“Press-Gang” – Noun (historical) - “A body of men employed to enlist men forcibly into service”. Verb (contemporary) - “To force or coerce”.
As I sit here contemplating my recent election as WNYMBA’s President, I realize that technically speaking, I’ve been “had”. Press-ganged by two of the nicest guys in mountain biking.
Outgoing President Ben Clauss and past-President Jon Sundquist spoke to me a few months ago and asked if I’d consider standing for President for 2014. My memory of our conversation was that there’d be lots of competition and that my election was by no means a sure thing. What happened, of course, was a WNYMBA parody of the old army skit where the Sergeant calls for volunteers to step forward. Everyone steps back of course, except for once poor sucker standing on the front line. Guess who?
When I look at the accomplishments of past Presidents like Ben Clauss (2012-13), Kevin Preston (2009-11), Mike Moscato (2006-8), Bill Rosenberry (2005) and Jon Sundquist (2001-4), I’ve got to confess that I’m intimidated. These guys brought us from very humble beginnings to our current position as leaders of all things mountain-bike in Western New York. I only hope that I can measure up and all I can say is, I promise to do my best to live up to the standard set by these guys.
WNYMBA has a lot on its’ plate for 2014 … and a lot to offer our members. Just a few things that spring to mind off the of my head are the Spring Bike Swap, layout of new trails at Darien Lake, a Larry Mordue kiosk, the building of a new “Alternate” to the White Trail in Ellicottville, maintenance of current trails at Hunter’s Creek, Sprague Brook, Golden Hill, Harris Hill and Ellicottville and a possible move of the Festival back to Ellicottville. I’d also like to see renewed emphasis on building our membership. We’re strong, but only as strong as the work we do and the members we hold and attract.
Finally, I’d like to thank the other members of your new executive. These were folks who were also a bit slow to step back when the call for volunteers went out.
- Jeff Smith - Vice-President
- Joe Crumlish – Treasurer
- Phil Defranco – Secretary
- Jon Sundquist – Advisory Board
- Ben Clauss – Advisory Board
- Todd Fiore – Advisory Board
- Mike Moscato – Advisory Board
Thanks … I think … for electing me as your President. Check back with me in a year to see if I’ve survived and whether or not I still have any mountain bike friends. In the meantime, stay tuned – it’s going to be a great ride this year!