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Saturday, November 19: Three Sisters and Wetlands Park, 36 miles

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Bay Area randonneuring events for 2010


The two main randonneuring (self-supported long-distance cycling) groups in the Bay Area have announced their 2010 event schedules, and they're good news for ALCers.

The main Santa Cruz Randonneurs schedule doesn't begin until late June, after ALC9 has ended. This is a big change from 2009, when all of the events were in the spring and conflicted with ALC training (and when most of us weren't yet in top form anyway). Of particular note is a 200km ride from Santa Cruz to Moss Beach that's scheduled for July 24 -- an almost-perfect time for ALCers, with just the right amount of post-ALC recovery.

And on August 21, there's a 300km ride from Santa Cruz to Greenfield that covers nearly all of our traditional Day 2 route -- and then comes back the same way, something we never get to do during the ride.

But if you're really ambitious crazy, there's a new event on the calendar this year, just a few weeks after ALC9. This is a 1,000km one-way ride (that's somewhat longer than ALC!) from San Jose to Oxnard that's considerably different from the ALC route. The "Central Coast 1000k" passes through Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Hollister, Pinnacles, Big Sur, and Solvang. And also unlike ALC, there's a time limit of 75 hours ... and the clock keeps running night and day, even when you're sleeping. Now that's a challenge.

There's also a full year-long schedule of events from San Francisco Randonneurs, including a 200km ride to Point Reyes and back on January 24. Expect chilly, challenging, dark conditions for this one.

If you can handle the distance (even "just" a 200km ride), most ALCers should be fairly comfortable with randonneuring. The style is very similar to our training rides, and there's a genuine sense of camaraderie. There are generous time limits on each ride (13.5 hours for a 200km ride), but randonneuring is also very much a ride and not a race.

And a reminder: Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 15, 2010. That's when I'm offering the Third Annual Altamont Pass Double Metric, 200km from Mountain View to Altamont Pass and back, my final training ride for ALC9. Start training now, and you can do this!

Photo: My medal from the Chualar 200k in 2008.

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