Expanding 3rvs HorizonsShanePowell

Written by Shane Powell

One of the things 2020 has given me time to ponder, is what we are lacking as a Club. When many people think of 3RVS, they think of things like our weekend tours, Three Rivers Festival Tour, mountain biking at Franke, our race team, etc. We have a dedicated person to direct, and coordinate each of these facets of our sport. What we don’t always think about, are some of our most beloved, and well attended social rides, or our advocacy in the community.

In the Spring, I switched to working 2nd shift for social distancing purposes. During this time, I was able to take advantage of our trails system. What I realized in doing this, is that there are a LOT more cyclists in Fort Wayne than our tiny little club reflects. We now have well over 100 miles of cycling/ multi-use infrastructure available. However, we have very few activities to attract the users of this infrastructure. Sure we have The First Friday Tour, which always draws a great crowd. We have the Monday Meanderings and Musings, that has a following of its own. We had the annual ice cream ride which will now be a remembrance ride for Rudy Schmidtke, and the Chilly Challenge. Most of these rides have fallen under Touring, which in my opinion doesn’t give them the frequency or dedication that they deserve. What many of you may not know, is that we as a club, are also a sponsor for Trek the Trails. If you are not familiar with TTT, it is the most heavily attended weeknight ride in Fort Wayne, period. Their turnout on a Tuesday night dwarfs anything we do, with the exception of the Festival Tour. This got me thinking. We need more rides like this!

I realized first that these are not what I would call “touring rides”. They got grouped into touring because we just didn’t know what to do with them. I also realized that we need a person to coordinate them. Someone who is approachable, and good with people. (As much as I would like to think of myself in this manner. Let’s face it. I’m not that person.) So I reached out to Mona Will. I believe the way that I described the situation to her, is that I needed a “dedicated meanderer”. I just didn’t know what else to call it at the time. Someone who could be a liaison between TTT participants, and 3RVS. Someone who could have their own ride leaders, activities, and schedule away from Touring. Someone to coordinate, and oversee all of the fun social aspects of our Club that have been neglected. To my delight, she agreed!

We then reached out to the Fort Wayne Trails folks, and the City of Fort Wayne, to set up a meeting, and discuss the possibility of making Trek the Trails an official 3RVS Club Ride. They are all very excited about the prospect of 3RVS becoming more involved with promoting Trek the Trails, and expanding their use with our Club activities. So much so, that they went one step further, and declared 3RVS partners with Trek The Trails! What this means for us, is that all of our Club benefits will now be extended to participants on these rides. We are hoping that this will expand our footprint in the Fort Wayne area through in-creased membership, and being able to offer more cycling related activities to beginning, and casual cyclists. If this idea gets the response that we are hoping it will. This will eventually become a dedicated officer’s position within the Club. So the next time you see Mona Will, be sure to thank her for taking on this monumental task, and working to expand our Club into new directions!