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Annual Dinner in November

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Annual Dinner in November

by Anne C. M. Hyman

You are Cordially Invited to the Annual PPTC Member Meeting!
 
Where: River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
When: Sunday, November 18th, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Why: This annual meeting allows us to congregate out of our cycling gear and enjoy each other's company off the roads, discuss the state of the club, and vote on next year's board candidates. 
Please bring a dish to share with your fellow club members, either hot or cold, as well as suggestions for how to improve the club experience for all current and future members PPTC. We will also have a guest speaker and sponsor booths for you to enjoy. 
 
Any questions about the meeting can be sent to Anne CM Hyman atvtcupcake@gmail.com.
 

 

I’m a baker. It’s one of the reasons I ride as much as I do, in a futile attempt to burn off delicious calories. And like every baker in this country, I make chocolate chip cookies. So much so that they are specifically requested every Sunday during football season, especially during the playoffs and the Super Bowl, because they have become a lucky, edible talisman.

When you look at the finished product of my half hour of work in the kitchen, you pause for a moment. First, they’re not flat, magazine-worthy delights. Second, you reconcile that the ingredients don’t fall in line with the recipe you’d find on the back of a bag of chips. But once you taste them, you wonder why you’d ever go back to the trademarked version.

My chocolate chip cookies, in their current manifestation, came about by one part pressure and one part ingenuity. I came home after a long Sunday in my laboratory, it was the NFL playoffs, and we had company watching the game. I felt badly that I hadn’t done anything to prepare for company. So I asked if I could make anything quickly, and cookies it was. This would have been fine- I have the bag recipe memorized on the same rolodex card as my hometown address and telephone number, except I was missing a decent chunk of the key ingredients, either in quantity or in entirety. It was sleeting, I was exhausted, but I was not about to disappoint my football fans. I opened the cupboard, prayed to the culinary gods, and got to work. Something clicked, because five and a half years later, I’m still making some derivation of this recipe.

But here’s why this story is in a cycling newsletter and not the cooking section of WaPo (and no, the recipe will not be posted here). The only reason these cookies exist, and are superior to the original recipe, is because of pressure to fill a need. A need to adapt, a need to please people, and a need to take stock of what is available and how to use it, in tandem with considering what else would enhance the experience. This lesson in baking can be applied to many aspects of life, from a career change to even just seeking out something to do on a rainy Saturday morning. But it certainly applies to PPTC as well.

I’ve spent most of this riding season bouncing from route to route, chatting at happy hours, volunteering for club events, and meeting members that joined PPTC anywhere from three months to thirty years ago. At every opportunity I’ve asked everyone more or less the same question- what would you like to see in our club? And while the ingredient list changes from person to person, the one underlying theme to our conversations has been that something is needed to enhance our riding and membership experiences. Maybe it’s more than one something. Maybe it’s small somethings. But your voices have been heard, and we’re working on putting together a newer, hopefully drier season for next year. We’ve already put some of those changes in motion- smaller, successful special event brewery and picnic rides, Tour Event happy hours at Bar Roubaix, and a brand new weekend excursion with a new “sister” club relationship.

Thankfully, our cycling club isn’t a kitchen, and there’s always room for input and help with putting events together. I think we’re close to finding that magical combination to satisfy our current members and encouraging newcomers to join us. But the recipe for success isn’t a hundred year old tradition that most of us know by heart, it’s going to require taking inventory and how we can create something new, while keeping what works from the familiar, in an effort to make something better. And we know that better can lead to the best version of our club.
 

Our annual membership dinner will focus on the concept of a Recipe for Success. While you’re busy considering your potluck dish to share with your fellow riders, I hope you can also think of a way you would like to see the club improve, and most importantly how you can help our club be its best. I hope to see all of you in November, recipe cards in hand, to share your ideas and delicious food. I’ll be there with the Championship Cookies.

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