What are all these people
smiling about? Let me tell ya about it...
A little unexpectedly 2009
turned out to be a very big distance year for BC Randonneurs.
I hadn't realized, until I put the figure in the historical stats
summary chart, that it was our biggest total distance year ever.
Club total: 247,883 km nudging out 2007 by 600 km. It
really shouldn't have been such a big year. No PBP, no Rocky,
and two years away from the next PBP. Typically this is a modest
distance year in our four year randonneur cycle. So why?
Part of it was the big
distance events that our riders did elsewhere: Gold Rush, Granite
Anvil, LEL and
others. Many riders had their personal biggest distance seasons,
including six of the ten top riders on the Iron Butt list (Barry,
Nigel, Jeff, Bob, Keith and Gary). A special word about Ontario Randonneurs heavy hitter Henk Bouhuyzen. Henk was a bona fide BC
Randonneur in 2009, and eligible for the Iron Butt Award because he rode a 2-3-4-600 km series here
at Eau de Hell week in April. He went on to finish a record five 1200s! His big
total (10,040 km) is not all included in our club totals (only the 1500 km in BC), but he made a big mark in the world of randonneur cycling in BC and elsewhere.
Iron Butt Award:
With a total like that you would think that Henk might have challenged
Ken Bonner for the Iron Butt award for most distance. Nope, in
fact Henk was third
on the list. The big news, which everyone already knows, is that
Ken didn't win it either. Ken has topped the list every year
since 2001. Ken's many-time flèche team mate Barry
Chase grabbed top butt honours with an impressive total of
11,215 km which included two 1200s and five (yes FIVE) 1000s
. Barry had never ridden a 1000 before 2009. Guess he was making
up for lost time. And it's a record. No BC rider has ridden more
than three 1000s in a season, though Ken has done this a number
Barry and I were musing
that he (Barry) might also be considered the winner of the new
"All But" award (there's no real award). The full name
of this non-award is the "All But Ken" award. But alas
no. The award is now rebranded the "All But Barry"
award, and it goes to Ken.
Once more Deirdre Arscott claims the Iron Buttress honours
(again, no real award) for the highest distance total (3569 km)
by a woman. Ali Holt was next woman on the list just 100
km back. This is the 12th time Deirdre has had the highest women's
distance total, and the third time in the last four years.
There were an incredible 12 first time super randonneurs this
year. Congratulations to Shyam Chandran, Steven Clark,
Chris Cullum, Rick den Braber, Ryan Golbeck,
Hanif Ladha, Darren Maclachlan, Jordan Mattieu,
Malcolm McAuley, Andy Reimer, Erik Snucins and
an interesting year it was for everyone's favourite non-award
award. The coveted "Rookie of the Year" award, for
the most event distance by a first time
super randonneur, goes to Rick den Braber with nice round
4000 km. But it was only by a sliver. Ryan Golbeck was
just 100 km back at 3900 km. Ryan completed a 1000 as part of
his distance mix. Both riders have completed their winter permanents,
so it looks like they plan to be around in 2010. Honourable mentions
to Darren MacLachlan at 2900 km and Malcolm McAuley
at 2400. Deep field!
Ken Bonner organized another set of big challenges over
on the Island in 2009. The season kicked off with his third Eau
de Hell week. There were eight
finishers for this 4 brevet 1500 km series: Ken Bonner,
Henk Bouhuyzen, Eric Fergusson, Graham Fishlock,
Jeff Mudrakoff, Keith Nichol, Keith Patterson and
Nigel Press. Three riders - Ken, Eric and Jeff - have finished
all three EdH weeks. In June four riders completed Ken's Ultimate
Island Explorer 2000 km. Yutaka Moriwaki from Japan and
Keith Nichol completed the ride for the second time, along
with Eric Fergusson and Ken himself.
many highlights on the saner distance brevets on the Island was
the opening of the new road connecting Cowichan Lake to Port
Renfrew. Island rides coordinator Ray Parker was quick
to incorporate the new road into his Tsunami 300 km in June.
There was some bad news too though. A crash with a pickup in
July knocked Ray out of both riding and organizing. Ray has done
an inspired job of overseeing the Island rides for the past four
seasons. He's still on the sick list, and everyone is wishing
him bonne courage as he works on his recovery in Victoria.
Big news in the Peace Region
this year: participation doubled. New comer Erik Snucins
became the second Peace Region rider to complete a Super Randonneur
series. Peace ride coordinator Wim Kok earns his fifth
In the interior, rides
co-ordinator Richard Blair guided his tight crew through
their spring series. And look at those results... some incredibly
fast times. Must be something in the water.
Super Randonneurs &
(the Audax Club Parisien awards):
49 Super Randonneur medals were earned in BC in 2009. It's easily
the highest number for a non-PBP year (53 SRs in both 2003 and
2007). There were two more Randonneur 5000 medals this year also
(Barry Chase and Tracy Barill), bringing our total
up to 16 for the four year cycle.
2009 saw the inclusion of two more riders in the over 40,000
km club. Keith Nichol and Barry Chase became the
12th and 13th riders to earn their 40,000 km medal for lifetime
C-KAP / UMCA:
We learned in March 2009 that for the fifth consecutive season
BC Randonneurs have earned the Canadian Kilometre Achievement
program's top club honours for 2008 distance. 24 riders rode
239,520 km led by Henry Berkenbos at 30,812 km, with Ken
Bonner close behind. Meanwhile, in the UMCA's individual
distance quest Ken easily topped the 2009 list with 17,079 miles.
It is Ken's fifth consecutive year at the top of this list.
2009 was Gary Baker's first year up to speed after a crash
took him out in 2007. (He did a SR series in 2008.) Gary completed
three out-of-province ultras on his way to a personal
highest event-distance annual total of 6066 km. Nigel Press
became the first rider to complete all three Lower Mainland 1000s,
and the first rider to do the novelty stunt of scrambling back
for the mainland
spring 200 after completing EdHell week on the Island less than
24 hours earlier. Nigel's event distance total was 9171 km, all
of it in BC. A lot of ferry rides! Ken Bonner had is usually
collection of fast time on 1200s: first finisher and course record
at the inaugural Granite Anvil 1200 (63:39); co-third finisher
at the Gold Rush Randonneur 1200 (62:40); and a zippy (86:00)
at London Edinburgh London 1400. After numerous attempts Dave
Gillanders completed an ultra distance brevet in 2009 - the
South Okanagan, North Cascades 1000. Congratulations Dave! I've
only made a passing mentioned of Jeff Mudrakoff who completed
3 marquee 1200s and a 1000 on his way to his biggest season ever,
with 7500 km event distance. Bob Koen also had his biggest
year with 6919 km including three ultra distance brevets. And
finally, 2009 saw the return of Luis Bernhardt, who rode
with the earliest randonneurs in BC in the early 1980s. Louis
has had a distinguished track racing career and came back on
his fixed gear bike to show us all how it's done.
The permanents program is currently chugging its way through
its second winter. The first riders to earn their BC-12 pins
(12 consecutive months of permanents or scheduled
brevets) happened in 2009. Congratulations to Ken Bonner,
Barry Chase, Mike Croy, Eric Fergusson, Graham Fishlock and Bob
Koen. Ken had the most distance with 4144 km. "Perma
Butt." Note that permanents distance does not count towards
our Iron Butt totals. So Ken's event distance total including
permanents was over 15,000 km in 2009. One more thing about the
permanents - there's been an explosion of new route designs.
Check them out on the Permanents routes page.
For the scheduled brevets ("BRMs" - Brevets de Randonneurs
Mondiaux), there was a nice mix of new routes and old favourites
lower mainland in 2009. One stand out new route was Kevin
Bruce's summer 200 which explored the road ends north of
the Fraser. The best route name came from the interior however.
Bob Goodison's 400 to Helmcken Falls: "Highway to
Riders had a lot to say about their 2009 rides. There was a dramatic
increase of newsletter submissions: 110 of them. (73 in 2008).
Why? All those permanent reports must have had something to do
with it. There were lots and lots of photos too! And not just
taken by our resident experts (Ray, Stephen, etc.) Many riders
took many wonderful ride photos. In fact a fun way to review
the year is to browse through the 2009 section of the photo gallery
The 2008 Roger Street Award for exceptional club service was
handed out at the 2009 spring social in early March. There was
no surprise about who was going to be chosen this time around,
and like the previous year there were two co-winners. Roger
and Ali Holt had organized the 2008 Rocky Mountain
1200. They also organize the Canada Day Populaire which seems
to expand exponentially every year. Roger has been lower mainland
rides co-ordinator, and Ali has been secretary for many years,
but this is only beginning of their extensive contributions to
the behind the scenes of working of the club. The award is well
Hats off to our out-going
2009 President Tracy Barril. He had his hands full steering
us through the our biggest season at the same time as nurturing
the permanents program. He has been busy establishing the archive
of permanents routes - 57 routes and counting, including some
excellent routes of his own design. A very big thanks also to
out-going executive members Karen Smith and 2007 club
pres Gary Baker. Both left the executive to make room
for new members. Karen who remains in charge of the our wonderful
finishers pins program has been on the randonneur executive committee
almost continuously since 1993.
With the 2010 season is
fast approaching, here are a few things to watch for. Ken is
holding his second VanIsle 1200 in July. Our new pres Alex
Pope has this crazy idea to do a hell week series that includes
a 1000: "Super Week". And finally, the Pacific Populaire
is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010. It is also Danelle
Laidlaw's 10th year organizing it. Reasons to keep smiling!