Notes from the Chairman - October 2017

Sunday, October 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. From what I could see, the Back Roads Century was an unqualified success.

Let me start by offering my thanks and a job well done to Eric Pilsk, Century Vice Chair, and his amazing team. Let me take a moment to let you know a bit about that team. It takes a lot of effort and time to stage an event like the Back Roads Century. We don’t make it any easier by offering a weekend of activities rather than just the one day event. By having multiple distances on the day of the event (and the Saturday rides the day before) we add that much more complication.

There are the planners. Those who come up with the activities you enjoy and those who set up the dinners and lunches. There are the route developers and those who ride to test the route and ensure that it is safe. There are the road sweepers who clean the accumulated dirt out of the intersections so that riders can keep the rubber side down and you don’t get hoarse calling out, “Gravel!” There are the volunteers who mark the roads and place the signs so we don’t get lost. (Yes, next year there will be better signage at Harlan Spring Road so we don’t miss the turn and go all the way down the hill!) There are the marshals riding and looking for those in trouble. There are the SAG drivers and the communications team. There are the rest stop volunteers who make sure you stay fed and hydrated. There are those who help at registration for those who forgot your rider numbers.

Let me also thank Shepherd University. They have hosted us for three years now, letting us use their parking lots and roads for the ride start. They invite us to use their Wellness Center for showers at the end of the ride. I don’t know how far each of you traveled but I am very appreciative of a shower so I don’t have to smell myself on the hour and a half drive home. They also provided the after-party location and food. Every year I eat too much after the ride and every year I try to remember not to eat as much the next year. This year I did not need the services of the mechanics who are at the start and the rest stops to ensure that a minor or even a major mechanical does not detract from our ride.

Let me thank the people and businesses of Shepherdstown and the area where we ride. Thank you for having patience with us as we tour the beautiful area you call home. Thank you for understanding that a majority of the cyclists ride safely and with courtesy. Thank you for knowing that we are doing our best to ensure that those who place cyclists or drivers in danger or who disregard the rules of the road do not participate in subsequent rides. Thank you to the businesses for your planning when thousands of cyclists all want to eat, shop, buy at the same time. Thank you for helping us make the weekend special.

And let me thank those of you who participated. Without you there would be no event. Without you the volunteers at rest stops would be bored. Without you the marshals would be lonely. Yes, all the people I thanked in the previous paragraphs tried their best to make the weekend special for you. During the Back Roads Century Weekend, it is all about you; the riders and participants in the best supported Century in the East.

Of course there were some speed bumps along the way but that is part of the fun. Think about the rides you remember from years ago. I’ll bet they are the ones which either did not go as planned or where something totally unexpected occurred. I hope that if you did see something that needs to be corrected, you let us know. If you don’t tell us and we might not have experienced it and it will not get fixed.

So what’s next? There are still plenty of rides on the ride calendar. There is the new Howard County Farm and Art Tour will be held October 22nd.. It will take place in an area many of you do not get to visit very much. As it is where I live and do my training rides and the rides I take when short on time, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. For those riding the full century, you will be able to place your food order at the last rest stop so it will be ready for you when you complete your ride. Best of all, the ride is free.

There will be a Special Annual Meeting on 3 December instead of January this year. Please save the date and join your Club mates for a social afternoon of food, information and fun. The theme will be “Adventures on the Bike.” We will be voting for new members of next year’s ExCom. Please consider volunteering for a two-year term as Century Vice Chair, Special Events Vice Chair, Recording Secretary, or At-Large Member.

Thank you and keep the rubber side down.

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