Randonneur Ride Report: Mountains to Megalopolis

This 309km ride starts at the Kirkwood Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe and ends at the North Concord / Martinez BART station. It’s an epic journey that I highly recommend you take during cooler months as it traverses Sacramento and Davis, which hit 100 degrees yesterday afternoon. I was dying from heat exhaustion for much of the day and plagued by my usual migraines that kick in when the thermometer goes above 85 degrees. Plus I was “coal rolled” twice by two different asshole truckers; yelled at by another; lost part of my cue sheet (luckily I had the route in my phone); wasn’t hungry due to the heat; got sunburned and had sore feet. All in all, it was a rough day.

By the end of the ride, I was cooked both mentally and physically. I definitely need to take a break from randonneuring as I’m really feeling burned out and am seriously questioning whether I want to continue doing this sport. Yesterday tested the limits of my enthusiasm and I just couldn’t wait to be finished. I think it takes a special kind of individual to appreciate this type of suffering. After I’m done with a ride like this, I’m no longer feeling that same sense of accomplishment that I did before: “Wow, I’ve survived that ride!” Now the pain is just…pain, and I don’t welcome it or see it as a necessary means to an end. As I passed the crowds of people swimming, kayaking and floating down the American River yesterday afternoon (I was on the bike path that connects Folsom to Sacramento), I wondered why I wasn’t relaxing on my day off — but instead, punishing myself on the bike for hours. Even PBP is feeling less like an incentive these days. I’ll have to think about whether I want to go to Florida in early October. Part of me just wants to feel proud about what I’ve already accomplished as I don’t want to end up dreading going for a ride…

But the Tahoe section of the ride was spectacular and I loved riding on the Mormon Emigrant Trail, as well as up Carson Spur. The views were beautiful and I suppose made yesterday’s grueling undertaking worth it.