We interrupt our normally scheduled column for a rant on my pet peeve, namely CRW members and RSVPs.
The term RSVP comes from the French expression “répondez s’il vous plaît”. OK maybe you don’t speak French, it means “Respond if you please.”
This is not a difficult concept. If you want to attend an event, you let the people that invited you know you’re coming. Many of you have perhaps gotten wedding invites with RSVPs. So, what, you blow that off and decide to turn up if you haven’t got anything better to do that day, “Hi, thought I’d pop in for the reception, raining today so not good for biking, is there an open bar?”
If I was king, I would send out RUPDs (Respond Upon Pain of Death) instead of RSVPs. If you turned up unannounced, you would promptly be treated to a bicycle pump enema (and not with one of the short ones, either).
This is a chronic problem. No matter how many times you tell people to RSVP, no matter how you emphasize that we need to know numbers to buy food, or whatever, they just don’t get it. In the old days, when I was president (known as the Dark Ages of CRW), I had great plans. One of which was an invitational event, which we used to have in the old days, where CRW hosted an event for all the local bike clubs. It was always a good time, and so I thought it would be a nice idea to revive an old tradition. So I arranged to have it at the Littleton Youth Hostel (curiously enough located in Harvard). We would have rides starting from there, they would provide lunch, and allow people to take showers. It would cost $5 a person. I got one of my friends in the club to be in charge, and send notices out to all the local clubs. Not only did the local clubs not respond, nobody from CRW did, except for a few people who whined about the $5 charge (“Why can’t we just ride our bikes...”). I never cease to be amazed at people who spend thousands on a bike griping about spending a few bucks for an event. (Oops, we’re getting into my runner up peeve).
Anyway, the end result was no one signed up, we had to cancel and CRW was out a $100 deposit (not to mention what would have been a good time). Then after the fact, I got people saying “why was it cancelled, I would have come”. Duh.