Newsletter - 2001 Archive

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Rando Social

Ian Stephen


This year's Spring Social, held at the Croatian Cultural Centre, made a fun and informative evening. The attendance figure we arrived at through the phone-around matched the estimate arrived at by past years attendance and current club membership. The seats were booked and by my count we were only off by 3! Thanks everyone who helped with that.

Roger Street and Cheryl Lynch were on hand early to staff the door, collecting the wee entry fee and applying gentle(?) pressure on all to take the opportunity to renew their memberships. When Roger announced that last year's memberships had expired about half an hour ago, I was waiting for him to say "so pay-up or get out!", but he was too much the gentleman.

The evening was competently MC'ed by Past Pres Doug Latornell, fresh from his starring appearance at the VBC/VACC touring seminar. After some introductions and kudos, Doug drew attention to some excellent charts of club stats over the years that had been provided by our Data Queen Cheryl. More club history was provided by Karen Smith in the form of a great display of brevet pins going back into the 1980's. There were even a few ACP brevet pins, which Eric told me are often found in other regions. Apparently many clubs don't do their own pins, instead receiving theirs from France and awarding them at their spring socials! I don't think I'd make it sometimes if it weren't for the pin waiting at the finish! The pin display was ingeniously hung on the fireplace by me. Feel free to heap praise next time you see me!

The floor was turned over to Randonneurs Mondiaux president Réal Préfontaine. Réal continued the 'over the years' theme with a fascinating history of the PBP and the origins and relationship of the Audax Club Parisienne and Randonneurs Mondiaux. Sprinkled with gems like the first woman, first tandem, first pneumatic tire and an oscillating saddle as well as the achievements of some amazing early riders, Réal's talk was a highlight of the evening.

Susan Allen followed with a brief bit on the newsletter and an impassioned plea for members to take the newsletter electronically. I do so I can be smug now.

John Bates took the floor next, supplementing the huge map he had posted with descriptions of the events scheduled this year. Even with his laid-back speaking style I found John's talk thrilling. It has been too long since I've rode in the mountains. 2001 is going to be an exciting year! Bob Boonstra also stepped up to talk a bit about the interior routes. The 300 from Revelstoke Dam to Mica Dam caught my attention when Bob promised no traffic on this route as it's a dead-end highway! John closed his talk with the first award presentation of the evening. The Support-Slut award went to Bob Marsh, who in his own words 'will stop anywhere and pick up anyone'! Even if the randonneur doesn't need assistance it is comforting to see a friendly face when misfortune strikes in the middle of nowhere.

Sharon Street and Danelle Laidlaw were up next to assure everyone that the Pacific Populaire is all set to be a grand event again this year. If I remember correctly, Danelle even said that Eric Fergusson had passed on the secret of ensuring good weather for the event.

Keith Nichol stepped up to speak about this year's Fleche, being organized by he and Cheryl. The brochure says something about teams competing for the most distance in this event. With the record held by Ted Milner, Ken Bonner and Keith Fraser of 654 km in 24 hours I found myself looking at the brochure today thinking we need to remove the word "competing".

Harold Bridge spoke of his Canada Day Populaire, a fine idea that he is organizing for us again this year. Harold also spoke on the upcoming LEL, which fortunately will not be cancelled in spite of the terrible hoof-and-mouth outbreak. For those attending LEL, I'll pass on a tip I got from the paper today. Dry-clean your clothes and disinfect your shoes before you return home. Once home, stay away from farm animals for two to four weeks. I know this may mean some lonely farm animals, but it's for their own good. Harold is also organizing some 'nested' brevets this year and paid us the compliment of saying that while the ACP has a problem with this sort of thing, it will be fine here because we are all such an honourable bunch. Thanks Harold.

Bob Marsh returned to the floor next to give thanks for those helping with the short ride series. Having seen the reactions of people at the Touring Seminar to the RM1200 map, I am more convinced than ever that the short ride series is an important aspect of our club (I swear the fact that I received a lovely short ride series medal had nothing to do with this opinion!). I think it would be beneficial to make these rides more prominent if we are invited to a second touring seminar.

The awarding of the Randonneur 500 and 1000 medals by Bob kicked off a long sequence of award awarding. A fact that arose during this that needs repeating is that of 102 Super 5000 awards earned in 1999 and 2000, BC Randonneurs earned 27! I felt vicariously awesome upon hearing that. Good for us!

Danelle made mention of club clothes. I think this was the briefest presentation of the evening. As I recall it went something like "I have clothes. Buy now or call me later." Spurred by the power of her speech, I bought now. She will also have clothes available at the Populaire, where I'm sure I'll fall victim to her sales skill again. I need some shorts.

Marion Orser, a past director of the VACC, spoke of some of the accomplishments of the VACC in the area of cycling advocacy as well as giving us a better understanding of the methods and philosophy of the organization. Marion also pointed out that the room was graced with the presence of two current VACC directors, Chrystal Dalyce and Brian George. While I believe that the club prefers to remain non-political, I personally encourage all cyclists to join and support the VACC.

After the talking was over, Harold and Dan McGuire entertained us with slides. Harold demonstrated amazing powers of recall, naming nearly every rider featured in the slides and throwing in interesting facts to go with the pictures. Dan's slides included some of his trip across Canada and ended with some delightful slides from Cuba which in Dan's words 'demonstrate the utility of the bicycle.'

The evening closed with a fabulous assortment of door prizes. I didn't keep count, but it seemed there were almost enough for everyone to come away with something. Even the bartender won a prize! There were smiles all around during this part of the evening. If you happen to see any of our benefactors, please be sure to express our gratitude for the loot they provided.