Author Topic: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal  (Read 1328 times)

3peaker

  • RRTY Mad 28-up! Still going
RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:45:19 am »
It isn't just randonneuring which is on the decline in America, it is all levels of cycling. I can ride one of my perms out into the country and not see another cyclist during the 125+ miles.

At one time I would see many more riders on the country lanes but for a number of reasons cycling has lost its appeal. The only time we see any number of riders is during the 'MS150 season' when some 13,000 riders will take to the road in a group to ride some 150 miles raising money for the charity. Prior to the ride weekend we will see various clubs on training rides, but once that event is over, it is zip.

Maybe the inhospitable temperatures have some part in that, blistering high 90's during the summer and even today we had a hard freeze down to 27 degrees, so there are probably any number of excuses not to take the bike out.

I believe it was Keynes who suggested that a synergy exists where large numbers of people are present - he was talking about London as a driving force for economical wealth - and I can readily see that a crowded nation like Britain could develop a cohesive and impelling force among cyclists to meet and ride as a group.

Anyway, whatever are the complex causes and effects of specific declines - and wherever and whatever that would affect - randonneuring (and cycling in general) around here is a declining activity and a decline that is likely to continue. But it is good that AUK seems to be keeping the rando torch flame lit and to be well seen.

???Where???
SteveP

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Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 12:12:47 pm »
CP is near Houston, Texas, I believe.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 12:21:00 pm »
At one time I would see many more riders on the country lanes but for a number of reasons cycling has lost its appeal...

At risk of reheating that discussion, laws mandating certain items of safety equipment may be a factor - they're often cited as being a cause of the decline in cycling in Australia. This is one reason why such laws are to be resisted.

I'm sure there are lots of other factors as well though, and as you rightly say, it's a complex matter.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 04:42:12 pm »
I've just renewed my AUK membership for another year, maybe when I've finished the LeJog I'll hang around and do a brevet some place before rushing to Heathrow.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 04:48:33 pm »
We live a bit north of Heathrow and would be happy to meet up sometime.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 04:56:14 pm »
That would be good. When I get closer to the trip, I'll write off-line about my plans. Thanks.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 05:36:10 pm »
At one time I would see many more riders on the country lanes but for a number of reasons cycling has lost its appeal...

At risk of reheating that discussion, laws mandating certain items of safety equipment may be a factor - they're often cited as being a cause of the decline in cycling in Australia. This is one reason why such laws are to be resisted.

I'm sure there are lots of other factors as well though, and as you rightly say, it's a complex matter.

Participation rates in cycling in Australia rose between 2005 and 2015. http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6237-cycling-participation-picks-up-speed-201505172306

That was partly due to the success of Cadel Evans in the Tour de France. That sort of thing brings a 'halo effect', especially when accompanied by targeted initiatives, as with Sky in the UK. There's an obvious risk that the halo can slip, which is what happened in the USA, and in Texas especially.

There's a lag in both recruitment to Audax, and fall-off. It takes time to work up to the long distances, and to discover the club. Having 'bought in' there's a resistance to fashion, as cycling goes out of favour. I count myself as a recruit from the "Boardman boom'.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 10:16:46 pm »
Quote
which is what happened in the USA, and in Texas especially.

It would not be difficult to underestimate the negative affect on cycling numbers the Armstrong debacle had in Texas, where he had 'God like' status - even though he was well know to be a shit.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 10:18:33 pm »
At one time I would see many more riders on the country lanes but for a number of reasons cycling has lost its appeal...

At risk of reheating that discussion, laws mandating certain items of safety equipment may be a factor - they're often cited as being a cause of the decline in cycling in Australia. This is one reason why such laws are to be resisted.

I'm sure there are lots of other factors as well though, and as you rightly say, it's a complex matter.

Participation rates in cycling in Australia rose between 2005 and 2015. http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6237-cycling-participation-picks-up-speed-201505172306

Those figures are *very* partial though. A cursory google turns up http://www.cycle-helmets.com/index.html: figures there suggest regular cycling declined by two-thirds in 93/94 after the helmet laws were implemented, bounced back a little but remained around this very low base until c2000, then rose steadily until c2011 (though still not quite recovering to the 1993 level). However, it has fallen off considerably since then.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 10:19:54 pm »
It would be difficult to underestimate the negative affect on cycling numbers the Armstrong debacle had in Texas, where he had 'God like' status - even though he was well know to be a shit.

What, you mean it had almost no negative effect at all?
</pedant>

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 10:25:43 pm »
Feel better now? You were much too quick with your snarky post.  :P

C-3PO

  • Human-cyborg relations
Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 10:30:39 pm »
Please remain excellent!

Graeme

  • Priest, Preacher and Prophet
  • @FatherHilarious
    • BalancingOnTwoWheels
Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 10:47:07 pm »
The USA is big enough that randoneurring may be doing ok in one place but not have enough critical mass in another. Looking at the very public RUSA members list it seems to be very much a West Coast thing with members being very thin in the ground most other places.

I'm glad our membership renewal doesn't work like that. Follow the link, click search. Everyone's names and location on display, with a 'renew' link. Click renew and get choices to add household members... close page before doing damage.... So much for "SSL" protecting user's data.
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 11:02:36 pm »
Quote
which is what happened in the USA, and in Texas especially.

It would not be difficult to underestimate the negative affect on cycling numbers the Armstrong debacle had in Texas, where he had 'God like' status - even though he was well know to be a shit.

There was a certain celebration of Lance's negative qualities at the time, from those who prized ruthlessness above all else.

It's interesting to look at the rise in PBP participation in the wake of Tour success. Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich  had big impacts in Denmark and Germany, but German TV dropped the Tour after the scandals at Deutsche Telecom. Australia is an interesting example, as there's a long history, stretching back to Hubert Opperman.

It's difficult to know if the UK has gone over the peak in cycling. I suspect it has, but the Danish and German PBP participation rates might show what happens in Audax following a dip in reputation. US participation took a dip after the wet 2007, and may have been impacted by Armstrong in 2015. 

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 11:11:53 pm »
On the other hand, those RUSA folk who are riding a fair bit, tend to ride an awful lot. It is not unusual now for some riders to do upwards of 4 x 1200s a year and sometimes double that. It wasn't that long ago for it to be very rare to ride 2 x 1200s in a year.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 11:28:52 pm »
For NL and B I see no impact of pro cycling succes. I do see an impact however of the spread of GPS devices. Before routesheet reading was seen as a sort of black art in congested area's. This put a lot of people off. 2nd reason is that many 'regular' 200k+ rides folded and BRM's fill a gap.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2018, 11:40:11 pm »
A possible reason for a decline in US participation in PBP could be the rise in domestic 1200's (there are eight on the calendar this year) as well as the reluctance of Americans' to travel overseas. I read somewhere today that only 10% of Americans hold a passport.

There is also a rise in the number of American randonneurs becoming 'K Hounds' - riding 10,000 K's a year. Not me though, I'm one of the 'normal' ones who are quite happy with say 4,000 a year.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2018, 12:20:10 am »
I see that RUSA was founded in 1998, but Boston Montreal Boston first ran in 1988. Which makes me wonder how USA riders qualified for PBP before RUSA. 1988 was during the Lemond era.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2018, 01:31:28 am »
I'm not sure of the time line for RUSA's creation, at one time the full history of randonneuring in America was on its web site but now it's only since the 'breakaway.

I'll do some digging, but for now I'll say that the present RUSA organisation broke away from the original because of egos - what's new? When that occurred I don't know, but enough to assume that BMB preceded that event.

RUSA is such a crap organisation today that another 'breakaway' is due. The amount of dissatisfaction with the RUSA board among the membership is another cause for its decline, as is the peculiar Regional Brevet Administration system whereby one person only in a geographical region can decide the brevet calendar and and only that person can design brevets.

It would be as if in Norfolk for example, one person living in say Dunstan organised all Norfolk brevets and it was that person who decided where and when the brevets would start and on which routes they would be run for the entire county. You can imagine the Little Hitler complex that person could - and often does - develop and the lack of interest someone living in Cromer would have to participate.

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2018, 01:46:16 am »
From: http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/history/history_david-minter.html

In 1998, Randonneurs USA (RUSA) replaced the previous US organisation, International Randonneurs, and abolished additional PBP qualification requirements.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2018, 06:43:04 am »
International Randonneurs/ Randonneurs USA had the sort of 'palace coup' that AUK had a decade earlier. Each used to be a one man band that was replaced by a committee for similar reasons. It seems pretty common as a national organisation grows in size and complexity. India is another, though Japan is an example that has avoided a revolution (possibly because of RUSA's advice when starting up). Audax Oz started with a committee, so missed that stage.

ACP's National Correspondent (delegated representative) system is basically the same arrangement it has with cycling clubs in France. A specific trusted individual is responsible for the BRMs organised by that particular club. If there are too many discrepancies, the ACP stops recognising any of their BRMs and considers recognising somebody else from the club (or not). That system works well when a national organisation runs few brevets (very few French clubs run more than 5 BRMs in a year) but is more difficult with more than 500 annual brevets like AUK.

RUSA took the same approach for each state and later each region within each state. AUK eventually went to the organiser experience and mentor approach with little regionalisation. Audax Oz now overlays the delegated regional committee responsibility with mentoring.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2018, 08:47:33 am »
A possible reason for a decline in US participation in PBP could be the rise in domestic 1200's (there are eight on the calendar this year) as well as the reluctance of Americans' to travel overseas. I read somewhere today that only 10% of Americans hold a passport.

There is also a rise in the number of American randonneurs becoming 'K Hounds' - riding 10,000 K's a year. Not me though, I'm one of the 'normal' ones who are quite happy with say 4,000 a year.

The influence of other 1200s is not only with the US. The Dutch participation rate of PBP is also lagging behind compared to the amount of BRM riders. But one can see a disproportionate amount of riders at other 1200s. So the effect of more 1200s in the world on PBP participation is real, there's a new breed of rider who considers PBP to be just another 1200 to be ridden once and not the core of the randonneuring world anymore.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2018, 09:07:53 am »
From: http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/history/history_david-minter.html

In 1998, Randonneurs USA (RUSA) replaced the previous US organisation, International Randonneurs, and abolished additional PBP qualification requirements.

That BC Randonneurs link is for an old version of that piece. https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1200 is the current version.

Some of this thread doesn't have a lot to do with AUK membership renewal, though has some intrinsic value. Would it be possible for a mod to split the thread, possibly from Reply #62 onwards?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

The Movers

  • We just work here
Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2018, 01:21:08 pm »
From: http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/history/history_david-minter.html

In 1998, Randonneurs USA (RUSA) replaced the previous US organisation, International Randonneurs, and abolished additional PBP qualification requirements.

That BC Randonneurs link is for an old version of that piece. https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1200 is the current version.

Some of this thread doesn't have a lot to do with AUK membership renewal, though has some intrinsic value. Would it be possible for a mod to split the thread, possibly from Reply #62 onwards?

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mattc

  • "Hannibal"
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Re: RUSA and Excursion was:Re: AUK membership renewal
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2018, 07:12:20 pm »
From: http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/history/history_david-minter.html

In 1998, Randonneurs USA (RUSA) replaced the previous US organisation, International Randonneurs, and abolished additional PBP qualification requirements.

That BC Randonneurs link is for an old version of that piece. https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1200 is the current version.

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