Brief History
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Brief History

One of my proudest and most satisfying achievements is the creation of this cycling group now known as the "Ojai Cyclists."  When my wife and I moved to Ojai in early 2008, I was riding my bicycle alone up and down the bike path doing a 30 to 40 mile round trip.  I would talk to other riders along the way and developed acquaintances.  Eventually these acquaintances became riding partners.  We agreed to form a social riding group that nurtured newer, less advanced riders yet also provided rigorous exercise for those who wanted to ride fast.  To achieve this, we created and currently ride a Special Route with three rest stops to re-group.  Each of these rest stops has a bathroom and drinking water.  The route has some good hills for training, as well as gentle portions for recovery.  If needed, new riders are shown how to ride in a group; others are trained to build their strength to eventually keep up with the faster riders. 

Through personal contacts and word of mouth, news spread about our bicycling group. More people came to our rides.  Our most successful recruiting place was the rest stop at Foster Park where cyclists often stop for a break.  Some members were directly recruited on our route and joined us while riding.  Others found us through this website, the local bike shop Bicycles of Ojai, the Ojai Concierge, or talking with group members.

To encourage new riders to join the group, I coined the phrase "Rear Brigade" to let the new riders know they will not be left behind.  I or one of our regular riders always stay with the Rear Brigade. This helps new members to improve their riding skills and assures them they will not ride alone.  If a rider in the front develops a flat or a mechanical problem, the "Rear Brigade" catches up to him or her and helps fix the problem.  Our policy is to help each other on and off the road.

At this time we have about 57 Ojai Cyclists on the email list.  Of these, at least a dozen come to the rides with regularity.  Most of us ride together about 100 miles per week.  Some of the members ride individually in the course of a week for an additional two to three hundred miles.  One of our artistic and gifted members led a group of us in designing our beautiful and very visible Team Jersey!

In order to facilitate the affairs of this cycling group, I created this website.  Making the pages of this website was a double pleasure since I enjoy bicycling, as well as working with computers.  If you have any suggestions for improving this website, please let me know by sending email to the WebMaster.

It is my hope that Ojai Cyclists will bring happiness and good health to all its members.  I also hope the camaraderie and friendships formed will be lasting and allow the members to help each other in several aspects of their lives.

Wishing you all happy and safe riding!

Fawzi Emad.