May 2018 Top Talk

President Chip Kyle

For those of you who have been reading this column for the last two and a half years, you know that my focus has been on safety. The need for being aware and riding in a safe manner was highlighted at this year’s Awards Banquet where the number of “Comeback” Awards was more than double of any previous year. These awards are somewhat akin to Purple Heart awards – they are given to club members who had a serious enough accident that prevented them from riding for some period of time but recovered and were back riding by the end of the year. This is an award that no one really wants!

One objective of our club could be to foster a culture and set of riding habits that minimize accidents, so no one earns a Comeback Award. As we make friends and become familiar with our routes, it is easy to lose our focus on riding safely. Encountering one pothole at a distracted moment, and you are down. The board has discussed how best to shore up our vigilance and determined that rider education and regular reminders are the best ways to keep safety top of mind. In addition to the ever-popular Ride Leader safety spiels, watch for the return of the Safety Spotlight in the QR and some new safety-focused features in our Club Meetings.

We all also need to recognize that it is in each of our best interest to help each other stay safe. If you see a road hazard or unsafe riding practice, speak up! If someone offers you a helpful hint, take it in stride and know they have the best of intentions. Helping the rider in front of you stay safe helps you stay safe too. We ride because it’s fun, and because we enjoy the outdoors, the camaraderie of a group, and the exercise. Let’s be safe out there!

On a completely different note, this is a plea for volunteers. In less than four weeks, we will be hosting the Pioneer Century. There are several critical volunteer positions that need to be filled to successfully stage this event. To date, many club members have signed up to work and we are thankful for their commitment to the club and their interest in helping make the Pioneer a success; however, there are some important positions unfilled. Please read Corey Eng’s article nearby to see the ones that are open. Many of the positions are structured so that you can be a volunteer as well as ride. We need your help  Please volunteer!