Taking the Rough with the Smooth

If you enjoy cycling, then please invest the three and a half minutes it will take to read this . . . I promise it will be worth it – there is a carrot for you at the end!
Taking the rough with the smooth – why pay your dues?
Ever had a flat? Of course, you have. It is part of what we do. We ride our trusty, two-wheeled steeds on great adventures, relying on a slim band of rubber to keep us moving forward. Inevitably, sooner or later, that thin veneer that keeps you aloft is going to get pierced. Do you give up and throw the bike in the trash? Call your partner to the rescue and tantrum your way to the next, also sure to be short loved, leisure interest? No, you fix it and move on. It is called taking the rough with the smooth. Whatever we do in life we will come across hurdles – jumping hurdles is how we learn and it’s what makes us stronger.
This pandemic is a hurdle. Like everything in life, it too has a shelf life. It will end. Let’s not let it take our beloved club with it. 
Several people have approached me with tales of ‘others’ who cannot see any reason to join the VCM again in 2021. Sure. Why would you want to pay out hard earned $ to join a club that cannot give back right now? I completely get it . . . if that statement was actually true of course.
This is where I could list all our running costs, the fact that we are staffed by volunteers and the numerous hours that go into keeping the club alive, not least the events we hold each year, but also pondering how to operate during COVID. My guess is, that most of you will already appreciate all these things. 
But what of the real reason we exist?  It’s not just about the bike. 
Essentially, we are a Social Club with a bike problem.
What does the VCM do for you right now?

  • Like lots of other things it provides a Tradition. The VCM has been in existence since 1968. 52 years of something, day in day out, year in year out, is a tradition in my book. And traditions are a good thing – they allow us to pass on a multitude of things to others and to generations, not the least of which is cycling know how and the intricacies of that 1970 steel classic that you have hidden in the shop,  but also friendships, camaraderie and affinity.
  • A Focal Point for cycling in the local community – VCM is quite simply the first stop for anyone wishing to learn more about bikes. We serve a purpose in the community!
  • And then of course there is the hidden gem. The one thing that so often gets overlooked – Community. This is the magnet that attracts new people into our little band of like-minded brethren and sistren; and the adhesive that allows group friendships to remain and flourish – not for months, or years, but for decades. Do not underestimate what you cannot see. 
  • Got a bike problem? We have a solution in our ‘Answer Man’, Jan Valencia. If he cannot solve it, he will certainly know someone who can – right here – in our VCM Community.
  • Wear & Tear – when you ride it, it wears. Sooner or later, you will need ‘Shop’ help. VCM Membership gives you 10% Discount at all participating local, Community, bike shops. That’s local, not Amazon – with humans you can chat with . . . about bikes. 

Post COVID – The future of local cycling.
We do not know what the future will look like. This is a time of great uncertainty. What we do know is that more and more people are riding bicycles… and one day, COVID will be controlled… and we will find a way to be a cohesive club again. My prediction is fact – we already ride together, just not in the same organized fashion that we used to. Like lots of other things, we change to embrace this new and challenging era.  
Here is my plea. Help maintain this Social Club. Support us and join again in 2021. Help us evolve by suggesting how we can change. We encourage all club members to attend our board meetings. Come along and tell us what and how you think our club should look in the new, post COVID, Cycling Fanatic era! (Board meeting details are published on our web site)
Thank you for those last 3.5 minutes

  • Incidentally, 3.5 minutes is half as long as it takes to fix the average flat.
  • It is also 7 times shorter than once when working with our retiring President, Mark Kaufmann, who had an extremely troublesome flat with a tubeless a couple of years back (it was embarrassing for us too Mark – sorry).
  • It is also 30 seconds short of how long it takes to read our membership list which amounts to 200 members in 2019 – that’s 200 people who belong to your VCM Social Club! So you have a lot of friends then. Think about it.

And now for the Carrot…
Obviously we’d love to have you renew your membership. As encouragement, EVERYONE who renews before January 31st will receive a FREE Velo Club Monterey Cycling Buff – something very useful this time of year to keep you warm and covered.

Getting your Velo Club Buff is easy. Just renew your membership and one of our merry band of board members will hand-deliver your buff.  

How to renew…

  1. Follow this link to get the 2021 Membership Application Form
  2. Complete the form (On a desktop you can probably fill it out online).
  3. Sign and mail it to us along with your…
  4. Payment – Either a check or you can Pay Online via this link.

We’ll contact you to coordinate getting your new VCM Buff.

Finally, even if you decide not to rejoin, continue to enjoy cycling. Whatever you do, don’t sell the bike. Remember – it’s not just about the bike.

Chris Swainson

Velo Club Monterey

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