Anne C. M. Hyman
— President PPTC
Happy New Year, Pedalers!
I’ve never been a fan of resolutions. To me, they sound too governmental, and as a result a bit too self-damning for solid lifestyle changes. I appreciate the turning of the calendar page (and perhaps subsequent burning of the old year in effigy if it’s been particularly difficult), and with it making promises to oneself that are meaningful and beneficial in as many ways as possible for the year to come. I remember the year I promised myself that I’d never use a grocery store plastic bag ever again (long before they started charging for them), and that year I swore I’d finish my dissertation (nailed it), and that other year where I swore off cake and pie and cooki-oops, that one didn’t stick. This year, instead of making a promise or two, I was introduced to an awesome concept at my gym, which tossed out the idea of “resolutions” and replaced them with “challenges”.
I fully champion the concept that growth happens outside of a person’s comfort zone. It’s a chance to embrace change, examine multiple possibilities for solving a problem, and finding a solution that will not just benefit yourself, but perhaps inspire change in those around you. Successful conquering of challenges require planning, road maps, and troubleshooting- in other words, effort and a serious desire to change. But rising above these challenges, no matter the size or range of impact, can make anyone a better version of themselves. And if everyone tries to become a better version of themselves- because they understand and want to explore their potential for greatness- the impact on those surrounding them can be awesome.
This is how I’ve been thinking of this new year for Potomac Pedalers. Growth and change need to happen for the club’s prosperity and survival. We face many modern challenges that didn’t exist when the founders established our club, but I feel the same spirit of camaraderie and passion for cycling is still there at the heart of everything. Cycling advocacy is as important as ever, as we’re reminded of those we’ve lost this past year. Inclusion of those who haven’t fully discovered the thrills of cycling is something we’re going to work on diligently this year, along with re-establishing crucial relationships with local bike shops and other cyclist-friendly businesses. And of course, working on ways to enhance your membership experience as a Pedaler through special events and member benefits. The Executive Committee is already working on a plan to celebrate our volunteers at the end of this month, as well as host a region- wide Ride Leader meeting in March, along with our special events throughout the year and our pinnacle ride of the Back Roads Century. We’re here for our members, and we hope that many of you are able to acknowledge the good that Potomac Pedalers has done for you.
What our 2020 challenge as a club comes down to is this: We need to come together as a cycling community again. For us as an existing club, and for the community in our area who has yet to discover us. My personal challenge is when I look ahead to 2021 on the BikeDC weekend and I ask cyclists if they’ve heard of Potomac Pedalers, I want the answer to be an enthusiastic “yes”. Even better if they’re already a member.
So I’ll leave you with this: if you’re seeking your own challenge for 2020, let it be to share what PPTC has given you over the years with those who have yet to discover us. Maybe that means stepping out of your comfort zone and introducing yourself to a new cyclist on the road and talking to them about PPTC. Maybe that means visiting one of our Local Bike Shops and going on a shopping spree while wearing a PPTC jersey. Maybe that means leading a new ride and helping to fill our calendar. Maybe that means facing new ideas and policies the ExCom will enact without an immediate allergic response to change. If we can all meet this challenge, we could do so much for our club and our cycling community.
Be safe, ride well, and I’ll see you on our first ExCom ride later this month.