So in 2013 I joined the BC Randonneurs after looking at my Escape Velocity teammate Alex Pope's online Strava account, wherein he had posted his brevets. I rode the "Pacific Populaire" as more of a race with some of the EV team-mates, but at that point in my riding career, 100kms wasn't much of a stretch. But Alex's Strava contained real-long rides. Something that looked like ridiculous distances. What fun!
And of course I read the introduction to what I was getting into.
So I emailed him and the organiser of the next brevet, to see if this was a worthwhile pursuit. Since the next brevet was a 300, the organiser Bary wanted me to have done a 200 first. Luckily it was reading week for me, so I loaded up my Double Cross - then set up as a touring bike - and chose a Permanent Route to ride, and off I went!
My route was a modified version of the Ocean Park/Mission route which I eventually re-rode in October. It was long, but exciting!! I brought a full lunch with me and stopped lots and got to see some of my favourite areas of the Lower Mainland by bicycle; areas I had never been to before. It was so cool!
But I didn't really know the rules of randonneur cycling then, so I didn't get any cards signed or what have you, and just noted my times. Still, somehow Barry believed me, and off I went to the start of the 2013 Whatcom Wamble.
I rode that route with a couple of highly experienced randonneurs, the Nichol brothers and witnessed a bunch of things:
The tendency of randonneurs to never stop and wait. Weirdos.
That some randonneurs barely eat. How??
Everybody rides at different paces. Nobody cares how fast/slow you go. Okay, maybe we're impressed by faster people, but that's about it. And maybe the tenacity of the slow riders.
These people were as content to ride in the rain as I!
At the end of every brevet that is officially put on, you have 'completed' that distance and receive a pin. I got my first 300 pin then.
I could do this again. And I did! In June, I tried to find the hardest 200 and rode it. And then I found out you could get a pin for doing one ride a month for a year.... Yup, that's the start.
Below is the chronicles of riding for that BC-12 pin as it's called, and then what developed into me completing a full randonneur series, and attempting an Ultra-distance brevet, only to be defeated by a silly heatwave!
Seriously though, I had fun. I tend to ramble a lot, so there's lots of writing, but if you're interested...