The gateway randonneuring event!
the first one is less than 200k… try it, you’ll like it…
I was planning on a pretty popularious day, seeing as how I’d been on the bike twice in December. Not that I’d *just* been sitting on the couch eating bon-bons the whole time, but yeah. Oh and there was rain in the forecast, which caused my initial ride buddies (who I’d been looking forward to seeing but I’ll get over it) to make other choices about how to spend their Saturday. Being less smart, and having volunteered to help out with the start control, I was at Crissy Field at 0700ish.
Fortunately it was dry for sign-in, AND! EricW had brought fresh homemade sticky buns, still warm from the oven. Does it get any better than that? Why yes, there’s BionicMax, back on the bike after four months (not that he was counting), and Vidas, the Lithuanian Saint of Adventure who I also haven’t seen for a long time, and so many other familiar faces of this silly rando tribe.
The oath and away we go. Oh good, I CAN still ride a bike. Well, not going to set any speed records today, just want to get to Pt. Reyes Station and back without totally killing myself. Plenty of other folks seem to be taking it easy as well, either by necessity or choice, so there’s a nice rotating cast of characters that keeps me entertained out over the bridge, through Sausalito and out the southern Marin wiggle.
I find out what that percent chance of rain thing means, and eavesdrop on GregM’s rant about the violations of physics in the movies on the ascent up White’s Hill. Good times. He, EricW, EricM & Therese and I take the Cross Marin Trail, which is just splendid.
I’m pleasantly surprised to see Vidas, Max and BFK still in Pt. Reyes station. Figured they’d be long gone, maybe to be seen at the finish. A ham and cheese croissant (warmed!) from the Bovine and hot chocolate add to the awesomeness. As we pull out with Max and BFK, Greg comments, “the average speed of the group just went up 3 mph.”
Heh, yeah. I told you guys I haven’t been riding… OK, they know. And they know I don’t expect them to slow or wait for me. So if they do that’s their choice. Stop worrying about it already.
Whew, there goes everyone over the bump to the golf course. I’ll just go my pace and get there when I get there – OOOHH! that’s so pretty the wisps of clouds rising up out of the redwoods on the other side of the valley. I have the camera but haven’t had it out much. I’m going to stop and take a picture of that!
I crest the hill and ohgeez the group is stopped in the wide spot just on the other side. Unexpected that they’d all be waiting, my heart nearly bursts out of my chest. Or maybe that was the climb.
Through the valley, off the back again over White’s Hill, bunch up again through the wiggle. Come upon the aftermath of downed Pudu (self-inflicted, very personal encounter with top tube) in Larkspur. He’s able to get going again, and by the time he’s back at Crissy Field he’s asking around for massages of the affected area. (And you should probably feel special if he DIDN’T ask you, cause he was asking a lot of us.) Anyway…
Max remarks how my earflaps (sticking out since I’m warm) look like the winglets on the Tupolev “Concorde”. Alas they do not give me any speed powers. Off the back up Camino Alto, and most of the group keeps on, no doubt smelling the barn now. Greg and EricW wait for me, and we pick up Kitty and Nancy for a pleasant roll back to the picnic. Which is an amazingly tasty spread by Kimber, who is there with her beautiful smile, getting us all fed. Super fun to hang out and visit with everyone.
The weather was a little moist while out riding, but it could have been much wetter. It was one of those days where just when I was to the enough already with the precipitation, it would stop. Then just when I’d start thinking oh hey maybe it’s done for the day, it would start again. AND! It had stopped by the time I was back at the picnic, and stayed dry for that, which was the better time for it to be dry. (and I had dry clothes and another from the not-quite infinite collection of earflap hats to change into, yay me!) Great day on the bike, most excellent way to start the riding year!
Thanks to everyone who rode with me, and huge thanks to Kimber for the amazing picnic!