Randonneuring: When it’s Worth the Effort

I completed my first brevet and Super Randonneur series in 2005. Since then, I’ve completed rides of at least 600K distances each year with the exception of 2007, which I spent in graduate school. Seven years of brevet riding. Up until this year I’ve excitedly anticipated the arrival of the Super Randonneur series. Time to hit life a little harder, test my physical conditioning, enjoy … Continue reading Randonneuring: When it’s Worth the Effort

Ride Organizing: Why We Care About Tweets and Facebook Updates

On longer brevets, riders tend to get pretty spread out. During the recent D.C. Randonneurs 400K, the first finisher arrived at 7:30 p.m., and the lanterne rouge ended its journey at 5:50 a.m. Other rider arrivals were interspersed throughout the evening. The 17 finishers spanned more than 10 hours (and one good night’s sleep) in their completion of the brevet.

Waiting up for the 400K Riders (c) Bill Beck

Felkerino and I were able to make it out to a couple of the early controls and saw how the riders were beginning to shake out in terms of pace and placement in the field. That helped give us a visual of rider progress as the brevet unfolded.

A couple of the other things that really helped us as the miles added up and the hours passed were the tweets and Facebook updates we received from riders. Continue reading “Ride Organizing: Why We Care About Tweets and Facebook Updates”

D.C. Randonneurs 400K

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

Special Ride Clothing: Ibex Cycling Jerseys

While it’s true that special clothing is not required for riding a bicycle, sometimes a particular article of clothing can make a ride that much better, especially a long ride like a brevet or fleche.

During Team Table for Five’s fleche ride last month, one of my teammates and I got to talking about what we had chosen to wear on our ride. We kept referring to our wardrobe choices as clothes we reserved for “special rides.”

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Ride Photos: Capturing the Moment

Since 2009, I’ve regularly carried a camera with me. Like the other essentials in my purse/pannier, I never know when I might need it. Seeing Bill Beck (king of the randopaparazzi!) and Felkerino‘s ride photos inspired me to start taking my own camera on brevets and other rides. Yes, Felkerino and I are regularly on the same bike, but the way we see and photo … Continue reading Ride Photos: Capturing the Moment

D.C. Randonneurs Warrenton, VA 300K: In Each Life, Some Rain Must Fall

Now that I’ve caught up on sleep, uploaded my photos, and enjoyed a brilliant sunny warm Sunday I can say I truly enjoyed Saturday’s  300K with the D.C. Randonneurs. Continue reading “D.C. Randonneurs Warrenton, VA 300K: In Each Life, Some Rain Must Fall”

Brevet Season: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

With my first 2012 ACP 200K in the books and the D.C. Randonneurs fleche coming up this weekend, I concede that brevet season is upon us. That time of year where I start to burn the candle at both ends and try to act like everything is all part of my regular routine.

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400K Route Scouting in Pennsylvania

This weekend Felkerino and I headed into Pennsylvania to check out some roads for the upcoming D.C. Randonneurs 400K that we agreed to organize. It was a gorgeous day on the bike and I’m glad to have ridden farther out than my usual D.C. to Poolesville, Maryland loop.

Orchard country on the outbound

Our route took us from Emmitsburg, Maryland, into Adams County, the Michaux State Forest, a brief passing through Caledonia State Park, and up to Newville, Pennsylvania.

We then rode back through the Michaux State Forest into Pine Grove Furnace, climbed out of Pine Grove Furnace and reversed through the orchards to our starting point in Maryland.

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Randonneur Rewind: Another Take on my First Year of Randonneuring

It’s hard for me to believe that I completed my first Super Randonneur series in 2005. That seems so long ago, yet it doesn’t feel like I’ve been randonneuring for that many years. Time is flying! As the brevet season kicked off for Felkerino and me this past weekend, I started feeling a little nostalgic and excavated this post out of the archives. It’s a first-year … Continue reading Randonneur Rewind: Another Take on my First Year of Randonneuring

Hanging out at Earl's Market on the Urbana 200K

D.C. Randonneurs Urbana 200K: Feels like the First Time

Ride summary: Ride the rollers out of Urbana. Whee! First control in Union Bridge, Maryland. Pedal pedal. Climb 77 in Catoctin National Park. Climb. Climb climb climb. Descend. Grind through the rollers out of Smithsburg. Stop for a couple pics. Pedal through the fragrant countryside. Whoah, stinky! See eight cats in someone’s driveway. Eight! Control in State Line, Pennsylvania. Eat half a sandwich. Hello rider. Hello rider. Hello rider. Pedal pedal pedal. Kemp’s Mill Road, a friendly zippy stretch. Control at KOA. Hello Lowell. Hello Severna Park. See end of cooking show about brownies. Depart control. Mosey to Sheetz. Eat an almond butter and jam sandwich. Drink a latte. Meet up with fleche teammates Lane, Mike, and Eric, as well as Scott G. and Alec. Chat and laugh. Ride. Information control in Antietam. The question is… just kidding! It’s a secret! Ride ride. Bonk. Battleview Market control. Eat chips. Contemplate life. Pedal pedal pedal. Trego, bleah. Climb climb climb. All alone with Ed. Gapland finally! Lane waited. Thanks! Descend whee! Pedal pedal pedal. Eric waited. Thanks! Marlu Ridge the easy way! Group ride with Mike, Eric, Lane. Chat. Listen to Mike. Fingerboard. Slog slog slog. Finish. Photo op by Bill. Pizza pizza pizza. Yeah.

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In for a Penny, In for a Pound. Of Fleche, That Is.

While some people ride brevets throughout the year, Felkerino and I tend to do most of our of brevets during what we call the “Spring Season,” which basically consists of the four-brevet Super Randonneur series and the Fleche.

One of the big kickoffs to spring is the Fleche, as it is usually one of the first events on the D.C. Randonneurs ride calendar and, compared to brevets, seems slightly lower key.

For those unfamiliar with this strange ride with some historic significance, the Fleche (French for arrow) is a 24-hour team cycling event. Audax Club Parisien started the Fleche in 1947 as an homage to French rider Paul de Vivie, Mr. Velocio himself.

Continue reading “In for a Penny, In for a Pound. Of Fleche, That Is.”

Randonneur Q&A for Beginners

Over the past few months, people interested in dabbling in the randonneur lifestyle have asked me various questions about getting into randonneuring. After answering them, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you.

Since I started doing brevets in 2005, I’ve realized that randonneurs vary widely in their approach to training and riding brevets. Over time, I’ve figured out some of the methods that work for me, and those are the foundation for the answers to these topics.

My experience is based primarily on brevets with the D.C. Randonneurs. Other clubs may operate slightly differently, though the general approach is the same.

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Five Things Friday: Randonneuring Edition

The D.C. Randonneurs have their annual meeting this Saturday, and they’ve also arranged a pre-meeting 106 KM Populaire out of Glen Echo, Maryland. Are you going? If so, perhaps I’ll see you there.

My first brevet bike, the Rivendell Romulus

The upcoming meeting got me thinking about some of the things I enjoy about randonneuring. I decided to list five of them here. Why five? It makes the perfect number for a blog post!

Continue reading “Five Things Friday: Randonneuring Edition”

Paris-Brest-Paris by Tandem

Have you heard enough about PBP yet? Well, hang on just a minute, because I’ve got one more story to share with you. Continue reading “Paris-Brest-Paris by Tandem”

Rides for All Seasons

Or so it’s felt the last three days. From temperatures in the 60s, 40s, and today’s dip into the 30s with snow, it’s been quite the climate roller coaster here in the Mid Atlantic.

Alec rounds the bend on Last Train from Clarksville
  • Saturday – Last Train from Clarksville 201K Permanent

Saturday’s too-good-to-be-true weather had anybody who ever pedaled out and about. Felkerino and I, along with a few friends, decided to carry cards and ride Crista B.’s “Last Train from Clarksville” 201K permanent. The route took us through Maryland rollers, up to Fairfield, Pennsylvania, and back.

Continue reading “Rides for All Seasons”