Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ride Around Clark County

The Vancouver Bicycle Club's annual Ride Around Clark County century felt like coming home.  My involvement with this spectacular local club has fallen by the wayside, a casualty of so many other rides on the calendar.  Many people recognized me, and I grabbed a lot of hugs from a lot of good old friends, which felt great.  But it's not just the people that make it feel like home.

It's the roads.  These roads beg me to ride them.  They beckon me to push my personal speed limit.  Rollers seem to be everyone's favorite type of road, and there are no two alike.  The many variables include sight line distance, tarmac quality, length and angle of climb, etc (lots of etcetera).  But they all have one thing in common - they all go up and they all go down.

I stopped midway up one hill because my gears were clunking and my breath was panting.  I shoved a candy bar in and heard some dude say "slowpokes" as he rode by.  What the heck is wrong with people?  I remounted and wound Spooky up to catch this jerk.  Thanks to this lovely ti bike, I spun up quickly and caught them quite handily.

"Oh, it's you guys".  The Texan, and Derek from the Wheelmen.  Of course it wasn't some stranger calling me a slow poke.  Guess I have a hair trigger when it comes to accusations about bike speed, or lack of it.  Derek mentions he's going to shift down and let me go ahead, because he's out of shape.  My hair trigger rears its head again and I challenge him to race me to the top.

We match each other's pace for several breaths.  The hill would not relent, and neither would he.  He was slowly slipping ahead of me.  It's maybe twenty more yards to the top, maybe more; emotion and fatigue color measurement.  I had a tiny moment of awareness that I could push just a little harder.  So I did. And I caught him.  Passed him quickly and turned back in time to see him grimace.  I returned the look and stuck my tongue out and continued up.  Damn, it felt good.

The whole day felt good.  Looking down to check which ring I'm in, I see the blur of the asphalt underneath my pretty ti frame, and my standard cockpit with bell and computer and basket and sparkle sticker atop the stem.  Everything looked crystal clear and extra colorful.  There were many of those magic little moments that I always try to save up for a rainy day.


  1. I got speed comment triggers as well. Nothing like having your pace (or lack thereof) discussed by name in a thread on tarckbike.

  2. I rode the century route and had two "vantucky driver" moments, which is to be expected in Clark County, I suppose.