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2010 Season Review
Participation in BC Randonneur events saw another big jump in 2010, and riding brevets elsewhere appears to still be in fashion. Our club distance total of 289,089 kms represents a 16% increase over last year, almost exactly the same jump as a year earlier. Virtually every individual rider and club distance record fell in 2010. Here are some highlights.
First a few club stats. More brevets at the 200, 400, 600 and 1000 km distances were ridden this season than ever before. The most significant jump was for 1000 km brevets - 48 of them as compared to the previous high of 24 in 2009. No doubt this had something to do with the new Paris Brest Paris registration plan, which grants early registration privileges to big distance brevets ridden in the year before PBP. But I get the feeling that we may also be seeing an increased general enthusiasm about 1000s.
Our collective Super Randonneurs tally is a new club high also. 55 riders completed the full 200, 300, 400 and 600 km series. This is slightly more than the previous high of 53 riders in 2007, a PBP year. And there were more riders on the iron butt list (must ride at least 1500 km) than ever before - 63 riders compared with 58 riders also from 2007.
Ken Bonner reclaimed his Iron Butt trophy in dramatic fashon. His 16,150 km event distance (BRMs -Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux) is a new club distance record and almost 2000 km more than his own 2004 record total. Nigel Press and Jeff Mudrakoff were next on the list, both over 10,000 km for the first time, and Bob Koen was 4th on the list with 8120 km. There was incredible depth this year with 16 riders tallying 5000 km or more.
On the women's side another record. Cheryl Lynch's 6601 km edges out Danelle Laidlaw's long-standing 2001 total by just 60 km.
It was a particularly hard hitting squad of first-time super randonneurs this year. Congratulations to Nigel Aspinall, Mike Croy, Philip Lennox, Cameron Mackenzie, Ed Person, Lee Ringham, Dave Robar, Jim Runkel, Gary Sparks, Guido Van Duyn and Jim Vercammen for completing a 200, 300, 400 and 600 km brevet series in one season. "Rookie of the Year" award (there's no real award) goes to... Gary Sparks! His 6363 km is a new record surpassing Graham Fishlock's 2007 rookie total of 5768 km. Honourable mention to Guido Van Duyn whose 5000 km is also a record - most distance for the first-time super randonneur with the second most distance.
Another stat we've started tracking for the first time this year is the number of riders who rode their first brevet. In 2010 there were 39 riders on the "new randonneurs" list. Too many to list here, right? Look for next year's list as it unfolds on the 2011 results page.
Susan Allen became the 14th BC Randonneur to pass the 40,000 km (circumference of the earth) mark, and earn a 40,000 medal. Interesting footnote about Susan's path towards this milestone - in her 19 years in the club she's never once been the Iron buttress (high distance woman). Kids, the magic word is consistency.
The 4th running of Eau de Hell week in April was huge - 16 finishers. (The previous biggest year was 2009 with 8 finishers.) Riding an entire brevet series in a week in mid April isn't the easiest way to ride your first brevet series, but three riders managed to do this. Congratulations to Mike Croy, Phillip Lennox and Jim Runkel.
Ken Bonner's triple 1000 series enticed Yutaka Moriwaki back to Vancouver Island for a third year. Yutaka finished two of the 1000s, and Ken finished all three.
The second VanIsle 1200 in July, again organized by Ken Bonner, was blessed with fair weather and a wonderful team of support volunteers. 23 starters, 21 finishers. Bob Goodison was the first rider back in 64:45. Dave Gillanders finished the ride at age of 78. Incredible. We think it must be some sort of age record for an ultra-distance brevet.
And finally there was Alex Pope's late summer Super Week series - a compressed brevets series capped off by a 1000 on the second weekend. To qualify to receive the series pin riders must have completed at least 1500 km using at least 3 brevets. Five riders managed this. Nigel Press was the only rider to manage all five brevets. He seemed to get stronger over the course of the week despite the short recovery periods. His Cache Creek 600 was finished in 23:50, and his Okanagan Okanogan 1000 was 45:02. That's the fastest 1000 km time in BC randonneur history not ridden on the Vancouver Island End to End route. (Footnote: Nigel finished the 1000 with Luis Bernhardt who was riding his first 1000.)
Foreign Invasion ...Ahhh!
A word about the band of roving randonneur super stars who swung through BC this year. Ken Knutson from California, Noel Howes from Seattle and (for the second time) Henk Bouhuyzen from Toronto all finished EdHell week in April, which qualified them to challenge for the Iron Butt Award. Ken and Henk both came back for the VanIsle 1200. Note that these three riders' 2010 brevets that were not ridden in BC are not included in our club's collective distance totals. However, all of their "BRM" distance ridden anywhere is included in their personal BC iron-butt distance. As a consequence all three riders featured in the top ten on our iron-butt list this year, lead by Henk Bouhuyzen in fourth spot with 8400 km.
Note that our favourite guy with a non BC address, Ron Himschoot (from Seattle) is not considered an out-of-province rider. He's ridden far more than the 20,000 km of BC distance required for a non-BC resident to be considered a lifetime resident by BC Randonneurs. And Ron had a big year - he was sixth on the iron-butt list this year with 7442 km.
It will be no surprise to anyone who was watching the fall permanents results roll in that Ken Bonner once again claims the Perma-Butt Award (you guessed it, there's no award). Ken rode 42 permanents for a total of 9672 kms. I'm guessing that I'm not the first person tempted to add his BRM distance to his Prm distance... well there's another personal rider club record to add to the 2010 list.
In all 38 riders rode 177 permanents totalling 37,748 km. 13 riders rode a permanent or a BRM in each month over a 12 month cycle finishing in 2010 qualifying them for a BC-12 pin.
2010 marked the 25th anniversary of the Pacific Populaire and also organizer extraordinaire Danelle Laidlaw's 10th straight year at the helm.
Congratulations to Raymond Parker for receiving the the Roger Street Award for outstanding contribution to the club. Ray was Vancouver Island rides coordinator 2006-2009. Innovative route designer, talented photographer and sage on the art and science of cycling.
Alex Pope poured himself into the role as club president this year, which included organizing Super Week. Alex also had a big riding year and he diligently reported and photographed almost every event he was in. Alex had previously been treasurer and then VP. (Additional thanks for the many valuable contributions of Barb Pope.) There was a relatively big turnover of executive members at the 2010 Annual General Meeting. Thanks to outgoing members Tracy Barill, Bob Koen, Raymond Parker, Alex Pope and Nigel Press. Tracy was club president in 2009.
And finally special thanks to Ken Bonner who is retiring from event organizing this year. His contributions at the ludicrous end of the brevet distance spectrum include introducing Eau de Hell week in 2007 and running it every year since, as well as organizing all ultra distance brevets on the Island since 2006: both VanIsle 1200s, both Ultimate Island Explorer 2000s and all eight Vancouver Island 1000 km brevets including the three this season that were strung together as Diablo's Triple 1000 Mini-Series.