Saturday, October 27, 2012

1200k Round-Up for 2013!

Are you aiming for your first 1200k next year, or a 1200k veteran keen for more adventure?

With the snow flying outside, it's time to ponder and plan!

A record seven US 1200k's are scheduled for next year (while two others, the Cascade and Colorado High Country, are taking a rest).  That's at least one 1200k a month from May through October:
North of the border, Ontario Randonneurs is organizing their
Further afield, you can look on the Randonneurs Mondiaux calendar for other 1200k's worldwide, including:
For the Texas Rando Stampede, Big Wild Ride, and Endless Mountains, it's their second edition, so you get the benefit of improvements gleaned from their inaugural event.

And some awards for extra motivation:
A few details on each ride ...

The Texas Rando Stampede, organized by the Lone Star Randonneurs, takes you on a circuit from North Texas (Dallas - Fort Worth area), south into the Texas Hill Country, and back through wooded East Texas.  Riders sleep in comfy motel rooms at the suggested overnight controls, and the volunteer support is great.

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 Gold Rush Randonnée, organized by the Davis Bike Club, heads north from Davis into the high plateau of NE California.  The first and final 100 miles are flat (Sacramento Valley), but there's lots of climbing and scenery in between.  Deluxe volunteer support.
The Big Wild Ride takes in the expansive scenery of Alaska on a horseshoe-shaped point-to-point route starting and ending at the coast, after a foray into the wild interior.  Riders can get from the finish locale (where most folks fly in) to the start via a scenic train ride and ferry.

With the most reputed climbing of any US 1200k, the Endless Mountains 1240 is a definite challenge.  ("Endless Mountains" is the name of a region in Pennsylvania.)  Reports are that organizer Tom Rosenbauer has tamed some of the route.
The Last Chance is rolling, open, and exposed, with panoramic views unencumbered by woods or canyons. 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)
The Taste of Carolina gives you a taste of the Piedmont foothills, the Blue Ridge, and the coastal plain.  The 2012 edition started with a climb into the Blue Ridge and Virginia highlands, then through the rolling Uwharrie Mountains and on to Sunset Beach and back.  I enjoyed that edition, and will be posting a blog report.  Route varies somewhat year to year.
Plenty to whet your appetite, and lots of possibilities to challenge you in 2013.  So start imagining and planning!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Wet and Blustery James Canyon Jaunt 200k!

The final 200k of the season started dry but under glowering clouds, with patches of wet pavement from overnight storms.  So the 14 riders who showed up made for a good turnout!  
Despite the clouds, some nice color in Lefthand Canyon ...

The info control blackboard in front of the Jamestown Mercantile festooned with seasonal pumpkins:

As we head north into Larimer County, we meet some prolonged chilly, windblown rain.  I catch up to John Flanigan, slowed down by a broken chain:

But he gets a ride to Sandy's, where he and Brian Rapp thaw out and fortify themselves.

A tailwind blows riders at least partway back towards Boulder County, and some great foliage lining 75th through Hygiene.

Meanwhile, John has managed to repair his chain with a chain tool and make it to the finish, not for credit but for the satisfaction of a good ride.

And yes, the sun breaks through in the final moments, as Brian Rapp, Henry Snavely, and Tammie Nakamura can attest.

Thanks to everyone joining us on our final brevet for the season!
It was held a week late, on October 13, as the prior Saturday threatened overnight road freezing (and was miserable all day with drizzle in the 30's).
Please consider riding some Permanents or Permanent Populaires this off-season, alone or even better, with some friends!