GPC President’s Column – November 2013

Sharing the Lane

Last time I wrote about “taking the lane”… and indeed that is an important, intrinsic piece of life, both in and out of the context of cycling and or the bicycle club.  Today I want to share some thoughts about co-existing in that lane, while still maintaining a “take the lane” stance.

I was going to write a bit about how different people approach shared-use facilities. Some like to announce themselves loudly and repeatedly. Ding ding ding ding ding. Some like to go “ding” and then “passing, Good Morning”. Depending on one’s personal bent, either way is correct and polite and safe, but from another’s perspective may come across as either rude or ineffectual. I have MY preference, but can’t say for certain it’s the right way.

While all of this applies to rules of the road and cycling safety, I think it’s time to also address with what makes an organization tick. Specifically, Grizzly Peak Cyclists, Inc.

663 members, last count. Really? Really.

About 200 come out in various capacities every year to help out with our annual Century, some putting in months and months of preparation and some doing a bit the day or week before, or the day of the event, and many, many unsung “heroes” in both of those capacities. All in all, it’s a fun party. Really? Really.

And it doesn’t just come off without a lot of hours and coordination on the part of many hands and many minds. Always an “adventure.” I hope  you all consider whether you might take on a fuller role this year if your schedule and circumstances allow. You will likely be surprised that the reward of involvement far outweighs the input (and I promise it won’t necessarily feel like it “at the time”).

Believe it or not, day to day, the bicycle club also needs a lot of TLC to function. We lead a series of Novice rides, and also offer many L and LT-paced rides, to encourage newer or returning riders in their journey to becoming road warriors. It’s gratifying to meet these newbies later… not always, but most often NOT on slower-paced rides. In many cases, they come out as ride leaders, board members, key-role coordinators for the Century… we constantly surprise ourselves at what we can do, discover hidden talents and depth in people we’ve only met casually.

So that’s what this is really about. Leading a ride, you choose the pace, you choose the terrain, you choose the distance, you choose the geography, introduce folks to roads and routes they don’t yet know. (Surprisingly, many very experienced riders even benefit from “new” routes you can spring on them).

Which brings to mind, again – that 2014 Century. Rumor has it, we still need to fill many of the key Coordinator positions, several Rest Stops, Lunch, Staging, and Manifest, for instance. Do you have an itch to help? Do you like the idea of running a crew of spunky, helpful and like-minded volunteers? Up the ante in your involvement this year. “Oh, I don’t know,” you say. “I’m not sure, i’m not a leader.” Doesn’t matter. Mostly people know their “jobs” already. And if not, mostly people are willing to listen and learn. Or you invent it anew together.

Share the road, share the job. You’ll be glad you did. [Yup, it’s a “theme”].

– Sherie Reineman
GPC President

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