Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A permanent and a malfunction

I received a message last week asking if I was interested in riding his Nottoway 213k Permanent. He mentioned that Kim a strong randonneuse from the beach would be riding and she was bringing some other riders for their first RUSA ride. I couldn’t refuse full day on the bike in the area. Besides it would make for a great training ride.

We gathered at the start of the road and we would start out rolling 5 deep. Disaster struck just 15 miles into the ride. One rider blew out her rear derailleur. An attempt to make it a fixie was made but it did not work and her ride was over. A good Samaritan with a pick up truck offered to shuttle her back to town and her vehicle. The country folk sure are nice in that part of Virginia.

In typical fashion, the wind would start out as a head wind and turn as we did. Most often, the wind in southeastern Virginia switches direction in a complete 360-degree rotation. The route features some small rolling hills and the wind. One of our posse, Pascal, from Belgium said it reminded him of home, with smaller hills.

Enjoy the photos.

Any thoughts on causes of the derailleur malfunction?

Toad at the beach

Last week, we were treated to a free concert at the ocean front by Toad and the Wet Sprocket. I rode down to listen for a while and visit with some friends.

It's what all the locals do.

Monday, May 4, 2009

300k take 2

That's a big hill and we keep getting closer!
It took me 2 tries but I completed a 300k this year; it was a long road and a short story. Last week I “headed down south to the land of the pines” and participated in Alan Johnson’s 300k starting in Morrisville, NC. I rode hard and had fun but in the end my feeble mind got the best of me and I got a DNF. My buddy Jon P. said, “Bro – just finish.” Aye Master Chief! So I cowboyed up and hopped back on the horse for another 300k.

This time it was the DC Randonneur’s Warrenton 300k. Friday evening I registered and completed the bike inspection. While operable headlights and taillights are important, I think they really wanted to get a look at Chuck’s craftsmanship. After the early Saturday morning safety brief we were off into the abyss.

Stanton & George
The ride was truly enjoyable. I rode with some hardy randonneurs like aciene George Winkert. George passed along wisdom whether or not he realized it. Of course I’ve probably heard it a thousand times ‘ride your ride.’ I believe this is the key to successful randonneuring yet it is easy to loose focus. I also rode with Stanton for a while, who is freaking hilarious. Stanton is not in a hurry but finishes his rides. Gentlemen, it was a pleasure.

Old Fence
The merchants at the controls were all courteous and thought we were a few fries short of a happy meal. A few of them had some mean Virginia country jambon sandwiches. I highly recommend.

Information control at Civil War Museum
The crew from DCR that set up the ride, did registration, worked the secret control and stayed until we all safely returned were top notch. The pizza was good too!