Monday, April 25, 2011

I thought there were seven

I thought there were seven of us – seven 2010 NC rando rookies.  That was the number that stuck in my head – seven.  Even though, if I thought about it, I knew there were at least nine of us – seven was the number indelibly etched in my gray matter. 

During the Morrisville 300 km brevet, between Seagrove and Siler City, I met Denis R, and learned he was also a 2010 NC rookie.  Okay – eight. 

In Seagrove, chatting with Ian (one of the “seven”), he pointed out that he had recruited Moshe, who had joined RUSA in 2010 – that would make nine.  I began to wonder how many 2010 NC rando rookies there actually were.  While riding the second half of the 300k brevet, I hatched a plan to find out.  It didn’t take much to “hatch” the plan – I already knew where I could (mostly) find the information:  the RUSA website

Hidden in the bowels of the RUSA website – I won’t tell you where and spoil your investigative fun by doing so – there is a list of all RUSA members since “the beginning of time” -- "RUSA-time", that is.  A little sorting and culling out the non-NC members, and viola, a list of all NC randos, by RUSA number.  A glance at the new preliminary “database” I was constructing informed me that I should have never thought that “seven” was the magic number – there were the names of Cole and Isaac right in front of me.  I knew that they had joined RUSA and had done quite a few RUSA rides, but my mind had never readjusted from “seven” to “nine”.  [Nine would also have been incorrect, as discussed above.] 

Then came the tricky part.  There does not appear to be information on the RUSA website that indicates when someone first joined RUSA.  Therefore, I had to employ some personal knowledge and make a decision or two. 

The main decision to be made:  if someone joins up to be a RUSA member in year X, but does so late in year X-1, that person gets three “free” months of membership late in year X-1.  I decided that if someone’s membership became effective in that “free” period, I would count them as being part of the rookie class for year X, i.e., the first full year.  [The prior sentences make perfect sense to me, even if they don’t make sense to you.  But, after all, I am an actuary, and we study things where referring to year X-1, year X, year X+1, etc. makes perfect sense, and helps to clarify meaning as well as shorten the references.  It is the same as why the Arabs invented algebra with symbols, etc., instead of writing everything out in long, difficult to follow sentences.] 

That still didn’t help me determine whether certain people were year X-1, year X, or year X+1 rookies.  This is where the personal knowledge came in.  I knew that LynnL had joined RUSA in Apr-2009.  I knew that JohnO and Maria (two more of the "seven") had joined RUSA in late 2009, and fit into that “three-month window” mentioned above.  That left three people “in between”.  (It is hard to imagine that only three North Carolinians joined RUSA between Apr-2009 and Oct-2009; but that is what the data indicates.)  I looked up the results for each on the RUSA website:  two first got credit for a RUSA event in Feb-2010; the third first got credit for a RUSA event in Nov-2010.  (… “two first” and “third first” … and a certain former President thought he was clever with “… is is.”)  Rightly or wrongly, I decided to assume that the three were actually 2009 rookies.  [I initially decided to put the three with the 2010 class because I couldn’t imagine anyone joining a cycling group, and then waiting months, or even a whole year, before riding.  Later findings regarding some that were clearly 2010 rookies have opened my eyes on that point.] 

The above describes how I “defined” the first members of the 2010 NC rando rookie class.  I still had to define the last members of the class, or, if you prefer, define the first members of the 2011 class. 

I knew from meeting ChrisW last October, and riding with him in February, that he had joined RUSA and gotten the “three free months” at the end of 2010 for his 2011 membership.  Therefore, I knew he was 2011.  Moshe’s first credited ride was the same as Chris’s; Moshe’s RUSA number is only 4 less than Chris’s; it was an obvious decision that they should be recognized as two entrants in the 2011 NC rando rookie class [as it would turn out, the first two entrants].  Having met and ridden 200k with Denis, I knew he would be one of the last entrants in the 2010 rookie class.  I looked at the NC data I had previously prepared, and lo-and-behold, there was Denis, in the middle of three consecutive RUSA numbers.  I had to assume that DonH had assigned all three numbers in the same working session, and therefore, despite anything that first RUSA credit ride might suggest, all three belonged in the same rookie class. 

I had now “defined” the 2010 NC rando rookie class.  How many were there?  Thirty-four. 

The thirty-four of us: 
  • accounted for 1,808 RUSA credit kms in 2009, 
  • 49,859 credit kms in 2010, and, as of when I looked up results, 
  • 24,373 credit kms so far in 2011. 
  • Eight attained SR status in 2010. (One doubled up and completed two series-es in 2010.) 
  • Three completed 1000 km brevets. 
Interesting tid-bits:
  • The top three NC rookie credit kms hounds ended up first second, second third and fourth fifth among all RUSA rookie credit kms hounds in 2010.
  • At least four of the class already have their 2011 SR status in hand.
  • One has duplicated his 1000 km feat already in 2011.
  • Five have completed an R-12.
  • Memberships of seventeen of the thirty-four expired at the end of 2010.
  • Seven of the thirty-four never completed (got credit) for any RUSA event.  (One of those seven is still a RUSA member.)  [I was quite surprised to find that people “joined-up”, but never rode – or at least, never got credit for completing a RUSA event.  On the other hand, have you ever looked up the results for RUSA #1?] 
I had thought there were seven in the 2010 NC rando rookie class, even though I should have realized that there were at least nine.  Now I know that there were actually thirty-four.
Edit, Nov-07-2011:  

"The Seven" that I knew of were / are (in no particular order): 

  • JohnO, 
  • Maria, 
  • Biker Bob, 
  • BryanR,
  • TimL, 
  • Ian, and 
  • me. 



  1. I know I joined on Nov. 1, 2009. So that made me part of the 2010 NC rookie class (obviously the best rookie class ever...)

  2. That's a fine class of randonneurs!

    Nice report.

    Mike D

  3. @ Bryan -

    I recall that post (but I followed the "link" just to make sure). One of Geof's best, I think.

    And, although I might agree with your evaluation of the 2010 NC rookie class ... it would be crass of me to write that in my own blog.

    I didn't give the names of the "seven" that were stuck in my mind. I did use the names of three of the "seven", plus three "spares" (if they will forgive that description). I decided to see if anyone would lay claim to membership, or ask who were the "seven", or the thirty-seven.
    @ Mike -

    Thanks, Mike. Who would have thought an article on "data-mining" could be interesting?


  4. Great research Martin!
    And a nice read!
    I'm glad to be a part of that grand rookie class!