In late 2007 I applied to become the Regional Brevet Administrator for the San Francisco Randonneurs, replacing Todd Teachout who had served in that role since before 2003. The learning curve, as in most things, was steeper at first, and the 2008 brevet season was a modest success even if it was smaller in comparison to 2007. There often is a big drop off in participation in the year after PBP, and for SFR this was no exception. That plus bad weather for our first two dates kept participation low.
Nevertheless, I was glad to be contributing in a more meaningful way to the sport I loved. 2009 was a big step up, with many more rides listed and new routes added. Participation picked up noticeably, and with successful runs of a 400km, 600km and Fleche, I was pleased at how things turned out.
I enjoyed what I was doing for those first two years, and was glad to contribute at a higher level than before. Still, with another expansion of the schedule, and in the end nearly twice as many riders as the year before, and easily twice the amount of work as before, I remain amazed at just how much fun it was to be the SFR RBA last year.
What makes it so much fun? There isn't just one thing. Seeing all the new faces is a huge thing, and seeing a lot of past riders return is another. Getting the huge amount of positive feedback is both gratifying and flattering. One more thing that makes it such fun is seeing the big burst of volunteering to equal the increase in ridership. It is, to say the least, impossible for one person to carry this off, and SFR has been blessed with a strong core group of volunteers. Having Richard McCaw lead the volunteer organization is great. Having Carlos Duque manage the website and providing counsel is another huge note. Jim G, managing our increasingly active email discussion group, Greg Merritt working tirelessly to refine our cue sheets, Bruce Berg and now Roland Bevan organizing the now annual Fleche event are also vital contributors to both the success of SFR and my enjoyment in being RBA. Joining that list will be Ely Rodriquez as coordinator of a very important event for SFR, our annual populaire.
With all this making 2010 such fun, it's impossible not to look forward in 2011 to what should be just as much fun.
I. Am. Stoked!