Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday writings for Randos - The Moon and the Mountain

{Friday Writings for Randos - A weekly 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 week it's an excerpt from a blog post titled:

 The Moon and the Mountain


by Mark Thomas* 
Not my finest hour (or two, or three, or maybe more). By turns walking, riding, throwing up, and sitting on the guardrail trying to settle my stomach, I was making poor progress up White Pass on our 600k brevet Saturday night. Last or near last among the riders on the course, I began to lose confidence that I could finish the ride. Of course, that confidence was at best a thin veneer from the start. "Petrified" was apparently the word I had used earlier in the week to describe to Robert Higdon my state of mind about the 600k. . .

. . .  Soon, however, the moon and the mountain came to my rescue. An incredible glimpse of Mount Rainier glowing silver in the moonlight reminded me of what great fortune it is to live and ride here among these majestic surroundings. Knowing that my negative fuel intake barred all but the lightest of efforts, I geared all the way down, satisfied with any forward progress. With an odd melange of joy and despair, beauty and suffering, I eventually found myself at White Pass summit. Although far from certain about Sunday's ride, I knew I'd make it to Naches tonight. . . 

. . . The descent from Chinook Pass to Cayuse Pass brought unbridled joy. Awesome views of Rainier once again from Tipsoo Lake. Glimpses of Mount Adams in the distance. Brand new pavement to put the "whee!" into our wheels. And lunch in Greenwater couldn't be too far off. We avoided the singletrack detour taken by earlier riders around a road closed for a motorcycle wreck. Instead, we braved the shoulder alongside the now alternating traffic. Doors opening, drunks urinating, and trailers in the shoulder were probably evenly matched obstacles to the roots and ruts of the singletrack. . .

. . . Bob and I picked up Rick Blacker at the last control in Orting and we finished together, just after 7PM, with just under an hour to spare. Up ahead of the finish line loomed the mountain, looking satisfied.

*RUSA President Mark Thomas rides with Seattle International Randonneurs. He has ridden over 90,000 kilometers in Randonneuring events, including over 14 brevets of 1000km or longer. This total does not include the rides done overseas, including PBP. (Read the whole post here)

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