Archival Review: Randonneuring Season (2008)

Passing views

Bike stalking

Evidence of my participation (first two photos courtesy CecilAnn)

Some central characters

The Pencil

Subject to further experimentation in ’09

Cue sheet in turmoil
Cue sheet on a napkin (courtesy CecilAnn)
Sample nutrition (jojos)

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.

6 thoughts on “Archival Review: Randonneuring Season (2008)”

  1. Absolutely. But only with the black anodized finish scraped off. If I could tweak them a bit I’d make them a touch wider and give them an inch more sweep in the bends.

    Wish Nitto would release a version of the bars with the Nitto satin finish!

  2. I enjoyed the glimpse into your bikeworld. Why do you adopt an apologetic tone with respect to synthetic bike duds? Are there style police in your area? Anyone who rides the kinds of distances that you do is entitled to choose their own gear.

  3. Anon–

    Synthetic bike duds, which sound better in your words, embarass me a little bit. I lament the look of modern airline passengers (loose drawstring sweatpants, white sneakers, v-neck sweatshirt) and than find myself donning the same functional, comfort-driven outfits for my cycling adventures. I’d like to improve upon my level of dress during these randonneuring events (like the folks who wore heavy wool blazers while driving buckboard wagons, or something like that). I guess the bicycle company Rapha, and maybe the new Showers Pass Portland clothing lines might provide new cyclo-couture options (but at a dear price).

    Rapha tweed jacket:


    Shower Pass Portland jacket:


  4. I do understand. I’m a bit of a “sartorial bicyclist”, but mostly still merely functionally inclined. I don’t own any breeks. I haven’t graduated to the Rapha level, but the Showers Pass stuff is definitely within reach, and so beautiful.

    Here’s a synthetic item for the gent who wishes to present a more refined appearance whilst going to the opera:

    The Ritz

    And for the “long-distance lady”, check out what they wore in 1944:

    The Lure of the Open Road

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