Sunday, September 20, 2009
Our fall Dart was by most accounts an unremarkable ride. And yet, in my mind it was a steller ride, precisely because it was uneventful.
In the team events the 'ride' takes a back seat to the 'team' aspect. The team is really the whole idea behind the Dart and as long as you can keep that in mind (and follow your planned itinerary) your chances of 'success' are higher. The major shift in emphasis is this: a faster finish does not equate to success. One of the quirky rules attendant to the Dart is that you have to ride the whole time, in this case the clubs (SIR and ORRANDO) designed a 200K event which the teams had to ride in 13.5 hours. Team Snail Darters rode a circular route of 208 kms in 13 hrs 25 mins: success.
Team mates Peg and Duane rode together on his tandem. Brian rode his trusty old Trek and John was on his new snazzy Carbon rocket. He's really getting comfortable on that water pipe on wheels. New to randonneuring, Kris seemed to really enjoy herself and I suspect we'll see her on more events in the future.
I rode farily strong considering how little 'focused' riding I have done this summer. I am currenly fighting another sinus infection which as often happens, has also developed into a lung infection. I just took lots of performance enhancing drugs and made sure I kept moving along. Astonishing! The same formula that has served me well for quite a few years (the 'drugs' part aside).
It started out like a seasons first ride: We were late getting out of the blocks, all were re-learning how to dress for wet weather, funny to hear; "Hey, I have a pair of rainlegs just like those, I forgot I even had them, wonder where they are?" Re-finding long finger gloves, booties or not? Eventually we went through the checklist of essentials. Everyone had a brevet card, lights, and reflective gear, the essentials were on board. No sense standing around in a parking lot getting rained on, might as well get out on the road and ride into it.
Eventually we were rolling, over half an hour late, which would keep us moving along through the whole day. We had a little time to putz around at stops, but the time natzi was always there, always nagging (sorry team).
A fork in the road is usually not much of a navigational challenge, but at this point we had to pause and consider:
The weather man did his job. It was wet in the morning but we were out of the clouds before noon. The headwind came up as we headed down Hiway 6, and there was a bit of wind going from Raymond to Artic, but it was sunny.
Once into Montesano, that wind through the Chehalis gap turned into the free, 15 mile an hour ride almost all the way to Oakville.
I rode this event with different friends in 2007. We rode a similar route but rode it as an overnight event, it rained most of the way. The weather was much more pleasant this go round but the friendship just a rich.
It all begins with Mac and Cheese
View the photoset here.