Friday, February 21, 2014

Moving Forward

Sounds like people on all sides of this quarrel have legitimate complaints and grievances with each other. So where does that leave us? Are we going to let that disband us? Are we going to continue with another year of us vs them, whoever us and them are? People are people and I am sure we aren't always going to agree with each other and get along.

Mountain Bikers of Michaux - We are part of a club that rides in a beautiful part of Pennsylvania forest and uses a resource for enjoyment, recreation, exercise, and social gathering. Notice that last part...If we didn't want to socialize we could all ride alone without the club. We're not all going to be great friends who invite each other on every ride or things outside of mountain biking. If people find good friends, great. The club's purpose is obvious and I think we all agree on our main priority. I met the folks that are officers of the Nittany Mountain Bike Association over the summer and they were having similar issues a few years ago. They had a lot of hard feelings and people fighting back and forth about previous transgressions and inconsistencies. Along the lines of what Larry said, they also had numerous trails that were unmarked and off the grid. In a few years, they have secured tourism grants, permission to build trails, purchased trail building equipment, and have also grown their club in number and in influence. How? Among other things, they got back to what they originated for in the first place....get a group of likeminded individuals together to protect their hobby/sport. Nobody here is getting paid for their time so this thing isn't going to be perfect or to everyone's perception of what it should be all the time. I am okay with that and I hope that others can be okay with that imperfection as well because it is our reality. I haven't noticed that re-hashing old grievances and telling each other what we do wrong to be incredibly helpful, correct me if I'm wrong. So can we forgive/forget/shake hands, and have a beer on Sunday to go forward and not backwards? Here are my 1.5 cents worth of suggestions for what I hope we move toward in 2014 and beyond.

1) More official meetings - I agree with what someone else said that once per year is not enough to air these issues--maybe quarterly, monthly?

2) Legitimize what we do so we can perhaps mark trails with signs, get accurate maps created and encourage a formalization of our trail system

3) Secure tourism grants just as Nittany Mountain Bike did (I'd be glad to lead that charge) so we can improve our visibility and positive impact in the forest

4) Regular input from members as to how things are going and how they can improve (people do pay dues after all) through regular meetings/gatherings

5) Groups separated by more/less hammering for larger group rides with occasional FULL GROUP rides for cohesion that may be slower but include everyone (Army does this with Company Runs)--It is obvious that ride choice is something people are interested in

6) End senseless banter and bickering--nothing brings down an organization quicker (club or company) like talking behind each other's backs or sniping on a message board--let's please stop (self included)

These are just suggestions of what I feel are the more important things that could help our club for next year and beyond. Feel free to agree or not and please don't feel like my suggestions are a slight to anyone who is or has been in an officer position. These are just one man's opinions and I wasn't sure I'd be able to articulate them in the meeting well enough. Anyone up for progress?

Thanks for reading if you made it this far,



Donut King said...

You can't put the genie back in the bottle. Being forward thinking people and witnessing the death of other clubs like YBR we saw this moment cumming (I did that for you Mooch) a long time ago. The Donuts voted to see if we should take an active role in MBM (kinda like CPR) or just move on. Just move on won by a landslide.
Many Donuts are still MBM members and we don't care who they choose to ride with. But asking the Donuts as a group to come back to MBM is like asking the Cupcakes to come back to MBM.

Jeremy said...

Well I don't have time to see who likes who and who's mad at who. That ceased being fun and interesting many years ago. Anyone who wants to ride their bike with me and perhaps create a climate of positivity is welcome to do that, no matter what label they want to put on themselves. This is truly quite pathetic and petty.

Chris Bratthauar said...

Very thoughtful and well-written post Jeremy. I wish you momentum and success.

Keep Michaux Weird and see you in the woods.


Chris Bratthauar said...

Oh yeah, and Jody - genie in a bottle? I never would have pegged you as a closet Christina Aguilera fan!

Slowride said...

I will support Jeremy and the donuts decision to move on 100%

Donut King said...

Jeremy I think you completely missed the point. The Donut's is a group that has regular weekly rides, rides with other clubs, makes trips outside of Michaux, does hikes,camping trips, family friendly picnics, does trail work, goes to beer festivals,and in many aspects is bigger than MBM. If you think The Donuts is a couple of guys pissed off at MBM, we out grew that the first month.
MBM doesn't offer anything even close to the this. We don't have to create a climate of positivity, we already have it and I'm just trying in the best way I can to let you know that these people aren't going to give that up to return to a club filled with agendas, egos, and rides that aren't fun.

Donut King said...

So are you're saying you don't want Donuts as members Brian? Those kind of comments define your Presidency.
Are you really prepared to go on the record and tell 20 plus mountain bikers that they are not wanted in MBM. Because that's what you just did you fool.
I'm sure MORE doesn't care if you're a Donut. HMMMM, that explains the 1,000 members.

prophet said...

Jeremy, great post. I'm in support of everything you outlined. I had no idea about tourism grants and would be interested in hearing more about that.

Hope to see you at the meeting Sunday.


Jeremy said...

That sounds great! I was speaking of MBM, since this is an MBM blog. I'm hoping that MBM is able to foster that sense of congeniality that you all have created in the Donuts. I was advocating "attraction not promotion" as was made popular by another entity. If people find what we do attractive, they will want to share it. If not, they won't (as we see here). I'm a member of MBM, not the Donuts, so I can't knowledgeably speak of that group. You posted before recommending MBM not alienate people and now state unequivocally that many Donuts are so scorned they would never consider returning to the scourge that is MBM...if they don't want to return/participate, why is this discussion relevant? You speak for them? "King" suggests monarchy, not oligarchy as you suggested before.

Most organized groups have agendas, egos, etc. I agree we should try to address any that get in the way of the club's mission, purpose, and overall friendly culture...which is what I thought I proposed. If people get that in another group, fantastic. I thought I proposed some ideas that would move us closer to providing more of that in MBM. I don't think I advocated that people stop attending fun events to ride with MBM. I'm simply hoping that this club can thrive, despite the recent disagreements. I think you're a smart guy, Jody. I have a lot of respect for you having the balls to stand up for yourself and others you feel have been treated badly. But what is the purpose?

Jeremy said...

Well, MORE encompasses Virginia, Maryland, and D.C., so I imagine that has something to do with the 1000 + members. Your point is well taken though but I don't think Brian was saying Donuts could NOT be in the club, just that he supports them if they don't WANT TO BE. I thought that is what you said anyway...they don't want to.

Jeremy said...

In the spirit of moving is a link to the article about NMBA and their tourism grant. Sorry for the many posts, it won't let me edit posts...

Slowride said...

I support the Donut unanimous decision to not administer CPR to MBM.

The king's CPR comment makes it sound as thought MBM has no chance of surviving unless donuts make it so.

Keep on blathering Donut King.......

Slowride said...

Keeping a good thing going hit 262. Almost. Just a little short of the record.

Donut King said...

About three days ago you were talking about disbanding the club and now you're saying it doesn't need CPR. Wow, that denial thing is a bitch, you still can't see how broken YOUR club is.

Donut King said...

landslide and unanimous are not synonymous.

Donut King said...

Jeremy I'm not ignoring your questions. I will get back to you, just can't right now.

Picnic said...

If you're going to apply for grants you'll have to change our filing status with the IRS and that opens a HUGE can of worms.

Donut King said...

Jeremy I'll try to address all your questions
1st. The King reference is a joke.
2nd. I said Donuts wouldn't participate in rides filled with ego, agenda, BS, etc.
I'm sure Donuts would participate if MBM rides were fun, that's what we do, fun rides.
3rd. This is relevant because many Donuts are MBMers and absolutely resent the fact that MBM tries to dictate who they should ride with on Sunday morning and the current President labels them as bad members if they don't fit his idea of a good member.
4th. Yes. I do speak for the Donuts. I probably shouldn't, but nobody else is doing it and nobody has told me to shut up so here we are.
5th. What's the purpose, well I can only explain that in metaphor. If your ex-wife married an asshole that beat her up you'd still want to kick that assholes ass even though she was your ex-wife. This is like watching some asshole beat up your ex-wife.

Jeremy you have gained my respect for admitting that MBM has problems and being willing to address them. If you choose to run for office I will support you. Would you consider running for President?

Jeremy said...

I think I would accept the nomination to be treasurer or something similar where I can be a part of the club moving forward. I care where it goes and how it is perceived like many others do. I've probably already said too much given my short time in the club so I will shut my face until Sunday. See you all soon.

@Picnic: I know that NMBA is a 501(C)3 and that's how they applied for grants. The grant idea was just an idea, maybe it's not possible. Just an idea from a club close by. You would know better than I in that regard. See you Sunday!