Author Archive

ACTC 2021

| August 22, 2020 1:16 pm

2020 is an agonizing year but time marches on. Soon it will be September and we will be nominating Members for the 2021 ACTC Board. I am proud to be the longest serving ACTC President and we have accomplished a lot together these past 8 years. My COVID-19 research this year and next is extremely time-consuming and this may be a good time to step aside.

It’s hard to explain but the above drawing from my alma mater is close. It’s as if I have been learning and training all my life for this COVID-19 pandemic. Now it’s exam time. Except it’s life and death, even for this researcher, if a mistake is made. Progress is made but I need to focus my effort.

In 2019, I had to take a medical leave of absence and ACTC Vice President Pat Parseghian ably stepped in and the club hardly missed a beat. Pat is very thorough and has leadership qualities so I am nominating and endorsing Pat Parseghian to be the next ACTC President.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Lemonade Out of the Lemons

| April 17, 2020 1:30 pm

The Covid-19 threats are real and serious and underpin the Achilles’ heel of ACTC. Many diseases, not just Covid-19, target weakened populace: older patients, people with underlying respiratory problems, diabetes, asthma, or with compromised immune system. As ACTC Membership is ageing, ACTC Board, Tierra Bella, Sierra to the Sea, Academy Chairs, and many Volunteers are falling into the above categories. I urge younger ACTC Members to step up. Now is your time to take the mantle and run (cycle) with it. Put your imprint on the future of ACTC today.

Be the Lemonade!

Tony Le, ACTC President

“Tomorrow” from Annie

| 1:28 pm

“The sun’ll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow there’ll be sun!

Just thinkin’ about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs
And the sorrow ’til there’s none!

When I’m stuck with a day
That’s gray and lonely
I just stick out my chin
And grin and say, oh!

The sun’ll come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on ’til tomorrow
Come what may

Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love you tomorrow
You’re always a day away!”

When I am sad, this song always cheers me up. It was gray and rainy as I was writing this column and COVID-19 has temporarily thrown a monkey wrench in our plans, but tomorrow will be brighter. There are paths that will lead us out of this danger. Many scientists are working on vaccines and medicines that will kill this SARS-CoV2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. We can do our part to help by social distancing so we don’t all get sick at the same time and overwhelm our hospitals.

ACTC will persevere and return stronger than ever before. Yes, the cancellations of Tierra Bella and Sierra to the Sea hurt us and the cycling community. However, we will hold our head up high and be proud of our decision to put the safety of our Members and Participants above anything else. Our balance sheet remains strong because we have been frugal and saved for the rainy days.

The sun’ll come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on ’til tomorrow
And COVID-19 will go away!

See you out cycling soon!

Tony Le, ACTC President

“Ask what you can do for your country” JFK

| January 27, 2020 1:33 pm

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” President John F Kennedy. In the 90’s, Jean Converse started the ACTC Academy. League Cycling Instructor? Nope, before its time. Fast cyclist? No, not a prerequisite. Creativity, experience and dedication are the ingredients to her success. The baton that Jean passed on to other Academy Chancellors, Robbie Huffman and Tommy Lacy, Esther Snively, Pat Grillione, and Harry Lichtbach, helps create the Academy, uniquely ACTC, that continues to churn out competent cyclists and attract new members.  I am very proud of all the ACTC Members, past and present, who continue to do what we can for ACTC.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

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