President's Page June 2020

Sunday, May 31, 2020

It’s a new month, Pedalers.

I hope you have been staying safe and well. I know that it’s only been a few days since my last letter to all of you, and once again the world has changed rapidly and in heartbreaking ways. It’s difficult to talk about cycling right now, especially with so many other things have taken priority in our lives. Amid the chaos, we’ve been working on planning for when we can all ride together again, and what that will look like and mean for PPTC for the rest of of the season. If you’ve looked at the website lately, you’ve seen the two big things for June. First, a continuation of our group ride hiatus, and this will stay in place until further notice until enough federal and local guidance have shown us that we can ALL ride together safely again. Second, you may have noticed the Save the Date for the Back Roads Century has been replaced with guidance from the USA Cycling and US Olympic Committee on how to safely ride right now.

I have participated in several meetings with USA Cycling and their chief medical officers, and I have been in contact with Shepherd University and other supporting agencies in the surrounding region, seeking guidance for if and how to successfully host our club’s largest event. They have all said that an event with more than a thousand people of unknown health status gathering in a small town in West Virginia in September, in the same manner that we have hosted in years past, would not be feasible at best, and unlikely to happen at worst. I’ve tossed around the idea of paring down our offering to cyclists, and I’ve turned down the idea of letting it ride and forging ahead with our planning, to potentially have our event canceled altogether and risk losing critical revenue for the club. Tossing and turning…

It was at 3:06am, on the morning of last month’s ExCom meeting, when it hit me:

Instead of a Back Roads Century this year, let’s have a Back Yards Century.

The BRC is going virtual this year, and is temporarily becoming the BYC, with the directive to BYOC. BYOC stands for Bring Your Own Course, Camaraderie, Creativity, Cheer, and Charitable spirit. We will miss the country roads of West Virginia, but they will take us home in safer, healthier times for us and for their community. But we’re not going to let our September slip away from us- I for one will not be sitting home moping on the weekend of the Century, instead I will sitting on my saddle, cheering on all of us as we ride through our own neighborhoods, explore our limits, and raise money for a worthy cause.

Registration for the Back Yards Century will be going live soon, and you will have several options for the BYC, just as you’d have for the BRC:

  • Several distance challenges ranging from a 15 mile family ride to the full Century distance, at your own pace and on your own timetable, from September 12th-27th.
  • Options to purchase a BYC jersey and other swag
  • An invitation to register for the BYC Zoom Happy Hour to connect with other BYC riders, which will take place on Friday, September 25th
  • A pledge to raise funds for our partner charity, which operates to donate bicycles and cycling services to people in underserved and high-risk areas. A portion of every registration fee will also be contributed to this charity.
  • And, introducing something new this year: The BYC Scavenger Hunt Challenge. Photos can be posted on social media with the hashtag #PPTCbackyardscentury or sent to BYC@potomacpedalers.org for a wide range of scavenger hunt photo items and challenges for points, including setting up your own rest stop, getting your bike tuned up before the weekend, and many more. The person with the highest number of points wins a prize!

You don’t need me to remind you anymore that this has been one of the strangest and difficult years that we’ve ever faced together, but I know that we can all experience some joy doing what we love in the spirit of our beloved Century, even if we can’t be together in person. I hope that you encourage everyone you know that has even considered a cycling event to join us with other fellow cyclists from our region, nation, and even international cycling community, as we celebrate the best way we know how in September.

Be safe, ride well, Allez
Anne


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