Newsletter - 2005 Archive

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BC Randonneurs
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This is the counter argument for another newsletter submission: 40,000 vs 100,000 km: A Case for 100,000.

40,000 or 50,000 km
The Case for 40,000 km
by Michel Richard

To start with, the real decision needs to be between 40,000 and 50,000 km rather than 40,000 and 100,000 km. The 100,000 km mark will likely only be reached by Ken Bonner, and this incredible achievement should be recognized singularly and separately.


This idea for a lifetime achievement award was conceived quite a few years ago. It came about because Ken Bonner at the time was fast approaching the 50,000 km mark. It was approved at the time, but the idea sat around gathering dust because no one came up with a suitable award to recognize this achievement. A major reason for this might be that 50,000 km has no concrete meaning. It is a round number that is of the right order of magnitude, but has otherwise no significance.


On the other hand, there is another number that is round and of the right order of magnitude, plus it has a lot of meaning. That number is 40,000 km. All of you know (I hope) that we live on planet Earth. What many of you might not know is that our planet also happens to be 40,000 km around (close enough: 40,074 km around the equator, 39441 km around the poles for an average of 40,008 km). This is a coincidence that should be exploited rather than ignored. It gives us an objective reference for comparison.


Most people get excited by this idea. There is something really romantic about the idea of riding a distance equivalent to going once around the world. Romanticism breeds passion. And this passion is important, because this award isn’t only there to recognize an achievement but also to dangle a carrot (banana?) in front of people’s handlebars. And since these awards are multi-year pursuits, we help members stay motivated to keep riding.


And this brings up my last argument, the design of the award. Let’s all admit it, we are a cycling club with a pin collecting obsession. Therefore, this milestone (kilometer-stone?) should be recognized with a really nice pin. And with 40,000 km being that milestone, the pin almost designs itself, eliminating a problem we had with the previous distance award.


Both distances have their logic, but 40,000 km also has special meaning. What excites you?


June 2, 2005