I Used to be a Randonneur Superhero

When Ed and I rolled into the finish of the Endless Mountains 1000K after 67:37 hours in the company of five other accomplished randonneurs, I felt amazing. There was pain in my knee and I felt dirty and smelled bad, but all that was eclipsed by what our group had accomplished.

622 miles of riding over three days. That’s awesome, I thought. As Mike Anderson and I discussed after our finish, we’ve gone on other types of vacations, but they just don’t feel as triumphant as this. (Viewing 1000Ks as vacation is a topic for another time, ok?)

Reveling in my post-ride euphoria, I saw myself as a powerful woman who had endeavored something other people could not even fathom. I am woman, hear me roar! I am a randonneur superhero!

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Endless Mountains 1000K – Update!

Felkerino and I are no longer riding the Endless Mountains 1000K (although it was quite the adventure while it lasted). We enjoyed a sun-filled ride with some awesome randonneurs and randonneur volunteers, ultimately finishing the event in 67:37.

Thanks to Tom, the volunteers, and everybody who rode with us and helped make the ride epic!

I’m off to bed, but hope to put together a story when my brain is working again. So don’t expect anything anytime soon, ha ha!

In the meantime, you can check out our adventure from behind the lens of my little camera. Just click on the picture below to be taken to the corresponding flickr set.

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Crooked Helmet Photos

Fellow cyclists and randonneurs,

As ambassadors of the cycling community, it is of critical importance that we always look our best. That doesn’t just mean wearing the latest and greatest in cycling wear and reflective clothing. It also means that we must be mindful of our helmets!

Some have argued that our greatest fashion dilemma is whether to sport wool or synthetic jerseys on our rides. (Wait, I think I started that discussion.) I assure you, it is not. When a crooked helmet is staring you right in the face as you peruse the flickr slideshow of brevets gone by, the fabric of your jersey becomes a non-issue.

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Bicycle Touring on the W&OD Trail

One of the great things about tapering for the Endless Mountains 1000K is that I’ve been able to do some things that I don’t normally do. The past two weeks I’ve ridden from home and meandered out on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD). While I can’t stomach a steady diet of the bike path, it’s nice for a change of pace.

Whenever I leave my driveway for a ride on the path, I know I’m going to encounter lots of bicycle traffic, and I always hope to see an interesting bike. I know interesting is relative, but for me it means a steel touring frame, maybe a Co-Motion or a Surly. Maybe another Rivendell.

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Bike and Roll and Pedicabs

Did anybody notice the awesome weather this afternoon? Tons of people were out, taking advantage of the afternoon sun and low humidity.

One of the groups that caught my eye was Bike and Roll, a bicycle rental outfit that takes tourists on bicycle tours of the city.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a large Bike and Roll group. Either I’m not looking at the right time, or the humidity has kept the tourists from wanting to hop on bicycles.

Bike and Roll by the White House

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Flip Flop Commuters

There is a lot of controversy around the flip flop. Is there ever a time when it’s ok to wear them at the office? Are they appropriate for the Metro? Is there such a thing as a fancy flip flop? If you shouldn’t wear flip flops with your business clothes, are they acceptable as casual wear?

A study was even conducted after the rise of flip flop popularity, http://www.newsweek.com/2008/06/09/flip-flop-flaws.html, that explored the consequences of flip flops to people’s feet.

Recently, Felkerino said to me, “Gersemalina, you should do a post about bicycles and flip flops!”

“No way, Felkerino,” I said. “Nobody wears flip flops on their bikes. That’s crazy talk.”

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The Quiet Period: Tapering for the Endless Mountains 1000K

This summer, Felkerino and I spent the months since the D.C. Randonneurs 600K continuing to log long miles on the bike to prepare for the Endless Mountains 1000K brevet, which starts on August 26. It feels like every weekend has been spent with keeping the bike in good shape, keeping ourselves in good shape, building our mileage base, and trying to climb as many hills as we can in order to be as well-prepared as we can be the day we start the ride.

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No Money Fun: Gravelly Point

Did you know that National Airport is located right off of one of our local bike paths (the Mount Vernon Trail)?  Of course you did!

Did you also know that you can watch the planes blaze in for a landing right over your head at Gravelly Point, a park adjoining the Mount Vernon Trail? It’s true!

Looking Out for an Arrival

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Bikes to Like: Cannondale Tandem

This week I’ve been reminiscing about Felkerino’s and my very first tandem, a dark gray aluminum Cannondale mountain frame.

Cannondale Tandem en route to Niagara Falls, 2005 with early Burley trailer prototype. (c) Lynn and Steve

During our first two years plus of riding together, the Cannondale tandem was our steed of choice.  We took it on tour from Rockville, Md. up to Niagara Falls, made it through two Super Randonneur series’, and even rode it on the Seattle International Randonneurs’ Cascade 1200K in 2006.  It was a great long-distance touring bike for us.

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The Lincolnometer

Summer is on, people.  How do I know?  The Lincolnometer tells me so.

What’s the Lincolnometer, you ask?  It is a gauge of what’s going on with tourism and to some degree, the weather, in Washington, D.C. The Lincolnometer is largely based on the people lurking around the Lincoln Memorial at any given moment.  The Lincoln Memorial is ideal for assessing tourist activity (and the weather) because:

  1. It is outdoors.
  2. The Lincoln is a must-see on the monument tour.
  3. It is a regular running and commuter zone.
  4. The Lincoln Memorial is so big that, even if your vision isn’t very good, you can still use the Lincolnometer.
  5. Many people hang out at the Lincoln, thanks to the ample sitting space on the steps and surrounding area.

Check out the Lincolnometer for yourself.

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Quickbeam Sunday Ride through Rock Creek Park

Sunday I made it out on my Rivendell Quickbeam for a shortie ride through Rock Creek Park. This is not a normal route for me, given that it can get so crowded and crazy (and I like to chase mailboxes in the country), but Sunday it wasn’t too bad. And hey, the weather was awesome.

The Quickbeam in Rock Creek Park.

Ever since I wrote about Devin’s Quickbeam, I’ve been wanting to get in some miles on mine.  Rock Creek Park is great for a single speed. Not too flat. Not too hilly. Just right.

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Bikes to Like: The Surly Long Haul Trucker

First of all, way to go, rain commuters!  That was quite a rain on the homeward trek, no?  Lightning and everything!

Now, on with the show. As I’ve mentioned, certain bikes on the commute really catch my eye. One of those is the Surly Long Haul Trucker, which I also use as my primary commute machine. Here is a photo of my Surly, parked in front of the you-guess-which monument.

Surly Long Haul Trucker. I love you.

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The Perfect Reward for a Rough Commute: Curbside Cupcakes.

Just because I make an effort to be active (commute, run, ride, etc.) doesn’t mean I can maintain a regular diet of treats and junk food. Sometimes, however, I can’t help but indulge.  I can only be good for so long. Plus, commuting can be a rough endeavor in the city. It’s nice to give yourself a prize for those commuting miles every once in a while.

Sweets for the Sweet

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You Never Know What’s Going to Happen on Your Sunday Ride

What a great weekend to be outside!  Felkerino and I rode from home on Sunday, with no expectations about the day– only that it might rain in the afternoon and we hoped to be napping then.  Our destination?  Coffee in Potomac, Maryland.  I know, not that exciting, but we do like to ride to coffee.

After about 5 miles of riding, we somehow became enmeshed in the Revolution Cycles group ride.  That was exciting, as lately we’ve been doing a lot of solitary miles.  We were the only ones of the bunch with fenders. And on a tandem. And wearing wool. And… you get the idea.

I pulled out my camera to snap a couple of mementos of the day, and the rider behind me laughed and said “Alright!”  I guess cameras are not as popular with other groups as they are with the randonneurs. “You never know what’s going to happen on your Sunday ride,” I told him.

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