I’ve been riding a lot since my last post (2248K of RUSA permenants since Jan 1), but haven’t been writing. Feb 1 and 2, I strung together two 200K perms and camped out on the coast. Ride report forthcoming (eventually!), but photos are here. The last three weeks, I’ve gone out each weekend for my new favorite 200K route, which features some beautiful climbing and quiet roads (Perm # 2239 – Rock Creek – Apiary – Timber 202K). Next week is the SIR Spring 200K, so I can get started on my ACP SR series. And the following weekend, I’ll be heading to the San Juans with the amazing Taylor Jean for some light touring and of-the-books adventures.
This weekend, Corey Thompson, the skilled bicycle builder from Olympia, WA, came down to Oregon for a birthday 200K permanent. Fellow Seattle Randonneurs Andy S and Vinny M came with him and brought their custom Thompson randonneurs. Portland, OR local Alan W joined us with his Thompson as well. We were fortunate to have sunny skies and fairly warm temperatures for most of the day (cold morning and evening) and enjoyed a wonderful dinner (and birthday cake) at Susan O’s house (thanks, Susan!).
These bikes have seen a lot of miles in their day: Alan and Corey rode PBP 2011 on these bikes, Andy and Corey rode their Thompsons 1000KM from Seattle to Glacier (Whitefish, Montana) in 2013, and Vinny rode two 1200KM Grande Randonnées on his Thompson in 2013 (Alaska’s Big Wild Ride and Colorado’s Last Chance).
On the shoulder of Bald Peak, climbing out of the Newberg fog. Usual Suspects 114K perm.
December wrapped up my biggest year of randonneuring yet: 7112 KM total with RUSA, two 1200K Grand Randonnées, a flèche, a 1000K, an SR series… On the trinket front, I now get to drink from a nice stainless mug (the RUSA Cup). But more importantly, each KM represents time spent exploring lovely roads, meeting wonderful people, and riding with friends. Here are some photos from the end of 2013 to get excited for more in 2014:
James and I followed Old Pumpkin Ridge Rd out into the boondocks on Christmas and found some nice dirt and gravel roads. We didn’t find the connection we were looking for, but there’s always next time.
Love this mural in Edison, Washington.
I spent a three day weekend with Vinny, riding some permanents: 100K, 200K, and 100K. Here, on day two, we’re leaving an info control on the outbound leg of the New Snohomish River Run 200K permanent.
Corey was feeling pretty peppy and ended up out ahead of the group. Here he is, waiting patiently before a turn. Check out his lovely bikes here.
Millison Fambles on a climb. As Vinny would say, he’s Suffering and Smiling.
Vinny, buddy of mine and of randos near and far, gives us a lovely glimpse into his year of nine 1200K grandes randonnées. He once told me that his favorite ride is “the next one,” but you know he loves them all. It will take you much less time to read this than to ride one, so click through and start dreaming…
I had the honor and pleaseure of joining Vinny on one of his nine: the Last Chance 1200K in Colorado and Kansas. Click the second photo (or here) to see some other images from that trip.
"The Hollywood image of a randonneur is rakish, muscular, and self-deprecating. I am so tired of this stereotype. In point of fact, it’s simply not true. We’re not so much ‘rakish’ as ‘boyishly good-looking.’ Except for the randonneusses, each of whom is a vision." – Jeff Tilden, report on PBP 2007
After a year with many wonderful rides — from adventures with friends, to a summer spent as an instructor for the Community Cycling Center’s Bike Camp, to a full season of randonneuring — four rides stand out. These were personally challenging events which took me into beautiful and remote places where I rode both alone, at times, and with the incomparable and supportive company of friends and fellow randonneurs.
Post inspired by Jan Heine. See his Rides to Remember here.