Sunday, November 13, 2011

K Hounding - The ongoing quest for kilometers

Posing for a K-Hound photo after the Great Adventure ride (10/2)
 As I've confessed to before, I am a mileage addict.  Along those lines I've focused much of my late season activities on the K-Hound award.  The K-Hound Club, as it is known, was established by the Lone Star Randonneurs of Texas.  These folks gained a reputation for racking up impressive mileage and RUSA kilometer totals year after year. In an effort to motivate others they established the now coveted award.  It is available to RUSA  riders everywhere.

To be recognized as a K-Hound one must accumulate 10,000 kilomters of RUSA sanctioned brevets and permanents. The closest I'd ever come was in 2010 with a total of 6651 K.  Although, in the 2010 season I'd logged a total of road miles exceeding 12,000.  I reviewed the results of the riders with the highest kilometer totals in the nation.  What I learned is these folks did very little unsanctioned riding.  Most of their bike time was spent on brevets and permanents.  The Randonneuring groups with the most K-Hound riders had lots of local permanents to ride.   With the 100k variety being a popular method in the accumulation of sanctioned k's.  With that I established two 100 kilometer RUSA permanent routes starting within three miles from my home.  In the past I was always going out for unsanctioned rides of 60-80 miles.  This season I would make those rides count by frequenting these permanent routes.  Soon other 100k routes became available in the area and for variety I would ride these, along with some longer permanents as well.  On October 2nd while riding my Great Adventure permanent, in the company of  a few friends, I rolled past the 10,000 kilometers.  My total of road miles were almost 11,000.  I had improved my ratio of RUSA kilometers over prior years by the frequent riding of permanents.

To keep myself motivated I will attempt to reach a total of 13,000 RUSA kilometers and 13,000 logged road miles.  Also, I will continue to chase the P-12 and R-12 awards.  With the P-12 concluding in December and the R-12 in March.  These goals are important to keep me on the bike when the weather in our region becomes less cycling friendly.  I'm not a fan of cold weather, but through practice I've learned to deal with it.  Fortunately, I will not be alone.  I have friends chasing the same goals.  I look forward to their company and the motivation that comes from sharing common goals.

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