Friday, April 4, 2014

First Friday Writing for Randos - The Rando Way

{First Friday Writings for Randos - A monthly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This month it's an excerpt from Jennifer Chang's account of her Cascade 1200 Ride in 2010.*

Randonneuring is hard. It stretches you to your limits. And in a way, it’s a lot like life.

After making a very slow progress up two mountain passes, both Steve and I were exhausted. We decided to get off of the windy pass and find a sunny spot, after a partial descent, to take another ditch nap, the second one for me for the day and Steve’s first one. It was after that refreshing 20 minute nap, that my rational mind, which had been put on hold since Loup Loup Pass, kicked back into gear and started clicking again. It was then that I realized that Steve, by deciding to accompany me to the finishline, was sacrificing his 200K permanent control time limits, which are set earlier than mine. At the rate I was going, there was no way for both of us to make it to Marblemount within his time limit. I urged him to go ahead of me, but he stuck around, pulling me on the descents, giving me berth on climbs, telling me that it didn’t matter to him if he completed his 200K. If he could do it within the time limit set by 1200K route, he said, then he would know that he has helped a friend, and he could have done a 1200K, as well as the 1000K. With or without the record. Hm. His calm reasoning made me feel less guilty about the sacrificed permanent, and I became even more determined to finish the ride, so his sacrifice would have meaning.

Is there a rando way, in the midst of randonneuring rides that stretches you to your limits, thus resembling life, that also stretches us to our limits? Absolutely, but it’s a gem that must be striven for, like the ideals of zen in the midst of urban life or the ideals of liberty and justice for all in our governments. And I’d say, I’ve been a recipient of more than my share of it, amongst this group.


Jennifer Chang's report of her 2010 ride is honest, unguarded and inspiring. You can  read the entire report here and you should.

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