Tuesday, March 06, 2007

when the weather.....

Gets warmer and sun filled for a bit, it must be taken advantage of. The guys a Swobo have posted a few times about 30 rides in 30 days. My loose understanding of the undertaking is that the challenge is to, for thirty consecutive days to ride thirty rides consisting of 1 continuous hour, each day, not a total of an hour in that day. no running errands and the such. I am now entering my 4th and final week of this challenge which I started on February 11th. I have made my commute to work at least an hour, thus getting about an hour and a half of riding minimum a day. I have been averaging between 10 and 15 hours a week and 150 to 200 miles, including off road miles. I am feeling better, and beginning to plan a season of racing. As most readers know I have been fighting with what I have dubbed "the sickness" for quite some time now, just about two years to be exact. Enough about that, now on to this past weeks undertakings.

Saturday: My friend Eric, who I wrote about awhile back, invited me to the 100km randonnee ride. I was hesitant to go, it started at 9 am and i get off work around 3 am, not much sleep. And I really like my sleep. Hesitantly I set the alarm, knowing I would probably go, but still giving myself the out. Well he had tried to get me a ride there, that fell through, so I used Danielle's truck and headed out. I ate what I eat most of the time for breakfast, Grape Nuts, and a banana followed by liberal coffee consumption. Leaving my house around 8 am. I had asked Eric about the course, and I decided I would roll the fixie, why not, what did I have to lose? Did I say that it was raining, not that sideways blowing rain, but steady drizzle, and the roads were wet, and dirty. I arrived at the start of the ride, the Redhook Brewery, or should I say Bud Hook, not the best beer, but beer none the less. Yes I am a beer snob. Oxymoron I know.
The ride started in mass and we were off, we were all given cue sheets that mapped out the ride, this would be our only method of staying on course, there would be no markings and such. Road riding not being my strong point I sat in for a bit and slowly made my way up towards the front. Chatting here and there with people, more quiet that usual as I was still waking up. We had a good little pace going at the front down the side of Lake Samamish, headed out of Redmond. Then came the first hill, Eric had told me this was the steepest and steep it was, out of the saddle I was. I was surprised my legs felt great. I was towards the front. We got to the top regrouped a bit, and then got to the first control. Papers signed we were off. The rain was still steady. More side roads and some descending latter most of the riders missed a turn and the bottom of a hill. More paceline work we were keeping a good pace. secret control, to make sure everyone is on course. 2nd control a coffee shop in Carnation, and everyone stops and is resting. I see one person sneak away and I am off. We are now a group of 10 I keep pushing the pace, it is wet and we are dirty, that is to be expected, I see now why full fenders are a must for group rides on the road in the rain. Just before the third check point there is a small climb and I am gone, I am surprised by this, but forge on. At the third check eric tells me I am a minute off the leader, now I am competitive and I understand that randoneering is more about the camaraderie than the speed, but I now think it would be great to catch the leader, why not. I charge. Catching him at the top of the climb, where i make a navigational error, not following him, and lose some time. Now I must go it alone, and I finally figure out how to read the cue sheet, which is drenched and soggy by this time. I make it in just behind the leaders, I am happy and throw a no handed skid in to the control, again why not.
I eat and head home to relax, but am amped.

Sunday: The plan was simple, drive to Bellingham and ride singlespeeds. Keith who had invited me out the night before, I turned him down, showed up with a raging hangover. I took the wheel, as I can drive, Keith not so much. We met up with the others and took off up the highway making it to Bellingham in 1hour and 15 mins. not bad. Craig had some other friends meeting us there and they had a few friends meeting them. Turns out I knew them from the racing world, and we were so lucky Kevin and Jeff know every knook and cranny of Galbraith, they took us on a great ride, dubbed the art tour of Galbraith, I guess we saw four of the five pieces on the mountain. It was slippery and I think everyone crashed at least once. I had so much fun. I am going up there more. The trails are just too good not to. Thank you Kevin and Jeff.

Swobo has their bikes out. Urban Assault vehicles.

Thanks to Elk for the Mcrad cd, brings back so many memories.

1 comment:

monk3y mike wellborn said...

Gotta love brevets! Good riding and good times.