I was riding behind Dave when his derailleur blew apart. We had just gotten stuck behind some trains in Auburn and had talked about how we couldn’t afford any flat tires if we were going to finish this ride. As I peered into the detrius on the side of the road looking for his bolt and bushing, I felt relived. We could just limp back to Kent, pick up some lunch and be home for an afternoon nap. That was at mile 36.
Our ride ended 9 hours later and we added another 90 miles to it. At 126.1 miles, my first Brevet is also the longest bike ride I’ve ever had. We biked from Kent, over to the bluffs above Tacoma and Commencement Bay, down Main Street in Auburn, to the Bakery in Black Diamond, up toward the Cayuse Pass on Highway 410 and a stop in Greenwater, back down to Enumclaw, before returning to Kent in the last bit of daylight and a steady downpour.
It has been almost two years since I joined the Seattle International Ranondennuers. Unfortunately, between living in Boston and traveling it seemed I was always in the wrong city on the wrong weekends to start a Brevet series.
Given how long I’ve thought about these rides, I was surprised not to like it that much. As one of the slowest riders, I spent the whole day anxious about making the controls in time. There was barely time to stop for pictures, let alone a proper lunch.
One of the funnier brief conversations of the day was with a fellow who said, with some humor and a touch of derision, “Kent Peterson eats junk food.” Considering every stop was at a junk food emporium and as I dashed in to get my card stamped it was easiest to grab a jerky stick, what else is there? In the 200K run, I had factory made mini donuts, a homemade donut topped with chocolate and peanuts, a Russian tea cake, 2 organic food bars (rethinking food if you ask me), 1/2 turkey sandwich, 1/2 bag of potato chips, 1/2 bag of Fritos, 1/2 beef jerky, 1 pepperoni stick and a Gatorade. Disgusting.
I’m glad I got out for this. It got me out on roads and a route I never would have ridden otherwise, proving south county has fine riding. It was interesting to meet folks that I’ve only read online, and well, there is the sense of accomplishment. However, it likely proves that I more of a tourist than a randonnuer.
The Seattle International Randonneurs 200K Brevet