Member of the Month for July 2013

Delaine Hall has been a Wheelmen member for three years and currently is the Social Events Coordinator for the Club. She organized the great picnic many of you enjoyed in June and is already working on the December holiday party. She was born and raised on the south side of San Antonio and graduated from Highlands High School in 1975.

Here is how Delaine describes her riding experience. “I have ridden a bike most of my life. As an adult rider I started off with a Trek Navigator. This would be considered a bike to ride around the neighborhood and enjoy all the work your neighbors have done to their yards and homes. When I rode my Navigator 30 miles and the last few miles were climbing the HUGH hill on Sonterra I knew I loved distance riding and I needed a new bike for distance (she now rides a Trek Pilot). One of my favorite rides is the ride down along the new section of the river walk and back through the Hemisphere Park. I enjoy a ride with scenery.”

Her absolute favorite bike riding experience was the Bike Out Hunger Ride in 2012 when she rode 435 miles from San Antonio to Dallas in 5 ½ days. She did the ride using clips because she had not learned to use clipless pedals! She said the ride was the most exciting thing she has done in her life. She added: “I didn’t know I had it in me to complete this ride.”

Delaine describes herself as an outdoor person who loves doing yard work and being out in the water. She also enjoys doing volunteer work and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She works at Ft. Sam Houston in the Headquarters U.S. Army Medical Command.

Member of the Month for June 2013

Pedro Balawag is a familiar sight on numerous Wheelmen rides and has been our web site editor for the past two years. He is a retired teacher from Georgetown Prep high school in Washington DC who moved to San Antonio after his retirement in 1991. He currently works part time for Judson ISD.

Pedro started riding about 10 years ago when he was 100 pounds heavier. He had high blood pressure which made him “a walking heart attack ready to happen”. Since he did not want to take medication he started jogging to control his weight and blood pressure. He then started biking to work since it was faster than jogging. Now he rides everywhere including the grocery store, Wheelmen Board meetings and many of the Wheelmen weekly rides. He is a serious bicycle commuter and an enthusiastic recreational rider. The riding has paid off for his weight and health. He is a strong rider with lots of endurance.

Pedro has two bicycles; a Titanium Lynskey Helix OS and a Steel Gunner Roadie. He did not list a bicycle he would like to have, so is obviously pleased with the two bikes he currently rides.

Pedro rides numerous Wheelmen routes, but his favorite is the Woman Hollering Creek Ride. He normally rides routes in the 35 – 45 mile range. You will frequently find him helping with stay-together rides at Cibolo and Woman Hollering Creek.

Prior to starting cycling, Pedro was an avid handgun competition participant. He exclusively shot the .45 ACP in the 1911 full frame size. He is a proud lifetime member of the NRA, IDPA and USPSA.

Member of the Month for May 2013

Italo Samano joined the Wheelmen in 2010 and took the Road Riding 101 and 201 classes that year. After completing the classes he became an active Wheelmen rider. He has been a Training Ride Leader for several recent Road Riding 101/201 classes. He is always willing to help with the stay-together rides, especially at the Cibolo and Woman Hollering Creek rides.

Italo currently rides a Fuji 101 Roubaix. He would like to ride a Pinarello ROKH or Cervelo S2 but says he is “just waiting to win the lottery”!

Like many of us, Italo prefers riding on flat terrain, so his favorite ride location is Cibolo. However, he does not hesitate to take on the hilly rides and is frequently seen at the Bullis County Park rides. He likes riding in a group due to the camaraderie. He enjoys biking and the experience of freedom it provides from an office job. He also enjoys a post-ride beer as a reward for a good morning ride with friends.

Italo was born in Mexico City and is “happily married to Sandra, a local court reporter”. They have two adult children and twin grandchildren. He has been living in the USA for 35 years, but is “still struggling to speak the local dialect”. He describes himself as: “Sixty years old and ready to live another sixty”. He is a Psychologist in private practice at the Alamo Mental Health Group.

Member of the Month for April 2013

Patti Hale has been an active Wheelmen member since 1999. She served as Vice President in 2000 and later held the position of Ride Chairperson where she revived the stay-together rides. She has been a very active ride starter and along with her husband Steve, has organized and led an annual July 4th ride in Fredericksburg for the past 7+ years. She is currently serving as the Co-Chairperson for the 2013 Easter Hill Country Tour (this is her second time in that position).

Patti grew up in Portland, Oregon and moved to Texas in 1986 to work as a nurse. She started out in McAllen, moved to Corpus Christi and then to San Antonio in 1995. She is currently a nurse with Health by Design in San Antonio, teaching wellness education in the corporate setting. She describes her husband Steve Hale as “my best buddy”!

A Cervelo R3 is Patti’s ride and she does not want anything else – “at least for now”. Her favorite local ride is River Road from Gruene on a quiet weekend morning. You will frequently find Patti and Steve at the regular Wheelmen ride of the day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Patti has done rides in Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado and Germany. She says, “I like to ride in groups and over the years I have found people to ride with almost any day of the week but I also like to go out by myself occasionally – helps me clear my mind. I started riding when I was fairly new to San Antonio and was working crazy hours and it totally changed my life. I get a workout in but cycling opened up my life in ways that I’m grateful for – I’ve met great people, married someone I met in the club and can share common interests with, and I have been able to experience the outdoors in ways that I would never get to in a car!”

Patti has other interests in addition to cycling. She likes to go to the gym where she does Bodypump, and occasionally Pilates and Yoga after doing a cardio workout. She loves to garden and finds yard work relaxing. Somehow she also finds time to volunteer with Meals on Wheels. 

Steve and Patti have a dog and cat – Casey and Sunny – and her mother-in-law says she wants to come back as Patti’s pet in her next life because of the way she spoils her pets and lavishes money, time and love on them!

If you get a chance, join Patti on a Wheelmen ride for some great exercise and stimulating conversation.

Member of the Month for January 2013

Bill Blackford joined the Wheelmen in 2011 and quickly became a very active member of the Club. He has been the Woman Hollering Creek ride starter since 2012 and has also started the New Berlin ride. He volunteered to help with the Rider Education Series and will work with the Road Riding 101/201 series that starts in late February, 2013. He is also a member of the Easter Hill Country Tour Committee where he is co-chair of the Rest Stop Subcommittee. That is a very impressive record of quickly becoming one of our most active Club members.

Bill describes his bike as “a 1985 Lotus Challenger, steel-frame, 14-speed lead-sled”! He says he has yearly thoughts of trading the bike in but is too emotionally dependent on it to carry through. Since he is a very strong rider, the bike must be a perfect fit. When asked what bike he would like to ride he said “None. I’m afraid if I did I would never want to ride my Lotus again”.

Bill started road cycling in the mid 80’s when he borrowed his brother-in-law’s Raleigh 10-speed. He soon bought the Lotus, but after a few years kids, responsibilities, and other grown-up things intervened. Here is his description of how he started riding again. “Twenty years went by and forty pounds came on and that pesky doctor won’t lay off and I’m sick and tired of hearing about it! Why won’t you just butt out and leave me alone . . . but I digress. Pondering the need for some physical activity, I resurrected that two-wheeled dinosaur I had kept hang in the garage. That was about seven years ago. For the first few years I rode by myself in the ranch country north of Flower Mound and gradually met some riding buddies. Since then I have ridden many charity rides, the Hotter’N Hell 100 three times and the 2012 RAGBRAI.” In May of 2011, Bill found the Wheelmen web site and thought it would be a good way to meet other riders and he has been an active Club member and rider since then.

His favorite Wheelmen ride is the Kendalia 52 mile route. He likes the great scenery and the hills on Crabapple Road which he describes as “short but brutal and the downhill’s are unbelievably fast”. His favorite ride in general has been the Rock & Roll Marathon bike ride which is 22 miles through downtown San Antonio. He has been a Ride Marshal for the past two years working SAG. Although the ride is slow and flat, he enjoys riding in the back talking with and helping people who are struggling and need encouragement.

In addition to cycling, Bill has several other interests. He is an avid reader mostly of non-fiction American History and enjoys working on and around the house. While living in the Dallas/Ft Worth area he took up acting in some community theater productions but has been too busy to get involved again since moving to San Antonio 2 ½ years ago.

Bill has been married to his wife Karen for 33 years and they have two adult children and three grandsons all living in San Antonio. He grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska but lived in Albuquerque for five years and Texas for the last 15 years (6 years in San Antonio and 9 years in the Dallas/Ft Worth area). He has worked for an electrical distributor for 22 years and is currently the National Accounts Operations Manager.

Join Bill on one of the rides he starts or on any of the other rides he does. You can probably talk him into leading a moderate-paced stay-together ride.

Member of the Month for November 2012

You have probably seen Andy Hinck and one of his two sons riding a tandem on some of the Wheelmen rides. Andy has been a wheelmen member for six years and is currently the Ride Committee Chair. You can thank him for all the great rides we have, for finding ride starters and for working to upgrade some of our older ride maps. He is also a ride starter and normally starts the Comfort ride plus other rides on occasion.

Andy does two totally distinct types of riding. He does recreational riding with the Wheelmen and commutes to work via bicycle. The bike he uses for Wheelmen rides is an older Trek carbon frame with a Campy Record Gruppo. For commuting he rides a Breakaway with a Campus Chorus Gruppo. His dream bike is a DeRosa Protos with a Campy Record Gruppo.

Here is Andy’s description of his riding experience. : “I have always ridden my bike – it started when I was a kid when I would ride around the area where my parents lived, both for fun and to deliver newspapers. I continued to ride my bike during college (when I had no other way to get around) – by the time I went to graduate school in Madison, WI, I finally got a car, but even then I didn’t use it much – primarily because Madison was so bike friendly; but also because the University had a policy of not issuing parking permits to students. I probably rode my bike least when I was a postdoc at the National Institute of Health (NIH), but over time I discovered some lightly traveled roads that would get me into Rock Creek Park, part of which is directly adjacent to the NIH campus on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington D.C. In the same manner, I also did not ride my bike much when I first came to San Antonio – however, over time I started riding with the Wheelmen about 6 years ago and really got back into it. I started riding my bike to work 4 years ago - part of my route is on the Leon Creek greenway, which I really like. I have taken my Breakaway along for trips to Germany (rode from Frankfurt to Berlin, from Berlin to Regensburg, and Regensburg back to Frankfurt, about 1000 miles), Switzerland, and most recently Montreal/Quebec City/Mont Tremblant.”

Andy says his favorite bike ride was from Ancortes, Washington to Victoria, Canada via the San Juan Islands. He also appears to be fond of riding in the Texas Hill Country particularly in the area northwest of Comfort.

Andy grew up near Seattle where he enjoyed outdoor activities such as high country hiking and sailing. He found opportunities for these activities to be limited in San Antonio, so gravitated toward cycling which is generally much better here. He says, “The Wheelmen are a great group for riding; the rides are safe, fun, sometimes challenging, and always worth the time, no matter how busy I am in ‘normal life’.”

Andy and his wife Cynthia have two sons: Garret who is 17 and Bennett who is 12. He used to ride the tandem with Garrett, but more recently has been riding it with Bennett. Looks like there will be another generation of Wheelmen riders in the Hinck family.