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Making the Experience Yours: Randonneuring

A while back, I wrote a post called Randonneur- and Real-Life Spouse, which attempted to articulate my frustration about feelings of exclusion from a particular brevet experience (the #randbro adventure). This piece also discussed some of the demeaning comments we have received over the years from men who think that my willingness to stoke a tandem was my partner’s way of motivating me to ride. I probably shouldn’t even … Continue reading Making the Experience Yours: Randonneuring

Riding toward the rain. Photo by Bill Beck

Real Life Lessons From Randonneuring

I started randonneuring because I wanted to see what the distances beyond 100 miles held for me. I hoped randonneuring would make me fitter and stronger, and help me see new places. What I did not realize, though, is that randonneuring was stealthily strengthening me in other ways, too. Over the past two years, other life pressures have pushed themselves to the fore, and I have … Continue reading Real Life Lessons From Randonneuring

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Beyond Fun: D.C. Randonneurs Frederick, Maryland 300K

As I set out my gear for Saturday’s 300K, I noticed the 2015 cue sheet for the same ride still in my bag. One year later, back again. For a while Friday evening and into the next day, I wondered yet again why I thought of randonneuring as a worthy pursuit. Early ups, questionable weather forecasts, and all the rushing around to be ready to … Continue reading Beyond Fun: D.C. Randonneurs Frederick, Maryland 300K

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RUSA Member Profile: Bill Beck of D.C. Randonneurs

While some of you may already have read this feature in the most recent issue of American Randonneur, I like to repost pieces I do so that those who may not subscribe to the newsletter or who prefer to read it in a blog format may do so. I hope you enjoy.

I’m rolling out a new segment called “RUSA Member Profile.” In these interviews, we’ll feature RUSA members who are not only ride brevets, but who also volunteer and support the rides in their area.

My first interview is with Bill Beck, active member and rider with the D.C. Randonneurs and former member of the RUSA board. Many thanks to Bill for kicking off this series with us! Continue reading “RUSA Member Profile: Bill Beck of D.C. Randonneurs”

D.C. Randonneurs 300K. Photo by Bill Beck

Randonneur- and Real-Life Spouse

As one of a small group of women who likes to ride long distances, I’m often exposed to conversations about “the wife.” I almost hate to write “the wife,” since I feel so strongly about it, but I’m writing what I hear and there you are.

Sometimes “the wife” is referred to in other ways, such as “the other half,” or “my better half.” Either way, you get the idea. Since I’m in my reflective vest and ankles bands, I must blend in as one of the guys. I am the incognito wife.

Continue reading “Randonneur- and Real-Life Spouse”

Out of My Gordonsville, supporting documentation

Out of My Gordonsville: D.C. Randonneurs 300K

For the second year in a row, Felkerino and I couldn’t get our acts together to fit in a 200K, so we began our brevet season with this weekend’s D.C. Randonneurs 300K out of Warrenton, Virginia. Continue reading “Out of My Gordonsville: D.C. Randonneurs 300K”

Jump for the tulips

Tulipmania

I suspected that I’d experience post-flèche fallout, and over the last two weeks I’ve been proven right. The energy expended from 24 straight hours without sleep, 232 miles of pedaling over sawtooth terrain from Pittsburgh to D.C., and rough overnight conditions complete with snow squalls took their toll on my body. Continue reading “Tulipmania”

PBP days. Photo by Nick Bull

Dedicated to the Cause: Calista’s Road to PBP 2015

I recently had the pleasure of talking with D.C. Randonneurs and RUSA member, Calista Phillips, who had a great year on the bike. Some of you may have already seen this feature in the latest edition of American Randonneur, but I present it again in full here.

In 2015, Calista completed three 1200Ks (including PBP), and also earned her first K-Hound Award. In our interview, Calista discusses her randonneuring goals, PBP, some of the challenges she faced in preparing for long rides, and what makes randonneuring so special. Continue reading “Dedicated to the Cause: Calista’s Road to PBP 2015”

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D.C. Randonneurs 2016 Flèche: The Only Way Out Is Through

Thanks Felkerino, MG, Jose, Steve and Kip for the ride. I sure enjoyed all those gravel roads and the 20 percent hills and the hail and snow squalls and the crazy wind situation and all the tree debris littering the roads and trails the whole night and the cold and the moaning and drama and the camaraderie.
–Jerry

Continue reading “D.C. Randonneurs 2016 Flèche: The Only Way Out Is Through”

Skyline Drive!

The Road to the Flèche: Team If We Lived Here…

One of the many motivators behind Felkerino’s and my increased riding miles in the early months of this year was our decision to take part in the D.C. Randonneurs flèche, which kicks off this coming weekend (April 1). The flèche is a rules-laden team event, many of which make no sense to me, but that I follow anyway in the spirit of randonneuring. Continue reading “The Road to the Flèche: Team If We Lived Here…”

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Nick’s 2015 Paris-Brest-Paris: Had We But World Enough and Time

We’re heading into the spring riding season, and as we do the dreams of big rides take shape. To help stoke the flames of our big ride plans, I’m featuring friend and fellow D.C. Randonneur Nick Bull’s PBP story, “Had We But World Enough and Time.”

Nick’s story gives the reader an inside look at PBP, as well as a glimpse of the pressures we deal with when tackling multi-day rides. Nick’s dedication to his PBP preparation as well as his tenacity during the event helped him pedal successfully to another PBP finish. Well done, Nick, and thank you for sharing your story with us! Continue reading “Nick’s 2015 Paris-Brest-Paris: Had We But World Enough and Time”

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Riding in Search of Brevet Legs

In an attempt to avoid gutting it out like it seemed we too often did on many of last year’s brevets, Felkerino and I have been taking advantage of snow-free roads to build our endurance for the upcoming randonneuring events.

While it gave me confidence to know that Felkerino and I had the experience to successfully complete brevets on less-than-ideal base miles, my lack of overall conditioning definitely lowered the fun factor on our rides. With these thoughts in mind, Felkerino and I used the early months of 2016 to ride in search of our brevet legs. Continue reading “Riding in Search of Brevet Legs”

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Strava For the Unracer (and Randonneur)

As I recently wrote, I began using Strava this year as part of the Freezing Saddles challenge.  So far, I have really enjoyed using it as a training log. I know Strava can do more than serve as a virtual log and space for kudos (although I will never tire of kudos!), but those other features are not as readily apparent. 

Eric Nichols – who began to dabble in the randonneuring arts three years ago, completed PBP in 2015, and currently rides with the New England Randonneurs – offered to show some of the other ways Strava can be useful to randonneurs, as well as transportation and touring cyclists.

Thanks for writing this post, Eric, and for helping me expand my own use and understanding of Strava .  Continue reading “Strava For the Unracer (and Randonneur)”

Crossing the bridge into Brest. Courtesy of Gardner Duvall

Bon Courage: Theresa’s 2015 Paris-Brest-Paris

Sometimes when conditions conspire to limit my ability to be outdoors, I turn to the stories of rides gone by for inspiration. Today I’m honored to post one such story, Theresa Furnari’s 2015 recount of riding Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP).

As I read “Bon Courage,” I remember the dedication and tenacity one needs to take on a ride like PBP, the anxiety of unexpected challenges, and the thrill of the ride experience.  Continue reading “Bon Courage: Theresa’s 2015 Paris-Brest-Paris”

Theresa - Horsing Around Sugarloaf 200K

Friends Don’t Let Friends Sit on the Couch: Horsing Around Sugarloaf 200K

Lately I’ve had the uncomfortable sensation that my life is on top of me, its everyday demands pushing me into the cushions, reducing me to a sedentary state. It hasn’t felt good. Continue reading “Friends Don’t Let Friends Sit on the Couch: Horsing Around Sugarloaf 200K”