Louisville Bicycle Club
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September-October 2004 Newsletter

The Truth About That Free Lunch

by Earl Jones

Membership continues to increase steadily. As of this writing there are at least 800 members. Just six years ago the total was about 530. We can all take credit (especially the hard-working Executive Committee and the ride captains) and should feel gratified that our programs meet the needs of an ever-larger number of area cyclists. Some of that growth, of course, flows from the equivalent of being in the right place at the right time: Cycling is just what the doctor ordered for active baby-boomers who want high-intensity but low-impact.

But the post-boomer group is also growing. These new, strong riders have caught the draft created by this year’s Mad Dog phenomenon and are chalking up big mileage numbers.

And the number of women has increased so much that they now comprise about 35% of the membership, a dramatic change from five years ago. (This is the third successive year that the women’s yellow jersey battle is where the action is.)

Benefits of LBC Membership
• One of the best ride schedules in the country: In 2003 we had over 660 rides for 320,000 cumulative miles. (If the current pace is maintained, the ride total for 2004 may reach 1000!)
• A voice that speaks for you in Louisville and Frankfort on issues that matter to cyclists.
• A first-class Web site and mailing list.
• One of the best tours in the U.S. — the Old Kentucky Home Tour.
• Supplemental medical insurance that covers you on LBC-sponsored rides, including emergency room and ambulance services.
• A great awards program.
• Riding with the friendliest cyclists anywhere.
You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with the free lunch mentioned in the title. Well, with all the new faces at the “big” rides — Tuesday evening, the Fruit Rides, the Ice Cream Rides — I thought I’d ask club statistician Carl Davis for a quick analysis of how many were not were not club members.

It has always been LBC’s practice that club activities are not restricted to members. Our approach has always been, “Try it; you’ll like it...” and become a dues-paying member. Most people do. But Carl’s analysis of the last 25 rides he had entered into the statistics database showed about 20% of riders were not current members. True, some were lapsed members who doubtless are planning to rejoin. But what about the others? Have we made things too comfortable for freeloaders?

We all know there’s no free lunch. Ask the club officers who create and manage the programs. And the ride captains who’ve made the LBC ride schedule the envy of most clubs in the U.S. And the many volunteers who lend their creativity, time, money, backs, arms and legs to all our ventures.

If you know any of these frequently riding non-members, tell them next time you see them to do the right thing and become a member! There aren’t many better bargains out there.


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web posted: 21 September 2004
last updated: 25 September 2004