I formed SIR in 1994 and operated it autocratically for the first three years. SIR's participation in the '95 PBP was a terrific success. However, the pressure to run brevets every year became an issue. It was time for a change. A few concerned members and I got together and defined our current structure. SIR is a non-profit club with a charter to be run by elected officers and a board of directors. The officer positions are: Regional Brevet Organizer (RBA,) treasurer and newsletter/web site editor. Board members must be club members and are: the three elected officers plus two others appointed by the RBA. Elections are held each fall at a club general meeting. Brevets are run by club members who volunteer as brevet organizers (BO) for each event and report results to the RBA. By sharing the administrative responsibilities no one person feels burdened and members are in control. For instance, if they don't like a route they can change it by volunteering to run that event the following year.
This structure has kept SIR members active and interested, especially during PBP years. When a route changes or is created anew the SIR board must review it for compliance to the Audax Club Parisian (ACP) rules. Then it must be ridden prior to the actual event to assure accuracy. One reason for a route change is that BO are encouraged to start and finish at their home and host an after ride feed (club reimbursed) where riders can share their experiences. A Brevet Organizer Hand Book (BOHB) has been compiled and is available on our web site http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/5293/. The BOHB takes a cook book approach, detailing the process of organizing and running a brevet from beginning to end. The BO are encouraged to contribute their ideas to improving the BOHB. SIR veteran members assist novices when they volunteer for BO. No one is left alone; help is always available.
Members take pride in their club and continue to volunteer and contribute new ideas to improve it. Last year one member came up with the idea and then ran a 100 K introduction to randonneuring for potential members to try randonneuring before joining. She ran the 100 K as a brevet with cue sheets and control cards and a social gathering afterwards. Veterans ride along and answer any questions the new people have. SIR picked up 6 or 7 new members with this one activity. This same person is considering an officer position for '99 and would be our first lady RBA.
In 1998 SIR held it's first Fleche. Five teams entered with between 3 to 5 members per team. Each team had the responsibility to devise its own valid route with proper controls. This was both an exercise in team planning and the camaraderie of riding and finishing together. At the finishers banquet everyone was happy to have shared this new experience. The club voted for a new jersey when one member volunteered to lead the activity and 3 more joined in to help out. General meetings have been hosted at member homes, combining a short ride and feed feast to promote attendance. Our democratic process has provided for members to keep randonneuring healthy and growing in Seattle. The system is not perfect but gets better with time.
The SIR web site is found at: http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/5293/. That is, until the next newsletter/web site editor chooses to move it!