— By Jennifer Wise—
Looking back to 1998, in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Randonneurs USA, I can't help but remember the outstanding work that Dave Jordan did for our organization in its infancy. Dave was at the August 16 1998 meeting, where RUSA was born and played an important role in the busy and demanding years that followed.
The first thing Dave did was take the job of RUSA Treasurer. What's a treasurer without a treasury? Dave asked everyone at the table for start-up money, and collected $1,000 instantly. Dave was off to open a bank account. This was not a simple task, because RUSA was not just any little bike club. RUSA was to be a national sanctioning organization with a non-profit corporate status and the need to send foreign currency wire transfers to France on a regular basis.
The second thing Dave did was tackle the corporate papers, setting up the non-profit status of the organization, and talking with the IRS. This was a particularly painstakingly slow process and at times both frustrating and annoying. Dave remained unflappable and determined to get RUSA going in the right direction.
The third thing Dave did was volunteer to write the RUSA Constitution and Bylaws. Drawing from his experience in drawing up the Constitution and Bylaws for the Charles River Wheelmen, in Boston, Massachusetts, and working with Rick Leblanc, the RUSA legal advisor, Dave wrote the first draft. The board met in teleconference several times to review the details, paying close attention to Johnny Bertrand's interpretation of the ACP guidelines. Dave revised the articles and resubmitted them. RUSA was to be a democratic organization with a board of directors and elected officers with term limits, elected in rotation so that there would be continuity and no odd vacancies. Details were discussed and revisions were made. Language was tweaked. Paragraphs were edited. Dave was patient, knowledgeable and assertive about constructing this document to be a solid base for RUSA's future.
The fourth thing Dave did was to focus immediately on member needs for the fast approaching PBP. Americans needed an improved bag drop program at PBP. Negotiations with the previous bag-drop host resulted in establishing a working partnership, enabling us to offer RUSA members two bag drop locations at the 1999 PBP. Dave worked the Villaines La Juhel bag drop location at PBP 1999 and again in 2003 and again in 2007.
RUSA members in New England know Dave as the RBA who hosted the Boston Brevet Series from 1993 through 2003. Dave set up the BBS website in 1996 and was one of the first RBAs to post dates, registration information and results to a website. Dave worked full time at a well-known Boston computer company, back then. He is a spreadsheet whiz with an innate ability to speak/write HTML, maintain websites, construct relational databases and analyze intricate spreadsheets, all while on his mobile phone. (He created and hosted the BMB website, then taught me how to host it myself.)
Dave has a practical and economic approach to everything, while being enormously generous with his time. He volunteered to work the Pan-Mass Challenge, crewed for two RAAM competitors, did support at PBP, worked RAAM Headquarters and has worked the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200k every year as an official and processed the final results. He was sitting on my right at that pivotal 1995 Randonneurs Mondiaux meeting in France just after PBP. (see August 2007 AR.) He was my right-hand man through RUSA's formative years, always dependable, helpful and levelheaded.
Dave has a joy for the outdoors, and is a really good bike rider. He loves to race his "Seven" bike and ride his mountain bike through America's national parks. He would rather be mountain biking in Moab, than anywhere else, despite suffering a nasty crash there several years ago that resulted in a broken hip. Dave bounced back a year later, racing and touring with renewed optimistic enthusiasm. He decided to move on, traveling the country in his customized motorhome "Mozilla," spending the winters in Tucson or San Diego and the summers in New England. He parked his motorhome at the BMB start/finish line every year, so the BMB finish-line staff could avail themselves of its comfort for a nap, a fresh cup of coffee, or a Red Sox game. These days you'll find Dave working and riding at the PAC Tour training camps and trips, exploring the world with other long-distance touring cyclists.
Dave is a smart guy, a good friend and a really good Samaritan. He has the humor to laugh off the things that just don't make sense, and the compassion to understand the frailties of the human condition. He has the heartiest laugh you'll ever hear. If you get the chance to meet or ride with RUSA member # 4, thank him for his service, have a chat and a good laugh.