In August, a wet and windy Paris-Brest-Paris added to the lore of this historic event. 2007 marked the third PBP in RUSA's history and more than 600 RUSA members made the journey. In tough conditions, the group had 428 official finishes. Some more hardy souls completed the ride even though out of time.
As always, the experience of PBP started long before the event. I had the privilege of working with some great people at Randonneurs USA who were instrumental in getting the largest group of US riders ever to the event. Over 40 RBAs worked hard to offer qualifying rides and to prepare their riders for PBP. During the spring and summer, I had the opportunity to ride with 7 of them outside Seattle and saw their efforts and those of many other RUSA member-volunteers.
I was proud to be part of the RUSA team. The tireless efforts of Don & Phyllis Hamilton to process memberships, of Don Bennett to keep the website updated, of Lois Springsteen to handle brevet results processing, and of Jennifer Wise to get our applications to the ACP benefitted us all and were impressive to watch. Equally impressive was the work of the ACP to register more than 5000 riders—many were involved; in particular, we saw the work of Jean-Gualbert Faburel as he processed results and helped us find an efficient way to register US riders and the work of Claude Lepertel as she registered all of us.
Looking ahead, 2008 will mark the 10th year of Randonneurs USA events. Although the year after a PBP often brings a decline in membership and ride participation, we have an exciting calendar in front of us with more than 350 events already on the schedule for the year, including three 1200km grand randonnées (the Cascade 1200 in Washington, the Last Chance 1200 in Colorado, and the new Shenandoah 1200 in Virginia). With a stronger than ever permanents program supplementing the calendar, riders have a wealth of opportunities.
We have Robert Fry to thank for the strength of permanents in the US. He created the program and has overseen its tremendous growth over the last four years. In 2008, he will turn over the permanents administrator position to Edward Robinson. Thanks to both of them.
The board will see some changes in 2008 as well. With Terry Zmrhal's earlier departure to focus on running the Race Across America and the end of the second terms for current Vice-President John Lee Ellis and current Treasurer Tim Sullivan, the board will have three new members in 2008. We thank John Lee, Tim, and Terry for their help and for the wise counsel that we will continue to seek. We welcome Lois Springsteen, our hard-working brevet administrator, back to the board. We also welcome Mike Dayton, who brings us this terrific newsletter, and Eric Vigoren, the treasurer of the Seattle club and 2006's 12,000km man.
I look forward to riding with you all again in 2008.