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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 10, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 23
Capitol Hill Cycling hits the road for summer
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Capitol Hill Cycling hits the road for summer

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Capitol Hill Cycling (CHC) is thriving. The LGBT cycling group is based in Seattle and combines the close-knit friendships and networking of a recreational group with the pace and skill building of a professional cycling team.

According to Jordan Simonson, president and founder of CHC, he started the group to 'provide a social event that didn't revolve around a bar or club.'

'I moved to Seattle from Wisconsin in 2008 and started to seek out people with mutual interests,' he told Seattle Gay News. 'I also wanted to join a group that provided a means to network. CHC is that group. We are all about making connections.'

CHC has been cycling strong since 2008.

The group plans and executes at least one ride weekly where (out of the nearly 40 member base) anywhere from six to 12 riders meet up for coffee and then ride somewhere in the Puget Sound area (with a distance goal of 20-60 miles) before ending with a group meal.

The rides, said Simonson, are done at a moderate to fast pace that averages between 16-18 miles per hour.

'For some, depending on how strong of a rider you are, it is a physical challenge,' said Simonson. 'For the more experienced riders, it tends to be a lot more social. Along the route there is a lot of chitchat and we joke with one another.'

Still, he says, regardless of how fast or slow a rider you are, CHC makes frequent stops so that those who may be trailing behind can catch up.

'CHC is a group of riders that is somewhere between a recreational and professional cycling team,' he said. 'It's all about skill building and enjoying each other's company.'

According to Simonson, the group as a whole has yet to participate in a fundraising event; however, the group has 'individual riders who have participated in rides that raise money for muscular dystrophy and AIDS/Lifecycle.'

Those interested in joining the group should ensure that they have a road bike in good working order, know and abide by all traffic laws, review the ride route before the ride, and carry a patch kit and/or extra tube.

'Summer is here,' said Simonson. 'It is a good time to get out of the house and dust off the bike.'

'Because we offer an alternative to the bar and club scene, we are a group that LGBT teens are more than welcome to join,' he said.

If you are interested in joining CHC, email Simonson at capitolhillcycling@groups.facebook.com or find their Facebook events page by typing in 'Capitol Hill Cycling.'

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