Hi friends. Before time gets away from me I wanted to put together a wrap-up post about Felkerino’s and my Super Randonneur Series on tandem this year. For those who don’t randonneur but follow along, a super randonneur is someone who successfully completes a set of four organized brevet distances: 200K; 300K; 400K; and 600K.
This title of super randonneur conveys no secret super powers and no cape (frankly, a fraught accessory when it comes to bike riding), but you can buy yourself a nice medal and brag to your friends in the off-chance that any of them cares.
This was our first Super Randonneur series since 2019 when we were riding with an eye toward Paris-Brest-Paris that summer. In 2022, the brevets felt familiar yet new, and while the D.C. Randonneurs turnout was often small (20 riders or fewer) we spent a lot of time in the company of others. And it was simply the best.
I want to thank everybody that we rode with this year for making our 2022 series come alive. As I have written in previous posts, we enjoyed verdant rolling hills and engaging routes with low traffic, but the greatest pleasure of this year lies with all the people who shared the miles with us.
We spent our brevet series surrounded by others who share the joy of being on the bike and of riding long. For whatever reason, this year we pedaled more around other people, something that isn’t a given for us due to our speed and the tandem’s momentum. I felt like people were looking out for each other, and while we took the riding seriously we valued the camaraderie as well.
This year’s memories are full of people. It felt like old times riding near Gavin. We met new randonneur converts (well, I hope they are converts) like Matt, who finished his first 600K starting and ending in pouring rain, as well as Kyle, who made me laugh with his good nature and wit. We rode with Tim and Mark out of Richmond, who make these distances look effortless with their lively pace.
We were also fortunate to ride with Perry on our 300K, someone we have not seen since that 400K brevet back in 2920. It was such fun to climb up, down, and around Old Rag with him.
Andréa was also a stalwart and good-natured presence on our rides, and I appreciated reconnecting with her. I loved how Andréa wanted to wait to roll out with us so we could all ride the last 50 miles of our 400K, but I was too much of a bonked mess to be able to do it! Maybe next time.
Gardner wrote poetry in his thoughtful ride reports and communications with us throughout the year. His write-ups have been beautiful, echoing much of what I find alluring about brevets, and I hope you all check them out on the D.C. Randonneurs website.
I know this isn’t a graduation speech and I know I didn’t mention everyone. But if it were… Gary, Randy, Paul D., Pat, Roger, Clif, Bryan, and others, thank you. Mimo, thank you for featuring in what has become my favorite randonneuring lifestyle photo in many years.
Eric N., it was great to see you in the D.C. area and I hope you enjoyed our 400K. The group is whoever shows up to ride and you all made it sublime this year. Thanks for being part of the group.
Thanks to all the pre-riders for getting out there and letting us know what the course was like (and for getting out there in some less-than-nice weather!).
Thank you to the board and volunteers who make the brevets happen, and to Chip, Chris, Jack, and Emily for being there for us at the beginning and end of these rides. I appreciate your collective effort and sacrifice of time.
And I’m so gratified by everyone who read my posts and posted a comment. Thank you, as always, for reading.
Randonneuring – bike riding – is so beautiful because its intangibles are what spin it into gold. The effort, the course, the views, the people, our relationships and care with each other. It’s nothing we can put in our pocket or store on a shelf. And it’s precious all the same.
Life has been challenging at times in recent years. It was wonderful to pedal out my anxiety and troubles with Felkerino on the bike with my fellow randonneurs. I’ll always remember this beautiful year, and I appreciate every person who made it so.