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As I See It, Vol. 1, No. 2

MICHAEL VALAZZA | Published on 2/13/2023

Hello Free Wheelers, February 2023                         

Since my last message to the membership, the calendar has turned from 2022 to 2023 and remarkably we are already into February and still haven’t needed to shovel snow.  I won’t debate the effects of global warming on our temperate winter; I just hope that most of you have taken advantage of the mild weather to get out on some group rides this fall and winter.

There were 1,089 reported rides for 2022 and the club rode a cumulative 295,605 miles.  We had rides in every class except AX last year.  Overall, 41 ride leaders have qualified for jerseys and 56 members have led at least one ride.  The numbers for 2021 (1,117) and 2022 (1,089) are both up considerably compared to the prior 20 years.

Before we get too far into 2023, I want to thank our VP-1, Andy Chen, and all those who worked tirelessly alongside him to make our Annual Holiday Party at the Princeton Elks Lodge a success. (And if you are the person who left a cake platter there, I am still holding onto it for you!) 

We are but a few weeks away from the end of the current club fiscal year, and 2023-24 will bring some new faces to the Princeton Free Wheelers Board of Trustees as three of the four board members who have expiring terms have decided not to seek re-election.  Departing the Board after February 28 will be Andy Chen (VP-1), Peter Fenner (Treasurer) and Lynne Martin (Member-at-Large).  The fourth, David Speis, will be running for re-election as Member-at-Large. 

Several candidates for the open Board positions have come forward since the Holiday Party, but each position is currently running unopposed (not that there is any requirement for multiple candidates to run).  These candidates are:

  • For VP-1:Christine Resnick
  • For Treasurer: Karen Baldino
  • For Members-at-Large (2): Heddy Bartell, and David Speis (incumbent)

There is still one week remaining to announce your candidacy should anyone be so inclined.  The final slate will be prepared at the conclusion of the upcoming President’s Day Weekend (February 20th). 

Per the Club By-Laws:
Members wishing to serve as a trustee must declare their candidacy for an expiring term by contacting the President in writing.  Candidates shall have an opportunity to present a written statement of their qualifications for posting on the PFW website prior to the voting deadline. Should additional candidates come forward necessitating a need to hold elections for any of the positions, these will be held from February 24-28, with the new Board certified on March 1. As a reminder, you can reach me via email at


Next, I want to mention some upcoming opportunities for us to get together.  The Annual General Membership Meeting will be held on March 6.  Please be on watch for a separate email for all the related details. The speaker this year will be Joe Piscitello, known as “Pennsylvania’s Bike Crash Lawyer”.

Thanks go to David Speis for lining up Joe to speak with our membership on this all-important subject.

In addition to the General Membership Meeting, there will be a Ride Leaders Information Meetingfor current ride leaders and anyone who is interested in considering becoming a Ride Leader.   This meeting will be held In-Person and via ZOOM on March 2 at 6:30 PM at the Robbinsville Public Library.  We will have refreshments for those who attend in person, so please register for the meeting, and specify whether you will be joining in person, or via ZOOM.  (NOTE:  If you have registered for the Ride Leaders Meeting and were unsure of your mode of attendance, please go back in and designate “in-person” or “ZOOM” attendance once you decide.  Sorry for the minor inconvenience).  Our club can never have too many ride leaders.  Please consider attending if you are the slightest bit inclined to consider it.

After these two meetings, the next big event on the calendar is the Spring Fling.  This year’s kickoff to the spring and summer cycling seasons will be held on Saturday, April 29 at Tall Cedars Picnic Grove in Hamilton.  To ensure that the parking area is unlocked, we ask that no rides be scheduled to start earlier than 7:30 am as we will not have access to the grounds until after that time.

As I previously wrote to you in my first note to the membership, on these All-Paces rides we often have too many riders for not enough ride leaders. Optimally, with a view towards safety it would be best to keep the groups no larger than 12-15 riders with a ride leader and a sweep. Ride Leaders, I am calling…

Staying on topic of Ride Leaders for another moment, as I mentioned above, 41 ride leaders qualified for jerseys in 2022, and 56 members have led at least one ride.   Here now are their names.  Without them, the Princeton Free Wheelers would cease to exist.  Heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you!

Ride Leaders

Rides Led

Ride Leaders

Rides Led

Ride Leaders

Rides Led

Moser, Sue


Valazza, Mike


Lee, Serena


Resnick, Christine


Halper, Spencer


Tampellini, Dave


Macholdt, Peter


Ledner, Ed


Platoff, Michael


Cimino, Dom


Lynch, Laura


Fisher, Judy


Samuels, Dave


Schecter, Ronald


Himsel, Eric


Fenner, Peter


Abere, Andy


Speis, Dave


Hepburn, Dave


Binder, Barbara


Van Hise, Pat


Porter, Al


Miller, Joe


Weiss, Rick


Brittain, Jim


Springhorn, Bob


Cook, Chris


Resnick, Doug


Blum, Ben


Schmult, Brian


Polin, Jaclyn


Bolton, Jeff


Apgar, Bob


Lippincott, Jeff


Ranganathan, Prem


Flintosh, Jason Michael


Davidoff, Marc


Fleming, Bryn


Kempler, Matt


Halfinger, George


Hammell, Tom


Kirschner, Bruce


Webber, Ken


Babakian, Bill


McKernan, Cathy


Saltiel, Ira


Mittlelstaedt, Ron


Wszolek, Robert


Greenfield, Dave


Stoloff, Bob


Sanon-Jules, Ralph


Abschutz, Martin


Bernardo, Marc


Tran, Tru


Griff, Martin


Kalina, Bianca




A few more quick, but equally important items:

Village Park in Cranbury

  • For those of you who attend or lead rides out of Village Park – we have been asked nicely by an official in the Parks Department not to park in the paved lot, but to park instead in the gravel lot.This start location has been among our most popular and in fact, the Free Wheelers were co-sponsors of the bike repair stand that is now in the park. It would be a shame to lose access to Village Park, or to adversely affect our relationship with the town.Please try to park in the unpaved lot, as described, so that residents have access to the other lot.

Accidents and Reporting

  • It is imperative that all accidents be reported to the Ride Captain: Sue Moser, or the Club President immediately after the accident occurs.We have a claim form that will need to be completed and submitted to the Insurance Company within 30 days after the accident, or as soon as reasonably possible.  The injured person can submit the claim form and other documentation directly.There are detailed instructions on the claim form.Once the claim form has been submitted, the injured person can contact their providers of service and ask them to bill the claim processing agency as secondary insurance in regard to this incident. They can give any providers of medical service a copy of the claim form, or give them the name, address and phone number of the claim processing agency (which is located on the top of the claim form).The PFW’s policy is excess over any other available insurance in regard to the injury. This policy will help cover reasonable and customary out of pocket medical expenses related to the injury such as deductibles and co-payments.

Personally, I hope none of us need to deal with consequences of an accident, but throughout the past year questions have persisted about our accident insurance and what it covers and doesn’t cover, as well as when an accident needs to be reported and whether an insurance claim form is needed or isn’t needed.  We will cover this in greater detail at the ride leaders meeting, but the general guidance that I’d like to leave you all with is this:  Injured riders should always submit all accident reports to the Club for the file, even ones where medical attention wasn’t sought, and these would be entered as “For Informational Purposes Only”. Certainly, nobody wants to see a situation where someone needs to come back months later for attention to a medical condition that developed as a result of an unreported cycling accident. 


Cycling is great for your mind, your health, and the planet. But the power of two wheels also has another huge benefit: it helps you explore the world.  Whether riding solo or on a PFW group ride on local bike lanes, riding with fellow Princeton Free Wheelers in a week-long event like Sicilian Baroque Villages, Anchor House, RAGBRAI (or any number of other “Special Events” on our Ride Calendar), or taking part in one or more of the various charity fundraising cycling events this spring and summer, a bicycle will help you discover what’s around you and places that are much further away. 


Well, that’s “As I See It”.


Happy Pedaling!

Michael (Mike) Valazza

President of the Board of Trustees



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Updated 4/11/2024