Want a successful 400K ride experience? Bring your 400K face to the ride and no other. After over a decade of randonneuring, some lessons have begun to sink in, and I’m finally figuring out what a good 400K face looks like. My 400K face is one that begins a ride full of a week of good sleep. According to a reliable source – my mom … Continue reading D.C. Randonneurs 4 States 400K: Bring Your 400K Face
Stopped at mile 110 of our 252-mile ride, someone asks us where we started.”Frederick, Maryland,” we respond. When asked where we’re going we again say, “Frederick,” and then pepper in a few additional details about our day’s route. “Will you camp along the way?” our dining neighbors inquire. “No,” we answer. “We’re doing the whole thing today.” Mic drop. Our dining neighbors are speechless. I … Continue reading Enjoying Every Mile on the D.C. Randonneurs 400K
Randonneuring events allow ordinary people like me to participate in extraordinary bike rides. Brevets changed my definition of a long day ride, from a century to more than double that– distances I previously could not even conceptualize pedaling.
The randonneuring community helped me feel okay as a rider who does not move particularly fast, but has a body that has proven itself durable over time and distance.
Yes, you must be in some semblance of decent physical shape, own a road-worthy bicycle, and have the free time to take on a brevet. But as long as you maintain an overall speed of 10 miles per hour, an ordinary person will be a successful randonneur. Continue reading “Randonneuring: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary”
After rolling into the finish of the D.C. Randonneurs Northern Exposure 400K, I heard myself enthusiastically discuss our ride and revel in the adventure shared by Felkerino, Matt, and me over the last 20 hours and change of riding.
Incredible valley vistas and invigorating climbs! The cutest dog chasing us! A sublime night ride! Clouds clearing and a glowing crescent moon guiding us home! Roads so quiet you could hear peepers sing to you and creek waters whisper encouragement! A giant shooting star! The best mocha I ever had… at mile 230… from McDonald’s!
Who was this person, another part of my brain wondered. What’s with all the exclamations about this great ride? Doesn’t she know that much of her day was spent with an undercurrent of worry and an almost obsessive urge to press forward?
This past weekend Felkerino and I organized the D.C. Randonneurs 400K brevet. Of all the spring brevets the 400K is the one that, as a rider, I find most daunting. It starts at 4 a.m., and is the first of the brevets that requires hours of night riding. Riders roll out in the dark, and arrive in darkness, too.
I overhead the staff at the hotel where we staged our ride called our 400K a pizza party. That made me laugh. If the 400K could be considered a pizza party, it’s likely the most hard-earned pizza you’ll ever eat.
Some of you may know that Felkerino and I spent the last couple of months preparing to run the D.C. Randonneurs’ 400K. The ride went off this past Saturday, and I put together a non-ride ride report of the experience. It’s not posted here, though. Find it on that other blog I know, The Daily Randonneur. Hop on over and check it out. Continue reading D.C. Randonneurs 400K
What is 252 miles, starts at 4 a.m., and has many hills and valleys? It’s the D.C. Randonneurs 400K brevet. Ha ha ha!!
I may be laughing now, but I certainly was not on Saturday morning when my alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. I never imagined that my idea of fun would require this kind of early
riding rising. I propped my eyelids open with toothpicks, felt heartened by the comfortable morning (or evening?) temperatures and forecast, ate a banana, and hoped for the best.
I tend to ride myself awake on these rides, and Saturday was no different. The sun came up, and by 8 a.m. I was happy to be on the bike. For a blow-by-blow of the route’s twists and turns, see the D.C. Randonneurs website. For an impressionist view of our ride, read on! Continue reading “D.C. Randonneurs – Frederick, Maryland 400K Brevet”