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Raising the Bar: Part 2

Eric Fergusson


A response to Roger:

Boy, you really are a troublemaker aren't you!

These are all good questions. It would be nice to devote an entire meeting to these and perhaps face some harsh decisions. But you know there's a strong inertia factor, and on a few of these issues I can sympathize with both sides.

I think there's an over-riding question running through many of your points: Is the administrative/volunteer effort and the organizational sprawl worth it, for those aspects of the club that are peripheral to our core activity?

Are the short rides really a feeder series, for example? It seems that not too many people start out with the short rides and then 'graduate' to the real rides. The thinking originally was (in part) that these rides would be there for older riders to retire into. This doesn't seem to be happening either. The people who ride rando events seem to be a different species from the 'shorties'. Might the rando 500 and 1000 series be a failed experiment? (Maybe only the 500 series is a problem - to me the 1000 series feels closer to what we're all about.)

Another question too is, are we really a club, or are we an association? If we are an association, then things like supporting regional development and feeder series are important. If we're a local randonneur club these things are more peripheral. So again, is the organizational infrastructure supporting the 'association' apart of our mission, or is it a make-work project for people who have better things to do (including riding their bikes?) Perhaps we should be a province wide association...but one focused more on real randonneur events with a restricted number of carefully chosen populaires - one populaire per brevet series might be a rule of thumb.

As for rules, the fewer the better I say. I think you might be implying that we should shift the lighting and fender 'rules' over to the 'recommendations' file. (This would be an easy cut and paste job for me! - I could do secretly. Don't tell!) As for time limits...well don't get me started.

You wrote at the end about the sinking bar... Not unrelated to this was your suggestion last meeting about the 50,000 km lifetime award. I've been thinking about this, and I like it a lot. (And if we do it, let's make sure to do it right - we're not going to be giving out a lot of them.) The message this sends is that we are reaching for the stars, not coaxing people, who may never do a 200, to discover the joys of cycling.

I guess for me it all boils down to having a clear idea of who we are. If we have a clear sense of this, all your questions become much easier to answer.