Reach the Beach Training Rides 2020

 

Portland Bicycling Club has had the opportunity to partner with the American Lung Association (ALA) for over a decade now, putting on the Reach the Beach (RTB) training series. ALA is the organization behind Reach the Beach. Their goal is to raise money for improved lung health and to prevent lung disease, and that includes clean air which cyclists tend to prefer. Here is the schedule on their website: Free 2020 Training Rides.

The ALA/RTB website then directs cyclists to our PBC website, PortlandBicyclingClub.com. From there, visitors will find our ride calendar with many ride options in addition to the official training series which starts soon, First ride Saturday, February 22. This gives our club relevant exposure. It’s kind of a big deal. We are thankful to ALA for this role. How can we make the most of it? For example, it is helpful for cyclists with busy work/family schedules and varying cycling goals to find more training options when being directed to our site. Having additional RTB training options on Sundays besides our standard RTB training series held every Saturday has been a very positive tweak in the overall strategy.

A lot of planning and effort goes into this series. Larry Eades was our club’s RTB training series ride leader before Dick Weber took the helm a few years ago. We have gracious club members that commit to co-lead to assist Dick. We want to make a great impression and hope to get new members as a result.

Dick leads the longer training rides. In the past, Scott Poindexter greatly assisted Dick on the longer rides; and prior to Dick taking over the series, Scotty assisted Larry and Michelle Goodman. Thank you, Scotty! Both Ann Morrow and I currently lead the shorter routes, as we’ve discovered the need and desire for this option for riders not training for a century.

Originally, Scott, Kimberly Morehead, and I committed to co-lead the series. Because there is an increasing number of cyclists who upload maps to Ride with GPS or Garmin, we wanted to make sure everyone was safe and operating with accurate route information. I’d asked Ann Morrow to assist in vetting the maps, creating additional route options, and removing routes that no longer work. Plus, in taking on this responsibility, we wanted to submit the updated routes in time for ALA/RTB to post our PBC link to their website so participants looking for training rides could access them. The pressure was on! Many hours were spent vetting all the routes and updating the maps with accurate route directions. That turned into quite the huge task for Ann a few years ago.

As co-leaders for this series, Kimberly and I both repeatedly kept hearing people request Sunday RTB training rides and shorter distance options. The PBC training series is progressive. We start out riding fewer miles and build up endurance for more miles as we move closer to the day when we Reach the Beach. We listened to what riders wanted and made changes to accommodate goals of varying distances. Whether you plan to ride 102 miles from Portland to Pacific City, 26 miles from Grand Ronde to Pacific City, or one of the two options in between, we have training rides for you.

After Kimberly retired, I’d asked Ann to consider co-leading the shorter training rides. We sure miss Kimberly and are grateful for everything she has contributed to our club! Thankfully, Ann said yes to committing to co-leading. She was already keenly aware of the pain points we had encountered and overcome. In addition, Ann took on the enormous job of being our main liaison with ALA.

Ann met with Brian Mayo and Cathy Gidley from ALA on various occasions to keep current with all the changes in their organization, and more importantly, to learn what they needed from our club. Dick, Scotty, Ann, and I started attending the annual kick-off parties at Columbia Sportswear, set up our PBC table with club brochures, and actively encouraged people to come train with us.

This is what it takes to sustain a partnership and grow stronger together. Our club liaison, Ann Morrow, has spent much time working with the ALA corporate office to build new relationships. Again, thank you, Ann, we appreciate your long-standing support! Thank you, PBC ride leaders, for your contributions in this all-important effort! It is truly an action plan we can all participate in.

Kathleen Hellem, Reach the Beach Training Series Ride Co-Leader