Shenandoah 600K: Ride With What You Have Inside

While in the midst of final preparations for the weekend’s Shenandoah 600K in Virginia, a friend asked me how I was feeling about the ride. I raised my eyebrows and said, “I’m ready for it to be over.” “You need your face!” she responded. Ah yes, I was so proud of dialing in my 400K face, and had looked forward to showing off my 600K … Continue reading Shenandoah 600K: Ride With What You Have Inside

D.C. Randonneurs 4 States 400K: Bring Your 400K Face

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

Mother of All 300Ks and the Passage of Time

Fourteen years ago I rode my first 300K brevet with the D.C. Randonneurs, and this weekend Felkerino and I were back on that very same course, now fondly titled the Mother of All 300Ks given the gnarly 13,600 feet of climbing in 189 miles. One of the first weekends to give a clear indicator that summer will arrive, I spent the day enjoying the sun … Continue reading Mother of All 300Ks and the Passage of Time

Made-Up Me: D.C. Randonneurs 600K

The uncertain arc of a ride as long as a 600K draws me to it. So many factors define the ultimate experience: fitness, weather, terrain, traffic, and the bike itself. Moments where I wonder why the heck I’m doing this are almost a given over such distance. Frustrating as these times are, it intrigues me to see how I wrestle through them. In Felkerino’s and … Continue reading Made-Up Me: D.C. Randonneurs 600K

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

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”

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”

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”

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…”

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”

John and Lynne

When I began riding bikes with the D.C. Randonneurs, I didn’t imagine the significant role this activity, as well as the people involved in it, would have on my life. But the randonneuring community is small and the rides are long. Preparation for events leads to pick-up rides through the countryside with other randonneurs. Continue reading “John and Lynne”

From Randonneur Rookie to PBP 2015: An Interview with Eric Williams

This brevet season Felkerino and I had the great pleasure of getting to know Eric Williams, member of #BikeDC and the D.C. Randonneurs.

In Eric’s first year of randonneuring, he completed a Super Randonneur series, a 1000K brevet, and Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP). And he just keeps on riding. He has the rando fever! Continue reading “From Randonneur Rookie to PBP 2015: An Interview with Eric Williams”

Living On In Memories

This past weekend I had one of the best rides of my life on the D.C. Randonneurs 600K brevet, and that’s not the randonnesia talking. The course layout, weather, and randonneur fellowship combined to set up a practically perfect 375 miles. Continue reading “Living On In Memories”

Randonneuring Beneath the Stars

The sun flares orange and pink, drops behind the mountains, and leaves us. Felkerino and I pause to don night gear, assess our 600K progress, and estimate the hours of night riding ahead. Continue reading “Randonneuring Beneath the Stars”

Randonneuring: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

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”