One of my favorite things about randonneuring is that you don’t “get” anything for participating in the ride. No one handing you gatorade and orange slices at a rest stop, no event t-shirt that ends up in the back of your closet or as a shop rag, no finisher medals or photographers trying to sell you unkempt pics of you sweaty and exhausted. Just the satisfaction and experience of the ride. A day(or a few days) on the bike. I’m sure I have spoke about this in other posts about randonneuring, so I wont repeat my self.
Well, in addition to the metaphysical(sorry, I still remember a few lofty words from my architecture days) experience of a brevet or permanent ride, the one slightly tangible, everlasting, component of randonneuring is the meticulous record keeping that has been associated with its long history and traditions. Sanctioned brevets and permanents are ridden for “credit”. Credit essentially means that each completed ride is then logged into some kind of database of ultra cycling fanaticism that is overseen by the governing bodies of the sport. Records are kept for each rider’s yearly efforts along with lifetime mileage(well, kilometers to be precise).
I was aware of the record keeping, but I was unaware that an annual book is compiled of all completed rides by each individual RUSA member until it appeared in the post today.
I think it is great tradition and I was chuffed to receive it and then see my name alongside so many other like-minded, a.k.a. slightly insane, cyclists.
I already have quite a few brevets and permanents under my wheels for 2011, and might even manage 2 series by the year’s end if I keep it up so I am already looking forward to seeing more numbers beside my name in next year’s book.
This weekend is my last brevet to qualify Paris Brest Paris. Its the 600km, and for the first time this year I feel relatively prepared. Not as prepared as I probably should be, but I have been riding a lot since the brutal 400km last month. But relative to working towards PBP my fitness is in a good place, as long as I keep it up, I should be in great shape for August 21st. And hopefully make into Le Grande Livre (“The Great Book”) which is a record of everyone who successfully completed PBP since its inceptions in 1891.