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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”

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Do You Believe in Unicorns? #BikeInBloom

In 2014, Capital Bikeshare welcomed a solitary pink bicycle into its fleet, the BikeInBloom. This bicycle, the only one of its kind, is released into the wild for just shy of a month each year, as part of the city’s cherry blossom festivities.

In the three years the BikeInBloom has flitted in and out of the Capital Bikeshare rotation, I have come upon it only twice, and only from a distance. Continue reading “Do You Believe in Unicorns? #BikeInBloom”

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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Traveling Light and Self-Contained: Jerry’s Cross-Country Bike Tour Secrets

Last summer, our friend Jerry spent 9 weeks bike touring 9,300 km across the United States and parts of Canada. I talked with Jerry a few times about his tour – once before he left, once while he was in the midst of his ride, and again after he finished. He also shared snapshots of his cross-country adventure on his Instagram feed.

One of the questions people most frequently asked after reading these interviews was how Jerry managed to travel with so little, but fully self-contained. In this post, Jerry talks about his method and motivations for traveling light, including a kit list for those who may be interested in trying a similar touring method. Thanks for giving us an inside look at your traveling system, Jerry! Continue reading “Traveling Light and Self-Contained: Jerry’s Cross-Country Bike Tour Secrets”

Errandonnee Errundonnee

My Errundonnee: Exploring Running as Transportation

After I rekindled my interest in running marathons, I began to seek out ways to incorporate additional mileage on my two feet. Since Felkerino and I spend much of our weekend time together on the bike, the long weekend run typical for many marathon runners was not a method that worked for me.

In 2013, I read an article by ultrarunner Geoff Roes about run commuting, and it introduced me to the idea of running as transportation. Since 2005, I have embraced active transportation, but primarily by bike, with some walking thrown in. Geoff Roes’s piece helped me see how I could benefit from the run commute. Continue reading “My Errundonnee: Exploring Running as Transportation”

Marathon Capitol Hill for the second half

A Non-Runner Runs the D.C. Rock ‘n Roll Marathon

Even though it’s been over two decades since I left high school, I still struggle to escape defining my athletic self in terms of physical education (P.E.) classes and (gasp!) high school sports. That definition repeatedly reminds me that I have no right to consider myself an athlete in any sport.

I was never picked dead last for those days in P.E. where we divided up and people picked teams, but from elementary through high school I was consistently in the bottom half of the selection. I participated in a couple of sports, but never made the varsity team of anything.

When I look back, I see the distorted importance of sports in our community, and how we respected and valued people because of their athletic abilities. And really, that was stupid. Continue reading “A Non-Runner Runs the D.C. Rock ‘n Roll Marathon”

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”