I didn’t expect many to jump on board as most perm riders are disinclined to ride the same route repeatedly. My good friend Peter is the exception having ridden the Hood Canal Perm 11 times in January! For the metrically challenged, that’s
This brings up a point worthy of mention: I am really impressed, on the verge of astounded with how dramatically randonneuring has grown. Not just the numbers of new riders entering the sport but also levels of performance, especially at the upper levels of the sport. Time was when completing a Super Randonneur series and a 1200K brevet in the same year was a big deal. I recall one year when I got all the requirements of the ACP R-5000 in one year, I thought I was something! Nowadays 10,000km of brevets and perms is the entry point for those who want to be in the elite group of totals for the year. It’s not uncommon now to hear of riders putting in 15,000 or 20,000 Km of brevets and perms. Two, three or more 1200K brevets in a season? Sure why not. Two SR series is not uncommon and three is not unheard of.
I am enormously impressed and inspired by these accomplishments. Mostly because these are not sponsored professional athletes but normal people. Well maybe not normal in the 'normal' sense but these are folks with families, with jobs, lawns to mow and weeds to pull, with many of the other aspects of a life to maintain. It’s that part that impresses me. Somehow many of these mileage monsters are able to avoid succumbing to what I call the ‘racer mentality’, where everything that gets eaten is first weighed and analyzed for caloric content, every physical activity has to conform to a training plan, every ride must hold to a predetermined measure of watts, calories, heart rate, or perceived level of exertion. Sure like racers, randonneurs are ‘different;’ but we’re different in a different way.
So the friends I only see at the start are inspiring me, the rhino in lycra to step it up a bit. My friend John and I will form up at the Lacey Starbux Saturday the 20th for an 0630 start. It will be a faboo day, sunny and 75, tailwinds the day long and the best part is this will be the first 200K in the history of rando that is all downhill! I know this because when I rode it clockwise a couple weeks ago I'm sure it was all uphill. This is going to be a lot of fun.