Thursday, July 9, 2009


Random brain dribblings, anyway.

I'm starting to feel this weird, OCD-ish need to plan for next year. Yeah, I know, it's only bloody July, and I still have a few things queued up for this year (scouting brevet routes for next year, a populaire, a "gentlemen's race", a RUSA 200K, the Dirty Dozen, and, oh by the way, a 1240K ride in the Endless Mountains), but there's this irrational feeling of *I* *MUST* *PLAN*.

The obvious rides, of course, are those of the Pittsburgh Randonneurs series. If I intend to do PBP in 2011, I'll maximize my chances of admission by doing a full series in 2010. I'd like to do a brevet in Eastern PA and in DC as well as the Pittsburgh ones, just for keeping in touch with the respective locals; perhaps combining said brevets with family vacations would not go amiss.

Crush the Commonwealth was a lot of fun this year, and, now that I've got a record to defend, I'd feel like all kinds of wuss if I didn't come back for the harder ride, East to West.

I'd like to try another 1200, perhaps the Shenandoah, if it can be arranged. That one isn't as important to me, however, and could be discarded if time/money/vacation days grow short.

D2R2 has some appeal; every since Brian alerted me to its existence, the thought of challenging that route on the P-38 has been rolling around in my head. It'd be utter lunacy, of course, but what's wrong with a bit of lunacy now and then?

I'm becoming more and more interested in the ultracycling/racing side of the sport as well. Still not to the point where solo RAAM seems like a good idea, but Calvin's Challenge and/or a cross-state record attempt could be a lot of fun. This area of focus would be the biggest thing for which I'd have to plan, as it would involve actual fitness (time to drop 20-25 pounds), training (no, riding to and from work doesn't count, at least not the way I do it now), and maybe even some honest-to-Betsy coaching, as well as thinking seriously about an actual ultra race bike like this or this. Or this, but now we're in the realm of wildest fantasy, and I need to be good enough to EARN a bike like that, not just buy one.

I dunno...will need to mull over what's most important, as there's no way I can do all of this stuff next year.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Digging KOAL with the Wheelmen

KOAL == King Of All Loops. (Don't ask, not my idea, had nothing to do with it, NOT thinking of doing a route called "King's Mother" in response...)

The day started off terrifyingly chilly, considering that it's the first week in frickin' July. Not a bad thing; it was kinda novel to break out the arm warmers for the first time in weeks, at least for the morning ride to North Park.

There, a good few dozen riders had gathered; a dozen or so on the "fast ride" of the 70-mile loop, another dozen on the "slow ride", and a whole bunch on the 45-miler. I made the mistake of trying to hang with the likes of Chris and Mark; darn good fun, but it's a much better idea to get my head handed to me on a 35-mile training ride than a 70-mile road ride. Oops.

Fun ride, all things considered. Here's the route, preserved for posterity.