Thursday, March 24, 2011

Exceeding limits

Brevets tend to have their way of making people humble - Laurent Chambard

This is not a ride report. In May 2010, I rode my second Randonneuring event - a 300 km brevet. If you really want to know about the course and terrain, you will have to read another account. If you are looking for direction as to how to prepare, or what to expect, I have nothing to offer, other than my mistakes. I cannot give you an objective report, even though I vividly remember the details of that day in my heart and in my mind's eye. This is more like a confession, or perhaps, an admission of loss and of hubris, even in the appearance of success. 

It's taken me a while to tell the story of that day, and the events that followed, because I am still reluctant to discuss, even in a semi-anonymous blog, the burden it placed on me for every event after. Telling this story means sharing the reality of what it meant to push beyond my limits. But this year would not have been the same without that ride so, perhaps, the story needs telling. Because if this blog is meant to be an account of my experiences, then this ride is an essential part of the accounting. But be warned - I may delete this post any day. Denial is a seductive temptress. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Night lights part 2

For the last year, I used Planet Bike Blaze lights for night riding. Two one-watt lights mounted mid fork and one two-watt light mounted on the handlebar. Together, the three lights made an adequate amount of light to ride by, but the set up was far from ideal.  The lights could illuminate reflective signs at a reasonable distance but lacked the ability to light the road far enough ahead to allow for fast riding. The circular beams made a small patch of rideable light to follow at a slow to moderate pace but, on long unlit stretches, they also created a feeling of riding through a tunnel. All in all, they are good lights for urban riding and commuting, but noticeably underpowered for distance riding and descending. I wanted to upgrade before the season began.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My R12 ride: reflecting, considering, remembering.

March 12, 2011 -

The 200 kilometer ride that would be my R12 began on Saturday morning. Each month, for the last 11 months in a row, starting with my first ever Brevet, I completed at least one timed ride at least 200 kilometers long. With the completion of this ride, I would earn the award for consistency that an R12 represents.