September 2019 Top Talk

Change is in the air. We are heading into the last days of summer, and changing temperatures suggest fall is coming, but there are still good days ahead to ride unencumbered by rain jackets so be sure to head out to enjoy them. Some of the best riding of the year will be led by Ann Morrow out of Sunriver in early September as she once again hosts Cycle Oregon Lite, which is her lite alternative to the more grueling weeklong event hosted by Cycle Oregon, Inc. Later in September there are two events of note, the Ronald Householder Memorial event and its associated rides (September 14), and the Harvest Century (September 22). You can find more information about both on our ride calendar.

You may note a couple changes to our website. We hope our new club name indicates a more inclusive, welcoming, and diverse club, but we wanted to go further in proclaiming this to potential members. We now have the following statement on our Join page: We do not exclude members on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.” Also, because we are a 501(c)(3) organization, with the objective to be educationally supportive of the cycling community beyond our club, we want to be able to support community outreach and educational activities. With this in mind, you will find that your tax-deductible donations to the club can be made online. Look for the Donate link on our home page and in our online Store. Later this year, look for a donation drive, something we expect to do annually. If you have comments or want to help in guiding the club into this direction, please contact a board member.

Going forward, you may also note a significant change in the dates for meetings of the executive board as we try out a new way to manage our time. A most serious obstacle in recruiting new members to the board is the high frequency of meetings. Between 9-10 club member meetings and 11-12 monthly board meetings, board members are under pressure to attend up to 22 nighttime meetings in a year. This is particularly hard and can be dangerous in the dark, rainy winter months. Check September 5 on our ride calendar and you will note that the board will meet from 5-6:30 PM on the same evening as the club member meeting and at the same location. The placement ahead of the club meeting will put a time limit on discussion and force adjournment. We will need to make efficient use of our time. My plan is to use board meetings to focus on only one or two main topics. That same evening, at the club meeting, our board members can present their individual member reports. Finally, we will be using email for minor discussion that does not require policy decisions. Keep these changes in mind – another election is just around the corner!

Changes are also coming to Portland – most specifically along a popular bike route. You may have noticed some construction along Marine Drive between 122nd and 185th Avenues. A detailed explanation can be found here: Marine Drive improvements. Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Parks and Recreation have partnered to update infrastructure along the drive to improve safety for drivers, bike riders, and pedestrians. My favorite change is the addition of a traffic light at 122nd and Marine Drive.

“The new signal will help drivers on 122nd Avenue to turn onto Marine Drive. It will also include a protected left turn for people turning from westbound Marine Drive onto southbound 122nd Avenue. Additional features include a bike signal to help people on bikes cross Marine Drive from the southeast corner of the intersection, allowing them to connect to the westbound bike lane on Marine Drive.”

Most of these changes will be completed this year. These changes are definitely positive, very progressive, and certainly welcome!

Let’s be careful out there!

Pat McManus, President