Dear Fellow Members and Friends,
Kudos and many thanks to Jade Stanley and the more than 100 volunteers who helped to put on another very successful Tour de Forts ClassicSM. We had 772 registrants, slightly down from 809 in 2017. We are currently surveying the riders and the reviews so far are excellent. With over 85% rating the ride excellent or above average, 95% say they would ride the event again. Just over 50% of the riders were new to the Tour de Forts Classic. While NFBC has run the Snow Cone stop on the MS Ride for years, this is the first time that we have had it on any club-sponsored ride. That along with cold, wet towels at the final stop on the three longer routes were big hits. Survey respondents also noted some issues that we will address on future rides. If you haven’t responded to the survey, please click the link sent to you in the May 2nd email to Tour de Forts Classic participants.
Volunteers are key to the success of our rides. We cannot put on the Tour de Forts Classic or Endless Summer Watermelon RideSM without them. We hired an Event Director when we could no longer recruit a volunteer from our club. Jade’s role is to manage the operations of the rides and work on growing the number of participants. With her business contacts, she recruited many non-club volunteers from other organizations including Bank of America where she works full-time.
While we had over 100 volunteers, many filling more than one role, we still could have used more help. We tried to organize the various tasks so that members could volunteer and still do the ride. However, we could not find a crew to unload the tents, tables, etc. from the truck at the club storage locker on Sunday evening, necessitating another day’s truck rental. We also could not assemble a team to pull the route signs on Sunday.
Therefore, in addition to being involved in months of planning for the ride, on the Friday before the ride I assisted with loading the truck at the locker, on Saturday helped with venue set-up, on Sunday drove SAG, and on Monday, my wife and I picked up signs for half the route while Bob Fortney did the other half. Bob similarly filled several roles during the weekend in addition helping to prep all our equipment in the storage locker in the weeks before the ride. Both of us were at the locker Monday evening to help unload the truck. Both of our wives also volunteered, his at registration and mine at the Pedro Menendez rest stop.
We are not looking for pats on the back. We along with many others were there to do what needed to be done so the riders were not disappointed and to maintain the club’s reputation for putting on excellent rides. But we cannot continue to rely so heavily on a small group of individuals. We have worn out many our repeat member-volunteers. We all want to ride and there are many volunteer positions that allow one to help and still ride. When we post a notice for volunteers for the Endless Summer Watermelon Ride, please consider how you can help us put on another successful ride by volunteering or helping us recruit volunteers.
On the evening of May 16th, please join us for the Wayne Ezell Memorial Pedaling For Safety Ride Of Silence which leaves the Riverside Arts Market at 7PM, following a loop that include a brief ceremony at Hemming Park. We expect to have support from JSO including officers on bicycles. Be sure to wear an NFBC club or event jersey and don’t forget your lights.
On May 19th, we will once again conduct a bike rodeo and helmet fitting at the Zone Sheriff’s Watch Safety Fair at the Regency Mall. We need helmet fitters and people to staff the various skill stations the kids will go through. Click here to volunteer to help.
I welcome your input. Please email me at email@example.com with your thoughts.
Looking forward to seeing you on the road.