Making Yourself Part of the City: Laura M. on #BikeDC Speaks

Time for another edition of #BikeDC Speaks. This week’s post is brought to us by D.C. bike commuter and transportation cyclist Laura M., also known as @grafxnerd on the Twitterverse. Twitter and the magical #BikeDC hashtag is how I first “met” her!

Laura has a keen eye for detail which is not only apparent in the beautiful bikes she has built up, but also in the observations she makes about the positives and negatives of riding in the Washington, D.C., area. Read on and see for yourself.

Continue reading Making Yourself Part of the City: Laura M. on #BikeDC Speaks

On Bicycling and Other Pursuits: How Much is Enough?

The past couple of weeks I have not spent much time on the bike. Rather I’ve been catching up on things that went neglected while Felkerino and I focused on the brevets and our trip to Colorado for the High Country 1200K.

It’s been a nice release to know that our big bicycling event for the year has come and gone and that it went well. However, the off-the-bike time also got me thinking about how much bike riding is enough.

Look, I know I have a good life if whether I rode my bike enough is one of my main existential questions. Nevertheless, I’m still giving it considerable thought.

This past weekend I tabulated my miles and looked at my mileages and cycling and running events. Here’s what the log showed so far for 2012:

Continue reading On Bicycling and Other Pursuits: How Much is Enough?

Friday Link Love: Long Ride Edition

Happy Friday, everyone. We’ve made it through another week. Go team.

It’s been quite a while since I did a Friday Link Love post, but this week I’m bringing it back. Without further ado, here are some of the good things I’ve been reading of late.

Tour Divide

While I can never imagine riding the Tour Divide, I have a fascination with the event. This year, two riders who previously completed the Tour Divide on single bikes endeavored it on a tandem. Caroline, the stoker, wrote a fantastic post about what riding the Divide is like on a tandem. See it here on kurt’s going nuts…

In addition, the first female finisher and new female record holder of the Tour Divide, Eszter Horanyi, wrote about the gear she used for the adventure. Eszter’s writeup is on Gooney Riders.

‘Tis the 1200K Season

It may not be a PBP year, but randonneurs are still out riding 1200Ks and some are even sharing the tales of their journeys.

Shenandoah 1200K: Wisconsin randonneur Dan D. headed out east earlier this year for the Shenandoah 1200K. Being that the Shenandoah 1200 happens so close to home, I read his report with interest. Read all about the ride on his blog, Dan’s Rando Adventures.

Cascade 1200K: The Road Pixie, who I met last year at PBP and I believe calls Minnesota home, returned to Washington state to take on the always challenging Cascade 1200K. This year’s edition involved rain and cool temps and some personal issues with asthma, but the Road Pixie persevered through it all. Find her story on her Road Pixie blog.

Colorado High Country 1200K: Dave C., of Massachusetts, traveled out to Louisville, Colorado, with hopes of completing his first 1200K. He gives a full account of the Colorado High Country 1200K, as well as the highs and lows of a multi-day randonneuring event on his blog, Velocio.

That wraps up this weekend’s recommendations. I guarantee you will read a post or two and then be gripped by a desire to run out the door and hop on your bike. Enjoy!

Cupcake Ramblin’ with Sol and BicycleSPACE

The Cupcake Ramble crew

BicycleSPACE, one of D.C.’s local bike shops, has done an excellent job of building community through their group rides. Felkerino and I have attended a few of their evening social rides in the past and, while they were literally not my speed in terms of the pace with which they meandered through town, they were a fun way to meet other local bike riders and D.C. residents.

With our “big ride” of the summer complete, Felkerino and I decided that this last Saturday would be perfect to check out one of BicycleSPACE’s weekend rides. We rolled over to the shop to join the Cupcake Ramble, which is billed as a ride between 20 and 25 miles.

Continue reading Cupcake Ramblin’ with Sol and BicycleSPACE

Freedom!: Ultrarunnergirl on #BikeDC Speaks

Kirstin, aka Ultrarunnergirl, is one of the many great people I’ve met through #FridayCoffeeClub (which you should think about attending, if you do not already).

As her blog suggests, Kirstin is an ultrarunner as well as a cyclist, and is one of few people I know who also run commutes when she’s not out bike commuting. Here’s what she had to say about riding in the Washington, D.C., area.

Continue reading Freedom!: Ultrarunnergirl on #BikeDC Speaks

Memories of Donald Boothby and the Cascade 1200K

Donald Boothby, a Seattle randonneur, died of cancer this past week. I did not know Donald well, but he left such an impression on me during the 2006 edition of the Cascade 1200K, that I wanted to share the fond memories I have of him.

One of the best things about randonneuring is the people you have the chance to meet.

In 2006, I embarked on my first grand randonnee (on tandem with Felkerino), the Cascade 1200K. I’ll never forget that ride: the whole new experience of the 1200K distance; the heat; fellow riders from all parts of the country; and the incredible volunteer support provided by the Seattle International Randonneurs.

Among the volunteers on that ride was Donald Boothby, an avid randonneur and tandem rider. Donald, like many of the volunteers, followed the randonneurs through the 90-hour course and helped out by providing food and water along the way. Volunteering on a 1200K is an intense experience, as arduous as the ride itself, only you don’t get a medal at the end.

Continue reading Memories of Donald Boothby and the Cascade 1200K

Don’t Overthink It: #BikeDC Speaks to Joan O.

Now that the big vacation has ended, #BikeDC Speaks has returned to the front page! This week features a guest post from Joan O., a transportation and recreational cyclist who calls Arlington, Virginia, home.

I’ve gotten to know Joan from seeing her out and about on some of the same roads I regularly travel. She’s a friendly and outgoing cyclist with a thirst for adventure. Here’s what she had to say about riding in the Washington, D.C. area.

Continue reading Don’t Overthink It: #BikeDC Speaks to Joan O.

Colorado High Country 1200K Photos

Hard for me to believe that the Colorado High Country 1200K is now in the books. Felkerino and I spent the last six months working toward this event, and suddenly it’s back to business as usual. No 1200K on the horizon, just the regular routine.

To keep the post-event blues at bay, I’ve been reviewing, uploading, and captioning my photos of our four days of riding.

Below is a preview of each set. To see each day in detail, just click on the corresponding image and you will be taken to the appropriate flickr set. I hope you enjoy taking a virtual ride with Felkerino and me.

Continue reading Colorado High Country 1200K Photos

And We Made It: High Country 1200k

Friends, Felkerino and I officially finished the High Country 1200K yesterday in just under 83 hours.

To give you a brief summary (full report and pics later), we had an incredibly good ride. Our bodies held up well, weather was pleasant, and we spent lots of miles chatting and pedaling with some great randonneurs.

John Lee Ellis and his volunteers did a fantastic job of organizing and taking care of us throughout the event. The scenery and route were spectacular.

Felkerino and I worked efficiently as a team and were well-synchronized throughout our 4-day journey.

Thanks to everyone who followed, tweeted, and sent us words of encouragement. I read them each night to inspire me for the next day’s ride.

What a ride! I’m so lucky and grateful.



And We’re Off: High Country 1200K

If you’re reading this, we’re off riding the High Country 1200K!!!

Rider updates will happen on the High Country blog as the event unfolds.

Felkerino (@dailyrandonneur) and I (@gypsybug) will post updates of our adventure via Twitter, using the hash tag #hc1200. Fellow DC Randonneur Bill (@bicyclic) is riding, too, so be sure to check in on his progress as well!

Below are a few pre-event pics for your enjoyment. They are:

Continue reading And We’re Off: High Country 1200K

Cupcake Commuting: (Hot as) Hello Cupcake Edition

This past week, Felkerino and I ventured out with his daughter to do some cupcake commuting. Destination: Hello Cupcake on Capitol Hill.

Sheesh, was it hot. Temperatures hovered around 100 degrees and bright sun abounded.

Curious to see how cupcakes would fare in the Hello Cupcake to-go box, we each committed to eating a cupcake in the store and to eating one later. It was a family sacrifice for science.

Continue reading Cupcake Commuting: (Hot as) Hello Cupcake Edition

Bikes to Like: Steve H.’s Rivendell, A. Homer Hilsen

It’s been a while, but today’s post features to another great Bikes to Like with Steve H.!

I met Steve on last year’s D.C. Randonneurs Flatbread 200K, and was quite taken with his bike, as well as its setup. I asked him if he would be part of Bikes to Like and, lucky for me, he agreed. Thanks, Steve! Please read on to get an inside look at Steve’s beautiful Rivendell.

Continue reading Bikes to Like: Steve H.’s Rivendell, A. Homer Hilsen

#BikeDC Speaks to Lisa S.: Growing Up as a Cyclist

What better way to send us into the 4th of July holiday than with another edition of BikeDC Speaks?

This week features Lisa S., who I know through randonneuring and Friday Coffee Club, our weekly bike commuter gathering at Swings. Lisa also writes an engaging blog, Rambling Rider, about her rides as well as the gear she’s using.

Thank you, Lisa, for being a guest contributor for BikeDC Speaks! What are her observations about riding in the city? Read on and see!

Continue reading #BikeDC Speaks to Lisa S.: Growing Up as a Cyclist

Pre-Ride Jitters: High Country 1200K

I regularly get some form of the pre-ride jitters before intense multi-day cycling events. I don’t sleep well. I keep thinking I’m forgetting something. The longer the event and the more complicated the travel logistics, the greater the jitters.

A peaceful moment in the park with my Bike Friday. On the inside, it’s all pre-ride jitters!

This year, Felkerino and I signed up to ride the High Country 1200K, which takes place out in Colorado from July 9-12. The event comes five weeks on the heels of the D.C. Randonneurs 600K brevet. While in a way that is perfect timing as we do not have to re-peak for the long distance, it’s also given me ample opportunity to work up my nerves.

Continue reading Pre-Ride Jitters: High Country 1200K