Category Archives: Arnold P.P. Schwinng

Competitive Randonneuring and Commuting asks: What makes you cry?

Author: Robert Pinapple

Not Robert Pineapple enjoying a good cry - image swiped from the interwebs without asking - cyber hugs all round, mates!

Not Robert Pineapple enjoying a good cry – image swiped from the interwebs without asking – cyber hugs all round, mates!

During our weekly boy’s night out soirée where we usually drag out such tired and timeless subjects such as our relationships with our spouses and parents, which charter school will give our little ones the best chance in this dangerous world, what coat to buy this fall,  which loud brownies are safest, and what colour will our next Prius be, we chanced upon the subject of what makes us cry.

We all know that unless a randonnee includes some high drama or some crying it will be forgotten on the bucket list of accomplishments we set out for ourselves at our annual year end retreat at a spa of our choosing.

A poignant tearful series of confessions, weeping, and hugs followed our sharing of what makes us cry – so fulfilling! Why we went through a veritable dozen hankies and bandanas. Such a releasing and soul cleansing experience we had we decided to share our intimacies with you, the Competitive Commuter and Randonneur.

Arnie Schwinng blurted out that he had never been so mortified than this year’s opening 200k when he forgot to properly apply his bag balm: ‘I had recently argued with my parents about my career choices and had been in such a tizzy all week before the randonnee that I simply forgot to slather on the balm in my nether regions. Such a screwup for the ages! I still have scars, and I think I had to drink an extra bottle or two of water I was crying so much. I cherish those moments.’

Gram Pettitfog mentioned crying because he spilt his beer once on a fleche, but no one noticed this minor confession and ignored his hopes for attention and absolution.

Rupert Smedeley inspired us all with the announcement that he cries constantly on randonnees simply for the joy of the moment – we all hope to become as emotionally confident as Rupert some day. Sniffle.

I related a brace of brief weepings on the roadside, the disastrous results of eating one of Jane Hiney’s Hot Pockets beyond the expiration date; being completely shattered by speed wobbles and ending a miserable inconsolable heap on the roadside; and the moment I will never forget, the time my new supple tires blew while descending baby diaper pass (the strained peas side, not the boiled carrots side, thank goodness). Aauuggh! The humiliation! The pathos! The wonderful memories!

What makes you cry during a Competitive Commute or Randonnee? Let us know!


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Tips for Technophobes: Google Voice Explicated

We’ve all been there: last Ensure consumed two hours ago, gave away your patch kit to that cute randonneure, and your Extra Leger tire just blew out. It’s 3 am, 60 km to the next control, and the Denny’s in Petaluma burned down (this important information was not on the info doc!!).

There is no way you are finishing this brevet, buddy. Face it. And you can’t turn to your fellow randonneurs because you’ve been heckling their abominable sense of cycle style without mercy for the past 200 miles. In fact, they just rode past while giggling senselessly, completely ignorant of you and your tired m’ass at the side of the road.

Drawing from your experiences of PDP 2016, the correct course of action would be to wrap yourself in your space blanket, bury yourself in the sand, fire off your safety flare, and wait for your Touareg allies to come get you. But thankfully, we live in a modern society filled with convenience, electronic shifting, fact filled blogs, and… Google Voice!!

Google Voice uses command prompts for the following eventualities:

#-W-W-C-W-D: off life course/need philosophical direction (does not require knowledge of current life plan)

#-T-M-I: out of bag balm, Safeway out of stock on ChapStick

#-N-O-A-A: need weather data on other side of hill immediately

#-L-O-L-R-O-G: need location of nearest Denny’s

#whaaaat?: broke a spoke, derailleur hanger broke off, etc

#-A-S-A-F-P: beer me

#-S-O-S: dial a joke

#-R-B-A: you want your mama

#-A-F-D-N: how far to the next control?

#-A-O-B: how much climbing is in this randonnee?

#-8-6: my gps battery died

#-D-U-I: found nice brewpub, not coming back

#-B-F-D: DNF


All conscientious randonneurs are under strident advisement to program these codes into their CBs, pagers, or smartphones as part of their essential preparations for the upcoming longer rides this brevet season. Your cooperation is appreciated by all the volunteers eagerly awaiting your call at your local Google Voice Emergency Robophone Switchboard. One ringie-dingie. Two ringie-dingie…