Things have been quiet at RandoDud land. But that doesn't mean I haven't been out on adventures. It just means I've been a slave to work, and cataloguing my adventures has acquired a priority that I am not proud of. Let's go about rectifying that, shall we?
SIR 100K: It was a cold but clear winter day, and the weather got warmer and warmer until it felt like a crisp Spring day. Amazing. I rode with several people: Mike Huber and Millison Fambles on West Snoqualmie Road, some newbies, Don and Mimi Boothby near Sammamish, but finished with Mitchel Schoenfeld. Finished in about 5 hours and change. Met with a whole bunch of friends at the finish. Mike Huber bought me a beer. It was a fun day to be out on the bike.
SIR 200k: Kevin Humphreys gave me a ride north, and the Jenses provided the hospitality. We started off with a nice downhill, but you all know what that means for the finish right? Rode with Deirdre Arscott and Bob Lepage from Canada, and Ron. The ride had one mean b***h of a hill that made me walk. No shame in that. Mark was at the top taking photos. From Arlington, I rode with the Alaskans Jacques Boutet and his wife Donna and Jennifer Chang, but the whole train dropped me before I got to Granite Falls: Mark's new favourite haunt. It was absolutely a fabulous day by now, and we stripped down to just shorts and a jersey. The nasty hills North of Sultan slowed me down, but I met a rookie at the Sultan control: Kashina. She was riding strong, and left a bit ahead of me, but I managed to keep her in my sights until she dropped me just after the last info control. The hills to the Jensen's provided the last stumbling block, and but for a bad shift might have ridden up the whole hill, but my chain fell off my granny, and I was forced to walk for about 50 yards. Finished in 12:03. Not bad. Great day for a ride.
SIR 300k: Kevin again gave me a ride to the start, but this was a tough ride. I got lost and lost about 25 minutes, and did some bonus miles and climbing. I fought all afternoon to get an hour at Kayak Point, where volunteers Gary and David provided us with Bahn Mi sandwiches (yum!) from Saigon Deli. A bunch of school kids and their guide were all ears about our activity, and wished me luck. Near Mt Vernon, I hooked up with Ken Krichman and Jason Hansen, but the Dr dropped us on the steep hills out of Mt Vernon. We rode together almost all the way to hilltop control at Lake Cavanaugh, we had about an hour and half in the bank. Not bad, but the days climbing was taking its toll one me.
Darkness fell on us near Carnation, and we rode to the manned control with about 3 hours to go, and only 28 miles to go. We did leave together, and stayed together, but I suffered a flat just near that beast of a hill near Klahanie, and the Dr was getting antsy about finishing in time. We left together, but I had mounted the tyre the wrong way, and it was going kathump-kathump-kathump all the time. Just near the bike path, I lost sight of them, and then almost all the air in my front tyre. Took about 15 minutes to patch that, and there was only Duane behind me.
I got completely lost right off that steep hill off the I-90 bike path, and slowly limped my way home, getting lost several times near the U-district. I was near the Hec Edmundson bridge when I saw Duane riding ahead; he probably just took the trail all the way. I caught up to him, and we finished together: 25 minutes to spare. They had shut down the kitchens and we got no food. Duane gave me a ride home. I got my butt kicked on this one.
SIR 400k: I rode real strong until Concrete, and then Burbee Hill Road happened. Had to stop numerous times, and that road took its toll on me and slowed my journey to Baker Lake down. I got to Baker Lake in 10:36 and the proceeded to waste 35 minutes at that control; I must have really needed it. There was an awesome support crew there: Kole, Jennifer, Vincent and Theo from Portland, who had crashed within the first few miles, but had gallantly started volunteering.
I got back to Concrete, and Bill Gobie and I rode on South Skagit Highway until the first of the rain drops fell. We stopped to don all our rain gear, and then the skies opened up. Bill had eaten a burger at Concrete and that started bothering him. He started dropping back, but I wasn't in a mood to stop in all this rain. I made my way to Big Rock Grocery where Jennifer and Kole met us. She gave me a new route sheet, and I took off after eating a banana and spending too much time out of the rain. Bill didn't know if he was going to make it, so he urged me on. Made good time until a few miles out of Arlington, when the sleep demon overtook me. I stopped at a gas station, and the rain had stopped a little. Bill Kennedy and Doulas Migden caught up to me here, and we rode together from here on until the finish. I was really sleepy, but was riding strong on the hills, and making some time only to lose it by stopping.
I tried to nap again a mile from the control and Douglas gently prodded me with a "We are only 1 mile away from the control" to get me going. Jennifer met us again at the control. Bill had thrown in the towel, his stomach having gotten the better of him. We spend all together too much time out of the rain at Granite Falls. At least a half hour or so, and then took off again. I was their navigator having done this route many many times. We got to Monroe just before daybreak, and Jennifer was there again, giving us food, and getting us permission to use the restroom. (I am never using the 7-11 in Monroe ever again).
We got lost out of the control, but a call to Mark helped us find our way. We rode together until that long climb out of the Snoqualmie Valley. I was sleepy, tired and going backwards, but Douglas and Bill zoomed ahead of me, waiting for me at the turn. We were together until the Mark Thomas hill, which I tried to ride up and couldn't. I walked up. Douglas and Bill finished a few minutes ahead of me. Joe Llona and Ken Krichman finished a few minutes behind me. I had been doing so well, and went backwards for the second half. Need to practice my control stops during extreme rain.