Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tales of a Random Randonneur

"random" --  proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason,or pattern

"randonneuring" -- a type of organised long distance bicycle riding, with rides typically covering between 60 to 750 miles. A participant is known as a randonneur, and an event is a randonnée.  Randonneuring is not a competitive sport. It is a test of endurance, self-sufficiency and bicycle touring skills. All riders who complete the task are congratulated, and no prizes are given to those with the fastest times

I am going to start posting about bicycles and bike riding.  I am a big bicycle geek, but not a racer or even more than a semi-regular participant in club rides and other organized bicycle events.  While I don't object to riding with others, all my best rides have been just the bike, the road and me.

My ideal day of bicycling is a long, rambling ride - equal parts effort and exploration; with extended bursts of speed; punctuated by stops to take photographs or sip good, strong coffee at a small cafe; and a large portion of semi-aimless wandering, where I am able to take the next side road just to see what's there.  I rarely get to indulge in such rides.  The demands of work schedules, domestic obligations and my own deep laziness intrude.  Yet I continue to aspire.  I am going to begin to use this blog to explore those aspirations and, hopefully, record at least a few instances where the aspiration is realized.

I currently own two and one half bikes (the half being an almost completed work in progress), and have been hooked on bicycles from the very first time I swung a leg over and pushed off when I was eight-years old.  I have mostly been a recreation and fitness rider, but in the last couple of years have become a (mostly) daily commuter as well.  I have done a handful of organized century rides, with the longest being the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride, and have done countless extended rides allure libre.

My current (constant?) goals are to lose back a chunk of the weight I have gained in recent years and to be better about taking a camera with me (and using it) when I am out on the bike.  My new aspiration is to do some multi-day touring and perhaps a little bike-camping.

When I am out on an extended ride, I like to have a general route in mind, but then take any alternative route or side road that might look interesting.  I like to get purposefully lost.

I imagine my bicycling posts will be much like my bike trips - long, rambling, without any particular destination or purpose outside the act itself and likely much less frequent than would be the ideal.

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