Thursday, August 30, 2012

The First New TourNews!

Here we go gang!  I just fired off what will probably be the last actual TourNews via email.  If all goes the way I'm hoping, this will be the new home for team news, sports and weather...well at least news.  Sports and weather might take a bit longer.

Diving right in...

I'm still in the process of sorting everything out from the Tour.  As always happens, there was some confusion (say it ain't so!) on the day of the event so it takes me a while to chew through it all.

Top of the list:  I know there was some jersey sizes that didn't come together and I'm working on getting them traded in.  If you didn't get the right one or didn't get one at all, please shoot me an email at to remind me what you need and I'll get it fixed as soon as I can.  I think I have the info but a refresher would help.  Bear with me guys!

Also as I mentioned before, if you still have donations coming in, you can send them directly to ADA attn: Shana Vono at their office address:
6390 Fly Road, Second Floor
East Syracuse, NY 13057

Any donations received before Sept. 18th count toward the 2012 total so keep 'em coming and boost us past the $20,000 mark!  We're really close and just need a little push to go over the top!

2013:  There's a lot of us that are hot to sign up for next year and get the ball rolling.  ADA hasn't officially set the date yet but right now it looks like it'll be the same weekend in August.  There's a move floating of changing it to Sunday (which I hope doesn't happen...more on that later).  Also there's the possibility of adding another route in between the 10 miler and the 35 so there would be an option to ride a little farther without climbing the notorious Steuben St. hill out of town.  Lots of things in the works and as always, if you have ideas or comments, let me have 'em or better yet...volunteer and help us make it better!

Onward and Upward...

A group of team members got together at the captain's place yesterday and batted around a lot of ideas for Team NS next year (already).  Here's a few of the highlights:
  • We settled on keeping our core fundraisers going next year.  The Crop-de-Cure, Bikes Bands and BBQ, the ADA Rally motorcycle ride and the PowerTrain Express train ride.  Not that that means we won't be doing other stuff!  It just makes sense to build on events we have established and grow them rather than keep adding a bunch of new ones.  That'll give us pretty much one each month through the spring and summer along with any others that come along.  There was a ton of ideas for more fundraisers and if anyone wants to take on a new event, we'll be more than happy to help!  Just let me know what you want to do!
  • Chris Vandruff and Charlie Juda have graciously offered to run team training rides at various places and times.  Chris will do road work and Charlie will host rides on the Catharine Valley Trail.  More info on these as things develop.  One of the hardest things to pull off is team rides so having these guys take charge of it is a big help.
  • We batted around the idea of having a team kickoff event either after ADA sets our date for next year this fall or maybe in the spring.  I know it's sometimes hard to get very many people together in one place but as we keep growing, it'll help keep us a team instead of a contact list with no faces.  I know I miss not being able to see everyone on Tour day so maybe this'll be a way to meet more of you guys.
  • All of us agreed that we should shoot for at least 75 riders next year and raise the bar again on fundraising.  We did absolutely fantastic this year but there's no standing still and no going back!  We're the best and the only thing to do is keep it that way!  We want Team NS to be the team to beat and the team to join for anyone on the Finger Lakes Tour.
  • As we continue to grow, we'll be lobbying for some changes for just one example...we'd like to see registration for our troops at our team tent become one of the perks of membership.  There's some others knocking around so stay tuned.
  • Another change we talked about is that next year there'll probably be a fundraising threshold for team jerseys.  Unfortunately, we had a few people sign up and receive jerseys but then never show at the Tour and never do any fundraising at all.  To keep jerseys coming from the carrier, we probably will have to limit them to people who participate and at least make their minimum donation.
There's more coming along and I'll post more as we get 2012 closed out and 2013 rolling so keep checking in to see what's new!

The Date

As I hinted above, it looks like the 2013 Tour will be held the same weekend in August as this year.  The catch is that there is a possibility that it could be on Sunday.  Any comments on that?

All of us last night were pretty much in agreement that Saturday is far and away the better day so if were missing some advantage to Sunday, let me know.  Personally, it would be really tough for me but I'm not everybody so hit me with opinions.

And With That...

I'm closing up shop for a bit and heading over to the setup page to tinker with links and stuff.  I might need a webmaster soon...

Just sayin'

More to Follow!

Monday, August 27, 2012

And now for something new...

Hi everyone!  It's the captain here.  

Welcome to the new PowerTrain blog!

Why do we have a blog?  I thought you'd never ask.  The bottom line is this, if the thing works out as I'm hoping, it's going to be the replacement for a lot of duplicate posting about what's going on with the team and an archive of past happenings.  Sounds simple right?  Most things do at the start so this is certain to be a work in progress.  There actually is a plan and here's the background:

One of the things I found in our travels leading up to the 2012 Tour was that there was far too many virtual places for me to keep track of and updated.  We have our public Facebook page, a closed team group page, an email list, an ADA team page and assorted other web sites all over the place so it takes some involved surfing to see what's going on in all of them.  I wound up missing a lot and I'm afraid many on the team did too.  Besides, some of us aren't on Facebook at all and some hardly ever check email but almost everyone cruises the web.  Short of snail-mail (which is pretty much out of the question), this seems like the best way to keep everybody in the loop.  As the blog gets organized, there'll be permanent links to the other sites, photos, comments and such so this will hopefully evolve into kind of a hangout where everyone can meet.

With luck, it'll turn into sort of an electronic LBS (that's Local Bike Shop, ala Kingsbury's) with all kinds of interesting stuff hanging on the wall but one you can visit in your pajamas at midnight.  Come to think of it...Kingsbury's would probably let you visit in your PJs if you were so inclined but midnight is probably not an ideal time be found on Water St. knocking on a locked door in such casual attire.  That's one instance where "I'm with Team NS" or "Harold sent me" most likely won't get you a discount.  You could also end up in a back seat with windows that don't go down trying to explain it all to a stern-faced man in a uniform.  Do not call me for bail money.  There are limits.

Moving right along...

This is where I plan to post my semi-regular TourNews broadcasts instead of emailing it to everyone.  I have the bulk email contact list so whenever something new gets put up, I'll probably just shoot out a "Hey guys, check the blog" message instead of choking my email server with massive posts full of photos and links.  If we keep getting bigger, I might be accused of spamming or maybe have to buy more bandwidth anyway.

I'll still post on the Facebook pages but some of it will be the same as what's available here.  Fb is still a great place to put up current stuff like team rides, pics and events so we can share them among our friends and people outside the team.  However, much as Zuck likes to believe that Facebook rules the world, it's very temporary and things tend to get lost in the clutter of shares and app requests.  The blog should be a place without so much extraneous noise where you won't have to search as much to find out what you need.

As another plus, all the older stuff will still be here and easily available so as new teammates sign on, they can browse through past posts and catch up without me having to go back and re-email everything over again every time.  I think this just might work out.

One thing though...I'm going to keep my closing line from the eNews...there's still and always -

More to follow!