Golden Apple 2013
Sponsors and Donations
By Katie Marshall - updated 10/02/13
Thank you to Mike Lubchenko for taking photos at the GA this year. You can download small format photos for free or purchase large format for printing here You can also find photos posted on our website and Facebook page.
The partnership between local bike clubs and local bike shops was evident at the GA this year. Frank, driving the Danny's van, was all over the roads keeping more than one rider in the game. Skip, from Hickory and Tweed, parked an ice cream truck at Friends of Karen and gave out FREE ice cream on the last stop for the long distance riders, which will never be forgotten. Tom set up the Yorktown Cycles tent and stayed all day, plus he donated half a dozen gift cards, and supplied his two adorable children to entertain the masses post ride. Eric and Ilene from Bicycle World also donated gift cards and brought their tent and support crew to get folks off to a good start. SP Carbon Bikes came up from the city with donations of carbon handlebars and cages for our raffle. Hastings Velo and Signature also donated cool items for our raffle.
Danbury Audi came with an awesome display and free water bottles, plus "Top Down Weekend" for our raffle. Team Danbury Audi also lent their team car as a SAG vehicle.
Tony's Kneaded Touch provided free massage for sore muscles, while Muscle Milk gave out free drinks.
WCC members Jodee and Ed Novak provided Tazza coffee and muffins, Trailside Cafe offered smoothies and parfaits, Oscar from Benny and Caesars brought his homemade ice cream- all at reduced prices for the Golden Apple!
Another WCC member, Arshad Bhal, creator of Amrita plant based nutrition, donated a variety bars and some really beautiful shirts for our raffle.
Other sponsors include: Chain-L, Topricin, Riveira Bakhouse, RoadID, Peanut Butter & Co., Osmo and Larabar.
The best way to thank our sponsors is to buy their products and visit their stores, so please patronize these great folks who have given generously for the Golden Apple.
A special thanks to Alan Cole, who for many years, has let us use his barn for GA storage. He and his wife will be moving soon, so we will have to say goodbye to them, and to the barn. As we were getting ready for the Golden Apple this year, we found several little kittens in a flowerpot. Their wild mother had wisely chosen the barn to safeguard her babes. Before she could whisk them away, I took two, which seem like a parting gift and also a harbinger of new beginnings. Thank you Alan and Louise, for safeguarding our supplies and putting up with all of our ins and outs all these years.
Finally, a great debt of gratitude goes out to Jonas Weiner of Best Plumbing, Tile & Stone for generously allowing us to use the grounds of the Somers Showroom, making the event so much more enjoyable for the riders and especially for the volunteers.
Golden Apple 2013
Volunteers and Survey Results
By Katie Marshall - updated 9/16/13
In spite of the rain, the ride was a great success overall. While the weather kept registration down, (our Treasurer Steve Richman, who also assumed several jobs at the Golden Apple, is still doing the final accounting) it looks like our proceeds may hit record amount. This is good news for Friends of Karen and bike advocacy, including our own Bikes for Kids program (led by board member and GA volunteer Bill O'Connell), which is in dire need of funds to get off the ground. Kudos go to Christine Castaldo, (board member), Ellen Katz and Christine Schopen (also the WCC C and C+ ride coordinators and rest stop volunteers), who were coordinated a great feast for all at a greatly reduced cost. Shout-out to Amy Passingham, (board member) and Mike Messer who put in many hours to make a fun and memorable volunteer party for less than half the cost of previous years.
Due to creative publicity and advertising this year (thanks again to Amy Passingham, as well as, board member and designer Larry Edlavitch) we had a record number of non-WCC riders, many of whom elected to become WCC members, putting our membership over the top at 1700 current members. Thanks to Bruce Wells (board member), the man behind the website, who creates and maintains the programs that allow us to coordinate so many aspects of the Golden Apple. We had the following breakdown of riders (numbers approximate):
35% -100 mile
30% - 55 mile
20% - 70 mile
10% - 25 mile
5% - Dirty Apple
There were a record number of SAG vehicles on the road this year, which really paid off, considering the rain brought us many flats. Lisa Baker and Wayne Palladino worked tirelessly assigning and coordinating the marshals and SAG to ensure the safety and well being of all our riders. Thanks to efforts by Bob Hermann and Charlie Goldberger (board member and legal counsel) we garnered the cooperation of New York State and Westchester County to patch the roads and provide police service along the routes increasing safety overall.
Our registrar, (and board member) Mike Ghitelman got everybody efficiently signed up, checked in and ready to ride. Bari Wood (board member) led the crew of road markers who meticulously placed and picked up signs over many miles of roads. Thanks to Tim Lener (also the WCC A ride coordinator), coordinated the popular Hill Climb Time Trial. Welcome and thanks to (our new WCC B ride coordinator) Peter Aaron who designed and built a beautiful photo backdrop stand for the event.
As you can see, a great many of the WCC board members put in long hours this year as part of the coordinating team for the Golden Apple. Before, during and/or after, behind the scenes and/or in the mix, these are the folks that do the heaving lifting so that we all can enjoy the benefits of membership to WCC.
I would also like to thank some other WCC members who put in overtime for the Golden Apple this year: Rest stop coordinators Larry and Paula Edlavitch, Dave Hallerman, Cathy Martone, and Cindy Calderon, Mary Ellen Buchheit (and again Ellen Katz) arrived early and stayed late setting up the rest stops and managing volunteers. Susan Werbe and Linda Nastaszewski coordinated the merchandise and raffle that brought in over $700. Mark Lalloo and Mike Messer, our truck drivers, put in long hours setting up and cleaning up, picking up, dropping off, loading, unloading...you get the idea. Graphic designer Laura Griswold, donated significant time and materials, creating a photo backdrop and our shirt logo array.
While I will refrain from thanking each individual volunteer by name, most also put in more than the 4 hours of required volunteer time and/or did difficult jobs and in some cases, multiple jobs with great dedication and a positive attitude. Dozens of people baked homemade cookies to give out at rest stops, a gesture that was greatly appreciated. According to our survey, 100% feel appreciated, and hopefully, most feel the intrinsic rewards that come with doing something good for others. In case anyone needs more, here are more survey results:
96% rated overall organization above average to excellent
95% rated the volunteers above average to excellent
93% rated registration above average to excellent
91% rated the marshals above average to excellent
91% rated the route above average to excellent
99% said the route was well marked
78% rated the food above average to excellent
72% rated the parking above average to excellent
64% rated the vendors above average to excellent
86% said they would come back, based on their experience this year
97% said they would recommend the Golden Apple to friends
This has been my 5th year directing the Golden Apple. I have honed my administration skills, made many friends, and enhanced the joy of cycling for a great number of cyclists, if only for a day. I am proud of the many enhancements I have brought to the event. Yet, while much of the work was delegated among a team of smart and capable leaders, and even though we changed almost nothing this year, the lead job still took a huge amount of time.
I have several thoughts about where the Golden Apple should go from here, including streamlining route offerings to a metric century and half century, changing location to one where we can have the event staging and parking in the same place, focusing our fundraising efforts on our own WCC educational and advocacy, and beefing up the festival nature of the event. Continuing the Golden Apple in its current form is, I believe, too much work for all the WCC volunteers. I think our time should be refocused on efforts that provide greater benefit to more people. Whatever path WCC leadership takes, I want to spend my time and energy (on or off the board) dedicated to education, bringing the joy of cycling to those who have not yet discovered it, and helping those who already have to become safer and more effective cyclists. Really and truly this time, I am stepping down as the GA Director. Perhaps there is an enterprising individual out there, with the skills and vision to take ownership for a new era of Golden Apple. If so, I will be happy to lend advice and support. I look forward to hearing from you.