Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Winter of My Discontent 1(the feast of the immortals)

How does one start to write again? A story perhaps? Long long ago in a very special time...... Maybe once upon a time... How about, just the year two thousand and ten. The year when, without actually knowing when I decided on it, decided to ride either 30,000 kilometers or 20,000 miles on a bike. Being a bike polygamist, and a tinkerer with bike electronics. And at the same time a poor log keeper, I would use RUSA to keep the log. So off I rode, every Brevet I could manage in the Great Northwest including a 400k Fleche from the White House (Charlie White's Home) into British Columbia. But that is a different Country and so is Texas I gather, or is the Jury still out?
Congratulations! Gary Gottlieb, made a marker for the Long Distance Rider.
Much of a long distance ride depends on logistics, I tried to look at it as one big ride. With a full time job and children it would be tricky. It helped that RUSA sanctions a "Workers Ride", I would also learn a lot about working Brevets. The Seattle International, and Oregon Randonneurs are a tightly knit bunch, they support long distance cycling rain or shine, but Brevets would not be enough. Again RUSA sanctions a "Permanent", a Brevet that one could ride at anytime agreed on by the owner of the Permanent and the rider. I remember vaguely Kent Peterson's blogs on training to race the "Great Divide". Practicing not training I think he called it. With Coach "No Car", Coach "No Gears" and I think there was a third one. I called on Coach "Permanent". Owning no Permanents of my own and not having yet unveiled any aptitude for routing courses, I called on the SIR Permanents which are all owned by the inexorable Geoff Swarts.

The Mystic Mjolnir at Cape Flattery, it only takes a camera to make her smile, though I had carried her through rock, bramble and bush to get this shot. As long as I had my Serotta I was down for whatever.

It was also the year Professor Dan and my friend Andy from down under visited with me for the Cascade 1200. Kole joined us in a pre ride libation. I thanked them for the visit and explained the significance of libation amongst the Igbo people. A must at any significant event which we ritualized by dropping some of the contents of our goblets on the earth in which we have interred our ancestors. Sharing with them our pleasure, for if they had not copulated, it would not have been possible. Though in my self centered take on it, the only reason they existed in the first place was to make the moment possible. I further explained my gratitude, for in our philosophy a poor man is a man who prepared a big feast and no one came to share it with him. My assumption is that most of the feast would go on the ground to the ancestors, hence the "feast of the immortals".
The SIR list of Permanents is a feast of Olympian proportions. May we gather again from far an near to participate in this feast. What use is a website full of courses if no one rides it.
And that's just the beginning of my story.

Thanks Gary Gottlieb for pushing the envelope.