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HomePresident's Message

Katy Trail-MJA

May 2017 President’s Message


Dear Fellow Members and Friends,

Were you blown away by the Tour de Forts ClassicSM? We had a record 809 registrants with 774 riders on the road. We have received over 200 responses to the survey we sent out to riders and the reviews are quite favorable.  We especially appreciate the specific comments which will help us improve future rides.


I want to personally thank all the volunteers who make these rides and all our other Club activities possible. We could not do it without you. While we hired an event director and a marketing person for this ride and pay for police support, everyone else involved in the planning and execution of Tour de Forts Classic is a volunteer.


Photos from Tour de Forts Classic are available for viewing in the NFBC Photo Albums. Members can download high resolution copies of the photos by signing in to the website. If you have any photos you would like to share with the rest of the Club, please email them to


No sooner did we finish the Tour de Forts Classic than we turned our attention to the Endless Summer Watermelon RideSM. Registration is already open ( with an early-bird special rate until the end of May. Members should obtain their $10 Promo code before registering by clicking on the NFBC members button on the right of the registration screen. We hope to have a link up soon for an event jersey; the design is being finalized now.


As we ramp up for Endless Summer Watermelon Ride, we need to recruit an Event Director or Co-Directors now. Anyone with reasonable organizational, people and basic computer skills can learn to do the job. We have a detailed event planning manual and extensive mentoring expertise in the Club. You will have a lot of support. Over the decades, the club has not let a single event director fail. We already have volunteers working on the route, permitting and a jersey. We cannot afford a delay of a month or two in finding a director. Hopefully one or a couple of you will step up soon. If you would consider assuming the position, please contact me ( or Jodi Hohlstein (


It was recently suggested to me that the Club should consider putting on only one major ride yearly; that we should alternate between Tour de Forts Classic and Endless Summer Watermelon Ride. By trying to put on two major events a year, we are asking too much of the same pool of volunteers. Both rides are over twenty-five years old and I have a great respect for tradition. Beyond that, I have two practical concerns: we derive income from the rides that supplement membership fees that don’t fully cover the costs to run our programs, including Pedaling for Safety, and a date vacated by us for even a year risks having it snapped up by another club or organization putting on a ride. I have asked the Board of Directors to consider the suggestion but we are only stewards of your Club. We would like to hear from the membership on this matter. To that end, we have created a forum on the Club website for you to post your comments.


Have you noticed SM after Tour de Forts Classic and Endless Summer Watermelon Ride? SM stands for service mark, denoting registration with the State of Florida to protect the names of our signature rides from use by others. Through the work of Bert Shaw, we have protected these rides and other intellectual property that the Club has developed over the years.


During May Pedaling for Safety will sponsor radio spots on iHeartMedia stations in the Jacksonville market. Click here to hear the spot. Also, we have cosponsored the League of American Bicyclists’ Smart Cycling Guide which will be available at local bike shops and other events. If you know of a group who can distribute the booklets such as at a safety fair, please contact Bert Shaw ( to obtain copies.   


On May 20th, we will again run the ShAdCo Zone 2 bike rodeo at Regency Mall. This is the largest bike rodeo in Jacksonville. We could use your help. Click here for more information about the event and to volunteer.


Please email me at with your thoughts.


Ride smart and ride safe.


Hoping to see you on the road,