Newsletter - 2002 Archive

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BC Randonneurs
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A Unique Way of Raising the Bar

Roger Street


Much ado is and will be made of the changes to the Fleche rules which restricts the amount of time available to a team at a any one control to a maximum of two hours. We have Club members who have ridden for 24 hours and covered more than 600 kilometers. Two hours stops, my sainted aunt. We have Club members who have ridden for 24 hours, mended flats, encouraged each other through the inevitable personal lows, watched the clock tick down and been absolutely ecstatic to cover 360 kilometers with 5 minutes to spare. This rule wasn't made for these Club members who give so much of themselves in that 24 hour period.

We have Club members who plan on a few hours of sleep, pay for a room(s) for the team and don't even have enough time to notice that the toilet paper is triangle folded. We have Club members who are capable of getting six hours or sleep and cycling 360 km and, yes, do both. We have Club members who do the sleep bit at the beginning and others who fit it into the plan to allow the final 2 hour minimum distance to be comfortably covered.

What we do not have is equal effort being expended by all members and guests who participate in the Fleche Pacifica. I think that the two-hour rule is a wonderful way of raising the bar in a most unique way. The bar is not set at a visible target. The bar has been set at your teams personal level of ability. No resting, no sleeping, no standing around in the hot or cold just passing time. Ride, Ride, Ride. I read somewhere that "it never gets easier, it just gets faster". The guys at the back are working just as hard as the guys at the front and vice versa. Now, the guys in the middle will be forced to play the same game.

Was it that a 24 hour event was somehow hi-jacked at a cost of less than 24 hours of effort? Someone seems to think so and developed a unique response. The bar has been uniquely raised to 24 hours from 360 kilometers. You will still be ecstatic with your accomplishment and the knowledge that you are unique as a true Randonneur. Gord Bisaro would approve.