Recollections of the harvest and farmers working fields long past sundown. Walks across campus, heavy book-filled backpacks on our shoulders, feet drifting through drying leaves. The donning of long sleeves to absorb the chill of mornings that advise of even colder times to come.
It’s odd how this time can feel like a stopping point. The end of one cycle, and the beginning of another. Maybe that’s because I grew up in rural Iowa, lived according to a school calendar for so long, or work in a place with a year that marks time from October through September.
With fall’s arrival, I have an urge to pause accompanied by a yearning to be outdoors basking in autumn’s fleeting colors. A desire to take stock while I keep accumulating memories until the waning daylight and chill truly take hold.
This weekend Felkerino and I fought against the feelings of curling up with a good book, and took to the winding pavement and dirt outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Back into the hills after a month of even terrain.
The George Washington National Forest makes a good backdrop for a ride. They say fall already peaked here, but it still looks good to me.
The trees lull me into a contemplative state. I reflect on recent rides, mull upcoming possibilities, and gradually drift back into the present.
Ah yes, where was I? Let’s ride.
Just before PBP 2011, I interviewed a group of 12 randonneurs to get their perspectives on various aspects of long-distance cycling. I talked with both men and women who were members of clubs throughout the United States. I called it the Randonneur Q&A.
The Randonneur Q&A covered big-picture randonneuring themes, including insights over the various brevet distances, and what it is about randonneuring that keeps drawing people back to it. With PBP 2015 less than a year around the bend, I thought it might be informative and inspiring to revisit these interviews.
Randonneur Q&A Interviews
- Katie S.R., New Jersey Randonneurs
- George Swain, Hudson Valley Randonneurs
- Joe Platzner, Seattle Randonneurs
- Chris Newman, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Randonneurs
- Rob Hawks, San Francisco Randonneurs
- Joe Brown, D.C. and Pennsylvania Randonneurs
- Vélocia, San Francisco Randonneurs
- Bill Beck, D.C. Randonneurs
- Lynne F., Oregon Randonneurs
- Barry Benson, D.C. Randonneurs
- Andrea M., D.C. Randonneurs
- Dan D., Great Lakes Randonneurs and Minnesota Randonneurs
Thanks again to everyone who was part of the Randonneur Q&A.
Anything is possible to achieve on the internet. Talk is the only requirement. I’m thinking about riding insert whole lots of miles here this year. I’m planning to do insert impressive event here. Articulated aspirations can make us heroes in our own minds.
Planning also has its place. I’m planning to do insert impressive event here. These are the steps I’ve planned out to get me to the starting line. I’ll be sharing my journey with whoever will read or listen to me over the next few months.
Doing is another matter. Doing is where the talk means little and planning is put to the test. During the doing, aspects that couldn’t be planned for are thrown in, just to make insert impressive event here even more exciting and unforgettable. Continue reading
This is the latest in a series of posts I’ve been planning about the incomparable international randonneuring event, Paris-Brest-Paris.
Previously, I wrote about Drew Buck, who completed PBP 2011 on a 1900 Peugeot, a as well as the tandem bicycles (Post 1 and Post 2). Today I’m talking about the towns along the PBP route. Continue reading
Where does your energy go? What do you choose to pursue? Does each day pass in a blur of routine, or do you save a sliver of time to wonder about the existence of something deeper? You don’t know what the something deeper is, exactly, and you are not convinced it is a thing.
You hold onto an optimistic belief that if you go out in the world, if you work out, read more, eat better, if you try and stretch yourself in some way, eventually you will find it. Your personal pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The sense that your something deeper is out there helps you wake up each day.
Felkerino and I returned to the Appalachian Adventure (AA) 1000K course this past weekend to staff the second night of the actual event.
Having ridden the pre-ride exactly the week before, I had a fairly vivid memory of my own shattered mile 418 arrival. The second day took more out of me than I bargained for, and it was only through redemption under the sweet crescent moon during our night ride that I mustered the desire to continue.
Immediately after Felkerino’s and my 1000K ride, I was proud of our accomplishment, relieved that we completed what I felt was an extremely challenging course, and happy that we rode within ourselves from beginning to end.
There were several tough parts, but we did not come close to timing out and, and our bodies held strong. We took time to recover and re-hydrate during hot segments, and smartly navigated thunderstorms on the final day.
Mile 250 of our 625-mile ride. Fatigue courses through my body. My skin has that beat-up feeling from multi-day endurance riding. The sun is shrouded in fog and the road keeps going up.
Mile 372. Crawling through Douthat State Park. It’s peaceful and wooded, but night is falling. And the road keeps going up. And did I mention? We’re crawling.
I’m sick of it all. Sick of pedaling. Sick of riding so many miles and feeling as though I’m making no progress. Sure, the hills make it pretty, but I’m pretty sure they’re killing me. Why am I out here?
I am swallowed by the pain point. Every endurance event has at least one– that segment in the ride where the mind rejects the physical endeavor, and pesters with distracting questions and frustrations.