Archive for the 'Club Organization' category

ACTC 2021

| August 22, 2020 1:16 pm

2020 is an agonizing year but time marches on. Soon it will be September and we will be nominating Members for the 2021 ACTC Board. I am proud to be the longest serving ACTC President and we have accomplished a lot together these past 8 years. My COVID-19 research this year and next is extremely time-consuming and this may be a good time to step aside.

It’s hard to explain but the above drawing from my alma mater is close. It’s as if I have been learning and training all my life for this COVID-19 pandemic. Now it’s exam time. Except it’s life and death, even for this researcher, if a mistake is made. Progress is made but I need to focus my effort.

In 2019, I had to take a medical leave of absence and ACTC Vice President Pat Parseghian ably stepped in and the club hardly missed a beat. Pat is very thorough and has leadership qualities so I am nominating and endorsing Pat Parseghian to be the next ACTC President.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Lemonade Out of the Lemons

| April 17, 2020 1:30 pm

The Covid-19 threats are real and serious and underpin the Achilles’ heel of ACTC. Many diseases, not just Covid-19, target weakened populace: older patients, people with underlying respiratory problems, diabetes, asthma, or with compromised immune system. As ACTC Membership is ageing, ACTC Board, Tierra Bella, Sierra to the Sea, Academy Chairs, and many Volunteers are falling into the above categories. I urge younger ACTC Members to step up. Now is your time to take the mantle and run (cycle) with it. Put your imprint on the future of ACTC today.

Be the Lemonade!

Tony Le, ACTC President

“Tomorrow” from Annie

| 1:28 pm

“The sun’ll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow there’ll be sun!

Just thinkin’ about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs
And the sorrow ’til there’s none!

When I’m stuck with a day
That’s gray and lonely
I just stick out my chin
And grin and say, oh!

The sun’ll come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on ’til tomorrow
Come what may

Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love you tomorrow
You’re always a day away!”

When I am sad, this song always cheers me up. It was gray and rainy as I was writing this column and COVID-19 has temporarily thrown a monkey wrench in our plans, but tomorrow will be brighter. There are paths that will lead us out of this danger. Many scientists are working on vaccines and medicines that will kill this SARS-CoV2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. We can do our part to help by social distancing so we don’t all get sick at the same time and overwhelm our hospitals.

ACTC will persevere and return stronger than ever before. Yes, the cancellations of Tierra Bella and Sierra to the Sea hurt us and the cycling community. However, we will hold our head up high and be proud of our decision to put the safety of our Members and Participants above anything else. Our balance sheet remains strong because we have been frugal and saved for the rainy days.

The sun’ll come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on ’til tomorrow
And COVID-19 will go away!

See you out cycling soon!

Tony Le, ACTC President

“Ask what you can do for your country” JFK

| January 27, 2020 1:33 pm

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” President John F Kennedy. In the 90’s, Jean Converse started the ACTC Academy. League Cycling Instructor? Nope, before its time. Fast cyclist? No, not a prerequisite. Creativity, experience and dedication are the ingredients to her success. The baton that Jean passed on to other Academy Chancellors, Robbie Huffman and Tommy Lacy, Esther Snively, Pat Grillione, and Harry Lichtbach, helps create the Academy, uniquely ACTC, that continues to churn out competent cyclists and attract new members.  I am very proud of all the ACTC Members, past and present, who continue to do what we can for ACTC.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

A ship is safe in harbor…

| June 19, 2019 5:29 pm

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” William Shedd

The late Jeanne Meadows, ACTC President in the 1980’s, once wrote an inspirational article to promote cycling as her fountain of youth. Now that I am nearly her age when she penned that article, my health is starting to decline a little, needing to take two medicines daily for the rest of my life. However, I am not giving up cycling. Far from it, just as for Jeanne Meadows, cycling is my fountain of youth. During my month-long debilitating recovery, I yearned for the day to be back on my bicycle.

Cycling and ACTC provide both physical and mental stimulation. Shape up to fight off diseases; friendship offers pillars to hold each other up; structures and schedules to get us out of bed each morning; and a purpose to change the world by inspiring one young cyclist at a time.

A bicycle is safe when not ridden, but that’s not what bicycles are for.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Remembrance of Jim Schallau

| April 5, 2019 2:09 pm

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jim Schallau. Marjorie Schallau informed me that Jim left us early Wednesday morning, April 3rd, with his family by his side. He had recently been hospitalized, gone to rehab, and had been home about 10 days but returned to the hospital and ICU on Monday.

Jim was indispensable not just to ACTC but our community. More dependable than a Swiss watch, Jim was there for the children, for our country, and just about anybody who needed help. Jim collected bicycles for the less fortunate for them to go to work or school, way before there was Good Karma or Turning Wheels for Kids. Jim’s help to Turning Wheels for Kids in those early years was critical for its success.

Jim and I served together on the ACTC Board on two separate occasions and I learned so much from his kindness and quiet confidence. Most importantly, Jim instilled a value that it’s up to us to make this world a kinder and gentler world. A man of few words but when Jim spoke, we listened, and he was passionate about shepherding ACTC to be a responsible part of our community. Jim was the soul of ACTC. My thoughts are with the Schallau family

Services are planned for
Friday, April 12th
Visitation will be from 9–11 am
Lima Family Mortuary
466 N. Winchester Blvd
Santa Clara

Funeral Mass at noon, with reception to follow
St. Martin of Tours
200 O’Connor Drive
San Jose at 12 noon

Jim Schallau at Turning Wheels for Kids Bike Build 2009. Below is a link to a Mercury News story about Jim.

Jim Schallau_Mercury

Warmest regards,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Build High the Bridge

| March 29, 2018 10:15 pm

“Whose strong hands … tills the soil, runs the foundry and the mill?
Fold your arms and the whole wide world stands still
Build high the bridge from span to span
Look up, fellow workers, the moment’s now at hand
Join your comrades on the line and don’t let them fall
For in Union there’s place for all”

Regardless if one agrees or not about the role of Unions, this beautiful Ronnie Gilbert’s song, “Build High the Bridge”, resonates well with ACTC. Sentiments, like No one left behind; Academy opening doors to new members; We are one, we are many; When we tour by bicycle, the world is on our side; Rejoice when friends reach a milestone or win an award; and Mourn when we lose a friend, are the intangibles that make ACTC special.

At the recent Award Dinner, Russ Stevens thanked me on continuing to lead the club and I really appreciated the recognition.

In truth, many other deserve the same accolade
Whose strong hands and legs
Build ACTC from wheel to wheel
Our club’s foundation stronger than steel
Join your friends on the pace line and don’t let them fall
For in ACTC there’s a place for all

Our work is never done and that is a good thing. It gives us a sense of purpose, a continuing challenge, and a raison d’être to be alive. Go ahead, unfold your arms and join us to make ACTC a better place for all of us.

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

ACTC Mission Statement

| February 21, 2018 10:14 pm

In January 1976, a blue document appeared in bicycling circles in San Jose, with the unusual title of “The Black and Blue Bottom”. Its introduction said: “This first issue of our new cycling club newsletter would like to be a welcome mat for new members. It is fun to get together as a group and enjoy a form of exercise you can do sitting down. We propose activities that will be as varied as overnight camping and indoor potluck parties and as exciting as passing cars down mountain roads or as quiet as a roll through the park when those cars are forbidden. Whatever we do, our purpose is to come together on bicycles and be friends to one another. It’s easy; come to a club meeting or be at the start of a ride.”

This ACTC Mission Statement remains true and strong today as we are the most welcoming bicycling club in the whole SF Bay Area. Our prolific ride schedule, Tierra Bella, Sierra to the Sea, a unique ACTC Academy, and our philanthropic actions are built on the characters of our diverse membership.

The late John Bass concluded on his historical take of ACTC in 1993: “The Almaden Cycle Touring Club is many things to many people, but it is a place to ride a bike and make friends above all else.”

Looking forward to a great 2018!

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Build me a bicycle that carries many

| August 6, 2017 6:13 am

“The water is wide, I can’t cross over
And nor do I have light wings to fly,
Build me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I”

This Scottish folk song from the 1600’s, popularized by Pete Seeger, Peter Paul & Mary, and the Seekers (my favorite version), gathers a strong sentiment that we can achieve more when working together.

We accomplished many a thing this last five years and it has been joyful to lead ACTC. We have built an infrastructure that values our volunteers and lent support to our humble Board of Directors, Tierra Bella, Sierra to the Sea, and Academy leaders.

Although the stability of ACTC and our leadership group is important, renewal is paramount to our long-term success. In the coming months, there will be leadership role turn-overs, please step forward and help guide us to our next chapter.

Metaphorically, life is much like rowing a boat or cycling up a mountain, we can’t coast. Just when we think we are ahead, the current or gravity takes over. May ACTC be always going up and away!

The mountain is steep, I can’t climb over
And nor do I have light wings to fly,
Build me a bike that carries many
And all will pedal, my friends and I

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Almaden Cycle Explorers — ACTC Program for Children

| April 8, 2016 4:38 pm

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision” — Helen Keller

The future of ACTC rests in part on our ability to motivate children to become life-long cyclists. In the last decade, we proudly supported children-programs such as Turning Wheels for Kids, Kidical Mass, and Aztec Bicycle Club at Gardner Academy. These programs, although meritorious, lack continuity. ACTC has year-round bicycle rides, so should a children-program (at least the dry and warmer months).

It takes an enormous amount of dedication and perseverance to transform a vision into action. Pam Harlow, having just finished with the Aztec elementary school bicycle club, will coordinate the new Almaden Cycle Explorers (coined by Lee Smolens), a home-grown ACTC program to promote cycling to elementary school children. We will have a pool of children-bicycles and helmets for Bikeathons, Bike Rodeos, field trips, ice cream rides, etc. (See a Bikeathon video by Pam below.) The Almaden Cycle Explorers will have its own budget, like the ACTC Academy. If we are successful in our endeavor, there will be many winners beside ACTC — a healthier populace, a cleaner environment, and an abundance of safer and bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Thank you Pam!

“Some men see things as they are and say, Why? I dream of things that never were and say, Why not?” — Robert Kennedy

Our vision — Almaden Cycle Explorers — Why yes!

Best,
Tony Le, ACTC President

Click on this link to see the video => Bikeathon_Video_Harlow