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Notes from the Chairman - December 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

Notes from the Chairman

by Bob Bernstein

I hope that this finds you all enjoying the pleasures of your wheeled, human powered conveyances regardless of the number of wheels; regardless whether you are leaning forward, sitting upright, or sitting back; regardless of whether you are wearing spandex or a tee shirt and jeans. Let me thank the twenty-three (23) of you who took the time to read this column last month. Your ExCom is working to find the sweet spot in communication in this new world of social media, electronic conversations, and decreased reliance on printed media.

The Club must also find its relevance in today’s world. Fifty-one (51) years ago when the Club was founded, it was not easy to find riding partners. There was no Internet or Meet-Up. The founders created the Club and published a small newsletter to inform those interested when and where rides would form. Those few founders grew as cycling became more popular along with a general increase in environmental consciousness and exercise. New riders would join and add their favorite rides to a growing library of cue sheets.

Because it is so easy to reach out electronically to so many people, one must ask if a cycling club like ours is still needed. One can find rides on Meet-up. There are a number of clubs in the area which also offer rides. Some of our rides have become so popular and regular that attendees need not look them up. They just go the place where the ride has started every week. Others have met their riding friends on Club rides or elsewhere and email or text each other looking for rides or deciding that they will do their own ride. Still others strike out on their own on popular routes, secure in the knowledge that there will be other out there.

Last month I wrote in this column about some of the positions in Club administration which needed to be filled. The response has been, well, underwhelming. Is it because people don’t care, because people are afraid to step up to positions of responsibility, or because the right people did not get the word? I don’t have these answers but I along with the ExCom must work to find the answers. I have heard that in the past there was a cycling club that went out of existence not for lack of members or riders but lack of members willing to step up and run the organization.

A year ago, the ExCom took what I thought were excellent steps to make management of this Club more, well, manageable. I volunteered to run for Chairman because I could see the value in the reorganization and felt that I had the necessary skills to take it to the next step. I gathered around me members who have done a very good job in flattening out the “org chart” and who realize the vision. Some of these volunteers have reached the end of their terms and it is time for new blood with new ideas to join and further the improvements.

Those who come to the Special Annual Meeting on Sunday, 3 December at 4 PM at the River Road Unitarian Congregation (6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD) will see this column. I plan to include this as a cover page to the proposed ByLaws changes and to the ballot. Hopefully, during the meeting, we will have people who, hearing of our needs will step up and provide the administration for the Century and Special Events. It is the funds we make at these events that keep your dues at a reasonable level.

Thank you and keep the rubber side down.

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