Posts Tagged ‘randonneuring’

My first year in WA

30 January 2015

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!


Sammamish River Kirkland Circular

20 February 2014

So, looking for a regular route to do, as I had in New York, I created the Sammamish River Kirkland Circular.  It is roughly 23 miles and I feel it is a good distance for a daily route until I start commuting for the elusive job I’ll be getting soon. 😀

Of course, we happen to live near the top of a climb so most rides will start off with a descent and end with a climb.  The route takes me down to Sammamish River which has a bike path running alongside of it.  The bike path is about 10 miles long and it then moves on Burke Gilman Trail which takes me another mile or two before hitting the roads again.

Once I hit the roads, there is a two mile climb (roughly) of category 4. The second red light marks the end of the climb and the third red light marks the beginning of a descent.  After follows a short bump to Kirkland town centre and once through there, the climb back up to Redmond.

Yesterday, I could not cross Redmond Way to take my left turn and ended up going right, doing a U-turn and then a straight over at the light.  Also, coming up from Kirkland on NE 85th, as I approached I-405, I half expected to be hit from behind from crossing traffic.  I wasn’t but the feeling was there.  Due to this, I modified the route to take a different approach to the Sammamish River Trail and a different route up to Redmond.

The new approach to the trail was not good.  I found another trail that would get there if I climbed up to 132nd Ave but to my surprise, the descent to the trail was either riding down a scree path of walking down a load of steps.  I opted to walk and carry my bike.  The trail itself was not that great so I’ll be going back down Redmond Way.

The return was much better though it is steeper.  My legs felt it today.  It took me above I-405, literally, so I didn’t have to worry about that traffic coming on and off.  That part will stay.

Was slower today than yesterday. 😦

PBP 2011 – Arrival into Paris

16 August 2011

We arrived safely into Paris. It took some time to get out of JFK but with a westerly wind behind us, we raced over the Atlantic in quick time. The Airbus 320 has three cameras on board; one on the tail, one on the undercarriage and one on the nose and you could select to view what each camera was seeing. As the plane took off and landed, all the screens were showing the view from the tail camera – that was pretty neat.

Got through security with ease; makes US immigration seem like Fort Knox in comparison. Both pieces of luggage arrived safely though I noticed an inspection ticket tucked into on the straps and one of the straps was loose. That means they opened the bike box. I hope to god they packed the bike back well. I am waiting for it to arrive from the airport – it should be on the next bus when the San Francisco flight arrives.

The hotel is on the other side of Paris to the airport. I saw the Sacré Cœur and the Eiffel Tower from a distance. We went by the Stade de France which looks quite impressive. It is the home of both the football and rugby national teams.

Will be going out to explore but not sure if I should await the bike.

PBP 2011 Mystic Alma’s Predictions

15 August 2011

Alma has done a great spreadsheet and calculated the times I am expected to exit each controle. You can keep track to see how well she does! The green bars indicate projected sleep stops.

Controle Opening Closing Alma’s estimate
SAINT-QUENTIN Sun. 18h00 n/a Sun. 18h00
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE Sun. 22h27 Mon. 03h20 Mon. 01h55
VILLAINES- LA-JUHEL Mon. 00h59 Mon. 08h44 Mon. 06h31
FOUGERES Mon. 03h57 Mon. 14h40 Mon. 11h28
TINTENIAC Mon. 05h45 Mon. 18h38 Mon. 14h46
LOUDEAC Mon. 08h49 Tue. 01h08 Mon. 23h34
CARHAIX Mon. 11h32 Tue. 06h49 Tue. 04h04
BREST Mon. 15h08 Tue. 13h19 Tue. 09h42
CARHAIX Mon. 18h24 Tue. 19h51 Tue. 14h57
LOUDEAC Mon. 21h42 Wed. 01h56 Wed. 00h36
TINTENIAC Tue. 01h34 Wed. 08h47 Wed. 05h23
FOUGERES Tue. 04h01 Wed. 13h04 Wed. 08h45
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL Tue. 08h01 Wed. 20h12 Wed. 14h20
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE Tue. 12h00 Thu. 01h56 Thu. 00h34
DREUX Tue. 15h45 Thu. 07h12 Thu. 05h02
SAINT-QUENTIN Tue. 19h00 Thu. 12h00 Thu. 09h01