Newsletter - 2002 Archive

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Past Madame Prez says

Danelle Laidlaw


What is the meaning of Randonneur riding? Oh god, not a philosophical treatise for her last word as President. Well, sort of ….

I have written an article about my 1000 km ride on Vancouver Island over the Labour Day weekend. I had a great ride, but I was challenged and I think every once in awhile, just when we are starting to feel a little cocky about these rides, the Rando gods swoop down and say, let's see what you are made of.

The essence of randonneur riding is determined by your preparation, your abilities, but most of all, your resourcefulness. The ability to put up with, overcome, and pull together determines what kind of randonneur rider you are or can be. Marathon cycling is not about being super fit - it is about endurance - enduring pain, sleep deprivation, and often making the best of a sorry situation.

We have had all sorts of examples of this - Joan Irwin finishing a 200 by packing her freewheel with Lypsol, Eric Fergusson duct-taping his bike together on a 1000 km ride, and Michel Richard finishing the 2000 with a broken elbow and several broken ribs are just a few stories that I can think of right off the bat.

Rainy Kent put it really well - you don't remember or appreciate the rides that are easy - it is the ones that you finished despite the adversities that stick with you and give you the greatest source of pride. And I would have to concur.

So, as you make your way through the rides that you plan to do each year; as you reach the goals that you set yourself in terms of the distances you do, or numbers of rides that you do, or the time that you finish in, remember, your best ride, the one you will remember and talk about, is the ride where despite the obstacles, you draw from deep within, draw from your many resources, and make it through.

I hope you've had a great year and that next year will be even better. See you on the road.