On Your Lefters:
We had our first planning meeting almost three weeks ago and so this email has been a long time coming. Several of you have emailed me asking when things will get going. Let me start by apologizing for the delay in getting this email out. I have had some unfortunate personal events that have interfered recently. Rest assured, however, I am back on task.
At our initial meeting we discussed how different groups and events should be organized for the coming year. The purpose of this email is to pass along information about what is going to be coming up for the warm season so that we can get going.
First and foremost, check out the new email address you received this message from:
. This is the email address we will use going forward to send communications for our new group.
Second, I finally got the On Your Left Facebook page set up (so you can stop asking me three or four times at every meeting about it). Several of you may have received invitations to join the new group. Those who have not received an invitation should be able to find the group. The title on Facebook is ON YOUR LEFT – Douglas County, Colorado. If you are not on Facebook, get on, make friends, and welcome to the future.
Last, our events should be posted on the Douglas County Democrats calendar as well. So you should always be able to look for upcoming activities at www.douglasdemocrats.org.
Healthy Eating Dinner Groups:
Many of you have heard me say that the activity that has received the most interest has been the healthy eating dinner groups. We discussed how these groups should be organized at our initial planning meeting. What we decided is that we are going to follow a “dinner for eight” model where we will create several small dinner groups of eight adults or so. Each small group will then organize healthy dinners each month at a member’s house over a four month period. After four months, we will reorganize the groups. Beyond this, each small group can decide how their dinners are organized, i.e. potluck versus dinner party style, kids versus no kids, weekday versus weekend, etc.
We would like to get the dinner groups organized over the next couple of weeks. In order to do so, however, I need some information from those members that are interested in being part of a group. If you are interested in joining one of our small dinner groups for the next four month rotation, please send the following information:
1) I live in _______________ (Highlands Ranch, Parker, etc.);
2) There will be _____ people from my family, _____ of which are my kids ages _______;
3) I don’t mind driving a little to get to a dinner as long as it is in Douglas County or, driving across the county for a dinner is just too much;
4) I expect kids to be at the dinner since I will be bringing my little ones or, I don’t have kids but don’t mind if they are at the dinner or, kids are sticky and dirty and I don’t want them touching me let alone trashing my house;
5) I am strict about my diet and so my group should know I don’t eat __________.
We will likely not organize groups based on this last question unless there are an overwhelming number of vegetarians or vegans in one area. We still would like to know so that we can inform other group members if they should plan on making extra vegetable dishes or should plan on chicken and fish, but no beef.
Please email this information to
within the next week or so if you are interested in being part of a dinner group. Even if you indicated in your original form or email that you want to participate in this activity, we need the additional information to organize the groups.
One of our members, Brighty Babcock (yes, that is my wife) has graciously agreed to be the point person for the dinner groups. She will retrieve the dinner emails sent to
There is a lot of interest in doing organized hikes. We decided at our planning meeting that we would like to try and do one organized hike per month over the spring, summer, and fall. We are also fortunate enough to have a member that works for Douglas County open space that has extensive knowledge of the surrounding recreational areas and has offered to help us to find appropriate routes for our outings. We plan for our initial hikes to be local and to cater to all ability levels. As things get going we may expand to more challenging hikes depending on interest.
A member, Jan Babcock (yes, that is my mother) has already stepped forward to plan our first hike which will be on Saturday, May 23rd. More information will be emailed and posted on Facebook and the Douglas County Democrat’s calendar as Jan finalizes plans.
I would like to have members step forward and plan these hikes. Consequently, anyone willing to plan hikes for June or July, please let me know.
We are going to try and participate in a few different events throughout the spring and summer. I indicated during our initial meeting and will reiterate here, I am very familiar with the local events put on by the Highlands Ranch Recreational Association. I am not, however, familiar with local events in the rest of the county. Consequently, I will be looking to members to make suggestions about events they are interested in the group participating in (in or out of the county).
I had initially wanted to do an event in May, but fear that due to my own delay it may be too late. I have looked for a local event in May, but have come up short. Consequently, I am sure many of you are familiar with Colorado’s most popular May event, the Bolder Boulder on May 25th. If there are members interested in running or walking the Bolder Boulder, please email me and we will put together a team. I know of at least three members that are already planning to do that event.
The Douglas County Democrats participate in the Relay for Life every year. This year the Relay for Life is June 21st through June 22nd and our team captain is Bob Owens. I will pass on further information regarding the Relay for Life and how you can sign up to participate in the coming weeks.
I looked for other local events in June and again came up short. The June event for the Highlands Ranch Recreational Association is a triathlon which may be a bit much this early in our group formation. This may be an event for next year. If members have a June event they are interested in participating in (again, in or out of the county), please let me know.
The Highlands Ranch Recreational Association puts on a 5K (3.1 miles) run/walk on July 4th immediately preceding the parade. The Douglas County Democrats make a strong showing at the parade every year and also have a booth at the street celebration. We will be putting together a team for the July 4th run/walk. I am looking for a team captain for that event. Anyone interested should send in an email.
I would like to find a couple more events for August, September and October. Again, all suggestions are appreciated and should be emailed.
It is unclear at this point what the level of interest is for a weekly or bi-weekly running/walking group. Consequently, I am going to do an organized group for a few weeks to gage the level of interest. The running group will meet at 5:45 on Monday evenings. In order to be centrally located we are going to meet (every week) in the south end of the Great Indoors' parking lot located at 470 and Yosemite. The group will then proceed to the 470 path which runs along the south end of the parking lot. Our first run/walk meeting will be on Monday, May 11th, so a week from this Monday.
I hope to see some members there. As with any of the running/walking groups I have been involved with, members won’t be able to show up every week and that is fine. If a few people show up each week, however, we will keep the group going. Please come to the meetings you can even if you can’t make it every week.
Also, bring that jogging stroller with your kids. There is no better way to teach your kids about a healthy lifestyle than to show them it is an important commitment to you.
Like the running/walking group, it is unclear what the level of interest is for a cycling group. Consequently, I am also going to run an organized cycling group for a few weeks to gage the level of interest. Our rides will be on Saturday mornings starting at 8:30 a.m.
Unlike the walking/running group, the cycling group will move locations so that we can take advantage of all of the wonderful cycling paths we have in and around our county. The location for each ride will be indicated in emails and posted on Facebook. Our first ride will be a week from today on Saturday, May 9th. We will meet in the parking lot on the west side of University between 470 and County Line Road. Our ride will then proceed to the 470 trail and head west.
The cycling rides will be appropriate for all ability levels. I don’t care if you have a road bike, tricked out tri bike, a mountain bike, or a tricycle, you can participate in this group no matter your experience level. All of our rides will be out and back rides. This will allow more experienced riders to ride further out (and consequently further back) and our more casual riders to ride the distance they feel comfortable with.
I hope to see some of you next Saturday.
For those of you who are not familiar with British slang, “kit” refers to team gear. I am going to be putting together a team jersey so that we can show our presence out on the trails and in the local events. I have one member who has indicated she will help me with design which is good since I have absolutely no creative ability. Anyone else interested in assisting with this project, please let me know.
More information will be forthcoming regarding the shirts.
Obviously the above list includes a lot of activities. I have been warned by many people that I am taking on a lot of work. I don’t disagree, but I knew I signed up for a lot of work when I ran for Second Vice-Chair of the county party. Also, anybody who knows me would tell you that I would be out there running, hiking, or cycling regardless of whether it is with my On Your Left friends. That being said, I am hoping to have some assistance from some of our members (as are my wife and mother). You don’t have to bite off as much as I am, but I would love to have individuals take the lead and organize one of our hikes or volunteer to be a captain for an event.
I look forward to hearing from all of you and getting out there.