Archive for March, 2008

Official RBA announcement

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Dear current or former DC Randonneurs member,

We have a new RBA!

For some of you, this will duplicate messages sent to the DCR listserve last Friday — but some DCR members are not on the DCR listserve, and we did want to follow up with an official DCR announcement.

RUSA approved Bill Beck, our Club Brevet Administrator, as provisional RBA. Our first two scheduled brevets are May 31, the “Urbana 200″ RUSA brevet, and July 19, the “Warrenton 200″ RUSA brevet. Bill Beck’s note, below contains more details.

While you wait for the next DC Randonneurs brevet, keep in mind that there are a continually increasing number of RUSA permanent routes are available in the area, that can be used for awards like the R-12. For those riders who want or need to ride an ACP-sanctioned brevet this spring, click on one of the Regional Clubs on the Links page.

Your volunteer support will be needed for the upcoming brevets. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Mary Gersema by clicking on the Contacts page of the website, and then clicking on “Volunteer Coordinator”.

We would also like to encourage you to volunteer for the Shenandoah 1200, by contacting We hope this grand randonnee will showcase the beautiful and historic countryside in this region, and that visitors will go away with great memories. Though DC Randonneurs is not officially a sponsor of the Shenandoah 1200, I know that Bill Beck has already offered to volunteer, and I intend to do so as well. Hope to see you there.

Congratulations to Bill, on behalf of myself and of the DC Randonneurs’ Board.

As it says in a Timbuk3 song … “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!”

Nick Bull
President, DC Randonneurs
on behalf of the Board of DC Randonneurs

Fellow DC Randonneurs,

As you have seen in Nick’s message, RUSA approved my application to become a Regional Brevet Administrator (RBA), so DC Randonneurs is back in the business of scheduling brevets!As Nick also described, RUSA has initially approved two RUSA-sanctioned brevets: the Urbana 200K on May 31 and the Warrenton 200K on July 19. If those are run successfully, they will let me submit additional rides. We are planning on an active Fall schedule, including a RUSA Dart and a Fall 300K. And we will submit a full ACP series for the spring of next year.

If you visit the Find Rides section of the RUSA web site in the future, you will (eventually) find that the “DC:Washington” region has been replaced by a “MD Capital” (or similar name) region, associated with me/DC Randonneurs, and a “Northern VA” (or similar name) region, associated with Matt Settle/ROMA. However, all of the routes in the original DC region will be available to both groups, and DCR intends to offer rides over the full region. Therefore, we will coordinate our schedule with Matt and ROMA so that there are more opportunities for area randonneurs than with either club separately. For example, one club might run their fleche on the traditional Easter weekend, while the other could schedule on a different weekend for those who want to reserve Easter for other activities. Local riders would then have a choice.

We have so much talent and enthusiasm within DC Randonneurs that I am sure that the club has a very bright future. Please help celebrate our renewal by coming out to the inaugural rides on May 31 and July 19.

Finally, I would like to join Nick to encourage all of you to support the Shenandoah 1200 this year by riding or volunteering. Although DC Randonneurs is not an official sponsor of the event, it is the only 1200km Randonnee being held in the East this year, and perhaps in the near future. So it would be great to get it off to a good start so that riders in our end of the country have a not-too-distant 1200K option in the coming years. Last I heard, I will be bringing out food at the start and staffing the control in Gettysburg, and I hope to see lots of other DC Randonneurs out there. You can volunteer by sending an email to

Bill Beck
Rookie RBA for DC Randonneurs

Bill Beck approved; Other DCR positions

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Dear DC Randonneurs member,

The vote is complete, and an overwhelming majority of voters approved Bill Beck’s candidacy as our representative to RUSA. A letter from Bill to the membership is posted at the DCR website:

In other Board action:

The Board created five positions to assist DCR in its mission of putting on brevets:

Club Brevet Administrator (CBA)
Volunteer Coordinator
Publicity/Marketing Coordinator
New Member Mentor
Bylaws Revision Coordinator

The first of these positions will be filled by Bill Beck. CBA is just DCR’s internal title for the person who takes on the duties of RBA, and who would typically apply to be RBA.

Mary Gersema has agreed to be the Volunteer Coordinator. Suppose RUSA approves Bill’s application to be RBA. Does that mean we can put on brevets? No. We need volunteers to put on brevets! Mary will keep track of who has offered to volunteer, who has volunteered recently (so we don’t hit up the same people who just volunteered on the last umpteen events), and what people have volunteered for (so we can progressively build the member’s expertise in organizing brevets, by challenging volunteers to put on progressively longer brevets). We asked Mary to be the Volunteer Coordinator, because we figured who could resist her entreaty to volunteer. If you would like to learn more about volunteering please contact Mary through our contacts page.

Bill Clayton has agreed to apply his marketing expertise to souping up our publicity. In the past, for example, we have created brochures that were suitable for putting in bike stores, though this wasn’t done last year. We’re sure Bill will have some good ideas along these lines.

The New Member Mentor has yet to be recruited, though some discussions have been held. The title of this position is open to change. But the idea is to have someone who would be a resource for new members, welcoming them to the club, and providing them with a “Frequently Asked Questions” email to help orient them to the special issues faced by randonneurs. What they won’t do: Let new members draft them for 200K.

Chris Mento has agreed to be the Bylaws Revision Coordinator. We think most members would agree that we need to revise the bylaws to put them in good order. Chris made a number of excellent comments when Bylaws revisions were being discussed at the Board level. Helping him will be Chuck Woods and George Winkert, both of whom expressed a clear interest in this topic by their postings on the DCRand listserve (not that we want to discourage members from posting in the future …).

The Board of DC Randonneurs

Letter from Bill to the Membership

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Fellow DC Randonneurs,

Thank you for your vote of confidence in approving my nomination to be our new RBA. It is an honor coming from such an accomplished and experienced group, and I hope that I can live up to your expectations. Furthermore, I will need your help in the coming months, since I only accepted the position knowing that I could draw on the incredible depth of talent that resides in the club.

I have nearly completed the RBA application (with many helpful suggestions from Lynn Kristianson) and hope to have it submitted this week. As we have said before, approval by RUSA is not a foregone conclusion, but we are quite hopeful. And if the application is approved, DC Randonneurs brevet schedule will be back in action very quickly. We will submit three RUSA brevets with the application, to occur in late May, July, and September. And we are also planning an active fall, possibly including a RUSA 300K, a set of brevets arranged around the 10th anniversary of RUSA, and/or a Dart. Finally, we are planning on a full ACP series next spring. If you have something special that you would like to see, please let me know about it.

I would like to publicly thank the other board members Steve Ashurst, Nick Bull, Bill Clayton, Paul Donaldson, and Chris Mento for investing so much time over the past few months as we worked through the serious issues facing the club. Our new President, Nick, has been a dynamo, and Secretary Steve has gone way beyond the call of duty setting up two separate electronic elections.

In my RBA application, I said that I viewed success as an RBA from the point of view of a rider in the club. If he or she sees a ride schedule that is posted well in advance, feels welcome at the rides, thinks the routes are safe and scenic, and wants to look back at the web site a few days after each ride to read the ride summary and check out the results to see how their friends did, that would be success. And hopefully, that’s what will happen. But I assure you that I will willingly transfer the RBA position AND (if RUSA approves) the brevet schedule to a new RBA if the board and members ever decide that would be best for the club.

Bill Beck

Vote for RBA candidate

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Dear DC Randonneur,

On Sunday night, the DCR Board voted to make Bill Beck our liaison to RUSA, with the understanding that he will apply to become RBA. We are asking members to vote to express their approval (or disapproval) of this choice. Eligible voters include those who are members at the time this email is sent out. Voting will be closed at the end of March 7th.

To give a bit of background to our choice of Bill: Virtually everyone who wrote in to recommend a candidate included Bill on their list. This includes several DCR members who generously expressed their willingness to serve as RBA, but only if Bill could not serve.

In their nomination letters, members cited Bill’s experience at designing and running the Woodbine permanent and brevet, his organizational skills, his tenacity in digging in to the details of the budget, his even-keeled approach to enforcing rules, the way he puts people at ease, and his commitment to the region’s randonneuring community.


The Board of DC Randonneurs.