July, 2015 I completed my first R-12, an award given to Randonneurs who have completed 12 consecutive months riding a sanctioned Randonneuring event. In the case of the R-12, the event must be a minimum of 200k (125 miles). All Rando events are unsupported; some are organized events meaning that the event is published (called a Brevet) and a group of Randonneurs will all start together. The rider must complete the ride in a given time for the ride to be successfully completed.
These are small events compared to the El Tour de Tucson-type rides. A typical number of riders would be 10-50. There is another sanctioned Randonneuring event called a Permanent. It is not a publicized event. The rider simply contacts the owner of the route, asks permission to ride the route and follows all the procedures, including documenting that the event was completed in the required time frame.
Riding for the R-12 award is not necessarily the hardest part. Equally challenging is managing my calendar, managing my health/wellness, coordinating family and community responsibilities, and, oh yes, managing the weather.
The satisfaction I enjoyed of completing my first R-12 was enough for me to "re-up" for my second R-12 which I started in October, 2015.
Every part of the country has its challenging and troublesome months weather-wise. Southern Arizona's challenging months need no explanation. Sure, I could go to a cooler clime and score a successful ride in our hot months. But flying with my trike is not easy and it's expensive for a on-day ride. Driving to Southern California could be an option, but I've been unable to drive for virtually the entire time since I was diagnosed with epilepsy in August, 2013.
June, 2016 has been a record setter for consecutive triple digit heat days as well as how hight the thermometer went on each of those days.
My Rando friend, Amy Acosta, and I planned to ride a Permanent from Tucson to Phoenix on June 8th. It would be my 9th qualifying ride out of 12. Kirk was already in Phoenix; we'd enjoy a play day before heading back to Tucson with Kirk by car. The forecasted temperature for the 8th was 108. Amy and I agreed it just didn't seem wise to knowingly set out to ride through the desert under those conditions.
BUT, Saturday, June 11th looked very promising: the high would only be 95. We'd ride a Permanent around Tucson. We started riding at 05:00. Lunch was at Mile 84 in Marana. I had no more in my tank. It was 95 degrees with a humidity of 60-65% when we're acclimatized to an average humidity of 10%.
I abandoned my quest for number 9/12 toward my R-12. Hopefully there would be another under triple in June. There's no evidence that such will be the case.
June 14th my trike was stolen. My 2nd R-12 quest is now totally abandoned.
I'm expecting my new trike to arrive by July 1st, so I'll start in July for a new R-12 quest.