Friday, November 4, 2011

1200k Round-Up for 2012!

Still recovering from - or thinking fondly back to - that 1200k you rode a few months ago?  Or will 2012 be the year you bridge up to your first 1200k?  

With the snow flying outside, you may be starting to ponder and plan!

Five US 1200k's are scheduled for next year:
And north of the border, BC Randonneurs is organizing the
Further afield, you can look on the Randonneurs Mondiaux calendar for other worldwide, once they've posted their 2012 calendar.  A few I've heard of:

Plenty to whet your appetite!

Awards can add an extra measure of motivation.  Some 1200k-specific ones:
  • American Randonneur Challenge - finish two US 1200k's in the same year (in 2012 there are two within Front Range commuting distance!)
  • Coast-to-Coast -  finish four different US 1200k's - no time limit
  • Can-Am Award - finish a US and a Canadian 1200k in the same year
A few details on each ...

The Shenandoah 1200 takes you through historic Civil War venues, and up and down many hills in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and North Carolina, many of them stiff, a few ornery, but only a couple extended (Blue Ridge Parkway and Willis Gap Road), with a high scenery quotient to take your mind off your legs' discomfort.  My Report (2010)  Catherine Shenk's Report (2009)

The Cascade 1200 starts and ends on the west side of the Cascades, which is verdant and can be wet.  The middle third of the ride transits the expansive but arid, hot eastern slope, not totally unlike the eastern plains of Colorado.  There are some long, hefty climbs, but they are worth it.  Very well supported by Seattle International Randonneurs.  My Report (2008)

The Colorado High Country 1200 is the world's highest 1200k, topping out above 10,000 ft. three times.  The climbs are prolonged but fairly gentle.  The scenery is expansive, varying from Continental Divide outcroppings and forests to high sage parks.  My Pre-Ride Report (2011) - intended as a rider's guideDay 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Day 4

The Taste of North Carolina starts by climbing up the Blue Ridge, then takes you on a flat trek through the coastal plains to the Atlantic, finishing up with some climbs over an ancient mountain range and into the finish.  I've seen generally favorable reviews.

The Last Chance is once again indeed your last chance at a US 1200k in 2012.  It's rolling, open, and exposed.  There are some flat sections, but not as many as you'd think.  And the wind can be your constant companion.  An evocative pioneer experience.  My Photomontage (2006)

Well there you have it.  Start planning, visualizing, and getting excited!


P.S. If you are new to this or are there's a new event you want to explore, just ask! There are plenty of us to help you.

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