Attached is press release that is being shared with our community to highlight what we accomplished to raise money for the Second Harvest Heartland food shelf. Press Release HBC Ride4Others.pdf
The HBC Board meeting was held as scheduled on April 6th via Zoom. The link to the draft minutes is included below.
The focus of the meeting was future planning for the new reality. The most important item to consider was Tour D’Amico. Given the uncertainty of what COVID-19 regulations will look like in June, the Board made the difficult decision to suspend further planning for this year’s TDA. A main concern was the unknown level of risk posed to volunteers and riders. Additional reasons are listed in the minutes. Our decision is in alignment with other June events that are being changed or cancelled by their organizers. I want to give a big thanks to the TDA chair, Nancy Spooner-Mueller, and her planning team, for the work they have done thus far.
You are likely aware that when the current wave of COVID-19 subsides, there is a real possibility that a second wave of infection may occur later in the summer or early fall. This might mean that most of HBC’s activities would need to be modified in some way for the remainder of this year. The Board sees this challenge as an opportunity to creatively look beyond the familiarity of scheduled group rides. We’re planning now so that, depending on different potential community restrictions, we will be ready to offer interesting biking opportunities to our members. We are in the midst of discussions with Ride Leaders and members to develop ways to encourage members to ride regularly, perhaps even recreating the feel of group riding when you aren’t actually riding in a group. Intrigued? We hope so!
As you know, solo cycling continues to be the only option for the foreseeable future. With the improving weather, I know that many of you have begun riding on your own. It has inspired me to do so as well—thank you! Knowing there are many other HBC members doing the same thing helps me feel a sense of community. I hope it does for you too.
Solo cycling has a few challenges not necessarily seen with group rides. I encourage you to be sure you are prepared so you can handle, by yourself, the typical problems that may occur on a bike ride. There are plenty of online resources that will tell you what to keep on your bike to be prepared for mechanical problems. There are also many free educational bike safety resources. One example is the free online courses offered by Cycling Savvy (www.cyclingsavvy.org).
Finally, I want to emphasize a couple health-related tips here. Make sure you carry your ID, health insurance card and a well-charged phone. Accidents happen outside of our control of course, but making safe choices for your rides will help decrease risk. If you get hurt, how will someone else help you and still maintain the 6-foot rule? Do you really want to end up in the ER nowadays? Not only does this increase your risk of COVID-19 exposure, but it also diverts health care resources like PPE away from more seriously ill patients.
I will be sending you announcements about new activities as they are finalized. Do you have suggestions? Want to help? Contact me or any Board meeting and let us know.
I am sorry to be writing to you again so soon after the March President's letter. You are all well aware of the public health crisis unfolding almost hourly.
Because of these rapidly changing events, the HBC Board has decided to postpone the May 3rd Spring Banquet. A new date will be chosen once the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health relax restrictions on mass gatherings.
Many bicycle groups are now announcing a suspension of all of their group bicycling events. USA Cycling has recommended races and other gatherings, such as races and group rides be canceled or postponed at least through April 5. I think this is reasonable for HBC as well, although it is not clear yet whether April 5th is too soon. My prediction is that restrictions will last at least 8 weeks or longer. I really hope I am wrong about that. But for now, the Board has recommended that scheduled rides be cancelled until further notice.
This does not mean you shouldn't bike at all. For now, outdoor exercise is not prohibited, as long as social distancing is maintained. So go solo and enjoy the exercise and the stress relief. Looking on the positive side, if you find a new bike route, pass it on and let's get it incorporated into a future scheduled ride. It is always nice to have something to look forward to, right?
Check out links on how to bicycle safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example: https://www.bicycling.com/news/a31469228/cycling-during-coronavirus/ is updated regularly.
President’s Letter - Impact of COVID-19
In this month's letter, I want to share with you the decisions being made by the Board regarding the impact of COVID-19 on HBC events.
The first case of COVID-19 was identified in Minnesota last week. As of yesterday, there were 9 cases in Minnesota. The day before, there were 3 cases. Thus, we are officially part of the pandemic. This is reality and should not be taken lightly by anyone.
Current scientific consensus is that COVID-19 spreads via droplets from coughing. The range of droplet spread is about 6 feet. What happens when the droplets land on surfaces? The consensus is that this virus may survive on surfaces for up to 9 days. Doorknobs, tables, gas pumps, car doors, and even bicycle handlebars are all examples of potential vectors for spreading infection. The incubation period is thought to be between 3-12 days, with 50% of cases becoming symptomatic at 5 days after exposure.
As for management, it is too late for containment (preventing the arrival of the virus). We must focus now on mitigation: reducing the impact of the infection. You’ve likely heard about the simple, effective strategy of social distancing. It is the most important option there is for mitigation. This means keeping people at home as much as possible, for as long as it takes, until this recedes.
Social distancing limits exposure to, and transmission of, droplets in the air and on surfaces. Think about any event you usually attend, from book clubs to religious services to gatherings like the Birthday Bash (for example). Can you imagine staying 6 feet away from everyone else (or even 3 feet)? Or not touching a single thing around you? Any group setting potentially increases exposure risk.
The Board recommends paying close attention to CDC and local public health department guidelines regarding the recommended level of social distancing. As of today, CDC guidelines state that communities at minimal to moderate risk (that’s us) should:
Many HBC members meet the criteria for being high-risk. Examples include diabetes, older age, hypertension, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
Based on this as well as current disease projections, the Board has decided to cancel Smart Cycling (March 27) and the April Birthday Bash (April 3). Ride Leader Training will likely be rescheduled, but the final decision may be made 4-5 days beforehand. And finally, the May 3 Spring Banquet will possibly be rescheduled to a later date, however, that decision may not happen until 2 weeks beforehand.
What about scheduled rides? One might argue that the benefit of exercise (and stress reduction!) outweighs the risk of infectious spread or exposure. But riding (or doing anything) with a group of people still presents a higher risk of spreading the virus than remaining socially distanced at home. Remember, it isn’t just about how much risk you are willing to take in becoming infected. It’s also about the risk of spreading the infection to those around you before you develop symptoms. At present, the Board feels that scheduling and/or participating in rides remains an individual decision. Ride leaders and riders should be vigilant in following recommended public health recommendations accordingly.
Lastly, what about TDA? Since we don’t know yet how long mitigation efforts will be continued, it is too soon to know how COVID-19 will affect TDA. We will be proactive in keeping the riders as well as the volunteers as safe as possible. The Board and the TDA planning team will keep you informed if and when any changes may be needed.
If you are interested in reading more about what has and has not worked globally in managing the spread of COVID-19, consider reading the following easy-to-read article: “Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now”.
It is well-written in simple terms, though lengthy. It is worth taking the time to read, even though bicycling isn’t mentioned even once.
Stay safe and pay attention. When this is over (and it will be), think how grateful we will be to get on our bikes and ride to our hearts’ content.
On February 21st, Dynamic speaker Tony Desnick will show how
winter cycling can improve our health, and how
“tri-shaws” can change the face of aging—globally.
Trained as an architect, Tony has worked with cycling
organizations such Nice Ride , served on Boards of
Move Minnesota and the Winter Cycling Federation,
and is Director of Cycling Without Age Twin Cities.
Through a TEDx talk and keynotes around the world,
he works to improve our cities by making them better
for people, not cars.
The talk will be at the REI in Bloomington at 7:00pm and there is no potluck.
An often overlooked item in your bike is a pair of tweezers. There are fantastic for pulling out bits of wire from your tires when you flat, saves on finger cuts or a ruined tire. Also, they can be used to pull out your splinters or in a pinch can substitute in for a small flat head/phillips screwdriver for your bike. If your buddies are late for a ride you can catch up on your personal grooming and tame your uni-brow or noise hairs.
Introducing Lisa Soldat our new President:
You may know me as that person who lives in both Des Moines and Minneapolis. I'm a semi-retired family physician. This has given me lots more time to enjoy things like biking (and hiking, gardening, and knitting). I joined HBC a few years ago after riding in Tour D'Amico, where I discovered that truly friendly people belong to this club.
If we haven't met yet, let's make sure we introduce ourselves in person some day. You may have to take off your bike helmet or I might not recognize you later on. You know how we all look a bit alike in helmets and behind sunglasses.
Checkout our winter activities and you may want to join our Google Group email list where we post our winter walks and pictures. Send an email request to: email@example.com
CPR Training - A Story that Could Happen to Any of Us, Anywhere, at Any Time:
On a warm and sunny afternoon, you pull into the parking lot next to your HBC friends. You get yourself and your bike ready, catch up with other riders you haven’t seen for a while, listen to the briefing, review the map and then follow the ride leader onto the route.
At the mid-point of the ride the leader pulls into the scheduled rest stop. This is a scenic spot in the country. Some of the riders dismount and sit at nearby tables, others stand next to their bikes downing some energy drink while others use the rest room.
Days like this make you glad you are out on your bike.
Nearby, you notice a few people not part of the HBC group huddled close to one another, some are shouting. As you get a bit closer you see a person on the ground not moving. This is a jolt, what’s happening? Is someone in trouble?
You enter the huddle and ask what’s happening. A guy says that his cousin collapsed. He says nothing like this has ever happened before. You look around and quickly think to yourself, can somebody do something? A second passes and no one steps up. OK, you think, if not me, then who? You say to yourself, “I’m not going to stand by and watch”. You step forward to help.
You follow the key points from the CPR training you recently completed. You make sure that the scene is safe, that the person in distress is not in danger of being run over by a car or bike. You shake the person’s shoulders and ask them if they are OK. They’re not OK, they don’t respond. You shout out, ‘Call 911!’ You call to anyone nearby to check if there is an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) at the rest stop. Next, you check if the person is breathing, you check for a pulse. There is no pulse and there is no breath.
You swallow hard and begin chest compressions like you were taught in class. It’s different doing compressions on a person’s chest rather than on a manikin but you push through it. The first 30 seconds turn into a couple of minutes. There is no AED. You continue compressions. The folks with the person in distress are watching anxiously, some praying others crying. In the distance you can hear the siren and soon the first responder appears. She takes over for you. A short time later the paramedics arrive and deploy their advanced lifesaving equipment.
The fear in the group is relieved a bit as the person starts breathing on their own and a heart rhythm appears on the monitor.
You just helped someone.
The story above is a work of fiction. It is based on my take-aways from the HBC-sponsored CPR class that I recently completed. Even though fiction, a story like this plays out every day, anywhere and at any time.
Our bike club, Hiawatha Bike Club, focuses great attention on the safety of our riders and the safety of those around us. Because Medical emergencies could happen during any of our events including bike rides, meals, walks, or meeting, the HBC Board sponsored CPR Training.
The HBC CPR training was delivered on November 24, during the hours leading up to our annual meeting. The class was taught by Lisa Wagner of Renew Life CPR. Lisa Wagner has a 20-year track record of teaching CPR and First Aid courses. During the class we watched training videos, listened to our trainer, practiced on adult, kid and baby-sized manikins. Our instructor provided great answers to our questions about CPR and using an AED.
17 of your fellow HBC members completed the class and passed the test and now hold a Basic Life Support CPR and AED Certification from the American Heart Association. As a benefit, the club paid half of the registration fee for ride leaders to help them help their riders in case of emergency.
A sincere and hearty thanks to the HBC Board and to our president Lisa Soldat for advocating for HBC-sponsored CPR training.
Are you interested in taking this CPR class? The board is open to sponsoring another session. Contact Lisa Soldat or any other board member for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org