Category randonneuring


Randonneur Ride Report: SFR 300k Workers’ Ride

TBO says that we’ve done a workers’ ride together before, but for the life of me — I can’t remember when or which one it was. But yesterday’s ride was truly memorable; here are some of the highlights!

— A group of 10 happy randonneurs showed up at the ass-crack of dawn (6AM) to ride 188 miles: Ann, Bryan, Denise, Juliayn, Libby, Megan, Patrick, Pudu, Steffen and myself
— The glorious sunrise viewed from Sausalito
— Weather was perfect; not too warm, very little wind, sunny as can be
— We chose to ride semi-Audax-style; so while the group would splinter into sub-groups en route, we always reunited at designated spots
— The fog rising above Nicasio Reservoir
— Sushi for second breakfast at Petaluma’s Safeway
— Getting a sweet draft from the Patrick-Bryan train from Petaluma to Healdsburg
— Admiring the green meadows, post-rain — and the fruit trees are starting to bloom
— Discussing the development of a city limits sprint games with a points system with Patrick (Bryan won overall, with Patrick, Pudu and Megan contesting the other places; I was just happy to get 3rd place three times)
— While Pudu helped fix Libby’s flat, the rest of us received an informative history lesson from Megan on Luther Burbank (we stopped at the site of his historic horticultural experiments)
— We were sad to pass by the Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, but not sad to stand in the block-length line
— Sushi in Healdsburg (although it’s supermarket sushi, it still hits the spot.) And we bought a special surprise for Rob for our Marshall control…
— Riding through wine country made us thirsty, so Steffen made the brilliant suggestion of stopping at Stumptown Brewery and Patrick, Bryan and myself took him up on his offer. Here’s where we parted company with Libby, who decided to pack it in at the 90-mile point
— OCEAN VIEWS FROM HIGHWAY 1 — they never get old
— Due to my pace, I was in lone wolf-mode between Bodega Bay and Fairfax, behind the speedy group and usually in front of the others (although near Valley Ford, Juliayn’s tail light was my beacon in the distance to Tomales)
— Those Nicasio “bumps” after the reservoir don’t seem as bad as 2 years ago when I started randonneuring. Back in 2013 when I saw the sign that said, “Fairfax — 9 miles” before the climbs, I honestly thought I wasn’t going to make it. And now look at me — I can walk down the stairs successfully the next morning without pain!
— Snacks in Fairfax! We shared slices of hot pizza and I tootled over to 7-11 to bring back goodies for several folks in the group — including hot chocolate for a most appreciative Ann (in exchange for some sips–mmm, it really hit the spot as it was quite chilly at that point.) That pizza gave me newfound energy and although my legs were thrashed from chasing the speedy group all day — I felt pretty good despite being on the bike for 16+ hours at that point (as long as I didn’t have to do any climbing.)
— Marveled at the fact that Pudu has an endless supply of bad jokes and puns, even at hour 18. I guess I am henceforth known as, “Disapproving Turtle.”

But the real highlight of the day was Ann finishing her first 300k post-radiation treatment. So while she was still in pain, she determinedly soldiered on the entire ride. So very proud of her and her accomplishments — on and off the bike! She had the honor of pushing the button to open the nighttime gate on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Thanks to the group for a most spectacular day and I look forward to being the dork, I mean DORC, for the actual event.



Randonneur Ride Report: Healdsburg-Napa 200k

I love, love, love riding with the Santa Rosa Cycling Club! The RBA, Bob Redmond, is a total sweetheart and runs really well-supported events — so chances are you’ll have a fantastic time!

About 100 of us showed up on this cool, foggy morning at Healdsburg City Hall for the flattish 200k brevet out to Napa and back; as always, it was wonderful to see so many friendly, familiar faces at the start. We set out at 8 o’clock sharp and the pack made quick work of the gentle rollers through wine country. I accidentally separated from my gal pals Ann, Denise and Libby, so I ended up riding with a handful of random folks throughout the day, including Lane, Franklyn, Deb and Steve — and later on, with Ken and Bonnie (her first brevet!) part of the way. After a delicious burrito lunch at the control in Napa (with some afternoon sunshine at long last), we motored back to the finish. Unbeknownst to us, Franklyn took a spill on the Silverado Trail (he ran over an errant PVC pipe) and dropped back, so we regrouped in Calistoga. Then the rest of the group pushed on, and I hung with Franklyn for the final 20+ miles to the finish. We rolled up to the Bear Republic Brewery just under 9 hours — a PR for him!

Thanks to Bob and all of the volunteers for a most fantastic day!



Randonneur Ride Report: 2015 SFR Populaire

The annual winter Populaire is one of my favorite events organized by the San Francisco Randonneurs: there’s always a big turnout with familiar and fresh new faces; it’s a scenic ride through Marin to Pt. Reyes Station (with an opportunity to stop at the Bovine Bakery for delicious treats); then you loop back along Nicasio Reservoir and end at Crissy Field for a gourmet picnic. And this year — since I didn’t ride a Populaire in 2014 — completing this event put me one step closer to obtaining a RUSA Cup. (All that’s left to do is to successfully finish the upcoming Sunshine 1200k in Florida…Then I can also guzzle beer out of it at the cool kids’ table!)

Despite some flats that slowed down our ride (and sadly, took Ann away from our group since she had to go buy a new tire), Denise, Caitlin and Emily (who joined us just before Nicasio) had a lovely day! And we had an rare, unencumbered view of the Golden Gate Bridge (car-free) as it received its new traffic barrier.

As always, it was great seeing all the awesome randos on the road and at the picnic. Thanks to RBA Rob and all of the volunteers who supported us throughout the day — and to Kimber, Sterling and her fine crew for preparing a wonderful post-ride feast!



2014 Davis Dart

This was my first year riding the annual “Davis Dart” organized by the Davis Bike Club! I corralled a team consisting of members from our weekly East Bay Wednesday night social-rando ride, “Ride to Eat”: Denise, Frankie (who unfortunately had to drop out at the last minute), Jason and Martin. We had a blast on our flat, fun course that began at 6AM in Martinez, wound through the Delta, traversed the American River Trail, then finished at Sudwerk in Davis. Thanks to Eric Senter and the DBC for putting together a terrific event, and high-five to my teammates for an awesome day!

Here’s a list of highlights:

Number of teammates in matching Oakland jerseys from Montano Velo: 4 out of 4 (thanks to Frankie for the idea!)
How many teams we saw at the start: 1 (Will Ride For Beer)
And how many teams we saw the rest of the day: 0
The total number of controls: 7
Amount of big-ass pumpkin loaves Denise had to carry for Jason: 1
Mind-blowing number of sausages eaten by Jason and Martin at our lunch control (LowBrau in Sac): 6
Number of pretzel buns vs. regular buns: 2-2
Bags of duck fat fries we nibbled on: 1/2 from our table neighbors, 1/2 of our own order
Number of ginger beers consumed: 3
How many times my camera decided to have a meltdown: 1
How many times I had to recharge my phone as a result: 2
Number of bridges we crossed: 9
Hours spent in the fog: 3
Miles spent on bike trails: 27
How many fucks given when a truck told us to ride single file when we were in a bike lane in Sac: 0
Number of times Martin’s Garmin got pissed at us when we missed a turn and went off-route: hella
Amount of happiness riding single track along the Sacramento River: infinite
City limit signs won by Jason vs. me: 8-5
How often we marveled at the scenery: non-stop
Number of happy randonneurs at the finish: too many to count
Total number of martinis consumed at Sudwerk: 2 (thanks to Eric W. for buying me 1!)
Number of beers consumed by other randos at Sudwerk: I can’t count that high
Shots of whiskey downed on the train back to Martinez: 1 (thanks to Steve H. for that one!)



Coffeeneuring Challenge 2014

Mary of Chasing Mailboxes launched another fun “Coffeeneuring Challenge” this year (see her blog for all of the details and rules, and in the fine tradition of randonneuring, there’s lots of rules!)

This was my first time participating, and it was great to share stories with other coffeeneurs (via Facebook) and ride with my fellow randos in search of good caffeinated beverages! I hope to participate again next year.

Coffeeneuring Ride #1: Scarlet City Espresso Bar (10/19)
Rode with Ann, Bryan, Denise and The Bearded One to Scarlet City in Emeryville for (my personal favorite) vegan cappuccinos, coffee and pastries, then a bike ride to Berkeley for beers at Pyramid!



Coffeeneuring Ride #2: Quick cuppa with TBO before I had to produce a video shoot today at Kilovolt Coffee in Emeryville! (10/25)


Coffeeneuring Ride #3: Fred’s Vintage Ride (and early birthday celebration) to Pt. Richmond! (10/26)
We got a late start but caught up with Jason and Paloma on the road. Then it was time for brunch at Little Louie’s and some exploring of the new (to us) Bay Trail section near the historic Red Oak Victory WW2 ship!



Coffeeneuring Ride #4 & #5: Post-Del Puerto Canyon 200k and Arbor Cafe (11/1 & 11/2)
Ann, Denise, Pudu and I all rode the DPC 200k. The finish was at a Starbucks in Pleasanton, and Ann, Jason and myself did a 2-mile out-and-back after our brevet so we get our ‪#‎coffeenneuring‬ ride in. Poor Pudu had crashed during his ride, so he valiantly rallied to do this final “recovery” ride afterwards to get his C5! While still nursing his wounds, he treated me to a cappuccino the following morning at Oakland’s Arbor Cafe before setting out to do his official C6 ride with Ann and Denise!


Coffeeneuring Ride #6: Denise & I rode 87 miles (an out-and-back permanent from Benicia to Winters with some bonus miles thrown in when we got temporarily lost), then did a short 2.5 post-ride jaunt to one of our favorite bakeries: Arizmendi. Had a slice of fresh sourdough pizza with hot tea! Highlight of the day: when we got off-course, we stumbled upon a roadside table with Fuyu persimmons for sale (4 for a $1!) — I would have bought more but alas, didn’t have any cash — so Denise was kind enough to buy me two. (11/8)


Coffeeneuring Ride #7: Challenge Complete! (11/9)
One of my favorite things to do on Sunday is go for a lazy bike ride to a delicious dim sum place. Jason met TBO & I in Berkeley for a feast at the Imperial Tea Court; it’s a high-end tea shop with a tranquil outdoor patio and zen garden. Then for dessert, we headed to Guerilla for more caffeine (cappucino + coffee) and chocolate-cherry-toffee-chip cookies!



I’m going to submit my results on this special “BREWSA” card I designed! :)

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