Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 - A moment of warmth and light.

The soft afternoon sunlight quietly fills her clean spacious bedroom. The drawn-back white gauze curtains barely stir as a warm Florida breeze carries in a floral note that mingles with the purple orchid on her dresser, flows across the black and white photos of her son's wedding and around the framed printed messages of Christian hope and faith. The breeze, the warmth and the light nestle into the blankets and pillows that fill the space between my aunt's now frail body and the oversize recliner that supports her. The breeze, the warmth, and the light are relaxing, soothing and almost enough to completely erase the tiny occasional odor that arises from her colostomy bag like a nagging reminder of her painful inoperable cancer.

Friday, January 2, 2015

First Friday Writing for Randos: Write it on your heart.

{First Friday Writings for Randos - A monthly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This month it's a poem from 

Ralph Waldo Emerson 
Collected Poems and Translations


Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 2014. R1 Redux: Leave the lights on.

Can a ride report be a music video?



The back story: 

My streak of 200k or longer rides died in November. That was the first month to go by without my riding one since I rode my very first 200k in April 2010. Fifty-five months of consistency ended quietly, without drama, succumbing to inertia and a lingering lack of motivation. 

December was passing too, easily slipping past in the flow of year end parties, arrangements, wrapping up at work. 100K rides kept me in the loop, but the 200K is the benchmark of this sport and it was getting farther away while the distance was growing more daunting.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

New Jersey holiday ride: On the last day of fall

Come 
ride with me
on the last day of fall 
under a cold grey sky 
when the days have withered
in the presence of growing  night.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

First Friday Writing for Randos: Seeing what is capable

{First Friday Writings for Randos - A monthly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This month it's a ride report from Bill R., a Randonneur and Iron Man from New England who rides brevets in a velomobile:


"It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " Socrates

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New York City 200K - The touch of light.

New York City has a gritty veneer. Its wrinkled hardened exterior wraps its core, its people, in tarnished armor. A thick skin's worth of impenetrable distance that keeps the oppressive crush of humanity at bay. It muffles the sirens and dims the brights lights. I grew up in New York City but left it a long time ago. I have returned for a bike ride.

Crossing the George Washington Bridge to enter the city, the sun lies just below the horizon. Even now there are walkers, riders and, of course, cars on the bridge. It is just after 6 A.M. on a Sunday morning but, the city that never sleeps - never sleeps.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hills, heat and humidty - Leesburg to Lexington

I did not ride the DC Randonneurs' Appalachian Adventure 1000K. The AA1000K linked three tough permanents to create a tour of the Shenandoah mountains of western Virginia - a randonneur's tour, complete with scenic views and all the climbs it takes to view them.

I was supposed to ride it, but work got in the way. Instead, at the suggestion of a friend, I rode the first and last legs of the course as permanents. My abbreviated course was supposed to cover over 650 kilometers in two days. The first leg was Leesburg to Lexington in 346 Kilometers . . . 

Monday, September 8, 2014

First Friday Writing for Randos - There is a season and a time.

{First Friday Writings for Randos - A monthly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This month it's

Ecclesiastes 3



For everything 
there is a season, 
and a time 
for every activity
under heaven: 





Saturday, August 16, 2014

Filling the cup - New England Populaire


On August 3, 2014, I went to Lexington, MA, (near Boston) to ride a Sunday 100K with the New England Randonneurs. Randos call the scheduled events that are shorter than the 200K (125 mile) minimum distance for a brevet a "Populaire." Although I have done many 100K permanents as training rides, I always thought of Populaires as intro rides for the Rando-curious who want to get a taste of a brevet without going the full distance.
 
Randos that ride every type of event on a RUSA calender in two years or less plus enough other rides to get to 5000K earn an award called the RUSA Cup. The required events are:
Despite the fact that the Populaire is the shortest event, (or maybe because of that?) the event is actually one of the hardest to complete because most regional calendars offer only one or two a season. In fact, of all the types of events offered in the sport and required for the RUSA Cup, the Populaire was the only type I had not done.