Last Saturday evening a good group of 15-20 club members gathered at the Peppergrass clubhouse to discuss plans for the 2016 riding season.
There were representatives of the iRide group, the OWLS, the Sunday Nice ’n’ Easy, and the Beginners Group, and a number of others who responded to the invitation from John Bassett, our Ride Coordinator, to take part.
Of course many people in the club never stopped riding. Many of us commute and run errands around town all year long, and gravel-riding and mountain-bike trail riding have become increasingly popular. Still, from March to November road biking is our primary focus.
Ride Leaders needed: The first order of business was to set the tentative schedule of Saturday rides, adapted from last year’s schedule, and to solicit ride leaders. Several people stepped forward to lead rides. Contact John Bassett to help lead a ride or two. Maybe talk to a friend about leading jointly.
Altered routes across IN37/I69 needed: A major issue that will need to be addressed throughout the season is adapting current routes that cross IN 37. Several standard crossings that are no longer available include Kinser/Bottom, Vernal Pike, and That Road. Various workarounds are being considered.
The main ride calendar is the official means of announcing all rides. Saturday ride leaders will also ordinarily send out email to the whole club on Thursday before the ride.
Cell phone contacts: One of the leader’s biggest responsibilities is to be sure no one gets lost. The group’s consensus was that leaders should share their cell phone numbers at the pre-ride meeting, so that if someone gets lost or has mechanical or physical issues they can at least contact the ride leader.
It’s especially effective when possible to have two leaders, one of whom monitors the front and one the rear.
John hopes to have a few drive-and-ride events spread through the calendar. He’s also interested in facilitating a week end event such as last years ride to Louisville and back.
Welcoming new people to iRides and OWLS: Both iRides and OWLS are training rides, with the OWLS a little slower and more social. But both have similar issues with riders being unsure whether they can keep up or might get dropped or lost. We discussed strategies for dealing with this issue. We decided to designate the first ride of the season and the first ride of each month as a time to welcome riders who might like to try out the ride—e.g. an OWLS rider trying out the iRide, or a Beginner rider trying out the OWLS. We would announce the plans on email and the calendar and try to be extra welcoming of new folks on both rides.
The Nice ’n’ Easy and Beginners rides are essential to bringing new people into the club, but there is still a gap between those rides and the Tuesday-Thursday training rides and the longer Saturday touring rides. And that gap needs continual attention.
Keep an eye on the calendar for all rides. iRides and OWLS will start Tuesday, March 15. Nice ’n’ Easy rides start Sunday, March 13.
Many people in the club help keep the summer ride schedule going.
- John Bassett is overall coordinator
- Ron Brown continues to manage and run the Nice ’n’ Easy rides with a rotating cast of 5 routes of approximately 20 miles each. \
- Tammy Thompson continues to organize the Beginners rides, which are often in the 5 to 10 mile range.
- John Bassett, Stan Ellis, and Tammy Berger are perhaps the current core of the iRide group.
- Gail Morell, Allan Edmonds, and CE Taylor handle much of the planning for the OWLS training group.
- Jim Schroeder will continue to organize mid-week century rides, starting in early April
Feel free to contact any of the above folks with ideas, suggestions, or concerns. Contact information is available on the club membership list.