July 2021 Top Talk

For years, the club treasurer’s report began with, “The club is solvent, and the bills have been paid.”

The great news is we are so much more than solvent! The Portland Bicycling Club has made a remarkable recovery from last year’s CoViD lockdown. We once again are offering rides every day of the week. No one has contracted Covid during the past year of cycling (yes, Bud and Chuck had nearly daily rides throughout 2020). Masks are not required while cycling, and more and more coffee shops no longer require masks provided customers are vaccinated. Lapsed club members are returning. We are reaching out to new riders, helping them hone their cycling skills with a series of beginner rides that are instructive but not physically exhaustive. Everything is looking up in 2021!

What more could we ask for?  ✎  A big item is the resumption of our major event ride. Our neighboring clubs have resumed their Ride around Clark County, Monster Cookie and Vineyard Tour rides to name several. Where’s the historic Pioneer Century?

A club event ride is more than an item on a ledger sheet. It is an outreach to, and for, the cycling community. It’s the sign of an active and vibrant club that people would want to join.

What would it take to bring the Pioneer back in 2022? Primarily volunteers. For years, the same people took charge of the same tasks for the Pioneer, and eventually became burned out. Club members chose to ride the course themselves, rather than working the rest and food stops to help our fellow riders. We ended up hiring people to do our work for us, and that made the ride unprofitable for the club.

We need to see the Pioneer in a different light. It is not primarily a ride for us; it is for other cyclists in the community. We volunteer so that others may enjoy the ride. In turn, we can enjoy the Monster Cookie, RACC, and other rides while their volunteers do the work.

This is not to say our members shouldn’t ride the Pioneer. We have many more members than volunteer positions. It is to say that we, who enjoy the benefits of being club members, should make it a point to ask how we can help out in order to restore our signature ride, and to help the Portland Bicycling Club resume its proper place in the cycling community.

Thanks, and be safe on the road!

Doug Myers, President