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February 2017 President's Corner

By: Jack Klauschie  RCBPREZ

Last month, I confessed I spent time at the back of monthly member rides for quite a while. I want to share what I learned at the back for prospective members, new members and old hands.

  1.  Be prepared.     Please assure your bike is in good working order.  Arrive at the starting place with a full tank of gas and empty bladder. While WC and gas stops may be planned, you should not expect the group to abide by your bladder capacity or fuel level. Make a point to download the GPS route or print a copy of the paper directions and map for the ride.   
  2.  Ride at your own pace.     I cannot emphasize this enough. Members have a wide range of skills. Some like to ride “fast” while others want to smell the wild flowers. I may do both during a particular ride. Truth is there only will be a few minutes between those at the front and those at the back when we stop for a break. The rides ARE NOT races. There is no penalty for going slower than those at the front. The point is to enjoy the ride, and get home safely. All we ask is that you tell someone if you plan to make stops to look at scenery, take photos, etc. as that does make a big time difference, and we likely will not wait or go looking for you. If you ask round, you may find others who want that experience.
  3. Go “straight” if you lose sight of the group.        Going “straight” means to stay on the road being ridden even when encountering stop signs, traffic lights, side roads, etc. Group ride leaders try to stop and wait for all riders to catch up when there is a major turn or fork to assure we do not lose someone. Traffic conditions, however, do not allow this to be done safely at all times. If the group must proceed, we ask someone to wait for others to catch up, leap frogging until the last rider comes along.
  4. Don’t panic.       GPS routes and paper routes are posted on the Club web site for organized rides. We do this so no one gets lost. Take a few minutes to study the route before a ride starts, preferably the night before. Ask if you have questions before the ride starts. If you do this, you will know the route, where there are major turns, where there will be stops, and our ultimate destination.
  5. We try not to leave someone behind.   If we know you are part of a ride AND you follow the suggestions above, someone may go looking for you if you go missing for a meaningful period of time. We do so in case someone has a mechanical issue. You must do your part by staying on the route, etc. Having others give up their day to go looking for you is a privilege, not a right, so please tell someone if you decide to do your own thing.  

Thoughts / Suggestions / Insults / Welcomed / Appreciated

Jack