The winter holidays bring stress, but also joy. Sometimes sketchy weather (can be dicey for cycling on rain-soaked roads), but the crisp, cool skies of a dry day in the season always give me a renewed sense energy and vigor! The new year brings new beginnings.
This year we have (at this writing) at least two groups converging for our traditional New Year’s Day ride up Mount Diablo. Mark Abrahams will lead the “fasties” from Berkeley, and I will be accompanied by co-leaders Ann Lehr and Janet Monks for a loop from Pleasant Hill BART. Both groups will join at the Athenian School at the foot of the mountain, before starting the climb (summit optional, but it seems we always get a large contingent scaling that final brutal ramp to the top where the 360 degree views are unbeatable!)
I’m excited to share several new developments which promise to bring new vitality into the club. As much as I continue to honor and be impressed by so many of our long-time members and officers (both as riders and as volunteers), it gives me no shortage of pleasure to see new ideas and leadership constantly arriving in the form of younger club members. Happy to see both Mary Ann Jawili and Jessica Jensen in their roles as “Additional Director” Board members . . . .Hmmmm, methinks perhaps we can parlay these talents into one of the primary officer positions in the next year or two??). In addition to being strong riders and steady ride leaders, both of these young women are making positive contributions in other aspects of Grizzly Peak Cyclists’ organizational efforts: Mary Ann as “Bike Expo Coordinator” and “Post-Century ride and picnic Coordinator”; and of course, Jess as our excellent Holiday Party Coordinator (that was a WAY FUN time at Faz for the holiday dinner in 2015!).
Our Vice-President, Mark Nienberg, continues with innovative updates to the club website. Rumor has it there may (sooner or later) be a mechanism for online ride submittal – which may expand impromptu listings to the website listings, and not just to GPC-Talk. In other news, club member and formidable Randonneur, Craig Hicks, has worked hard in the background developing an exciting off-road option for our 2016 Century.
Century Chair, Frank Castro took on the role as a newcomer in 2015 and after “flying blind by the seat of his pants” committed to re-enlisting in 2016, and has taken on the task of securing really awesome artwork/graphics for the Century Jersey, T-Shirt and patch, as well as sourcing a very cost-effective vendor for the shirts — I was at the most recent Century Planning Meeting and can vouch for the quality of the product!
I am continuing a “new” tradition begun with the inspired idea of Eric Rydman and Estella of a few years ago for a club wool jersey, and hope to get a re-authorization of funds for another round of red, long sleeved Wool Jerseys at the upcoming club meeting on Wednesday, January 13th. The design will be the same classic “Hawthorne” style we’ve ordered before and I’m happy to report that after posting my initial “feeler” email to the GPC-Talk list in the middle of the night, I already had about 10 requests for these shirts. At this writing (several weeks before the Jan.13th meeting), about 8 more members have weighed in on their interest with their preliminary orders for a Wool Jersey. Available sizes are M, L, and XL. (Separately, 2 of the 3 remaining green short sleeve “Forest Park” jerseys in our inventory have been spoken for, as well as the 1 remaining long sleeved green one). So, THANK YOU again to Eric and Estella for starting this adventure and also to the club for allowing me to continue to promote it!
This holiday, Ben and I are doing a road trip south to spend time with family, but will return in time for the annual New Year’s Day ride up Mount Diablo. I am happy to be co-leading one of the loops, from Pleasant Hill BART up the mountain via South Gate and down North Gate, hoping for a happy convergence at the Athenian School with our fast-rider group led by Mark Abrahams from Berkeley. Then we’ll all make it up to the Junction, and as many further up to the Summit, before gathering for post-ride celebratory meal at Ygnacio Plaza shopping center before making our way back to our start locations and home. I hear a third group might go up North Gate and back down, lead by our venerable seasoned members, Chris Witt and Pat Greene on the tandem. I love this mix of options for the first ride of the New Year. Gives me hope and cheer for great collaboration and innovations in the year to come.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all,
May our roads stay dry, our muscles strong, our joints and minds flexible!
President, Grizzly Peak Cyclists