Several years ago, RUSA added the P-12 Award to celebrate the accomplishments of those who ride at least one event or permanent route in the 100K - 199K range (also known as a "populaires") in each of twelve consecutive months. It occurred to me recently that one way to keep my mileage up as I build a strong foundation for PBP 2015 will be to add the P-12 to my list of goals for the coming year. I am already working on another R-12 this year, so this additional challenge will require that I ride at least one 200K and one 100K each month between now and July 2014.
To get started, I reached out to my pal Doug H. who manages the Otisville 108K, which begins and ends in New Paltz right next door. Luckily, Doug was happy to oblige me at the last minute and I was able to squeeze this ride into the last day of August. The Otisville 108K is a pleasant out-and-back route along the Shawangunk Ridge that also comprises the first and last 33 miles of the Dingman's Ferry 209K that I've ridden and enjoyed in the past. On Sunday, the skies were heavy and grey and not particularly photogenic, but trust me, it's a pretty lovely ride.
One of the nice things about a 100K is that it's basically just a nice long training ride and takes less than half a day to complete, which leaves plenty of time in the day for other activities. This should make the P-12 a whole lot easier to attain than the R-12, but it will also keep me motivated to get out and ride in the bitter cold months ahead. Completing both the R-12 and the P-12 at the same time will give me just the boost I need to build a strong base. To make this challenge even more manageable and to increase the frequency with which I ride, I plan to submit several of my favorite training routes to RUSA as permanent populaires in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more details.
Up next: The Princeton 200K on September 13.