The Rapid Wheelmen is a bicycle club based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Club strives to promote fun, safe cycling for all through rides, races, tours, and advocacy.

We welcome riders of all ages and offer rides for all levels - from beginners to experienced cyclists. If you enjoy cycling, want to develop good riding skills, or are looking for a fun and healthy group activity, then become a member today!

Rides & Events

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Time Trial Results

Results 2019-08-19

Drama - Drama - DRAMA! What an eventful night, and those of you that stayed put on the couch missed out. Technical problems arose galore for two of our record attempt riders which required restarts for both of them. But once on the course, they were on their own. No going back after they left for good.

The adventure first started with our mixed tandem duo of Reid Morris and Emily VanHeukelom, the current Male/Female Road Tandem record holders. It was about 6:12 on the clock when Reid arrives with tandem in hand, but no stoker. "She's getting out of work late, and caught in traffic," Reid says. With a late start time already assigned for their record attempt, everyone crossed their fingers. As riders are leaving the start line, Reid zooms past, sans stoker, back to the parking lot. They both arrive in a frenzied state, but past the assigned start time by 30 seconds. With all the rest of the riders already gone, and I being in a accommodating state of mind, allowed them the 1 minute delay to reset their start time and send them off. As they left they were still attempting to get into sync, and I think Emily had zippo time to warm up. I told Randy Higgins and Gary Newell that I doubted they would beat their own record time of 33:48 set last year with all the shenanigans. I was wrong! A new record was set last night in that class of 33:31, besting their previous mark by a mere 17 seconds. Lesson: Adrenalin can overcome unplanned events when the fight is on. Kudos to both for pulling it off.

Matthew Chaffee also arrived to best his own Hand Cycle record, but he was not as lucky. He got down the course about two miles, then had technical problems with a leg strap. We were walking back when he returned asking for a restart. I was still glowing in an accommodating state of mind, and granted his request. Randy worked the leg strap as best as he could, and with a 10 minute delay in the start time, Matthew left. I didn't want him delaying much longer, as it was getting slightly darker, and with no light or flag on that hand cycle, he was difficult to see. (Riders, at least consider always having a blinking red rear light nowadays --- ). Alas, he still had problems down the road and did not beat his own record time. However, I told him that we still had next week, August 26th, for record attempts, and he could try again. (The points contest is now over, but we'll still take record attempts).

Our third record attempt, Chris Ostberg in the Merckx class, came just before registration closed from metro Detroit, but the stars were aligned and he was on schedule. Chris successfully beat Scott Gustafson's time by a mere 3 seconds! For all you wanna-be good time trialists, Chris's comments after the ride are telling (I paraphrase slightly - ) "I knew the record was 35:48, and after checking about equipment and clothing requirements for the class, I was confident I could likely beat that record. I now know the course well enough that the outbound part is relatively easier than the inbound part, especially right at the finish. I wanted to save something for that slight headwind / uphill finish. So I kept some power in reserve on the way out, then carefully ramped up my effort on the way in. In the last mile I knew it was going to be close. But as the clock was ticking down, I had left just enough in the tank to not fade at the end. Just enough to nip the record. Whew!"

And yes, the points contest is over. Below you'll see the results and the end of season payouts. We'll be awarding those at our end of season celebration or mailing the proceeds if you don't show. The Women's class ended just as I predicted with Jill Martinek in 1st, Tarra Daprato in 2nd, and Heather Wiersma in 3rd. The Men's class ended as it has been for several weeks now with Ed Gilde in 1st, Shane Wiersma in 2nd, and Brad Leedy in 3rd. Jeff Petersen had an outside chance at 3rd place, but he needed Brad not to show, or have some unplanned event during the ride. You should have heard the trash talking before the ride. I asked Jeff that if he saw Brad had a mechanical problem ahead of him on the road, would he stop and help him? Jeff's reply: "Tough luck - see you later dude....." With friends like that, you don't need enemies. And the Merckx class's winner exemplifies the "slow and steady wins the race" philosophy as Jack Wright takes 1st, Brent Gaines is 2nd, and your's truly did take 3rd after all. When Aaron Brunscheen came to ride, I knew there was an outside chance he'd take 3rd place from me, but there were not enough riders slower than himself to do it. I want to thank John Crankshaw, Cal Hekman, and Bob Ayars for not showing up last night to ride the Merckx class. I'll buy all of you a beer next week.

Speaking of next week, it looks like the Gravel Bottom Brewery will be able to host us next week at their brand new location in downtown Ada! They'll open their doors just for us and let the taps flow. The patio is waiting. I'll get some pizza from Vitale's, which will include some veggie and gluten free choices. I'll have non-alcoholic beverages too. All of this is FREE to any volunteers, RW officers, and time trial riders at any time of the season. Festivities should start about 7:15 and conclude about 9:30. Awards and fun - hopefully without the DRAMA!

Dave Durkee
Time Trials Coordinator
Rapid Wheelmen Bicycle Club   

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Events and Group Rides

Group Ride Paces:

Easy: 9-11mph, Casual: 11-13mph, Moderate: 13-15mph, Good: 15-17mph, Fast: 17-19mph, Fast+: 19+mph

For more info about our club rides, check out the club ride page.