By Mile 2, I was already dropped. Amy and Bob passed me at some point, as did some guys who were fixing a broken chain. I did manage to get to the first control thirty minutes before it closed. There I met Eric who had already endured two flats. He was the last biker I figured I’d see for the remaining 150 miles. I handed him one of my two spare tubes and he urged me to eat a sandwhich and head to Quilcene before calling in a DNF.
Due to my slow riding style, my pal Dave improved the Hood Canal 300K route sheet for me by detailing at each spot exactly where I’d need to be based on 10 MPH time. By the time I left the first control and picked up the phone, I knew that while I could likely finish the ride, I’d certainly miss the last ferry and be riding through the Tahuya Hills alone, in the dark and drizzle. That sounded like absolutely no fun. My desire, plainly put, was not strong enough.
With no plans on going to Paris for the Paris-Brest-Paris (Normandy has too much good food to rush through in my mind), and no plans really to ride any ride this year longer than this one, I turned back to the Hood Canal Bridge and the reasons I really like bicycling. I stopped for some sight-seeing and barbequed oysters in Port Gamble before heading to the Kingston Ferry. It was nice not to feel like I needed to rush around. At 82 miles of riding, it was still a decent and long day out for me.
That said, here’s what I feel is the deal with Rando and me. If I am going to do it again, I must get my speed up so I can ride with other folks. It is also the only way I can do the things I like to do on my bike, like taking the occasional picture and stopping for an entire cup of coffee. To get faster, I need to lose some of the 40 pounds I put on this past year of traveling and I need to actually remember to bike like I want to go fast, something to work on my Redmond-Seattle commute.
I think I’ll revisit the 200 and 300K after at the end of summer.
Pictures from a Day of Failure