12/29/2020 - 2020 and Bring On 2021
As 2020 comes to a close, saying it was a tough year would
certainly be an understatement. Tragic in many ways, and I linked
a story at the bottom here regarding Brian Rosenblatt, which
epitomizes that. A long time member, sponsor and also creator of
our Somerset Circuit TT. I know that many are aware, but wanted
to share the article that was published in a local newspaper. All
the best to Brian, and family, as he battles this virus, a
difficult situation overall (personally, professionally, etc) and
a long rehab. For those interested in the detail, or helping out
in any way, information is available if needed.
Not a great deal to say about a Covid situation that has
consumed us all since March, and let's stay focused as there is a
light at the end of a tunnel, which is still longer than we would
like. Stay safe, healthy, and all the best to your families
during this difficult crisis we certainly have never confronted.
It also impacted the team in general in terms of cancellation of
our events, modifications to many plans, programs, and
opportunities to ride, compete and socialize.
That all being said, and a given, positives emerged from 2020
in some expected, and unexpected ways. Financially, the team is
still sound and, when feasible, safe, and allowed, we will hold
events (race and social/awards) again and look forward to those
in the future. 2021 will be the 85th anniversary of the team.
While we won't be able to hold the type of event we did for other
milestones, we'll find a way to celebrate for sure and be proud,
particularly in a time where many other teams/shops are
dissolving or making big changes.
Our sponsors have done a great job, are solid, and strong.
POPs Bike Shop has helped us have a home base for events, future
clinics, new products, and, additionally jumpstarted our
membership increase with the new riders and racers joining the
team, and others who will in 2021. In addition to all the free
service and discounted products they provide us. We've added, at
minimum, half dozen new racers, and most importantly, new riders,
families, junior opportunities, etc. All good things for the team
and our sport. Pactimo has been a great partner with clothing and
they will also sponsor the NJ TT Cup when it returns. Power Bar
is going to play a bigger role and will be distributing product
through our shops, providing team discounts, and also prizes and
presence at our events. Other strong sponsors are Saunders
Jewelry, Morey's Piers, and Rudy Project. It is certainly the
great news of the year.
For the first time in many years, we also now have a couple of
team rides going out, albeit still modified in terms of structure
and #s with the pandemic. Something we haven't had for quite some
time and envisioned for several years. I am hoping this will
continue into the spring. Awaiting NJBA virtual meeting and
general direction on possible race scheduling in 2021. Early
indication is that we aren't expecting a normal start the the
season, which is no surprise. We may see some solo, virtual and
chip events into the spring months and then, based on overall
vaccine progress, and the direction of the overall virus,
hopefully some normal things 2nd half of year. That, however, is
just discussion at this point, so once things are more
definitive, will share them. As of now, NJ outside gatherings are
Lastly, would encourage those looking to be part of (or stay a
member of) USAC, to review their membership to see what makes
sense in 2021. I did renew mine for racing and as an Event
Director. We also would like to see as many Somerset team
renewals as possible so our communications and information are up
to date and clear. Bob Perlee has agreed to stay on as our
Webmaster this year, Larry Dudek as the Membership Manager,
Robert Kowal for clothing, and Dottie managing our financial
books and other key renewals etc. Joe Saling and I will continue
to keep everyone up to date on information regarding events,
Though the year was difficult, we have a lot to be proud of as
a strong team that comes together when needed and, while we
didn't have any formal race events this year, we had them all set
up to go and am sure the support, as always, would be top notch
and thanks so much for that. Enjoy the rest of your holiday
season and Happy New Year. Look forward to seeing everyone in a
Dr Brian Rosenblatt, COVID-19
Story in the Patch.
5/25/2020 - Touching Base On Memorial Day
On a day when we remember those who lost their lives protecting us, and our freedoms, I just wanted to reach out to the team. A Memorial Day with no bike racing, local parades, etc. seems very strange, but it is the current world we live in. Hope all are staying safe, sane, and healthy!! Certainly lots of bike riding being done, albeit solo or in very small circles. I am including below my TT Cup Series post, which essentially says that we decided to cancel the balance of the TT Cup (last 3 races) and move forward in that discipline to 2021 in New Jersey. I'll also share to our Team Facebook page. Was really the only decision to make and it helps to be definitive about it now and allow others to, hopefully, focus on later summer or fall events if they can happen - CX, Fondos, Gravel. After all the successful years of team promotions, hit a bump in the road this year, but we will be back strong in 2021. There is still so much uncertainty with the pandemic, so I don't really have a blueprint for what Team Somerset can do this year. When we are able to, if so, we'll talk about meetings, small events, perhaps a "club only" ride, race, etc. I expect, in the near term, some "socially distanced" events may be in order (i.e. I know that CRC of A is running some small TTs) or something regionally, and individuals will certainly evaluate expanding riding beyond solo as they see fit with others exercising the appropriate precautions. Certainly doing anything broader will be difficult for awhile. Zwift has been a great source of riding, including our Saturday Pops hour, as well as other "Meet-ups" and virtual events or series.
Bright spot is the time we have spent with family, honing of fitness goals without the rigors of racing, and also the additional time allowed us to get our clothing in and even open up the store for more ordering. This is a very strong team and, while wishing everyone the best under these tough circumstances, I know we'll bounce back strong after we get through this experience. I'll periodically provide some updates and touch base, and will certainly communicate any important updates or items to the team. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.
I wanted to reach out to the TT Community to provide an update and some closure on this 2020 Season's TT Cup. Unfortunately, with the vast majority of this year's New Jersey TT calendar cancelled already, we (the TT Cup Committee) collectively decided to not move forward with the final few race events (which have not been permitted) and start fresh in 2021. To allow for other normal fall cycling (CX, Gran Fondos, Gravel, etc) to take place on scheduled dates, if they can, trying to reschedule did not seem appropriate, fair or feasible. This is a difficult decision of course, but based on input from the Race Directors involved, teams running the events, and also the TT Cup Committee. With much uncertainty still in play during this pandemic, financial/economic distress for many, concern for volunteers, as well as health/safety of the racers coming from various places, we did not feel comfortable moving forward. USAC is lifting their formal ban on permits starting June 1, but that is based on regional approval of events through the various normal channels, and a detailed plan around how to effectively and safely run an event during this difficult time. There is not a high confidence level that once NJ is open up more fully, that all the towns/counties, parks etc will be completely ready for us in summer, as well as questions around facilities at venues (bathrooms, etc). We look forward to getting back to business with a full schedule in 2021. However, even if the new world dictates some changes at races to keep racers healthy and safer, we'll know much better at that time how to navigate the waters. Certainly hope that NJ can have some events on their overall race calendar this season, and that all of us can get out safely to have some group rides, and small team events of our own, to help us move in the right direction and reconnect, once we are able. It is a sport we love and we certainly would all like to return to sharing it amongst a community and at group gatherings.
5/21/2020 - Team Clothing Order Closing June 4
For those that may have missed the initial offering, we have re-opened the Team store for two weeks only.
Get your order in today! — Ordering web page
4/9/2020 - USA Cycling COVID-19 Update as of April 9th, 2020
Just a quick FYI to everyone, though you may have received this already directly. USAC permitted events cancelled through May 31, 2020. This includes our Somerset Circuit TT. I suspect that the date will go farther, but they are updating as they go. With so much uncertainly as of now, we don't have a specific plan this year to reschedule, but it is possible if, and when, lots of green lights go on, or we'll look at similar timing for 2021. Hope all are doing as well as they can during this difficult time all around.
USAC message/image link
4/4/2020 - Team Clothing Order Closing April 6
Just wanted to send out a quick reminder to everyone that the clothing order at Pactimo closes out after this weekend, so, if interested in getting any clothing, please submit tomorrow. There is a link on our website and Robert Kowal also released an email on the detail. I just placed my order yesterday and it looks like we have a decent sized order. I know this has been a difficult time for many, and wish all the best in such an unprecedented time. Very nice clothing items done custom for us, including some discounts on various accessories. We extended the order to April 6, but this now assures us that we'll have clothing delivered by Memorial Day. Certainly no word on when we'll actually be able to use the race clothing, but we all hope for the best this year. Should there be any question, please let Robert or me know. Thanks. Be safe, healthy and all the best to you and your families. I will be back in touch shortly once more detail comes out from USAC on the balance of the racing season, as well as our own team events and rides.
3/15/2020 - COVID-19 Virus and Our Events
Just wanted to send a quick note to the team to, first, let you know that we've cancelled race events (via USAC) through April 5. This includes our Steve Reed Memorial TT at Cape May. There is certainly uncertainty and a possibility that this situation will force cancellations beyond that date, but nothing more at this point and I will keep the team in the loop certainly. We'll adjust our website and other communications to reflect the changes in the races. Everyone's priority now is, of course, personal and family safety and health, and focusing on the priorities of life in front of us. This has always been a great supportive team and community, and all the best to you during this difficult time. We'll get past this and, hopefully, be able to resume normal events and life soon.
3/9/2020 - Somerset Spring Promotions - Early Reach Out for Volunteers
As the time changes, and 72 degrees appears, spring bike racing certainly is on the mind! Somerset's spring promotions this year are April 5 (Steve Reed Memorial/Cape May TT), April 18 (Allamuchy TT) and May 16 (Somerset Circuit TT). I know that Joe is handling communication on marshaling and other help that he needs at Cape May Courthouse. I'd like to just gauge our support for Allamuchy TT on Saturday April 18. Your support and time spent is greatly appreciated, so please let me know if you are able to spend a couple hours helping out for the race. Somerset is actually our biggest need, but I'll connect at a later date. I hope all are doing well and getting ready for official spring shortly.
2/18/2020 - Couple of Quick February Team Updates
Hope all enjoyed the long President's weekend. Winter, but certainly better than many in NJ. We are a couple of weeks out to the NJBA Banquet at River Horse in Ewing, on February 29. Also, many thanks to Eric and Maggie for again hosting our team party and awards on Saturday, March 7. Season ending awards are in the books and being produced for us at Crown Trophy!! Hope to see many of the team out at either this Saturday's upcoming POPS rides in Bound Brook and/or the Sourland Classic in Flemington on Sunday from V5. Registration is closing for that tonight and it looks like they are now taking a waiting list.
Sorry that it took a little time, but we finalized our revised clothing design for this season and will be working with Pactimo on our race kits. This, literally, is in process and some of the worldwide shipping delays are going to push production out a little bit. I am trying my best to expedite things and look for some communication shortly from Robert Kowal to make selections. Because this is a new vendor, I am requesting a fit kit of some things to, most likely, have at POPs for anyone to review the clothing and sizing, More to follow on this. For those who have raced for Somerset, the design and color will not be a drastic diffference, so I don't anticipate a need for large scale ordering. However, many of us always want the newest and most up to date things. For the new racers this year, we'll do our best to accommodate and we can discuss the best approach if shipping runs into April, which I expect it will. Older Somerset kits and POPs stuff always looks great.
I have not landed on a date, but am hoping to have a team meeting in March so we can officially get us all together and discuss all the benefits and updates that both POPs and Somerset have. More to follow on this once the schedule becomes clearer. Since we are having a team party in early March, thinking later in the month at perhaps the Somerville shop makes sense, but not finalized so look for updates.
Lastly, our three (3) spring Time Trial promotions are permitted and up for registration.
Steve Reed (April 5),
Allamuchy (April 18) and
Somerset Circuit (May 16).
Big events in the Time Trial Cup and look for information and requests coming out on those as we solicit volunteers and get ready to race and rock for the spring 2020. Looking forward to a great year and excited for the new team members joining us and opportunities ahead.
See you this weekend.
2/9/2020 - Awards Party update
Hope all are doing well.
4 weeks until our team gathering at Eric's.
Please remember to let Eric know if you will be attending and/or let one of us know (Joe, Dottie, myself).
Should be a fun night as always to recognize this year's awards and also get together as a team.
Also, as FYI, Feb 29 is the NJBA Banquet at River Horse in Ewing and don't forget to renew your team membership and USAC license if you plan to participate in events the 2020 season.
Look forward to seeing everyone soon and also on the POPS rides which have been well attended on Saturday mornings!!