Welcome to the 2007 season of randonneuring in the US. As we enter this ninth year of Randonneurs USA brevets, the organization and the sport have never been stronger. The cornucopia of events on our calendar beckons us to get out and ride. Our warmer regions have held their first brevets. Riders elsewhere are waiting for the ice to thaw and the snow to melt so they can take bikes off hooks or out of trainers and ride our roads.
Also calling many of our riders is the sixteenth Paris-Brest-Paris. Even before the first qualifiers were held, randonneur chat lists were abuzz with questions about the event — how to prepare, how to qualify, how to get there. At least two PBP informational seminars have already been held by local clubs and more are planned. The Audax Club Parisien has updated its website and PBP brochures, including versions in English. Riders are rushing to join Randonneurs USA to meet the requirement that memberships be current by the dates of their first qualifying brevets.
The year 2007 will build on a terrific randonneuring year in 2006. Included with this newsletter is our annual results publication. It's huge! More than 1250 different riders covered nearly two million kilometers on our events — enough for 5 trips to the moon. Over 100 thousand hours (almost 12 years) were devoted by our riders to finishing our events. Once again the USA led the world in ACP event homologations. A US club (Seattle) had the most ACP event homologations of any randonneur club.
Our riders earned randonneur awards at an astounding clip in 2006. More than 300 riders finished a Super Randonneur series and more than 500 riders were eligible for a RUSA distance award, completing at least 1000km in events. Sixteen riders completed an R-12 award and sixteen riders applied to the ACP for a Randonneur 5000 award. Five more riders received the Ultra Randonneur award.
With the new year we say thank you to Bill Bryant and Tracey Ingle who are leaving the Randonneurs USA board of directors. Since before RUSA's inception, Bill has advised coached and mentored many individual riders, volunteers, and RBAs and advanced randonneur organizations local, national, and international. His impact has been widely felt and the sport is stronger for his work. Tracey worked tirelessly throughout 2006 as the RBA Liaison. Hats off to both of them. We look forward to all their future contributions as well.
Joining the board in 2007 are Jennifer Wise (welcome back!) and the new RBA Liason, Susan France. Along with them, the re-elected Don Hamilton, the continuing board members, and volunteers old and new, I look forward to serving you and riding with you again in 2007.