Okay, here I am pushing 50, been cycle commuting for years with distances up to 20 miles each way, and I'm feeling tough and bullet proof and wanting to get into a bike sport. I first thought of road racing inspired by the Overdrive manga and anime (so what if the main characters are animated high school kids and I'm a real life dude having a mid life crisis who by roadie standards is really kinda slow, I've been dropped by 60 years old roadies on the MUP).
Then I noticed there is a cycle sport that is more about endurance then speed (though I can still work on speed). I think back to all the times I,ve commuted in high headwinds and in rain (sometimes on a rusted out Huffy SS coaster) concentrating on keeping the pedals cranking and realized that while speed may not be my forte, endurance certainly is.
So I started looking up randonneuring on the web. Found it in Wikipedia, found RUSA, found the hometown club Houston Randonneurs, found the Blayleys website, tons of stories about PBP and other brevets, and Youtube vids, the posts here. Still for some reason I don't seem to have enough. I feel like something is missing. Maybe it's the state of the websites for RUSA (most of it is pretty much old/out of date/needs more recent content) and Houston Randonneurs (kinda plain jane with very little content to engage new members, I understand there is a Google mail group for members but punched up theme with a few pics and brevet reports would probably kick up the excitement level a notch and attract new folks beyond the fact they are the only randoneur group in Houston, if someone here is a member of Houston Randonneurs I'd do a an XHTML, CSS compliant template for you guys so you don't just have the plain black on plain white theme, web design is a hobby of mine).
Anyway, I plan on treating myself to a new bike for my half century birthday (thanks for the tax rebate Uncle Sugar) and a touring bike is practical for commuting as well as for randoneuring. I'm in research/prep mode until then (gathering equipment, bags, lights, reflective sashes, ankle straps, etc.).
Finally, my question is this. What have you seen on the web, books, or other materials that would be helpful for a randonneuring wannabe. Any IRC chatrooms, and other resources.