Response to Bill Strachan's Email

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Anonymous's picture


Are you ""policing"" the bulletin?

No one should complain about the lateness of the printed bulletin because it has always been available online one week in advance since I've been the editor.

I am only responding to Bill Strachan's email because some members may misunderstand him.


First if you are online, what's the problem of printing it out? You don't have to wait for the printed edition. Obviously if you posted to the message board you have internet access.

The printed version, I agree, is beautiful and nice to have in hand but the electronic version is fine for a few days.

Oh, secondly, I think I have the solution to the answer of the lateness of the bulletin: PAY THE BULLETIN EDITOR!

Did you forget? All board positions are VOLUNTEER. I love being the bulletin editor and don't need to be paid.

Remember, I have a life.

Oh, BTW, didn't you really enjoy the 200K brevet with the other 80 riders (new riders) on Saturday? How about that FREE Hammer Gel goodie bag and Sustained Energy and fully stocked Frenchtown control point manned by Dan Finton and Susan Plonsky? I guess you are still upset because I coulnd't be your chauffeur to the train station after being the RBA.

I am one person and have added quality to the bulletin.

You should not bring personal problems to the NYCC message board.

I welcome any comments.

""The editor for now"""

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

For and individual: $24.00. For a couple: $30.00.

Thats' what NYCC charges anuallly.

For that, we all get SIGs, STSs, hundreds of rides, special events, trips, discounts, expert
advice, the great Escape, an informative if sometimes punchy message board ... and a
monthly bulletin. We also get to lead some rides, meet like-minded folks and stay fit.

If the bulletin is late a week, ... Bill S., darn it, it’s OK.

Diane, you ride, I beleive you already did your 300K brevet for PBP, you are the RBA for
RUSA, you edit the bulletin, lead rides, work a job and must have a social life. You are a
doing great job all around at and for NYCC. You can take a week here and there.

If that’s OK, with you Bill ;-)

Or are we gonna have a randonneure/euse slap-fest??

John JP

Anonymous's picture
rob kohn (not verified)
i'm gonna regret this, but...

" a former editor, i'm gonna weigh in on this.


i'm the first to admit the bulletin editor position is one of the toughest, if not the toughest, position on the board.

however, while you have indeed added quality to the bulletin, that quality is useless if the bulletin does not arrive on time. there are people who do not have internet access or a printer available on a full-time basis and they rely on the mailed copy of the bulletin to inform them of the rides for the coming month. finding out about rides for the first weekend of the month is useless when the bulletin arrives after that.

i also find it very upsetting that you feel ""no one should complain about the lateness of the bulletin..."". what, we should get on our hands and knees and thank our maker because you deign to give us a printed and mailed bulletin at all, considering your otherwise full schedule; you ""have a life?"" puh-leeze.

when you ran for the position (no one forced you, remember? you actually wanted the job...) you knew what the job was like. if you didn't have the time to commit to the bulletin (given your randonneuse responsbilities), then you shouldn't have taken on both. if, however, you were unaware (as i was) of the amount of work entailed in the producing a bulletin on-time every month, then either suck it up and deal with the lack of sleep, ride time, and restricted social activities, or be gracious and apologize. or both.

by the way, i fail to see how paying the editor will in any way allow him or her to produce the bulletin on a more timely basis. or are you seriously suggesting the bulletin editor should be paid enough to allow them to quit their regular, full-time job? that the monthly bulletin is truly a 4-week, 40 hours/week endeavor?

and your comments regarding bill strachan's goody-bag and his possible feelings towards you re. your chauffeur duties are specious at best. he has raised a valid point (where is the april bulletin? there hasn't even been a post on the board from you giving an expected due date, nor do you give one now...) and you, in my opinion, are the one who has made it ""personal.""

you claim you ""welcome any comments,"" but apparently only positive ones."

Anonymous's picture
Justin (not verified)
Way too harsh

"For the Record - IMHO:
1. the Bulletin has never been better than it is under Dianne.
2. If people give volunteers a hard time there's no way they'll want to continue and then - no bulletin, and we don't want that do we?
3. Alot of ""clubs"" similar to the NYCC don't even offer the hard copy anymore - its online or nothing, so how about we give Diane a bit of leeway instead of criticism.


Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

Mr. Kohn,

Diane needs no one to defend her, but I too am going to weigh in, again, on her side.

Firstly, her message to Bill was partially tongue-in-cheek. Humor! Laughter. Levity. She does not expect payment, or members on hands and knees or to be an icon or goddess.

Secondly, Diane apparently had some interaction with Bill that bugged her and she expressed it – via humor. A bit sarcastic, yes. But Bill is a good guy and I would think has no problem with it.

In fact, I think you yourself are over-reacting. Is there some unspoken antagonism you have against Diane? There is no trace of humor in your post to Diane and you write some rather nasty, ungentlemanly things. Why? You seem to come out of nowhere solely to lash our editor. It seems unlike you.

Thirdly, as with anything, there is only so much time in a day. If Diane slacks off for few days in delivering the bulletin, it is no crime and creates no cause to ridicule her. Hans S does a great job with the weeklies – and if one week he is late, I, we all understand. Do you understand?

You took my attendance many times during last year’s A19 SIG. Once, I believe, you messed up, forgot a bunch of names or something … some administrative defect. SO WHAT?! No one sought to trample you into the dust. You did a great job, lead great rides and have earned our respect.

In a nut shell, leave the lady alone ;-) Or better yet, apologize to her or mollify your cantankerous reaction to her quibble with Bill. I believe you have the strength of character to do so. Make your points without sneering at Diane. And please (not “puh-leeze”), don’t lash out at me too. I’m just sorting things out.

Well, back to work.

On the road, John JP

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Diane is fabulous

As a club member, bulletin fan, and occasional contributor, I have enormous respect for Diane and the quality of her commitment and contribution. As someone who works in publishing of a sort, I know what a thankless job it can be.

And yet, what other club bulletin can boast the beauty and the brains of ours? It should be sold on newsstands! The April issue has TWENTY jam-packed (yet easy on the eye) pages. That's an enormous amount of work for one person--a million and one sensitively and professionally made decisions.

And look what's inside: Plentiful, legible listings from our generous ride leaders, lots of photos nicely laid out (those cyclocross pix are delirious), news from inside and outside the club, diverse articles from a growing pool of contributors (many more writers than in the past). And of course, Dustee Rhodes.

That the newsletter is available on the Web--sometimes as much as a week early--makes the complaint about delivery moot. *Web publishing is delivery.*

If anything, this complaint is an argument for doing away with the printed bulletin altogether, if it is creating too great a burden for the volunteer staff. I happen to like the printed bulletin. But if Web-only delivery made it possible to keep Diane as editor for as long as possible, I'd be more in favor of that.

Or perhaps another position needs to be created: a managing editor, say, who could take responsibility for delivery, after Diane has knocked herself out on designing it.

Shouldn't our goal as club members be to find ways to HELP our volunteer leadership shoulder their responsibilities? To bring problems to their attention and then support them in finding a resolution? After all, they're our colleagues, not our servants.

Anonymous's picture
RB (not verified)
some thoughts

I think we all appreciate the hard work of all the club volunteers. However, Some of Bill's points are valid, and shouldn't simply be dismissed out of hand.

Some of us actually do depend on the printed version.
It's very presumptious to assume that everyone has access to the internet, and that everyone who's on the internet is connected to a printer. Wasn't this was the reason the club decided to keep the printed version?

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
some more thoughts

"“I think we all appreciate the hard work of all the club volunteers. “

That’s hardly self-evident, based on a lot of what gets posted on this bulletin board. You could even say it is a presumptuous claim to make.

“However, Some of Bill's points are valid....""

And those points would be...? Do you mean the part where he complains about not being told the reason for the delay, as if Diane owed him an apology? Or where he lists all the supposed infractions on her part? (Including her selfish decision to take a vacation and move the deadline up a whole week!) Or where he asks for a solution, but dismisses the two most obvious ones (download and get involved) as “simplistic”? In other words, where he seems to be fishing for a way to get Diane to apologize for his inconvenience and accommodate his future needs with greater alacrity? What other solution could he have in mind?

“and shouldn't simply be dismissed out of hand.”

At present, there are two threads devoted to Bill's post on the BB. That’s not enough?

“Some of us actually do depend on the printed version.”

Understood. So make a case for yourself and suggest ways for the club to resolve its quandaries. Ideally, those would be of a practical enough nature that would not seem to make unrealistic and ungrateful-sounding demands on an already burdened volunteer.

Note as well that your point is not at all the same as Bill's.

“It's very presumptious to assume that everyone has access to the internet, and that everyone who's on the internet is connected to a printer. “

It’s also presumptuous to assume that someone means one thing when they clearly said another. Here, what I said was that “Web publishing is delivery,” which it is these days. I didn’t say no one would be left out.

However, of those left out, I bet that the number will be small enough to deal with in another manner.

You’re clearly online; can you absolutely never ever get to a printer? In the roster, I see only a handful of names without email addresses, and some of those are simply unlisted.

So now comes the complicated moral calculus: Do we browbeat the editor for the sake of three dozen people out of 1800 who absolutely cannot get the bulletin online? Is that the best use of our human resources? How about: we get Diane a volunteer to download and print those copies and mail them. Someone with four hours free time a month and access to the equipment. Surely one of those many grateful members out there will be happy to help out with a task with such limited demands.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
I heartily agree!

I think Carol has made an excellent suggestion about getting around the problem of those who do not have access to the internet. I'd be happy to help with the mailing, although I do not have direct access to a printer myself, yet.

Another solution, in the interim, would be for those who are not connected to ask a friend in the club who is to print out the pages showing at least the club rides. And for those members who know other members who are not connected, it would be nice if they then offered to print them out for their buddies, along with the weekly announcements e-mail from Hank.

Perhaps those who have complained the loudest should stop whineing and volunteer their services to print those pages and mail them to those relative few who do not have access to the internet. Or to save on postage, perhaps the complainers would like to organise a bike ride, stopping off at the addresses of all those members who are not online and deliver the bulletin personally to their mail boxes.

My wife and I have not been members for that long, but we think that the newsletter is the best we have ever seen it. Having worked in daily and weekly newspapers for a large part of my career, I know just how hard Diane has worked to achieve this. Not only does Diane do a first class job voluntarily, but she also leads rides and gives a huge amount to the club. HOORAY FOR DIANE!

Instead of resorting to over-the-top complaints on the message board, making it very personal indeed, how about somebody who has a gripe phoning the person concerned first and seeing if things cannot be settled constructively first, rather than using the message board for unwarranted, public criticisms of people who have given of themselves to the club and its membership?

A message for the whiners and whingers: this is a not-for-profit membership organisation, which relies entirely on its membership for its success, and for the countless hours that members devote to adminstrative tasks, as well as leading rides, SIGs, STSs, first aid classes, bicycle maintenance classes, sending out weekly announcements, editing and publishing the newsletter, maintaining the website, doing the accounts, managing the membership issues and organisating social functions etc, etc. The people who have whinged and whined about this should be ashamed of themselves, although at least one of them has had the good grace to apologise on the message board.

Anonymous's picture
rob kohn (not verified)
what apology?

consider it rescinded. anthony, i've volunteered for a lot over the years, AND i edited the bulletin. i'd watch who you call a whiner and whinger...

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
I'm sorry to see this

I'm sorry to see that the apology orignally made by Rob has been withdrawn. I hope it was not because of the remarks I have made.

I guess I am wrong in assuming that as Rob has volunteered, and continues to volunteer, many hours of his own time for the club and its members, that he would recognise that such negative criticism on the message board directed publicly at an individual is hardly the best way to encourage that person to continue to try and do their best for the club. As a former editor of the bulletin, I would have thought Rob could have given more public support to the present editor.

I'm sorry, but non constructive criticism will always come across to me as whingeing.

I am a relatively new member to this club, and I hope to give a lot back to it and show my appreciation for the many things that the officers and other volunteers do for it, and for what past officers and volunteers have done to make the NYCC what it is today. That is why I am happy to volunteer and help come up with a solution to the hard copy delivery problem.

I have, on more than one occasion, offered to help proof-read the bulletin. I want to show my appreciation for the leaders and organisers of the A 19 Sigs, and I include Rob in that, for communicating relevant announcements to the participants and signing us in every week, as well as providing participants with the benefit of his riding experience.

I'm sorry that I made a flippant remark about complainers organising a bike ride to deliver hard copies of the bulletin personally; it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but humour doesn't seem to go down too well these days.

Anonymous's picture
a former editor (not verified)
don't waste your breath, rb

the inmates are obviously running the asylum...

Anonymous's picture
Outsider (not verified)

"From Bill's posting, it seems there IS a problem with delivery of the hardcopy bulletin on time on a REGULAR basis. Here's what another club I belong does:

1) Have another position (assitant editor?) to help specifically with delivery of the hardcopy to take care of the problem of over-stretched editor.

2) Permanently move the deadline for submiting rides in by one week. Maybe there's simply not enough time to get the stuff printed, no amount of help is going to help with that.

3) Include in the bulletin also rides for the first weekend of the next month. This is just an alternate form of suggestion number 2.

My club is only half the size of NYCC. So there're far fewer rides each month. Our bulletin usually contains rides through the first weekend of the following month. There's also a ""mailing party"" each month when 4-5 volunteers sit together stuffing envolopes for an evening.

Also like NYCC, our ride listing are on-line a week prior to the hardcopy, which means we get almost 2 weeks advance notice of rides electronically, one week via paper. We're also moving to allow member to choose NOT to receive paper copy, in return for a small discount of membership dues. So in the future, there'll be fewer envolope to stuff."

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)

Outsider has provided an excellent example of a constructive post. Here are my responses to the suggestions that were outlined:

<<1) Have another position (assitant editor?) to help specifically with delivery of the hardcopy to take care of the problem of over-stretched editor. >>

There is no difference between the bulletin that is posted on-line and sent out as hard copy. Once the PDF file of the finished bulletin is created it is sent to both the webmaster for posting and the printer for printing and mailing. The bulletin editor does not get involved with tasks that are specific to the delivery of the hardcopy bulletin.

<<2) Permanently move the deadline for submiting rides in by one week. Maybe there's simply not enough time to get the stuff printed, no amount of help is going to help with that.>>

People already have a hard time committing to leading rides as far in advance as they need to with the current deadline, my fear is that moving it back more would even further curtail ride listings.

<<3) Include in the bulletin also rides for the first weekend of the next month. This is just an alternate form of suggestion number 2. >>

Ride leaders are always asked to submit rides for the first weekend of the following month. Again, there is the problem of committing in advance.

I think we need to accept that a) from time to time there are factors that are beyond the control of anyone at NYCC and b)board members and other club volunteers are managing their NYCC responsibilities in their spare time and have personal and professional responsibilities that often come first. I hope that those who cannot or will not accept those factors will be the first ones to place their names in nomination when club elections come up next fall.

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Where the buck stops

First, let me reiterate praise for Diane, she has truly made the bulletin something that all of us in the NYCC should be proud of. Second, I know it is a problem for some when the print version is late and for that I apologize. I ask however that any complaints be directed to me. The buck does indeed stop at my desk.

Let's not give Diane - who spends countless hours of HER precious little spare time on OUR bulletin - a hard time. And let's reserve the message board for constructive suggestions and solutions. If you have a gripe, you know where to find me, don't look for anyone else.

Anonymous's picture
rob kohn (not verified)
on second thought....

message deleted by poster.

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
my 2 cent

As a former NYCC bulletin editor and someone who is currently helping with the 5BBC bulletin I'd like to point out a few things:

The editor is not the only one responsible for getting the bulletin out on time. Ride coordinators must get the ride listings to the editor, as do all the other regular contributors. If they don't get them in on time, (or hand in sloppy copy), it can delay the bulletin.

The printer and mailing service need to do their jobs in a timely fashion, too. If the bulletin has been online for a while, it would seem that the editor has done their job and something down the line is holding up the process.

I work for a printing company, and I know how things can get bogged down from time to time. I also know how valued clients can get a rush put on a job that got to the printer a bit late.

Remember: No good deed will go unpunished.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)
editors/abuse/apologies/and BS

This discussion is partially fruitful, but partially alienating – to me (so what!) and maybe to our current editor and prospective editors. Who would want to willingly submit to abuse after monthly Herculean efforts simply because a small segment has a pet-peeved-displeasure?????

Yes, indeedy, no good deed is going unpunished. And I am miffed by the retraction of the apologies. Scurrilous knave has he become? Perhaps he should drop out of NYCC in protest! A loss to SIG 19, but a gain to wit, tolerance, humor and open discussion. I really thought better of him. My failing! Prove me right!

Let the editor do her work and live her life and ride. In fact, let’s all just f***in ride. Let’s restore and not further assail the dignity of those who donate precious time to our club.

Anonymous's picture
Silent Observer (not verified)

"Someone asked why the bulletin is late. Editor could have said sorry please bear with us were doing the best we can meanwhile let me point you to the online version. We dont know why the bulltin is late. It could be the the mail, the printer or anything. But the editor was quite arrogant. She said ""all members must read"" and proceded to tell the writer what he should and should'nt do. Essentially ""Let em eat cake."" Bad customer service. But lots of people seem to like her so theres no reason she should feel alienated."

Anonymous's picture
Don Montalvo (not verified)
Re: Attitude

Silent Observer wrote:

:: Bad customer service ::

This implies the Editor is paid position.

The NYCC should eliminate the whole production/distribution a printed Bulletin. When that happens, you'll see a stampede of prospective Bulletin Editors at election time.

Don (1+1/2 time former editor)

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

Well, our editor did address her post to BILL. So, any slights are not directed at the membership. And she was being humorously sarcastic.

Can we come out now?

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