Instead of doing the usual SFR Cloverdale Double Brevet Weekend (where you choose between riding a 300/200k or 200/200k combo) — TBO and I opted to tag along with Pudu (and his one-armed stuffed monkey sidekick), Kimber and John Guzik for a mellow, beer-infused ride with lots of stops at fine breweries. Read More
So here we are. The LAST day. Should be noooo problem. Day 4 had the lowest mileage of the ride (150 miles), was pancake flat and maybe we’d even get some tailwinds for a change. Then again, this was supposed to be an “easier” 1200k and we were certainly disabused of that notion very quickly on Day 1. And the description on the website for the final day was suspiciously sparse, revealing few details of what we’d expect on this section. But git ‘er done, as they say, so LET’S DO THIS.
Previously, on The Californians: When we last saw our frotchy heroine, she’d just been given a key to her own hotel room after Day 2’s 184-mile ride.
So at the end of Day One, we arrived at Jupiter just before 12:25AM and our rando sextet was really looking forward to getting some precious off the bike time. I’m no RAAM type, so a shower, fresh change of kit and couple hours’ of sleep is all I need to feel the magical powers of quick recovery. It’s pretty remarkable how one can adapt to such a deficit of rest — I normally need 7-8 hours a night to feel human — and after pedaling 265 miles, even more so. But there’s nothing like a goal — oh, that shiny, shiny RUSA Cup — that enables us to ramp up the levels of denial in order to withstand all of the challenges we face en route.
1200 kilometers, or roughly 746 miles, is the distance of the most heralded event for randonneurs: Paris-Brest-Paris. If you’re able to finish a full series, you just might aspire to complete this historic ride someday. When I first began riding brevets back in 2013, I had no notion or desire, to be honest, of ever riding this far unless it was broken up over the course of several relaxing days (or even weeks) on a bike tour. But I’ve since learned that randonneurs are a wily, persuasive bunch, ready to induct any willing warm body into their mad little cadre of long-distance cyclists. And so gradually, after hearing many romantic stories from fellow riders about their experiences — Paris-Brest-Paris ended up on my bucket list, along with earning the prized RUSA Cup award.