Board of Directors
Director, Bob Barnes
Bob is a civil and criminal trial attorney with a law firm in Pittsburgh. Bob took up cycling to improve his physical fitness, reduce high job stress and have a great reason to be out of the office. Bob also wanted to get back into a sport that he loved as a kid and teenager but which he (unfortunately) gave up when he went off to college. Bob quickly learned that cycling with others is the most enjoyable form of cycling, although cycling alone also has its benefits. Cycling with others is fun, improves your cycling knowledge and provides an inducement to get better. And, experienced cyclists know where the hardest hills and routes are so you can avoid them if you don’t want to be climbing the steepest hills on your rides. Riding with other cyclists is also safer and helpful when the inevitable flat or other routine bike maintenance issue occurs. Other cyclists also provide useful tips about bikes, gear and proper nutrition.
Bob believes that cycling is the absolute best way to experience any place. Unlike traveling in a car, bus or train, on a bike you actually see, smell and touch the land up close, and you are not going so fast that everything is just a blur. You also meet people that you would never meet, including other cyclists from all over. Bob has ridden in RAGBRAI (annual ride across Iowa), the Great Allegheny Passage/C&O Canal Path from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh, Southern France and numerous century rides in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia. There is nothing like getting off your bike in the middle of a great ride to actually experience a place, like the endless cornfields in the middle of Iowa or the gorgeous lavender fields in France. But regardless of where he has been, Bob believes that local rides with other like-minded cyclists are always enjoyable.
Bob agreed to get involved with the Premier Bicycle Club of Western Pennsylvania because the other cyclists involved in the club are dedicated and enthusiastic about promoting cycling for all types of riders and actually do something about it. In addition, they have a fitness-oriented approach to cycling.
Director, Mark Bedel
After a multi-year hiatus from cycling, I slowly got back into the sport in 1997. After a year or two of trying to get my fitness back to a level whereby I felt I could participate in local group rides and not be the "tail on the dog", I joined Allen Kinkead's Sunday rides. Participated in these for a few years and watch my fitness and speed develop. Also migrated to Ken Cushy's and other's rides in the WPW. Then tried my hand at Crit Racing at the Bud Harris in the C's and got my --- handed to me the first few races! Hung in there though and improved further. Then decided I'd try Oscar Swan's Time Trail Series at the Bud Harris and again, the first season was underwhelming at best. This was probably the most intimidating event I ever signed on for. Got better over the coming years and became more comfortable and found that this type of event really super-charged my fitness development, so much so, that this became my favored discipline.
Wanted to learn more about training so I signed up for USA Cycling's Coaching Program and soon after, started my own coaching business, UpOn2Wheels Endurance Training. Then became interested in bio-mechanics and how it relates to bicycle fit. Did lots of independent reading and self study, then soon after I started working for Pro Bikes, now Pro Bike + Run, I got to travel to Morgan Hill, CA where Specialized Bicycle Components corporate headquarters is located and participate in their Body Geometry Bicycle Fit classes. Dr. Andy Pruitt, Director of the Colorado Center for Sports Medicine; Dr. Roger Minkow and other orthopedists created this program exclusively for Specialized. I'm actually heading there again this January for my Master's Fit Certification.
Unfortunately, after 12 years, I recently closed my training business due to time conflicts with work and my own training and racing schedules. I do however love performing bicycle fits and have become Pro Bikes' premier fitter. I'm also a member of the East End Racing Team; have competed in several National Senior Games with two 7th place finishes in the Time Trial events at the Houston, TX games being my best finishes to date. I also achieved two sub hour 40K Individual Time Trials getting me on the ACA Racing's "Under Hour Club". I currently participate in the Master's Criterium Series at the Bud Harris Tuesday evenings and the Time Trial Series ever other Friday evening, trying to better my two current 40K times. I also enjoy riding with various local groups just for the joy of riding without any specific goals or agenda's.
Cycling has become such a integral part of my life...great for fitness, better for meeting great people who also share this passion!
Director, Ray Brodersen
I have been cycling for many years and continue to find it an enjoyable way to add exercise to a healthy lifestyle choice. Cycling has been a great way to get outdoors, socialize, meet people, and make friends. And sometimes it can be quite the adventure. It's great if you can make it in New York....But if you can cycle in Western PA, you can cycle anywhere.
Director, Mark Jopling
Now retired, Mark founded and was president of a small investment banking firm, which focused on corporate acquisitions and divestitures. He and his wife of 41 years recently moved from Wexford to a new condominium development in Mars. They have two sons, one living in San Antonio and the other in Brooklyn.
Mark has been cycling since 1970, fairly seriously since 1985 (2500-5000 miles per year). He finds cycling to provide many mental and physical health benefits. He also tries to follow a whole foods, plant based diet. He does yoga and also meditates.
He hopes this new bike club will encourage others to bike and further develop healthy lifestyles. He believes that associating with like-minded people with respect to diet and exercise makes it easier to resist the many unhealthy temptations of modern society. He also believes that such association allows for a kind of socialization that is healthy unto itself and profoundly life enriching.
Director, Corinne Vano
"Riding takes me away from the everyday stress of life.", states Corinne. She continues, "Cycling helps me feel like I accomplish things for myself. While every ride has its challenges, I feel good knowing I did it!". Corinne has completed the Pittsburgh to Washington, DC trip on the GAP and C & O Canal Towpath trails twice. She also rode at RAGBRAI in Iowa (where she is from) and in the Finger Lakes region at the Bon Ton Roulet. She specifically enjoys weekend events that offer multiple days of riding because she likes seeing different places and new scenery while on two wheels.
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