Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Randonneur Rookie Wrung Out

Ready or not, I planned to ride in David Parson's Volcanoes vs. Farmland 200K permanent route Monday 1/2/12. Turns out I was ready. Not just from all the riding I've been doing, but all the places I've been riding. This day was a combination of many other days, in many ways.

We left Sellwood at 7am and after a few dark miles, the sunrise began its dramatic but short sky show. At this point, your blogger, #7337, was accompanied by Rando Riders Theo and Michael and an anonymous journalist who was not allowed to help. He pointed out the paradox of a rule preventing help in a sport known for participants' helpfulness and all around good samaritan atmosphere.

Our first control point was in Oregon City, a destination from a late winter ride last year. We all madly took out our cards and answered the clue. It felt enchantingly alley catty. Several hills to daylight and the next control point out near Barton Park, where I had ridden last fall to watch a CX race. A quick snack and water refill and riders darted off.

Then Canby, where we puzzled how we'd cross the river. I recalled a ride from Canby to Salem just last month. Champoeg Park, where I've eaten monster cookies mid-ride several times. Through Newburg, Gaston, Cornelius - all towns the Randonneurds took me last fall. Then North Plains, where November's Populaire ride stopped.

Getting punchy, I killed time creating endurance metaphors. The worst - boiling water for endurance jello. The best - putting my parakeet in a cage and taking the elevator down to mine endurance ore. Misty, cold, hot, hungry, wet and tired, we took a much-needed break at the Rogue Brew Pub. Delicious beer control point.

Renewed, we rode through Helvetia, then up Skyline. Sunset. Still climbing Skyline. Quads screaming. Finally, Saltzman for a dark 10 mile wooded descent on some unpaved surface. Too tired to be completely scared. Highway 30 back to town, Esplanade and back to Sellwood at last.

Two tired campers, 11 hours and 11 minutes start-to-finish. Beer, burgers, bed. My dreams were in old film style showing a flickery black and white moi, wearing my tres francais bonjour cap, shaking hands with the head guy in Paris while he wrote my name in a big red book half a story tall.


  1. Beer on a brevet...you've just moved into the advanced group!

  2. Well done. "...a combination of many other days, in many ways...", elegantly describes how I felt about the route.