Up hours before dawn, I Percephone T. Crockaphone am excited to be volunteering once more for my adopted randonneuring club – which will remain un-named to protect me from autograph seekers. I truly enjoy sending people off to adventure, but sadly all is not pure and pristine in the peloton. My excitement is tainted with worry about witnessing yet another illicit exchange of performance enhancing substances amongst my peers.
At the start of the Path To True Wisdom 400k last season I was encouraged when one recumbent rider chastised two retro-rando’s who were purchasing strawberry flavored ensure plus (banned by the ACP since 1999!) from another rider. ‘Don’t Lance your ride!’ yelled the recumbent rider from the higher ground of his plush throne, but the two retro-randos, like all good Americans, said: ”We’ll blame the BRM and the RUSA system if we get caught, and ask for leniency!”
The larger of the two even mumbled “just like last time”.
Exchanges such as these have been tolerated by officials because of a reluctance to send any chilling messages to the riders and a worry of stiff competition from tweed rides and bro-vets.
Equally troubling is the effect of the professionals. The professional randonneuring stars have tremendous influence over equipment and clothing choices of the rank and file, so much so that they have nearly supplanted the advice columns of the cycling blogs and riders have even started to abandon the hallowed google groups.
I for one rarely get asked for advice anymore. No one asks me what tire to run, what clothes to wear, or even what beer to drink. The lack of interest in my opinion is very troubling to me.
This is where volunteering shines! I have a captive audience every time I work a finish control with audiences that come before me in small groups, awaiting inspection and pearls of wisdom. If the individuals are not interested in what I have to say before I initial their brevet card, I can usually corner them for some serious advice with the offer of a beer.
Stay in control:
Guide the future of Randonneuring and volunteer for your Randonneuring club today!
**abuse of performance enhancing substances may cause pregnancy