Monday, April 16, 2007

Bicyclus Interuptus

It is a good thing I built up some good miles at the beginning of April; today marked three days in a row without a ride and, frankly, tomorrow morning still looks questionable depending on the extent of the flooding around Kelly Drive and the Schuykill path. The rain was unceasing and heavy overnight and then turned to snow -real snow - this morning. At the moment it is quiet, except for the 40 to 60 mph winds, but more precipitation is expected today and into the morning. I suppose I will have to get out the trainer tomorrow as I don't won't to lose another day's workout. Meanwhile, the rest has not been entirely bad as I was a bit sore after the numbers of miles I did last week.

So, last night I attended the annual meeting of the Philadelphia Bicycling Coalition. Since I attend many organizational annual meetings as an occupational hazard, it was a mark of my great interest that I went (not to mention going out in the storm.) I was and wasn't disappointed. The speaker Randy Neufeld of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation was both interesting and inspiring. Compared to what is going on in Philly, Chicago is like on a different continent. The rest of the program was of some interest in that I'm trying to learn about the local scene and be as supportive as I can. On the other hand, I was terribly disappointed, though not surprised, at the lack of reach-out on behalf of either the membership or the organization. Since I work in a non-profit I am very sensitive to issues of membership retention and hospitality is a big one. Here I am, a new member, attending my first meeting, knowing no one and no one talks to me the whole night. No one asks if I'm new, there is no institutional way of signalling that I'm new, no one asks me who I am, where do I ride, what do I ride, etc. I really tried. Sat down at a table the looked like people who weren't all part of a pre-arranged group, tried a number of times to interject comments into conversations that might have then included me, and failed. The person checking me in at the door obviously had no idea that I was a new member, and regardless, is clearly a very active member of the club and had never seen me before and said nothing to welcome me or meet me when I came in. I will communicate these experiences to Alex Doty, the Exec Dir. later; I just signed up to volunteer to be involved in advocacy issues and nothing on my name label (let's say) identified that interest and the Advocacy director and I had no occasion to either meet or talk. Typical organizational failings and then groups wonder why people aren't active.

In lieu of riding today I'll try to follow the Tour De Georgia. I am rooting for Levi and the Discovery team.

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