Since beginning my glamorous randonneuring career in 2005, I’ve not only ridden in places I never imagined, but I’ve dozed in an assortment of spots I never before would have considered comfortable or conducive to sleeping.
The turning of the calendar to 2015 also means the arrival of a “PBP year.” Paris-Brest-Paris, the most heralded, historic, and international of all grand randonnees now peeps its head around the corner and beckons to us randonneurs, a mere eight months away.
I thought that deciding on a return trip to PBP would take little internal debate. I would set my sights on it, no matter what. Yet, as of this writing, I feel mixed. Like the self-help books taught me, I drafted a list of pros and cons to aid my decision-making. Continue reading PBP 2015: To Go or Not to Go Again?→
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.
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.
Felkerino wrote a day-by-day summary of our weekend 1000K pre-ride. It was intended for those who will be riding the event this upcoming weekend, but I thought others might enjoy reading it, too.
Throughout the ride, I shared our progress on Instagram. It was a new experience for me to share photos of the ride as it happened, and I’ve included those (as well as the captions) along with Felkerino’s report to give you a flavor of our experience.
After digging through the photos archives, I discovered more tandem shots worth sharing from the last edition of PBP. That is, they are not hopelessly blurry or otherwise terrible. Perhaps you will even recognize some of the randonneurs. Continue reading More Tandems at Paris-Brest-Paris 2011→
Events like Paris-Brest-Paris are difficult to unbox all at once. Some aspects can be, such as the immediacy of the ride experience and the emotions and physical states experienced.
Others take time to absorb and appreciate especially when, for many of us, PBP occupies a small space in between a flurry of other activities and responsibilities. It also happens after an intense period spent building our stamina through longer rides, including a full brevet series and summer training. Continue reading Tandem Bicycles at Paris-Brest-Paris 2011→
This week BBC News ran a feature about Drew Buck, a long-distance cyclist from Somerset, England, who is famous in the randonneuring community for completing Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) multiple times on vintage bicycles.
The article prompted me to search through my own set of photos from the 2011 edition of PBP, and I realized that Felkerino I had the pleasure of encountering Drew Buck at various points throughout the ride.
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.
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.
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.
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: