Randonneuring USAThe R-12 is an award given by Randonneuring USA and is earned by riding at least one randonneuring event of 200k or longer in each of 12 consecutive months. Unlike the UMCA Year-Rounder I tackled in 2010, the R-12 doesn’t allow rolling out of your driveway on a route of your own choosing. Each ride has to be an official RUSA or ACP event, brevet or permanent, which means you have to do a lot more planning. The R-12 isn’t based on a calendar year, so any 12 consecutive months meet the requirements.

I’ve had a number of friends complete an R-12 over the last few years.  I know the distance isn’t a problem for me and it shouldn’t be that tough to complete. But, I still have not been willing to make the commitment and say, publicly, that I’m working on one.

There is an unofficial classification of R-12s that I’ve heard referred to as a “natural”.  Basically, it means completing all 12 months in your home state. That means that a Florida or Arizona R-12 is a lot easier to get than one in Ohio. I can’t begin to compete with the dedication of the riders who have completed one in Minnesota. Many of the Columbus rando riders take a few winter trips to Florida and South Carolina in search of the difficult to achieve winter rides in their R-12 journey. I have no plans to head south, so I’m dealing with winter in Ohio.

So, it’s the end of January. I rode a 200k permanent at the end of November, one early in December and took a personal day off of work on a beautiful Tuesday in January to ride a solo permanent. My theory is, if I can get a qualifying ride in during February, I’ll have the toughest months out of the way and I’ll put the R-12 goal on my calendar. But, if the weather turns bad, I’ll only have 3 months invested and I won’t feel too bad about waiting for another opportunity. If I start an R-12 in the spring, I’ll end up with my last months in the worst weather and I’ll feel compelled to either ride when it’s miserable or to cave in and invest the time and money to go to a warmer state.

I’m signed up for a flat permanent out of West Jefferson next week. If that doesn’t work, I’ve been researching routes near my mom’s house in PA. I’ll be back there for a few days later in February and, even though it will screw up the “natural” series, it might be an option if that turns out to be the only good weekend.

After that, I’ll decide if I have 8 more months in me.


Filed under: Fitness