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.
Alan Wichman, HBC President