Set Annual Objectives
To help you maintain your fitness year-round extend your S.M.A.R.T. objectives to annual objectives. You shouldn't try to maintain peak fitness all year--even the pros have a break and then rebuild their base endurance--but for fitness and health you should stay active. Four programs are structured to motivate you to ride year-round and to recognize your achievements. The programs reward consistent performance throughout the year.
• 62.3+ miles monthly rides: The Randonneurs USA (RUSA) P-12 award recognizes riders who complete a ride of 100-199 km (62-124 miles) in 12 successive months. A rider can start any month of the year and then must continue for 11 successive months. The rides can include rides organized by RUSA clubs as well as individual rides on RUSA-approved routes. The rider must carry a card, get signatures at designated points, and complete each ride within a specified time limit based on a minimum speed of 15 km/h (9.3 mph) and 30 km/h (18.6 mph) including off-the-bike time.
• 125+ miles monthly rides: The RUSA R-12 is similar, recognizing riders who complete a ride of at least 200 km (125 miles) in 12 successive months.
• 90+ miles monthly rides and cumulative mileage: The UltraMarathon Cycling Association (UMCA) Year-Rounder recognizes rides of 90 miles or longer. Statistics are kept in the Century category (rides of 90-149 miles) and Long ride category (150 and more miles). Awards are made based on total cumulative annual distance of at least 3,000 miles. Riders who complete a ride of at least 90 miles in every month of the calendar year earn the Year-Rounder award. Because weather may be a problem, two make-up rides are allowed for missed months. The rides can be either organized events or personal rides with documentation. In either case the rider must average at least 8.33 mph including off-the-bike time.
• 100+ miles monthly rides and cumulative mileage: Big Dogs Ultracycling tracks and ranks cumulative mileage from rides of any length and the Century Challenge recognizes riders who complete a century in every month of the calendar year. The rides can be either organized events or personal rides and are submitted on the honor system.
Participating in one of these programs is also a great way to prepare for a larger challenge during the year, such as riding a series of brevets, RUSA-approved rides of 200-600 km (125-373 miles).
More: An Introduction to Randonneuring