MG Thursday: Randonneuring and Dentists

While it is common knowledge that randonneuring was invented by the French, it is a lesser known fact that those French people were also dentists. Yes, in the late nineteenth century a group of cycling dentists sat around, smoked cigarettes, and brainstormed ways to build their practices.

“Argh! Ever since that American invented dental floss, we’ve been losing business! We must do something.”

“But what?” They asked each other.

“We need something special to counteract the flossing and the teeth brushing. Something that seems healthy, but is really rotting people’s teeth out, paving the way for fillings and root canals. What could it be?”

“Eureka! Let’s make people ride their bicycles for hours on end, day after day, requiring them to fuel on unhealthy treats. And as an added bonus, at the end of the day they’ll be so tired they won’t even want to brush their teeth.”

Magnifique! And let’s make them buy their own medal at the end of the ride!”


That, my friends, is the story of how randonneuring was born (well, maybe the last part wasn’t totally true).

Since that time, randonneuring has blossomed, as you can see in the “New Members Section” of the RUSA Newsletter, American Randonneur.

Dentists across the country also read American Randonneur; naturally, it is required reading for all practicing dental professionals. They relish the growth in riders, knowing that new riders means new patients. How can it not when brevets are routed through myriad gas stations, convenience stores, and sometimes a bakery or two?

Dentists take special pleasure in reviewing cue sheets found on randonneur web sites or shared at holiday parties. They love noting rest stops and controls labeled “7-11,” or “blah blah blah Sweet Shoppe.” The more people out there swigging Gatorade and Coke, munching on Twinkies, and slurping down energy gels, the more secure the future of dentistry!

As the randonneuring population across the country increases, dentists look on happily, just waiting to get their dental accoutrements on the teeth of the riders. Their long-term plan is finally coming together. Not even floss, fluoride, and brushing are sufficient to ward off the damage of the energy “food” and convenience store fueling.

Alright dentists! Your plot succeeded. I’m hooked on randonneuring, but I still love my teeth. I’m not that hooked on going to the dentist, but I don’t want to be a toothless randonneusse. After the 600K, I’m calling my dentist to confirm my 6-month checkup.

4 thoughts on “MG Thursday: Randonneuring and Dentists

  1. Funny!

    The first thing I do now when I get home from a long ride is to brush my teeth. And I’ve started carrying a travel toothbrush and small toothpaste tube in my saddlebag on any brevet longer than 200km. I try to brush my teeth at least once every eight hours.

  2. MG,
    Here’s bona fide proof of proper rando dental hygene, as captured on November 1 by Bill Beck on our inaugural ride of Lynn Kristianson’s new RUSA National Road Permanent:



  3. I discovered little ‘prepasted’ single use disposable tooth brushes at Safeway (a large west coast chain store). they are individually packaged and I usually use the same one for the whole distance up to 400K. On 600, and longer I usually use one per day. It seems I get an inordinant boost from brushing my teeth after a day of rando foraging.

    I know the disposble society mentality is looked upon with disdain by many, but I think this does not add much to my ‘carbon foot print’, nothing compared to the impact of having major dental work done.

    Yr Pal, Dr C

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