Sunday, November 30, 2008


Fairwind, she follows Geoff Swarts
As through the mist he cuts
No sun to glint on his chainstay
No other Rando's on this very foggy day
He says I really don't like this Auburn hill
Hearing that gave me a chill
He had worked so hard to bring it fame
Now he would have to work on a re-name
I was glad to hear him speak so
I had followed his riding to and fro
And I longed to gasp the same air
With such a lone-some randonneur
And who's there he seemed to say
To the one behind his seatstay
It is Vinnie, I thought with pride
And I love your solitude and the way you ride
Then Vinnie keep yourself awake
We are going to climb up Alice Lake
And with that he rode by my side
To be my one, my only guide
Redmond at the end of the ride
We parked Green Hornet and Fairwind side by side
And in a soft chair in Whole Foods
We parked the battered body of Vinnie the Pooh
I watched him spin, I watched him rise
I saw the fire in his eyes
Yes! I strive for riding bold
But so steep? so cold?

Forever indebted for your guidance

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Back to Back

Marks Rando Notes, gives an RBAs report of permanent # 0186 last Saturday. Many SIR members showed, several Anciens, a number of newbies and all else in between created a special chemistry. What Mark nicely-conveniently forgot to mention was that I bonked hard, very early in the Snoqualmie Valley. More bad news at the Lake Stevens Control the pack had left maybe 00:05 ago and I was just arriving, was I in Dire straits? Perhaps they fathomed at the reason behind riding in the cold weather with the sniffles, perhaps I should have done so too. I sincerely hope no one caught it from me.
Sultan at last, feeling quite a bit better as I gave up the chase to settle to my own rhythm, Bob and Mark waved me in to Vinaccio Coffee. They were glad to see me and the feeling was mutual. A pretty gal behind the counter fixed me a tall soy mocha with 3 shots for my receipt. We left that town as the Sultans of Swing.
We rocked and rolled to North Bend, from there like the Sultans "we made it fast with one more thing". Starbucks at Fred Meyer Redmond, paper work and some refreshment and a word of advice from Sir Harold Gillies. "Do not do anything standing that you can do sitting and do nothing sitting that you can do lying.
I drove home to Federal Way dismissing any misgivings, I quick washed my Woolistics top and Ibex bottoms and placed them in front of a fan to dry.

0645 Sunday, Ward Beebe handing out Brevet cards to Steve Davis, Stanley Eamon and myself at Tullys in Redmond for #0359, there would be more climbing involved.

The sun at the Issaquah control was very deceptive, it was going to be a rather cold morning. It warmed up a bit with the midday sun and dropped again as the day wore on, winter is on its way.
Stanley led us up the hills and Steve pulled us forward on the rollers Ward was our clutch player and provided the extra drive whenever we sagged.
I just rocked out under my balaclava happy to be rolling with these musketeers.

At the higher elevations we did share some spectacular views of the cascades as well as V8, Chocolate Milk and Oh! that special bonding. With the loss off daylight we were all ready to be done and we did, all together soon after. Back at Tullys, Stanley had to rush off and build a bike. We lost Steve (I apologize) driving around blindly in search of liquid Carbs. but I did get to raise a glass with my Buddy Ward.

I learned that Mark, Bob and Dan rode Sunday too.
So who says the Rando season is over, apparently not in Redmond.

With gratitude to Vinaccio Coffee

The Sun and the Mountain

I fess up, I think the Seattle Rando Club rocks in so many ways.
I confess too that I look forward to reading the expressed thinking of my fellow certifiables, thereby personally being responsible for a large number of hits on the on the Rando blogs. One that I remember well The Moon and the Mountain. I have never forgiven myself for not showing for that brevet but then I had a Last Chance for a Randonee.
Amy Pieper spelled it out clearly in her communication that there may be one Last Chance to the Mountain. It was calling and the indicators were "go" but road closures put a wrench in the spokes and we all had to settle for the available.
The Seattle area weather has been relatively clement in November, October as well.

Foggy in the morning as I drive to the club ride on sunday.

Like my Kids the Sun sleeps in but finally comes up to brighten up Blue Wool.

Hatsumomo the evil but beautiful geisha was glad for the company. Beer and Pizza after the training ride, I heard from reliable sources that the road condition had changed. Monday was the window. 0700 from Kent/Covington QFC , the fog was enough to make the road plenty wet, I was grateful for my fenders as off we headed towards Black Diamond.

"The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
Miles to go before I sleep"
Robert Frost

The Bakery and the Mountain. Lets not forget Caffeine.

At Enum-scratch

Hello Mr Cybershot make this day great
Is that a twister brewing on the left
Do you simply capture images of the patterns of the sky
Or is it true the weather heeds the twinkle in your eye

The trouble spots on 41o.
Only trouble was to stop and clean off gobs of mud to quit that infernal noise.

The River was contained,
but I could tell she was gloating.

To the point of no return,
and thoughts of what 09 may bring.

To the lodge for control, and run down with the Sun at my back. Crystal Mountain Blvd. was in good condition better that two years ago when I was last up it on a bike. Still a few rough areas recommend a cautious descent.

Very little of the usual satisfying fare at one of the fave spots at Green Water as there has been very little traffic (OK by me). Always nice, they rigged something up with chicken and bread, showed me photos of the road damage earlier, impressive. I ate and was gone.

Heading south towards the Carbon River and then descending into the little town of Burnett.

No info control give-away, you need a receipt.

Beautiful farms in Auburn towards the end.

Thanks to Mark for bringing it up on Sunday. it helped prepare me for my Wednesday with Mr Swarts, I hope Geoff gets to tell that story.
Happy thanksgiving to all !

Please click on the pictures for much better detail and resolution.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Novelty Hill

The spell was strong, even our famous northwest weather seemed a little spellbound.
The bug was on the flourish. Word on the wire suggested various remedies, there was no one Panacea. After several second opinions the True Blue Friday band opted for the Hood Loop.
A few stragglers would go for Saturday. The Daimyo of this group had suggested an old fall favorite to Northbend. Unfortunately, due to logistical problems I found myself a lone Ronin at 0645 in Leschi

It was worth it.
Yet the mountain was calling from afar, Perhaps soon?

0720 with no other road warriors to be seen we took off. No trepidation here after a remarkable "training day" with Ye Merry Band of Brothers and Sisters.

By Kenmore the sun joined us, illuminating both new construction and old flying machines.

Flying down Novelty hill we arrived in the valley. Pre-informed by Geoff Swarts and others (thanx) we pre-planned our detour and did not have to swim across.

At the QFC in Northbend be careful with that bike stand, I came out from that control to find the bike (admittedly heavy) tilted on the stand and my front rim dented and out of true.

Still magnificent sun at the Shell at Maple Valley, the last control before the finish.

Crimson skies by the Renton airport.

Dark already by 1730

Thanks to Mark and Albert for the Moral Support

Skele- tons of fun

In search of my first R12 medal (Congratulations to our hardworking Permanent Chief, Narayan who just bagged one) I wondered what November would bring. Then I heard through the wire that Don Boothby was gathering a number of goblins for the Camano-Bellingham Witch Project.
It was a size able group of ghouls that showed at Elger bay on the first morning of November after a night of trick or treating . With broomsticks well tuned we took off with the first rays of the morning sun
Nothing like the blue shirt to bring out the little devil in me.

This is what happened to the bike of the dude who tried to drop us at Laconner

This is what happened to the dude.

We did not feel too bad since the big fish have to gobble the little ones, kinda like when the peloton gobbles the breakaway.

Caught the Stoker but the Joker was too fast

And Past and old haunt to get to Bellingham

After all said, the spell is on me.

Thanks to Don and his Stokers

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hatsumomo San

November morning sun, and the air was still
We rode together up Novelty hill
She's like an angel, but her wings
Are weaved together from carbon strings

She says her name is Hatsu-something
But I know she's from Wisconsin
She loves to play, she longs to please
And when she sings, its like a breeze

Sometimes I'm certain she reads my mind
But to her ways I'm deaf dumb and blind
Sometimes she squeaks as if she knows
The weight of rando and all his sorrows

We drag in for the final reciept
As I walk away from that hard leather seat
She leaves the glow of love behind
And memories imprinted on my mind

Thanks to Amy Pieper