Monday, November 24, 2008

Down in the Valley

Apparently the Great Southern did nothing to cure me of the rando bug; instead it appears only to have deepened my affliction. In addition, a quick review of the year's rides found me just shy of 5000 RUSA km for the year. So out the call went for companions on a Saturday ride of Permanent 186 - Snoqualmie Valley and Falls. Mostly nice weather in the forecast tempted many.
  • Ralph Nussbaum brought the single bike this time.
  • Erik Andersen and Bob Brudvik brought the single speed bikes.
  • Vincent Muoneke brought a nasty cold. ("You shouldn't be riding," I said, mostly in jest. "Go downtown and find a few big guys and then try to stop me," came the response. He's got the bug bad).
  • Rookie randonneur Dan Rearden brought lots of questions and the right attitude. His e-mail full of questions the night before concluded with "Ah hell, see you in the morning."
  • Also responding were Danish transplant Ole Mikkelsen and Jeff Loomis, back in Seattle after some years in the Boston area. Both did a full ACP brevet series with SIR this year and Ole rode the scorching Cascade 1200 as well.
  • By coincidence, Jack Brace and friends (Tom Norwood, Ryan Schmid, Destiny Williams) had also arranged to ride the same permanent. Jack e-mailed me to say that they could join us for the start but would be in a bit of a hurry and would have to "hustle along" after the first control. You'll have to ask him how that turned out.
So a nice big group of twelve merry randonneurs set out from Redmond. Hammering along seemed to be the order of the day, and I only managed to eke out one legitimate coffee stop on the ride. The sun came out half-way through the ride and Bob and I stopped for espresso drinks at Vinaccio Coffee in Sultan. They roast their own beans and are delightful people as well.

We had a full regroup in North Bend about 160km and one good rain shower into the ride and all twelve of us enjoyed a nice fast paceline into the finish. A fun day. Tom took pictures and has promised to post soon.

Sunday Bob, Dan, and I still wanted more, so we joined Robin and Amy's training ride out of Renton. Great weather, great company, fast pace, and not enough coffee. Again. I'll have to offer a refresher course on the interrelationship of randonneuring and espresso.

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