May 22, 2014

Aliceville Twister , May complete!

One more month before this latest R-12 is in the books, so I'm pretty excited.  Warm weather is here finally; yet, it's not unbearably hot, and commutes are happening as often as the schedule will allow.  Happy.

the May installment of the R-12 permanent unwrapped a new route, debuting The Aliceville Twister - a 206km jaunt out into the Flint Hills region of east-central KS, starting in Garnett, KS. and returning along the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail.  That last part, especially, possibly the most fun I've had at the end of a 200k ride... but, as I'd been warned, it's also a great way to make it a squeeze to make the last time cut-off.  Throw in 30 MPH winds (yes, 30 sustained at one point, not just gusts) and you have a tough - but rewarding - day in the saddle.  We finished with a scant 22 minutes remaining, a combination of 12+ hours of battle with the relentless plains winds, some hills, a bridge under construction, a couple wrong turns, and longer-than-normal rests at the controls to recover from it all.  Great route - but bring your steel nerves and patience!

More to come as I construct the usual ride report!
It's nice outside... get out there!

May 3, 2014

Will Cynicism Kill the Pastime?

  Coffee poured, the Android device open to my feed reader - Saturday mornings in the easy chair, watching the sun slowly illuminate the front room while I dream of faraway roads and endless miles of joy.  These are how the non-riding weekend mornings are spent.  Before I mow the grass or start the laundry, a few encouraging words from the annals of cycling blog and newsletter fill my brain with delights.

  No joy?  Really?  Well, he does have a point... I'm speaking of Bicycle Quarterly's latest post on the subject of divisions in cycling, specifically the one against racing.  I do understand this, and agree with BQ's stance; but, one key factor remained absent in the author's analysis:  doping culture.  It's unfortunate that "doping" and "racing" are inextricably intertwined, and likely will be for the foreseeable future of cycling competition, but - racing, in of itself, is not "evil."  Heck,

May 1, 2014

Bicycle to Iowa? No problem!

  One can be fairly confident of their arrival into the very niche bin of lunacy we call randonneuring when the concept of riding a bicycle to Iowa seems more exciting and far easier than driving there in an automobile.  I've personally never been more in touch with that sentiment than I've been this year, and it's only just becoming May in a couple days as I begin to write this post.  As I stood in the Perkin's parking lot Sunday morning while the sun rose, chatting with Bob, Del, and my finishing cohorts Steven and Josh, it occurred to me how good I'd been feeling.  At the tall end, our group had finished five hours later than the first - yet, mentally, it didn't matter.  The wind, finally, wasn't center-stage in
my head ... even though it had indeed been there, and had played a large part in our finishing pace.  I was bummed that we seemed to have dodged every thunderstorm; yet, still elated to have enjoyed their light-show from a safer distance.  Mainly, however, I had been a bit sad the event was NOT a 600km.  Granted, the feeling didn't originate from a lack of challenge over the previous 24-hours.  Sore, yes.  Probably in need of a short nap and a good Perkins refueling, but, a sense of being a little bummed-out washed across me while I hoisted my bike onto the roof rack for the journey home.  Something akin to "that's all?"  

This mirrors