Volunteer Profile: John
Neighborhood: Flatbush, Brooklyn
Occupation: Social Worker, retired
T.A. member since: 1994
Volunteer activities: NYC Century route clean up, marking, and
marshaling; volunteer night mailing parties; T.A. office shelf building.
Explain your involvement with the NYC Century?
I rode my first NYC Century in 1994. I saw the flyer in my local bike shop and
felt I was ready for the 55-mile route. When I got to the start I left with
the 100-milers instead. That ride took me 13 hours! Riding the tour gave me a
great amount of (cycling) confidence and showed me places in the city I had
never seen before. I was hooked and decided to join T.A. and get more involved
with cycling in NYC.
How do you feel about the ride now (so many years later)?
The purpose of the Century intrigues me. The ride uses open streets, park
paths, and bike lanes and shows people that the outdoors is accessible and
safe to cycle in.
Tell us about your trail clean-up efforts.
Last year I got together with T.A. volunteer Robert Eberwein to clear the sand
and shells off the Shore Parkway path to get ready for the tour (from Plumb
Beach to Canarsie Pier, about 3 miles). This year I wanted to involve Gateway
National Recreation Area to enlist and sustain their help in maintaining this
path. I visited the site manager for the area and asked for their help. They
were delighted to help us and gave us brooms, bags, and shovels to use. I
followed the same model in Forest Park. On a NYC Century pre-ride we
discovered a black pole in a dark tunnel. I got in touch with the site manager
and explained that this pole needed to be painted yellow so it would be
visible. Once again they were glad to help and thankful that we had put so
much thought into the well being of the trail users. I am hoping that this
idea of working with various agencies can grow so that the trails can be
properly maintained. Clean paths will encourage cycling, and make the parks
more accessible. Our willingness to help (as volunteers) shows that there is
interest in keeping these trails clean and inspires these agencies to make it
a normal activity.
You have been a T.A. member for long time. What is your favorite T.A.
T.A. has a wonderful and effective magazine. People are surprised at how
influential T.A. is given that we only have 5000 members. It is nice to see
T.A. quoted so often in the mass media with respect to traffic issues. Direct
member participation in various elements helps maintain this strong voice.