Tuesday, August 27, 2019

On the final day of PBP 2019

Thursday morning on the final day of PBP. I am on the way to Rambouillet. The sun is rising over golden French fields. I am one of several riders who find themselves together at this place at this time. We are climbing yet another long but gentle rise.

"Are you happy?" 

The question comes from the clear, almost musical London accent of a man's voice.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

A few thoughts on the 2019 NJ Pinelands 300K

Finish the Damn Ride

Finish the Damn Ride is an "unwritten" ethos of Randonneurring. Sure there are caveats, safety comes first but, if you can safely continue, that ethos  can lead to some inspirational results. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bridging the gap

Winter

In the winter of 2017, I stepped away from long bike rides to get stronger. Following a consistent routine of ever heavier squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench pressing, and chin-ups required time to recover. So I set aside long rides in the cold for shorter, intense sessions under the unforgiving steel bar. Each session was a simple pass/fail test of will and growing strength: either I lifted or I failed.

February

By February 2018, the sessions had paid off. I found myself stronger than I had been in decades. Truth be told, physically, I am far more suited to strength training than Randonneuring. This kind of training may be the polar opposite of the endurance needed for Randonneuring, but I knew that when I took the step back to rebuild and rebalance. Yet, in the process, I had let months pass without my riding a 200K or even a 100K,

But as the days grew longer, I found myself questioning the wisdom of taking that much time off the bike. Before this break, for eight years I had maintained a streak of monthly 200K rides in part because the prospect of starting over to regain that necessary endurance intimidated me. The first go around to build it, to put it mildly, challenged me. Now, I found myself older, stronger, more experienced, but basically having to start again. 
{"I found myself" - what a strange expression. When you think about it, it becomes complex, hard to explain. Who is the  "I"? What is the "myself" that was found?  How did "I" lose "myself" and what is it about that moment of the discovery that leads to the expression "finding yourself? But I digress, let's return to Spring 2018 ...}

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Happiness

Things things don't always happen when we think they should. Sometimes they happen in their own time. Sometimes they seem impossible.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Million Meters of Milk - 1000 Kilometers in Wisconsin

"While the world spins underfoot, we start another day with wild hearts and fierce desire"*


Michele, the Great Lake Randonneurs' Regional Brevet Administrator, described the Million Meters of Milk as a 1000k where all riders would receive the same experience whether they were first finisher or lantern rouge.

Monday, June 12, 2017

New Holland 200K


It was a hot afternoon. Even now, sitting in the house as the last light of the June sunset languidly eases into the horizon, my body radiates heat. It's as if the afternoon sun soaked deep into my flesh the way summer heat soaks into asphalt and concrete and then lingers before it finally releases into cooler evening air.

The morning started off cooler. We met just before dawn. The New Holland 200K is the last 200K of the Pennsylvania 600K that started the day before. Some of the 600K riders who arrived in the night would start at 5:00 am with those of us just riding the 200K.