December 8, 2021 Board Meeting





Held: December 8, 2021

A meeting of the RUSA Board of Directors was convened by Zoom/ telephone conference and called to order by the President at 17:04 PST.

The Directors in attendance were:

• Debra Banks

• Dan Driscoll

• John Lee Ellis

• Rob Hawks

• Dawn Piech

• Tim Sullivan

• Dave Thompson

Also attending was incoming Board member Charlie Martin.

The meeting started with the other Board members thanking Deb and John Lee for their years of Board service. Both of their terms on the Board will end this month. Deb stated that she hopes the Board will always remember to serve all of the members, no matter how often or how fast they ride. John Lee, who has served on the Board longer than anyone else either as a Board member at large or as the RBA-L, commented on how well the Board has always worked together and it has been his pleasure to serve.

Charlie Martin who was recently elected to serve a 3 year term starting in January was welcomed to the Board

A motion was made and passed to approve the meeting minutes for November 10, 2021.

Dan had circulated financial reports consisting of a Statement of Activity YTD Comparison and a Statement of Financial Position Comparison that were reviewed.

Rob reported that Travis Mitchell, the RBA for Gainesville, Florida has resigned. In order to maintain the scheduled brevets in the region Paul Rozelle has agreed to organize the events remotely. Efforts are underway to locate volunteers who will provide day of the event staffing.

Rob conducted a Zoom meeting with RBAs on December 5, 2021. Approximately one third of the RBAs attended. During the meeting the 2021 RBA goals were reviewed. Rob will provide a summary to the Board of the meeting. Wei Sun has contacted 5 RBAs regarding attracting new members. Rob Welsh will provide him with some best practices. Deb asked for it to be shared on the RBA list.

John Lee provided a written report on the activities of the Web Team. Paul Lieberman has coded support for a member using the members RUSA number or email address in Drupal 9. Paul will then be upgrading the public site. The Web Team has undertaken an initial review of the open Bugzilla requests and is in the process of cleaning up some of those open Bugzilla issues, many of which simply lack closure of the item.  Charlie Martin has extended the export of event search results to support the proposal of Robert Sexton to create Google calendars for contiguous regions. The team has worked on but is currently deferring working on fly-outs (a sub menu) for official searches. Charlie Martin created a new Regions page that can be located under the Search section of the Web Site listing each region with a link to the region’s events, website and with the RBAs name and link to the RBA’s contact information. This will help members reach out to event organizers, especially new members. The team is also creating a New Member Guide page that will provide a quick introduction on how to find events, contact organizers and how to find and ride Permanents and other useful information

Dawn had provided reports setting forth her activities in November and on the November issue of Between Controls.  The issue was sent to 3352 members with a 60.9% open rate and a 23.2 % click rate. There will be an additional link provided to the RUSA Board meeting minutes with a separate link to the most recent Board meeting minutes as well as all archived Board meeting minutes as we work to increase transparency. She will provide information on how many clicks there are for the advertiser noted in the newsletter. Dawn reviewed with the Board the December issue of Between Controls that will be sent tomorrow.

Deb provided the Board with a report on the RUSA Gravel Program. The Gravel Committee recommends that the time for a gravel event will be extended by allocating a minimum average speed of 12kph for the percentage of the unpaved section of the route and the paved sections will have the minimum speed associated with the distance. There will be a new code for gravel events: RUSAG. The Gravel Committee will work with the Routes Committee in creating a form for the submission of gravel routes. For awards, the Gravel Committee proposes that a member will earn a point for each kilometer of unpaved road with the initial award based on an accumulation of gravel points. Gravel points can be accumulated on existing route types. There will not be any grandfathering of gravel events ridden before 2022. A member’s gravel points will be posted on the member’s result page,

A motion was approved to adopt the Gravel Program in January 2022. The Gravel Committee is to work with the Web Team, the Routes Committee and the RBA-L in order to implement the program.

A summary of the Gravel Program will be prepared and sent to the RBAs prior to a Zoom conference with the RBAs explaining the program.

Next on the agenda was finalizing a revised Mission Statement for RUSA. Dawn provided a history of the effort to establish the Mission Statement since January 2021. This resulted in two proposed statements. The first one was prepared with the assistance of the membership, collaboration with current Board members as well as Lois Springsteen and Bill Bryant. The input received from membership was from the inaugural edition of Between Controls in July and the August edition. All of the input received and revisions to the mission statement were compiled. This information was shared with select RUSA members for comments and request for development of another mission statement for comparison. Dawn contacted Jon Spangler and George Swain to work on developing another mission statement for comparison George Swain provided an additional mission statement and also a list of organizational principles. The Board discussed the merits of both proposals. It was decided that Dawn will propose a revised Mission Statement merging the best of both proposals based on the Board’s comments and then submit the revised statement to the Board to decide. The Board did approve the organizational principles proposed by George Swain. These will be provided to the membership once a final mission statement is approved.

Next Tim discussed the creation of a video on randonneuring or PBP that members could post a link to the video on other web sites, including Facebook that would direct the viewer to the RUSA website and also posting on the RUSA web site links to articles or videos on randonneuring or PBP. He will review a video produced by San Francisco Randonneurs for SFR’s adventure series and report back to the Board.

Next was a discussion of new member outreach by RBAs. RBAs would like to be able to directly contact a new member since there are instances where someone joins RUSA but the RBA is never contacted by the new member. But providing the RBA with someone’s email address raises a privacy concern. The new Regions page and New Member Guide page will mitigate the issue but is still passive. It was agreed that Rob, Dave and John Lee will discuss further.

The next item was a further discussion of the one event/one week membership. Tim recently proposed to instead have an initial annual membership for a new member at a reduced rate. However after reviewing the potential cost of implementing a reduced rate and the possible minimal benefit it was decided not to proceed with an introductory rate. The Board also decided that a one event membership would be too difficult to implement. The Board will continue to review the issue at the next Board meeting with a limited time period membership such as a one or two week or one month membership at a reduced rate.

There was a brief discussion of eliminating the ride fee for populaires but the Board decided not to proceed with the proposal.

The final item was Deb’s proposal for bike advocacy based on her report containing the following recommendations:

  • RUSA become a member of the League of American Bicyclists;
  • Change the tab on the website under Members form incident reporting to Safety/Incidents and include safety recommendations and information for members
  • Add a tab on the website under Members for Advocacy explaining what it means and how a member can become involved in order to make bicycling safer
  • Include in the next issue of American Randonneur an article on bicycle advocacy and what a randonneur can do.

After discussion a motion was passed approving Deb’s proposal. Deb will contact the League of American Bicyclists to determine what benefits RUSA can obtain by becoming a member for more than one year and then she will report to the Board.

Once again the Board thanks Deb and John Lee for their service to the Board.

The meeting was adjourned at 19:44 PST