Sunday, February 26, 2012

Big Oak Inspiration

I'll admit that I've been pondering that long distance flavor of bicycling called randonneuring. So when Bill "Big Oak" Lambert stopped in the DFW area as a part of his vacation travels, it was an excellent opportunity to pester him with questions.

We assembled a few DFW bicycle bloggers for a dinner meet-up. Bill and his wife, Alex, joined Paul of Doohickie, Chandra of GreenComotion, Steve of DFW Point-to-Point, Myles of Rat Trap Press, and myself to carry on some of our blog conversations in person. It was a rewarding evening that allowed us to strengthen relationships. There was even talk of a possible group ride in Fort Worth or Dallas.

After dinner Bill and Alex followed me back to my place way up north to spend the night. They must have been rather tired after a long day on the road, but they were charming conversationalists. Topics tended to not stray too far from dogs or bicycles, and that works pretty good in our house. Although Bill is a relatively new randonneur, he has already completed some impressive brevets. When I pressed him for suggestions, he responded with a kind of "aw shucks" answer that makes me believe I can do it too. He's inspirational like that.

So I went out for a little while this afternoon riding the Quickbeam in the 18-22mph wind, and I wondered if I could actually complete a 200k ride. If I can find more time to ride, I might just try to find out.

Thanks, Bill and Alex, for stopping by, and safe travels on your return home. Y'all come back soon.


  1. I haven't had a chance to meet Alex, but I can vouch for Bill's good company.
    sounds like you guys had a good time.

  2. I've thought about randonneuring. But the older I get the less I want to test my limits. I don't think I'd ever ride longer than a 300k. Once it gets into sleep deprivation I'm no longer interested.

    Check my blog later this evening or tomorrow. I hope to finally announce my plans for a long distance adventure this summer. Something more my speed.

  3. Doug, I think I'm exactly where you are. I like the idea of a nice long bike ride, but sleep deprivation steps outside the realm of fun for me. Credit card touring might be a better match. Maybe your upcoming post will have a strong appeal for me.

  4. Chris, thank you for having us! Stopping at your place was a great part of our trip. I'm sure you'll have no trouble making the transition to brevets. And even if you don't want to do longer brevets, the Lone Star Randonneurs has a whole bunch of 200K brevets scattered throughout the year -

    I believe you'll really enjoy the company of the folks riding those events.

  5. Having ridden one ride with @BigOak courtesy of @Apertome, I attest live and well of the fortuitous bonds of the cycling brotherhood. Good guy and very pleasant ride companion.

  6. Careful Chris, it can be addictive. The "well I rode a ... but I would never do a ..." seems, in my very brief experience to increase by one ride length each year.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Ah, the slippery slope of randonneuring! After making excuses for the last couple years, I took the plunge and did my first Populaire (100k) in November. (It doesn't help that every year I befriend a few more randonneurs.) Now I'm looking at doing more. There's another 100k in two weeks, and after that the season really starts to pick up.

    Right now I'm with Doug on the limits of randonneuring for me. 300k is about as much as I'd want to do in the foreseeable future. But who knows how I'll feel after I have a few of those under my belt?

  9. Pondero, a few years ago I did a populaire sponsored by the Seattle Intl Randos. It helped that it started and ended in my part of the city, it did not help that it was very hilly but me and my Clydesdale rear end got through it. The next year I did a self directed 100k around lake Washington which was much more fun. Point being if a Clydesdale wannbe like me can do it I am sure you will have no problem especially not on your lovely H. Homer Hislen.