Chuck Sunder

In rembrance of Chuck Sunder, below is an article about Chuck that was published in the 2013 TCBC newsletter:

 

chuck

Senior Ride Leader Chuck Sunder

There are many reasons to bicycle Tuesday Tuneup around beautiful Lake Minnetonka, but the number one reason might be to ride with experienced cyclist Chuck Sunder.

Chuck is a TCBC senior ride leader who began bicycling in the early 1980’s on a 10-speed bike. Many first-year cyclists learn “by doing,” and Chuck was no exception. During his first summer of riding, he gained an introduction to quality and nonquality bicycle components when he hit a soft spot on the Luce Line Trail and bent his front wheel “like a potato chip.” Before the next riding season he had replaced virtually every component on the bike except the frame. In 1989 he upgraded his 10-speed in favor of a 21-speed Klein. After putting 43,600 miles on the Klein, he got his present 30-speed Merlin in 1999. The Merlin just turned 59,000 miles.

Chuck’s leadership experiences began with AYH. He recalls, “The precursor to TCBC was AYH. That was the first biking club I joined. AYH used to ‘ride marshal’ many local rides. TRAM was one of the earlier rides I led with them. In 1993, I joined TCBC.

“When I started leading TCBC rides, I lived near Lake Minnetonka so I knew the area well and thought I’d show it off to everyone. Tuesday was selected as the day, and Tuesday Tuneup was selected for the title. My first Tuesday Tuneup was in August 1998. Since then, this ride has been ongoing without a break for 16 years, with over 430 rides. I have six different routes, all of which are sensational.”

Chuck’s many cycling experiences include:

• Jim Klobuchar Tours 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1995.....
• Co-led TCBC Solvang, CA and Ride ‘em Texas Hills.....
• Ride the Rockies 1987, 1988, 1990, and 1991.....
• Bicycle Tour of Colorado 1998.....
• Bike Virginia 1993 and 1994.....
• South Island, New Zealand 1999.....
• Nova Scotia 2003 – lots of rain on that one.....
• Baja Peninsula, Mexico 1985-quaint little towns that looked like some thing out of a Clint Eastwood movie
• Cuba 2001…
• Three trips to Banff and British Columbia.....
• Arizona – 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 from CA to NM to the Mexican border.....
• Tour de France route 2001 – followed the Tour, biking many of the same roads and climbed Alpe d’Huez.....

Chuck’s most memorable ride was a 1992 cross-country trip from Los Angeles to Boston when he cycled 3,426 miles in 47 days (42 riding days), averaging 81 miles per day.

“We had an extremely wet and windy trip. Headwinds were the norm. There were 60 of us on a ride organized by the League of American Wheelmen (now LAB). We stayed in motels, 2-3 to a room. We ate mostly at all-you-can-eat establishments. It seemed like everybody got sick at least one day. The most challenging part of the ride was through New Mexico where it was cold, windy, and rainy most of the way. Any negative memories were washed away, however, when we reached Boston and dipped our feet in the Atlantic Ocean. The ritual is that you dip your rear wheel in the Pacific and your front wheel in the Atlantic....along with both feet. It was an unbelievable feeling.”

Chuck’s advice to new ride leaders is to follow his simple map-making method. Find a good coffee shop, and then design a bike route of 15 to 20 miles on either side of it.

In addition to Tuesday Tuneup, you can also catch Co-leader Chuck on TK’s Coffee Ride and Out Past Loretto. And don’t forget to ask him about his cycling experiences.

by Nancy Welsh

Posted by permission of the author, from the July 2013 TCBC Newsletter