Category Archives: Endless Mountains 1000K

My Endless Mountains 1000K Story

Hey, everybody! Since I wasn’t able to get out this weekend and ride much, I spent a few hours at the computer with my favorite mug and some lemon herbal tea.

Steeping the Tea, Writing the Story

It was time well spent, as I finally put together a summary of Felkerino’s and my Endless Mountains 1000K adventure!

Felkerino and Me, first post-1000K ride together. We’re on singles, ha ha!!

My story, MG’s Endless Mountains 1000K: an Experiment in Randonneur Amnesia is posted on one of my favorite blogs, The Daily Randonneur.

Check it out! Now maybe I won’t feel the need to mention my 1000K completion in every post I do. I hope you like reading it as much as I liked writing it.

Post-1000K Walking

Since the recent Endless Mountains 1000K, I haven’t pedaled one bit. Residual knee pain and general fatigue are the culprits. Knee pain is the randonneur superhero’s kryptonite, I’ve decided.

On my walk home today, I was feeling pretty washed up. Why do I do these rides, I wondered to myself. Sure, I get out of a few days of housework, but is it worth it?

Then I passed by Freedom Plaza.

Fountain at Freedom Plaza. U.S. Capitol in the background.

Any self-pitying thoughts flew out of my mind as I took in the beauty of the rainbow residing in the fountain. The bright sun, clear day, and little bit of moisture flying out of the fountain were just what I needed to brighten my spirits. (I also took the bus home, I think that helped, too!)

I enjoyed a great day on foot in Washington, D.C. I didn’t answer the question about why I do these long rides, but that’s ok. I have many more days and walks home to ponder that.

Why do randonneurs do these rides, the lady ponders.

I Used to be a Randonneur Superhero

When Ed and I rolled into the finish of the Endless Mountains 1000K after 67:37 hours in the company of five other accomplished randonneurs, I felt amazing. There was pain in my knee and I felt dirty and smelled bad, but all that was eclipsed by what our group had accomplished.

622 miles of riding over three days. That’s awesome, I thought. As Mike Anderson and I discussed after our finish, we’ve gone on other types of vacations, but they just don’t feel as triumphant as this. (Viewing 1000Ks as vacation is a topic for another time, ok?)

Reveling in my post-ride euphoria, I saw myself as a powerful woman who had endeavored something other people could not even fathom. I am woman, hear me roar! I am a randonneur superhero!

After a good night’s sleep, however, I was singing a different tune. What had happened to my body? Superhero, ha ha ha! What a joke. I hurt all over and everywhere I looked, I was swollen. I couldn’t even see my cheekbones, forget about my ankles. What had I done? The last thing I felt like doing was roaring.

As I looked through photos of our ride, I noticed that my demise as a randonneur superhero gradually set in over the course of our three days of riding. The further I pedaled, the greater the toll of the event on my body. While I may have been feeling like a randonneur superhero on the inside, the photographic evidence tells a slightly different tale.

Day 1. Randonneur Superheroes

Day 2. Mostly Randonneuur Superheroes (are those potato chip fragments on my face?)


Day 3. Randonneur Superheroes are having troubles.

Vytas, who was our riding company for much of the 1000K, noted that some people say that doing a 1000K or a 1200K takes 7 years off of a person’s life. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but I can definitely tell you I didn’t feel 7 years younger at the end of the ride. Maybe what they mean is that, after completing something like this, you look at least 7 years older until you get caught up on your REM cycles.

I meandered into work today and tried to keep as low a profile as possible (without falling asleep under my desk). I still feel like I’m a randonneur superhero when I consider the feat of riding a 1000K, but I want my body to recover enough so that it also shows that randonneur awesomeness. Limping around with barely visible eyeballs and calves that are indiscernable from ankles is not the way to convince anyone of their randonneur superpowers.

Only when my body has returned to its normal form can I start walking around the office seeking out socially acceptable bragging opportunities. I think it’s going to take a few days and a lot of sleep and hydration! It will happen, though, and then I will be the randonneur superhero I imagine myself to be, both inside and out.

Endless Mountains 1000K – Update!

Felkerino and I are no longer riding the Endless Mountains 1000K (although it was quite the adventure while it lasted). We enjoyed a sun-filled ride with some awesome randonneurs and randonneur volunteers, ultimately finishing the event in 67:37.

Thanks to Tom, the volunteers, and everybody who rode with us and helped make the ride epic!

I’m off to bed, but hope to put together a story when my brain is working again. So don’t expect anything anytime soon, ha ha!

In the meantime, you can check out our adventure from behind the lens of my little camera. Just click on the picture below to be taken to the corresponding flickr set.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

The Quiet Period: Tapering for the Endless Mountains 1000K

This summer, Felkerino and I spent the months since the D.C. Randonneurs 600K continuing to log long miles on the bike to prepare for the Endless Mountains 1000K brevet, which starts on August 26. It feels like every weekend has been spent with keeping the bike in good shape, keeping ourselves in good shape, building our mileage base, and trying to climb as many hills as we can in order to be as well-prepared as we can be the day we start the ride.

For the most part, I’ve enjoyed this training except for the lack of sleep, tandem team meetings (only two, though, yay!), 2:30 a.m. getups, flat car tire on Interstate 66 en route to a ride start, lack of reliably good coffee in the country, gas station lunches, neverending heat advisories during our 500K tuneup ride,¬†vomiting, and crying. Yes, other than that, I loved it.

Summer Brevet Training. So much fun!

I mean it! Weekends spent exploring the roads around the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah have otherwise been outstanding.

  • I love riding with Felkerino (excellent captain),
  • I love our Co-Motion tandem (an elegant bike that fits us both so well),
  • I enjoy a bit of night riding (particularly if it actually happens at what I consider night, as opposed to 3 or 4 a.m., which is just ridiculous), and
  • I like the challenge of 300K+ distances.

The occasional feeling that I’m rushing from work to riding only to rush right back to work again has been a bit of a challenge, but I realize now that I was getting used to it.

Two weeks ago, we started our taper and entered what Felkerino calls “the quiet period.” Riding miles have been cut back, we are getting lots of sleep, the household chores are being attended to (somewhat), and the weekends have had plenty of downtime.

Felkerino at Thornton Gap, the day before the “quiet period” started.

I liked the quiet period for the first week or two. I rode shorter rides, spent a little time in Rock Creek Park, meandered to Old Town via Gravelly Point, did a weekend ride on the W&OD (gasp!), and even did a few miles on the C&O (until the pouring rain drove me away).

Now the quiet period is making me bonkers! I want to be outside on my bike, taking full advantage of the long summer days. Our training made me feel like I should just be riding or working out whenever I could. More miles equals more prepared! Plus, I liked not doing housework. Housework is not nearly as fun as bike riding.

However, a century ride or more at this point is not the best ride preparation strategy. No, instead we need to look online to see what long rides our friends or other randonneurs are doing, obsess over training logs to examine and re-examine whether we are ready for the ride, regularly search the web to see what additional randonneur gadget we need, and obsess about the big day as much as possible. rest, relax, and save our energy for the start of the Endless Mountains 1000K.

More Riding, More Often!

Felkerino and I have put in a lot of miles (for us) this summer and the quiet period is a reasonable payoff for all that hard work. However, it took me by surprise that I haven’t relished it as much as I thought I would. Lucky for me, the quiet period will soon end, and at 4 a.m. on August 26, 2010 we’ll clip in for a three-day extremely anti-quiet period. ¬†I can’t wait!