Saturday, September 29, 2012
Rando Bling, Worthless Trinkets or Something More?
Is it bling or are they trinkets? My kids give me such a hard time for buying randonneuring medals, you wouldn't believe it. They always smirk and giggle when one arrives in the mail. "How much did you pay for that one, pops?" Since rando events are so lean, the finishers medals are generally not included in the registration, so if you want a medal, $8.50 it is. It wasn't until recently that my kids got the point that one needs to actually finish an event to be eligible for a medal in the first place. In an age when people get awards just for showing up, I understand their cynicism, but these medals mean more to me they think.
I don't typically buy medals to acknowledge all of the rides I complete. On the contrary, I only have three sets of medals, each from a different commemorative year denoting something special in my randonneuring life. ACP unveils a new design with each edition of Paris-Brest-Paris, so medals change every four years. I earned my first set of medals (from the 2004 - 2007 collection) in 2007 during my first year of randonneuring. The next set I purchased in 2010 to mark my fastest brevet series to date when I finished three out of four brevets within 60% of the allowable time. The third set (above) I purchased this year to commemorate my first successful brevet series following my accident. Unsure that I could still cycle for 400 or 600 kilometers straight when I began the season, these medals remind me that I am back in action and able to ride long distances without pain or suffering.