I was stoked about joining Seattle International Randonneurs. Theirs was the biggest group I noticed at PBP in 2011, the reason why I got into this pastime. So I was very much up for the challenge, careering up and down hills, sweeping through vine covered valleys and the like. However, life did not turn out like that.Portland
I did my first 100k in March, I think it was. I turned up really early for this event. I was not used to driving to an event on the day of. Normally I had spent the night in New Jersey before, and sometimes afterwards, an event. Of course, the two Long Island brevets I set up were different.
The 200k and 300k were hilly affairs, in comparison to the normal NJ brevets. I believe the 200k had Lord Hill upon which I was ready to get off and push the bike. I had stopped and was in the process of dismounting when I looked behind me and saw Narayan and Keith zigzagging back and forth across the road. Ah ha, I thought and got back on the bike and did likewise. That was the toughest climb and I heard that some people did it twice as they missed the left turn after the turnaround, didn’t they Jason?!!
The 300k was a tough ride. I was tired of climbing and in particular, I was tired of Camano Island. It felt like I was on the forever. We had to cycle over a bridge to get onto the island and I knew we had to cycle over the same bridge to get off. And did that bridge ever come around again? Oh, sure it did, but only after 3 hours cycling time. I rode to the finish with Jason having caught up with him at one of the stops. However, the 300k prepared me for the 400k when finishing as I recognized the approach to the end coming into Woodinville, I knew how far to climb exactly!
I completed my first ever permanent, albeit only a 100k. It was a nice little ride from Redmond to Issaquah to Seattle and back to Redmond. I will be making use of this ride.
I signed up for a fleche, starting at Portland, OR and made our way to Olympia, WA. Apparently this was a wet event, we spent some time in a pub at crazy o’clock, and curled up on the floor in a bathroom of some park. I do remember taking off my rain jacket, or is my memory playing tricks. Anyway, what I do remember is that I felt strong for this event.
After the fleche came the 400k. The route was changed from the original one as that had us going through Oso which was still suffering from the landslide that happened earlier in the year. I wasn’t complaining about the change of route as it was relatively flat. It did, and this was the cool part, go all the way to the Canadian border. I could have easily stepped into Canada, without my passport or visa! I was taking selfies when a border patrol came along just to see what was doing. Like I had ridden all the way to Canada and was going to turn around straight away? Yeah, right! So that is the closest I have been to Canada, beat my trip to Niagara Falls by a river’s width.
Alas, the 400k was the final brevet of the year for me. I did not complete a series which was the first time since I started randonneuring. The Spring 600k, which I had signed up for, saw me with a heavy cold. I was in two minds about not doing it and it turned out I made the right decision as I believe I would have DNFed. The summer 600k fell on the wrong weekend as it was Alma’s birthday and I would rather spend the time with Alma than riding a bike.😀
Intermittent riding: strange, strange year. I could have ridden thousands of miles due to not working but the Catholic guilt would have been dumped down as how could I justify being out riding when I ought to be looking for a job? So I probably rode the least number of miles in a year since 2009.
This year is going to be a challenge but see my next blog for more on that!