Today RUSA announced that it has reopened permanents, effective August 1. All the details are here, and you should study them carefully. The program is totally different than what we’re used to. Consider it a brand new thing; we’re all figuring it out together.
RUSA also announced that brevets remain suspended. There is no plan for resuming brevets; assume brevets will remain suspended for the foreseeable future.
RUSA has made no announcement on events, but it’s presumed that they will remain suspended for the foreseeable future. As soon as I have more any information, I’ll share it.
Here are my thoughts on the current state of affairs, in my usual blunt style, but offered in the spirit of keeping both you and our beloved sport alive:
–First, don’t be idiots. The effect of what RUSA did here was to turn every member into an RBA. Anyone can organize a group perm, anytime, on any existing route, with any number of people and you guys are free to provide all the awesome support and post-ride festivities we’re used to. According to RUSA, “[Y]ou may ride a Permanent in a group with other RUSA Members.” Pay your ten bucks, gather up all your friends, and go ride together as much as you like. Same as an event, but you get to pick your riding companions and you don’t have to deal with me. But, with great power comes great responsibility.
To be frank, this is completely idiotic and I disagree with what RUSA did here totally. 40 people on a perm? You’re good. 2 people on a brevet? Nope. So here’s the deal: use common sense, which is tragically in short supply these days. If you guys start organizing large perms, … you’re going to kill the golden goose. Someone, somewhere is going to screw this all up and they’re going to screw it up for everyone and then RUSA will shut it all down again. Please, please, please don’t let it be any of us who is the cause of this going away. Let me be clear: don’t organize group perms, period. If you do, keep it quiet, keep it off the socials/Strava, and keep it to you and one or two other riders. If you guys organize the massive perms that you’ve done in the past, let’s just say that this isn’t going to last long. Plus, that’s just dumb: Florida is currently an international pariah state for its level of unchecked community spread. Stay safe and don’t carry on as usual, because we’re pretty far from what’s usual and heading in the wrong direction. RUSA’s announcement today doesn’t help at all.
–Second, please don’t cannibalize our region. According to RUSA’s new rules, there are no perm owners and anyone can get any route certified as a permanent. Out of respect, please don’t add any of the Central Florida Randonneurs brevet routes to the perm library. And when, someday, we’re allowed to host events again, please ride them and support them and don’t offer up competing group-ride perms of your own. The effect of RUSA’s new perm program is to let y’all go out and do your own thing, and I know many of you will cherish that, but please reflect on the 149-year history of randonneuring which is brevets, and the connection that brevets have to that history, and that we have a duty to pass that tradition and history on to the next generation. So I hope you value that somewhat and that you’ll help rebuild this region when the time comes for it. It’ll be a long road back.
—Third, above all else, be smart and safe. This is just riding bikes. It’s not worth dying for, or causing harm to others. We’ll get through all this and I’m looking forward to seeing you on the flip side.
Take good care,