D.C. Randonneurs 600K — As Good as it Gets

The D.C. Randonneurs this weekend completed their inaugural ACP brevet season under RBA Bill Beck, and we could not have asked for a better 600k. Temperatures stayed in the 80s with light winds and low humidity, and the skies gave us only a brief dash of passing rain on Saturday evening. Throw in Lynn Kristianson’s superb double loop course from Frederick, Md. featuring southern Pennsylvania’s infamous Pigeon Hills, and we savored an event to remember.

See our photos at my Flickrpage. See more photos from Bill Beck, from Maile, and see our track at my MotionBased page.

For MG and I, completion of the 600K marked our most unlikely Super Randonneur series. We have loaded up our off-the-bike schedules this year and, for the first time since we started riding together, undertook a 600K without back-to-back century days. Let’s see — I got a new job in February, took a month off the bike in March to let my injured knee heal, we got serious about our wedding and began running around making arrangements, I listed and sold my condo, then packed and moved week before last.

MG started a job search and interviewed in May (she got the job!). Finally, we did not know if I could ride this weekend because I fell during the move and bruised my ribs, costing me sleep and making it hard to take a deep breath.

I felt better by Saturday and we put our faith in the fact that the brevets are supposed to make one stronger just by riding them, and this time it all worked! Despite some achy knees at the end from pushing big gears on the hills — the Pigeon Hills cure you of that habit immediately — we finished with our lowest 600K time yet in four rides.

Bill Beck did a terrific job in his first year as RBA, as did all the volunteers and organizers who stepped up to make the series a true club effort. There is no doubt DCR has come back to life better than ever, with great rides and more good times to come.

Below is Bill’s report and the map of the course.

Thirty three riders showed up at the Motel 6 in Frederick for the Big One – the ACP 600K. The ride started at 4AM on Saturday. Unfortunately, while Chris Mento was still in the parking lot, he discovered that he had a loose or damaged headset, so he wisely decided not to start. The remaining 32 riders headed off into the darkness on the first 240-mile loop through Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.

Thirty of those riders made it back to the Motel 6 on time, but three of them then fell victim to the Figure-8-route curse and headed for their cars. The remaining riders took a sleep break in Frederick, except Gary Dean, who decided to ride straight through. All of the 27 riders who departed the Motel 6 for the second loop returned with official finishes. The preliminary results are now posted at the DCR site.

Congratulations to all 27 of the official finishers. And special congratulations to Jan Bull, Gary Dean, Lane Giardina, George Moore, Ray Skinner, and Ray Suziedelis, who all completed their first 600Ks and first Super Randonneur series! (As usual, pending ACP approval. Ray Skinner previously completed a tough 1000K.)

Thanks to the small army of volunteers who made the ride possible. Crista and Nick did their usual excellent jobs with the cue sheets and GPS files, respectively. Friday registration was handled by registrar Chris Burkhardt and bike inspector Randy Mouri. David Ripton and Dan Blumenfeld were up and out before 3 AM to take care of registration and inspection on Saturday morning.

David then also drove out to staff the control at the Kings Gap General Store and provide water to thirsty riders. Tom Lepore drove out to Bluemont, VA to staff the control at the Pine Grove Restaurant, and stayed there for hours in the dark to provide food and water to appreciative riders who arrived after the restaurant closed at 8PM. Finally, Steve Ashurst, Lynn Ho, and little Nathan came out to Frederick to check in riders at the finish, sell medals, and keep the food and ice flowing smoothly. Thanks to all of you, and to all of the organizers and other volunteers who made the spring ACP series a success!

I hope to get the schedule of summer and fall rides posted within the next week or so. We will take a break in July, but resume with a 200K in August and likely have rides each month through November or December.



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