school is out of session until the middle of January, so construction has had to cease for a while. at this point the brazing of the fork is 100% complete, having received a bit of touch-up in the last few days before the break.
meanwhile i've found some info on local biking clubs and on endurance cycling. today i did a 10-mile ride, my first in a while, and it's got me thinking about doing longer (much, much longer) rides. after all, this is supposed to be a frame for a randonneur bike, but i've never done a randonée.
from the DC Randonneurs:
i especially liked this answer to the question, "What is a randonneur?", from the Randonneurs USA FAQ page:
There is no direct English translation of the French term "randonnée", which loosely means to go on a long trip, tour, outing, or ramble, usually on foot or on a bicycle. A person who goes on a "randonnée" is called a "randonneur". (The correct French term for a female participant is "randonneuse", but such distinctions are often lost in America, where we tend to lump everyone together). In cycling, it means a hard-riding enthusiast who is trying to complete a long randonnée inside a certain time allotment. Note that a randonnée is not a race. Overall, about the only thing being first earns is some bragging rights. It is not uncommon for the last finishers to get as much applause as anyone else. Indeed, there is much camaraderie in randonneuring. One does it to test oneself against the clock, the weather, and a challenging route - but not to beat the other riders.
In comparison to other forms of competitive long-distance cycling, such as at the Race Across America (RAAM), where there are following cars with crews supporting the riders every inch of the way, randonneuring stresses self-sufficiency. Help can only be given at the checkpoints along the route, so support crews (if there are any) must leapfrog the rider. Any rider caught receiving assistance from a support crew in-between checkpoints (or, "contrôles" as they are commonly called) will be subject to a time penalty, or even disqualification. Randonneurs are free to buy food, supplies, or bike repairs at any stores they encounter along the route. Once riders have successfully completed a 200-kilometer "brevet", they are entitled to be called a "randonneur" or "randonneuse".
so now i'm contemplating the logistics of doing a brevet, or more accurately, of doing some training rides to prepare for a brevet. my bike clothing wardrobe is set up for commuting, so i have some gear, but probably not the right stuff for hundreds of miles on end.
and there's the big, expensive issue of lighting to contend with.
for now i'm going to sleep.