Thursday, October 16, 2008

Super Randonneur 2008!

I qualified for the "Super Randonneur" award! Congrats to all the other Super Randos (some even did a double-series, R-12, R-5000, etc). Can't wait to get that shiny medal at the end of the year.

My official stats listed on read Super Randonneur, RUSA 2300 km. That's 1,429 miles "official" pedaling this year. It's been a great first season of brevet riding, and I've met many randonneurs along the way, and learned a lot about long distance riding from them. Here are a few tidbits I've picked up:
  • It's OK to sleep in a ditch, on the side of the road
  • Lighting is important, as is reflective gear
  • Ensure isn't just for older folks
  • Limits are set in your mind, for the most part
  • You can get away with riding on some pretty crazy roads (e.g. Interstates like I-90)
A recap of the brevets I've done this year:
  • 3/15: Kent-Black Diamond "Chili Feed" 200k. DNQ'd the ride since we missed a control by 10 or so minutes. But it was a great first brevet! Rode to the start, in the rain. 
  • 4/6: Lacey-Vader-Chehalis 300k. This was a cold one, and it took us quite a while to finish, but it was a great ride! 
  • 5/3: Bremerton-Elbe-Bainbridge 300k. This ride ended up being one of my fastest overall finish times, and was another fun one. 
  • 5/17: North Bend-Cle Elum-Leavenworth-North Bend Three-Pass 400k: Up to this point the brevets had just been rides smaller than I'd done before, but with paperwork. But this one would be different. Way different. I'd done Cougar Mountain before, but never a a mountain pass. And we were about to do three of them in one ride! To top it off this was going to be 80k/50mi more than I'd ever done before. Pretty daunting. But in the end it turned out to be one of the best rides I've experienced. (pics)
  • 6/7: Issaquah-Leavenworth-Ellensburg-Enumclaw-Issaquah Four-Pass 600k: One of the toughest things I've ever endured. Or attempted to endure, anyway. My first official DNF, and oh did it sting! Not to mention the DNF was ~530k into the ride.. I hope we're doing this route again next year! (pics)
At this point in my season I had everything needed except a 600k to get the SR award. My season wasn't over yet! Other brevets:
Mixed in with these rides were some other rides that were pretty fun too:
I think next year will look similar, but with of course a whole new host of routes and experiences. And possible a 1200k such as the Gold Rush Randonnee down in CA.. and more permanents as well.

But the year isn't over yet!! Even though the weather is changing and the days are getting shorter, my enjoyment of riding isn't decreasing. I'm planning on riding to Leavenworth this weekend, mostly following the route in this 200k permanent. I didn't have time to really plan this out, so I'm just doing the ride for fun. Well maybe fun isn't the correct word, but I'm not doing the ride for "credit." Just for the challenge.

But I can't wait to get credit for a bunch of rides next year!  Thanks to SIR for getting me hooked on these crazy-long rides!


Robert H said...

Be sure to take plenty of water out of Index, Matt. The climb up Stevens from the Old highway is beautiful but there aren't a lot of places to get it. Bring and extra bottle if you need. Even once you reach the top, you still have a bit of distance before the gas station on the descent.

christopher said...

Also, there is a water fountain at the top of Stevens. just wander into the park and look for the top of the rope tow.

It has been a great year, and lots of fun rides. i look forward to many more miles on the road with you and the rest of the randos.

Shan said...

Matt....congratulations on completing the brevet series and becoming a Super Randonneur for 2008!!

matt m said...

Thx all for the comments - it has been a great year, and I can't wait for 2009! And hopefully we'll ride before then.

I ended up bailing on my Stevens Pass adventure, the first DNS of the year! Got up at about 5 AM, took a shower, put on bike clothes, but with the easy option of bailing, with nobody waiting for me to show up, going back to sleep was irresistible.

Although now that the sun is up, I regret not going - I'd probably be on Highway 2 by now, at least.. oh well, I'll save that trip for another time.

Robert H said...

The sun was up, but it was still pretty cold out. I'd imagine that going up Steven's would have been very cold indeed.