From the President

From The President 09Apr21

During last month’s bulletin from the president (nwcc.bike/from-the-president/), I indicated that the Board was working hard to bring in-person group cycling events back to our calendar.

Since then, we have regrettably had to postpone the Katy Flatlands Century ride as we could not comply with all the COVID regulations not unreasonably required by the establishment we use for our start/finish location. Nor do we wish to put our volunteers, all of whom make the ride a success, in a position in which they may have to deal with people not following COVID regulations required by the location.

We have just completed our Zwift Tuesday night racing series run by our race team director, but we will still have a virtual alternative in the form of Zoom training rides, free for all NWCC members, 6.30 pm Mondays to Thursdays. Email bikemdedicine@comcast.net for details.

However, we have added some in-person NWCC-sponsored rides to our calendar, at long last!  We’re on a gradual ramp-up to what we hope will be a huge in-person event this fall. Think of this as a phased approach, taking into account the requirements various venues have been imposing.

So here’s a list:

Junior training by our very own NWCC member, Carl Jones, is starting at the Alkek Velodrome. Here’s a link: https://www.alkekvelodrome/trainingsignup

There will be a group mountain bike ride at Double Lake Recreation Area in Coldspring, TX, at 10 am Sunday April 18th. This is a members only ride, although a member can bring one guest. Log in to nwcc.bike and then Events/Members-only Events for details. Please do “buy a ticket” so that we know the number of riders coming – the ticket is free!

We are running the Race Across America (RAAM) qualifying event, Texas Ultra Spirit, in Fayetteville, TX, on May 7th and 8th. Fees range from $60 to $155 depending upon distance and group size. A 30% discount will be offered to NWCC members. See more at http://texasultraspirit.com/  and at https://www.bikereg.com/49484 and at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19166425  We will need about thirty volunteers for this event and club member help is very much needed to make it a success. This event is basically a race against the clock, a personal time trial, and it’s fun. Have a look!

The Board has agreed to donate $100 to the charity running the SB250 ride for every member who signs up for this event to a maximum of $1000. This will give each NWCC rider a boost in the fundraising required to ride. This is a two day ride from McAllen, TX, to San Antonio on June 26th and 27th. Many of our club riders have completed this event and have raved about it in the past. It’s a challenge but the finish is heartwarming, by all accounts. See more at https://suzannahsmiles.org

NWCC intends to hold a second series of Bear Creek Crits for 2021 in September, and we’re working on that at the moment. The Crits, this time hosted by SWCC, start on April 21.

We had a breakthrough with one of our school districts just this week and it appears that we may very well be able to run a replacement event for the Bluebonnet Express (BBX) and the Katy Flatlands Century (KFC) on a Sunday in either September or October. We’re working hard to put the ride on, and we’ll have to come up with a name for it. Waller Flatlands Express (WFX) perhaps?

We’re really hoping that we can have a holiday party this year too, and we have the date, December 5th, pencilled in with a location. All we need from them is confirmation that we can hold the party! Fingers crossed.

Finally, there is a good number of club members riding the one day only MS 150 event this year. This ride has often maxed out at 13000 riders for its normal two days, but this year there are less than 4000 riders. I’ll be there for my 24th MS ride and will be on the lookout for club members to encourage. There are two starts, one from Waller and one from Katy, and I have friends starting at both. If you see two ladies in a three wheel tandem, the pilot is a new club member, and the stoker has MS, so give them a cheer. My personal challenge is to help another new club member complete her first century. MS 150s are always fun – apart from the ones with the gale force headwind – so we’re looking forward to it.

Let’s hope for more progress towards group rides soon!

Stay safe, everyone!
Geoff

From The President 09Mar21

The Board has been working hard to bring some sense of normality back to the events that the club normally puts on through any year of peace and tranquility.  Unfortunately, we have run into COVID-related stumbling blocks and have already had to cancel the Bluebonnet Express ride as we cannot get permission to use one of the usual school sites for our start/finish locations.  Despite the recent lifting of COVID restriction going into effect on March 10, schools are understandably reluctant to allow hundreds of people onto their locations until COVID cases and the transmission rate are much further reduced.  The situation may also be the same for the Katy Flatlands Ride which is scheduled for July 18; we have not yet obtained permission from the appropriate authorities to use a school.  We’re working on it!  We’re also exploring the possibility of running the BBX in the Fall and we’ll keep you updated.

At our last Board meeting, we discussed at length the Bear Creek Crits, and the six weeks of Wednesday evening races that were due to start April 24; after some  debate, we have decided to postpone, not cancel, the Crits, which we will  start on Wednesday, September 1, assuming that all safety criteria can be met.  This is a disappointment for all of us, but we must maintain and follow all safety precautions.  However, SWCC  has advised us that they would like to run the series as originally planned, so we will have two series of Bear Creek Crits this year.

Better news: we are committed to running the Texas Ultra Spirit at Fayetteville on Friday May 7, if we possibly can.  This event is an ultra distance solo ride where groups do not gather together in close proximity.  We feel that we can operate the event safely and we hope club members will partake and challenge themselves in a time trial type of environment on a 15 mile loop.  It’s fun!

Although we’re all disappointed with the current state of cycling in our location, please be assured we’re doing our best to reinstate group cycling within the club.  We know that many of you are riding safely in your own bubbles, as are many of us on the Board, and we know many club members are riding the Ready2Roll series; unfortunately, on March 6, club member Jerry Vargas took a tumble and fractured a bone or two so he will be off his bike for while.  We wish Jerry a fast recovery and we look forward to seeing you all out on your bikes soon! 

From the President 29Jan21

In her last post, Kim King advised us all that she was resigning for personal reasons and that I was moving up from VP to replace her.  Since then, David Harman, bike whisperer and beer expert, has returned as VP so that now our Elected Officials are David, Sabrina Strawn as Secretary, Troy Ottmer the Treasurer and myself.  I would like to thank Kim for all her hard work as President over the last two years; 2020 was not easy for any of us, but she kept the club on track, and has already helped me a lot in her new role as Immediate Past President.

Further to those changes, Liz McGlynn has joined the Board as Membership Chair and “Big Dave” Roberts has resigned as Race Team Director after six excellent years in that position.  Thanks go to Dave and his wife Caroline for their great work in modernizing the club’s website and administration.  Our Newsletter Editor Brent Neal has taken on the role of Race Team Director – thanks for the double header, Brent.

Kim is going to cover the job of coordinating club kit with manufacturer Vie13, and a “window” will be open soon for us to purchase kit in the new design.  I’ve seen it in the flesh and it looks great.

At this time, the club’s Board of Directors is maintaining the view that we follow the protocols issued by USA Cycling and Harris County, so we cannot get back to our normal club rides on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays just yet.  However, we hope that many of you are continuing to ride safely in your small groups of trusted friends within your bubbles, as we are doing.

We hope to see many of you at our virtual club meetings on the first Tuesdays of each month; a notice for the next Zoom meeting will be with you shortly.  In the meantime, stay safe, everyone!

Geoff Donnelly