Last updated: May 10. 2014 11:09PM - 3958 Views
By - jsoprano@civitasmedia.com

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I have to admit it’s been a long time since I have had the pleasure of going on a group ride.

I always seem to find an excuse to skip out on group rides lately.

But don’t let my recent inability to be social deter you from taking part. If you haven’t tried one yet, I actually highly recommend it. They are a blast.

And after a conversation last week with Phil Cable of Sickler’s Bike and Sports Shop, I’ve realized that no matter what your riding ability or schedule, there is a group ride for you.

Sickler’s holds seven rides per week between its Clarks Summit, Exeter and Hawley shops.

So let’s say you are just getting into mountain biking and you would like to learn the sport and meet some fellow beginner riders. Then the shop’s 5:30 Monday night ride at the Lackawanna State Park is perfect for you. Just show up at the main boat launch with your bike and helmet.

Or perhaps you are a little more experienced rider with a road bike. Then check out any of the Sickler’s Saturday morning rides from any of its three locations.

The shop also has rides for just women cyclists and beginner road cyclists.

You can check out their full schedule at sicklerbikes.com.

Of course, Sickler’s isn’t the only bike shop to offer group rides.

Around Town Bicycles has a popular Saturday morning ride that leaves the downtown Wilkes-Barre store every week at 8 a.m.

Valley Cycles on River St. in Plains has a Thursday night ride that begins at 6. According to the shop’s Facebook page, they don’t cancel for rain.

And that’s just to name a few of the area group rides.

If none of the above rides appeal to you, just contact your local bike shop and ask them about group rides. Rest assured, someone at your bike shop will be able to point you in the right direction.

Now, let’s see. Around Town 8 a.m. Saturday? Way too early for me. Maybe next week.

Gollhardt’s quest

Seth Gollhardt said he was feeling good Wednesday after riding from Mountain Top to Peckville.

For Gollhardt’s sake, I hope that feeling holds for the next four months.

The local Domino’s Pizza franchisee is attempting to ride his bike across the country to raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital. He began in North Wildwood, New Jersey, on May 1 and rolled into the Wyoming Valley on Wednesday.

He plans to cover about 50 miles per day and has budgeted four months to complete his ride.

“I’m not riding very fast,” he said.

Fast or not, Gollhardt, who will turn 50 later this summer, has left himself with quite a quest. He doesn’t have a set route as he tries to zig-zag to as many Domino’s restaurants as he can.

And he doesn’t have a SAG wagon, either. He’s carrying everything he needs on his bike, outfitting his Trek 520 with a set of Cannondale paniers he had from when he was in high school.

You can follow Gollhardt’s progress at sethsride.com, where he has a blog and an updated map. You can also donate to his cause there, too.

At the very least, check out the site and leave him a message of encouragement. He may need it soon enough.

Novak, Lukas at nationals

Tunkhannock’s David Novak finished in the middle of the pack at the Collegiate Road Nationals this past weekend in Richmond, Virginia.

Novak, a Tunkhannock native who will turn 21 on Wednesday, finished 75th out of 151 riders who finished the road race.

The Lindsey Wilson College junior also finished 77th in the criterium and was a member of the team timetrial squad that finished 13th.

Luke Lukas, a Lindsey Wilson freshman and Courtdale native, competed in the road race, but did not finish.

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