Christmas Eve marked the completion of my first R-12, following a DNF on the same permanent route 4 days earlier. I'll leave out the embarrassing details, but suffice it to say that a wallet will not stay put in an unzipped jacket pocket very long while riding a bike. Also, cell phones are pretty useless if left in a vehicle while the owner takes off on a bike.
I joined RUSA in December 2009 after reading some interesting blog posts from members of the NC Randonneurs. Veterans such as Joel Lawrence and JD Stewart had been urging me for years to get into the sport, but the distances over 200K sounded way too long without a lot of training (I'm thinking 300 - 400 miles per week of training). So I signed up but planned to be strictly a 200K rider. The 'fever' first took hold sometime in April, as riders were relaxing in Alan's front yard after completing his first brevet of the season. I started hearing some new members talk about going for the full SR series, and soon I had talked myself into the same mindset, rationalizing that "300K is only a 200K with a little metric century tacked on the end ... 400K is just a pair of 200Ks" ... and before you know it I was hooked.
2010 was a great first year of randonneuring. The first and last 200Ks both started at 26F. I appreciate all of the work done by RBAs and permanent owners to set up so many good routes in all parts of the state, and for the encouragement and helpful suggestions. I learned something on every ride.