It has been a tremendous pleasure and honor to have served as president of the bike club for the past two years. I have been nominated to be president for a third year, and the membership will vote on the nomination at the upcoming annual meeting. Prior to the vote, I think it would be helpful if I laid out my vision for the club for the upcoming year, because if the membership disagrees with the vision, it will be a very long and frustrating year for all of us. We can do great things as a group, but greatness is contingent upon being in agreement on what management and motivational guru Stephen Covey calls “the big things.”

I have always believed that you can do well for yourself (the bike club) when you first do good for others (the community), and “serving the community” is actually in our Mission Statement. I believe that in order to be a thriving organization, and one that attracts a broader demographic, we need to do more than just hold group rides. The younger demographic joins a club because they like WHAT the club does, but more importantly, WHY the club does what it does. Our bike club is a wonderful collection of people, but let’s face it, we have a mildly unfavorable demographic. I did an analysis of the average age of the club members at the beginning of the year and it was 66 years young, and I do believe that if we want to continue to grow the membership we need to have a reason for being that extends outside of ourselves. In my opinion, our reason for being should be- other than being a great club with fun people and group rides- to introduce as many people to cycling as we can, particularly in the underserved communities. And that takes time, talent, and treasure (money).

With that as a backdrop, we have a very ambitious agenda for the upcoming year, an agenda that will need the support of the club to succeed. If we do succeed, I think we can continue to: 

1. Grow the membership

  • Host more rides (Peggy has been fantastic here)
  • Incentivize more members to lead rides
  • Set up bike club display tables at all major events

2. Raise the profile and relevance of the club in the community

  • Continue to grow Chattanooga Cycling Hall of Fame
  • Continue to provide time/manpower to community events (Bike Rodeos, for example)
  • Find ways to interact with other cycling groups/clubs

3. Continue to improve our financial position which will give us the wherewithal to do more in the community, specifically as it relates to introducing underserved people to cycling

  • Support Cycle Sequatchie
  • Take on increased role in Honeybee Metric
  • Provide financial support to worthy recipients in hopes of introducing underserved communities to cycling

4. Rinse and repeat

All four  of these initiatives are interlocked and are interdependent. One reinforces the other. I think the club can do well for ourselves by doing good in the community. As we do more for the community- introducing more people to cycling- our club will thrive and more people will want to be involved and associated with it, our finances will grow, and we can do even more for the community. It’s a virtuous cycle. It will be a great deal of work, and if you honor me with another term as president, I will be calling on you to volunteer- A LOT- but anything worthwhile doing takes a great deal of work.

I hope this makes sense for the membership. If you think this is taking the club in the wrong direction, please let me know. Better than that, please put up another candidate to be president of the club, and I say that with utmost sincerity. 

Merry Christmas to you all, and may you get lots of cool cycling stuff in your Christmas stockings.