11.01.2013

Hold Everything Until December 12.

You know that sound of a stylus screeching across a record on a turntable?

Look at the ambitious calendar in the previous blog post, and make that sound in your head.

Now please consider that entire calendar erased.


But don't panic.

Note: if the rest of my explanation below is too long to read, just read this:

WE WILL VERY LIKELY BE ROLLER RACING AT ARTSRIOT ON DECEMBER 12.
EVERYTHING ELSE IS IN FLUX RIGHT NOW BUT WE WILL WORK IT OUT.  

I owe everybody (all 25 of you) an explanation:

When I started Vermont Indoor Cycling, it was basically a name I put on the idea of a bunch of people getting together to ride bikes inside in the winter time. It seems simple enough, but finding and using space has always been a challenge. I loved doing rides at Maglianero the last two years, but i hated that people had to pay and I always worried that it was a deterrent to getting more riders.

And that's the thing. I really wanted MORE RIDERS to show up, because once we all started riding together, it got to be the highlight of my week. As the father of a three-year-old with a full-time job that often goes into the night, I don't really have the time to make it to the many outdoor group rides and bike events that take place around here, but I get really jazzed on the atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the fun. Almost every group ride I have been on was been a VTIndoor ride, and almost all of my other riding is  my commute to and from work. So that's it- can't make it to other group rides? Make your own and get other people to show up. That's what I did.

So, anyway, I've always been on the lookout for free space so we could do this without charging people money, and space where we didn't need to move heavy tables, and space where we could be more visible to recruit more riders... ...the list goes on.  And at the same time, I have wanted to get Mad Dashes roller racing more established, because I think winter-time roller racing is a critical component to the ongoing growth of bicycle culture in the Burlington area.

What does that mean? It means that I went from just looking for a place to ride to finding a bit of a social mission: get more people on bikes in Burlington. Get more people in Burlington used to seeing, used to hearing about, and used to the idea of riding bikes in Burlington all year round. Support that, grow it, get more people to integrate active transportation and non-motorized recreation into their lives. Because it's impossible that I'm the only one out there who gets excited by this stuff, right?

I started an Indiegogo funding campaign under the moniker "Vermont Bicycles United" to try to get a little money together to help make these things happen. It didn't "go-go" very well, through. So with no money to make things happen, I started exploring other ideas. Over the summer I started a relationship with ArtsRiot. They have great space, they were willing to host rides for free, and they have sound and video equipment we could plug right into. It's a match made in heaven. We talked about having one Thursday a month be dedicated to roller racing, with our other Thursdays as training nights. We got to the point where I was confident enough that things were a go that I released that calendar I want you all to erase from your head at this point.

But here's the thing. That really great space at the best possible price (free)? That's really attractive to lots and lots of people. Bands. DJ's. Filmmakers. Yogis. Artists. And in the time since the release of that initial schedule, it has become clear to me and to ArtsRiot that they simply cannot commit their space to me the way they hoped to.

So here's the plan:

  • We are pushing hard to get the first Mad Dash off the ground on 12/12. There will be more information here and on the ArtsRiot Calendar before that date gets much closer. 
  • We will likely also have at least one training night a week through the winter at ArtsRiot. it may not Be Thursdays every time. Based on my availability, it may be anywhere for Thursday or Friday night to any time on Saturday or Sunday. 
  • I am also looking for other space for more training. I'm looking for space that is free, central to Chittenden County, and has power and light. Empty classrooms. Empty garage bays. Warehouses. Barns. Church basements. If you are reading this and a space comes to mind, please, please let me know. 
  • I am looking for other people who would like to lead training events. if somebody wants to borrow my laptop with the Sufferfest videos and start a weekly VTIndoor night somewhere else at a time am not available, that would be really terrific. You can even borrow the Wheel of Pain.   
OK, so that's it. Stand by for training, file 12/12 in the back of your mind for roller racing, get excited to ride inside together, send me ideas for space, and I'll take care of the rest.  

Cheers, 

Matt