Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friday Writings for Randos - The Loneliness of a Distance Rider

{Friday Writings for Randos - A weekly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This week it's an excerpt from a blog post titled:

The Loneliness of a Distance Rider

by Vincent Muoneke* (Spokesong)

The Distance Rider affirms that every rider has a finite number "x" of pedal strokes. He imagines and hopes that the current stroke, will add to the total number, not subtract from the residual. . . .
The Distance Rider cannot break fast out of the blocks, he cannot will himself fast, out of the pain of the age he would deny. He needs time and then he prays to a Gut, that he is not sure exists. If it listens, he may surprise himself on the fourth day of a Grand Randonee. He is after all the "knowing substance". Everything else, perhaps, particles of change, orbiting the sun. . .
He imagines the most perfect silence, when there is no need to speak, there is no need to explain, no need to show that something is true, seeing the same picture from a different point of view. He feels the best moment, when we all come from different circumstances and flow with the Ferry in the same direction. . .
the Distance Rider does not grade Riders, he grades Rides. He knows that no two rides are the same even if exactly the same course. His highest grade he awards to the Next ride. He refutes that the earth is either round or flat, but will twist you in every direction but loose.
He longs with foreboding the challenge of the mountains. Yet he understands that the wind of the flat lands is as capricious as all his x's that do not reside in Texas. And when it blows east of the mountains, makes rolling resistance a spit in the Ocean.. . .

The Distance rider will encounter many bodies of water. Looking into each one, he finds the same reflection looking back at him, a shaking head, as one mourning, for it is the very last time he will be like today. He wonders what Descartes, Spinoza and Liebniz think of change in "the thing which thinks". He proclaims that a thing that thinks is a thing that lets go. So he lets go of the wheel in front or the slower behind, he knows that he cannot own. . .

*Vincent Muoneke rides with Seattle International Randonneurs. Since 2008, he has ridden over 80,000 kilometers in Randonneuring events, including over 15 brevets of 1000km or longer. This total does not include the rides done overseas. (You can read his entire blogpost here.)


  1. A great choice before the 600K. Best of luck this weekend. To quote a wise randonneur I know... I wish you patience and efficiency.

  2. Great post, posted before your 600K, which I'm reading Saturday morning after you've started. Thinking of you and the entire group and hoping you have drier weather than we do. It pours here, unremittingly. Now I'll go look up your route.

  3. Thanks Suze. This excerpt is from one of my regularly reread posts. Vinnie knows of what he speaks.