Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In the Eye of the Storm

Our club offered a couple brevets last weekend.  They came and went mostly without incident.  Oh sure there were a few wrinkles and if I had worked a little more diligently, with better pre-planning most of that would have either gone away or never have been apparent to participants.  There is also a certain amount of disharmony that just seems to leak through the seams on almost any complex endeavor which incorporates this many people, places, and logistical forks in the road.  We were fortunate to have been down those roads (figuratively and literally) enough times previously that in most instances we made good choices.
Then too, if you can’t be just plain good it always helps to be lucky.  The weather man smiled upon us, not too hot, not too cold, wet, windy, or … not too extreme anything.  Of course that’s easy for me to say, I spent most of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the luxurious Motel Six in Tumwater.  Had I been riding over Wildwood pass in the heat of Saturday afternoon, I might have another tune struck in my head.
Luckily, these two events slipped between the cracks of the county road departments in Lewis, Thurston, Grays Harbor, and Cowlitz Counties.  In these mostly rural, mostly ag economy locations July and August are chip seal season. I just figured that somewhere along the way riders would get an opportunity to roll their shiny new tires through brand new crushed road rock, floating on hot tar. As the date for these events drew nigh, I kept thinking this was bound to happen somewhere, but we were spared.
The luck wasn’t all flowing from the horseshoe though.  I was ill in the weeks prior to the events which disrupted my preparations.  That was frustrating as well as a wrench in the timing belt.  And in the last couple days before the event my ISP  decided that actually we didn’t have a high speed internet connection and so our WWW privileges would be suspended until we came on board.  This is the new ‘ dog ate my homework’.  It may or may not be true that your computer or internet connection will go dawn at random moments but of course the ones you remember most vividly are those times when you need your computer to communicate with someone or some other site.  You know, just when you are about to submit that proposal or college application or the revised cue sheet to the club website for posting.  Oy!  That was stressful.  Fortunately (luckily?) we were able to impose upon friends and patched together a work around to get the materials posted.  Unfortunately ( unluckily?) it wasn’t long until it was brought to my attention that the cue sheet I posted was V3, not the newer and improved V5!  There is an old Chinese rando proverb:  “A man with one cue sheet always knows where to turn, a man with two is never sure.”  The errors were minor but possibly confusing.  I felt bad announcing “The cue sheet on the web page is wrong, here is a corrected copy.”  I felt worse when I got so many responses asking where the changes were.  Clearly many people are tuned in to electronic navigation, more than I realized.
Then too, late Saturday night I discovered errors on the 200K brevet card (which would be needed in the morning).  More chaos ensues, I can’t run off to an all night Kinkos to affect the fix, there are still riders out on the course.  Once again coming to the rescue was my wonderful, chipper, upbeat wife. The fix required trying several blind alleys, at 11pm before finding our way through the maze.  She truly was the calm in the eye of the storm. 
For all the things that went well, I owe credit to my wife and most excellent support crew,  Things that were wide of the mark, I take full ownership of.  Fortunately ALL riders on both days finished!  Several DNS’s but many more day-of-ride walk ups.  Thou we printes 10 extras, we actually handed out every last brevet card for the start of the 200!  
It felt great to see so many old friends and meet some of the newer names I have been seeing on the registration/results pages over the last couple years.  

Most rewarding was that in just about every case they all finished with smiles. This I a tribute to “type two” luck.  As someone (Will Rogers?) once said, "Luck has a way of finding those who have prepared for it."  All riders seemed perfectly prepared.  Good job and congrats to all riders. 

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