Mark (third from left) with several Seattle International Randonneurs. Photo from the Seattle Rando flickr.
Mark Thomas knows his randonneuring. The current head of the Seattle International Randonneurs (the largest rando club in the United States), former head of Randonneurs USA, and current RUSA board member, Mark has been riding brevets all over the world, organizing events, and promoting randonneuring for well over a decade. For those unfamiliar, randonneuring is a self-supported, timed, long-distance event where riders follow a set route 100-1200 kms long (roughly 60-750 miles) stopping at checkpoints along the way. It probably goes without saying that Mark and I talked randonneuring–specifically the highs and lows of long-distance riding, the progression of this niche-subsport of a niche sport, and what it will take for randonneuring to keep growing in the U.S.