I primarily focus on issues of commuter cycling on this blog and try to stay away from racing or the “extreme” parts of recreational cycling. I enjoy cycling for recreational purposes but for me it’s the daily routine of commuting to work that really gets me excited (oh joy! Work!) to be on my bike. This much is obvious but if you have read this blog as more than a passing fancy you will know that there is one type of competitive (in some senses) cycling that I do enjoy and this type of cycling is Randonneuring. To give you an idea randonneuring is essentially ultra-cycling or the equivalent of running a marathon rather than sprinting a 5k for example. It is a long distance, unsupported, on your own, type of long distance cycling that originated in France (hence the French word randonneur which literally translated means “rambler” or “traveler”) and which began simply as a way for early cyclists to test their equipment through feats of distance cycling. This year will be another installment of the most famous (although probably not the most difficult, that may be reserved for other events) randonee (a randonnuering “event” or “race” although it is not a race) which is the oldest continuously occurring cycling event in the world and is known as Paris-Brest-Paris, a 1200k 80-90 hour marathon of a ride. I won’t be doing that or even close to qualifying for it, I simply want to complete the Tappahannock 200k put on by DC Randonneurs this Saturday and beginning at Ashland Coffee and Tea in Ashland Virginia. This was a ride I attempted to complete last year but weather and metal fortitude (a lack of it) as well as physical prowess (again, a lack of it) did me in. Temperatures last year were near highs of 17 degrees Fahrenheit and the course had to be altered due to snow and ice on the roads. I rode over 100 miles that day and did post on my experience on this blog here but I fell short of the entire 200k route and as such I still have not completed a brevet/randonee yet. Hopefully, after this weekend I will enter a new chapter in my life where I can lay claim to having completed my first randonee and entered into the world of an endurance cyclist. While I am not in great shape at this moment (surgery late last year, winter, etc) I think that I should be able to complete the entire route in the 13.5 hours riders are officially allotted. Since last year I have been cigarette free for close to 9 months now and overall in better health as a result.
If you too would like to try to complete the race meeting times will be 7am at Ashland Coffee and Tea on Saturday Feb 19th. It will cost a measly $10 to register the day of. Follow these links to find out more information about the event:
Some info from last years ride:
My write up of my ride: