Johnny Bertrand After considering several worthy candidates, the Board of Directors of Randonneurs USA is proud to announce that the winner of the inaugural American Randonneur Award is Johnny Bertrand of Georgetown, Kentucky. Johnny is an experienced randonneur, a finisher of Boston­Montréal­Boston and a four­time ancien of Paris­Brest­ Paris, the Regional Brevet Director for Kentucky since 1988, and Correspondent Direct to the Audax Club Parisien. Johnny also created the invaluable and authoritative website for the Randonneurs Mondiaux, which is used by many randonneuring organizations around the globe. He thoroughly understands the rhyme and reason of the French and their attitudes toward cycling, event organization, protocol, correspondence, and cooperation. Johnny is a walking encyclopedia about the ACP and RM regulations that govern our sport. Better still, he can interpret them for those of us who often get confused. He has that certain savoire­faire about everything related to randonneur cycling. Robert Lepertel, long­time organizer of PBP, praised Johnny for his contributions to the sport following the 1999 PBP. In addition, he has traveled the world on his bike, and has become an ambassador for American randonneur cycling to our colleagues abroad. He can communicate well in several different languages, often with a "hillbilly topping" as he puts it.

Most importantly, Johnny was one of the dedicated few who tried to improve randonneur cycling in the US during the 1990s. By all accounts, he did the most. Without him RUSA would not exist. Period. He was the chief protagonist in getting us all to "do something." Johnny came up with the plan that launched RUSA in August of 1998, did more than his share to execute the strategy, and then contributed mightily to the intense effort to keep things rolling afterward. In 1999, along with organizing the overall domestic brevet calendar, Johnny subsequently processed all the American brevet results during that very hectic PBP year. In 2000. Johnny was our general ``go to guy.'' He set up the RUSA website, served as RUSA Secretary and Board Member, RUSA liaison to the ACP, RUSA RBA Liaison, not to mention doing a hundred and one other things to make RUSA the success it is today. Throughout those intense times, he always served our randonneurs and RBAs with an unfailing patience and helpfulness that was an inspiration to all of us fortunate to work with him. Johnny is truly a "class act" in every way.

As a brevet organizer, Johnny put on events which are challenging but fair over well­planned, beautiful routes. The checkpoints are manned and excellent route markings and maps are provided. Johnny's brevets will prepare one for any randonnee. And Johnny rides his brevet courses. He is very hands­on. He doesn't send riders out on routes that only look good on paper.

A friendly, unassuming guy, Johnny Bertrand would modestly scoff at the notion that he deserves any honors for his contributions to American randonneuring, but we know better. Right now he is taking a well­deserved break from the RUSA Board. So typical of Johnny, he made sure his replacements were well trained before he stepped aside and the transition has been remarkably smooth. We wholeheartily extend to Johnny V. Bertand the 2001 American Randonneur Award as a symbol of our appreciation and respect.