The past couple of years, I started photographing more of my rides. I like having the tangible memory of an outing. I’ve always written ride stories, but this year, I enjoyed capturing commutes, weekend touring rides, brevets, meetups with friends, and miscellaneous errand running.
I spent a fair amount of time cycling in 2011, in between my other responsibilities and interests, much of it with my best friend and tandem partner Felkerino.
Now that 2011 is coming to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the year, as many people do. For me, 2011 was all about Paris Brest Paris, not just because of the event itself, but also because of all the careful planning and diligent pedaling it took to get there.
Hope everybody is doing well as we head into the holiday weekend. I’m currently drying out from an evening rain ride that was more than I bargained for. Now please do not make any remarks in the comment section if you claim to be one of those people who just loves riding in the rain. That is, unless you want to help me wash my now-dirty bicycle :).
OK, back to what I really am here to post about. LINKS!
Winter Solstice 200K. Our very own Bill Beck and Chip Adams ventured out Wednesday evening for a Winter Solstice permanent. They started at 7 p.m. and finished at around 5:30 a.m. These are what I like to call “concept rides,” i.e., they sound great to me in concept, but pulling them off is a different matter. They did it and it looks like they had fun, too, judging by the ride description and the photos.
Reporting Road Rage. Local blogger, Pedal ‘n Purl, endured an awful altercation with a driver this week, and smartly reported it to the police. Thankfully, she is ok, but still rotten to read about these kinds of things happening on our streets.
2011 Through the Lens of an Endurance Athlete. The amazing Jill Homer reflects on the last 12 months in photos. Both an ultra-cyclist and ultra-runner, her photos and reflections from the year captivated me.
Bicycle Art. I stumbled across the cycling artwork of Magical Octopus this week. I enjoy the quirky illustrations and captions, and hope you do, too.
Embracing the Suck. In Over Your Head interviewed Leo Babauta about his experience at a running-based endurance event (the Goruck Challenge). I saw parallels to randonneuring. I also found the discussion about the need (or not) for goal-setting thought-provoking.
Reflections on Randonneuring. Iron Rider looks back on some of the people he’s gotten to know through randonneuring the past couple of years, and what he learned from them about being a randonneur.
Time to sign off and wrap a few presents. Happy Randonneurmas, everybody, and thanks for reading!
Do you live in the Washington, D.C., area and did you commute on Tuesday? Yowza, was the weather nice or what!? I love commute days like this. Low winds, temps going into the 50s, and sane traffic flow. Gotta appreciate those days.
Even though the holidays are quickly closing in on us, Felkerino and I made a joint escape from our chores on Saturday to do a century ride. We then made up for our day at play by doing car-free errands on Sunday, including a few with the Burley trailer.
Crofton, Maryland, Century Ride
Saturday, Felkerino and I met up with Mike B., fellow D.C. Randonneur and Severna Park Peloton member, for a 97-mile jaunt out of Crofton, Maryland. Course description: rolling; no mountains; a few busy suburban roads; and several quiet, rolling, wooded sections. Overall, it was a great ride considering it started from such a built up area.
Whew! What a fast and busy week. It must be the season, especially that Randonneurmas! Nevertheless, I have a few things to share.
Red Light Running: Remember last week’s link to a study about Red Light Running? Broads of the Beltway explained her experience and approach to being a cyclist in urban traffic. I can relate.
Maid of the Bike: Porta-John found a mysterious D.C. newspaper piece from 1896 called Maid of the Bike. What the back story is, we’ll never know. I’m so glad to see Porta-John sharing this local vintage treasure.
Bike touring is the best! I took a virtual journey with While Out Riding as they spent some time in Joshua Tree National Park. What an amazing place. This post made me want to make sure I return there someday, this time with my bicycle.
Sometimes bike touring is not the best! I love this reflection from Path Less Pedaled about being in the middle of a coast-to-coast cycling trip and feeling like you don’t want to turn the pedals anymore. What keeps you going?
Bike touring IS the best! Give a Bike just finished their year-long exploration of all 50 states. Pretty amazing. They did a beautiful job of capturing their journey, and I particularly liked the staged state sign photos.
In case you can’t tell, I’d rather be bike touring than bike commuting. For now, though, the commuting and weekend adventures will have to do. Enjoy the weekend, everybody, and try not to eat too many sweets (like I did) at those holiday parties!!
For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be dedicating some time to working with my blogging associate, Felkerino, over at The Daily Randonneur.
Felkerino and I are partnering to celebrate the fourth year of Randonneurmas, that holiday time before the holidays where we spotlight twelve of our favorite randonneuring things. Over the years, we’ve begun to develop a fine catalog of Randonneurmas gifts for cyclists and randonneurs.
Randonneurmas can help you select a thoughtful gift for that special cycling someone in your life, and if you ride a bike, why not treat yourself to a Randonneurmas gift, too. Many of the items we feature are less expensive than a tank of gas, more fun than an oil change, and practical for the dedicated cyclist.
Randonneurmas isn’t only about buying cycling-related stuff (though that is a part of it, I confess!). It’s also about celebrating the space that randonneuring and cycling holds in your life.
Please check it out, and I hope you enjoy reading the 12 Days of Randonneurmas as much as Felkerino and I enjoy celebrating and featuring it on The Daily Randonneur.
As I rode home in the December chill with my hands throbbing and my toes fading to numb, I thought about how much I love winter commuting in D.C. The short days and cold weather combine to noticeably reduce the bike and pedestrian traffic, leaving only the stalwart year-round riders out on the roads and paths.
Today was a gorgeous round trip commute. This morning Felkerino and I went for a pre-work lap around Hains Point and spied one of the bald eagles that hangs out there in the winter. Welcome back.
Congratulations to all the people who ventured out for the decidedly difficult Woodbine Wallop! Something about getting up in the dark in sub-freezing weather and riding 128 miles with 12,000 feet of cumulative climb had me sleeping in on Saturday morning. You all are tough!
Felkerino and I chose more leisurely outings this weekend. Here’s the roundup.
Can it really be Friday already? Yippee! I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted this week, but I did get to a few things I wanted to share.
Best Ride of 2011. The Bike Show wants to know what was your best ride of 2011 and what ride you are excited to do in 2012. Don’t be shy. Let the Bike Show know here.
The Ride Report from Hell. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. RandoBoy captures the essence of sharing those post-1200K memories with another randonneur in his clever Ride Report from Hell video. A must-see.
Red Light Running. The WashCycle recently examined a study featured in the Atlantic about red light runners. Who runs red lights? Lots of people, cars, and cyclists. See WashCycle’s brief analysis here, with a link to the full report.
Gabe Klein, Tranportation Visionary. New City profiles Chicago’s Transportation Commissioner, who used to be the head of our very own District’s Transportation Department. Yeah, it’s a little long, but it’s a good profile of Gabe Klein, his work, and views on transportation. Click here.
Age and Fitness. SheBicycles celebrated a birthday last week. It prompted some contemplation about turning 51 and maintaining health and fitness. Does it make a difference if you work out and eat well? That reflection here.
A Cycling Snapshot. Remember There and Back Again’s call for weekend ride photos? People went riding, took pictures, and submitted their photos. 17 people from all over the world. It’s all documented in this post.
Chasing Mailboxes takes another trip in the wayback machine to 2006, my second year of randonneuring. I don’t even remember writing this one, but then again, randonneur Bob Casciato once told me that amnesia is one of the essential qualities of a good randonneur. It seems to be working for me. Hope you enjoy it!
Summer months can be intense for randonneurs. While the spring ACP Super Randonneur series’ have mostly been completed, summer is often when randonneurs take advantage of the long days and warm weather to ride their brains out. That could be through touring, more brevets, 1000K or 1200K rides, or other endurance rides.
Coffeeneuring was born out of a desire to change the pace from the intense summer rides required to train for a long-distance event to leisurely destination rides to local coffee shops. Based loosely on randonneuring, coffeeneuring followed the spirit of randonneuring in riding for fun and accomplishment, the pursuit of completing a set number of rides, and providing evidence of each ride’s completion. Instead of brevet cards and receipts, though, people submitted short descriptions and photographic evidence of their coffeeneuring trips.
I’m liking the Friday link roundups. Below is another set of cycling-related highlights from the week’s blog reads and feeds:
Bike Power Naps: A flickr group dedicated to bicycle napping. I’m not kidding, and the pictures had me in stitches. See the many facets of urban bike napping in the Bike Power Nap flickr group.
Touring Cycling in Southeast Asia: Cyclist, writer, and artist Melanie Swanson wrote a beautiful memoir of her tour of southeast Asia. It’s visually appealing, amusing, and insightful. This quick read will appeal to many touring cyclists, and you can download for free it via the Going Slowly blog.
Beautiful Bags: One of the many reasons we ride? The bags. Ruth Works of San Francisco is a one-man enterprise making bags I long to touch and feel. I also love the hearts he’s added to a few of the Ruth Works creations. One of my favorites is here, but you can see them all via the Ruth Works website.
Chain Lube Experiments: I just go with Pro Link, but others are much more exploratory about the kind of lubes they want to use on their bikes. See what La Tortue and the Moose had to say about his latest experiment with paraffin wax as a chain lube, and don’t forget to scroll down to the photo memorializing his at-home experiment.
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiking: Any D.C. Randonneurs remember David L.? He accompanied Felkerino and me a few years ago on our 600K permanent. David and his wife have spent the last couple of years immersed in some epic adventures, one of them being a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. They wrote a two-volume on-line book to record their adventures, and you can read them (for free!) here.
Bike Ride Photo Solicitation: There and Back Again is working on a blog project to document the upcoming weekend’s riding. Get on your bike, take a picture, and send it to him for posting. It’s that easy! Read all about this Group Project on his blog.
Couture Reflective Vests: Did anybody see the Cycle and Style writeup about the Vespertine couture reflective wear? According to Verpertine, you can wear ruffles, fake fur, and 3M reflective fabric, all in one garment. Start saving your pennies, fashionable reflective gear isn’t cheap. My question: Is it EN 1150 certified?
Recently, I was combing through some old ride reports and came upon a piece I had written from 2005, which was my first year of randonneuring. In it, I talked about my impressions of that first year of training and riding with Ed, the D.C. Randonneurs, and Chuck and Crista’s weekend century rides. Even though I still feel like a relatively inexperienced randonneur, I had forgotten what it was like to be truly “new” to randonneuring like I was in 2005.
Strife in the Saddle – Cycling Thoughts from 2005
Over the past year, my boyfriend Ed and I rose many weekend mornings to ride on his tandem bicycle with a group of cycling friends. Overall it was a great year of riding, though there were some moments of inner turmoil. Below is my summary of 2005.