“What a long strange trip it’s been.” Jerry Garcia’s words seem especially poignant in early 2021. Normalcy is looking pretty good about now. To that end, we, the COWs board, are planning on rebooting the Club this spring. The good news is that the Club is in fine shape. We have $6,000 in the bank, about the same as when the pandemic started. We have 154 current members, down from our 225 peak. But many members wrote to tell me that they were hibernating until the Club started again.
I hope everyone is fit and healthy. We are lucky that we live in Central Oregon with easy access to outdoor activities, low population density, AND a major hospital, in the state with the 4th lowest rate of infection. I do feel fortunate.
While things can change, and things will change, we are planning 2021 activities based on the assumption that most members will be vaccinated by mid-summer. But we also hope to have group rides and other activities this spring. Here are some of our early planning thoughts.
A Webinar Kickoff in mid-April
We will likely use Zoom and have availability for 100 guests. We’ll: 1) discuss how the pandemic will reshape the COWs (hint: more gravel, mountain, Zwift rides), 2) take real-time polls, 3) get everyone excited about riding. Watch the Club Calendar page for time and date.
TLC Tweed Road in April/May
Early in the pandemic the COWs adopted Tweed Road. We were given some nice signage on Tweed for the promise of removing litter from this beautiful two mile stretch of country road. Club members looking for some outdoor time and do-good time will socially distance/mask and pick up litter. The County’s webpage on this program is https://www.deschutes.org/road/page/adopt-road. Event information will be on the Club Calendar page.
Until we are all vaccinated, we will adhere to Oregon guidelines. No rides will have more than 8 people and ride leaders can set whatever size limit they wish below 8. We’ll have a fairly lengthy do and don’t list available weeks before the first ride.
One fun idea is something called a corral ride. We can meet at an outdoor location, like Discovery Park Pavillion (the corral). When 6 people show up or 20 minutes has elapsed from the first to arrive, we take off on the predefined course. Then the next group forms and they take off. Etc.
Additionally, we could have larger group rides for those that are fully vaccinated.
Finally we have Zwift rides if you have the apparatus. They are fun and the technology allows different paced riders to hang together. There is even a communal voice channel that allows us to talk to each other.
Staying in Touch
Many COW members are using Strava to keep tabs on what fellow members are doing for exercise. Others are members of ZwiftCows. Lots of people are following the Cows Facebook page.
February is a great month to bring your bike into a local shop for a tune-up. Even if you only rode it minimally in 2020, a professional check of your tires, brake pads, chain, and other important parts is prudent. Also bike parts are in short supply, order them now.
Hoo-Rags. We have Hoo-Rags with the COWs logo, available for $15 each on COWs website > Merch. I’ve been using mine as an impromptu mask for skiing, hiking, and biking (see below). If these sell out we can order more.
COW jersey, shorts, and bibs - We plan to open orders on April 1 and close new orders on April 30. This order period is when you can get the color and sizes you want. We’ll get our orders shipped mid-June. If you miss the ordering window, Peak 1 usually has extra inventory to sell in limited sizes and colors.
If you know of any hibernating members let them know to check our website for the dates of the kickoff event, the Tweed Clean-up, and the back on the saddle dates. Wish us luck!
Sam Handelman, Prez in Brief