This was composed several years ago by our Team Captain, Bob Oderkirk. It is meant for those of us who have been here awhile and also for all the great new riders coming out and joining the club for rides et al.
When I started this club/team, I had a vision of creating rides where everyone could get a great ride in, at a pace that could challenge them if desired or that could allow folks to just have a fun ride. I also had a vision that people don’t like to be dropped, they want to meet their riding partners and a 2-minute conversation in a pace line just does not do it. Riders want to make friends with good people and frankly, I have found cyclists to be really good people! Lastly, I wanted to create something that would impact people in a positive way, to protect and nurture new cyclists as well as keep folks safe. So here is a short (and incomplete) list of what we, as a group, a Team, a club and generally as human beings, should really strive for (in no particular order)
· We take care of our own!
This means stopping at the top of a mountain to take care of a fellow rider who has crashed. We never continue on knowing one of our own is on the side of the road. This goes for mechanicals, cramps, or just folks having a bad day. We ALWAYS help each other out. It is what we do. It is why we are called TEAMcbc.
· We take care of others.
We stop to help other cyclists, offering our extra supplies and expertise, helping find rides or generally making sure people are okay. Not just other riders, but folks stopped for car trouble, runners who may be cramping up or other such things. What makes us, as cyclists, stand out is our compassion and genuine care of other human beings in this world. Don’t ever stop caring.
· We work as a group to help each other gain knowledge.
Helping others understand what it is to be a better rider and have better rides. We support each other with friendly and helpful suggestions, never being critical for its own sake, but always being supportive while lending helpful information. No one knows everything. Everyone learns something new each day. Teachers can be taught, students can teach, everyone benefits.
· We are always polite and pleasant if we can.
Yes, people have bad days, and yes, people driving cars that come dangerously close to us probably deserve a lot of negative karma, but don’t react to it. Be polite, and understand that others may be having a much worse day than you (your day is great, since you are on your bike!) Here is an old one that holds much truth…” If you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. Listen and understand that even if you think you already know what the answers are, there may be someone who becomes a better rider due to the suggestions.
· Listen and watch!
We learn so much by listening and can really help teach by just hearing what is being said. If someone is making suggestions, they probably have had the suggestion given to them and have watched the whole thing unfold with other folks. Please understand that someone offering suggestions probably has been there and has experienced it before. Watching others can give you an idea of what may work and what does not. No one is perfect, however there are some pretty darn good riders out there and their examples can be emulated.
· Have fun!
Cycling is fun. Yes, it is painful, yes it can play with your mind, but you know what? When the ride is done and you have that recovery drink in hand (wink wink), it all becomes a lot of fun. There is never a really bad ride, there are days you don’t get to ride, which are lesser days, but once you are on that bike, enjoy life. No one said it was easy, but the whole experience is worth it. Everyone has bad ride days, everyone is the last person up the hill at some point in time, everyone bonks, and to be honest, almost everyone has turtled (twice for me!). You will, and you’ll get over it.
· Perform positive acts.
Donate not only money, but time to doing good things. Support your benefactors, the sponsors of our little band of riders, the people who make things work and thank folks for what they do. I don’t get the opportunity to thank people nearly enough, but here it is again…. THANK YOU! Pay it forward.