Statement of Values

Statement of Values (Updated as at July 2020)


The 5BBC is 

·      a bicycle club (We think of ourselves as New York’s Friendliest Bike Club)

·      a community of cyclists who enjoy riding together in and around New York 

·      a place for people to get comfortable riding at their own pace on the streets of New York City and its nearby suburbs


It’s hoped that this Statement of Values can serve as guidelines for the interaction of our members—whether or not ride Leaders, or elected volunteers who contribute more formally to the Club’s activities, with one another. We presume an atmosphere of good intentions in the conduct of one with another. 


5BBC does its best to have a welcoming, diverse, inclusive bike Club for all, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation or cultural origin, and to never accept racism, intolerance, bigotry or discrimination in any form.


If you believe a fellow Club member has violated the letter or spirit of these values, you are encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of the 5BBC Board of Directors by emailing


A Board Member or Members, in the spirit of cooperation and good will, will meet with affected club Members, attempt to resolve and hopefully avoid recurrence, of misunderstandings, conflicts and behavior - which allegedly violates or undermines this Statement of Values. If we don’t know it happened – we can’t address it.


We rely on each other’s good will, passion, expertise, and experience and it’s essential that we consider the bigger picture when it comes to the gracious and grateful handling of those people who make our Club possible. Fostering positive interactions among us reinforces a positive spirit of cooperation and volunteerism.


We respect each other’s contributions to the Club and avoid harsh criticism of each other’s efforts. We try to not talk about each other in derogatory terms, and avoid “talking down” to others.


We may disagree with how another person handles a specific situation, but we recognize that everyone is trying their best and we do our best to show our appreciation for the contributions of fellow members to our Club


We try to express gratitude to the Leaders who lead our rides and the volunteers who spend their time to help the Club run. Remember why we’re here – we run and participate in bike rides and other events. We are punctual to rides and Club meetings we value each other’s time. 



In email, we 

·      avoid wasting both the time (of readers) and bandwidth (information is mentally required to be stored). If we can't think of why the person we are forwarding to would like to receive the e-mail - we simply don’t forward it.

·      remember the human and not send in writing what we would not say in person

·      we are forgiving of other Club members’ mistakes

·      don’t say in email what we wouldn’t mind being broadcast to the entire Club


We will not tolerate bad or abusive behavior either among our members or towards those volunteers who lead rides or otherwise help run our Club. 


Members who repeatedly disrespect other Members, engage in gross incompetence, illegal acts, violations of Club policy pertinent to leading or participating in rides, actions detrimental to the Club and/or this Statement of Values may forfeit Leadership awards, if applicable, be suspended from leading and/or participating on rides and/or have their membership suspended or terminated. 


Any of these foregoing privileges may be revoked for cause by a vote of at least 60% of the Board at a Board meeting. Prior to a Board vote on such revocation, the Member shall, on at least three weeks prior written notice, be given an opportunity to review the reason for the contemplated revocation and present counterarguments to the Executive Board of the Club. In all instances, the final vote of the Board shall be binding.


2020 has been a difficult year. It’s an election year and we as a club recommit ourselves to be apolitical. We have gone through hiatus and come back riding with new guidelines designed to keep us safe. We are monitoring and will adjust if there is resurgence, but hopefully NY will lead the way out of this public health tragedy. 


In addition to a massive health tragedy, we all witnessed a very visible and obvious racist act this year, the death of George Floyd. This act brought many more hidden similar ones to light, and some of our members have asked us to make a statement about Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the Board has voted to do so by amending our Statement of Values to include the specific statement that Black Lives Matter to us!


Black Lives Matter


2020 has presented many challenges, but one of these challenges, in fact should not be a challenge. The murder of George Floyd was heartbreaking and shocked those of good conscience and has served to galvanize many.  However, the biggest tragedy is that it is not new but part of a long standing and systemic practice in society that marginalizes and often finds acceptable horrendous behavior towards people of color and marginalizes people of color and normalizes discrimination and mistreatment towards them. 


The 5BBC’s mission is to promote a greater understanding of the world and its people through out-of-doors, educational and recreational travel. It is not outside our mission to say that Black Lives Matter, and to keep saying it until we live in a country that values the lives of all its citizens equally. To sit silent is to be complicit with the unacceptable status quo.


In response, some say all lives matter. Of course they do, but that misses and obscures that the lives that are being killed, abused, hurting, are those of people of color. The 5BBC has always stood and continues to stand strongly against racial injustice or other injustice, be it gender based, sexual orientation based or otherwise.  But we know we need to do more. both in words and in deeds.  We will work to raise our profile in minority communities. We all need to listen more.  Racism, injustice, intolerance or discrimination of any kind cannot and should not be tolerated. This is especially true of the systemic racism in our society, which is so prevalent and insidious that it is glossed over, ignored or dismissed.


The 5BBC supports Black Lives Matter. 


Black Lives Matter is primarily a phrase, a tag line, a saying and a non-hierarchical movement, and should not be defined by various groups and their manifestos and such that may exist within the broader context.  Right now in history, Black Lives Matter is the focal point the way the Civil Rights movement was in the 60’s. Change needs to be taken to the highest level and if you feel a person’s statements are offensive or counter-productive, we encourage you to engage them in a friendly manner, discuss and enlighten them, and find a supportive common ground in a new place. But our bike club, New York’s Friendliest, at this time, feels the need to stand with this important and vital movement.


Not just with STATEMENTS but with ACTIONS Past and Present


We were trying to find the right time and place without trying to take too much credit, and with respect to the fact that we could always do better and have been trying to increase diversity in our club, to mention the fact, with pride, that this club has had a Black President - IN THE PAST - it has had a black Vice President - IN THE PAST - and it has black members, leaders and board members in the PAST AND PRESENT who are very comfortable in this club. Well before and since Black Lives Matter came along. Here's a story posted by one of our Members-of-color that recounts a wonderful example of how Past President Jesse Briown (of blessed memory) was part of an event to give back to the elderly. Wonderful story and just one of many examples of how the 5BBC, New York's Friendliest bicycle club has brought people of all races together in friendship and harmony to do good for our community. Recently, an Asian man was beaten severely in Harlem. Our statement recognizes the uniqueness of why Black Lives Matter but we know that Asian Lives Matter, Jewish Lives Matter, Muslim, Christian, ALL LIVES MATTER. That's not to take away from this moment but it's to commend the local community that is standing up against what happened to this man too. The urgency and import of one movement should not negate another's pain and need for support. If you feel we have not heard you in some way - please reach out to us at and we will continually update this statement as necessary to include stories of how the club has been, is and will remain a place where all races are welcome to come and ride in fun and friendship together.