March 2023 HBC President’s Letter
“Welcome bright Springtime what joy now is ours”
– Anton G. Rubinstein
Warm Greetings to the HBC Community! As a long and snowy winter continues, remember that warm weather bicycling will soon return. To help us prepare for the upcoming biking season, here is a summary of recent club activity and some of our many plans for the near future.
HBC Jersey Store
Check the club’s home page at https://hiawathabike.org/ for a link to order the new club jersey. Jersey team members will present samples at the upcoming Smart Cycling, described below.
From 2000 until 2019, HBC in partnership with D’Amico restaurants sponsored the annual Fourth of July ride named Tour D’Amico, also known as TDA.
There will be no TDA in 2023. HBC turns our eyes toward 2024 when this classic community bicycling event may return.
Smart Cycling on Friday March 24
Join your HBC friends at the Golden Valley Davanni’s for a fun and educational event. We’ll meet in the party room inside the restaurant.
GV Davanni’s is located just north of Highway 55 on Winnetka Avenue North. If you are planning on dinner, Davanni’s requests that you order ahead of time online. Find online ordering information through this web address: https://www.davannis.com/
We’ll kick off Smart Cycling with a social hour from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. At 7:00 the two part program starts:
April Birthday Bash on Friday April 7
Celebrate new members and April birthdays with your HBC friends at the April edition of our monthly Birthday Bash.
The event starts at 7:30 pm. Edie Kalweit will provide a nice cake for all to enjoy following dinner.
Often, one of our members posts a Winter Walk or a ride before the Bash. Watch your email for an announcement.
Ride Leader Refresher
The annual ride leader refresher will be conducted this spring. During the refresher ride leaders will review content that will help them conduct safe and enjoyable rides.
If you would like to become a ride leader, join the Class of 2023 by attending the Refresher.
Our Ride Leader team lead, Lisa Soldat, will provide additional information in the coming weeks.
Spring Kickoff Event in May
Planning for a series of all club rides is underway. A fabulous picnic will follow the rides. Stay tuned for further information.
Independence Day Rides
Planning for another series of all club rides is also underway. A fabulous July picnic will follow the rides. Stay tuned for further information.
Tour of Saints
Interested in a weekend out-of-town biking getaway? If so, Dawn Wilson and John Hardy are planning an event for July 8th and 9th.
On Saturday July 8th, riders will head out on a 20-40 mile afternoon ride on the Lake Wobegon Trail starting in St Joseph, MN.
On Sunday, July 9th, riders have the opportunity to ride one of Bike MN’s Tour of Saints rides. Riding the Tour of Saints is considered an Ambassador Ride for HBC members, meaning you’ll receive club mileage credit when you pre-register on HBC’s website. You must also register for the Tour of Saints ride and pay their entry fee, which will be $45 if you sign up early. Registration opens in May: bikemn.org
Check with Dawn and John for details.
As we slowly enter bright springtime 2023, I wish you all the best. I am grateful to all the volunteers who help HBC move forward.
Be safe, be well and all the best,
Alan Wichman, HBC President
December 2022 HBC President’s Letter
"Every mile is two in Winter" - George Herbert
Warmest Greetings to the HBC Community!
Here is a summary of recent club activity and plans for the future.
Annual Member Meeting
On November 20th we held our annual member meeting at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth. 51 members attended. We started the meeting with an abundant potluck dinner and social hour. We then conducted the business component of the meeting.
· Stable membership level at about 250
· In-person rides, birthday bashes and smart cycling events returned in 2022
· We had well attended spring kick-off and Independence Day rides and picnics
· HBC runs on volunteers as seen through our members who support Free Bikes 4 KIDZ and the St. Paul Classic
· Our tradition of donating to bicycling organizations continues. This year we donated $1000.00 to Free Bikes 4 KIDZ
· Dues will increase on January 1, 2023
Election of Board Members
There were three open positions on the board of directors. Mary Buss and Gregor Matthews were elected to the two positions vacated by the retirement of Ellen Guerin and Hoang Pham. Alan Wichman, whose first term on the board completed, was re-elected.
Many thanks to Ellen and Hoang for their contributions to the board.
New Team Jersey
Three HBC board members formed a committee to research a new club jersey. Ellen Guerin spearheaded the effort. Mike Becker and Carmen Price were the other two committee members. Ellen has worked tirelessly with Borah Teamwear from Wisconsin to develop a design and color combination for the new jersey. Stay tuned for more information about the jersey.
Lots more happened during the business meeting. Review the presentation in the members-only section of our website: Members > Club Minutes > Annual Meeting Minutes
Board of Directors
On December 12, the Board of Directors kicked off the new operating year by selecting club officers:
· Alan Wichman – President
· Mike Becker – Vice President
· Ron Jensen – Treasurer
· Carmen Price – Secretary
Rounding out the board are:
· Shelli Hesselroth
· Mary Buss
· Gregor Matthews
This is an excellent board with deep bicycling experience. Give your recommendations and feedback to any of the board members.
What is Happening in Early 2023?
The January Birthday Bash will be at the Edina D’Amico on 1/6/23.
Check the ride schedule for FAT/Mountain Bike rides. For those who don’t bike during the winter, check out the Winter Walkers. This is an informal group not sponsored by HBC yet includes many HBC members. The Winter Walkers have enjoyed walking outside, walking in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and in the Mall of America and even bowling. If you are not on the Winter Walkers distribution list, email Haggith Nadav at firstname.lastname@example.org
Smart Cycling and the February Birthday Bash will be held together. The new team jersey sample will be on display.
· Topic: “Let’s Ride Together – Bike Trips & Tours II”
· Location: Davanni's in Golden Valley
· Friday, February 3, 6:00 -9:00 pm
As 2022 draws to a close, I wish you Happy New Year. I am grateful to all the volunteers who help HBC move forward.
November 2022 HBC President’s Letter
Annual Member Meeting and Potluck Dinner*
November 20th at 4:45 pm
Join your HBC friends on Sunday, November 20th at 4:45 pm for our club’s
annual meeting and potluck dinner.
The meeting will be held at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth located at
12235 Old Rockford Road.
We will enjoy a potluck dinner that will include dishes courtesy of us
all. Bring an entrée or salad or appetizer and/or accompaniment to share with
The Club will provide flatware, beverages, pre-dinner munchies and
cake. Cake will be served so there is no need to bring dessert items.
There will be extension cords available to plug in your crock pots.
During the member meeting, HBC officers and team leads will review the
club’s successful 2022 operating year, including updates about:
✓ Rides and events
✓ Social Activities
✓ Ride Statistics
✓ New Ride Leaders
✓ New Club Jersey
✓ Election of Board Members
✓ 4:45 – 5:15 Social time
✓ 5:15 – 6:00 Potluck Dinner
✓ 6:00 – 7:15 Business Meeting
Register for the meeting on our ride calendar.
See you Sunday, 11/20/22 at 4:45 pm.
* This is a non-alcohol event.
June 2022 HBC President’s Letter
Ride with your HBC Friends on the Fourth of July
HBC is again sponsoring the Independence Day Ride Series. I invite you to sign up and join your HBC friends for a great variety of rides, fun, food and fellowship. What a great activity on the 4th of July!
Location: Brookview Park in Golden Valley
The large pavilion located toward the center of Brookview Park is the starting point for our Independence Day rides. The large pavilion is also the headquarters for socializing, snacks and lunch following the rides. Parking is adjacent to the pavilion and bathrooms are located in the pavilion. Navigation tips: Brookview Park is located immediately south of Hwy 55 and Winnetka Ave North. The street address is 100 Brookview Parkway North, Golden Valley.
HBC will provide pop, water (still and with bubbles) snacks and cake. Because managing a coffee maker in a picnic pavilion is all too often unpleasant, bring your morning coffee from home or stop at Caribou along the way.
Rides: The Long, the Medium and the Short of it
Three routes are posted on the Ride Calendar. For agility and safety, HBC ride leaders will divide the riders into groups of 15 or fewer. To help us plan the number of leaders needed, register now for one of these routes:
Post-ride Lunch and Socializing: 11:30 am to 2:00 pm Lunch options:
Bring your own lunch and store in one of the coolers we’ll provide. Get your lunch from D’Amico & Sons located right across the street. Lunch from D’Amico is not funded by HBC and is a transaction between you and D’Amico. The manager asks that you order online by 9:00 pm on Saturday, July 2 to give the staff enough planning and prep time on the morning of July 4th. Specify in your order that you are part of HBC and that your pickup time is 11:30 am on July 4th. We will dispatch an HBC member to pickup all of our orders.
Bring your own lunch and store in one of the coolers we’ll provide.
Get your lunch from D’Amico & Sons located right across the street. Lunch from D’Amico is not funded by HBC and is a transaction between you and D’Amico. The manager asks that you order online by 9:00 pm on Saturday, July 2 to give the staff enough planning and prep time on the morning of July 4th. Specify in your order that you are part of HBC and that your pickup time is 11:30 am on July 4th. We will dispatch an HBC member to pickup all of our orders.
Judy Burdick and Tom Renner will manage the pavilion while the rest of us are out riding. So no worries about your picnic lunch or cooler walking away.
Thanks to Shelli Hesselroth for planning and managing the Independence Day Ride Series.
In May the HBC ride leader team conducted the annual ride leader refresher. 37 HBC ride leaders and 7 members who want to become ride leaders attended. Our speakers were Hoang Pham who introduced the event and presenters. Greg Swanson reviewed the capabilities of the Ride with GPS mapping software and the steps to add rides to the club calendar. Alan Wichman provided an overview of topics including rider safety, insurance, waiver and web resources. Dan Robinson provided additional information about club insurance and Mike Becker provided an analysis of ride and rider metrics. Thanks go to Shelli Hesselroth and Carmen Price who helped ensure the success of the refresher.
The annual HBC Spring Kickoff was held at Burnes Park in Hopkins on May 21. Despite balmy 56 degree temperatures, riders enjoyed three route options. Following the ride, many attendees enjoyed lunch from the MinnyRow Market. The traditional HBC cake was also a hit with the participants. Thanks to Jean Mangan who organized the event enjoyed by nearly 50 club members.
In other news:
St. Paul Classic on September 11, 2022 – Edie Kalweit is organizing HBC volunteers to staff the rest stop at Indian Mounds Park in St. Paul. Contact Edie at email@example.com for more information.
Get out there and ride during our Minnesota summer. If you are a ride leader or a ride leader in training, post more rides.
Thanks, be well and be safe.
Alan Wichman, HBC President
March 2022 HBC President’s Letter
Welcome Sweet Springtime, We Greet Thee . . .
It’s been a quiet biking month since the last president’s letter. Nonetheless, HBC remains quite active.
On March 4th about 25 HBCers and friends went for a Winter Walk before enjoying the March Birthday Bash at the Edina D’Amico. Due to the COVID surge, this had been the first in-person Bash in months. It was nice to gather as a group once again. We’ll repeat the monthly in-person Birthday Bash tradition on Friday, April 1.
During our March board meeting we reviewed plans for our Spring Kick-off event scheduled for May 21st at Burnes Park in Hopkins. The Spring Kick-off features coffee, pastry, biking, socializing and lunch (either bring or buy your own). Ride leaders are putting together routes for a variety of speeds and distances. Stay tuned as Jean Mangan continues to organize the event.
HBC has over 30 ride leaders who plan, map, lead and report ride participation. During the past operating year seven members completed their leadership training and together led over 50 rides. New leaders bring fresh perspectives, new rides, and new accents to existing routes.
The reasons our ride leaders lead rides vary. Many like to promote the fellowship brought by leading a group of like-minded people along a favorite route. Others like the opportunity to set the pace and the food stops. Other people like putting together a ride with a theme such as architecture, coffee shops, ice cream shops or area history. Being a leader is also a motivation to get out and go riding yourself. That’s a pretty good list. What reasons resonate with you?
If you are not a ride leader consider it. The steps to become a ride leader are well-defined and are not difficult. Step one is to find a current ride leader to mentor you. Your mentor will teach you lots including how to put together a map, how to post the ride on the event calendar, and how to conduct a pre-ride briefing. In addition to your mentor, other ride leaders will answer questions and help you succeed.
Planning for our annual ride leader refresher event is in the works. This year, members of the board who are ride leaders will conduct the refresher. Stay tuned for the announcement.
We need a ride leader to step forward and lead the ride leader team. The main responsibilities of this role are:
Ride leader, contact me or Dawn Wilson and we will get you moving forward.
E-Bike Challenge Minneapolis – long time HBC member Russ Lowthian ( publisher of Have Fun Biking.com ) is one of the principals behind this event. The E-Bike Challenge runs on April 2nd and 3rd at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Click this link for more information: https://ebikechallenge.com/
30 Days of Biking – April 1 marks the beginning of this year’s 30 days of biking. Learn more here: https://30daysofbiking.com/
Thanks, be well and stay safe.
February 2022 HBC President’s Letter
We Leave Behind the (Not So) Bleak Midwinter
“Were I not a member of HBC, I never would have formed such meaningful friendships and I never would have gone on so many enjoyable bike rides and bike trips both close to home and in other countries. That’s why HBC means so much to me.”-- Presenter at our most recent Smart Cycling held last Friday, February 25th.
Here’s a summary of what HBC has been up to since the last President’s letter.
On January 21, we hosted the first of three Smart Cycling events planned for 2022. This Zoom event featured an Indie film from Portugal, “The Soul of a Cyclist”, which profiled several European cyclists who choose to ride classic bicycles over high tech bikes. Even through subtitles, nearly 30 attendees enjoyed the film and more importantly the time to socialize.
Because of COVID the board cancelled the in-person Birthday Bash at the Edina D’Amico scheduled for February 4. Instead, HBC ran another film, “Inspired to Ride”, through Zoom. This film featured a handful of riders from around the world who pedaled over 4200 miles across the US as part of the Trans AM Bike Race in 2015.
If you were not able to attend either of the film events described above, watch the videos on Amazon or Vimeo. Google two of the Trans AM bike riders: Mike Hall and Juliana Buhring featured in “Inspired to Ride”. Both have incredible personal and bicycle stories.
A few days ago, on February 25th over 50 members and guests gathered at the Golden Valley Davanni’s event room for dinner and a social hour followed by a panel discussion of multi-day, out of town bike trips. HBC members Russ Lowthian, Marcy Kelash, Mike Becker, John Hardy, Dawn Wilson, Kent Malcolm, Ed Newman and Carmen Price shared their experiences biking in Europe, Africa and the US. The panel shared their recommendations finding organized trips and putting together their own trips. Special thanks goes to Carmen who MC’d the event and to Mike Becker who assembled the accompanying video display.
On March 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, we will present our third Smart Cycling event of 2022. Entitled, ‘Getting Ready for Ride Season’, this event will include Greg Swanson’s overview of the Ride with GPS route planner and navigation app. More information about this Smart Cycling event will be emailed shortly.
A shout out goes to Shelli Hesselroth, our Smart Cycling team lead, who orchestrates these fine events.
An in-person Birthday Bash is planned for Friday, March 4 at the Edina D’Amico. The March Bash will include a pre-event walk through nearby neighborhoods, lots of time for socializing over dinner and of course, Birthday Cake.
Planning is underway for our Spring Kick-off rides. Jean Mangan is leading the planning team. The Spring Kick-off will feature social time, snacks & beverages and several ride options. Save May 21st for this event. Standby for details.
There will be no Tour D’Amico (TDA) this year due to the impact of COVID. The board will use the hiatus from TDA as an opportunity to re-engineer the event. Stay tuned for updates as we look toward 2023.
Over the past several years, our club’s operating expenses have increased. While the board has cut expenses over the last two years to help keep us on the good side of the balance book, expenses exceed our income from dues.
When the club was founded an individual membership cost $25.00. Today over 22 years later, an individual membership remains at $25.00. The Consumer Price Index, an indicator of inflation, puts $25.00 in the year of the club’s founding to be over $40.00 today. The board has made no decision about how much and when dues will increase but it is a discussion point. Stay tuned.
This club moves forward through the efforts of our member volunteers. We need a ride leader to step forward and lead the ride leader team. This position has a positive impact on the experience of our riders. Don’t be shy, contact me and we’ll get you started.
Here’s a membership benefit you likely didn’t know about. HBC is a member of the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). Check out the LAB website https://www.bikeleague.org/ for information about bike advocacy and LAB’s mission and vision to help create a bicycle friendly America. LAB publishes a quarterly magazine, American Bicyclist, available on this webpage for you to read online or download: https://www.bikeleague.org/americanbicyclist
Check your knowledge about bike safety by taking this quiz provided by our friends in the Florida Bicycle Association: https://flbikesafetyquiz.com I have a bit to learn. How did you do?
As we leave the (not so) bleak midwinter behind and look to the promise of a long spring, summer and fall biking season, I wish you safety, wellness and all the best.
January 2021 HBC President’s Letter
The Hiawatha Bike Club Board of Directors met on Monday, January 4th. The approved meeting minutes are attached. Our main goal was to review and approve the 2021 budget. The Board approved a “slimmed down” budget to see us through another year largely influenced by the pandemic. We do not plan on having the Annual Volunteer Banquet since we didn’t have the Tour D’Amico last year. However, we are excited to plan a “Kickoff Picnic” in late May to reunite members for a fun outdoor event with safe distancing measures. Our IT team has been working diligently to simplify systems that will also be less expensive in the future. The approved budget has a $2,996 deficit, which will be covered by the Reserve Fund. We are grateful for the prior Boards and Audit Committees who have maintained a comfortable “rainy day” fund for the club through the years.
While it may not be possible for us to have the full Tour D’Amico event in 2021, we are discussing an alternative member event for Independence Day. We expect to know more next month, as the situation is fluid. I will update you when we have a solid plan. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we evaluate the situation.
We are grateful for our team of very talented and dedicated IT specialists who are working on improving the HBC website and infrastructure. Leon W. has implemented a new and improved waiver process in RideStats. This process ensures that members sign the waiver every ride year, as recommended by our insurance company. The waivers are signed electronically and saved permanently for the Club records.
Marty R. has spearheaded a conversion from Paypal to AffiniPay for the payment processor. This will save the Club significant annual cost because of AffiniPay’s relationship with our membership and website provider, Wild Apricot. Before your next renewal date, you will receive a reminder email from HBC with a link for renewing your dues. Please consider selecting the auto renewal option to avoid any interruption in your membership
2021 New Year’s Resolution – Get Out and Ride Now! See Greg S.’s informative and helpful article on winter riding tips on the home page of the website. Greg has also posted a self-paced 18 mile all trails route. Be sure to sign up if you’d like to try out this interesting ride. Not too soon to start accumulating your ride miles for the 2021 season!
All the best,