Riding pal Chuck Lathe wrote a blog entry week last week celebrating the fact that his custom built Coho red randonneuse bicycle had achieved super randonneuse status (that is, completing a full brevet series in one calendar year).
I’ve never been good at haggling or negotiations but about three years ago I made a series of no-cost to me trades which landed me my own super randonneuse bicycle. For about a half day, I owned a blue Schwinn Collegiate which came to me by way of a former faculty member who had abandoned it in a campus office. Mid-day, I traded I the Collegiate for a mid-1980s, mid-range Trek road bike which had been deposited at the local Goodwill. Later in the Fall, I had a local shop upgrade parts, wheelset and convert bike to a 7-speed drivetrain in exchange for another 3-speed, my beloved Raleigh, Orphea (who had outlived her use value as a campus commuter).
At the time of the trade, I rarely rode bicycles beyond my short commute to work. Once I got the Trek up and running with gears, I found that I could ride much further without discomfort or mental fatigue. Fast forward a few years, and I’ve already ridden almost 3,000 miles on the bike this season alone.
Last week, I completed my first 600k, securing super randonneuse status for me and the Trek.
I have a custom Rivendell on order (three years and counting) but I’m unsure the new bike will equal the comfort of the original Goodwill Trek.