If you know some one who is "experimenting" with Randonneuring, please be warned that there is no such thing as "recreational Randonneuring."

Randonneuring is a drug with serious addictive properties, not to mention some very detrimental side effects. Chief among the pesky adverse consequences is apathy, amnesia, and, my personal favorite, narcolepsy.

First, a note on apathy. Biking is one of only two things my randonneur gets excited about these days. He's always hustling to get on his bike, research the next route, repair his ride, or recount tales of the last adventure – he's in search of his next fix or reliving the high.

The second thing my randonneur is exuberant about is getting to bed (but not in the way I'd like...). My diligent randonnerd, oops, I mean randonneur, has to turn in early since the next ride begins at oh-Godo'clock in the morning; and in order to log more miles he will awake extra early so he can ride to the start. (You can imagine how much you will appreciate the alarm clock sounding at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday – a day of rest!) If he’s not in bed before the neighborhood children because he’s riding the next day, it’s because he’s too pooped to party, since he was on his bike for the past 12-24 hours. Between biking and being in bed, there’s not a lot of room for anything else in the world of the randonneur.

Which brings me to my point about amnesia. While one of the more immediate and serious side effects, the amnesia is selective. It affects only all nonrandonneuring related information. The amnesia is especially acute around social engagements and household chores, particularly those that conflict with the ride series or special training events. The randonneur quickly loses the ability to recall previous commitments and he/she cannot transfer new engagements from short term to long term memory. The result is a long list of neglected friends and family, an overgrown yard, dilapidated home, and a slew of unfinished projects.

Narcolepsy is the last in the trinity of insidious side effects. Fortunately, narcolepsy claims only a subset of addicts. Unfortunately, my randonneur is among the casualties. Narcolepsy (bout of spontaneous sleep) occurs in the seriously addicted. Arduous ride schedules and ride-induced sleep deprivation make the randonneur prone to falling asleep at any time and anywhere. Common situations to avoid, since they seem to elicit narcoleptic attacks, are live theater performances, dinner parties with longwinded friends, movie theaters, and extended conversations that do not make mention of bikes, biking, etc.

While it is too late to save my randonneur and our life from these ills, it is my hope that this message will help bring your loved one back from the edge. Let them ride at your own risk!