November 2020 Top Talk

We are heading into a season that often pulls rain-averse riders indoors and onto their stationary bikes. I’ve never been one of those riders. I like cool fresh outdoor air, rides with a destination, and club rides that trend smaller once they get wetter. On cold/rainy social rides you have friends to smile at, talk to, commiserate with, and help out if you get into trouble. I love seeing our social groups morph into a swarm of yellow jackets! But this year I anticipate a different sort of winter season. My husband and I continue to sequester away from an invisible threat to our health, a threat that seems to be looming larger with every week. Last spring, I mounted one of my bikes on a roller to ride in place. I abandoned it in the summer to ride solo around my neighborhood farms. Now, for the first time, I’m looking into buying a stationary bike. The money needed to buy one is formidable, but less than a new bike. However, I’m more worried that I’ll buy one and then find it repugnant and unsatisfying to use! We’ll see. The decision is yet to be made.

The club is also facing some seasonal needs. Although our income has diminished as our membership base has eroded by 20%, we have also had fewer expenses, so our reserve fund has not eroded to the same degree. Other organizations have not been as fortunate. Next month, the executive board will discuss which non-profits to support. We encourage members to participate by sharing your ideas prior to the board meeting December 3. Log in and simply post in the comments section below, or email someone on the board, https://portlandbicyclingclub.com/about/executive-board/. We will also be voting on next year’s board members. The slate will be announced November 5 at the club member meeting (by Zoom). Vacancies include president, vice president, road captain, recording secretary, and member at large for the remaining half-term January through June. Regardless of the slate proposed by the board, nominations from the floor will also be accepted.

At the December club meeting Joan Cullen has typically facilitated a coat and food drive for SnowCap donations (https://www.snowcap.org/about.html), an east Multnomah community organization that aids underserved people of east Portland, Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale, and Wood Village–neighborhoods traveled regularly by club members. This year I strongly urge you to donate directly. Their need has never been greater! A list of items on their wish list can be found at https://www.snowcap.org/donate.html, or you can donate money.

Finally, the year 2021 is a year of celebration for the club. It marks 50 years since a group of bike riders decided to organize into PWTC that has now grown into the Portland Bicycling Club. I’m looking forward to learning more about our history. You can help! Yes – you! We need volunteers to scan documents and photos from the past, so we can have an online history of the club. If you have been a member for many of those years, you might lose yourself in these materials and get caught up in happy memories. If you are a newer member, this gives you the opportunity to learn more about the club you have joined. Click here to see how you can help.

Cheers to all! Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Pat McManus, President