Author Archive

Remembrance of Bonnie Bliss

| July 29, 2019 10:51 pm

It is with sadness to report the passing of Bonnie Bliss, ACTC Editor from 1993-1995. Bonnie and Bill, along with their two daughters Shannon, 8, and Heather, 7, bicycled across the US in 1976. Bonnie carried half the family luggage on a single while Bill took the two girls on a homemade triple tandem. That historic bicentennial crossing earned an enshrinement for their tandem at the Adventure Cycling Association headquarters in Missoula Montana. Bill became a cycling ambassador that brought us respect, safe routes, and the Bay Trail. Bonnie did her share helping ACTC since our inception in 1976, but in addition, she took care of family that allowed Bill to serve our community.

Consistent with Bonnie’s wishes there will be a private service. She will be laid to rest with Bill in the Los Gatos Memorial Park. A bench honoring her life will be installed on the SF Bay Trail in Palo Alto near the statue “Bliss in the Moment”.

My thoughts are with the Bliss family.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

A ship is safe in harbor…

| June 19, 2019 5:29 pm

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” William Shedd

The late Jeanne Meadows, ACTC President in the 1980’s, once wrote an inspirational article to promote cycling as her fountain of youth. Now that I am nearly her age when she penned that article, my health is starting to decline a little, needing to take two medicines daily for the rest of my life. However, I am not giving up cycling. Far from it, just as for Jeanne Meadows, cycling is my fountain of youth. During my month-long debilitating recovery, I yearned for the day to be back on my bicycle.

Cycling and ACTC provide both physical and mental stimulation. Shape up to fight off diseases; friendship offers pillars to hold each other up; structures and schedules to get us out of bed each morning; and a purpose to change the world by inspiring one young cyclist at a time.

A bicycle is safe when not ridden, but that’s not what bicycles are for.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Remembrance of Jim Schallau

| April 5, 2019 2:09 pm

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jim Schallau. Marjorie Schallau informed me that Jim left us early Wednesday morning, April 3rd, with his family by his side. He had recently been hospitalized, gone to rehab, and had been home about 10 days but returned to the hospital and ICU on Monday.

Jim was indispensable not just to ACTC but our community. More dependable than a Swiss watch, Jim was there for the children, for our country, and just about anybody who needed help. Jim collected bicycles for the less fortunate for them to go to work or school, way before there was Good Karma or Turning Wheels for Kids. Jim’s help to Turning Wheels for Kids in those early years was critical for its success.

Jim and I served together on the ACTC Board on two separate occasions and I learned so much from his kindness and quiet confidence. Most importantly, Jim instilled a value that it’s up to us to make this world a kinder and gentler world. A man of few words but when Jim spoke, we listened, and he was passionate about shepherding ACTC to be a responsible part of our community. Jim was the soul of ACTC. My thoughts are with the Schallau family

Services are planned for
Friday, April 12th
Visitation will be from 9–11 am
Lima Family Mortuary
466 N. Winchester Blvd
Santa Clara

Funeral Mass at noon, with reception to follow
St. Martin of Tours
200 O’Connor Drive
San Jose at 12 noon

Jim Schallau at Turning Wheels for Kids Bike Build 2009. Below is a link to a Mercury News story about Jim.

Jim Schallau_Mercury

Warmest regards,
Tony Le, ACTC President

This Marching Band Played for Me

| May 25, 2018 9:11 pm

On top of beautiful Twin Peaks in a past ACTC tour of San Francisco, I was thrilled to see the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Marching Band making their way up. Marching bands are my favorites; I used to spend my whole day at the UC Davis Picnic Day Battle of the Bands.

There were rows of empty seats and it was obvious where the band would be playing right in front. I sat my tired body there, anxiously awaiting. The band re-assembled and the Conductor was reviewing his musicians.

“You can’t sit there!” Ordered a guard in an authoritative voice, louder than a trombone. Not wanting to make a scene, I moved and stood to the side.

The Conductor saw and heard the commotion and then did the unthinkable. He directed the band to move to the left of the stand and centered in front of me.

The concert started. I don’t remember what happened to people in those seats but all I knew was the Band was playing for me! When you tour by bicycle, the world is on your side.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President


 

Build High the Bridge

| March 29, 2018 10:15 pm

“Whose strong hands … tills the soil, runs the foundry and the mill?
Fold your arms and the whole wide world stands still
Build high the bridge from span to span
Look up, fellow workers, the moment’s now at hand
Join your comrades on the line and don’t let them fall
For in Union there’s place for all”

Regardless if one agrees or not about the role of Unions, this beautiful Ronnie Gilbert’s song, “Build High the Bridge”, resonates well with ACTC. Sentiments, like No one left behind; Academy opening doors to new members; We are one, we are many; When we tour by bicycle, the world is on our side; Rejoice when friends reach a milestone or win an award; and Mourn when we lose a friend, are the intangibles that make ACTC special.

At the recent Award Dinner, Russ Stevens thanked me on continuing to lead the club and I really appreciated the recognition.

In truth, many other deserve the same accolade
Whose strong hands and legs
Build ACTC from wheel to wheel
Our club’s foundation stronger than steel
Join your friends on the pace line and don’t let them fall
For in ACTC there’s a place for all

Our work is never done and that is a good thing. It gives us a sense of purpose, a continuing challenge, and a raison d’être to be alive. Go ahead, unfold your arms and join us to make ACTC a better place for all of us.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Remembering Jon Kaplan

| February 21, 2018 10:17 pm

Heart broken, saddened, tragic, shocked, grieved, speechless are many of our thoughts remembering our dear friend Jon Kaplan, the Energizer Bunny, who was killed in an accident near the completion of his ACTC long distance training ride in Paicines.

ACTC members are invited to a service in remembrance of Jon Kaplan
Friday, February 23 noon
Congregation Etz Chayim
4161 Alma St
Palo Alto, CA 94306

As I was reading an email of Jewish Funeral Etiquette that Joan Freed kindly sent me, most are common sense such as follow directions, mostly just listen, low key is the key, your presence is important, don’t stay away, but this next passage really touched me.
“There is no greater mitzvah than to help bury someone, because it is a favor that cannot be returned.”

Rest in peace, Jon!

Tony Le, ACTC President

ACTC Mission Statement

| 10:14 pm

In January 1976, a blue document appeared in bicycling circles in San Jose, with the unusual title of “The Black and Blue Bottom”. Its introduction said: “This first issue of our new cycling club newsletter would like to be a welcome mat for new members. It is fun to get together as a group and enjoy a form of exercise you can do sitting down. We propose activities that will be as varied as overnight camping and indoor potluck parties and as exciting as passing cars down mountain roads or as quiet as a roll through the park when those cars are forbidden. Whatever we do, our purpose is to come together on bicycles and be friends to one another. It’s easy; come to a club meeting or be at the start of a ride.”

This ACTC Mission Statement remains true and strong today as we are the most welcoming bicycling club in the whole SF Bay Area. Our prolific ride schedule, Tierra Bella, Sierra to the Sea, a unique ACTC Academy, and our philanthropic actions are built on the characters of our diverse membership.

The late John Bass concluded on his historical take of ACTC in 1993: “The Almaden Cycle Touring Club is many things to many people, but it is a place to ride a bike and make friends above all else.”

Looking forward to a great 2018!

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Daniel Pearl World Music Days Concert 26 October 2017

| September 27, 2017 3:03 pm

When journalists are harassed, persecuted, maimed, or killed by both the far left and the far right, we know they are on the right track. It is then upon us to stand up for those who perished trying to uncover the truth or else “free press” might as well be free pass.

Daniel Pearl, a Stanford Alumnus, musician, and journalist extraordinaire was murdered in Pakistan in 2002. The Daniel Pearl Foundation promotes memorial concerts throughout the world to counter the hatred that took Daniel Pearl’s life.

Celebrate Daniel Pearl’s humanity at the Stanford Memorial Church on October 26, 2017, 7:30pm. This annual free concert always includes many first class musicians. Lead a bicycle ride there or drive if you have to. Free parking after 4pm on campus. Hope ACTC members will help pack the concert!

https://live.stanford.edu/calendar/october-2017/daniel-pearl-world-music-days-concert

www.danielpearl.org

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Luck, good or bad, depends on the eyes of the beholder

| August 19, 2017 7:30 am

No luck! Argh! A train strike — there went the plan to take the TGV and be back to Paris in a few hours. It took us nearly two days.

The Musée de l’Orangerie is full of beautiful Monet’s larger-than-life water lilies murals, except I never saw them because l’Orangerie was closed every time I was in Paris.

However, we had our share of good luck. We had perfect weather in nearly all our trips and overcame hardships with unexpected kindness from strangers.

On the first day of our trip from Toulouse to the Atlantic, we drove the sagwagon into a low bridge and destroyed the bike roof rack. A Toulousean good samaritan saw the accident from his home and offered us his bike rack so we could continue our journey.

Good Samaritan Livet Bruno helped Eric Jorgensen to install the loaner bike rack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of our epic ride from Geneva to Nice over the Madeleine, Glandon, Croix de Fer, Galibier, Alpes d’Huez, Izoard, Var, and Cayolle, we took an easy day to stroll along the beach and to visit the beautiful Marc Chagall National Museum. Once at the museum, a large crowd gathered at the gate with a podium. An explanation ensued that the museum was closed momentarily so that the Chagall family could thank the Pablo Picasso and Fernand Léger families for their contribution of personal letters and paintings for a special exposition. After the presentation, the museum would be opened and the entry fee waived — we were on cloud nine. Granted, if French is not your language, skip the talk and wait it out at a nearby café. No one in our ACTC group is fluent in French but we all stayed and knew the significance of this historic grouping of Chagall, Léger, and Picasso. On trips, we accept everything graciously and count our blessings.

 

 

Marc Chagall National Museum, Nice France

 

 

 

 

 

Good or bad luck?
At the museum ticket counter, an American woman was pounding at the table demanding that she and her daughter (who was calm and collected) be allowed to pay and enter the museum now! The ticket agent was very patient and polite but firm. It was not a communication problem because the ticket agent spoke English. I made an U-turn and did not want to witness the rest. Later, she left in a huff and her poor daughter was in tears, pleading with her mom to stay. They did not and I felt very sad for that young girl, mature beyond her age.

Same day, same event — sometime we make our own luck.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President



	
	 





				
			

Build me a bicycle that carries many

| August 6, 2017 6:13 am

“The water is wide, I can’t cross over
And nor do I have light wings to fly,
Build me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I”

This Scottish folk song from the 1600’s, popularized by Pete Seeger, Peter Paul & Mary, and the Seekers (my favorite version), gathers a strong sentiment that we can achieve more when working together.

We accomplished many a thing this last five years and it has been joyful to lead ACTC. We have built an infrastructure that values our volunteers and lent support to our humble Board of Directors, Tierra Bella, Sierra to the Sea, and Academy leaders.

Although the stability of ACTC and our leadership group is important, renewal is paramount to our long-term success. In the coming months, there will be leadership role turn-overs, please step forward and help guide us to our next chapter.

Metaphorically, life is much like rowing a boat or cycling up a mountain, we can’t coast. Just when we think we are ahead, the current or gravity takes over. May ACTC be always going up and away!

The mountain is steep, I can’t climb over
And nor do I have light wings to fly,
Build me a bike that carries many
And all will pedal, my friends and I

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President