Louisville Bicycle Club
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From the President
Cycling Education
Membership
OKHT 2003
Bike Summit
May-June 2003 Newsletter

From the President
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

by Earl Jones


It may seem early to be writing about the Old Kentucky Home Tour, which, after all, won’t happen until September 6 and 7. But the tour has become so large and requires so much advance work that success can be assured only if planning is well underway by March.

There are four big reasons why we can expect this year’s tour to be at least as good as we’ve all come to expect: Tour Director Kathy Schmitt, Baptist East/Milestone Fitness Center, Buffalo Trace Distillers and Scheller’s Fitness and Cycling.

Kathy has lined up a great committee; most of them repeat members. Heading up this ride isn’t an easy assignment. I often wonder what motivates a person to take on the responsibility, especially these days when the tour has become so central to the club’s mission and riders’ expectations of have risen so high. OKHT revenue supports many LBC activities, helps grow membership and reinforces our advocacy programs by placing so many riders on the backroads of the Commonwealth. If you’ve never worked on the ride (or haven’t done so recently) do it this year. You’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have.

The other three big reasons to celebrate — Baptist East/Milestone Wellness Center, Buffalo Trace Distillers and Scheller’s Fitness and Cycling — are beginning to seem like really good old friends. They’ve been principal sponsors since Jane Tyler began the OKHT sponsorship program in 2000. Every LBC member should get to know these sponsors and check out their products and services.

Baptist East/Milestone Wellness Center will be the starting point for several Sunday afternoon rides throughout the season. Don't forget to bring your bathing suits because they’re opening the pool to LBC members after the rides. Check the ride schedule for the dates. Milestone is also hosting the Bike Handling series for new and returning riders. The sessions will be held near the Center on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in May, June, July and August. Milestone is putting the sessions on the Center's activity calendar so we’re expecting larger participation this year.

Buffalo Trace has brought new spirit to the tour. The post-ride bourbon tasting at Spalding Hall in Bardstown has become a signature event. (Just as some riders ride to eat, some OKHT riders . . .) Bardstown is, after all, the bourbon capital of the world! So what better place to try one. And this year we’ll get to visit Buffalo Trace at their place because Tim Chilton, VP Touring, is putting a ride to the Frankfort distillery on the schedule this summer.

As for Scheller’s, they’ve enabled OKHT to reach one of the LBC’s key objectives: sharing the benefits of the tour with a cycling-relevant charity. Over the last three years, Scheller’s support of the ride, by donating a high-end bicycle for raffle, has meant more than $10,000 in donations to the Kentucky Brain Injury Association of Kentucky. And Scheller’s roving SAG and day-of-ride technical support, led by Ian Graham and Tom Armstrong, has been very important for rider safety and the tour’s reputation.

I hope everyone who has ridden the tour in past years and everyone who’s considered doing the tour does it this year and joins us for the party in Bardstown. And support our three big sponsors and all the others who help make the ride possible.

Before I close I wanted to mention a ride that promises to become one of the highlights of each season. Last June, Lee Squires, the Superintendent of Cave Hill Cemetery, invited the club to tour the facility. Despite the threatening weather more than 125 cyclists participated.

We’ve been invited back this year. But, to help manage the crowd and ensure a respectful atmosphere, this year’s ride will be by invitation only to volunteers who made a significant contribution to the club in 2002. If you’re in that group, i.e., if you received a mug or an award last year, we'll be in touch. If you have any questions about this,call me.


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