This past weekend, Felkerino and I broke the tandem in two and took off for the Eastern Shore to ride the D.C. Randonneurs 200K Flatbread brevet. While I’ve ridden this brevet once or twice before, this time was unique because instead of the usual tandem routine, I rode it on my Rivendell Romulus.
Felkerino and I made the decision to ride singles after riding last weekend’s dirt road ride on our “back-up” Cannondale tandem. (Our regular tandem, a beautiful Co-Motion Speedster, has gone to tandem heaven, or wherever it is that tandems that are no longer rideable go.) While a fine bike that performs well on dirt roads, the Cannondale is NOT comfortable for me when riding distances of over 100 miles because the handlebar reach is too short.
The Flatbread 200K was the first time I’ve ridden my single bike on a brevet since 2008. Seriously! Even though I ride my trusty Surly LHT every day to commute, and do several weekend nondonneuring rides throughout the year on my single, I felt nervous about attempting the brevet on a single.
I was not confident about how I would do riding on my own. What if I went too slow? What if I missed a cue and got lost? How does this steering thing work again?
On the other hand, I was excited about getting out on my Rivendell. The bike fits me well, it’s fun to be the sole entity propelling the bike along, and it was a nice change to get to see my bike’s front wheel on a brevet.
Basically, I over-thought the whole thing. While my pace was slightly slower than Felkerino’s and my tandem pace, the conditions were perfect for cycling (sun and low winds). I rode well within the required time limits and, with the exception of a couple of bar end air shifts (my Romulus has Ergo shifters), I rode rather smoothly. The terrain of the Flatbread is (guess?) flat, which also helps the miles go by.
The combination of a mellow route and traditionally big turnout makes for a social ride. Felkerino and I had a great time riding together throughout out the warm and mostly-sunny day, taking pictures, and criss-crossing with various other randonneurs.
A few randonneurs, including Felkerino, put together ride summaries that do an excellent job of capturing the day so I won’t include a full writeup. Rather, I’m providing links to their posts and I’ll conclude by saying that I loved changing it up with a long flat ride on my single bike, especially after last weekend’s hillacious adventure. I got to stand whenever I wanted, stop when I felt like it, coast without consequence, and enjoy complete control over the bike.
- Daily Randonneur penned a few notes and posted a GPS track and photos (including links to our photo sets) about our single bike experience.
- Rambling Rider rode the Flatbread with our friend Mike. This was her first tandem ride. What a way to start!
- Iron Rider came down from Pennsylvania and was one of a few people who rode the brevet on a fixed gear.
- Crystal, of the Aesthetics of Everywhere, completed her longest ride to-date and first brevet this weekend. Well done!