My PBP 2011 Photos

Hard to believe that last week at this time I was still riding my bike through the French countryside on Paris Brest Paris. Where does the time go, ha!

Finally, after a canceled flight to Dulles that required a re-route and a mighty drive from Boston (in a tropical storm, no less) I have had a chance to get my photos of the 2011 Paris Brest Paris up on flickr.

More posts about the ride itself are in the works, but in the meantime I hope you will enjoy a vicarious visual journey of this amazing ride. Just click on the photo to be taken to the corresponding set. Thanks to all who rode with us and made PBP one of the most spectacular rides in which I’ve ever participated. Continue reading My PBP 2011 Photos

It’s official. Finished PBP

After months of prep, PBP 2011 is now in the books and so are Felkerino and me, successfully completing the adventure in about 81.5 hours. Continue reading It’s official. Finished PBP

PBP… the Riders are Off!!!

80 and 90 hour riders began to a warm and sunny send-off. The energy from the riders and the event enveloped this suburban town.

Festive, excited, nervous, twitching with anticipation… The start was amazing. I have never seen an international cycling event like this. Unforgettable!

One of the riders told me yesterday, “PBP is a chronic drug.” Not sure about that, but it sure is a thrill so far.

Our own journey starts in a few hours. Continue reading PBP… the Riders are Off!!!

PBP Bike Inspection: Day 2!

Today was our day for the 84-hour bike inspection and it went just the way we like it… uneventfully. We’re now checked in and ready to roll tomorrow morning.

The gymnasium was much more low key this morning, in part because we went early and also because all the 80- and 90-hour riders inspected yesterday. Continue reading PBP Bike Inspection: Day 2!

PBP bike inspection: Day 1

Excitement is reaching a fever pitch here, as the 90- and 80-hour riders gathered up their bikes, vests, and lights for official inspection. Felkerino and I went over to be part of the action, even though we inspect tomorrow.

Check-in was teeming with randonneurs. How cool this event is, attracting riders from all over the world. I loved looking at all the country jerseys and seeing the bikes people chose for the event. I even saw my first Rene Herse, woo, as well as other intriguing bikes and bags.

My little cam cannot do most of these things justice, but I am throwing in a few pics anyway. Enjoy! Continue reading PBP bike inspection: Day 1

Randonneur Group Ride… to Chartres

Another sublime day on the bike. Today Felkerino planned a group ride to Chartres, a 77 mile round trip over gentle rolling terrain.

Our outing included randonneurs from D.C, Seattle, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Chicago. It was another great day to be a bike rider and I am still just over the moon about our lovely ride. Continue reading Randonneur Group Ride… to Chartres

PBP Shakedown ride… To Rambouillet!

Today Felkerino and I went out to test our bike assembly and turn a bolt or two.

Our test ride took us out of the Paris suburbs and through the Rambouillet Forest to the town of Rambouillet, about a 20-mile ride from our hotel one way.

Having never been to France, let alone PBP, before I reveled in every pedal stroke of this ride. Passing through the French countryside past old towns and into the lush Rambouillet forest was a thrill. Continue reading PBP Shakedown ride… To Rambouillet!

Arriving in France for PBP

A big first day, spent jet-lagged and with the main activity being bile assembly. Felkerino and I also had a great time talking with randonneur friends old and new.

Here is a quick summary of the day in pics. Continue reading Arriving in France for PBP

Five Things Friday

Wow, the weeks are flying by, and it’s time for Felkerino and me to get off our bikes, take our hands off the keyboards, and pack pack pack for Paris-Brest-Paris. First, though, a quick five things Friday to reflect on life of late.

Five Things Friday: my Surly and me
  1. Thanks to everybody who helped Felkerino and me prepare in some way for Paris-Brest-Paris. Maybe you passed some miles with us on a brevet, shared summer rides with us, or offered some good PBP or bike advice. We appreciated it all. Thanks to College Park Bikes for helping to keep our tandem healthy. AND thanks to Rick C. for providing PBP inspiration via the new Gomez single, “Options.” No matter what anybody says, I like Gomez!
  2. Yay for the White House Farmers’ market. Yes, it is a little pricey, but the peaches and tomatoes are divine. Oh yeah, and the cookies from Praline were, too.
  3. Congratulations to Mike Binnix, randonneur and bike commuter, for logging 1,000 miles of cycling in July. Well done!
  4. Huge thanks to those who agreed to part of our Rando Q&A over on The Daily Randonneur. I am loving these posts, and the insights you share help me reflect on my own randoneuring experiences. Thanks to all of you!
  5. Finally, a big shout-out to everybody who reads and follows this blog. I’m having a great time getting to know you throw the interweb. Thanks so much for reading.
Surly LHT and the pricey but tasty peaches of the farmers’ market
Next posts: On location in FRANCE! Have a great weekend, all!

D.C. Commuting: The Motorcade

Washington, D.C., is an exciting city for bike commuters. Every day we get to navigate our way through cars, potholes, pedestrians, and tourists(who are often also pedestrians). That sounds like lots of other big cities, I suppose. But in Washington, D.C., another aspect distinguishes our commute. Motorcades! Continue reading D.C. Commuting: The Motorcade

Bikes to Like: Gary D.’s Independent Fabrication

This week I’m featuring a PBP-bound bicycle, Gary’s Independent. This bike gets in a lot of long rides with Gary, as he is fond of keeping an active brevet and permanents schedule. Gary seems to really enjoy the ride of his Independent and he makes sure it gets lots of TLC at College Park Bicycles (where Felkerino and I frequently see Gary’s bike) so I decided to ask him to tell me more about what it is that makes his bike so special.

Gary and the Independent on the 2010 Civil War 200K

1. What kind of bike do you have?

Independent Fabrication Factory Lightweight Continue reading Bikes to Like: Gary D.’s Independent Fabrication

Big Bicycling, a Farm, and a PBP Party

This weekend Felkerino and I met up with our friend Alec for a final ride on the tandem before the big trip to Paris. For a nice change of pace, the day started out sunny with temps in the 80s. It was a well-timed reward for all the hot long days in the saddle this summer.

It was a great day to be a bike rider. Such a great day that nobody was in a hurry for the ride to end. Good thing, since we ultimately ended up taking just under 14 hours to ride 106 miles. No, this was definitely not a brevet.

Our posse headed out from home and first got in a lap on Hains Point. Why? Because it’s there and it seemed like a good idea at the time. One lap did us in, though. It was too hard on our self-esteem to be continuously passed by all the roadies :(.

We decided to meander down MacArthur Boulevard to grab coffee and a treat. A little caffeine and sugar made me feel better about losing the Hains Point Championship. Continue reading Big Bicycling, a Farm, and a PBP Party

Bikes to Like: Lowell and Cheri’s Santana Sovereign

Last year I watched as Lowell and Cheri completed a Super Randonneur series on their beautiful Santana tandem. It was pretty cool to see, as Cheri had recently started randonneuring, and not only completed an SR series, but went on to complete an R-12, too! Their Santana always looks so good, that I just had to ask Lowell to tell me more about it. Lowell responded:

Asking a randonneur about their bike is probably considered a tactical blunder, similar to asking grandparents about their grandkids– you’re going to get more information than you really needed, or wanted. So, with that in mind…

1. What kind of bike do you have?

We have a 1987 Santana Sovereign. It was purchased new at the Two Wheel Transit Authority bike shop in Huntington Beach, CA. There weren’t a lot of commercially available, quality tandems back in those days. Santana was really about it, unless you wanted custom.

Continue reading Bikes to Like: Lowell and Cheri’s Santana Sovereign

My Reward for PBP Training: Little Package Cycling Caps

With Paris-Brest-Paris quickly approaching and the bulk of our training in the books, I decided to reward myself with a new cycling cap. Where did I turn for the perfect cap? Why, Little Package, of course!

I learned about Little Package via one of my cycling friends. After seeing his fancy cap, I decided I had to have one, too. I now have a small collection of Little Package cycling caps and I’m quite proud of each of them. Continue reading My Reward for PBP Training: Little Package Cycling Caps

Randonneur Recruiting: the National Parks Passport Book

Recently I went to the Randonneurs USA (RUSA) website to take a peek at the most recent membership information. According to their data, RUSA currently has 2,848 active members.

To my mind, 2,848 is not a large membership given our nation’s current population. Also, the number of women compared to men is quite disproportionate. What can be done to recruit new randonneurs?

I’ve stumbled upon a brilliant idea that I’m certain will help grow the randonneuring population as well as the randonneurs of tomorrow. It’s the National Park Service Passport. Continue reading Randonneur Recruiting: the National Parks Passport Book