Happy New Year and welcome to the 10th season of Randonneurs USA brevets. As we conclude RUSA's first decade, thanks are again appropriate to Jennifer Wise, John Wagner, and Johnny Bertrand and the others who worked to create RUSA in 1998. Their creation of a new democratic organization rejuvenated randonneuring in the United States and has, in many ways, been responsible for the growth of the sport here that led 600 US riders to the start line of the 2007 Paris-Brest-Paris in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines last August. Back home, US riders completed almost 8,700 randonneur events, a new record.
Over the past 10 years, dedicated volunteers too numerous to mention have built a great organization, from those that have volunteered at the national level to the dozens of dedicated Regional Brevet Administrators that sponsor our incredible calendar of events to the helper manning a late night control in the middle of nowhere after the only store in town has closed. Like many of you, I have been both rider and volunteer and can attest to the rewards of volunteering and to the benefits riders derive from the volunteers' efforts. I encourage you to help. RUSA is a volunteer organization always looking for help to administer our various programs. The RBAs can always use help to organize a ride, scout a route, man a control, or do the many little things that contribute to strong local randonneur communities. Simply taking the time to mentor new riders provides a great service. In keeping with this same spirit of support that characterizes our sport, over 400 of our Paris-Brest-Paris riders took time to complete a survey on their experiences at PBP so future participants can benefit from their experience. We will have detailed results and analysis of that survey in our May newsletter. Thanks to all who participated.
As an organization, RUSA continues to grow and change in service of randonneuring in the US. A look at our website will reveal the increasing diversity of items for sale in the RUSA store and the growing variety of awards and medals available to riders. In 2008, we are introducing a new pin for finishers of RUSA Populaires and a new process for ACP brevet medal orders. We will have a simple online order page where riders who do not receive medals at the ride itself can order all the brevet medals they have earned. Stay tuned for full details which will be posted on the RUSA website. Have a great year!