Archive for November, 2008

Biking Capital of the World

| November 16, 2008 4:02 pm
Biking Capital of the World

by Franz and Anne Kelsch –

We can’t say we have traveled to all places in the world but we have been to many cities on most of the continents.  We remember visiting Beijing, China and seeing all the bikes there.  We rode bikes in the busy streets of Tokyo, but that may not compare with what we saw in Amsterdam.  This is a city that really does have the infrastructure setup to support biking as a way of getting around.

There were dedicated bike lanes, often separated from the street by more than just a painted line.  At some of the intersections these bike roads had their own traffic signals.  You had to be careful walking in the city to make sure you were on the pedestrian walkway and not in the bike lane.

We saw bikes being ridden by all types of people, kids, the elderly, business men and women, college students. The bikes were quite different than what you see in the US.  These were not bikes made for racing, but more of a utility nature.  They were kind of heavy and clunky, similar to what we used to see when we lived in Japan.  But these bikes were often setup to carry things, including multiple people.  Some had two passenger seats behind the drivers seat.  Or as in this one, a small child up front and another behind.  No one was wearing a helmet, however.  Not sure how safe this type of riding is.

Here is something that we first thought was a bike truck.

But this type of bike was often used to haul kids that were placed upfront.

There are so many bikes in the city that they had this multilevel parking garage at the main train station, just for bikes.

And people were riding the bikes both day and night.   It was truly an amazing bicycle city.

ACTC 2009 Board Candidates

| November 5, 2008 9:15 pm
ACTC 2009 Board Candidates

The following are running for the ACTC Board for 2009.

President

Penny Carl

Penny Carl

Penny Carl

  • ACTC member since  2004
  • Vice President,  ACTC ~~  two years
  • Tierra Bella Staff,  Publicist ~~ three years
  • Co-shared Ice Cream  Social
  • Cinderella Training  ride ~~ co-lead three months of training
  • Enlisted 13 members  from my current work to join ACTC
  • Why I wouldn’t run  for President ~~ none
  • Reason to run for  ACTC President ~~ I am confident I can make a valuable contribution to ACTC,  not only with my skills, but also with a high degree of enthusiasm, energy,  and reliability.

Paul Metz

Paul Metz

Paul Metz

  • Member since 1996.
  • Many-time 50 goat rider, 25 grizzly rider, 25 ride leader.
  • Past e-list moderator and past bike shop representative.
  • Regular mailing party attendee.
  • Handed out tens of ACTC information flyers.
  • As President:
    • pushed for $100 club contribution towards regular annual rides
    • pushed for ACTC to support SVBC’s Bike To Work Day efforts
    • implemented a flexible general meeting schedule
    • implemented flexible board meeting dates.

Vice President

Sandy Lorber

Sandy Lorber

Sandy Lorber

  • I’ve been an active member of ACTC for 5 years now.
  • I have enjoyed being part of this great cycling community!
  • My ACTC background includes leading rides, Co Chairing 2 Appreciation Nights, Co Chairing 4 Ice Cream Socials and now in my 3rd year as the Catering Chair for the Sierra to the Sea.
  • Thank you for considering me for the Vice President’s position!

Secretary

Nancy Kenny

Nancy Kenny

Nancy Kenny

  • I have been with ACTC since 2000.
  • I am an Academy graduate, and I have served as an Academy staff member.
  • Every April I look forward to working on the Tierra Bella.
  • For the last 3 years, I have co-chaired the Russian River Rally (2006, 2007, 2008).
  • I would like to serve as secretary on the ACTC board to help maintain the high quality of riding and events ACTC is known for.
  • I look forward to participating with ACTC in the 21st century.

Treasurer

Paul Vlasveld

Paul Vlasveld

Paul Vlasveld

Paul has the been the club Treasurer for many years.


Ride Coordinator

Patrice Carney

Patrice Carney

  • Patrice Carney has been a member of ACTC since March of 2000.
  • Club Ride Scheduler since August 2005.
  • Other club contributions include bring a frequent Ride Leader and a sag driver for the 2007 and 2008 Tierra Bella events.
  • Personal achievements include a total of 15 double centuries completed in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
  • Previous to ACTC, she was a member of Cascade Bicycle Club and Puget Sound Cycling Club in Washington state.
  • Married to Steve Carney, mother to two grown sons, Cord and Van, and to 3 pet parrots, Ouiji, Coco and Scarlett.
  • Fitness professional since 1981, currently teaches a Dance Aerobics thru the City of Santa Clara as well as professional position as the regional Sales Operations Manager at Trend Micro, Inc. in Cupertino.

Communication Coordinator

Richard Hermerding

Richard Hermerding

Richard Hermerding

  • Richard Hermerding has been an ACTC member for over 15 years.
  • Richard and his wife Ann both completed the 40 Billy Goats in 1994. In the past, they have been ride leaders, hosted the Progressive dinner, worked on the Terra Bella, as well as driven SAG a number of years.
  • Richard has a board range of experience related to this position. Richard has been a Chief Financial Officer with a number of companies; and has actively worked with, and/or served on the Board of Directors for a wide variety of organizations, For Profit, Nonprofit, and Professional.
  • Richard is a Principal in a local CPA firm. Richard has a number of educational degrees and professional credentials, e.g. Richard has three Master degrees in Information systems, Accounting, and International Affairs and numerous professional certifications and licenses.
  • Richard believes that with his bicycling, educational, and professional background he can add value to the position and will be able to assist in both the development of the position and the future goals of the club.

Membership Chair

Lisa Sharp-Piras

Lisa Sharp-Piras

Lisa Sharp-Piras

Lisa is currently serving as the Membership Chair

The Future of ACTC

| 1:42 pm
The Future of ACTC

By Franz Kelsch, ACTC Webmaster – From the October Black and Blue Bottom

I belong to a small cycling club in Utah. A single person runs the club (very effectively) and the same person handles the simple website and sends out all email communications. There is one ride on a Saturday and everyone rides at the same fast pace. I don’t have the history with ACTC as some of our members do, but I suppose in the early days you would find a more homogeneous club than what we have today.

ACTC has evolved into a large and very diverse club. There are those who enjoy the shorter, socially oriented rides. Those who want to push their limits participate in long-distance weekly rides which go further than supported century rides. Some prefer touring, some like to mountain bike.

We know that the club has about 1,000 members, but how many of them do you know? If you are like most of us, you tend to ride with the same people and that circle of friends can be relatively small. We have evolved into a club that is made up of several groups, each with it’s own communication system and natural leaders. There is the long-distance training ride group. There is the Whine and Dine group. There is the
mountain bike group. There are those who are going after the most number of Billy Goats. And so forth.

Such diversity should be celebrated because as a club we can offer things to such a wide range of members. But with it comes the kinds of challenges that require more leadership skills than for the small Utah club I mentioned. At the very time when we need a more sophisticated club leadership, we find it difficult to fill board positions. For the last board we found it difficult to get one position filled by a single person. This board was elected without a single office having any choice. As a club the few of us that bothered to attend the general meeting and vote didn’t really vote. Someone did suggest we need somehow to vote and people raised their hand, maybe thinking whoever wants to be on the board is fine, as long as it is not me!

This can be an indicator of an unhealthy organization. When I look at our two big fundraisers, Tierra Bella and Sierra to the Sea, I see well-run organizations. Each is led by very a talented individual who has the skills needed to get a bunch of volunteers to dedicate a lot of their time. The meetings are run smoothly and the staff for each event is well coordinated. We, as a club, are fortunate that is the case. How well would Tierra Bella be run if no one wanted to be the leader or on the staff? Suppose we just published in the B&BB we want someone to be the leader and take the only person who raises their hand, regardless if they have the necessary skills. And yet, that is exactly how we, as a club, have approached the important board positions.

In a club as diverse as ACTC, we need a board that has a vision that can be articulated of where we, as a club, want to go. The board needs leadership skills to get member acceptance of that vision. We need a board that fosters appreciation for the many volunteers who dedicate a huge amount of time serving the club as a whole. One of our past presidents changed the name of our annual dinner to Appreciation Night to help change the focus from giving out awards to showing our appreciation for our volunteers. So what happened at the last dinner? We had a special table for those who did all the Billy Goats and ignored the volunteer aspect of the club at the very time when we are now having some real serious issues with volunteer positions.

With the election of 2009 officers approaching, I encourage those ACTC members who have the skills and willingness to run for the Board positions. Even if an existing Board member intends to continue, hopefully we as a club with have a choice on that position.