Now that I am into cycling again, what will be my focus? Well, I know I am not fast, I am not a racer, I would like to ride fast but I don't have that killer instinct in the corner that a racer needs. So I was thinking, what do I do well while riding. The answer is long distance riding. I have ridden unsupported 100km and 100mile rides on my old mountain bike and my old fuji. I am planning on the STP in July 2009 and a few charity Centuries to get ready for the STP. Those are a good start. But there is a sport that is all about long distance riding, ultra-cycling and randonneuring.
Randonneuring is all about long distance riding. To quote from the Seattle International Randonneurs:
The most common type of event is a brevet (pronounced breh-VAY), referring to the certificate (brevet) the participant receives signifying completion of a particular distance. Randonneur events are 200 km (125mi), 300 km (190mi), 400 km (250mi), 600 km (375mi), 1000 km (625mi), and 1200 km (750mi). The longer events are held over multiple days. Along the course, you check in at various places to show that you completed the entire course. During longer events, sleep breaks are planned at intermediate points. In the end, you get a medal if you complete the course within the generous time limit. If you like going fast, there usually is a group who try to see how quickly they can complete the course. But the results are listed alphabetically, and everybody gets the same medal, so it is not a race. Our long rides are challenging for anybody, but every finisher is a winner.
One of the most famous of these longer events is the 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris, first held in 1891 and now held every four years.
This is right up my alley, I can do this with proper training. Additionally a recumbent seems perfect for this kind of event. I may not be able to do a 1000km + brevet but with the options to improve on over time, I can sure work my way up and try. With that said, I put up this picture of a Randonneur on a recumbent. (I stole this pic from Vik)
FYI - not me, this is Vik