Capital Bicycling Club sends message with new logo: All are welcome

Answers to important questions nobody has asked me yet:

How important is a logo for a bicycling club?

Bike clubs often battle the perception that they’re all about Spandex and speed. Despite having a membership of more than 500 people, the Capital Bicycling Club often must convince people “we’re not a competitive club” before they join, said club promotions chairwoman Stephanie Randolph.

The Olympia club’s mission is to promote cycling in the community and not just the competitive type. Commuting and recreational riding too. They offer rides for beginners and are launching a series for women in April.

When it came time for a new logo, the club wanted something to convey the message that they’re welcoming to all riders.

Earlier this year, they spent $500 on a design contest facilitated by 99designs.com and promptly received 130 submissions from 38 designers.

Next, they whittled the field to six finalists (No easy task, Randolph said) and asked them to refine their work. All but one tweaked their design.

The one who didn’t proved to be the winner. The winner was Nenad Milovanovic (he did not respond to an email seeking comment, but Randolph said he is not a club member and does not live locally).

His simple design includes the club name and two chain links connected by a handshake. A statement on the club’s website says Milovanovic described his design “as being based on the similarity between a chain link and hand: to show connection, club, association.”

Randolph says the club is pleased with the logo, which it’s already using on its website and social media. In the club’s announcement, Randolph wrote, “The result is a timeless, simple logo that can be used many ways and will differentiate us from other cycling clubs.”

What’s a good way to add extra motivation to your training program?

Kim Matz is already highly motivated. The Puyallup High and University of Washington graduate is in her final months of medical school at Yakima-based Pacific Northwest University of Health Science and she’s training for an Ironman Triathlon.

She attempted an Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run) earlier this year, but got so sick during the run she had to stop. Matz finished the next morning, but said she did so with “a sense of nonaccomplishment.”

So Matz started looking for another opportunity and found it in an organization with which she was already involved, Save the Children. The international organization supports children through health care, advocacy, emergency response and other services.

Matz has a passion for helping children. She’s considering a career as a pediatrician and for the last five years she sponsored a young boy, Raju, from Bangladesh through Save the Children.

Matz signed on to raise $5,000 for Save the Children as she trains for an Ironman race near Houston on May 16. So far she’s raised about $1,600.

“It’s added a little extra motivation to my training,” she said.

If she finishes the Texas Ironman, she suspects it will be her last triathlon at that distance. As her schedule continues to intensify, she believes shorter races will better fit her lifestyle.

“Training for an Ironman is like a second job,” she said. “I just think training for a sprint (triathlon) or half Ironman is more reasonable.”

Is it just me, or are the streets crawling with more maniacs than ever?

Since the beginning of the year the international running clubs Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics have added more than 1,000 members, pushing their combined membership to nearly 22,000.

Considering you have to run two marathons or half marathons in 16 days (or three in 90 days) just to get in, that’s a pretty staggering accomplishment for the Tacoma-based clubs.

So what’s driving up membership? A new promotional strategy might deserve some credit.

Last fall, the Marathon Maniacs started providing pacers for races around the country, said club co-founder Tony Phillippi. Races offer complimentary spots for Maniacs, who, in turn, run while holding a sign showing their planned pace.

It’s a service the Maniacs have offered at the Tacoma City Marathon and other local races for several years. Phillippi said the arrangement is a win-win. The 12-year-old club gets a little more exposure and the races get to offer an added perk to participants.

Phillippi says he’s usually able to find club members living near the races to volunteer for this duty. But he plans to travel to Georgia, himself, in the coming weeks to help pace a race.