Newsletter - 2002 Archive

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The John Hathaway Bequest

Roger Street


John Hathaway was a one-of-a-kind dedicated cyclist. He was credited in his youth with numerous records for speed and in later years for covering vast distances. He was a founding member of our Club. John and his accomplishments are unknown to some of the more recent Randonneurs. I was fortunate to see John put his over 70 year-old efforts into hills and to witness John's signature riding style. However, in retrospect, I know nothing of the powerhouse that was John Hathaway.

The John Hathaway Trophy, now affectionately referred to as the Iron Butt Award, is given to the BC Randonneur who accumulates the most event kilometres in the cycling season. To qualify, you must be a member and complete a series of 200/300/400/600 kilometre rides in the B.C. Randonneurs annual schedule. International rides recognized by the ACP (France Randonneurs) and the RM (International Randonneurs) are included in the total.

On his death, John left a small estate. The Randonneurs were the recipients of $5,000, which we wish to use in his tribute. We have considered various ways to express John's life-style with the bequest: dedicated bicycle routes, international cycling signs, airport cycling assembly kiosks, assistance for plane, train and boat wayfarers, etc., etc. I think that the involvement of public property and physical signage places a long-term responsibility on club individuals for maintenance, which will become more of a burden than a memorial. I therefore suggest the following for your consideration.

The bequest will fund an annual payment of $500 for more than ten years. And the money will go to THE ANNUAL WINNER OF THE IRON BUTT (JOHN HATHAWAY) AWARD!!

Why not? Because we should not pursue our hobby for profit. Because we should not sully our pure sport for monetary reward. Because we cannot maintain our good nature towards our fellow road riders if "money" is at stake. Because additional responsibility is placed on the ride organizers for rules enforcement and completion statistics and on the data base manager for comprehensive compilations. Because money is not an incentive.

Why? Because winning the Iron Butt award is not cheap and some aspirants may be held back by costs, not ability. Because the reaction of various individuals to this proposed $500 Iron Butt award has been interesting. Because our membership might increase. Because I think it is a good match of the bequest to a long-term memorial. Because this award is worth it. And because - WHY NOT.
It is my hope that the John Hathaway (Iron Butt) Fund will receive additional contributions and bequests - from both recognized and unrecognized Iron Butts - and continue in perpetuity.

Do you have another suggestion or are you supportive of the above proposal? Make a submission to the newsletter, phone your president or vice-president, attend the monthly directors' meeting. Be sure your opinions and ideas are considered when a decision is reached.