A while back, when I began Randonneuring, I was talking to the husband of a friend of my wife - which kind of makes us friends by some marital variation on the transitive property of equality but not the kind of friends who do stuff together when the wives aren't involved which is kinda odd when you think about it in detail - but, I digress. Anyway, I tell the guy - I will call him "the guy" to protect his identity and because basically his real name is really not what this is about - I said to the guy -
"Yeah, we do these long bike rides under a time limit. The shortest distance is 200k - about 125 miles- and the longest is about 1200K -about 750 miles.
Now the guy was no couch potato. He had ridden a bike across the country and had lots of real outdoor adventure trips under his proverbial belt. When I tell the guy about the sport, he replied with something to the effect of
"Wow, you must have some real demons chasing you."
That kind of took me aback. Because even then, I knew that ultra distance bike riding is one sport where the one thing you cannot escape is yourself.
That conversation came to me again during the arduous 300K that the PA Randonneurs put on yesterday. In the course of that ride, I came face to face with some unexpected realities. But instead of demons, I would call them angels. And each of them had a name.