Louisville Bicycle Club
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July-August 2003 Newsletter

From the President
Open Letter to Cave Hill MIAs

by Earl Jones

If you subscribe to the KyCyclist listserv, you probably saw the posting by the member who complained that this year's LBC's Historical Bicycle Tour of Cave Hill Cemetery was an invitation-only event for Club volunteers. I'm sure he was not the only disappointed LBC member even though he was especially upset because he missed last year's inaugural tour. (You may remember that thunderstorms threatened at the start of the ride.) Here's some of what he said:

"The more I think about this, the more questions come to mind. And, honestly, the angrier I get. How was the decision made that the Cave Hill tour would be "invitation only" this year? Were there so many people last year that crowd control was a major issue? ... Or did the riders behave badly? If that is the case, limiting the number of riders does not solve the problem, it only punishes the rest of us.

How many events does the LBC do that are 'invitation only'? Does this mean that there are really "two" (or more) clubs, the public club and the private one(s)? What criteria are used to allow people into the private club(s)?"

I started to draft a response to his posting but decided instead to answer the email in the Newsletter.

Yes, dear subscriber, the Cave Hill tour was a volunteers-only event this year. How better to acknowledge volunteers' contribution to the club than to make this popular ride their special event and eliminate overcrowding in the process?

And, yes, there's only one Club and all events are open to all members. But sometimes you have to do more than just show up. Start by getting "mugged " at the annual awards banquet. That means captaining at least 10 rides during the season, heading a program or working on an important LBC project such as the Old Kentucky Home Tour, an advocacy project, the racing team, etc.

I don't think that's too much to expect. Many clubs reward volunteers with jackets and other tangible items. We do some of that, but we hope that activities that create shared experiences and promote camaraderie among the volunteers have better results.

Our listserv subscriber closed with the following observation:

"I guess I could get off my lazy butt and start volunteering for things for the LBC. (A cynical person would speculate that maybe that was Earl's plan from the beginning....)"

Maybe so. Anyway, we'll have more volunteer-only events during the season and this winter. I hope the practice continues next year, too. If this makes you mad, I hope you and your friends will make the plan unmanageable. Imagine, so many volunteers that we had to double-shift some events....

P.S. to the listserv subscriber: Hope you don't object to my taking the opportunity to make this point. Family and other parts of real life can make it hard for good volunteers to be there every year. But we know you'll do what you can.


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web posted: 14 July 2003
last updated: 15 July 2003