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President's Letter June 2020

12 Jun 2020 11:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Hiawatha Bicycling Club

President’s Letter

June 2020

The weather is getting warmer, and it looks like summer is really here. Activities in HBC are heating up right along with the weather. The June 1st Board meeting primarily focused on current and upcoming events being offered this summer. The link to the draft minutes is located below.

The new Biking and Outdoor Art project has begun. We encourage you to take photos of any interesting art you see along your rides. Then, post your photos for others to enjoy on our Facebook page. If you don’t use Facebook, send them to the ride4others@hbcmail.org link and we will post them for you. At the end of June, all members submitting photos will be entered into a drawing for an HBC inventory item.

Speaking of Facebook, Alan Wichman and Rita Wilczek have been posting photos of mystery locations for us to identify and find. It’s amusing to see how much (or little) you know about our community. I, for one, now know how little I know. Thanks for broadening my horizons, Alan & Rita!

It looks like HBC’s new Self-Paced Rides are a hit! Over 10 routes have been created, with more in the works. I’ve been quite impressed with their diversity, like location, length and highlights along the way. I will be sending you a separate email that focuses on some tweaks being made to make it even easier for you to enjoy these rides.

There will be a Zoom meeting on June 10th to educate members about how to get the most out of Ride With GPS (details coming soon). RWGPS makes it really, really easy to do Self-Paced Rides, and is free through HBC. Once I learned how to use this app, I don’t know how I ever managed to follow a route without it.   If you like using GPS while driving, you will appreciate the value of RWGPS. 

I’m hearing comments from members wondering why we aren't restarting group rides yet. I mss them too, and it has caused me to reflect that lately, not everyone is as vigilant about respecting socially distancing or wearing face masks. It may look like things are getting back to normal.  But, there is no denying that recurrent waves of infection will continue until contact tracing is widespread and a reliable vaccine is universally available. The Board feels it is vital to promote activities that satisfy, yet protect, our members for as long as needed.

The problem with doing group rides right now is that it is tough to do so while respecting CDC and local public health guidelines. Increased spacing between riders is needed (even though we don’t know the exact distance). Imagine a group maintaining physical distance from each other while stopped at a traffic light. Or maintaining distance when someone ahead of you brakes unexpectedly. How many riders would be allowed in a group? Five? Ten? Unlimited? If you limit the number of riders, how do you do that? Change registration on RideStats? Have a waiting list when the maximum group size is reached? How do Ride Leaders encourage social distancing guidelines during the ride?  What about stopping for refreshments at the end of the ride? What about wearing face masks while riding?  Finally, ask yourself, do YOU feel comfortable interacting with a group of people who aren’t close personal contacts?  Should someone who doesn’t know you well feel comfortable around you?

Self-Paced Rides were designed to be ridden solo or with members of your household.  The Board has discussed the probability that some people are choosing to ride with personal contacts outside of their household. We have approved changing the website description to acknowledge that these rides may include household members and "invited others”. It’s up to you, based on your comfort level.

HBC created a virtual food drive at Second Harvest and made the promised  $2000 donation after members rode 4000 miles in early May.   Members may still  add a personal donation if they choose. We’ll keep the link open for the next month or so, because Second Harvest is now ramping up their volume of services to devastated Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods. The link to access our drive is http://support.2harvest.org/goto/HBC.

If you are still hanging in there to the end of this letter, CONGRATULATIONS! Your reward? I am leaving you with a little teaser—keep the 4th of July open on your calendar.  Check out the minutes if you want a hint.  

Lisa Soldat

HBC President

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