Ride Start Date: 2021-12-11
Author: Charlene Barach
Petit Year Round Randonneur is awarded when:
One ride of at least 50 km each calendar month (excluding Brevet Raid) for 12 consecutive months. The 12 rides shall have an overall total of at least 600 km.
This award encourages consistent riding throughout the year. Nine of the 12 rides required must have been completed in Australia.
Period and Limitation: This award can be claimed once only per riding season in which the last month falls and may not be claimed in the same season as a Year Round Randonneur.
(Unfortunately, as of 2022, the overall total has been upped to 1200 km which means it is highly unlikely we’ll be able to do it again.)
We embarked on this adventure in January 2021 … and today (11 December 2021), we finished!
What makes this audacious for Rowan is that he has a severe brain injury (incurred on 22 March 2018) which causes a long list of symptoms including overwhelming fatigue, and difficulties using his leg and right arm/hand.
What makes this a celebration for us is that just about 4 years ago, Rowan was in a 3-week coma in ICU fighting for his life or a life. I was being told he might not make it and if he did, he’d likely need to go into a full-care nursing home because he wouldn’t be able to do anything. At times, I was told that Rowan would likely not remember me and that he would likely never walk again. Rowan was in hospital a total of 100 days and in Rehab for another 4 months, but as part of Rehab, he started cycling a little. Rowan can’t ride the distances he used to, but he has built up to the 50 km distance.
For me, my fitness level dropped off during the early days caring for Rowan, so these 50 km rides have been a bit challenging and great motivation to keep working on my fitness level.
So far, 50 km is the longest ride distance we have done since Rowans accident in March 2018.
But we’ve kept at it this year, and have done one 50 km ride in each of the calendar months in 2021 … a PYRR. 🙂 🙂
The first couple rides were challenging because we had to ride fairly hard to make it within the time limit, but that motivated us to ride more frequently in between 50Ks. That way, the next couple rides weren’t too difficult. May came and we set off on a ride that should have been fairly easy, but Rowan was dragging all the way through and then, just before the finish, he had a heart attack! He did finish, but ended up in hospital for a few days! We thought the whole thing might be over, but the cardiologist encouraged Rowan to keep cycling and so we continued. Some rides were pretty good … some rides were extra challenging (*kof* Oatlands *kof*). We repeated the “heart attack” ride and it went much better without the heart attack and we finished this challenge with that ride as well. It seemed fitting to thoroughly overcome a challenge.
We don’t know what will happen in 2022, but we are hoping to ease up to 60 km and see how it goes. We’re talking about a casual picnic ride for the first attempt. 🙂
A happy epilogue …
At the end of January, Audax Tasmania got together just before the Lake Leake 400 ride and presented us with 12 medals each – one for each of the 50K perms we did. I am very thankful for the support and confidence in us from our Audax Tasmania team.
I mentioned that 50 km was the longest we’ve done. In early January, we did a casual bicycle ride with no time limits and cycled 64 km!!!! Then on February 12, we did a 62 km permanent – 62 km within the time limit!
We had a beautiful day for it. At 6 am, we sent off 5 riders on the Penguin Parade 300K, and at 7 am, we started our perm and finished it 3.5 hours later. 😊 After a rest (very important), we headed out to a designated spot to feed the Penguin Parade riders. A good day. 😊