Sunday, December 29, 2013

R12 - An RRTY Californian Style

Well it’s been a while. After our great Gold Rush ride we rode the wonderful Death Ride (Tour of the Californian Alps) before continuing with our RRTY/R12 challenge. The R12 is the RUSA award for riding a 200km (or longer) brevet every month for 12 consecutive months. Living where we do, we really have no excuse not to ride a brevet every month; it’s not like we are going to be snowed in any time soon. RRTY is the Audax UK equivalent.
Having finished the Gold Rush in good form we were in a good position to attempt the death ride. This is an annual event 129 miles (207km) long and with 15000 feet (4572m) of climb in Alpine county south of Lake Tahoe. In some ways it’s the local equivalent to La Marmotte, in others it’s completely different. It was a great day out though, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is looking for a challenge - the local support is wonderful.

Our assault on the R12 started last December with the Davis-Auburn-Davis ride, and we managed to keep it going through the spring and early summer. Our July brevet was our second ride of the Tres Pinos Scamper. This time we were a little quicker than we were back in February. It still seems like a harder ride than it should on paper though. August was another permanent, but this time it was Roland Bevans ‘Carmel Cruise’. With long sections of the coastal cycle path what looked like a slower perm on paper actually turned out to be an absolutely fantastic route, and is definitely on the list to ride again. In September we rode our first calendar brevet since the Gold Rush - the SFR Davis 200 night ride. This ride started up in Rodeo at 8pm and the route took us up to Davis and back, overnight. It was lovely to catch up with people who we hadn't seen for a couple of months and made a change to ride the (mostly) familiar roads in the dark. In October it was back to riding a permanent in John Guzik’s Happy Trails To You. This linked together some of the longer creekside trails in the area, and was really nice day out. A week later in November we rode the Del Puerto Canyon calendar event. The first section of this ride was perfect tandem country, and we spent long periods gathering groups of riders in our wake. R12: achievement unlocked.