The all-encompassing nature of a PBP year tends to lead to a period in the fall I call the “PBP afterglow.”
It involves getting together with your randonneur friends and ceaselessly telling each other about the highs and lows of your ride. I have thoroughly enjoyed these conversations, especially when I recall something forgotten or hear an amazing tale from the big event.
There is also the “superhero” phase. I’m convinced that riding PBP gave me amazing endurance and strength. I’m ready to get back out there with my brevet card and start heading to control after control. Last month a group of us rode a 200K permanent and I found myself on brevet auto-pilot, rushing through the control stops and devising strategies to get through the ride with a low time. I rode to and from the start, putting in more than 160 miles and loving every minute of it.
Now that October has rolled around, the randonneur fever is starting to wane. Where I wanted to ride huge miles since PBP, this weekend I was content to ride 77 single bike miles on Saturday and 100 tandem miles on Sunday with MG. The tandem ride was tremendous fun, as MG has been tied up with grad school this year, but the back-to-back days were tiring. I need more time to recover from PBP, both mentally and physically.
All this led me to look ahead to November as the month I let go of PBP. I’ll ride the DC Randonneurs 200k brevet of the month on the 10th as my season finale, and then ride as I feel through January, tandeming with MG as my main long distance riding. We plan to ride the 2008 Cascade 1200 again as our next big randonnee, and I figure a two- or three-month off-season will be just right before another exciting brevet season.