Flèche Pacifique - Main

BC Randonneurs Cycling Club
 

Flèche Pacifique
A Brief History

The Flèche Vélocio in France (or an equivalent elsewhere in the world) is a mandatory component of Audax Club Parisien most prestigious participation award the Brevet Randonneur 5000 pin. (Starting in 2007 it becomes the Randonneur 5000 medal.) Before 1989 it was difficult for BC riders to earn 5000 pins because there was no local version of this event. This was very much apart of Dan McGuire's thinking when he (with the help of Gerry Pareja and Dave Johnstone) initiated a BC version of the Flèche Velo in 1989 called the Flèche Pacifique. The first two events allowed seven BC Randonneurs to earn their 5000 pins when coupled with their 1987 Paris Brest Paris finishes. In addition to the first Flèche Pacifique in 1989, Dan McGuire also organized the event 1990 and 1991. This was the first Flèche organized outside France.

Unlike other randonneur events, the Flèche is a competition - a team is rewarded for covering more distance than the other teams over 24 hours. The original trophy recognizing this was renamed the Gordon Bisarro Memorial Trophy in 1997 after the premature death from cancer of this long time and well loved randonneur - the Flèche was a great favorite of Gord's.

The distance record is currently held by the 1998 winning team, Team Time Trial (Ken Bonner, Keith Fraser, and Ted Milner), with 654 km.

There are two other more specialize awards now apart of the Flèche Pacifique. The M & M trophy ("most kilometers by the most mature") was introduced in 1992 by Manfred Kuchenmuller to recognize big distance Flèches by riders over 40. In 1997 Tim Pollock introduced the Lungs Are For Life Trophy, which is a similar but recognizes teams which have a wide range of ages. In 2009 the Trophy was renamed the Tim Pollock Lungs Are For Life Trophy.

Although in France the gathering place changes each year, nowhere in BC has been found to be as suitable as Harrison Hot Springs, so Harrison has remained the Flèche Pacifique's hub since the first event in 1989.

The Flèche pin was introduced and designed by three-time Flèche Pacifique organizer Harold Bridge in 1997. A new pin was introduced in 2005 - design by Michel Richard, and another new pin in 2009 - design by Ali Holt.

Harold Bridge has offered a few words regarding the origianl event, the Flèche Vélocio: "The original fléche title is from the non-de-plume of some French cyclist/writer journalist type known as "Velocio" who I believe originated the event in the twenties."

In 2010 co-organizer Patrick Wright introduced the "Trace". It is a similar ACP ride but includes only day light riding, and the minimum distance is 201 km.

Eric Fergusson
(with help from Dan McGuire and Harold Bridge)
December, 2001 (updated as needed)

Flèche Pacifique - Statistical Summary

Year

Number
of Teams

Finishers
+ DNFs =

Total
Participants

Greatest
Distance
(km)

Total
Event
Distance

Average
Distance
per Team**

1989

4

15 + 1

= 16

411

5,668

377

1990

4?

15 + 3

= 18

403

5,700

380

1991

8?

32 + 3

= 35

506

12,476

403

1992

10

37 + 0

= 37

557

15,165

406

1993

9

22 + 10

= 32

403

8,142

371

1994

6?

19 + 5

= 24

602

8,299

433

1995

7

30 + 0?*

= 30

418

11,596

390

1996

8

31 + 0?*

= 31

635

12,499

411

1997

10

38 + 6

= 44

630

16,080

430

1998

8

38 + 0?*

= 38

654

15,587

425

1999

8

33 + 0?*

= 33

461

13,177

402

2000

11

48 + 4

= 52

539

19,084

401

2001

9

40 + 0?*

= 40

482

15,633

399

2002

10

43 + 5

= 48

594

17,424

415

2003

11

43 + 5

= 48

529

17,038

399

2004

13

53 + 8

= 61

*431*

20,552

397

2005

11

47 + 0

= 47

510

18,755

399

2006

13

57 + 2

= 59

449

22,276

389

2007

10

41 + 6

= 47

418

15,978

386

2008

9

35 + 1

= 36

510

14,246

412

2009

11

54 + 0

= 54

449

21,183

392

2010

10

45 + 0

= 45

449

17,814

395

2011

9

34 + 5

= 39

460

13,618

389

2012

12

49 + 3

= 52

630

20,010

417

2013

6

27 + 2

= 29

434

10,482

391

2014

7

31 + 0

= 31

600

12,774

412

2015

5

23 + 1

= 24

421

9,739

402

2016

7

31 + 0

= 31

450

12,239

397

2017

6

25 + 1

= 26

514

10,219

409

* The "0?" DNF years may mean that there were no DNFs, but that this information is not available.
The total participants figures are similarly uncertain.
** i.e. average distance (in km) of the finishing teams.
*431* An incomplete team rode 537 km in 2004.

Trace Pacifique - Statistical Summary

Year

Number
of Teams

Finishers
+ DNFs =

Total
Participants

Greatest
Distance
(km)

Total
Event
Distance

Average
Distance
per Team**

2010

2

5 + 2

= 7

207

1,027

205

2011

4

12 + 5

= 17

208

2,469

205

2012

1

5 + 0

= 5

211

1,055

211

2013

2

11 + 0

= 11

203

2,228

203

2014

6

23 + 0

= 23

207

4,678

203

2015

5

28 + 0

= 28

204

5,885

203

2016

8

34 + 2

= 36

214

6,909

203

2017

4

13 + 2

= 15

203

2,631

202

 

Flèche Pacifique ride organizers

1990: Dan McGuire
1991: Dan McGuire
1992: Dan McGuire
1993: Harold Bridge
1994: Barb Lepsoe
1995: Manfred Kuchenmuller
1996: Manfred Kuchenmuller
1997: Harold Bridge
1998: Harold Bridge
1999: Deirdre Arscott (w. Roger Street & Bob LePage assisting)
2000: John Bates (w. Roger Street assisting)
2001: Cheryl Lynch & Keith Nichol
2002: Peter Lysne (w. Barry Bogart & Harold Bridge assisting)
2003: Harold Bridge (w. Barry Bogart assisting)
2004: John Bates & Danelle Laidlaw
2005: Michel Richard (w. Barry Bogart assisting)
2006: Michel Richard (w. Barry Bogart assisting)
2007: Roger Holt, Danelle Laidlaw
2008: Roger Holt, Danelle Laidlaw & Barb Pope
2009: Gary Baker & Barb Pope
2010: Patrick Wright & Barb Pope
2011: Patrick Wright, Bob & Patty Marsh
2012: Patrick Wright

2013: Colin Fingler

2014: Colin Fingler

2015: Colin Fingler

2016: Colin Fingler

2017: Cheryl Lynch

Photo: Harold Bridge
(From the 1998 Flèche Pacifique)