Gentle 200 km and some rain

It’s been twenty days after Paris-Brest-Paris. I am still dealing with tingling and numbness in my toes and fingertips. Nothing unexpected. The good news is – I am feeling great overall. In all honesty – I feel I can tackle another 1200 ride tomorrow. Ok, let’s slow down and come back to reality.

The next big ride will be Sofia-Varna-Sofia 1200 in June 2016. If I really feel crazy, why not  give Miglia Italia a shot as well. If I can bike 760 miles, I can bike 1001 miles. And before you know, 2017 will be around. We can then ride on the left side of the road in rainy England. This is when the next London-Edinburg-London 1400km starts. I am tired listening to stories about it, and need verification in person. Plus the Italians have award for crazy people doing PBP,Miglia and LEL in 3 years back to back. I Might even do some racing at the 24 hour Sebring next year. I guess I feel hungry at the moment. Why -” I say why not”!

Now let’s get back to the ride report. A week before my birthday I looked into my DC Randonneurs Calendar. There was a ride scheduled on September 12. I am actually born on that day.

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. What better way to celebrate, than doing what I love. So I signed up for North by northwest 200km brevet. I did not even pay attention as to where we are biking. Knowing that is a loop north from Frederick meant that we will be in familiar grounds.  Nice quite, country roads and a lots of historical sites.

All week I would check the forecast. Overcast, cloudy, possibly rain. When asked if I bike in the rain , I am quick to respond :

Rain or not , I bike.

Why? Because this is what I love to do !

There is actually a better answer to the above question. This week I was reading this cool article about the   ” rules” in cycling. Inside was the golden rule for my upcoming ride:

Rule #9//  If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.  Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing rain falling from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face. This is a rider who loves the work

And if this is not enough you can always refer to :

Rule #5//  Harden The F… Up.

It was nice and cool morning as riders were lining up at Roy Rogers.

Twenty seven riders will start the event, and they will all finish it. Three rookies among them.

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On our way to Gettysburg the top of the mountains were covered with fog, and was so beautiful.

The only time we would have a glimpse at the sun will be at the finish line , one hour before  darkness sets in .

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Despite the rough road at places, descending was fun. I am still trying to think how the bike wasn’t going more than  25 mph . A headwind is a headwind – no matter going up or down !

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We were passing through small , quite cities and country roads. So beautiful

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Randonneuse Georgeta

I mentioned earlier that we had three rookies on this ride . They all finished. A former co – worker named Georgeta was quite impressive . What she did was mind-blowing. Everyone seemed  surprised. Two days before the ride she found out that I’m riding 130 miles. She just simply said :

“I’m coming to do it “.

At first, I wasn’t sure if she understood what is she was getting herself into. But I knew that she was an athlete. I didn’t want to discourage her, but rather encourage her.  I knew how tough she is, and just gave her a few tips. Her longest distance was 40 miles, and she just completed 130 that day. How cool was that. Let’s not forget that she had a flat tire, plus the three hours under the rain. All she had was bicycle and regular shoes. But in all seriousness she had more – determination, strength, agility. Plus some more . . .When you believe in yourself, the sky is  the limit. Period !

Passing by Gettysburg memorial park was magical. Plenty of boy scouts and visitors were there. It was the day after 9/11 , so it was really special. We then climbed over South mountain. Descending in the rain, on a shoulder of a busy road – not fun. I was glued to the break hoods while cutting through the rain drops. Towards the end we climbed  over South Mountain again.

This time there was no rain. I managed to take few pictures. And have my picture taken.

It appeared  steeper now , as we got to Buena Vista and continue climbing. It was the last small fight before the descent into Thurmont.

We were soon back at the start location for the post ride pizza and drink party. Another great day on two wheels.

See you soon on the road!

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