Friday, December 25, 2009

Winter Solstace 200K.

No, Munchkinhead didn't ride the 200k, but she did play in the snow. With the requisite kid picture out of the way, we return to our regularly scheduled ride report.

Mark sent out an innocent enough e-mail, and 13 or 14 of us showed up at Peet's Coffee ready to roll at 9:00PM.


"Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it." - Daisy in the Great Gatsby.

"I'd hate to wait for the longest night of the year and then miss it." - Me

"Here we go (all night long)" - David Byrne

"You know the night time is the right time." - John Fogerty

Enough already, you get the point. All night permanent Sunday night to greet the winter solstice at 9:30 Monday morning.

Easy pace; hang out at Denny's (80km) and Shari's (140km). Like a fleche in the winter.

Meet at Redmond Whole Foods for a 9:00 PM departure. Permanent #606-Redmond-North Bend-Leschi-Redmond.

BYO route sheet, registration/waiver, warm clothes, and good lights.

Leave good sense at home. Won't be helpful.

(There was a complete lack of Photoshop this year. All of these images are straight from the camera.)

TRFKAF did a nice report here.

We rolled out into a pretty good rain. I'm always amazed how comfortable one can be in nasty conditions with the right clothing. If you read the rabbit's report, I also overcooked the descent to the valley; it was an odd mixture of not enough breaking with a fear of applying too much breaking with no visibility. It turned out OK, but I think I'd carry oh, about half as much speed, next time.

We had a guest along for the ride -- world famous blogger and wet weather clothing tester, TRFKAF. Cecil came too. I had not ridden with Cecil and Floyd since the Berkie 200 in the Spring. Believe it or not, we agreed that the Berkie was much wetter. Yeah, no kidding.

TRFKAF likes to snuggle with a Planet Bike Superflash. Seems reasonable.

We spent a bit of time stinking up the grocery store in North Bend. I think this was just after midnight. Robin looks tired, which I don't understand; he checked the "go fast" box on his Waterford order form. Somehow I missed that box. I will need to talk to Richard about that.

The researchers at Very Big Sports Food Company Of America would not be happy with Vinnie's food selection here. Real food; it's for controls.

We later stopped at a less luxurious gas station control in Newcastle. We made up for the food with extra stink. This stop was a bit odd. It felt like we were in a movie about all the strange things that go on at a mini-mart in the middle of the night. We did our part to contribute to the scene.

We've been talking about these burritos all fall. I have not tried one twice yet.

Mark brought along a weather appropriate pen. "Rite in the Rain."

Robin brought along his "go fast" pen. He claims this is the secret to his speed. I'm going to buy one and attack!

It didn't matter what kind of pen Steve had. His control card was a bit moist.

And now let's play, That's Rando!

When we got to the finish, there was no question, no question at all, who today's winner was. Vinnie isn't one for records, but he likes riding his bike with his friends. I did spy a tiny little extra smile as he handed in his card.

From Geoff to the SIR List:

Congratulations Vincent !

Monday morning Vincent broke the legendary Dan Driscoll’s 2007 record of 21,244 K in RUSA rides. Vincent now has 21,307 K of RUSA rides for 2009… and he’s not done for the year! It is fitting that Vincent broke the record on a truly rando ride – the first annual (?) Winter Solstice ride … riding through the night, in the rain, with a dozen other odd ducks.

When you then add in his international riding – the Granite Anvil 1200, t he Sydney-Melbourne 1200, his riding in the Pyrenees – and the PAC Tour Mountain week, it is simply astounding.

It’s been great riding with you this year !


Chapeau, Vinnie!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

When is 480 = 200?

I wanted to get my December R12 in the books early this month. It rained yesterday, and then it dropped below freezing. The roads were pretty darned icy, and they were icy for a long time. I left the house with a normal bike, but it was so slick driving, that I went home and grabbed the freshly built 1971 Roberts with studs shown here in repose.

Greg pointed out that quite a few people signed up. Most showed up. Some started. A few finished.

He is going to make a nice flow chart illustrating the decision process and the relative brightness of the different choices. I don't suspect the finishers will come out on top.

Vinnie, with a killer jersey, had not ridden since the 1200 in Australia that finished the day before yesterday, so he was in.

We ate healthy as usual.

There was a beautiful sunset over Lake Sammamish.

It was a great day. A couple of riders went down in Renton on the ice. After everyone checked out OK, some smarty pants told Greg that he was really glad he crashed because he needed to stop and pee. Said smarty pants does not take credit for this line, as Greg has heard this before.

I was really really slow with the studded tires, but my 480 studs helped me feel safe on my 200K. Yeah, I'm sort of a belt and suspenders guy.

Today's That's Rando! winners are everyone who thought about riding, didn't ride, rode, DNF'd, or finished the ride. Group hug.