Upcoming Rides

Name Date Time Leaders Level Distance Spots Remaining
Piermont via River Road, Lake & 9W... Fri, Jan 22 09:00 AM Vincenzo Pezzilli
Drew Wilkins
A /20 62 Miles 4 of 6
TGIF - The Rockaways Fri, Jan 22 09:30 AM Susan Rodetis
Ellen Goldstein
C /14 49 Miles 1 of 8
TGIF - Rockaway Fri, Jan 22 10:00 AM Myles Lewis
Joel Levenson
C /C-14 49 Miles 5 of 8

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I’ll Shed No Tears for This Worst of Years

2020 Sucked. Period. It was god-awful, and, like all epic disappointments, it had the nerve to start out pretty well. The SIGs got oriented, Memorial Day was in the works, we had a great volunteer party, and, in an abundance of caution, our March Board meeting briefly discussed whether the Club might somehow be affected by some new virus that had begun to be reported. We felt no pressure to reach any definitive conclusions.

Two weeks later, we had canceled all the SIGs and STSs, together with all other rides. Memorial Day was a “maybe” for a little while before it too was canceled. New Paltz canceled us. We didn’t even try to do Greenport. We kept ENY alive as long as we could, before being forced to conclude . . . .

Club meetings, Newcomers’, the All-Class and the Holiday Party — all gone. And yet:

In June we re-opened our riding program under very tight strictures. We were one of the first clubs in the area to do so. And you came. Four riders and two leaders, and just a couple of rides. But you showed up. And then six plus two. And then eight plus two. And the number of rides and riders kept growing. Amazingly, our membership held up throughout, as have our finances. We survived the onslaught.

Some other things happened too. Through the brilliant advocacy of Jerry Ross, we became a 501(c)(3) exempt organization, which enables us to receive contributions on a tax-deductible basis, broadens our sponsor base for ENY and the racing teams, and exempts us from sales tax.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, we have added two minority members to our previously all-white Board, created a Diversity and Inclusion  Committee, pulled off a joint ride with the Major Taylor Iron Riders and are in discussions with other clubs and cycling groups to raise our profile in communities we have often underserved. This is a multi-year project, but the effort has begun.

If we can’t have a congregant Holiday Party, we can celebrate in other ways. As advertised elsewhere, we will be greeting returning riders with hot coffee and free NYCC facemasks and neck gaiters from 1:00 to 4:00 pm on December 12 at Strictly Bicycles (Fort Lee), on December 19 at Strictly Bicycles (Manhattan) and on December 27 (Sunday) at a Brooklyn location to be announced. Come one, come all!

I want to thank this year‘s Board for its commitment, hard work and good cheer throughout, especially in navigating the transition from live meetings to Zoom. I am particularly grateful for the efforts of Malka Baker and Ellen Jaffe who are leaving the Board at the end of this year, and of Julie Blackburn who has so ably served as our C Rides Coordinator for the past three years, during which time she all-but-completely rebuilt the C riding program. We will miss all of them, even as we welcome Ana Carolina Curi and Linda Wintner as our new Special Events Coordinator and C Rides Coordinator, respectively.

Looking forward to next year, we have begun planning for a modified SIG/STS program. We envision using a combination of staggered starts, Zoom lessons, grab-and-go lunches and other means to keep groups small and separated from other groups, and we may need to shrink the overall program size(s) as well. As at present, masks and social distancing will be key. Watch this space as plans develop.

Memorial Day? I hope so. The school district parking lot should be big enough to socially distance, but much will depend on the particulars of Massachusetts’ quarantine laws at the time. We’ll just have to see.

In the mean time, enjoy the holiday season as best circumstances permit. And remember: 2021 can only be better. Be healthy, and Happy Riding to you all!

Peter Storey

Your President

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