By Mike Dayton

NJ Expansion Plans

NJ Expansion Plans

New Jersey randonneurs have approved an ambitious course of action to expand their membership. If successful, it could prove a useful model for other groups with expansion plans.

“A look back at the 2006 events showed that 81 different riders entered our events, with 20 riding three events or more,” NJ/NYC RBA Laurent Chambard wrote in an e-mail. “Interestingly, while we have a good number of loyal customers on one given year, there is an enormous turn-over when observed on a three-year time span: out of our 81 riders in 2006, only 12 also rode at least one of our events in both 2004 and 2005.”

The group is looking for more consistency among its membership and also wants to attract more out-of-state participants. To that end, NJ randonneurs held their first-ever annual meeting and approved this strategy for growth:

• A Permanents Officer has been elected to create permanents in the region.

• The group will create a website specifically dedicated to the NJ/NYC Brevet series. One volunteer with expertise in Web design agreed to do the work. The target is to have the site up-and-running by Christmas, Chambard said.

• Program and entry forms will be mailed to the 81 riders with their 2006 Brevet cards in early November, creating a cushion of entries already on hand by Christmas.

• The NJ group will intensify its publicity efforts at the local cycling clubs. “We will do that by our volunteers pro-actively placing heads-up on their club’s newsletters and websites, as has been successfully done this year with the NYCC,” Chambard said.

• The club will continue its direct e-mail approach for communicating with riders. The e-mail list currently has 135 names.

A Club’s Generosity

The bad news is that Seattle rider Patrick Gray was struck by a hit-and-run driver while participating in this year’s Cascade 1200. He had multiple injuries, including a broken femur and other problems. His bike was destroyed. (The driver was eventually located and arrested.)

The good news: Patrick is back on the road, thanks in part to the generosity of his SIR friends. One club member found a friend who had a bike identical to Patrick’s. The friend wasn’t using it and gave it to Patrick for the price of shipping. Some SIR members chipped in for a generator wheel with headlamp. One member contributed a Berthoud handlebar bag, another gave Patrick a tail light. The club surprised Patrick with their presents during its annual meeting in September.

Friendly Rivalry

Two hotbeds of randonneuring— Texas and the great Northwest—are apparently engaged in a friendly competition over RUSA awards.

Oregon RBA Susan France recently posted a note to the Seattle International Randonneurs listserv to encourage local riders to strive for distance awards.

“There are several SIR and ORR members who have already attained that 5000k level: Bob Brudvik, John Kramer, Bert Lutz, Dave Read, Mark Thomas, Peg Winczewski (3 SR!) and of course Eric Vigoren who is sitting at the highest RUSA km ever as far as I can tell with 9500+,” France wrote.

“Several randos are just a smidgen short on distance or they’ve done permanents I don’t know about: Peter Beeson, Michael Bingle, Wayne Menther, Marcello Napolatino, Brian Ohlemeier, Del Scharffenberg, and RB Buschman,” she wrote.

She also said there was “a big batch of riders who are at the 3000-plus level, who have event results ‘pending’ who can easily be at 5000k with a few permanents. And look at all the permanents to choose from.”

She concluded with a passing reference to the Lone Star riders: “Last year the NW had 9 5000k award recipients, how many will there be this year? Double? How many R-12 awards will be added to the award list with NW address, which is currently dominated by Texas?”

The gauntlet has been thrown down. Et tu, Texas?

Texas Responds!

Well, that didn’t take long....

As I was finishing this column, I got word from Bill Bryant that two more RUSA members have earned the R-12 award. Both of them are Texans.

Edward Robinson of San Benito and Bill Fox of Dallas rode 200-kilometer or longer sanctioned events for 12 consecutive months.

For Fox, this was his second R-12 in as many years. Congratulations, gentlemen!

Details can be found at:

Wool Where?

Wool is apparently the fabric of choice this brevet season.

Two West Coast groups, the Oregon Randonneurs and the San Francisco Randonneurs, have designed custom wool jerseys for their rando crews.

Oregon RBA Susan France sought input from local riders before putting in an order.

“We decided to order jerseys back in April,” she said. “Since Portland Cyclewear is local to us, I called up Chad [Krueger of Cyclewear]  and asked for samples to take to our 300k brevet.”

“Folks could then comment on the color choices. We decided on the Dark Red. We asked the members about types of fonts as we don’t really have a logo. The majority picked a block & italic font. The lettering color was chosen by me.... We ordered ours in a chenille embroidery front and back.”

The club ordered about 45 jerseys. They arrived in August.

“We should have ordered some extras as others have wanted to purchase them. They look sharp!” France said.

The San Francisco riders participated in a poll and settled on “Design 6” on wool. The jerseys feature the city’s best-known architectural landmark: the Golden Gate Bridge.

For folks who wish RUSA would offer a wool jersey, your dream may soon come true—one is in the works.

Online Lists: Part 2

In the August 2005 issue of American Randonneur, Mark Thomas detailed the proliferation of randonneuring listservs around the country (see “Online Randonneuring Lists Are Growing, Aug. 06 AmR.”).

Two more lists have come to our attention in recent weeks:

• The San Francisco Cyclotouring/Randonneuring list can be found at That list is moderated by James Gourgoutis or “Jim G.”

• In North Carolina, Tony Goodnight of Salisbury has launched NC Randon Cyclists at

Meantime, on Oct. 1, the DC Randonneurs shut down their list on Topica and moved to Alex Wetmore’s noncommercial (translation: ad-free) The club’s new listserv will be located at, with Ed Felker serving as moderator.

‘Swami’ Session

With the next Paris-Brest-Paris looming on the horizon, new riders are often anxious about qualifying for, and doing well at the Big Ride in August. West Coast randonneurs will want to take note of an excellent learning opportunity that will increase their chances of success. On January 13, 2007, the Santa Cruz Randonneurs and the Davis Bike Club will be hosting a Randonneuring Seminar in Davis, Calif. It will be lead by our own Bill Bryant. Participants in the “swami’s” previous classes have said the information they received from Bill was a key ingredient in finishing PBP successfully, and this one promises to be equally beneficial.

The four-hour class will provide lots of useful information for both new and veteran randonneurs. It will be a combination of lecture, slide show, “show & tell” with randonneuring equipment, and audience Q&A.

Topics will include effective randonneuring practices and strategies; training; nutrition; clothing, equipment & lighting; qualifying and travel to PBP; riding PBP intelligently, and more. Also, the DBC will be hosting a 100k populaire the next day so that seminar participants can put their new knowledge into practice.

For more information:

Congressional 1200?

Members of the DC Randonneurs are debating whether that group should host a 1200K Grand Randonnée. In a preliminary note to the local listserv, DC RBA Matt Settle asked members for their feedback. He also asked whether riders would prefer a “pampered or more self-sufficient event” and whether they’d “prefer a more difficult route or one that tends to not be as challenging and therefore possibly more fun for more riders?

That inquiry elicited this response from Wes Cheney:


Oh my!

A 1200k with Sheetz??

Be still my beating heart!!!

Be full my growling tummy!!!!

I'd take just about any 1200k that was in my backyard, but my preference would be one that takes advantage of the beautiful mountains in our area.

Heck, toss in some Gappity Gap & let people know that this ain't Florida or eastern Colorado.

I'd want to see something like our 600k, but bigger. I’d love to see a few climbs on par with Middlebury Gap or Terrible Mountain.

However, I can also see enjoying a couple hundred miles of easy riding along the Shenandoah or Cumberland Valleys.

I’d jump at the chance to ride another 1200k, although if I didn’t qualify, I’d almost certainly volunteer to help out.

I want a jersey as cool as BMB’s, and turn marks as good, too.

For those not familiar with “Sheetz,” turn to page 35 for Wes’ explanation.