Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Keep a good thing going!

This Sunday, Feb 23, is the annual club meeting. It’s at Good Ta Go in Chambersburg and starts at 1pm. Everyone is welcome but only members can vote. Regardless, I hope you’ll join us.

I’ve been an officer in MBM for four years. Two years as Secretary and two years as President.  In that time I have tried to do many things and controversial or not, my ultimate goal was to keep a good thing going. It wasn’t easy, at times it wasn’t fun but I did it anyway because I want others to enjoy the same life changing experience I had in 2007. That was the year I started riding in Michaux.

I found MBM searching the internet for trail maps of Michaux. When I attended my first MBM ride I failed miserably. However, to my surprise the group encouraged me to come back and stick with it. Thanks to that encouragement I did stick with it and today I love riding trails. The tradition of encouraging others defines MBM. It is my hope that tradition continues.

MBM is a successful, respected organization. The officers, volunteers and members change lives for the better more than they will ever know. I am proof of this and so are many of you. So please consider becoming an officer and accepting the torch to help keep a good thing going! If you’re interested in leading MBM into the new year please attend the meeting or contact me if you can’t make it.

I know many of you are wondering what will become of the club. The fact is you as members ultimately decide the course of MBM. At this time I have yet to receive notification of any member nominated to run for office. If we do not have members interested in maintaining the organization as officers my only option is to refer to our bylaws and disband the club.

Attend the meeting, step up and take the torch, keep a good thing going!

See you at a ride soon? Hope so.



prophet said...

Since nobody is speaking up I will throw my hat in the ring for MBM President. If someone will nominate me I will accept the nomination. My priorities as a person are:
1. My Family
2. My Business
3. RIDING my bike(s)
4. MBM
And there could be a few other things above MBM on that list I'm not thinking of currently.

My priorities as MBM President, should I be elected, will be to preserve the relationships the club currently has with the racemichaux series and Gettysburg Bicycle and to restructure the club's presence on the internet so that it is more difficult for individuals to make the club appear ridiculous to the outside world. This would likely involve the dismantling of the blog and adopting a message board system which would have no anonymous posting allowed and which might also be moderated by various people assigned to specific message "rooms".

Though there are many other important issues to be considered I think the above items are the highest current priorities and are things I think I can likely deliver on.

I think Brian has been the best president this club has had since I've been a member and I've watched at close range as he worked extraordinarily hard and put up with a tremendous amount of grief from people. I won't likely be as good a president as he was but maybe I can be a president the club needs at this point in time.

See you at the meeting!
Scott Hughey

H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
H said...

Thank you to the current officers for their work and dedication to the club for the last two years. I hope that their positions will be filled at the meeting so that the club can continue. I cannot be at the meeting, so I’m posting some concerns that I hope will be addressed.

First and foremost, we all love mountain biking. I think that we should try to come back to that common love that we share. There have been a lot of good rides with good leaders, sweeps and everyone looking out for each other; but all of the rides have not gone smoothly. I’m not going to focus on who did the right things and who did the wrong things (and I know that I’m not blameless either). I think that not enough has been directly said when things go wrong and that this has festered over the years. I think this involves how we handle the rides and the blog.

Riders have been lost or left behind because we assume that they know where they are going. That is not always true and we cannot assume that. We need to get better at waiting at each turn for the next rider and passing the “wait” onto the next rider. We don’t always have the luxury of having a sweep and we can’t ride every ride like we have one. Rides split up all the time due to newcomers, time constraints, abilities and whether or not you’re having a “good day”. I don’t think we need a split ride system with A and B riders (or whatever terms you want to use) as long as we are working together. From what I now know, the current ride problem is more than a year old and I wish it had been addressed at the last meeting. I’m not sure if the personality conflicts are a result of the festering or not. Either way, we need to move forward and focus on the love of mountain biking.

When things do go wrong, we should have an internal form of communication. I don’t care if it’s another blog or an email group or whatever. It needs to be for members only and not open to the public. Waiting for each annual meeting to air grievances is not good. Even though this internal communication would be private, I still think it’s important that we keep it fairly clean and that we don’t resort to trying to shout down opposing opinions.

I think we should keep our current blog for public information about rides and events and it should be clean (regardless of who is posting or commenting). This is the website that represents our club and we should treat it that way. I think that the all of the old posts should be deleted so that we can start with a clean slate, and preserve the website that people have been referred to. I would like to see that the public can comment, but not anonymously. All public commentary has been recently removed and I don’t care who removed this feature, but I thought this was the sort of thing that is decided upon at annual meetings.

I would like to know what our club insurance covers. My concern is that perhaps there should be an “unofficial” ride designation for rides that are not the usual Sunday club ride. Many of us have posted rides outside of the usual club locations and or times and I wonder if that is an issue with the club insurance. Is there a need for a disclaimer somewhere on the website? Can a disclaimer cover all rides? I know someone who regularly posts road rides via an emailing service and puts a disclaimer at the end of the emails. I don’t know if his disclaimer holds legal value or not. Is there a lawyer in the club that can clear this up?

That said, I hope that the club will be around after this meeting. I do not have time to be an officer, but I will do my best to help with the club.


Donut King said...

Hans, save your breath.
I've made those points before and and provided a place for open discussion. It was the superior rider email group. It was never used and just like now, questions were never addressed.
It's much easier to push your personal agenda when you close the door on opposition.

It's sad but obviously clear that today's MBM is not the MBM you and I and many others remember. The MBM you and I remember was a social riding club that embraced both of those things. Being social and riding. Those days are gone my friend, now we have people that want to dismantle the blog and erase the club history. That blog is a record of many good times had by many people. My suggestion to Scott would be to read those old blog posts and get a feel for what this club used to be. The MBM I remember didn't much give a shit what the rest of the world thought about us as long as we took care of our own and had fun doing it.

H said...

Although I know many of you for awhile, but I’ve only been a member for two years. During those years, all the rides that I have been on were social. We weren’t out on training rides and we hung out after most rides (my wife has pointed out how many times I’ve hung out after rides). I’m not sure what these “not social” rides are. MBM is the most social group of people that I know.

During the first year, the superior riders email was used for internal discussions. For example, there was quite a bit back and forth after a motorcycle enduro that was held in Michaux. If it was never used to discuss issues with the rides, that falls on the shoulders of those that were dissatisfied and did not speak. For those that did speak, we need to continue to speak to make it better. There is obviously history here that precedes me, but I don’t see how “saving my breath” and riding with bitter feelings towards “the other side” will make anything better. I’m not sure of the timing, but at some point the email was shut down. It was brought up at the last annual meeting that we needed a private channel since the superior riders email was gone, but nothing materialized from that. As far as having the door closed on members, well that’s only happened to me by one member.

Yes, there is good history in the blog. Most of it is good, but it is mixed with some nasty internal issues. It has members trying to bait others and members over reacting and reading too much into others’ words. So, I am at odds as to whether or not we should restart with a clean slate. I put that idea out for discussion because I didn’t want the site to be completely shut down.

If a part of our goal as a club is to preserve or expand mountain biking then we have a responsibility to that goal by having a fairly clean public website. If that’s not a part of our club’s goal and we are only going to take care of our own, then we should just have a private blog like any other private club. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I vote for preserving and expanding the mountain bike community. We need to because someday we might have to band together to keep mountain biking in Michaux and a “respectable” public history would be more helpful when a “public servant” decides whether or not to side with us.

The people that have been accused of not helping new riders have helped me (and others) as much as anyone else in the club. They’re not perfect and they can’t please everyone, but they are trying to make the club better in their eyes. Aren't we all trying to make the club better as we see it?

It seems that we have two “sides” and a bunch of us that fall in between. So, what do you all want? Two clubs or one? Are some of us going to be welcomed as members of both? Maybe there should be no club and we all just email and text each other for rides?

“Can we all get along?”

Donut King said...

Hey Hans, before you go on and on you need to know something; about a year and a half ago Brian sent me an email asking me to invite you and another rider to the Donut Rides, in that email he told me you were a great guy and would be "a good fit" for the Donuts. So my reply was if he's a great guy why don't you want to ride with him. No further explanation was given. So you tell me is MBM a club for everyone. These people you're defending tried to get rid of you. Doesn't sound very social to me.

And this kind of dialog is exactly why Mr.Hughey wants to shut down the blog. Being publicly accountable is a bitch.

prophet said...

I remember Hans asking about why he kept seeing mountain bikers he knew driving north to rides he didn't know about one Sunday. I'm sure Hans can confirm that he lives north of Michaux and that it would be much more convenient for him to ride from northern ride locations. We had to tell him that he was seeing Donut riders pass him but that unless he could secure an invite to these invite-only rides he wouldn't be able to go on them. I believe this is what caused Brian to contact Jody regarding Hans going on Donut rides.

Jody turned his back on this club almost two years ago and really doesn't have enough experience with our rides to offer an informed opinion at this point. He created the Donuts so he could exclude those he did not want to ride with. I have no issue with anyone riding wherever and whenever they want but I do have an issue with someone who purposely attempts to compete with MBM rides via exclusive invite-only rides and who only interacts with the club to stir up trouble. Why someone who goes to the trouble to create another group to ride with keeps hanging around MBM is beyond me.

One rotten apple spoils the bunch as the saying goes. The realities of the current climate regarding mountain biking are that the ability to ride in places very near Michaux is coming under fire. To advocate for mountain biking and preserve this hobby we all love we must be able to establish and maintain relationships with people who draw conclusions about MBM by what they read on our blog. If all the "discourse" on MBM's blog was as politely delivered and constructive as what has appeared in this thread there would be no need to police it at all. Unfortunately, anyone paying attention on a regular basis knows this isn't the case. The club and the club's image needs to be protected, in my opinion. If you don't agree, show up, nominate someone else for president and vote for him or her.

Scott Hughey

Chris Bratthauar said...

Off topic question - are members eligible for a free pint of their choice at the meeting?

Chris Bratthauar said...

Hey gang - just to clear something up real quick. There are a lot of people who ride bikes in Michaux and the vast majority of them do that on Saturday or Sunday. I certainly wouldn't view that as a blatant competition between rides or riders and I certainly hope the vast majority who ride bikes on Saturday and Sunday don't either. No turf wars in Michaux, it all belongs to the state!

Donut King said...

As usual you are miss informed, I did not create the Donuts. The Donuts was born when a GROUP of MBMers became disappointed with the club rides.
Hans was doing Donut rides BEFORE Brian sent that email. I've known Hans longer than you or Brian. So you better go tell that story to somebody who's gonna buy that line of shit.
In the beginning Donut rides were open to all riders, you got invited Scott and so did Brian. Then we soon realized that MBM was attempting to use the Donut's as a dumping ground for riders it didn't want. I even talked to Brian about this and he demanded that the Donut rides be MBM rides and post on the blog. So yes at that point the rides went underground and were by email only. The hilarious part about this is you know so little that everytime you accuse me of doing wrong by the club you are further insulting every Donut rider because NOTHING happens in the Donuts by executive order. EVERY decision is up for debate and is made under consideration of everyone in the group. So when you BASH the Donuts, just remember three former club presidents and two current club officers are on the Donut email list and have helped make group decisions like email invites only.
Until you and the elites can get your head around the idea that these people of their own free will choose to not ride with the club you are doomed.

So now let's address this competition you accuse me of. Do you feel that the Cupcakes compete with MBM, many of them are former members. The Weiser's often host rides in Michaux and don't post them on the blog. You don't bitch about that. I've run into Brian riding with the Gettysburg crowd on sundays, you don't bitch about that. I've seen Dr. Dave with his bike on the roof sunday morning and he wasn't riding with the club, bitch about that? NO.

Stop blaming me for what's wrong with the club and learn to take criticism. I'm sorry that you and Brain are so thin skinned that any dissent is considered bashing.

And as far as your recollections of Brain's presidency. You stated you watched at close range. That's funny, I've been able to watch at close range too and I know every other club officer personally and KNOW they are by far the most level headed and considerate group of officers the club has ever had so I think your bad apple theory might apply there too.

SkinnyLegs said...

Well people, it's come to this again. Just about every three years we have this crap going on for one reason or another. I do not want to see the club fold, but I'll tell you, the Sunday morning ride dynamics have been slowly changing, and I'll tell you why. Several years ago riders were left behind in the woods on an MBM ride. I wasn't on that ride, but I was told by one of the 'left behind'. Nothing pisses me off more than hearing this. I have been on more rides than any of you. Riders have broken their arms, been stung by bees, have had a flat with no means of fixing or don't know the woods or the direction the ride is taking that morning. The Sunday morning rides were designed to be social, fun challenging rides. They've been a regular in Michaux since the 1980's. Even when the really fast riders showed up back than, and they often did, no one was ever left behind.
The splinter 'Donut' rides started because someone thought that the regular Sunday ride could or should not be about two rides leaving the parking lot. One ride to hammer away with little stops or a ride that was not necessarily slow or easy, but had more regrouping. Sorry MBM, but guess which ride I'm choosing. Now... I think anybody should be informed of the 'Donut' rides, but some of the Donut people think otherwise. That's just me. We've talked about two rides leaving the parking lots. I think we need to re visit this. AND just in case there aren't enough riders to do a split ride, the one ride that leaves that morning needs to have a responsible leader.
The club was about cleaning trails and even picking up trash, now it's come to raising money?
Oh and about the profanity on the blog. How come the blog police took down other posts in the past but left that stupid not funny cursing pig video up. Answer please? Hello?
I just want us to get along on Sundays. You all don't have to go out to dinner with each other.
I contemplated running for President awhile back. I don't know if I can make a difference or not, and I am NOT nominating myself.... at least not yet. Although sometimes I think this club should be run by the girls. That might equal no fighting.

camps said...

There are so many groups riding Michaux regularly. It's way more than the Cupcakes, MBM, and Donuts. Off the top, i can think of a group around Chambersburg who normally ride Sunday afternoons and Saturdays. Some of them are, or have been, MBMers. There is the old school bunch who 'rode in' many of the lines we now call trails. There is a Boiling Springs group, a Carlisle group, Waynesboro group, Greencastle group, and a few bunches who come down from Maryland often and usually follow race courses. Your, Hanvoer, etc. There's a lot of overlap in these groups and other groups (like downhillers) that I'm not even aware of. There is an active Michaux Ride Facebook page started by a young/new/elite racer guy.

Some of the above know about MBM, some don't, and some couldn't give a shit because they aren't "club types". Some are building trails.

My biggest desire for MBM is to expand the trail network in Michaux - legally. Like we did with the new Wildcat/Abby, which though did not go smoothly, did go, and is now official and unlikely to be destroyed. I recall that on several of the workdays for that trail, we had 25-35 people showing up to work. Some of whom, I've never seen again.

H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
H said...

I’m not trying to be in the middle, but I am. I just see that both sides have valid points and both sides are wrong on certain issues. When I show up at a club ride and there are no Donuts, I get caught up in a conversation about what Jody is doing wrong. When Donuts show up to a ride that I have posted and there are no “elites”, I get caught up in a conversation about what the “elites” are doing wrong. I’ve defended and criticized both sides in this thread because I am speaking my mind. I’m tired of being stuck in the middle and I think others are, too. I just want to ride my mountain bike with people and have fun and know that if something goes very wrong I have people there to help me out. I don’t care whose “wronged” me in the past because of the this infighting. I just want to ride and make sure that we can keep riding in Michaux!

If any of you would like me to be on a ride and you’re not posting it on the MBM blog, just email me. If you don’t have my email address, someone you know probably has it or ask me the next time you see me. I’m not comfortable posting a coded email address on a public site.

If the club continues, any club member should be able to post a ride. I will still post rides as I have in the past. Any of you are welcome to show up. I still would like some answers as to what the club insurance covers. I will look into how being a ride leader may or may not fall under any of my own insurance policies.

Good luck at the meeting.

Donut King said...

About a month ago I posted a Donut ride on the MBM blog and received negative comments about it. No MBMers showed up, so let's cut through the crap here. A couple weeks prior to that I and some others attended an MBM ride. I'm fully aware of how MBM rides work these days. And I'm fully aware that the club sees the Donuts as outsiders.
If MBM ever hopes to be even a mediocre club they need to stop alienating people. They need to start answering peoples questions, address internal problems and conduct club rides that people want to participate in.
Maintaining the status quo isn't going to do it.
I get so tired of hearing this blah blah blah about advocacy, a seat at the table and legitimacy. How about growing MBM into a club that deserves a seat at the table or better yet growing it into a group that's big enough that it can't be ignored.
20 people sitting around at a meeting drinking beer couldn't save GRAVE RIDGE and don't fool yourselves into thinking the outcome will be different next time.
When MBM starts to focus on the things they do have some control over the club with grow and all the other stuff like advocacy will grow with the club.
The status qou won't get you there.

Jeremy said...

I have thought about this issue a lot over the last week since I sparked a fun dialogue with my silly video. I joined the club because it occurred to me that I was using a resource that other people helped take care of. I thought I should pay the club that does trail maintenance, maybe meet some folks to ride with, get back to riding shape, learn the trails, etc.
That being said, I ride with lots of folks. Sometimes I ride further north by myself on a Sunday because I live in Carlisle or I want to ride at a different pace than what I assume the club will do. So, I ride with folks from Carlisle, other club members, non members, and alone sometimes. I ride with who will ride with me and be okay with waiting for me when they are faster and okay with me having to wait for them when I’m faster. If I am feeling particularly speedy or slow, I might ride alone just so I don’t have to mess up someone else’s ride.
Some want to hammer, others do not. All are looking for a fun and relatively safe experience. Either the club needs to communicate a clear distinction as to what kind of ride each ride will be or split groups from the same area for just that reason. As stated earlier, maybe two groups on well attended rides is a good idea. People can have a choice of how hard they ride that day. I've been on at least a ½ dozen rides where new riders or people getting back into shape have bailed...sometimes it happens, but would it if we had another option for them? Either we are inclusive or we are exclusive. If it is the latter, I must agree that we can't complain when people find other groups to ride with when they don't like what's on the menu that particular day. If it is the former, we have to have a real discussion how we become better at including all who want to be included.
If this club ceases to exist, people will still ride just as they do today. So, I think we need to keep in mind the relative importance of our club. I feel like I'm friendly with all "sides" of this debate but in the end I just want to ride my bicycle in the woods, safely with other people and enjoy some good company. I can do that with or without the club, with or without paying dues each year, and with or without this drama. If you’re a newbie checking out this club, which would you choose right now? We don’t look very attractive. Don’t we take ourselves a wee bit serious for what our club advocates?
Sorry for the rambling post,

Buck said...

I nominate Dave Wilson for VP. Also Jeremy Hicks for Treasurer.

/\/\/\/ said...

I don't know Jeremy, but I like the way he talks. I'll probably vote for him if he is interested.

Chris Bratthauar said...

I sure hope this cold, snowy winter put a real hurtin' on the tick population in Michaux. That would be nice.

SkinnyLegs said...

Yes Chris,I agree,that would be nice.

Chief said...

Well Chris on the positive side the stink bug population was frozen out this winter.