Tappahannock 200k this Saturday

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:








3 thoughts on “Tappahannock 200k this Saturday

  1. Hi, stumbled across your blog from JRNH. Good luck on Saturday, look forward to reading your write up this year. I’ve made a few attempts at bike commuting from Dabney Road home to Woodland Heights. Finding bike friendly route not easy, but would be improved by bike lane on Forest Hill!

    1. Hi John! Thank for checking the site out! I agree with you we need better bicycle infrastructure here in the city for sure. Hopefully this Forest Hill bike lane thing will continue to develop in a positive fashion and the mayors commission reccommendations will be approved soon. We may be late coming to the party but it looks like Richmond will be poised to make inroads in the area of alternative transportation in the next decade. I’d really like to see more kids riding their bicycle to school every day or maybe some sort of program to offer kids the opportunity to earn credit for Phys Ed by simply riding to school.

      Saturday should be a bear but I think tortise rather than hare will be the order of the day. No flats and plenty of gatorade powder should propel me through the miles. I just looked at the cue sheet and it looks to total 128 miles which will be a new one day record for me. Crazy to think in the tour thats what they do every day up steep mountains for three weeks!

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