March - April 2006
Table of Contents
March - April 2006
An Open Letter of Thanks
In Praise of the Leadership Training Course
By Kent Mark
From late Spring to early Summer 2005, I took the Five Borough Bicycle Club leadership training course. It consisted of a series of lectures, field trips and a weekend retreat with intent of understanding what goes into leading bike rides and developing skills for them. Prior to attending, I went on a 5BBC trip to the Worksman Cycles plant, a localbased industrial & recreational bike manufacturer, during Transportation Alternatives’ Bike Month 2005. I was impressed with leader Richard Sanford.
The leadership training class was valuable in being educational and practical, biking in the New York- New Jersey area as much as I had. As with any endeavor in life, it takes a passion to pursue a worthwhile endeavor, coupled with freely spending time to engage others in doing so. This quality as well as a willingness to show initiative is a start to help perpetuate a fine organization like the 5BBC. Support and cooperation from all course participants was truly evident, much appreciated and uplifting. Willingness to freely share cycling knowledge and experience was both unparalleled and invaluable. Leaders who availed themselves to bike repair courses (offered by the 5BBC, free to leaders) and recently, American Red Cross first aid & CPR training shows an aptitude to learn further.
Several weeks into the course, pondering questions I asked and despite my inability to ride at the same pace as much of the group, my instructors retained an appropriate demeanor with patience. Their mettle was tried at times, not clearly evident at first. But I can truly say that they exemplified the conduct of what they taught. I came to the leadership training to learn this. While taking the technical and administrative know-how into consideration, the main theme was that I, as well as my fellow students, strive to become bike leaders and having a good time with it. I learned much by simply observing and listening to the instructors and active leaders involved in the course.
A comment was made that we need leaders for “A” rides. If you have taken the course and not yet put it to use, why not come out and lead rides within your capability. Even short and regular paced ones. Or at least help out with bike trips attracting large numbers of riders. This is an opportunity to give back something to the Club. If you are a graduate, team up with a fellow leader and put your training to good use. If you have not yet taken the leadership class yet, do enroll. Who knows, your intent of being an active club participant could put you among the next wave of 5BBC leaders.
The 5BBC expends valuable resources training people to become ride leaders. While one can take the course without obligation to return anything, one should know that running the Five Borough Bicycle Club is a team effort; it needs competent volunteers to continuous lead quality bike rides.
My observations and comments are made with utmost sincerity. Again, I thank those who made this opportunity possible.