Newsletter - 2003 Archive

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Two Canada Jerseys... Say What?

Eric Fergusson


You will notice that there are two choices for the Canada jersey intended to be the national jersey for Canadians at PBP 03. After months of discussions between the six Canadian club Presidents, a consensus was reached. There was also a tentative agreement to adopt the words "Randonneurs Canada" as a name - a focal point - around which the provincial clubs could be sorted in the minds of people from elsewhere in the world. "Randonneurs Canada" could also be stamped in big bold letters on the PBP 03 Canada jersey - it would be an easily understood national marker. Plans are now being made to build a rail line from Halifax to Vancouver to make solid this "Rando Can" national dream... OK, maybe not a rail line, but perhaps a web page with six links.

At the moment the decision was being made in favour of the modified Garneau 'flames' design as national "Randonneurs Canada" jersey, PBP hopefuls from BC were getting together for Réal's February 8th PBP workshop, and casting votes for the their jersey preference. There had been a buzz for some weeks about Ali Holt's reinterpretation of the O'Hagan Cycle's 'geese' design, and at the workshop this was the overwhelming fave.

So what do you do when your club votes one way and the national committee votes another? Well I guess if you're BC Randonneurs you say "yes" and "yes". Ali went back to the drawing board - MAC board - and fine-tuned the goose design yet again, this time producing a jersey aimed squarely at BC Randonneurs riders.

The two designs you see posted prominently on the web site are the result of a lengthy jersey selection process, involving 14 jersey submissions, and numerous variations on some of the designs. (All the submissions remain posted on a separate page on the web site.) The official Randonneur Canada jersey and Ali's Canada goose are both available - follow the ordering instruction on the web site or take a cheque to the Spring Social. Orders close mid March.

And one more thing. Ali has removed the references on the jersey to PBP 03 so the jersey might appeal to members who do not intend to go to PBP in August. Ali's goose now replaces the "PetroCan" design as the club's Canada jersey.

If I could make an itsy bitsy comment at this point - if you're planning to go to PBP, I encourage you to consider getting both jerseys. In 1999 there was a national photo, and there are tentative plans to do this again in 2003. I plan to ride PBP in my goose, because, well, it's fantastic... but wouldn't it also be great to have a national photo with everyone wearing the same national "Randonneurs Canada" jersey. This is not a new dream...

In the years leading up to PBP '95 Harold Bridge had the idea that all Canadians could wear one common jersey, which could be individualized for each provincial club. Given the struggle to forge a consensus this time around it seems all the more remarkable that Harold was able pull this off in '95 - the result was the PetroCan jersey. Harold wondered if it could be done again for 2003, and he is the person that started the wheels in motion for a new national jersey.

Well Harold, we did it.

Kevin Jardine from Victoria acted as facilitator in the process. Thanks also to Graham Hallward from Randonneurs Ontario who brokered the national consensus, and to Ali for her multiplicitous design talents and technical advice.