Mark Sachnik Awards
Mark Sachnik was a beloved friend, riding companion, and ride leader who epitomized the Plano Bicycle Association spirit. He loved to ride his bike and took pride in completing over 10,000 miles in his last year, 2007. Mark’s rides were adventures, filled with life and sometimes epic. As tough as rides can sometimes be, “Marko” was always able to make lemonade from the lemons and smile about the worst of days. They were just another story to tell along the way.
The Mark Sachnik Award recognizes those few people that stand out from the crowd each year. It recognizes those whose fiber is woven into the fabric of the Plano Bicycle Association. The award winners are not necessarily ride leaders or board members, but they are the people who lead the club by example. They are cheerful in spirit, they look out for the entire peloton, they encourage safety, and of course they love to ride their bikes.
It is a great tribute to be compared with Marko, and the following members have earned the Mark Sachnik award. The award is presented at the Club’s annual party in January in recognition of the preceding calendar year. While given on an annual basis, the award is akin to being put in the Hall of Fame. It is a lifetime recognition.
*** 2007 ***
Deb Matz – Deb served on the PBA board and was instrumental in making sure that all those things we take for granted happen as we expect. Deb is an M&M regular and one of Marko’s favorite people. It was Deb who spoke so fondly about Mark at the start of Mark's memorial ride. Those that were there will always remember her words. In 2010, Deb became a National Champion racing on the track, and we all know who was cheering for her the loudest.
Andrew Hoodwin – Always willing to volunteer his time and energy. Andrew looks out for others and is always cheerful. Andrew will do anything for the club and the ride leaders in particular, and he usually does it before he is asked. He knows what needs to be done and just does it. Andrew has been a key to gaining sponsors for the club and participates in the annual Christmas bike program as well as events such as the Collin Classic rest stop.
Leigh Carr – One of the strongest riders in the club and also one of the most likeable. Like Marko's, Leigh's happiness is infectious. She can ride with any group and make it seem very easy and is unafraid to put anyone in their place when they threaten the safety of the group. It’s fun to watch Leigh ride to the front to bring unruly male egos into check.
Lauren Dunn – A man of diverse interests and talents, he not only leads scheduled rides when needed, but also regularly posts up for ad hoc rides to unique locations. Lauren set up a tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway which attracted a number of club members. He has also served as the PBA webmaster.
Nancy Riedl – Nancy served as a member of the PBA board, coordinating our social activities. She has been a regular at the Easter Hill Country Tours, where many PBAers enjoy her friendliness and cycling prowess. Nancy has raced for local teams and is welcomed whereever she rides. She has a smile that can light up a room, just like Mark's.
*** 2008 ***
Warren Casteel – One of the longest standing members of the PBA. Warren is tireless in his involvement in cycling in Plano and in North Texas in general. He probably qualifies as our chief historian because he not only remembers events from years back and participated in them, but in many cases was directly involved in their production. For many years, he has been actively involved in government relations on the behalf of cyclists, campaigning not only to our local governments but also to those in Austin and Washington. He is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to getting local routes and never hesitates to step in to lead a ride when called upon.
Jimmy Stanton – In his own quiet way he steps up and fills in when needed and never has to be asked twice. While the rest of us peak for August, Jimmy peaks for Easter Hill Country and makes everyone else play catch up. Jimmy is respected at all ride levels within the club and leads the OAS Lite and OAS rides from the front. He has stepped up and taken his turn on the PBA board and did a fine job with the club merchandising.
Ed “The Pump” Singer – It is easy to find Ed in the bunch. Just drift to the back of the OAS group, and Ed can be found. Either as the last rider or the rider that is 2 yards beyond the last rider. Now, don't mistake his cycling strength or ability by his position in the bunch. He rides there all the time and doesn't draft, EVER. This makes him 25% stronger than the rest of us. He has the nickname of "The Pump" because whenever there is a flat tire on the OAS rides, he is handed a pump to inflate the tire once the repair has been made. With his well-shaped arms, he inflates the tire effortlessly and in just a few moments we are back on the road again. He never suggests that someone else take a turn to inflate the tire. So you can relax, Ed will be there for you as long as you are there with OAS! Always cheerful, and ready to assist, that is our Ed! He has a big heart to match those big biceps and that makes him a logical choice for this award.
Melba Moulin—A leader of the Tweeners, she is often the guardian of the lost sheep. Melba is an avid rider often wandering with others for extra miles when the scheduled ride is complete. She has many stories about events on Tweeners, some that make you shake your head in disbelief and others that make you laugh out loud.
Tom Parker – Tom has a smiling face with an equally shining personality. He is one of the better shepherds of the peloton, frequently helping those with mechanical or bio-mechanical problems. Tom rarely rides for himself but for the camaraderie of the peloton. He is usually the one to spot the mechanical or the rider off-the-back and help them back on or rein in the group until the problem is solved.
Doug Phillips – The father of the Step-Up Ride. When PBA was struggling to fill a gap between Novice and the increasingly popular Tweeners, Doug invented a ride. It has truly lived up to its name with the highest promotion rate of any ride in the club. Step-Up is that starter ride which many will ride for a few weeks before developing the calluses in all the right places and strength to move on to the Tweeners.
*** 2009 ***
Steve Rovinsky – He has the best rolling bike shop in Plano. His Camelbak doesn’t have a bladder -- it’s all tools. He has been seen to lend (and of course install) two tubes from his own supply. When he had his own flat on the same ride, he still didn’t need a loaner. He steps up to lead when called upon and has years of experience which he gladly shares. He has spent most of his riding career trying to change the fashion of men’s riding apparel, which is why he is affectionately known as “Daisy Duke”.
Scott McPherson – A ride leader that stepped up to one of the most difficult rides in the club. The pace of DB1 alone can be daunting, but it adds the additional challenge of being the single most popular ride. Scott definitely has the legs, he has gained the respect of his riders, and he passed all the tests of his leadership this year. In a club with larger-than-life personalities, Scott’s soft-spoken cheer shines through.
Kathy Atkinson – “Moose Tracks” has long been one of the “Mother Hens” of Tweeners. She is meticulous in everything she does, and no one can possibly list all of her behind-the-scenes contributions. She brought consistency to many of the ride descriptions and very thoughtful input to the new ride sign-in process. Kathy is one of our many Ad Hoc ride leaders, coordinating everything from early-bird jaunts to Sunday strolls. Be alert when you ride with Kathy -- she is way stronger than she lets on.
Pat Champlin – A strong, respected leader capable of making the strongest horses behave. He brought Popsicle under rein when it threatened to run out of control. He looks out for everyone and is unafraid to confront dangerous situations. As PBA Vice-president, he lets Terry pretend that he still runs the club. All kidding aside, his leadership and no-nonsense demeanor is fully present during PBA Board meetings.
Liz Francis – A new ride leader, who in spite of being challenged with lack of experience, stepped in and filled big shoes to lead the new DB Lite ride. She jumped into bicycle activism feet first and got the light at Preston Meadow and Legacy changed from flashing red for our Saturday morning departures. She and her husband bring their grown kids out to ride the Caffeine Cruise and initially they both answered the bell when BikeDFW needed new direction.
Craig Morgan – Truly one of the nicest people in any peloton. In spite of being an extremely strong rider, he is always the first to look out for the lost sheep, no matter which ride he is on, OAS to DB Lite. He encourages other riders and frequently helps riders that are off the back to bridge up with the help of a wheel or even a push.
*** 2010 ***
Alan Hasty – When you look in Wikipedia under “Bike Rider” you should see his picture. He started riding with his family in South Africa and has been perennially leading OAS. It’s hard to imagine that anyone leads without some penalty on their heart rate so it follows that Alan is in better shape than that. On a given day, some of the best amateur riders in this area show up to ride OAS for a 60-70 mile workout. Alan leads “from the front”, has the respect of the entire group, and makes good decisions. If you decide to ride with Alan, make sure that you are “choosing wisely”.
George Markus – Without colorful personalities our rides would be a lot less interesting, so it’s appropriate that George leads two rides named for colorful treats. He has mastered getting away with just about anything as long as he has a smile on his face and means no harm. George has many nicknames, El Cid, Batman, “Doc”, and others. In addition to his ride leaders duties, George raises tons of money for MS every year, organizes accommodations at the Baptist Camp in Wichita Falls for Hotter ‘n Hell, and has informally managed many of the club’s trauma cases – some that involved actual crashes and injury.
Chris Mathews – He was introduced to cycling as an adult by his son-in-law in England and hasn’t stopped. Chris led the PBA from 2002 through 2008 and we would not be the club we are today without his leadership. The club more than quadrupled in size during that time and eventually offered about 20 rides per week. What we attribute as “The PBA Way” today, sprung from the principles of Chris. He didn’t simply retire as President as he had a right to do; he remains a consistent leader of DB2 which is one of our more popular rides. Among other things, he has also been managing content on our website, including our history and awards section and our ride calendars.
Marc Mumby –The relationship between PBA and BikeDFW is very important for the future of cycling in North Texas. That relationship wouldn’t be possible if Marc hadn’t stepped forward, rescued the good idea, and showed progress and results. Marc and Susie are long-term PBA members with both participating in top-level club rides and the annual Easter Hill Country ride. Marc has ridden with OAS for many years and regularly commutes to work by bike. In 2010, he coordinated the Bike to Work day for his colleagues at UT Southwestern and has been a participant in the Dallas Bikes to City Hall event and town hall meetings for Dallas’ 2011 Bike Plan. He has been a behind-the-scenes contributor to our newsletter and website for years, responsible not only for content but also much of the design and production effort.