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

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”

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”

Spiral Staircase

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”

Eric Strava

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)”

John and Lynne

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”

Populaire days with Felkerino

For the Love of It

Not one to let the end of summer pass by while we sip iced tea and laze on our balcony, Felkerino has been unstoppably enthusiastic about weekend rides in the country.

His love affair with summer is certainly infectious, and I’ve been happily coming along for the ride. (See what I did there?) Bicycling in the countryside is a nice change from riding home as the sun sets over Rosslyn every night. Continue reading “For the Love of It”

Felkerino and me-300K

Training for Randonneuring Rides on a Tandem

Those of you who receive American Randonneur– a quarterly publication of Randonneurs USA– may find this article about randonneuring tandem basics familiar, as it is a piece that was recently published in the Summer edition. I’m reprinting it here. Thanks to Mike Wali for the pics in this piece. Continue reading “Training for Randonneuring Rides on a Tandem”

Kip, Dylan, and me on the 600K brevet. Photo by Felkerino

PBP Qualified…

Our recent finish of the D.C. Randonneurs 600K brevet means that Felkerino and I have now qualified for Paris-Brest-Paris. Continue reading “PBP Qualified…”

Time to ride this bike, MG.

Finding Your Randonneur Superpower

When you begin to dabble in the randonneuring arts, you may have an inkling of what your cycling strengths are. You may develop additional skills for riding long-distance. However, it is only through doing brevets over time that your randonneur superpower will reveal itself to you. Continue reading “Finding Your Randonneur Superpower”

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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”

Stopping to put on night gear. Photo by Felkerino

600K Brevet Packing List

I’ve been readying for the weekend’s big ride– the D.C. Randonneurs 600K. I stew in my nervousness and look frequently at regional weather forecasts. I burn off steam with short runs and rides, during which I consider and reconsider all I need for two days of pedaling. Continue reading “600K Brevet Packing List”

Blossoms with mixte

Transformation and Inspiration

It’s surreal to recall it now, but bicycling– even running– were largely absent from my life during my post-college twenties. I worked long hours, drove my car, and attended many a happy hour. Continue reading “Transformation and Inspiration”

Me on C&O

Summer Legs on the C&O

Lately I haven’t had a lot of words to describe my riding. I have things to write, but my mind has been fuzzy and my motivation rather stilted with regard to writing any posts. I also have some work things that have required my time and attention.

However, friends, I have been riding. My summer legs are starting to come in now. These are the legs that show themselves during the brevet season. They have the urge and strength to ride and just keep riding. How long? Until daylight ends. Until the battery in my headlight dies. Until dinner. Until I need to be in bed for work the next day. Continue reading “Summer Legs on the C&O”

Felkerino 300K

The Mind’s Journey

I began this year feeling quite uncertain, almost ambivalent, about the brevets. The past year has included some serious and unexpected health issues in my family. These scrambled up my head, and prompted a reassessment of that big question “What am I doing with my life?” Continue reading “The Mind’s Journey”