Friday, January 18, 2013

A Crisp Start to the New Year!

It's a new year, and a number of you have already found a good day for a 200k, despite the cold snaps!
On January 5, both Cathy Cramer and I rode the Platteville Poke-Along.  Clear roads, but a crisp start at 16º!

The ditches are empty of water, but a dusting of snow chronicles critter perambulations:
Great views of the Front Range across fields getting just enough moisture for winter crops.
Longs and Meeker clearly visible on this brilliant day!
The reservoir near Masonville has finally frozen over, with the illusion of capturing a wave in mid-crest.
Snowy fields near Hygiene as the sun dips behind one of the few cloud slivers of the day.
Dodd Reservoir pretty quiet, a contrast to hundreds of Canada Geese (and some Cackling Geese) only a month before.
Sheep safely graze on bare pasture outside Boulder, as the sun sets over the Flatirons.
A nice ride ... and the next day?  A change of pace, on the ski trails!
The good news in Colorado is that even with crisp temps, we have a lot of sun to cheer us up.
Happy riding in the new year!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

R-12 and P-12 - Great New Year's Resolutions!

It's a new year!  How will you build towards your goals, be they overall distance ... fitness ... perhaps a signature event?

The RUSA R-12 and P-12 awards - for completing, in twelve consecutive months, a 200km-or-longer randonnée or 100km-199km randonnée, respectively - are great motivators to keep you in shape and in focus all year.  The R-12 is one of RUSA's most successful programs, and the newer P-12 is rapidly gaining popularity.

With any luck, our Colorado climate will provide enough nice days in winter months for these goals, while making you no doubt hardier in the bargain.

Outside the peak event season, local Permanents and Permanent Populaires are great ways to satisfy your R-12/P-12 requirements on a day that suits you and the weather, and join in with friends, too!

Michelle Grainger, who completed both an R-12 and P-12 in 2012, riding her "Everybody Loves Raymond" Perm Populaire.

What about the P-12? -- The P-12 is a surprisingly helpful way to maintain fitness and have fun even for folks whose randonnées usually start at the 200km mark.  It's a way to bridge fitness in between R-12 rides and brevets, and fit in a ride in half a day - which in winter can be that sweet spot of 4-5 hours.

Local Perm Populaires suit all seasons and moods, ranging from the mild Lyons-Berthoud Bump-Along and Carter Lake Casual ... to the bumpier, hillier Rabbit Mountain Romp and Everybody Loves Raymond ... to seriously vertical jaunts such as the Brainard Lake Breeze: straight up over Super-James to top out at 10,300 ft. at Brainard ... and back in time for lunch.

R-12 veterans John Klever and Leslie Sutton descend from Eldorado Canyon on a hilly wintertime Carter Lake Cakewalk 200k permanent:
Sound like fun? Maybe the fun is a great training component.  Please consider the R-12 and P-12.  And I'd like to add a special thanks to route owners such as Michelle who've provided more opportunities to us all, to event volunteers (and accomplished randonneurs) like John and Leslie who've worked hard so everyone else can ride, and to you riders who've taken up the challenge and the enjoyment of these rides!
All the best in the new year!