As webmaster for KCUC, I decided to cross post this thing here for the commuterDude audience as well:
We wanted to take a brief moment to congratulate one of our own: Spencer Klaassen, the KCUC permanent's coordinator, is celebrating a birthday this week, and has also very recently finished his FOURTH R-12!
What IS an R-12, you might ask? This is a special Randonneurs USA award that is no small feat. Riders can begin a quest for R-12 at any time during the year, but it requires you to ride 12 consecutive months, completing at least a 200K brevet or permanent in each month. Now, anyone living here in the midwest - take a look at the forecast a few weeks ago and you can see how difficult this might be. Finding holes in your personal schedule, finding the right routes, planning ahead, and having the fortitude to forge ahead when the forecast didn't play out; all hefty requirements to get the R-12 checked off.
Read more at RUSA's R-12 page, download the application sheet, stick it on your refrigerator and start keeping track. This coming year, 2010, you can take some of the guesswork out by simply following Bob's brevet schedule - if you look, you'll see that you can nearly get seven-in-a-row right out of the gate, just by attending the brevet series that stretches into August. Many events are "double" starts, having a 400K and 200K start at the same location at the same time, so you can pick your goal -- Super Randonneur, or R-12 (or both).
Tips and tricks for a successful R-12? Plan early in the month: ride the first weekend of each month, if you can. If weather closes in hard, or something comes up in your personal or family life, you have the rest of that month to reschedule a new permanent and "save" the month. Bonus randonneuring weekend? Get two months out of the way by looking for months that transition over a long weekend or holiday, i.e., December 31st to Jan 1st. If you're off work, ride a 200k both of these days and knock out two months worth of your R-12 requirement in 48-hours: excellent practice for a multi-day event. Now, that method can be risky... what if the weather looks bad on the 31st, for example? How many months are at risk if you have to "start over"? You get the idea... plan ahead! All in all, in the coming year where our national mileage credit holds massive importance for P-B-P 2011, this is a great year to set an solid goal like the R-12 for yourself, and help your fellow riders in the process.
Spencer for all you do - from scouting out new routes, planning Fleches and Darts, coordinating countless permanents, and everything else you do out on the road for us rando guys - thank you, congratulations, and happy birthday!
Visit kcbrevets.blogspot.com for more, and see the links at right to join the KCUC mailing list, if long-distance is your thing!