November 2019 Top Talk

More than helmets on heads!  Ann Morrow, president of the Northwest Bicycle Safety Council (NWBSC) and recording secretary for our club, has presented the club with an extraordinary opportunity. The board of directors of the NWBSC has decided to initiate dissolution of their organization, but rather than disburse their funds to other nonprofits, they would like the organization’s assets and activities to be integrated into another nonprofit. Their first choice is the Portland Bicycling Club. If you read through the history of the NWBSC, you’ll see that our club has a connection to this organization that dates back 20 years. In 1998, while Nikki Hilton was PWTC President, the club formed a helmet committee comprised of Jerry Smith, Bruce Buffington, Clive Miller, and Howard Reid. This group continued for several years as part of our club until Buffington organized the NWBSC with the mission “to educate and promote safety and harmony between cyclists and others who share the road, as well as strengthen community and family ties through cycling-related programs and events.” The NWBSC does more than give away helmets; it promotes cycling via a monthly live television program Cycology Today, accessible on Tualatin Valley Community Television, but also archived on YouTube, Cycology Today Videos.

Their mission matches our mission, as stated in the PWTC 1982 Articles of Incorporation: “The aim of this organization shall be to promote the general interests of cycling in all its phases; to encourage and facilitate touring, rides, cycle outings and all forms of recreational cycling activities; to defend and protect the rights of cyclists; to secure a better understanding and recognition of the need for safer riding conditions; to encourage the allocation of facilities for cycling on public lands; to cooperate with the public authorities in the observance of all traffic regulations; and to promote the regulation and recognition of the bicycle as a vehicle used for pleasure, health and transportation.” We state on our website “We are a nonprofit 501(C)3 organization, supporting safe cycling and programs for youth.”

Buffington and Morrow in succession have worked tirelessly over the last two decades to ensure that NWBSC lived up to their mission. Integration of NWBSC into PBC would go a long way to restore outreach activities that support ours. Ann and her television crew have offered to continue being responsible for Cycology Today, which would then become part of the club’s repertoire of educational programs for the community. However, the club would need someone to shoulder the task of organizing the bike helmet giveaways.  Are you that person?  A decision must be made in the coming weeks on whether or not we resurrect a helmet committee or perhaps go even further and create a community outreach committee to include Cycology Today and other venues for community education. Given the mission of this club, it seems critical to move forward in that direction if we want to maintain our designation as a charitable, educational organization. Please comment below. The board absolutely needs your input! Contact me at [email protected] if you want to take the lead in this endeavor.

Pat McManus, President