Thursday, October 30, 2008

Great Southern Redemption

2001 - Great Southern Randonnee - DNF - Epic Fail
2008 - Great Southern Randonnee - 80:10 - Epic Ride

Great ride. Thanks to Peter and Greg, my Aussie riding buddies, and to all the wonderful folks who organized and supported the ride.

More later. Need to find beer, food, shower, and bed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

100km to Lunch; 100km to Dinner

On Sunday, seven SIRs met up at the Mukilteo ferry terminal to do the Whidbey-La Conner permanent that starts on the Whidbey side of the ferry crossing. One other SIR showed up at the Edmonds ferry terminal, which didn't work out so well. The forecast promised a nice cool clear day.

We had a fast, fun ride up the island, stopping just before the Deception Pass bridge to take on water and fuel and to discuss the pressing matters of the day.

Joe Platzner and Bob Brudvik:

Vincent Muoneke (a.k.a. the good doctor):

Trudy Frantz:

Alan Bell and Steve Davis:

Crossing the bridge:
Happy, goofy, and halfway across:

On the way to La Conner, I discovered a good reason to sit back and draft, rather than get up front and risk perdition.
At the halfway point in La Conner we enjoyed a great lunch at the La Conner Brewing Company. My need for carb replenishment forced me to have a stout with lunch.

Usual Skagit Valley roads took us to the Arlington control and the Centennial Trail brought us to the Snohomish control. We climbed up the knee-breaker hill into Everett and cruised down to Mukilteo, spurred on by the thought of celebratory beer and pizza at the Diamond Knot. A very nice day on the bicycle.

Footnote: At the Diamond Knot, another patron spotted our randonneur jerseys and asked if we had just finished a brevet. We're not used to having strangers familiar with our odd terminology, so this piqued our interest. As it turns out, we were speaking with Ken Brooker, one of the original Seattle randonneurs. He was quite interested to learn how the club had grown since his time with it. We urged him to come back and ride with us.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I saw the warning posted to the SIR list:

Apparently there is a bug going around. A few local cyclists were infected at a brewpub in Issaquah today. Concerned epidemiologists expect a rash of sick days to be taken this Wednesday (October 1). Among the symptoms of the dreaded bug are (1) a hunger for breakfast at the Black Diamond Bakery at 7AM Wednesday, (2) a craving to ride 200k on the first of October to bag another R-12 month, (3) a mid-day lightheadedness at 6400' elevation at Sunrise, and (4) a giddy feeling from a long, fast descent. For more information on this illness, see

If you feel yourself coming down with any or all of these symptoms come meet your fellow sufferers at Black Diamond for a 7AM support group meeting. Bring diagnostic information on the form available at

I'll plan to bring prescription treatment in the form of a brevet card and route sheet. Those preferring home remedies can mix their own route sheet treatment at

The support group convened at the Black Diamond Bakery yesterday at 7AM.

The outbreak had spread and sufferers came from hundreds of miles away (John Kramer, White Salmon, WA and David Rowe, Lake Oswego, OR) and from right around the corner (Eamon Stanley, Covington, WA and Tim Halstead, Maple Valley, WA). Fellow patients also included David Harper, Gary Prince, Robin and Amy Pieper, Vincent Muoneke, Trudy Frantz, Matt Newlin, and Bill Gobie. We confirmed our symptoms over a hearty breakfast and headed out at 8AM to seek treatment.

Treatment Plan

The initial phase of the 200km treatment was an uphill climb, to be sure, but the circumstances could not have been better. We had a perfect day, with clear skies and great temperatures. The views of Mount Rainier could not help but lift the patients' spirits. After four hours of low-dose treatment, we entered the Mount Ranier National Park facility for the intense 25-kilometer critical phase of the cure. After two hours of this, I reached the 6400-foot peak dosage of our treatment regime, along with Amy, Robin, Matt, Gary, Tim, and David H. (Eamon, John, and David R were on a faster plan and Vincent, Trudy, and Bill were on a more relaxed plan).

Nearly cured

After a fast and exhilarating descent, we celebrated our good health with a late lunch from the nice folks at Greenwater Outfitters. Sandwiches, ice cream, espresso drinks. Afterwards we made quick work of the last 45km, arriving back in Black Diamond at around 6PM. Over pizza and beer, we pronounced ourselves cured. Unfortunately, it appears that this is a disease for which relapses are likely.