ACP Suffolk to Skippers 200 km (130 mile, Run #2)

20140322_MapIt’s been quite a while since my last rando. The weather has been unpleasant and other pursuits have kept me busy this winter. I’ve even delayed my blog entry longer than usual. I’m looking forward to some predictable weather. A pop-up calendar notice reminded me of the first ACP event in this year’s Super Randonneur Series. “DOH! That arrived quickly!” :shock: I hadn’t ridden nearly enough miles this year to feel ready for a 200k this early in the season. Regardless, I wasn’t going to miss this ride just because I’m overweight and out of shape. I packed my things and prepared to grind out a long, slow ride. Continue reading

Posted in Brevets (200km+), Super Randonneur Series, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Product Review: B&M Ixon IQ Premium LED Headlight

IxonIQ-vs-Premium_09January has been a slow riding month for me. I knocked out a calendared RUSA populaire on New Year’s Day. I had hoped to perhaps complete a permanent as well. However, weather and health issues have compelled me to stay with shorter rides near home. A perm before February is possible, but not likely. Until my next good ride, I’ve decided to write a review (and make a video) of B&M’s new Ixon IQ Premium headlight. I had learned about this light early in December. At first glance, it appears to put out twice the light of the Ixon IQ (80 lux vs. 40 lux) while maintaining the same impressive battery endurance. Research has shown (and reminded) me that the light still casts the same amount of total light (lumens) while making better use of it with a wider and better-focused beam. One of my gripes with most lights is the lack of good side coverage. Being a skeptic, I scoured the Internet for photos or info about the new IQ Premium. I found one good photo which was enough for me to make a purchase. Continue reading

Posted in Product Reviews | 4 Comments

2013: Overpacker’s Year In Review

8768079765_15d3b942d5_o2013 was a good year for cycling! Those who rode with me in the 2011 Bike MS Ocean to Bay Ride may recall me saying after the first day century, “I don’t recall ever finishing a century where I could say I felt good afterward, was glad I did it, or that I was looking forward to the next one.” So it’s a bit ironic that I joined RUSA, an organization which is focused on ultra-distance riding, the following year! Sixteen of my rides exceeded 100 miles in 2013! These rides include eleven 200 km rides (126-130 miles), one 300 km ride (189 miles), 124 miles during my attempt at a 400 km ride, the Tour de Cure (103 miles), the Civil War Century (104 miles), and the Sea Gull Century (101 miles). Those rides total just over 2000 miles. I rode another 3300 miles with local groups. My mileage goal in BikeJournal.com was 5000 miles. I made that goal fairly easily, even with many “bad weather” and “I don’t wanna get up” days. Can I ride more in 2014? Probably. Will I? Who knows?  ;-) Continue reading

Posted in General | 2 Comments

R12 Success! Hertford-Edenton Permanent (128 mi)

20131215_MapIt had been nearly four weeks since my last ride. I had a command duty phone over Thanksgiving week (no riding with this phone and its associated briefcase) and then I had riding conflicts with either rain, cold, school programs or holiday parties. Regardless, I had let my friends know that NOTHING was going to stand in the way of finishing my R12 endeavor! Last weekend’s weather was forecast to be questionable with heavy rain on Saturday and light rain on Sunday morning. The forecast for the following weekend was not looking good*. I could either ride early in a little rain at 40-50 degrees or risk having a really crappy ride later in December. I opted for an early ride. So did four other riders, Brent, Jacob, Tom and Keith. Continue reading

Posted in Permanents (200km+) | 2 Comments

Subscriber List Lost!

Hello,

I noticed that my last entry was not e-mailed to the subscriber list. I discovered that the entire list had somehow been deleted, perhaps during a software upgrade. I’ve repopulated the list with the addresses of those I believe to have been subscribers as well as those who have left comments in my blog in the past. (edit) Please feel free to unsubscribe if you do not wish to receive my blog entries via e-mail. I’ve learned there is no “unsubscribe” option for unregistered users. Please leave a comment below or contact me if you wish to be removed. I am glad to comply. (/edit)  I enter about one or two rides per month. Continue reading

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Windsor-Woodland Permanent – Run #2 (126-mi)

20131102-ThreeThe first weekend in November was beautiful! I was hesitant to hit the road for a permanent since I had been off the bike recovering from a knee injury for two weeks. I also felt I needed to get my legs back into shape before tackling a long ride. An initial proposal to start the ride at 6:00 am on a Saturday and a slight chill in the air were both playing head-games with me. Once the ride moved to Sunday at 7:00 am, I decided to join with short notice since the end of Daylight Savings Time would give me an extra hour of sleep before the ride. I also did not want to risk having to compete with upcoming holiday weekends and/or bad weather to achieve my R12 goal later in the month. I went to bed early and, when considering the time change, still awoke 30 minutes later than I normally do during the week. I even arrived to the starting point quite early. It was going to be a good day so long as my knees held up. Continue reading

Posted in Permanents (200km+) | 4 Comments

Suffolk-Skippers 205 km (132 miles)

20131019_WeatherI’m getting closer to my R12 goal. I didn’t make an attempt at a permanent on October 5/6 due to the Sea Gull Century. It was raining almost continuously for the next week or so. As a result, I opted to skip October 12-14. With only two weekends left in October, I knew I had to jump on even a less-than-desirable Saturday to knock out a perm. Rain was in the forecast; but thunderstorms were not. A rainy October ride seemed fitting since that’s how my very first permanent turned out last October. Brent, aka “RecumBrent,” was the only rider to accompany me. There are only three control points on this out-and-back route. The stop at Boykins Beans & Ice Cream was used twice. We had ridden through some heavy mist and even encountered wet roads. Mounting the fenders was a good move even though it did not rain. I snapped this radar image on my phone at our first stop in Boykins around 41 miles into the ride. Brent said he would have stayed home had he seen so much rain ahead of us. It seemed like a miracle that we weren’t drenched. We were headed almost due west toward Skippers, VA. The rain system was moving northeast which put us constantly in the dryer areas. We followed the rain as we returned east. However, the roads were dry for the rest of the day. Continue reading

Posted in Permanents (200km+) | 1 Comment

Sea Gull Century (101 miles)

20131005_SGCOctober 5th marked the 25th anniversary of the Sea Gull Century (SGC). Held on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the SGC is probably the flattest 100 miles anyone can ride. Flat rides usually mean one thing: WIND. Past years reported plenty of wind and even heavy rain. This was my first time on this ride. The weather was PERFECT. The wind was very light for the first 90 miles. Temperatures started in the low 60′s and eventually reached the mid 80′s. Some felt that was a tad too warm. But I like riding warm. Sometimes I even like it hot. The ride offers three routes, all starting at Salisbury University: a metric century (100 km/62 mi) or one of two full centuries (100 miles). Over 7000 riders rode that day. Riders came from all over the Eastern U.S. I even saw a group from Texas. It was good to have us spread out over three different routes. Continue reading

Posted in Rides (100km+) | Leave a comment

Surprise Ride (85 miles)

I awoke this past Saturday to head out to what I thought was going to be a somewhat ordinary ride. A group of local cyclists ride from a nearby high school each Saturday. The ride is usually brisk. Sometimes I’m up to the challenge of keeping up. Mostly, I wind up regrouping at stops. I feel that I ride the normally flat-to-rolling 50 mile route a little better each time. Some in the group were preparing for an out of town ride in the mountains next weekend. Therefore, this Saturday ride was promoted as “LSD,” or long slow distance. That’s a ride I can do! They were planning to ride in Gloucester, VA. Expecting a relatively short ride, I opted to leave the extra bottles at home and I neglected to apply sunscreen. My gamble was that we’d be in the shade for this morning ride and that my 50-oz Camelbak would be enough to last me between rest stops. Things changed almost as soon as I arrived. Continue reading

Posted in Rides (100km+) | 1 Comment

Wavorly-Smithfield 209 km Permanent – Run #2 (130 miles)

20130615_MapAlthough I’ve done a few big rides lately, my ride consistency has been lacking. I had ridden just three rides between the Two Rivers Perm on August 22 and this ride on September 15th. One of those rides was the Civil War Century. Although my local friends think I’m riding a lot, my saddle time has been really limited for a randonneur. Regardless, that was not going to stop my pursuit of an R-12. I planned this Sunday’s ride with good notice because my local bicycle club, Peninsula Bicycle Association, was hosting its annual Surry Century the day before. I had no plans to ride. Instead, I spent the day volunteering to support the ride. My Saturday/Sunday plan worked out well. In fact, it worked out better for a pair of co-riders. Jacob, Tom, Brent and I rode this run of the Wavorly-Smithfield Perm. Jacob and Tom rode a 400 km perm on Saturday, slept for about 4-5 hours and then joined Brent and me for this 200k. They are training for the upcoming 1200k Taste of Carolina grand randonee and needed to train under sleep-deprived conditions. Continue reading

Posted in Permanents (200km+) | 2 Comments