Randonneuring in January, In Ohio

 Posted by on January 30, 2020
Jan 302020
 

It’s not easy, to say the least. We held two events this month, in attempt to give our riders a chance to keep their streaks going. The events had polar opposite results.

January 5th’s 108k populaire was a great success. 10 registered, 8 attended and all finished. One early finisher was a new randonneur named Jeremie. He rolled in after doing many solo miles on his flat bar bike, using a trial version of RWGPS and cues from his phone. This just goes to show anyone can finish these rides with a bit of heart and some proper training.

Larry and Christine finished on the tandem. We felt the wind on the final stretch in. I fell back from their draft and never caught up again.

Some riders commented that it was nice to be able to ride with a group for a sanctioned event that they would normally have done solo. Others that didn’t ride commented that they couldn’t attend and had no way to continue their streak.

Overall, temperature and wind were mild, there was no precipitation and even a bit of sun poked out toward the end. Everyone rode at a similar pace and all finished with 30 minutes of each other.

Our January 26th 200k lasted only 21 miles. 7 registered, 2 dropped out, only 3 showed. Thanks to Toshi for coming out to support and sag.

Although the forecast looked promising early in the week, it gradually worsened as we got closer to the event. Rain all day Saturday saturated the ground and never actually stopped falling as predicted it would by Sunday. I woke up to an iced over car but the roads hadn’t frozen up yet. After some discussion, the three riders who showed up decided we should be ok. It was hovering just above freezing and I tested out the beginning of the route to insure there was no ice. Just ten miles in, temperatures dropped and freezing rain began to fall. We found some spots where ice was forming. A few slips later we made the call to turn around and stop riding.

My spirits are low and my 200k streak, along with that of nearly every other rider in Ohio, is over. I knew the logistics issues of hosting scheduled events vs. weather were quite complicated this time of year. I’ve now seen just how difficult it can be and I, quite frankly, feel silly for putting riders out there in potentially dangerous conditions.

I will not be hosting a 200k in February. I will submit the dates Larry proposed for a populaire. More info on that to follow.

I’m going to keep a list of “unwritten rando rules” that we learn or affirm from each event, that I will post at the end of the year. Here are the additions from January.

-It’s not a rando ride without a Subway stop
-Never lose a tandem in a headwind
-Better safe than sorry

All focus is now being spent on our ACP series. We will have routes available to you shortly. All of them begin on the east side of Columbus.