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At the outset, I would like to thank the membership for electing me President of the Everglades Bicycle Club (EBC) for 2013! I’m joined by a great Board that already is hard at work planning events for the year.

There is no doubt that EBC has been very successful in the past and has established itself as Miami’s premier cycling club. Still, we must focus not only on maintaining that legacy, but also building on it in the coming year and thereafter. 

As we begin to look in that direction, the Board has implemented some changes to the manner in which the club operates. The new approach will encourage greater membership participation and input. It also will allow the Board and I to more effectively manage the club’s activities.

In summary, EBC will have committees assigned to each of the Board Members with the assistance of each of the Directors. The Treasurer will now have the Finance Committee, the Secretary has been assigned the Communications Committee, and the Vice President, the Membership Committee. There also will be Rides and Events Directors, with two members assigned to this function. A newly selected Director position is the Community Liaison, who will work closely with me and the rest of the Board to keep the members apprised of activities, events, and other developments that impact the cycling community.

In addition to myself, the Board Members and Directors of EBC are as follows:

  • Vice President: Mary Beth Garcia
  • Secretary: Shannon Roque
  • Treasurer: Bob Williams
  • Past President: Art Lieberman
  • Community Liaison Director: Greg Neville
  • Communications Committee Director: Shannon Roque
  • Membership Committee Director: Arpad Hevizi
  • Rides and Events Committee Directors: Rick Smit and John Sabatier

The new approach will require more volunteers to serve as members of Committees. The Directors and other Board Members will be reaching out to the membership to recruit volunteers to assist them with various roles. Please feel free to discuss your interest with me or any of our Board Members.

For the first time ever, our New Board Installation Banquet Dinner at Perricone’s was sold out far in advance of the registration deadline. That speaks clearly to the amazing level of interest from our members to participate in such events. We hope to continue to offer the best venues and expect that attendance will increase even further.

The Snowbird Century Ride is March 24th! Shannon Roque has volunteered to serve as Ride Chair. We thank Shannon for taking on that role. All of us are assisting her with everything she needs to make this one of the best EBC events ever!

Note that March is Bike Month in Florida and that March 22nd is Bike to Work Day. Our Snowbird Century Ride will serve as part of the Bike Month celebration for the Club. EBC also is participating with public organizations in Miami-Dade County to assist with various other cycling-related events as part of Bike Month. In addition, the Club is doing the same for Bike 305. Bike 305 is a month long event that focuses on the great greenways and trails that form an interconnected system throughout Miami-Dade County. Volunteers will be needed in order for EBC to be a partner for the series of events planned for Bike Month and Bike 305. A Bike 305 website is under construction and we will inform you as soon as it becomes available.

If there is one paramount consideration in cycling, it is safety. We all need to do everything possible to promote safe cycling and driver safety/awareness. For my part, I will join The Dori Slosberg Foundation and its partners for Florida Road Safety Week, which takes place April 7th to 13th. Along with law enforcement officers and cyclists from around Florida, I will undertake a four-day, over 400-mile bike ride that begins in Orlando and finishes in Tallahassee. The mission: Raise awareness for safe driving. Stops will involve major events at universities around the state.

I encourage everyone to get involved in cycling safety. A huge factor in cycling safety involves the interaction of bicycles and motor vehicles on the roadways of the state. More needs to be done in terms of bicycle lanes, signage, driver awareness, enforcement, and accountability. At the same time, cyclists always need to follow safety procedures. We must cycle defensively and intelligently, fully taking into account our environment and the circumstances. You can get involved in cycling safety in many ways, from something as simple as politely suggesting that a fellow cyclist tighten the strap on his/her helmet (or to wear a helmet in the first place), to donating to a cycling safety organization, to participating in any number of cycling safety events. Just ask me or a Board Member and we’d be glad to point you in the right direction!

While cycling is our primary mission, with so many great people being members of the club, there is a strong social element to EBC too. In short, EBC is a place for great friendships and camaraderie for everyone. We welcome and encourage new members to join and welcome back our existing members for another great year! I can tell you that the Board and I are committed to making 2013 the best year yet for EBC!

Happy and safe pedaling!

Xavier Falconi
Everglades Bicycle Club
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