Looking Forward to the Season

jan_helens

The new cycling season is starting! As we start to train again, we are making plans for another great season of riding. Not all these plans will come to fruition, but it’s nice to dream, plan and look forward to some amazing rides.

beaches

The Flèche is a highlight every year, and I look forward to riding for 24 hours with my friends iso early in the season. As a bonus, all the teams congregate at the finish, and we get to meet with people we haven’t seen all winter.

oregon_outback

In May is the Oregon Outback, a Tour Divide-style 360-mile ride/race across Oregon’s dirt roads. It promises to be an amazing experience of beautiful roads and solitude. I very much look forward to this ride. (Photo: Critical Dirt)

SR600_adams

I also hope to do another ACP Super Randonnée 600. With at least 10,000 m of elevation gain, these rides are truly challenging, but also offer a great sense of accomplishment. And the scenery usually is breathtaking.

I look forward to other randonneur brevets as well. Randonneuring is a wonderful way to challenge yourself in the company of supportive riders. At the finish, there is a real sense of having worked together as a team. I am also very tempted by the 1200 km California Central Coast Randonnée, which allows “allure libre” riding on your own schedule, rather than on a pre-set schedule with sleep stops.

fog

Apart from these big rides, there will be many impromptu rides with friends. Last year, we headed to the San Juan Islands in early spring (above), and I hope to repeat that trip this year.

pass_wo_name

There are many small roads in the Cascades that we haven’t explored, and others that we want to revisit. There is a lot to look forward to!

cross_portage_silver_lake

Autumn is still a long way off, but my son and I are already looking forward to the cyclocross season. The ‘cross season is short and intense, just like the races, which makes it all the more exciting.

What rides do you dream of this year?

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

I love cycling and bicycles, especially those that take us off the beaten path. I edit Bicycle Quarterly magazine, and occasionally write for other publications. One of our companies, Bicycle Quarterly Press publishes cycling books, while Compass Bicycles Ltd. makes and distributes high-quality bicycle components for real-world riders.
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22 Responses to Looking Forward to the Season

  1. Bryan Lorber says:

    This year my dream is becoming a reality! I will cycle from my home in Rhode Island to visit friends and family in WA and OR. I’ll dip my wheel in Narragansett Bay, follow a mixed route of my own design and the ACA’s Northern Tier, and finally dip a wheel in the Pacific!

  2. Fantastic! Now is definitely the time of year to dream big. The Fleche is my favorite randonneuring event and if I do a Brevet this year, it would definitely be the one. I too am excited by the Oregon Outback ride. I’m also getting a group together to ride the Brovet 003 from YonderJournal.com. In addition, I’m starting to plan to compete in the TranscontinentalRace.com in 2015, so some riding geared towards that goal will have to happen. Maybe a Portland to San Francisco -ca 1000 mile ride in 4 days or so? Can’t wait to start doing the longer stuff soon.

  3. Marie Autrey says:

    I’m aiming for a P-12, a populaire of 200k every calendar month. It won’t happen this year, because January has already slipped past, and I’m recovering from a hip replacement. But I’ll get started on it, and finish next year. So far preparation consists of buying stuff ( like taillight bulbs and brake blocks from Compass) and shellacking my bars.

  4. Preston Grant says:

    Raid Dolomites! My fourth raid, and this time to be accompanied by my wife whom I told three years ago that she could never be capable of riding a bike in the Pyrenees. So she rode in the Pyrenees, then the Alps, and now has at least a decent chance of completing the Raid Dolomites, 730 miles, 68,000 feet of ascent in 9 days from Thonon-les-Bains to Trieste. At 59 years she is no youngster, but a program of weight lifting, “spin” classes, yoga, and long, hilly rides has transformed her into a competent long distance cyclist. I am amazed and pleased.

  5. Bruce Hodson says:

    If the weather here in northeast Ohio ever allows for clear road shoulders I am aiming at the Crush the Commonwealth wildcat in April. Two months to prep for a 600km alley cat at my age?

    No worries I tell my wife.

  6. Barbara Kelly says:

    My dream is to do PBP in 2015, a dream I’ve had ever since living in France and first learning about PBP back in the 1980s. So, toward that dream, I want to ride the entire ACP Brevet series (200 to 600K) this year in preparation for doing it next year. Plus, I want to explore the many dirt roads and rail trails in my area (northern Wisconsin), starting with those closest to home and expanding outward.

    • Riding at least a number of brevets this year is excellent preparation for Paris-Brest-Paris next year. You’ll figure out your equipment, strategy and get used to riding through the night, and then you can focus on training for the big ride next year. I’ll see you in Paris, I hope.

  7. Larry T. says:

    Seeing (and riding I hope, if crowds and the grade permit) the Zoncolan in May, then l’Eroica in October and with some luck another Italian strada bianca event earlier in the season, along with another chance to ride the Stelvio in July. But more than anything else, just to keep enjoying getting out and riding!!!

  8. Michael says:

    My plans are very humble as I am just getting into long distance riding.
    Lord willing, I hope to ride the Six Pillars and Seagull Centuries in Maryland this year.
    And maybe even join a local Rondo group for a couple rides. Maybe a 200k?

  9. Alexander says:

    Bavaria 1200

    http://www.randonneure.de/brevet1200/englisch/index.htm

    All of Bavaria, hilly and demanding, about 100 partic, nice atmosphere

    Mille du Sud

    https://sites.google.com/site/le1000dusud/

    Fantastic landscape

    Austria 1000 (with “Großglockmer” pass

    http://www.randonneurs-upper-austria.at.tf/

    Need for Speed. The Austrians are among the fastest Randonneurs around. Organizer has to get back to the finish a day ot two later to welcome the German participants

    In addition I hope to join some business trips with long tours from my hometown Regensburg to Paris and in the other direction to Warshaw. Hope to ride in the east more, as particularly in Czech Rpublic, at the border to Germany there is a lot of unexplored quiet backroads, like presented in Rapha´s “Bohemia” team transcontinental film.

  10. Ken Ward says:

    I look forward to your blog posts.

    My plans are a SR series, a trip to Nashville to ride a 400k with my brother, the Cascade 1200k (hopefully the FR 25 version thru Carson since our snowpack is low), the Crater Lake 1000k, and keep working on another R12.

    • I look forward to your blog posts.

      Just to be sure, the list is a “dream list.” In the end, not all the rides will come to fruition, and others will suddenly happen based on a good weather forecast and a call from a friend… For me, it’s not about the multitude (and definitely not about the number of miles ridden), but about the quality of each riding experience.

      • Ken Ward says:

        Probably the biggest reason that I enjoy randonneuring is that I get to ride on roads that are new to me and to try rides that I probably would not have done otherwise.

        I have ridden some routes a few times but the majority the brevets and permanents that I have done have been new to me

  11. Nick Skaggs says:

    Jan,

    I grew up on the Central Coast of California, and I have ridden almost all of the roads that the Central Coast Randonee will be taking place on. Looking at the route, it definitely seems like it’s going to be an incredible ride. If you haven’t done any riding around there before, I strongly recommend it!

  12. Dave Cramer says:

    Is there a 1200k that doesn’t allow “allure libre” riding?

  13. Robert Aguirre says:

    Owing to one of the snowiest winters here in memory (Michigan), there’s been no outdoor riding since November, so I’m just looking forward to our thrice weekly club rides, the sound of whirring wheels, and the feel of the spring wind on bare arms and legs. Getting serious cabin fever!

  14. mujozen says:

    Awesome! I look forward to this year, too! Jo

  15. Andy says:

    I’m rather excitedly looking forward to exploring the western states this year. Work will have us in a new place every 3 months, so I’m hoping to participate in many brevets in WA, OR, CA, and CO. The first is in the Seattle area, so I’ve signed up to join SIR and the Cascade 1200k!

  16. Kelly says:

    How do you find a Super Randonnee 600? Is there a list somewhere? Thanks

    • The Super Randonnée 600 is a truly inspirational event. According to Sophie Matter from the Audax Club Parisien, the idea is to return to the origins of randonneuring: beautiful scenery and personal challenge.

      Anybody can design one and suggest it to the Audax-Club Parisien for approval. When I last checked, there were three Super Randonnée 600s in the U.S. Contact them (link is in the blog post) to find out more.

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