But I am just a pilgrim on this road, boys
Until I see you fare thee well
-Steve Earle, Pilgrim

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RUSA 2000K Medal

Randonneurs USA members who ride at least 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, or 5,000K in qualifying events during a calendar year receive a medal. I rode 2,342K this year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Marshfield Mash 112K Permanent Populaire

A new Permanent Populaire has been approved by Randonneurs USA. The Marshfield Mash 112K starts at the Kum & Go across from Sam's on East Sunshine, heads southeast to Rogersville and then northeast to Marshfield. It is an out-and-back. Let me know if you want to ride it. You must be a member of RUSA to ride.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Frozen Apple Butter

I went to Baxter Springs again on Saturday, December 5, to ride the Apple Butter 200K permanent with Nancy and Mike Myers. We started the ride at 7:00AM and 24 degrees. The high for the day was only about 42 degrees, so we were bundled up all day. I started with four layers (all long sleeve): a silk T, a synthetic T, a smartwool jersey and a cotton jacket. I removed the synthetic T in Sarcoxie and my helmet cover in Mt. Vernon. I was a little chilled on the return after the sun went down. This was the first 200K I have ridden where I never really sweated. On the way to Mt Vernon, we had a little bit of a push from the 12 to 20 mph wind that started out from the south but then shifted to the SSW. Fortunately, it shifted back to the south as the afternoon progressed so that we did not have to push against it all the way back to Baxter Springs. The skies were mostly clear all day, which helped make for a relatively pleasant ride in the cold. I did not take many pictures because it is too hard to handle the camera while riding with my winter gloves.

Congratulations to Nancy and Mike for completing a 200K, or further, each month over the past 12 months, qualifying them for RUSA's R-12 award. I am now halfway to the R-12.

At the control in Mount Vernon

Black Friday on the Frisco Highline Trail

I am a little late on this post. Rae, Doug, Tom and I rode up to Bolivar on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We rode the Frisco Highline Trail to Bolivar and a combination of the trail and road on the way back. I hope to establish a RUSA permanent populaire on the route, and the ride provided mileage and feet of climb for the application.

We left the Kearney Street trailhead at 8:00AM when the temperature was predicted to be just above freezing. We started out on packed gravel until about half way to Willard where we hit the new pavement that has lately raised some controversy with the running community. The pavement continues through Willard where it changes back to packed gravel. We saw a bald eagle in a field near the trail between Willard and Walnut Grove. It flew off when we came close.

After the Willard Trailhead, the quality of the trail surface is not as good. There are a number of locations where the trail has washed out in the past, so the surface is not packed. There was only one little place where we actually had to dismount because of a washout, which was pretty good considering I was only running 28mm tires. The trail did not match up well with some of the bridge surfaces, and we had to dismount rather than risk a pinch flat. We rode and carried the bikes across Missouri Highway 13 rather than take the streets into town. On the north side of Highway 13, the trail turns into a single track for about 1/2 mile. We arrived at the trailhead about 11:00AM. Total climb was 1,030 feet.

We had a late breakfast at Norma's Restaurant on East Maupin. The pancakes were so big they almost hung over the edge of the plates.

We rode the trail back south to U Highway where we took to the road. We stopped at Bolton's General Store on BB Highway, and got back on the trail in Willard. Total feet of climb for the return was 1,630 feet. Most of the additional climbing was on the hill coming into Morrisville and the climb out of the Little Sac River valley.

The ride was a much better way
than shopping to spend Black Friday. We hope to make it an annual tradition.

Heading out from the Kearney Street trailhead

Walnut Grove trailhead

Doug on the Little Sac River bridge

Passing under the trail on the ride back