Yesterday, while riding Bob's Ala-Orange Populaire for only my 2nd time, an idea came to me.
Many of us get in the habit, maybe rut, of riding the same few routes over and over, with the same few ride partners. That may be good for the "comfort zone" feelings, but how about something to encourage us to mix it up, route wise? And maybe also ride partner wise, and promote additional camaraderie throughout the peloton?
Here's the idea, hopefully explained well-enough to be understandable:
- Each month in a P-12 series would include a unique populaire that starts in North Carolina.
- You could ride that same populaire multiple times in a month,
- You could ride that same populaire in multiple months, but
- A given route would only count as the designated unique route in one month of the P-12 series.Here's an example: suppose I ride my Bahama Beach, Oxford and Denny's Store routes every month; I could count BB for January, my Oxford route for February, Denny's Store for March, but I'd need to branch out after that. Suppose Alan's 7-Cs in April (in addition to whatever other populaires I might ride); Tim's Whirligig in May; Bob's Ala-Orange in June; Jerry's Saxapahaw in July; Alan's picnic brevet-populaire in August; one of Cyndy's routes in September; etc..
One extra rule: Luke (who owns 13 perm-pops) has to have at least two months where the designated unique route would not be one that he or Ende owns. Make that applicable to anyone that comes to own 12 or more pops, but still call it the "Luke rule."
I picked Populaires instead of 200+ km routes because Pops only take half a day, instead of all day. And for camaraderie and making new friends, I have to believe that even the fastest rider in the peloton would be willing to ride with the slower riders for a 5 hour tour, but maybe / probably not for an 11 or 12 hour marathon.
I think it would be a good thing if people advertised the rides (Perm-Pops) on this list-serve and on the NC Facebook group. (However, keep in mind that not everyone is on Facebook, and although it might not apply to any NC randonneurs, there are RUSA members that, because of their employment situation, are not allowed to be on Facebook.)
In 2010, when I started rando (along with several other, more prominent, members), most, maybe all the Perm rides were advertised on this list-serve. It was relatively easy for new members to find and join rides, with veterans to show them the ropes. However, in the last several years, almost no rides get advertised (either here or on FB); it has become harder for new members to integrate into the fold. I add that it has become almost impossible for a new middle-to-back-of-the-pack rider to join the fold. It would be nice if we had a way to encourage new members to join and to ride. Advertising via a medium that is not restricted to those already in the fold seems a good idea to me.
This would be an informal kind of challenge / award for North Carolina, maybe with a paper certificate of completion, with mention made at year end parties, if there is one next year (I assume there is no plan for a year-end party this year).