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Message From the President – New Member…Now What?

I received an email from a new member yesterday.  The message began – “Hello – so I just got the membership at WCBC“.   This made me happy to know that we have another new member within the Club.  Welcome aboard!

The message continued “and was wondering if there is anything I need to do before joining the rides, do I need to sign for it or I can just go to the start location?”  This made me even happier as the new member is planning to join us on a Club-led group ride.  That’s one of the things that we do best – provide Club-led group rides.  Or is that “did do best”?  A look at the Ride Calendar concerns me because it appears that we are not offering as many rides as we did in prior years.  Why?  (But I digress… more on this subject in an upcoming Message.)  

The message closed with “ I did read the ride policies but didn’t see related information, could you please let me know?”  I was pleasantly surprised to read that the new member had taken the time to peruse the website to read about our ride policy for more information about our Club-led group rides.   However, the fact that they didn’t find what they were looking for concerns me.  Whether the information is on the website or not, it wasn’t found.  I’ll need to rectify that in the near future.

Because of these questions I thought it would be a good time to touch on things that a new member – and even a not-so new member – might want to know.  Consider it the Cliff’s Notes version of a “Member Guide”

As a member…

  • You are one of more than 400 members of the White Clay Bicycle Club (as of July 2017)
  • You are offered discounts at local bike shops, some for parts, some for labor, some for both (look for a website posting about this in August)
  • You are offered secondary insurance to help with medical bills if you are injured on a Club-led ride or Club event

So, I’m a member. Now what?

    • Find a posted ride that suits your fitness level and availability and join us
    • All rides posted on the Ride Calendar must be led by a Club-trained Ride Leader, so there will be a guide
    • Arrive at the ride starting location 30 minutes in advance of the start time to prepare yourself and your bike
    • Meet with the Ride Leader and introduce yourself
    • Ask the Ride Leader questions about the ride – the route, the terrain, the stopping points, regrouping points (if any), points of interest, etc.  
    • Ask questions about the group ride itself – will the group stay together, will the group splinter into smaller groups, will there be cue sheets, is there pace-lining, etc.
    • Review and sign the Ride Waiver – this is a mandatory requirement for anyone riding on a Club-led ride or event, both for Club liability and rider education
    • You must wear a helmet, have a water bottle(s), and the equipment needed to repair a flat (tube, patch kit, tire levers, tire pump or CO2 cartridge)
    • For your safety and the safety of those in the group
      • You are not permitted to ride with ear buds or ear phones or play music
      • You are not permitted to use your phone while riding – no phone calls, conversations, texting or emailing
    • Everyone is welcome on a Club-led ride, whether you know someone in the group or you are completely new to WCBC
  • Check out the Club Events like the Annual Banquet, Icicle, Annual Picnic, Doublecross, Shorefire, Savage, and Volunteer Brunch.
  • Volunteer to help at an event.  This is one of the best ways to meet people!  All events are staffed by experienced volunteers so there are people there to help you out.  We are always in need of friendly, helpful volunteers and we can certainly use your help!
  • Join the E-Mail Distribution List (a.k.a. Listserve).  Once you are a member, you will receive email messages that are posted by other members of the Listserve and will have the ability to post your own message.  Have a question about what tires have better puncture resistance?  Have a question about what is a good chain lube and how best to apply it?  Have a great route you just rode and want to share it with others?  Have something cycling related like a bike, bike rack, rear cassette, or trailer to sell?  Send out a message on the Listserve and you’ve just reached out to a large segment of the local cycling community.   
  • Become a Ride Leader.  Once you have riding experience, consider becoming a Ride Leader to either help other Ride Leaders with their rides or lead your own.  You can do this as frequently or as infrequently as you want.  The Club is always looking to offer more rides for its members.  There are needs for rides at different speeds, different distances, different locations, and on every day of the week. Become a Ride Leader and team up with a couple of other Ride Leaders and you could help fill in some of the voids that we have on our Ride Calendar.  
  • Attend a Monthly Club meeting.  The Club’s Executive Committee meets the first Monday of every month (barring holidays of course) to discuss Club business and provide for open discussions.  Currently we meet in the Community Room of the REI store at the Christiana Mall, see our website for more information.  Everyone is welcome.
  • Consider joining the Executive Committee.  The Club has a committee of members that meet once a month to discuss what makes the Club tick, business and financial matters – past, present and future.  There are a host of different positions available, all with a two-year term, so by assuming a position, you’re not locked in for life – unless you want to be!

If you have any questions or would like to make any suggestions feel free to join us at a monthly meeting or send me an email at president@whiteclaybicycleclub.com.

We encourage all of our members to be active in the Club – whether it is by participating or leading weekly rides, volunteering at our major events, riding in our major events, becoming a member of the Executive Committee, or even writing articles for the website.  It is only through the collective efforts of our membership that we continue to grow and thrive and we are always seeking ways for the Club to give back to its members.

JW Haupt
WCBC President