The State of the Club – 2015 – SIBA Annual Dinner Speech


Welcome fellow SIBA members and guests. I want to first introduce our Board Members

John Warner,  Michele Pirone,   Jack Halpern,  John Cigari,  Armando Lisojo,  Nancy Lisojo,

Linda Benedetto,  George Sutton,  Sheila Obonago, Michael Balwierczak, and myself, Roy Fischman

Together,  we have planned and occasionally  implemented many of the trips, events, and policies to make our club  vibrant and growing, and strengthen the comraderie among our members.

Our last season had many activities and rides.

Our first event of the season was the New and Renew ride that again ended with a lunch at the Harvest Cafe (this year it will be on May 9 so mark your calendar.)

Then we had the Bike and Bagel rides in July, August and September with a breakfast at South Side Bagels.  And finally we had our annual BBQ which was again graciously hosted by Michele in the backyard of her house.

This last season we had a large increase in the number of our Sunday New Jersey rides which were enjoyed by more and more of our members.  So many in fact, that it may have been more economical to hire a bus, compared to the total cost of gas paid, for all the cars we drove to New Jersey. Most of these rides were planned and lead by Steve Urcia and Armando Lisojo, using their Garmins. We are grateful for that very useful technology. And we are very appreciative to Steve and Armando for all the work they have done for those Sundays and Saturday rides as well.

SIBA led rides were not the only rides our members rode.

There was the Kent County Spring Fling, The Ramapo Rally, The Dover Delaware Amish Country Bike Tour, etc. It was because of our club that our members found friends to go with to these rides. In fact, many would not have gone on these rides if there were no one from the club, to go with.

Our club also played a part to improve bicycling for everyone. About 18 of our members attended the Verrazano Bridge bicycle / pedestrian path rally at the Alice Austin House and, many of us signed the Transportation Alternatives petitions to make Clove Rd. and Richmond Terrace safer for all forms of transportation.

(There are pictures of many of our rides and events on our picture board.) And please remember to take and send pictures on the rides and events you attend this year so we can add to our club album.

This year we met twice during the long cold winter just to enjoy the company of each other, our guests, and have the rare opportunity to see each other in non-cycling clothes. We met at the Colonnade Diner in February and the China Chalet in March.

Now we are at the beginning of another bicycling season.

You can expect to see a full season of Sunday trips to New Jersey. However, we can’t rely exclusively on only a few leaders and planners for these trips. I am calling on all experienced riders to consider taking out some trips. That way we can ensure that we have a trip planned for every Sunday. By the way, the Sunday trips are only open to club members.

Also this season we will have some Staten Island “Bring a Friend” rides. We hope everyone can think of a friend who is not a strong rider but would like to try a club ride. These rides will be at a relaxed pace and will stop during the ride for breaks and a sit down lunch.

So far this year we have 24 riders who chose C as their ride level. Accordingly, we will have more C rides this year both on and off the Island.

Tomorrow, Transportation Alternatives will run their Tour de Staten Island ride. 8 SIBA members have volunteered to be Marshals for the ride. I will be at the SIBA table at the Finish Fest in front of the Flagship Brewery with our picture board, handing out our new flyer and hoping to sign up new members.

We are aware that many of you want to show your affiliation to the club by wearing club clothing. New this year is the club T-shirt. We have John Cigari to thank for most of this effort and he is the one to contact for all your SIBA clothing needs.

And, we continue to work on upgrading the SIBA website. That is being developed by Jack Halpern and other Board members.

As you can see we have a growing and active club. We encourage your suggestions for new events, rides, and changes to our usual routine. (We may even listen to some of them ) Our brain is like a 10 speed bicycle. Most of us have gears that we never use. So use some of those gears and send us your ideas.

Thank you for coming tonight and when you are bicycling on the roads I offer this thought, “Don’t be so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of you that you don’t take the time to enjoy where you are.”

I propose a toast: To our memorable season past, may we have a successful new season, and may we continue to have members who want to want to make SIBA a great club.