My very first bike was a pink and white 1961 Schwinn Ladies Step Through Hollywood Bike and I was on the moon. Living in Detroit, with endless sidewalks (WOW) and alleyways, the world was my oyster. I soon experienced the sheer delight of pedal-driven speed and the ability to get away fast, probably from my younger brother! This escape-ability is forever rooted in some of my best childhood memories.

Fast forward (or pedal forward) to young adulthood. I had a yellow Schwinn Traveller to zip around on and hopefully, get to class on time at Central Michigan University. Not too many of us could afford our own cars at that time. Again, I used my flying machine to come and go quickly as was my style!

Somewhere along the way, I got caught up in the frenzy of Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France – I watched every day of the grueling 23-day race and still do. I studied the importance and the strategy of THE PELETON. Made perfect sense to me. The peleton (from French, originally meaning platoon) is the main group of road bike cyclists. Riders in a group save energy by riding close to other riders.

You ask…What in the world does this mean? As Optimists, we are in THE PELETON! We are all in the same group, supporting and looking out for each other. Although we work hard in our clubs to provide support for area youth, we sustain each other as a group in the whole of Optimism.

As your Governor, my most important focus will be our clubs in the Michigan District – always encouraging them to “Choose Optimism”. Phone calls every month will connect our Club Presidents to the Zone/Region and the District. Our communication schedule will include year-long continuing training, i.e. monthly Lt. and Asst. Governor Zoom sessions, ‘Presidents Only’ sessions and quarterly ‘Secretary’s/Treasurer’s Only’ Zoom sessions. We are also planning Quarterly District Committee Chairs’ Zoom sessions. Be prepared – you tell us what is going on and we
listen. We can’t grow unless we know! 

How can I help you succeed? How can we encourage you, as an organization while we navigate the ‘road of Optimism?’ How can we be the tiger in your tank? As we manage our way out of a very dark time for our nation, we want to be the light at the end of your driveway! We want to help you get the rubber back out on the road! I am right there, in The Peleton, with you – Riding to create an updraft of cool wind, shoulder to shoulder, tire to tire, right to the finish line at the end. You have my word and my support – wherever it is needed!

Debbie

Debra Berry

Michigan Distrist Governor

We are in THE PELETON as Optimists!

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