Evidence of my participation (first two photos courtesy CecilAnn)
The Pencil and I did not quite make the RUSA 5000k distance award this year. We did complete our first Cascade 1200, survived a few Seattle International Randonneurs death brevets and pedaled through a very drowsy, 24 hour fleche Ouragan (on the same day Eight Belles broke down in the Derby).
Plans for 2009 remain hazy. Most likely, I’ll be heading down to California for the Davis Gold Rush 1200k or staying in the Northwest for the SIR iteration of the Seattle-to-Glacier 1000k (a ride I did two years, on the Oregon side, from Portland to Glacier).
On a localized level, I’ll be focusing on improving my navigational skills (actually monitoring the line-by-line elapse of my cue sheet) and conducting more micro saddle adjustment experiments (I’m in brand limbo between Brooks and Selle An-Atomica w/a Brooks Imperial in consideration).
The Pencil and I remain on good terms despite the fact that its retro, Bicycle Quarterly inspired drivetrain still terrifies me during slow shifts on super steep grades. At some point, in the next year or so, the Pencil may be readied for rando-retirement in a muddy pasture with cyclocross tracks.
Archival confession: I must admit that randonneuring requires the use of some synthetic clothing layers. I try to make use of as much wool as possible–namely jerseys and extremity warmers. But alas, I’m sadly sold on the superior, wind blocking, moisture repelling properties of tech treated plastic fabrics (in the form of jackets, vests and shoes). There is one gent in our club, Drew, who builds his own bicycles, makes his own sports drink, designs his own bike luggage and wears brown leather lace-up dress shoes, full wool outerwear and a cycling helmet that was ANSI certified in the 1970s. He remains a randonneuring hero to me though I know I can no longer follow his dress code on rides longer than 40 miles.