seeing everyone! Some I hadn’t seen or ridden with in years and a couple of new faces too. It was such a gorgeous day. And our evening sky was magnificent!

I hope everyone enjoyed some outdoor activity today!

EBCers before Centennial Trail Ride

Back Row then front, l-r:Joanne N., Isaac, Nancy R., Nancy S., John Z., Don S., Maryellen, Loren; Karen, Betty B.

Four Deer prancing across Centennial Trail

Four Deer prancing across Centennial Trail



Meeting Minutes November

Board Minutes
November 9, 2017

Present: George Pastorino, Ken Hickey, Kim Messina, Chuck Dean, Cindy Reedy

  1. President:
    • The meeting was called to order at 6:15 p.m. at the Community Bank of Elmhurst.
    • Marge Ricke would like the 8 storage bins of club pictures, newsletters, and other EBC documentation moved from her home, and stored elsewhere. Ken Hickey will make arrangements after Thanksgiving to inventory the items from her home. At that time, items will be reviewed to determine which items to keep, possibly scan, or toss out. A new home to store the items has not been determined. After discussing the options for the 2017 - 1,000 mile award for qualifying members, a motion was passed to purchase arm warmers from Dennis Mariasis, (Life Behind Bars, cycling clothing). Members who ride over 1,000 club miles will qualify to be receiving a pair of arm warmers.
    • The Board agreed that club sponsors be invited to the EBC Christmas party, free of charge.

  2. Vice President: • A revision to EBC bylaws in regards to invitational rides, allowing for one ride leader, one ride sheet, and easy documentation of various miles ridden by club members. EBC Awards Program page will be updated. • Club Express offers an APP (you know, "There's an App for that."), for a onetime setup charge of $150.00. The APP makes for a better presentation of EBC Club Express webpages on cell phones. A motion was passed to purchase the APP for EBC members.

  3. Membership Coordinator: Currently there are 518 members.

  4. Treasurer: Monthly Banking Summary (dated 10/12/2017 – 11/7/2017): Total income - $887.66; Total Expenses - $364.26; Total balance - $11,543.66

  5. Secretary: • EBC Christmas Party will be held at Angelo’s Restaurant the same night as our club meeting, Thursday Dec. 14, starting at 6:30 p.m.
    • Mark your calendars: UP Cross Country/Snowshoe/Hike Week, Sunday Feb 4 to Friday Feb 9, at Indianhead Motel in Ironwood, MI.

  6. Sponsorship: no news.

  7. Newsletter: Preparations are being made for the transition of newsletter editing responsibilities from Chuck Dean to Kris Nicoletta.

  8. Website/Database: Club Express membership pages are open for paying 2018 dues and registering for the Christmas party. Progress is being made on the Club Express Ride Schedule. Training class for listing rides will be offered.

  9. Publicity: no report.

  10. The next Board meeting will be the Christmas Party, Thursday, December 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Angelo’s Restaurant, 241 North York Road in Elmhurst.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim Messina
Club Secretary

EBC General Meeting Minutes
November 9, 2017

Present: George Pastorino, Ken Hickey, Kim Messina, Chuck Dean, Cindy Reedy

  1. President:
    • The General Meeting was called to order at 7:15 p.m. at Community Bank of Elmhurst.
    • The slate of candidates for the 2018 EBC Board was announced at the last meeting. At tonight’s meeting, EBC past president Tom Preston ran the voting process for the 2018 Board Members. Current EBC Officers: George Pastorino – President; VP/Ride Captain - Ken Hickey; Treasurer – Judy Mikesell; Secretary – Kim Messina; Membership Coordinator – Shelly Hicks, have been voted in for the upcoming year. Kris Nicoletta will take over as Newsletter Editor, as Chuck Dean will be retiring after 8 years of holding this responsibility.

  2. Vice-president/Ride Captain: The ride scheduler on Club Express is being further developed and training on how to list, edit, and cancel rides will be planned.

  3. Secretary Report:
    • EBC Christmas Party registration through Club Express is working. There are over 50 members who have signed up so far. Must RSVP/pay for the party by Dec 8: Christmas Party Tickets REMEMBER to bring a donation for the local food pantry! (Canned goods, paper products, or personal items).
    • Mark your calendars: UP Cross Country/Snowshoe/Hike Week Sunday Feb 4 – Friday Feb 9 at Indianhead Motel in Ironwood, MI. Great fun, lots of laughs, and Dirty Uno during the week of winter adventures. The cost for a single room is $295.00 for the week. A room with two people is $345.00. A room with three people is $420.00. For information on one of the ski areas, go to: http://www.abrski.com

  4. Membership Coordinator:
    • Total members: 518
    • Meeting attendance: 34 members
    • Membership dues will be collected now through Dec 31. To keep your club benefits, make sure to renew before Dec 31.
    • Door prize winners:
        Lynn Korff - $25.00 certificate Rudy’s Cycle & Fitness
        Gary Busching - $25.00 certificate Rudy’s Cycle & Fitness

  5. Tonight’s refreshments: Marge Ricke and Linnea Myers

  6. Refreshment Coordinators: Donna and Gary Busching.

  7. Treasurer: Monthly Banking Summary (dated 10/12/2017 – 11/7/2017): Total income - $887.66; Total Expenses - $364.26; Total balance - $11,543.66

  8. Awards and Club Attire: Club jerseys will be arriving in the next couple of weeks. An email will go out when they do arrive.

  9. Sponsorship: Ginny Preston promoted our many fine sponsors.

  10. Advocacy Chair: Active Trans has presented Bike, Walk Every Town programs in various communities. This program was put together to help create biking advocates in our communities, where locally we can try to make a difference when it comes to bike safety. Although the programs are now over, information can still be found at:

  11. Sergeant at Arms: Sue Hickey. Send photos to her for entry into our new data base.

  12. Programs: Should members have any ideas for guest speakers or bike related topics to be presented at our meetings, please contact Vince Gatto

  13. Safety Chairman: made a presentation at tonight’s meeting.

  14. Mountain Bike Coordinator: Weather is now in a freeze/thaw cycle. Rides are best when it is below freezing to prevent damage to the trails. There are plans for a variety of mountain bike rides so check Ride Schedule and list server for posted rides.

  15. Website/Database Team: John Riordan spoke on the progress being made with Club Express. Some new features have been added like a list of goals achieved by individuals and a photo slideshow; he noted that the membership and event registration pages are working. Ride Schedule pages appear to be working on a limited trial basis and training for ride leaders will be planned.

  16. Publicity: No news

  17. Tonight’s Program: George Hardwidge will speak on safe cycling practices

  18. The next meeting will be the Christmas Party, Thursday, December 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Angelo’s Restaurant, 241 North York Road in Elmhurst.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim Messina
Club Secretary

Please submit articles and/or photos for the newsletter to Chuck Dean (cdean69033_aol.com). The deadline is the 25th of the month.

Elmhurst Bicycle Club Officers and Committee Chairs
George Pastorino, 708.903.8700

Vice President/Ride Captain
Ken Hickey, 630.290.0006

Judy Mikesell, 630.833.1036

Kim Messina, 630.204.8945

Membership Coordinator
Shelly Hicks, 614.371.0040

Newsletter Editor
Chuck Dean, 630.790.4203
Bob Hoel

Bill Bonner, 630.297.9773

Vince Gatto, 630.832.2133

Mileage Coordinator
John Riordan, 630.833.8201

Sponsor Chair
Ginny Preston, 630.852.8836

Website Team
John Riordan, 630.833.8201

Donna and Gary Busching, 630.967.4727

George Hardwidge, 312.656.6591

Sue Hickey, 630.627.4518

Assistant Ride Captain
John Riordan, 630.833.8201

Mountain Bike Coordinator
George Pastorino, 708.903.8700

List Server
Shelly Hicks, 614.371.0040

Human Interest Person
Betty Bond, 630.932.0271

Interested in joining EBCMembership Application  (http://www.elmhurstbicycling.org/about/membership.asp)

December, 2017   •   •   •   Club Rides

'Ride Schedule.' The most current ride schedule can be found on our website at http://www.elmhurstbicycling.org/rides/currentRide.aspx.

'Future Rides' (typically out 30 or more days, if any exist) can be found on our website at http://www.elmhurstbicycling.org/rides/futureRide.aspx.

Please Support Our EBC Sponsors

The Bike Rack card image. J and R Cycle bike shop card image.
Community Bank of Elmhurst logo.
Rudy's Bikes card image. 7 Mile Cycles image.
Trek Bicycle Store card image.
Prairie Path Cycles card image. Bikefix Inc.