Archive for April, 2007

April Newsletter

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

After getting through the winter with relatively mild weather on brevet days, we have had some pretty challenging conditions for our early spring brevets. This past Easter weekend five teams completed the 24-hour Fleche’ Centre-Atlantique in cold, windy and at times snowy conditions. In some cases they encountered record-setting low temperatures.

The challenge of teamwork, combined with the tradition and camaraderie of the Fleche, always makes it one of the most memorable rides of the year.

On St. Patrick’s Day our first ACP 200K brevet went off in windy and cold conditions. The previous day’s snow storm kept many at home, but some 15 of us forged onward to complete a beautiful brevet, despite the the added challenge of the weather. The enhanced scenery made the route a winter wonderland.

On the last day of March we had fairly normal weather for the Urbana 200K. A total of 60 riders completed the ride, including organizers Nick Bull, Tom Reeder and George Winkert, who did the volunteer ride the Saturday before in miserable weather.

The course was continually hilly and scenic. Special mention goes to Ben Bassett and Jeff Radan who rode fix-gear bikes. Jeff and Paul Donaldson get a tip of the hat for riding to the event.

This Saturday we have the “Old Rag” 200K brevet from Warrenton, Va. This is a popular route and by far the longest-running brevet in the Mid Atlantic. It features redbuds and dogwoods in bloom. As I write this, the redbuds are out in force but the dogwoods are not at their best yet.

It is also the last of our 200K ACP qualifying rides.

The following three weeks will feature the 300K ACP qualifying brevets. There will be lighting inspections before each of these brevets. Riders must show mounted lights front and rear and have replacement bulbs and batteries, or, a second set of lights. They must also show reflective wear for torso and ankles. Early inspection and check-in will be available on Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the start hotels, as well as one hour before the ride start.

Due to the volume of email, I regret that I am unable to always respond thoughtfully and individually to all the requests for information and advice. I care about everyone’s concerns and hope to encourage you in your randonneuring goals.

Many of the questions can be answered by visiting www.rusa.org or www.dcrand.org. Jeff Magnuson is our new member coordinator and can answer or at least steer you in the right direction for many of your questions.

At times I must make difficult and hard choices regarding the brevets and administration of the rules and traditions. Each time someone will not like the decision and many times it is an unpopular position that I must take. I will continue to do my best based on the information that I have. I know in hindsight that all my decisions are not always the correct ones and I will strive to make better ones as I grow and gain experience in this very demanding position.

Bonne route,
Matt Settle,RBA