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March Madness Details Announced

"Have I gone mad?" - Mad Hatter "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are." - Alice

March Madness has been a great event for the Davis Bike club for the last 12 years. This will be the 13th year of March Madness and we hope that with the small changes we are putting into effect, it will be the most special one of all. There has been dwindling registration in the event over the last couple of years. At the end of 2010, I had decided to throw it the towel and give up the chair position for March Madness thinking that perhaps someone else wanted to chair the event. There was no one, some considered helping but didn't want the ultimate responsibility. In December of 2010, an email was sent out stating the if no one took on the position then March Madness would not happen in 2011. When I saw that email I shuddered to think what it would be like without this great event that puts helmets on kids. 

 My decision to step back into the chair position after a long 3 months off was one of duty, I felt that I had a duty to continue on as chair and make the event what I knew it could be. I wasn't done yet. 

 After two March Madness planning meetings, the March Madness committee has made some great decisions. 

 We now have online registration for March Madness. We are moving the March Madness banquet to Bistro 33 effective this June 5th. We are putting together the history of March Madness so that it can be reviewed online. We have decided that we need to increase participation in the March Madness event, more kids need to ride March Madness miles and be involved with riding miles for helmets for kids.

 We decided to make the March Madness entry fee free to kids under the age of 18. The idea was thought of based on the fact that a membership costs $20 for an individual and $30 for a family so if kids are free for March Madness they would still have to pay $20 to be a DBC member or their parents would pay $30 for a family membership, either way we would gain members and March Madness riders. 

 We also decided that we would have t-shirts produced that were identical to the MM jersey and each kid would receive a t-shirt that they could wear to school during March. We decided to make March Madness posters to announce the event which would also match the MM jersey design, this would get the word out to the school aged kids and they could be posted in the bike shops around town. 

 Lots of decisions have been made and we feel that they are decisions that will increase the positive relationships of all cyclists in Davis through this small event. Everyone can be involved in one way or another even if it's just riding miles. 

 In March, on the following Wednesdays - the 9th and 23rd,  there will be a Bicycle Party at Birch Lane elementary school.  We are currently looking for volunteers to help make this party a fun event that encourages safety while riding and allows kids to get their bikes checked by experienced cyclists. If you are interested in volunteering for either one of these dates, please contact Mary James at jamesclan@sbcglobal.net for more information. 

 During the March Madness month a pilot study will be conducted using bar code scanners that are given to children at Birch Lane Elementary who ride their bikes to school on a regular basis. The bar codes will be on a tag that is attached to a wrist key holder bracelet, when a child arrives at school they will go to the scanner station and scan their barcode which will send a text to their parents cell phone stating that they got to school, it also allows tally of the distance that the child rode to school. 

 The scanner will be adjacent to the bike racks and governed by those who made the system so it doesn't take personnel away from the classrooms. The idea to trial the barcodes is based on the fact that we need a way to tally how kids get to school in order to collect the data to submit for a Safe Routes to School grant. The Birch Lane Bike committee is brand new and is trying to come up with creative ways to get more kids to ride their bikes to school. The March Madness committee has decided to help pay for the barcodes and rubber wrist bracelets as a collaboration with the Davis Bicycles! school committee; who will be purchasing the scanners during March for this pilot study at Birch Lane Elementary. It is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in this pilot study along with our other community cycling club.

 It is very easy to register for March Madness this year and the jersey design will be posted on the website soon for all to see - as a sneak preview - a design is being drafted that gives a new look to the very first March Madness Jersey - the theme will be Madness! The "Alice in Wonderland" type and I think that you will all enjoy the jersey for 2011. 

 Hope to see you out there getting in your pre March miles....remember in March we will have two brevets, an end of the month April Fools Tour and  several opportunities on the ride calendar to get some miles in as well as meet new members of the Davis Bike Club. 

 I am very happy to Chair the March Madness event, it is an honor to be associated with such a great organization and such a wonderful event

Mary James

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