San Francisco Randonneurs wishlist (First posted August-22-2007 at 01:47 am)
San Francisco Randonneurs wishlist (First posted August-22-2007 at 01:47 am)
Well another season of San Francisco Randonneurs (SFR) brevets came to an end (for now?) and now the 2007 version of PBP is under way. This year I rode three events, as usual with no purpose 'cause that is the way I ride, no real purpose, just for fun. Doing PBP was never on my mind and don't think it will ever be. However this year the San Francisco Randonneurs series was very well attended in part because riders had their eyes on PBP. I like seeing more people getting into the Rando thing, I always think the more the merrier. Our club regular series traditionally starts in January and ends in April giving more than enough time to re-do a given brevet with another club in case something goes wrong and there is the dreaded DNF next to the name in the results. But again that may be only important for those seeking RUSA points or titles or whatever.

My hat off to our RBA, Todd T. for a job well done for so many years. It seems we may be at the end of his administration so there are many questions regarding the future direction of the SFR. On my conversations with other SFRs and other cyclist I tend to express my ideas for what I would like to see on a SFR series, a SFR wishlist:

The short SFR series always strikes me as a good party that ends to early, a bar with a 10:00pm last-call. Just when things are getting interesting and we are all warming up to the fun, everybody is sent home. I'll love to see a brevet season that takes advantage of our climate. In San Francisco we can ride year round, why not have brevets/events year round?

More variety of events. Populaires, 200k and 300ks include some Permanents, a Dart a Fleche and make some of those events cover surfaces other than pavement (gravel roads, fire -roads etc), pavement-only is for sissies :) just kidding but it would be nice to expand the riding possibilities by throwing a curve here and there; on the same lines what about doing some of the short events mostly at night? I can see a summer or fall 200k or 300k that start at midnight. Let's challenge ourselves, and think outside the strip of pavement! Any event would be welcomed but IMHO having new types of events like Darts and Mixed terrain brevets and night events would add variety to the menu and also attract new members.

New routes. Fellow SFR member Willy N. established a 200k Permanent using a new route. I am doing my part to propose a new 200k by mapping a new route as a permanent or a regular brevet, it would be a Mixed Terrain ride, would people embrace it? Don't know but it will be there for those interested. Lets put all those GPS units and pencils to good use, map a new route... and share it with the club!

Work with the other Bay Area/NorCal randonneuring organizations to establish a Bay Area/NorCal 1200k event. This takes time but it could become a classic in no time. We have great terrain to cover, it is just a matter of linking some of the longer routes of each club and then, the hard part, put all minds in the same page. I bet we would have enough volunteers and riders interested.

Keep the nature of SFR brevets as unsupported as possible and keep the cost down. IMHO, unsupported 200k, 300k and 400k are more fun when you need to challenge yourself with logistic details. The 600k and longer events are different animals where a little support can make a big difference in the fun factor. However how much support should be offered? I'll say about as much as was done in the 2007 600k, one location per each 500k-600k, where the support location is picked according to the route. It would be a shame to see the SFR events turn into one of those "organized rides" where they give you a t-shirt, some powerbars, some food, some... and they charge you for all that. A SFR $30-40 brevet would be silly, we are not in this to make money but to "make" fun.

A more social athmosphere: Hang out at the end of the events for food or beer. Next event I'll do my part to propose a place to hang after the ride. I guess this is easier to do with the shorter events.

Proud member of the San Francisco Randonneurs. I think many SFRs belong to another cycling club and they think of themselves as members of "that" before being SFRs members. If you are a member of the SFR and also of other club/s it would not hurt to use the SFR affiliation every once in a while when registering for long distance events, after all The San Francisco Randonneurs is a *long distance cycling club* and the "other" club generally has a wider scope. Let's promote randonneuring by promoting our own club.

And that's my nagging for the day, now I'm going for a ride.
(First posted August-22-2007 at 01:47 am)

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