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Sierra Cascades Day 3: Graeagle to Mineral

“I was up above it, now I’m down in it.” –Nine Inch Nails, Down In It We departed Graeagle- on a sweet sweet downhill- and pointed the bike toward Quincy. Highway 89 was quiet in the early hours, which was helpful to our tour-tired bodies. At Quincy, Felkerino was tempted to stop at a restaurant that stated it served Espresso, Mexican, American, and Chinese food, … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 3: Graeagle to Mineral

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Sierra Cascades Day 2: South Lake Tahoe to Graeagle

It’s a good day of bike touring when your only what-if is whether you should have eaten dinner on a picnic table at the Tastee Freeze or held out for the possibility of finer fare down the road. Felkerino and I eased our way out of South Lake Tahoe and after a few miles of flat we ascended and switch-backed our way above the lake, … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 2: South Lake Tahoe to Graeagle

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Sierra Cascades Day 1: Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe

If anyone ever suggests you start a tandem bike tour by biting off 147 miles with over 12,000 feet of climbing from Sacramento over to South Lake Tahoe, laugh at that person. Tell them to think seriously about what they are doing. Advise no. Now Felkerino and I pack light since we credit card tour, but we still carry more than we would on a … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 1: Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe

Quickbeam and me. C&O Canal

Bicycle Estrangement

I kicked off 2016 with cycling and running foremost in my mind. I participated in the area’s Freezing Saddles challenge – to ride as many days as possible from January through March – and signed on to ride the best flèche ever with our friend Jerry. From the beginning of the year through April, I enthusiastically pursued daily riding and weekly mileage goals. At some point, though, other activities … Continue reading Bicycle Estrangement

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

Sierra Cascades

Summer Bike Tour Plans: Sierra Cascades

A couple of years ago, someone advised me that Oregon is a nice place to ride bikes. At the time, Felkerino and I were both taken with the mountains of Colorado, and that’s where we took our bike. Not this year. This year we take on the ups and downs of the Sierra Cascades, launching from Sacramento, California on July 3. July 1-2 we will be in Sacramento. July … Continue reading Summer Bike Tour Plans: Sierra Cascades

Bike to Work Day

Why Bike to Work Day Matters

I used to grumble about Bike to Work Day. “People don’t need a special day to ride their bikes. Every day you work could be bike to work day,” I would self-righteously think. “Bike to Work Day? You mean, Friday?”

My feelings about bike commuting were somewhat in the realm of  “Back in my day, I  walked to school in five-feet high snow drifts wearing sandals, and I liked it!” Silliness. Continue reading “Why Bike to Work Day Matters”

Run Phoenix Coffeeneuring

Phoenix Coffeeneuring on Two Feet: Part 2

As mentioned in Part 1 of Phoenix Coffeeneuring on Two Pheet (ha ha!), after a week of daily coffee runs, I filled my Saturday morning with a six espresso, one iced matcha coffeeneuring/run Phoenix tour. This is the most coffee I believe I’ve had in one go since I was in undergrad.

I headed out early enough to begin my tasting tour at the 7 a.m. hour, as that is when most of the locations downtown open. I slathered on the sunblock, filled my water bottle, and stuffed the planned coffee shop stop addresses in my pocket. Continue reading “Phoenix Coffeeneuring on Two Feet: Part 2”

Weekday coffees

Phoenix Coffeeneuring on Two Feet: Part 1

A recent bout of work travel took me to Phoenix, Arizona, a place where the sun shines and the dry heat is still hot. Glorious conditions for someone who has spent the days in dreary Washington, D.C.

Most of the trip was work, but I carved out morning runs – including a Saturday coffeeneuring crawl/run Phoenix tour that included 6 espressos and an iced matcha latte – to explore the coffee scene in the city. I’ve put together a rundown (!) of my various visits, with a quick review of the space and beverage of choice, which was most often an americano or espresso.

Surprisingly, Phoenix has a number of inviting independent coffee shops in the downtown area, several of which take their coffee seriously. Continue reading “Phoenix Coffeeneuring on Two Feet: Part 1”

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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”

Spectrum Tandem

The Highs and Lows of New Bike Day

One year ago, fate and desire intersected to create an opportunity for Felkerino and me to purchase a custom steel tandem. Prior to this tandem, our main brevet bike has been a custom-sized Co-Motion Java that has served us well and I’m not going to say one bad thing about it. Except one thing. We found it slightly overbuilt for randonneuring rides where the need to carry … Continue reading The Highs and Lows of New Bike Day

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”