Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the night I became a randonneur...

That's right... according to Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randonneuring)
"A rider who has successfully completed a 200 km brevet is called a randonneur. This is a lifelong title."  So my official title is going to be "Yu Kuwabara, MS, MPH, Randonneur", which will be impressive to anyone that doesn't know French.  

So this past Sat night, Jeff and I did the Davis night 200 km Brevet, an event put on by the SF randonneurs.  These guys host a number of these types of rides... and 200 km is one of their "short rides."  They also have a good ride archive site, a good resource for those looking to do those 400 km rides in the bay area.  This ride started in Hercules, crossed the Carquinez bridge, up to Davis, and back... and it was actually more like 230 km, not 200 as advertised.  Alas, now that Kimbo is ready to go into labor at any moment, I've gotta stay in the bay area... so the bike is keeping me busy these days... also explains my absence in the Sierras... 

There were around 30 riders on the ride, all various ages, on a variety of bikes (touring, road).  Jeff and I ended up riding with James and Masa who were training for PBP!  (the pic above is of us at the end of the ride, at 6 am!)  Masa, a Japanese cyclist working in Palo Alto had just done a ride last week where they went 300 km on Sat and 200 km back on Sun!  James had the coolest bike I had ever seen... check it out:

Titanium frame with S&S couplings.
Schmidt Dynamo Hubs (these power the lights & the GPS - via USB)
PowerTap Hub (measuring the power output) on the rear
Heart Rate monitor, etc...

With their team work against the headwind we ended up finishing the ride a little after sunrise at 6 am for a total of 10 hours.

Here were the highlights:
  • Watching the sunset while riding across the Carquinez (Alfred Zampa Memorial) Bridge.
  • My first event where I did something physical all night... as in sunset to sunrise.  
  • My first brevet
  • Talking to the veterans about the longer rides (400, 600, 1200 km brevets)
  • Seeing a house cat running along side us, then cutting in front of us for about 1/4 of a mile... never seen a cat move so fast.
  • No mechanicals...
  • Beef Jerkey at my second control point (mmmm)
  • Sunrise on the Carquinez Bridge
And the not-so-highlights

  • my butt... on such a flat ride, you are in the same position for so long... 
  • The crazy headwind for the final 20 miles
  • the drive home...
  • sunday at noon, being in delirium after a short nap.

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