Our Final Meet the BoD Q+A: Raff Melito, Communications Director

And here we are, concluding our Meet the BoD Q+A series just as we feel that change in the air and weeknight rides begin to taper off. As Communications Director for the Club, Raff is responsible for developing and editing content for social channels, corresponding on the club’s behalf, and posting all our rides. Liaising with Ride Leaders, the Comms Director makes sure what is posted is accurate in terms of route, pace expectation and any requirements that participants need to know about. All that, and there is still time for bike riding! Read on to find out a little bit more about the person behind all this writing you’ve been reading:

1. How many years have you been cycling?

I started cycling in 2017 when I traded my CCM cruiser for a Cervelo. My partner and I had recently moved to the area and thought joining a cycling club would be a good way to get to know the area and meet people. I had no idea what we were getting into! I showed up to my first group ride wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt, a pair of Keds and an argyle Nutcase helmet on my brand new shiny Cervelo. Needless to say my appearance raised a few eyebrows!

2. What is a highlight from your years of cycling?

So many highlights! In the forefront are the incredible friendships and connections I have made in this global community. It’s amazing how open and inviting people are when you have the common interest of bike riding- I had no idea!

As for milestones, I’d say my first 100k ride which was for Bike Up Northumberland in 2017 was up there. Riding my bike for 100kms was unimaginable to me when I first got my bike, so to achieve that distance after riding for only 4 months felt pretty great. Recently, completing the Reggie Shiny Rivet event alongside my teammates on Team Gal Pals was a feat of epic proportions. 165k on mixed terrain (not my forte!) over some serious elevation (2300m) on a really hot and windy day. I was shaking in my booties at the start, but we finished upright and smiling and only slightly covered in mud. I’ll never forget that day and the support we gave each other as a team, and all the support we received from friends and partners!

3A. What do you like best about being part of this cycling club?

I like that this club has such an experienced and diverse Board and membership base. It’s a club you can learn from. This club is helping me become a stronger cyclist with better bike handling and group riding skills. I am also expanding my repertoire of expletives thanks to the TTs. 🀬😁Just kidding!! πŸ˜‚

3B. As a Board Member what do you hope to achieve this year?

My goal as a Board Member this year was to bring back Women’s Rides- Check Mark! βœ…πŸ˜ Working on an updated Mission Statement was also a goal achieved as a team. Streamlining the club’s social channels is a work in progress.

4. Any goals for the 2020 cycling season?

The measurable goal of 5000k has been reached, so that target will get an increase. The less tangible goal is to work on, and work with mindset. I am continually working on pushing my limits and it’s at those moments that you realize what an impact mindset can have on you and your achievements. Believe you can and you will. Believe you can’t and you won’t. Sounds easy enough, but it can be challenging to quiet the doubts and turn those negative thoughts to positive.

5. Roadie or Off Roadie?

Roadie + Gravel Newbie!

6. Are you Team Short Socks or Team High Socks?

Team High Socks most of the time.

7. Espresso or Americano?

Depends. Espresso pre-TT- it helped me PB more than once! Americano when there’s time to linger.

8. What club rides can we find you on?

You’ll find me in the B Group at Monday Night Skills, at the end of the line for TTs, most Wednesday Group Rides, an occasional Dirty Thursday (I’m tired by the time Thursday rolls around!), and leading WOW Women’s Fridays every other week.

Team Gal Pals at the end of the Shiny Rivet Event, August 2020. L to R: Eileen Sheppard, Joanne Magne, Raff Melito and Sharon Lynn-Weese.

And this here concludes our series of Meet The BoD Q+A. We hope you enjoyed reading and learning more about our extensive Board of Directors, we’re quite a varied bunch! We also hope you learned a little more about the roles and work involved in running a cycling club. Awesome things can happen when you get a group of people working together towards a common goal. See you out on two wheels!! πŸš΄πŸ»πŸš΄πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸš΄πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ’¨πŸ’¨πŸ’¨