2000 SIR Newsletters

Volume 5 Issue 5 - Nov/Dec 2000
Volume 5 Issue 4 - Autumn 2000
Volume 5 Issue 3 - May 2000
Volume 5 Issue 2 - March 2000
Volume 5 Issue 1 - Jan/Feb 2000

Volume 5 Issue 5 - November/December 2000

The 2000 SIR Executive Board: Mark Thomas, Ken Carter, Kent Peterson, Bill Dussler, Terry Zrmhal, Greg Cox & Wayne Methner.

Membership fee: $8.00 - full membership w/e-mail newsletter or $15.00 - full membership w/printed newsletter.
Membership Address: c/o Ken Carter, 348 Lind Ave. SW #33, Renton, WA 98055 (email: Kenneth.Carter2@PSS.Boeing.com)
Newsletter Address: c/o Peter McKay, 8837 32nd Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98126-3722 (email: petermckay@home.net)

In This Issue

Letter from Pete "brahmabull-et" Bajema
Autumn 200 km Brevet Results
2000 Fall General Meeting
2001 Brevet Schedule
RUSA 1000 km & 2000 km Medals - Reminder
Photos from Spring 2000 Brevets and Flches
SIR members who participated in across Washington State events:
Cannonball 2000 Results
S2S 2000 Results

Updated: 27 November 2000

Monday, July 31, 2000

Hi Everyone,

It's been a month since RAAM and I have finally got all my thoughts about me. What a race! I have often asked myself how in the **** I hit a cow , but I guess you had to be there to see it with your own eyes! The area reminded me of being in Death Valley in the middle of the night; Pitch black with no lights from towns to interfere. I was very fortunate that I was only doing 35mph and not 50+mph as I was doing just a few minutes before (I stopped to put some more clothes on - 35 degrees and gusty).

Well that was only the icing on the cake as my race included a unwanted friend we all have on occasion called Murphy. He, or maybe she is very quiet but lets you know their presence with subtle hints, ha ha!. It all started a day before the race with my mechanic / masseuses pulling out ..... leaving me with very little experience and more importantly a member short! I did not think much of it as what else could happen ... we were going to have a smooth trip with minimal problems... and my crew is very resourceful. On the trip down to Portland, I met up with my motorhome just outside Olympia WA. and found it had no rear lights and it is dark out, go figure! Well thank goodness for the RAAM electrician who donated his time to assist us in need... he spent a total of 3hrs on the motorhome getting my marking lights and backup light working. A big thanks goes out to the gentleman whose name has slipped me. Thinking that all my problems are behind me, the race starts off successfully. I am feeling great, the hills in Oregon are coming and going with little effort. About four hours into the ride my motorhome passes me honking and giving me the thumbs up. little did I know this would be the last time I would see the motorhome running for the entire race. Within a hrs time I see what looks like a motorhome dead on the wrong side of the street. As I approach it one of my crew members comes out and yells at me " don't worry Pete, we'll get it fixed and catch up with you". That was the last time I saw the motorhome. It eventually got towed back to Madras OR and had the burnt valve replaced. Meanwhile I continued to ride with a crew that has suddenly dwindled down to three and only one with crewing experience. For the next 2 1/2 days we got by with the (3) member crew team. What makes it even more impressive is I went down to sleep for three hours total during that time. The only thing that went array during this time was during the first night setting up my light system on my spare bike. Instead of going ahead a mile or two, they went ahead several, and by the time I reached them it was dark and I was being escorted by the race officials (Thanks Rob and company!). I think they "over estimated my time by a factor or two!

When the Motorhome crew determined it was going to be a while before the motorhome was fixed, they started looking for a rental vehicle, i.e.. a van... but with our luck the closest one was back in Portland. So they rented two vehicles, a Blazer and full-size truck loaded them up and chased after me. We all finally met up in some small town in Utah. What a relief for the crew in the van! I even met up with the motorhome owner in his other motorhome heading home. I should have been more firm in giving us his motorhome, but after a little thought he decided against it. Well at least I had a fresh crew and new found enthusiasm with all my crew finally together. I cruised through the first half of Utah and decided to take it easy up the 30 mile climb over the Monte Cristo Mt. range. It was long and in some parts tough, but I left myself in good shape at the top, feeling fresh and ready to ride through the night. This was all short lived as I coming down the pass(~midnight) when I met a large black object that went moo...One thing I found out was there was not much give in one of these animals, it was just like hitting a brick wall! All I saw of this black beast was a white nose and two beady red eyes staring at me as it came into my line of site. That site will forever be etched into my memory, as I just had time to get one hand out the aerobars and into the brake hood before impact. Fortunately for me I startled the cow when I hit it, causing it to run over the other side of the road and down the embankment. This redirected my travel to the small gully just off the right side of the road. Amazingly I didn't hit the road and landed about 15 -20 ft down on to some sagebrush and small rocks. Unfortunately I was not able to move my right side so the ambulance was called. They arrived ~ one hour later put me on a backboard and transported me 40 miles to the Hospital in Evanston, Wyoming. Once I got to the hospital feeling started to come back to the ride side (what a relief) but the knees, left quad and right thumb were another story. All were starting to really hurt when they gave me this pain killer which instantly cleared the pain! The doctor advised me to take a sleep break and see how I felt in the morning. Well that was not a problem as the drugs they gave me knocked me out within minutes of the reaching the hotel room.

After three hours of rest, I woke up to a stiff body! Bound and determined to get back on the bike, I spend the next hr stretching and getting rubbed down. By the time I got back to the location of the accident , I was ready to ride. The miles into Woodruff and Evanston WY. were flat and fast. As I started to climb out of Evanston, my knees started to really hurt. Hoping it was a just a phase, I pedaled on. That was the best my knees felt for the rest of my race. By the time I crossed the Colorado border my knees were in constant pain. I went down for a 90 minute sleep break in Dinosaur CO out in a chase Lounge. When I woke up my whole right side was paralyzed and not functioning. Off in the van back to Vernal UT and a 30 minute Jacuzzi to hopefully get me moving. Once again it worked, and I was off to Dinosaur to start riding again. The Next stretch to Craig CO would let me know if I could continue to race as it had ~4000ft of climbing in it. Everything was going great till the first hill; Only the pain was worse. I kept riding till the next bit of climbing when my knees made a couple of painful popping sounds (felt like someone was hit me with a 2x4 every revolution). I got off the bike and was driven 90 minutes to the hospital in Steamboat Spring, CO. (Known for its good sports doctors). I spent the next six hours getting x-rayed, poked and prodded. They mad a custom splint for my thumb and told me that rest off the bike is what I needed... We decided to take a two hour break and see how I felt. The two hours came and went I was not feeling much better... but decided to give it one more go as I was not out of finishing under the allotted time yet. We drove back the stopping point and off I went. I probably should have turned it in at the hospital as it was no better than before. I limped into Craig CO. not able to control the knee swelling/ pain and called it quits...

I decided to drive the rest of the course and see what I missed (for future races - so keep this wonderful course!!!!) with part of my crew. One by one we picked of each of the riders finally catching up to Wolfgang somewhere in Arkansas. What was amazing about Wolfgang is that he looked so fresh for being on the bike so long! He is quite a rider.... Up ahead was the 2-man team of Bishop and Maida, looking strong but tired. It was like yesterday when I saw them pass me in Idaho. We arrived in Gulf Breeze the night before the first riders finished to overcast skies... it reminded me of the weather back in the Pacific northwest just a bit warmer. Sure enough, the rains came later that night and continued through the morning hours. What a finish... crossing a four mile bridge with nothing but beautiful blue water around you (traffic too!). We stayed to cheer on the riders who came in the first two days and the banquet to celebrate everyone's accomplishments. Lon, Susan and company, what a wonderful job you all did in putting together this event! As long as you are at the helm next year I will be back to finish, minus a cow!

PS: A special word for Tom Buckley. You are a man after my own heart when you asked for that chair on stage after the finish! Good job!

Pete "brahmabull-et" Bajema

Editor: Congratulations, Pete! We're proud of you! More information about RAAM 2000 is available at: http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/.

SIR Autumn 200 km Results, September 23, 2000, Audax Style

Bentley, Derek 10:24
Fuller, Andy 10:24
Humphreys, Kevin10:24
Liekkio, Peter 10:24
McKay, Peter 10:24
Methner, Wayne 11:00
Peterson, Kent 10:24
Taylor, Alex 10:24
Thomas, Mark 11:00

It's a nearly 6 on Saturday morning on my way to Mark's. Crossing the Sammamish Valley I see something bright ahead. It's Kent Peterson entering 124th Avenue NE from the River Trail. He is lit up with lights and reflectors everywhere.

Wayne Methner organized this last-of-the-season brevet in the Audax style. We intended to average 25-30 Kph. A few of us slowed the group to a 20 Kph average. But, we had fun! Early in the ride we rode as a group. Later, people went their own pace regrouping several times along the route. Somewhere after 200 km, and before the finish, we climbed this hill. This hill - most climbed on their bicycles - a few walked. It was steep!

After the ride, Chris Thomas feed us with a magnificant spread to celebrate Mark's 40th birthday.

The weather was dry and by mid-day very warm. See Kent's weather report (below).

Report from Kent Peterson

OK, this is WAY over the edge in nerdiness, but I dumped the info from my iButton Chronotherm (tm)for Saturday's 200 km ride. This little gadget, which is about the size of five dimes, was sitting in my Camelbak and logging the temperature every ten minutes. Bottom line, it got down to 40 degrees for that section up on the Issaquah Plateau but it was even colder for my ride up to Mark's house. It took us almost until 2:00 PM to hit 70 degrees.

04:42 , 43.7F Took off my house in Issaquah, riding up to Mark's
04:52 , 39.2F house. The Thermocron is in my Camelbak
05:02 , 41.9F
05:12 , 41.9F
05:22 , 39.2F
05:32 , 37.4F
05:42 , 36.5F Very cold and foggy along the river trail
05:52 , 32.9F
06:02 , 36.5F
06:12 , 50.0F Inside at Mark's house, the Thermocron is warming up
06:22 , 52.7F some.
06:32 , 52.7F We took off at 6:30 AM
06:42 , 45.5F
06:52 , 43.7F
07:02 , 41.9F
07:12 , 41.9F
07:22 , 41.9F
07:32 , 41.0F
07:42 , 40.1F
07:52 , 40.1F
08:02 , 41.0F
08:12 , 41.0F
08:22 , 41.0F
08:32 , 42.8F
08:42 , 46.4F
08:52 , 46.4F
09:02 , 47.3F
09:12 , 48.2F
09:22 , 47.3F
09:32 , 48.2F

09:42 , 48.2F
09:52 , 49.1F
10:02 , 53.6F
10:12 , 51.8F
10:22 , 50.9F
10:32 , 50.9F
10:42 , 57.2F
10:52 , 64.4F
11:02 , 62.6F
11:12 , 60.8F
11:22 , 61.7F
11:32 , 61.7F
11:42 , 60.8F
11:52 , 60.8F
12:02 , 61.7F
12:12 , 60.8F
12:22 , 61.7F
12:32 , 61.7F
12:42 , 63.5F
12:52 , 65.3F
13:02 , 67.1F
13:12 , 67.1F
13:22 , 67.1F
13:32 , 67.1F
13:42 , 67.1F
13:52 , 70.7F
14:02 , 73.4F
14:12 , 70.7F
14:22 , 68.9F
14:32 , 68.0F
14:42 , 68.0F
14:52 , 68.0F
15:02 , 68.0F
15:12 , 68.9F
15:22 , 70.7F
15:32 , 70.7F
15:42 , 69.8F
15:52 , 69.8F
16:02 , 73.4F
16:12 , 76.1F
16:22 , 70.7F
16:32 , 68.9F
16:42 , 69.8F
16:52 , 68.9F
17:02 , 69.8F Back to Mark's at 5:00 PM
17:12 , 70.7F
17:22 , 71.6F
17:32 , 73.4F
17:42 , 71.6F
17:52 , 71.6F
18:02 , 70.7F
18:12 , 69.8F Rode home.
18:22 , 68.9F
18:32 , 68.0F
18:42 , 67.1F
18:52 , 66.2F
19:02 , 65.3F
19:12 , 63.5F
19:22 , 66.2F Back home in Issaquah

2000 General Meeting

SIR held its general meeting on October 21, 2000. Again this year, Hales Ales Pub in Ballard was our venue. Lasagna, beer, and good cheer were shared by many SIR members.

During the meeting, RBA Mark Thomas handed out brevet medals and cards, and Flche Northwest and Flche Pacifique certificates. The medals for the 200 km and 1000 km will be mailed upon receipt. 2000 brevet volunteers were recognized and given a gift. Pete "brahmabullet" Bajema was honored for distinquishing himself in RAAM 2000. In his absence, he was awarded with the soft friendly cow, complete with sounding cow bell.

We announced the 2001 brevet schedule, including selecting the brevet organizers. 2001 officers were elected. Mark Thomas (RBA) and Ken Carter (Treasurer) volunteered for another year of service. Peter McKay (Newsletter Editor) was elected.

Mark opened the general business session with a motion to affilate SIR with ACP. The motion was seconded by many, and enthusiascticaly approved. In other business, we discussed brevet fees and the level of brevet support. Brevet fees for the 400 and 600 were increased during the last executive meeting. Brevet support varies among the various randonneuring clubs. It was agreed that our support is adequate for our club. Ken Carter led a general discussion of club finances. A suggestion to use club funds to defray costs of participating in PBP 2003 was deferred.

Thanks to Mark and Bill for a great meeting. Thanks also to Mark, Ken and Kent for their service as club officers in 2000.

2001 Brevet Schedule

EventDate(s)Brevet Coordinator
100 km Populaire TBA Tom Lawrence
200 km 3/31 Greg Cox
300 km 4/14 Bill Dussler
Flche Northwest 4/27-29 Peter McKay
400 km 5/26-27 Ken Carter
600 km 6/23-24 Mark Thomas
1000 km 8/17-19 Terry Zmrhal
100 km Populaire TBA need volunteer
200 km 9/8 Wayne Methner

Note from Terry:

For those of you interested in the 2001 Seattle 1000 km, I am the brevet organizer. I may create a new route. Two options I'm consider are a loop through the Olympic Peninsula down to Astoria and back or a North Cascades/Stevens loop with several hundred miles in eastern Washington. If you are considerng riding it and have any preferences or ideas for routes, please let me know. Thanks - TerryZ

RUSA 1000 km & 2000km Medals - Reminder

Applications for the RUSA 1000 km and 2000km medals are due December 1, 2000!!!

These medals signify participation in brevets sponsored by RUSA member clubs. The awards are for any RUSA event participant who compiles 1000 or 2000 kilometers of brevets in one calendar year. Riders must complete the brevets between January and October. The custom-designed medals will cost $7 each, and be awarded at the end of the year. One brevet may not count toward both medals. To earn both medals, the randonneur must ride 3000k in brevets during the calendar year. For the rider who is not interested in the longer brevets, this is a great way to see different regions of the US. You could earn both medals by travelling to various regions and doing 200 km rides. What a wonderful way to see the country, meet other randonneurs, and support our RBAs. These are domestic medals and may be ordered in addition to the traditional French brevet medals.

Plain text and PDF file appplications are available http://www.rusa.org/rusaaward.html.

Some photos from Spring 2000 Brevets and Flches

With the cooler Autumn temperatures and damp weather, your editor was persuaded to publish a few photos from our wonderful Spring season. Thanks to Mark Thomas for many of the pics.

Mark and I joined Ken on the 300 km pre-ride. Mark swears these PBP jersey were much larger and baggy in France. They seem to fit nicely with a few extra pounds. Ken, Thanks for letting us join you! Pete Bajema rode with us some as a training ride.

Andy Fuller & Mark VandeKamp approach the secret control. Tom Brett proudly wears his RUSA jersey.

Bill Dussler, Kent Peterson & Dick Pado make their obligatory secret control appearances.

Ron "My chin strap is too tight!" Himshoot & Don "pondering his steed" Harkleroad

Lee Kanning & Dick Pado discussing the merits of a warm dry brevet. Remember last year's 300?
Peg "Rookie of the Year" Winczewski - Aren't all brevets this wonderful?

double vision: Peter Liekkio & Wayne Methner

Lynne Vigesaa & Ron Lee acknowledging that it doesn't get any better than this!

One year, two flches for Team Sunnyside

@ the finish of Flche Northwest & @ the start of Flche Pacifique

Greg Cox & Wayne Methner insuring they can be seen at night.

2000 400 km - Three Mountain Passes

Pete Bajema completes the 400 in 14:09,
breaking the SIR 400 record set by Kendall Demaree & Jan Heine in 1998.
Rumor has it that a certain tandem provide extra motivation.

Cannonball 2000 Results
275 Miles, Seattle to Spokane
June 24, 2000

25 riders started, 18 finished.

Supported Finishers
NameElapsed Time (hh:mm)
Paul Binford & Andy Fuller (Tandem) 13:21* NEW TANDEM RECORD *
Rand Milam (Recumbent) 13:47* NEW RECUMBENT RECORD *
Joe Kochanowski (Recumbent) 13:56
John Williams (Recumbent) 14:40
Jim Dole 16:11
Eric Hansen 16:11
Mike Pratt 16:11
Dan Austad 17:03
John Duggan 17:17
Bob Burns 17:17
Gerry Gallagher 17:36
Duane Wright 20:15
----------------------------------------- --------------
Unsupported Finishers
NameElapsed Time (hh:mm)
Allen Larsen 13:06 * NEW UNSUPPORTED RECORD *
Kent Peterson (fixed gear) 17:22 * FIXED GEAR RECORD *
Tom Hildebrandt 18:04
Eric Vigoren (mountain bike) 24:23

S2S Results
July 8, 2000
Reported by Pat Marek

There were 11 starters on 10 cycles. 7 riders finished (elapsed times shown):

1. 16:04 Jan Heine and Allen Larsen (rode together)
3. 16:39 Paul Binford and Andy Fuller (tandem, new record)
4. 19:43 Brian Houser
5. 19:55 Kent Peterson (fixed gear)
6. 21:55 John Hunt
DNF Coulee City Lee Kanning
DNF Coulee City Lynn Vigesaa
DNF Coulee City Ron Lee
DNF Skykomish(?) Steve Wolfe

Conditions were mild, with no precipitation. Temperatures were slightly higher than forecast in eastern Washington, with highs in the mid-80's. It was mostly sunny, with more clouds closer to Spokane. There were good westerlies on much of the route, though there were also the usual crosswinds at times between Waterville and Spokane.

The competition at the front turned into a repeat of Cannonball, with Jan and Allen, who started the ride unsupported, taking the lead from the tandem in eastern Washington and managing to stay away to the finish. On Cannonball it was Allen who experienced flat trouble, with four punctures, but this time Jan had problems. After having finished 4 previous S2S rides without a single flat, Jan had his first sew-up flat shortly after the start. Two more followed, exhausting Jan's supply of spares and forcing him to stop to pump up his rear tire every 3-to-4 miles. I found them at a gas station in Wilbur (over 60 miles from the finish), with Jan about to throw in the towel. He had tried an automobile flat fixer compound, but it just squirted out the leak in his sew-up. I had my Bianchi cyclo-cross racing bike with me, so he asked to try out my rear wheel. He borrowed my front wheel at the next stop so that they would both be riding clinchers in the event of another flat. It worked, and got him to Spokane with Allen. The tandem had closed the gap to 6 miles at Wilbur, but could get no closer after that. Paul and Andy rolled into the Cedar Village 35 minutes after Jan and Allen. Considering that Andy had ridden the 600 km just one week before, it was a very good team effort, and set a new tandem record. It was also the first all-male tandem team to do S2S.

The next rider in was Brian Houser, an EWU professor from Cheney, who started the ride very strongly. He was the first rider up Stevens Pass. He hooked up with the tandem on the descent to Leavenworth, and stayed with them most of the way to Coulee City. He was riding unsupported, out to avenge a DNF from the '99 ride. His stomach went south at Coulee City, turning the ride into a real grind for him. He came in at 9:43 pm (19:43 ET), after calling me from a supermarket phone to borrow a headlight for the last few miles.

Kent Peterson came in next, at 9:55 pm (19:55 ET). He became the first person to do S2S on a fixed gear, riding a 70-incher all day, and looked pretty fresh at the finish. After doing the 600 km on a fixed gear, he said that S2S was not such a big challenge. In addition, he rode unsupported! (Editor: We expect no less from the Energizer Bunny.) His ascent of the Orondo Grade brought back memories of Dan Wood beating it into submission on his single-speed adult BMX bike.

The final rider in was John Hunt, a first-time S2S rider who was being supported by his wife and son. Their care and encouragement helped him to keep on pedaling to the finish, which was quite an achievement for a first-time rider who was unfamiliar with the route.

Volume 5 Issue 4 - Fall 2000

The '00 SIR Executive Board: Mark Thomas, Ken Carter, Kent Peterson, Bill Dussler, Terry Zrmhal, Greg Cox and Wayne Methner.

Membership fee: $8.00 - full membership w/e-mail newsletter or $15.00 - full membership w/printed newsletter.

Membership Address: c/o Ken Carter, 348 Lind Ave. SW #33, Renton, WA 98055 (email: Kenneth.Carter2@PSS.Boeing.com )

Newsletter Address: c/o Kent Peterson, 330 3rd Place NW, Issaquah, WA 98027 (email: peterson@halcyon.com )

In This Issue:

2000 Fall 200 km Brevet
2000 Fall General Meeting
300 km Results
300 km Ride Report
400 km Preride Report
400 km Results
400 km Ride Report
600 km Results
Rocky Mountain 1200 km Results
Randonneuring in Russia
1000 km Results
Fall 100 km Populaire Results
The Owls Are Not What They Seem

2000 Fall 200 km Brevet

Brevet: Fall 200 km

Brevet Organizer: Wayne W. Methner (206) 362-5682 e-mail: methner.w@ghc.org

Brevet Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000

Start Time: 6:30 am. Check-in at 05:45 a.m.

Finish By: 20:00 (8:00 p.m.) = 13 hours and 30 minutes total allowed.

Start Location: Residence of Mark Thomas (RBA extrodinaire), 13543 160th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98052

Driving instructions:

From Seattle

Take the SR-520 towards BELLEVUE/KIRKLAND. 6.3 miles
Take the I-405 NORTH towards EVERETT 5.5 miles
Take exit 20b (exit 20 if southbound on I-405)
Turn RIGHT (Turn Left if coming from the North) Head East on 124TH AVE NE.
Turn Bear RIGHT onto 156TH AVE NE. 0.3 miles
156TH AVE NE becomes NE 132ND ST. 0.1 miles
Turn LEFT onto 158TH AVE NE. 0.0 miles
Turn RIGHT onto NE 133RD ST. 0.1 miles
NE 133RD ST becomes 160TH AVE NE. 0.2 miles

Carpools always appreciated.

Entry Fee: $10.00 Members. $15.00 Non-members. Medal additional $5.00. Please make all entry and membership fees payable to SIR.

Fee Structure Explanation for joining SIR:

NON-SIR Members: If you would like to become an SIR member, be prepared to bring $8.00 to join SIR with email-notice-only of events- member, or $15.00 to join SIR as a regular, U.S. mail-notice-of-events member. Also, all SIR members must join Randonneurs USA (RUSA) to ride. RUSA cost is $20.00. If you wish to ride the 200 km, join SIR getting a printed USPS delivered newsletter and are not currently a RUSA member on Day-Of-Ride, bring a check for $45.00. If you choose the e-mail option of joining RUSA and SIR on Day-Of-Ride, bring a check for $38.00. Any Questions contact Ken Carter, Treasurer.

Special Instructions:

Equipment needed: Remember riding gear for inclement weather, bike tools, spare tubes, and food/water for yourself. Please see "Expectations" section of the SIR Web site for further information.

For this 200 km the following equipment is REQUIRED as we will start before daylight:

Headlights (white and clearly visible from 150 yards to oncoming traffic), tail lights, and red rear reflectors are required. Note that many taillights are also legal reflectors. These may be checked and riders disqualified if they do not function. Functional lights must be mounted on bike at all times. Lights must be operating at night on each bike in a group. Blinking taillights are permitted, but note that these may bother other riders.

Reflective vests and leg bands are required for riding at night or during poor visibility. This is for your safety and others in the group.

Hand held flashlights are recommended for repairs made in the dark.

The Fall Season is upon again folks, so as a polite reminder and courtesy to other riders, fenders (with 1/4 coverage front wheel and 1/2 coverage rear wheel) are recommended. Additional rear splashguards are recommended for group riding.

The Brevet Organizer encourages a club Jersey or Randonneurs Mondiaux (PBP Jersey).

There will be a post-ride social at the Mark Thomas residence. Food and Spirits will be available. Friends, foes and families are invited as well as the riders.

Route Description:

The Brevet Organizer is strongly encouraging an Audax style ride to end this wonderful riding year.

The Audax Club Parisien was founded in November of 1904. From 1905 on, the ACP organized the Brevets d'Audax, brought back from Italy by Henri Desgranges, head of l'Auto (a sports magazine). These consisted of doing 200 KM between dawn and dusk at an average speed of 18 KPH, as a group with a ride leader. Strict adherence to the pace was required.

My idea is to ride at about 25-30Kph (flat-no wind) and average about 20Kph. Of course, I cannot require this style of riding, however, I thought it might be nice to honor an old tradition (Kent, you might put on a 42x18) And next year, you just might see a series of 200 km rides trying to honor this tradition.

This fall 200 km follows many familiar roads. We will start just north of Redmond (at Mark Thomas' house) following SR-202 into Redmond. Then head south to Issaquah along E. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. We will then head over the hill towards Fall City (but not quite) and into Carnation. From Carnation we will head to Sultan via West Snoqualmie Valley Rd and the Ben Howard Rd. Leaving Sultan, we head to Granite Falls, seeing that steep little hill Mark Thomas found this year and, of course, Lake Roesiger. The only way to get from Granite Falls to Arlington is to use Burn Rd. From Arlington we jet to Snohomish via SR-9. Then we switch to the backroads of Broadway, Paradise Lake and Avondale back to Mark's.

2000 Fall General Meeting

The Fall General Meeting will be on October 21st, 2000 at 5:00 PM. We are still confirming the availability, but the most likely location will be the same as last year's meeting, Hale's Ales. More details when they become available or call Mark Thomas at (206) 262-8472.

SIR 300 km Results May 13, 2000

Brett, Tom 13:30
Carter, Ken 15:40
Dussler, Bill 13:30
Fuller, Andy 12:10
Harkleroad, Don 15:13
Himschoot, Ron15:13
Kanning, Lee 15:13
Lee, Ron 16:32
Liekkio, Peter 15:25
McHugh, Damian DNF
McKay, Peter 15:40
Methner, Wayne 15:25
Myers, Scott DNF
Pado, Dick 15:13
Peterson, Kent 13:05
Thomas, Mark 15:40
VandeKamp, Mark 12:10
Vigesaa, Lynn 16:32
Winczewski, Peg 15:55

SIR 300 km

May 13, 2000

by Kent Peterson

I wake up at 2:57 AM. I've always had an ability to wake up pretty much on cue but today was the SIR 300 km brevet, so I'd set an alarm just to be extra sure. My friend Andy is coming by to pick me up at 4:00 AM. We'll load my bike next to his on the back of his SUV and drive up to Mulkilteo. But I still have three minutes before my alarm will go off so I curl up to enjoy those extra three minutes.

When I wake up again, it is 3:58 AM. Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn! I slept right through the alarm! As fate would have it my wife is down in Portland for the weekend so nobody is around to poke me into paying attention to the alarm. Oh well, Andy's never on time, right?

It is possible to go to the bathroom and put on a full set of bike clothes in three minutes. I know this because Andy picks today to be almost perfectly punctual and he rolls into my driveway at 4:01 AM. Luckily, I'd laid out my stuff last night. No time to make coffee but I grab a cold CuppaMochaChino (who names these things?) from the fridge and grab a couple of granola bars to munch on the drive up to Mukilteo.

While Andy drives and I eat breakfast, we chat about the riding we've been doing. Andy recently won the first mountain bike race he'd ever entered, his new work schedule lets him get in century rides two days a week and he's been doing training rides with Paul Binford. Of course, all this info is relayed in an understated, "I'm really not in very good shape" sort of way. So Andy "really had to scramble" in his race and can get in "just a couple of centuries" a week and can "barely hang onto Paul's wheel". We know the rules. Nobody ever starts out a ride saying "I feel great, I'm really gonna hammer on this one!" Andy finishes up by mentioning how his hip's been bothering him and how he'll probably take it easy today. I recount my own problems of how work has been busy so I could only log 2200 kilometers last month and managed to squeeze in just a couple of 24 hour rides.

Brevets are not races but they are not not exactly quiet cruises in the country, either. We are all out there testing ourselves against the course, the clock and the conditions. Some of us who still haven't worked past all our competive urges also measure ourselves against other riders. Most people will tell you that Andy and I fall into that competitive category. My wife, who has proven time and again that she has more common sense than Andy and I combined, simply dismisses our actions with an exasparated roll of her eyes and the monosylabic judgement of "guys!"

This guy is too smart to compete head-to-head with Andy. He's younger, faster and he's an annoyingly talented rider. I content myself with working on distance rather than speed and specializing in the odd. Last year I rode all the brevets on a Bike Friday and this year my vehicle of choice is a 1972 Peugeot PX-10 that I have set up as a fixed gear. Most people assume the fixed gear bike handicaps me in some way. If I do poorly on a ride they say "he did pretty well considering he can't shift or coast." If I do well they say "that's amazing considering he can't shift or coast."

What these people fail to understand is that the PX-10 is actually my not-so-secret weapon. The fixed drive-train is more efficient than anything with deraillers and the slack angles of the PX-10 make it the most comfortable bike I've ever had. Every kilometer I log on the fixer makes me stronger than I would be if I rode the same distance on a bike that coasts, since I wind up working on the descents as well as on the climbs. It's different work, but it's still work.

It's a bit after 5:00 AM when we pull into the church parking lot in Mukilteo. A few other randonneurs are already there and we all make our way down to the ferry dock to sign in for the ride. Ken Carter has everything nicely organized and we sign the waivers and get our brevet cards and cue sheet packets.

The ferry leaves at 6:00 AM for the brief ride over to Clinton on the south end of Whidbey Island. There are 16 riders today. In addition to Andy and myself, there are Tom Brett, Bill Dussler, Don Harkleroad, Ron Himschoot, Lee Kanning, Ron Lee, Peter Liekkio, Damian McHugh, Wayne Methner, Scott Meyers, Dick Pado, Mark VandeKamp, Lynn Vigesaa, and Peg Winczewski. Mark and I chat a bit about Gino Batali's passing away last week at the age of 85. "One of the true greats," Mark observes. Even though we are both too young to have ever seen him race, we've seen the photographs and heard the stories of his epic battles in the Tour, the Giro and Milan-San Remo.

Tom, who rode a fixed gear on the 200 km, is back on his titanium Davidson today. He cautions me about the climb coming out of Clinton, saying that there's a longer shallower side road I could take instead. I tell him that I think I can handle the hill but I appreciate his concern.

The ferry docks a bit before 6:30, so we all group in a parking lot to wait for Ken to give us the offical go-ahead. At precisely 6:30 we roll out and take off up the hill. It's a cool 43 degrees so I'm wearing a long sleave jersey over my SIR jersey with a lightweight nylon windshirt over that. I've got a camelbak holding water and food and I've got my Burley rain jacket strapped on back just in case. I've got leg warmers on over my shorts now but I know I'll be removing layers of clothes as the day warms up.

Right now I'm warming up the best way I know how, by scooting up the hill. This first hill leads to others and as we procede up the island we settle into a rhythm. Andy, Mark, Tom, Bill and I trade off the lead for a while. I tend to pass on the climbs and get passed on the descents. Whenever I pass Andy I say something like "those deraillers just make you weak" and he makes a point to be whistling a cheery tune every time he coasts by me. At one point Mark comments that our pace seems pretty brisk but it's just a few more minutes before he and Andy punch the pace up a bit more. He and Andy pull out ahead. Tom and Bill are next and they pull further ahead of me. Looking back, I see nobody.

It's about 60 kilometers up to Oak Harbor and for about the last 30 kilometers, I'm riding alone. In general, I prefer riding alone, letting the road and how I'm feeling dictate my speed. It's fun to chat with the others and ride in a pack as well but most of what I love about riding is the simple act of rolling across the landscape, not just taking it all in but being an active part of it. The clouds are high in the sky, not threatening, but promising to keep the day comfortable. Horses are grazing and trotting in fields beside the road. Several times I see rabbits break into spontaneous sprints, energised into action by my approach or perhaps only by their nervous natures. The terrain rolls on and so do I.

At 8:40 AM I pull into the control at the Oak Harbor AM/PM mini-mart. Andy and Mark are long gone but Tom and Bill are still there. I get my card stamped and buy a Frappicino and a Payday candy bar. Tom and Bill leave before I do. I log my stats (27.8 kph average for this stage of the ride), munch on the Payday and wash it down with the Frappicino. I stow my wind shirt and in ten minutes, I'm back on the road. I'm still not seeing anybody behind me.

The next 17 kilometers are hilly but not as breezy as they were last year when SIR ran the 300 km along this exact course. Deception Pass is just as beautiful as ever. I'd begun to wonder about the how the pass got it's name and after last year's brevet I did a little research.

In 1792 the Spanish and the English both sent expeditons out to map the Puget Sound. Approaching from the west both expeditions saw a small inlet that appeared to lead to a bay. Vancouver, the English captain, sent his navigator, a fellow named Whidbey, to map the bay. To Widbey's surprise, the pass actually separated two islands (now known as Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands). Vancouver dubbed the area Deception Pass to commemorate the way the area had deceived them.

a picture of Deception Pass

I roll across the bridge (completed in 1935 by the Puget Construction Company and the Civilian Conservation Corps) and then turn left on Rosario Road. I occassional catch glimpses of Bill up ahead of me, but I can't close the gap. Rosario Road merges into Campbell Lake Road which then connects up with SR20. SR20 becomes a big road and I follow it East for about 10 kilometers before turning North onto the Bay View-Edison Road.

Today is the same day as the Skagit Spring Classic bike ride and once I turn onto the Bay View-Edison Road, I start seeing other cyclists. The Spring Classic has 25, 40, 62 and 100 mile loops which overlap our brevet course in various places. I pass by various groups of riders as I ride through the small town of Edison.

Founded in 1869 and named after the famous inventor, the river port of Edison used to be a bustling timber and farm town. These days, it's a pretty quiet place with one cafe, two taverns, one liquor store, an elementary school, an art gallery and a population of 123 humans and 15 dogs. Edison was the boyhood home of journalist Edward R. Murrow, but if anyone famous is living there now, they are successfully keeping a low profile.

I turn North on Chuckanut Drive, a twisty strip of blacktop that climbs along the western edge of Chuckanut Mountain and offers up spectacular views of Samish Bay. Until the completion of this road in 1896, all coastal traffic between Bellingham and points south was done by boat. Now most North/South traffic is on Interstate 5, but until 1931 Chuckanut Drive was part of the Pacific Highway that stretched from Vancouver B.C. to San Diego, CA.

After 19 kilometers on Chuckanut Drive, I turn onto Lake Samish Road. The most notable thing about this strip of road is how it deteriorates to a kind of rough chipseal surface. Last year, this road really slowed my small wheeled Bike Friday. This time, I've got full sized 25 mm Conti Sports on the PX-10 and it doesn't seem as bad.

Mark Thomas has a secret control set up at the side of the road and I pull in to get my card signed and load up on water. Mark tells me that Bill and Tom are only a few minutes ahead and that Andy and Mark came through about 40 minutes ago. I roll back onto the road.

After another kilometer of pounding on the chipseal, the light bracket on my Lumotec Oval Plus breaks. I guess the vibration was too much for it. I'd heard about others having problems with the brackets breaking, so when I'd installed my light, I'd looped the wiring over the top of the stem. My theory was that if the bracket broke, the wiring would hold and keep the light from crashing to the ground or getting caught in my spokes. I'm happy to say that this is one of those rare cases where my theory was proven out in practice. The wire supports the light although the light swings around like a drunken pendulum as I bounce along the chipsealed road. I quickly grab the light to take the strain off the wiring and gently ride the few kilometers to the Texaco station which is serving as the next control point. I reach the Texaco at 12:40 PM.

Bill and Tom are still at the control when I pull in. Bill looks at my damaged light and asks if I have what I need to fix it. "Yep," I reply as I dig into my saddle bag and start pulling out stuff as I look for my stash of zip-ties. "Wow," Bill comments in admiration as he gets a glimpse of my repair supplies, "You could almost build an entire other bike with that stuff!"

I find the zip-ties and secure the remaining part of the bracket to my handlebars. Tom points out that I'll probably finish in daylight anyway, but I feel better having all systems fully functional. In addition to the Lumotec light, I have a backup battery-powered VistaLight headlight and a very nifty PrincetonTec LED helmet light, so I'm even if my Lumotec had been destroyed, I could still get home safely.

Tom and Bill are ready to go and take off but I've still got to grab some food, peel off some clothes and log my stats. My average pace for the past 92 kilometer section was 25 kph. I grab a carton of milk, a chocolate bar and a Payday candy bar and munch on these as I stow my long sleeve jersey and leg warmers. The temperature is now in the mid fifties but the sun is shining and I expect it'll be warm on the climb up to Lake Cavenaugh.

I leave the control at 1:00 PM and follow the quiet country roads South. Last year, there had been a nasty headwind on this section but today the Skagit Classic seems to be helping me out. I see various other riders that I figure must be riding the Classic but they are headed North while I'm riding South. They are riding into a headwind while I'm taking advantage of a rare and delightful tailwind. Since Nature always tries to provide the maximum amount of difficult for the maximum amount of cyclists, she had no choice but to put the wind into the face of the many Skagit cyclists and for once spare the few and hearty randonneurs!

I greet each and every Skagit cyclist with a large grin and friendly wave!

I roll on through Mount Vernon, up and over Little Mountain Road, along Big Lake, take a quick jog onto SR9 and then I'm onto Lake Cavenaugh Road. This road climbs relentlessly up to the lake. Last year, the weather was cold here and by the time we got to the lake there was snow on the ground and slush on the road. I'd slogged up in my granny gear then and had actually felt sorry for those with only double chainrings on their bikes. Now, a bit over a year later, I've got one chainring less than a double and I'm feeling pretty good.

As I climb, however, I begin to despair of ever seeing Andy and Mark again. Grandstrom Road splits off from Lake Cavenaugh Road about 10.5 kilometers before our next control. The control point is up near the lake and then the course doubles back on Lake Cavenaugh Road to Grandstrom Road. So if Andy and Mark are more than 21 kilometers ahead of me, I won't be seeing them coming back down. As I pass Grandstrom road, I shoot a glance up to see if I spot them.

No sign of them. The closer I get to the lake, the more I become convinced that Andy and Mark must be HOURS ahead of me. But Gino Batali did not give in to despair in the 1948 Tour when the younger Bobet brought a twenty minute lead into the Alps. I pedal on. Now I see a wonderful sight -- a couple of riders coming towards me. For an instant I wonder if it could be Tom and Bill but no, it's Andy and Mark! They're headed down and I'm headed up but it their lead is less than I'd feared. With a quick wave they are gone, but somehow I'm climbing stronger now.

I pull into the control at 3:33 PM and Bill and Tom are still there. Russ and Ken Carter are manning this control and we all chat while I log my stats, top out my Camelbak and toss the contents of a Coke can into my water bottle. My average pace for this 60 kilometer section was 24.7 kph. It's cooling off now, so I put my long sleeve jersey back on.

"How'd you like the climb?" Tom asks, maybe innocently, or maybe trying to get me to think about how tired I am. It's not a race remember, but also remember we're fairly competitive guys.

"It's a lot better than last year," I reply, "but then I test rode this section a couple of weeks ago. I'm just glad I don't have to climb the passes this time."

This last sentence baffles both Tom and Bill, so I elaborate.

"Two weeks ago I rode up from Issaquah, did this section and then rode Stevens, Blewett and Snoqualmie Passes..."

Their eyes get wide. I'm used to getting that look from non-randonneurs when they find out how much ground we cover in these events, but seeing that same look on the faces of seasoned distance riders is tremendously satisfying.

Tom is working on comprehending what I've just said. Very slowly he says "You rode up here from Issaquah and then rode the three passes..." He seems to be making sure he heard this right.

Bill is sure he's heard right but he's got the obvious logistical question, "So where'd you sleep?"

"I didn't," I reply, "It's only 350 miles." This last sentence apparently does nothing to convince them that this is a rational way to train so I quickly add "I did stop for breakfast at the Pancake House at Snoqualmie Pass, however!"

As always on brevets, while we're chatting the clock is still running. Since my descent speed on the fixed is limited by how fast I can spin, even though I take off before Tom and Bill, I figure they'll catch me on the descent. As I roll down the road a few sprinkles of rain began to fall but they stop just as quickly as they'd begun.

As I roll down to the Grandstrom Road turnoff, I look for other riders coming up. I don't see anybody. Rerunning the same calculation I'd used while looking for Mark and Andy, I figure that the others must be at least an hour back.

On Grandstrom Road, Tom and Bill catch up with me and we're pretty much together as we turn onto SR9. A couple of dogs make raise our heartrates for a bit and on the road to Arlington Tom and Bill build up a pretty good lead on me.

At Arlington, I turn left on to Hwy 530 and then turn up Arlington Heights Road and then onto Jordan Road. I love this area, it's home turf for me and I've logged many training miles here. To paraphrase a Grateful Dead song "I know these roads we're on like I know my lady's smile". It's nice to not be thinking about the cue sheet.

Jordan Road is a series of rolling climbs up to Granite Falls. I see Tom and Bill up ahead now. They're out of their saddles on a climb and frankly, they're looking a little ragged. But I'm feeling good, inspired by the road, by my classic bike, by thoughts of Batali back in '48.

Gino Bartali

I'm sitting down as I pass them, just like Bartali when he took the Tour back from Bobet in '48. I roll into Granite Falls at 5:33 PM, quite a few minutes ahead of Bill and Tom. Andy and Mark are, of course, still far ahead but I'm feeling good. I log my stats (28.1 kph average for the past 51 kilometers) and treat myself to some milk, a Frappicino and some chocolate. I'm munching when Bill and Tom pull in.

Bill speculates about the number of hills on the rest of the course but none of us can recall much about it from last year. We also know that road construction has added a detour so the course won't be quite the same anyway. I finish my snack and head out.

It turns out that the detour adds a few kilometers and one big descent at Marysville. The last kilometers are pleasant, crossing four bridges and sticking to good roads through Everett. I roll along Mukilteo Boulevard and at 7:35 PM I'm at the finishing control at the Cheers bar in Mukilteo. Ken Carter signs my brevet card and I have a couple of slices of pizza. Andy and Mark had finished 55 minutes earlier. Mark's already left but Andy fills me in on their ride. As usual, Andy had felt pretty good for the whole ride. Mark had faded toward the end but still managed to hang on Andy's wheel and they'd finished together.

I log my final stats. For the last 44.5 kilometers my average was 26.1 kph. My total time was 13:05 and my computer logged the total distance as 307.74 kilometers. My total time off the bike was about 65 minutes. This calculates out to a rolling pace of 25.6 kph and a rando pace of 23.5 kph. Certainly not up there with Gino Bartali in his prime, but a reasonably fast time for me. It's three hours faster than my time last year.

Andy and I stick around long enough to see Tom and Bill come in at 8:00 PM and then we load up my bike and head for home.

400 km Preride 5/27/00

A Report by Peter McKay

No. . . "Easy" is not an adjective I use to describe this route!

Mark, Wayne and I pre-rode this year's 400 km route. We reversed the traditional 3 pass route of Stevens, Blewett and Snoqualmie and added some new sections to familiar stretches to create a new twist on this perennial favorite.

It's 5:00 a.m. and we leave North Bend on I-90, climbing to Snoqualmie Pass. It's raining. I-90 is not a pleasant highway. The shoulder is dirty, with lots of sand and tire debris. As we climb and later make our way around Lake Keechelus, we are frequently passed by semi trucks spraying waste water as they pass.

After cresting the pass, the weather begins to improve. I remind Wayne that it's good to be riding on the sunny side.

We exit I-90, take an over pass and we're in Cle Elum. The first control is reached by 9:30 - one hour in hand. We continue, stopping occasionally to remove layers of clothing. It's warming and we enjoy a very pleasant climb of Blewett Pass. The descent is wonderful. After Mark and Wayne catch me, I duck in behind Mark and he pulls us both to the intersection with Highway 2, nearly 34 kilometers. We turn left into headwinds and our pace slows. Leavenworth is reached and we now have 2 hours in hand. It's warm, dry, and we eat heartily.

The ride from Leavenworth to Stevens Pass is beautiful! It climbs gradually, following the Wenatchee River for some distance. Later, it climbs and descends, letting you know you're going to gain it all back before reaching the pass. At the Nason Creek rest stop, it begins to rain. We put on our rain gear, tights and booties. A short while later, the weather improves and we strip some clothing.

The final climb to the pass is long and relentless. I struggle with it. At the top, the weather turns wet. We dress accordingly and begin our descent. This descent lacks all the enjoyment of Blewett's. Wind is blowing rain in our faces as we struggle with the cold and wet. We're tense, and frequently brake to maintain safe control. Skykomish is a welcome relief. By this time, the thought of cliff or power bars sickens me. I want junk food - anything that ordinarily I don't associate with cycling. A couple packages of Reeses peanut butter cups are my solution. We have 2 and a half hours in hand.

Before departing, the weather improves. It's dry. The stretch to Sultan is a long descent, with an occasional short climb. Now, it is time for real food! We have a sit-down dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I have a virgin margarita. It's not as tasty as the real thing. But hey, I need the salt and don't wish the dehydrating effect of alcohol tonight.

We make the turn onto Old Owen Road. Now begins the 110 km hilly stretch to the finish. Darkness came while we ate. If your reach this section in the dark, I recommend you ride it with a buddy - at least until you reach Carnation. Other than through Snohomish, most roads are not lit by street lamps. It's dark, often very dark. Make sure you have good working head lamps, and extra batteries.

Old Owen Road has a short steep climb. You turn off it before reaching the top. Reiner Road is long and winds you up and down before offering its last very steep climb. Shortly after the top, you pass a private road to the right (stay left) and then veer left, remaining on the paved road. There is a street sign that tells you Reiner Road continues straight onto a dirt road. Don't go that way.

Continue on the paved road to the intersection, which tells you that you're on Old Pipeline Road. The road rolls as you ride to Bollenbaugh Hill Road and onto Woods Creek Road. You will miss most of the more hilly sections of Woods Creek Road, but it won't disappoint those you want more rollers. Woods Creek becomes Dubuque as you pass the junction with Lake Roesiger Road.

From the east, Dubuque offers some great descents and three climbs: one long, two short. A left turn onto 139th and a few semi-residential streets leads you into Snohomish.

Wayne pulled us through the Snohomish flats, where the winds were gusting. We climbed Broadway and worked our way to Maltby. The Chevron closes at about 12:30. We refueled with ice cream bars. We now had 3 and half hours in hand.

Paradise Lake Road to Carnation offers a steady diet of rollers to keep you from becoming complacent. Somehow, we managed to save some energy for the last big climb of the night - Snoqualmie Falls. After which, I was spent. Mark and Wayne kept slowing to let me rejoin them. But, after a while it was futile. I dropped off at the last kilometer. I knew I would finish soon - 4 and half hours in hand.


Mark managed two flats. Both Wayne and I were no where nearby to provide assistance.

Pee breaks numbered in the very, very many. Most were uneventful. However, at one stop, I thought the grass shoulder would be a good place to stop. Darn, that tall grass that camouflages a small cliff. My eyesight at midnight, 334 km into a ride, is not too good. Fortunately, a wooden fence broke my fall.

Liquid consumed - commensurate with the output. We made efficient use of our stops, finding water as frequently as necessary.

A few suggestions:

Much of the route between Sultan and Carnation is very dark at night. Having familiarity of the route before hand avoids most route finding concerns. If possible, ride with a buddy. Even if you know the route, by this stage of the ride, one's mind is not as sharp. Once or twice we questioned if we were on track.

This ride is an exercise in body temperature control. Normally, I can easily manage my clothing to accommodate the conditions. This ride provides a variety of conditions, and they frequently change. The sun would appear from behind storm clouds and the temperature would rise significantly. The rain came and went. I over heat on climbs and chill on descents. I was constantly guessing my clothing combinations to best manage in this environment.

Consider sleeping at the finish. We drove straight home. Crossing the West Seattle Freeway, I fell into dream sleep. Awakened by the lane divider bumps, I managed to make it home.

* * *

Finally, a big thanks to Mark and Wayne! It is a pleasure to ride with you! You carried me through some difficult stretches. The ride was very enjoyable. I'm glad we shared it Mark, thanks for all the effort you put into making this route. I enjoyed the many test rides it took to bring it together.

As we completed our brevet cards, Mark proudly exclaims, "No one will say this route is too easy!" No, at 12,500 feet of climbing, it wasn't easy. But, I'm happy I rode it.

Next up - working the 400 km controls and, then the 600 km. Wayne promises if you like climbing, the 600 km will also not disappoint.

SIR 400 km Results June 3-4, 2000

Pete BAJEMA14:09
Ken CARTER17:20
Greg COX 19:53
Bill DUSSLER 19:53
Andy FULLER 18:11
Jan HEINE16:20
Lee KANNING21:57
Ron LEE23:17
Peter MCKAY22:26
Wayne METHNER22:26
Dick PADO 21:18
Kent PETERSON18:50
Mark THOMAS22:26
Lynn VIGESAA23:17
Duane WRIGHT21:57

How I Joined The I.V. League: A Nonlinear Narrative Of The SIR 400 km

by Mark VandeKamp

The End:

"I'm sorry, Jan, but I'm done for the day." I finally say what I have known for the last 10 miles since we left Shohomish and my stomach reverted to an all-too-familiar nausea. I am only 36 miles from the finish of the SIR 400 km, but the cost of finishing has risen beyond my threshold. I'm sitting on the sidewalk in front of the Chevron station on Paradise Lake Road. Jan has just come out of the store, walking past his purple Jack Taylor tandem, bringing me a cup of ice water. He's not surprised by my announcement and his reaction is completely reasonable. "OK. What do you want to do?" I explain that I will call my wife, Jane, who can pick me up and take me home. Jan can ride the tandem alone to the finish and drive my car to his house. I'll pick it up tomorrow. Everything will work out fine. Our experiment with riding a tandem fast and far will conclude with negative results, but what is the use of doing experiments if one always knows the outcome? Obviously, some of them turn out in ways you don't prefer.

I call Jane on the telephone and she sounds concerned but not overly so. I have to hurry the end of the conversation because my stomach is churning. I hang up the phone, kneel on the concrete and vomit. "I guess that means I made the right decision," I think to myself. When I had vomited back in Snohomish my nausea had eased and I thought that my stomach would be able to handle plain water, taken little sips at a time. Clearly I had been wrong.

Jan offers to stay with me until Jane gets here, but I don't know what he can do to help, and daylight is wasting. I tell him I'll be fine and send him off to pedal the tandem up the hill alone. I do feel a little better, but every sip of water is a struggle with my stomach. I start thinking about what I'm going to do when Jane gets here. The options seem to be getting narrower all the time.

The Middle:

Riding a tandem down a long mountain-pass descent is almost like cheating. The speed comes easily and we are tucked and flying down the moderate grades and easily spinning out a 54-13 gear on the sections where the gradient decreases to relatively mild levels. The altitude gains that took big chunks of time spin away in mere minutes as we leave Swauk Pass behind and rush north toward Highway 2 and a left turn to Leavenworth. It's a beautiful day, the warmest this year in Washington, and I can smell the distinctive scent of the dry pine forests of the Eastern Cascades. It's a different world from the rampant green moistness of the West-side that we had left behind this morning after climbing Snoqualmie Pass and will enter again after crossing Stevens Pass.

I'm disappointed to see the junction with Highway 2. The descent is over and another uphill stretch awaits us. Still, the true climbing won't begin for awhile, and the flats go by quickly on the tandem. "Two down and one to go," is my optimistic thought, although I know that shorter, steeper hills wait for us on the greener side of the mountains. We are about 100 miles into the ride and are averaging over 19mph. It's still easy to be optimistic at this point.

Jan is eager to press on and we make a short stop in Leavenworth. I always marvel at the fake Bavarian atmosphere that has been created to lure tourism to this little town founded on timber and fruit orchards. Not much time to soak it in today, although it seems that we hit every red light in town.

It's about 50 miles to the next control in Skykomish and I make a rough estimate that my bottle and a half of Gatorade will be enough to get there. I don't take into account the rising thermometer or the amount of climbing ahead. My thoughts are up the road. I've been meeting my goal of eating and drinking at a good rate, and I slurp a can of Ensure at the first sign that the climbing toward Stevens Pass has begun. One of the beautiful things you can often experience on mountain highways is a clear, boulder-strewn river running alongside. The Wenatchee River is no exception. It roars over falls in white boils and runs clear and slightly green like old bottle-glass in the deeper, slower sections. For some reason, the road looks like it runs downhill in some places here, but the effort required to pedal and the unending flow of the water argue adamantly otherwise.

The climb up Stevens takes place in full sun and is taking longer than I had so flippantly estimated back in Leavenworth. My bottles are empty and there are more than six miles to climb. Jan and I talk about the snow on the slope above the road on our left, and the rivulets of water running off the rocks. He suggests that the water will be fine and I willingly agree. Traffic is light and we angle across the four lanes of highway and stop on the shoulder. Without thinking, I almost dip water out of the main stream running down the ditch alongside the road, but Jan shouts and points to a small waterfall a few feet away. The water is icy and soaks my gloves as I fill a bottle. Then it's back on the tandem, across the road, and up the unending gradient. The cold water tastes good, but I'm tiring and getting hot. I touch my temple and my fingers come away white with salt. The dry air of the East-side absorbs sweat quickly and I've been losing more liquid than I've realized. The optimism of the Swauk Pass descent is fading fast.

The Beginning:

Riding with someone who is faster than you is a lot like being in High School and hanging out with a richer, more sophisticated crowd of kids. In both cases you end up spending resources you don't really have, you rationalize away well-founded doubts, and sometimes you end up puking in public.

Jan had asked me if I wanted to make an attempt on the Cannonball tandem record back in the fall. I was flattered and intrigued, but a bit hesitant as well. Part of the reason I had started doing rando brevets was to try and find a better balance between my competitive instincts and my enjoyment of simply riding a bicycle -- now I was being offered a chance to set one of the highest goals I had ever attempted. Jan has had high finishes in many of the long rides in the region - Cannonball, S2S, RAMROD - so he was clearly both serious and capable. We have similar riding styles and although riding a tandem slightly muted our mutual strength in climbing, it added greatly to our speed on the descents and flats. After some hesitation, I said I'd do it, with the mutually agreed-on condition that we would ride the 400 km together as a test. Now that day is here.

It has not been the ideal training year for record attempts. I was doing well through January and February, but even with my lofty goals, bicycling is not the highest of my life priorities, and those higher priorities have intruded on training time and intensity. This is a new attempt at balance for me. The last time I really set a high athletic goal was in 1991 when I completed Ironman Canada. That year training was my priority. In the past months I have sometimes wished to return to that single-minded focus, and sometimes wished that I had no purpose for getting on my bicycle except the very ride I was about to take. I really was seeing the ride as a test. Not only of how well we would do, but how it would feel. Would it really be fun?

The Epilogue:

About an hour after Jan rides off I'm in the emergency room at University of Washington Medical Center and a liter of saline with dextrose is draining into my arm. Even in the emergency room where strange occurrences are everyday events the nurses give you funny looks when you tell them you got dehydrated riding 210 miles on your bicycle. Adding the small detail that the ride had also included three mountain passes doesn't help the situation.

A liter of saline takes about 25 minutes to drain into my arm, and I spend enough time on the bed to empty three bags. The doctor gives me some anti-nausea medicine that causes drowsiness and I sleep through most of bag number two. I get up to pee halfway through bag number three, which feels like a pretty big milestone on this very long day. Pretty soon thereafter, I walk out of the emergency room feeling like a very different person than when I came in. A short drive home, a shower I barely remember, and the feel of my cheek on the cool pillow of my bed end the day.

Although I called Jane from Paradise Lake, my experiment as a tandem stoker had really finished on the rollers between Sultan and Snohomish. I wasn't prepared for the combination of warm weather and exertion. I've never been at my best in hot weather, and in retrospect it is also pretty clear that the times I have done events lasting longer than 9 or 10 hours I often seem to have problems. These signs are too foreboding to attempt Cannonball, a race that spends the majority of its 275 miles in the Eastern Washington Desert. It's hard to give up the goal, but there is also a sense of relief. I learned a lot on this ride. One thing in particular that I will strive to remember in the future is that dehydration is sneaky -- it doesn't take super-human willpower to push into a dangerous zone. I used to assume that the people who ended up hooked up to IVs were pushing themselves a lot harder than I do. I won't assume that anymore.

A couple days later, I'm fine. In fact, my legs feel better than they have felt in the past after such a long and hard event. I'll be back to ride the 600 km later this summer, but I'll be a different rider - a slower, healthier, more realistic rider, enjoying riding my bicycle.

SIR 600 km Results July 1-2, 2000

Husted, "Ed" Orville 32:12
Peterson, Kent 33:00
Carter, Kenneth 34:34
VandeKamp, Mark35:50
Fuller, Andy 35:50
Pado, Dick 37:12
Winczewski, Peg 38:00
Dussler, William 39:05
Vigesaa, Lynne 39:16
Lee, Ron 39:16
Thomas, Mark DNF
McKay, Peter DNF
Methner, Wayne DNF
Harkleroad, Don DNF
Giles, Jim DNF
Liekkio, Peter DNF
Pado(pre-ride), Dick DNF

Rocky Mountain 1200 km Results July 27-30, 2000

------------------------------- ------------------------------- ------
Ken Bonner Canadian 55:36:00
Hubertus Hohl Germany 58:20:00
Brian Leier Canadian 58:37:00
Arvid Loewen Canadian 59:55:00
Ray Wagner Canadian 63:46:00
Ken Carter American 64:52:00
Paul Vlasveld American 65:45:00
Henry Berkenbos Canadian 66:20:00
Del Scharffenberg American 68:05:00
Mike Bingle American 68:05:00
Kent Peterson American 71:40:00
Oliver Portway Australian 72:20:00
Stig Lundgaard Danish72:20:00
Andreas Wimmer Germany 74:05:00
Dick Weber American 76:30:00
Grant McLeod Canadian 76:30:00
Glen Smith Canadian 76:30:00
Martin Fahje American 78:27:00
Kendall Demaree American 79:55:00
Keith NicholCanadian 80:10:00
Noboru Yonemitsu Canadian 80:10:00
Manfred Kuchenmuller Canadian 80:10:00
Len Wheeler Canadian 80:10:00
Bob Burns American 80:53:00
Glen Shepard American 80:54:00
Ron Himschoot American 82:30:00
Simon Kolka British 82:38:00
Kevin Main American 85:35:00
David Nakai American 85:35:00
Jim Gerpheide American 85:35:00
Tom Parsons American 85:35:00
Karen Smith Canadian 85:38:00
Dave Johnson American 85:38:00
Jack Eason British 86:10:00
Brian Wiedle American 88:55:00

Randonneuring in Russia

by Jim Trout

Hello my SIR friends! Just wanted to let you know about my wonderful experience in Russia with the Baltic Star Randonneurs...

What could be more fullfiling? Riding my bike 210 days in a row through the world's best scenery is a dream come true. However, I surprisingly felt something absent...and I found out what it was while scanning the web in London: my beloved brevets!! So I hopped on the RUSA page to get to the Adaux Paris site. I looked up the world calendar and found two possibilities that coincided with Odyssey2000: Oslo 1000 km July 21 and St. Petersburg 600 km July 27. My girlfriend Natalie signed up for Austria Ironman scheduled for July 23, so I opted for St. Petersburg. The contact info only contained an address in Russia; no phone, no e-mail. I sent "Andrei" a letter containing my info and e-mail from Belfast and thought chances were very slim he'd receive it within 3 weeks. My plan was to tackle the Russian Visa, lodging, & transportation issues first, then worry about the ride later. I got everything set with visa in Denmark, flight was booked to fly Copenhagen-St. Pete via Pulkovo airlines, & lodging set at a hostel in the heart of town. Hard part OVER!

The Monday before our Thursday arrival in Russia, I received an e-mail from my contact Andrei. I was SO excited!! We then were in daily contact via e-mail, and he greeted Natalie and me at the airport with more enthusiasm then I thought possible to emminate from a human. The Batic Stars are a young club; only a few years old. Andrei was their strongest rider (600 km in 22hrs!) until his FOURTH bike-car altercation lay him bed-ridden for a while. He still has a couple screws in his leg. Nat & I were escorted by bike (we set up our bikes at the airport and rode with luggage on back) to Andrei's house. He spoke enough English so we could carry on a conversation. We felt very welcome as he, wife, & friend fed us local snacks and tea. The following day, Nat & I ate dinner with Andrei's fluent-English speaking friend, Anton. He converted the route guide from Cyrillic to Roman letters and went over some of the rules and last minute route changes.

To the Ride!!! Eleven of us rendezvoused at the statue of Lenin at the Finland train station at 7am Saturday for a 7:30 start. I was 1 of 2 cyclists wearing a helmet. I had on a nice Gortex jacket, tights, and SPD Sidi shoes, the others sweats, running shoes (no toe-clips), and no gloves. Although I "streamlined" my bike with 23mm tires, my Raleigh Odyssey bike was quite a site to see compared to their cycles. Most bikes were your basic garage beater: 10 speed, down-tube shifters, steel frame, suntour parts. I'm not bashing their bikes at all, just amazed that they don't think twice about a 640km ride on a classic bike from the 80s. The standard of living and opportunities for the people has some catching up to do, and there is tremendous potentil here.

So back to biking. We received our brevet cards, and since the route was so desolate and they only had one support car (very scary little car...I wasn't sure if the CAR could make it the entire journey!), we needed 10 postcards addressed to Andrei to drop off in each checkpoint town for proof of passing through. I was informed that 40km of the route was gravel road, we shouldn't ride alone throught the Karelian province during night because of wild animals and perhaps wild people, and the route was 640km with option of 800km. 640km marks a train station to transport back to St. Petersburg. 800km marks the entire Lake Ladoga loop back to St. P.

We all stuck together the first 115km, but man what a pace! First 100 km in less than 3hrs. I knew I couldn't hold that pace for 540 more km, so fortunately I had a flat! Yes, I was happy to have a flat. Afterfixing the flat, I kept a pace of 25-29km/hr, but didn't catch up to the next rider until 290km mark. Andrei, following us in a car with a video recorder most of day, had set up 3 tents for the riders. It was 7:30pm, and we were about to enter the Karelian province. Two other riders were there (Michael & Vladamir), and we all agreed on sleeping until 12am and then to ride together in the night. We awoke to light rain and were off by 12:30am after helping Andrei break down camp. He is such a funny guy with tons of enthusiasm!! I used my headlamp to help take out stakes and pick up other items, then tended to my own bike to get ready for departure. He wanted to make a final sweep of the lot, and since I was busy, he borrowed Vladamir's bike and, while lifting it at an angle, walked around singing "Oh, where are you, my beautiful parts?" Funny if you were there.

The night riding was eventful in that we needed to stop every 10-15km. Among the three of us and the bumpy road, stuff was flying off our bikes every 20-40minutes. At times we'd lose 3-4 parts of a front light and set a time limit of 5 min to find them. So picture 3 guys out in the wee hours of the night roaming around the middle of the road searching for light parts. I loved it! Although I felt rested fom the 4 hour nap, I greeted the 5am sunlight with half-open eyes. The two suggested a 10min nap on the side of the road, but it proved futile as mosquitos were rampant. Vlad gave me some of his powder drink with caffeine, and we forged onward. An hour later I felt AWESOME and bid adieu to Mike and Vladamir. The terrain finally came to life: only 2000ft climbing 1st 400 km, then 8000ft last 240km (I love hills). I didn't see any other riders the rest of the trip as I averaged 30km/hr over the next 3 hours!

The sun came out FULLY for the first time around 1pm Sunday. I calculated my arrival time to be ~4pm. Foolish me, for then the ugly 40km of gravel appeared. Talk about a terrible nightmare come true! Imagine the sandiest, chunkiest, pot-holiest, hardest ripple-bumps gravel road. Now add a bit of traffic to throw dust in your face and 23mm tires that get trapped in the sand grinding the bike to a halt every 100m. Lastly, picture doing this for 3hrs. Yuck. Tough way to end the ride! I arrived at 6:30pm Sunday, or 35 hours afer the start. I was 7th, 4rs behind the 1st riders. Four riders were already forging on to St. Petersburg via bicycle! I am very impressed with the Baltic Star Randonneurs! I caught the 8pm train and arrived in St. P 11:30pm. Fortunately our hostel was 3 blocks away from the station. I got some chicken kiev at the local cafe, showered and fell asleep by 1am.

I awoke monday with fresh eyes and very little ill-effects from the weekend. My cold was worse than Thursday, but I was still surprised at my "recovery." Nat & I spent the day doing some errands and exploring. At 7pm we headed for Andrei's flat to visit with all the riders at a planned tea party. We shared stories of the trip, toasted with cognac and vodka ~every 30min, and watched the video Andrei filmed. I felt like a celebrity, and it was hard to leave! I gave Andrei my SIR jersey (can I still buy one for me?), and he gave me his club rain jacket, a small banner of Lenin, and a couple video tapes (PBP '99, Baltic Star '99 & '00 600 km brevets). I have tons of pictures and would love to show them to all when I return in January.

Andrei is looking for sponsorship for BMB or RM 1200 or any other trip to the States. I think at the least we could develop some sort of connection with the Baltic Star club so that it would facilitate any of us visiting the respective country. They are planning on extending the 800km to 1000 next year. The scenery is fair and roads were pretty rough (next time fatter tires!), but the fact that I was riding on the backroads of RUSSIA gave me incredible insight to the people and way of life of what I knew so little about.

So that's the scoop with Baltic Star. I have many new friends in Russia, and I'm sure they would LOVE to meet anyone from the US. Definately one of my cycling highlights of all time!


1000 km August 25-27, 2000

Cox, Greg 64:00
Dussler, Bill 66:30
Fuller, Andy DNF

100 km Populaire September 9th, 2000

The following riders rode the Fall 100 km Populaire on September 9th, 2000 or the pre-ride on the previous Saturday.

Ken Carter

Kevin Humphreys

Ed Husted

Ron Lee

Arlie Swanson

Mark Vandekamp

Lynne Vigesaa

Duane Wright

Nathan Young

The Owls Are Not What They Seem

by Mark E. Vande Kamp

What? A road ride at night through Mount Rainier National Park. Total distance of about 78 miles with more than 6,000 feet of climbing.

Who? Mark Vande Kamp, riding a custom steel rando/all rounder with a Schmidt hub/Lumotec and a Cateye HL500II backup. Andy Fuller, riding a steel LeMond with three Cateye HL500IIs -- the primary with an external battery pack.

Where? Start at Sunshine Point Campground, just inside the Nisqually entrance to the park (SW corner). Ride up to Paradise, descend through Stevens Canyon, head South to Packwood, return to Nisqually entrance via Skate Creek Road.

When? Friday, Sep. 15 at about 9:00 PM to Saturday, Sep. 16 at about 2:30 AM.


Setting out in the darknes, the road I have traveled many times by car and bicycle looks different. Our headlights shine in narrow beams that light the road but leave the old-growth forest alongside in darkness. The pavement curves to skirt Douglas Firs and Western Hemlocks that aren't quite large enough to drive a car through, but a bike path would fit easily. Some trees are so close to the road that I could reach out with my right arm and brush my fingertips along the rough bark, but I don't.

We warm quickly on the gentle grade and stop to take off our jackets before the grade gets steeper at Longmire. Under a streetlight at the oldest tourist site on the mountain I tell Andy about the mineral springs in the meadow across the road, and point out the trees that are retaking the area now that the age-old Native American practice of periodically setting fire to the grass has stopped. We set off and in a single curve of the road we have left civilization and reentered the forest. The two-lane blacktop seems a thin sliver of technology, overwhelmed by the organic richness of the living landscape that flanks the pavement and towers overhead.

The road has straightened and we can look ahead and upward to see the sky. I picked this night to ride because of the moon that was full only two nights ago. There are clouds around the mountain, but the moon is now visible through a filmy break. The whiteness of the slightly dented circle brings to mind Galen Rowell's photographic advice that, "the moon is a sunlit object". At times the moonlight is bright enough on the road ahead that I think a car must be approaching, but almost always the light has come shining downward from a break in the clouds.

We are climbing steadily up the side of the Nisqually valley and the ground drops off sharply on the right side of the road. I can see up and across the valley to the ridgeline that is swathed in cloud. We are headed up there and I'm nervous about the cold, wetness, and poor visibility that might lie ahead. Andy and I can always turn back, but I hope that won't be necessary. I decide not to think about what we should do if the clouds get thicker as we descend on the other side of Paradise.

Clouds have a smell. The fog turns out to be relatively thin, and our lights are still effective (although angular patterns of stray beams radiate from the edge of my Lumotec when the fog is at its thickest). The road is dry and the coolness is only slightly clammy on my face. However, riding into the fog is still a new world of sensation due to the semi-metallic tang of the clouds in my nostrils. I think of ozone, and ions, and the contrast with the complex richness of the organic smells of the lower altitude forest. I climb into the cloud -- the cloud flows into me.

We decide to stop at Paradise before descending. Andy has never been to the Paradise Inn and he's impressed by the rustic log lobby with two huge hearths and a piano player noodling out tasteful tunes. I feel like a creature from the netherworld, with my black lycra tights and reflective helmet as I walk through chatting groups of lodge guests to visit the restroom. Eyeballs follow us out the door and we mount up laughing about what the conversations inside must sound like. Much like at Longmire, the lights and warmth are gone after the first curve and we are once again alone on the road.

Descending Stevens Canyon in the dark is not as much fun as in daylight. My earlier nerves prove unfounded and we are quickly below the clouds. Still, I know that rocks have a tendency to fall onto this stretch of road and I'm straining to see if any will appear at the front limit of my headlight. I try not to ride the brakes too much and I periodically check my mirror to see Andy's headlights behind me. Halfway down the valley I stop for a moment to wait for Andy and look out over the scene in the moonlight. The upper portion of the valley is lost in the clouds, as is Mount Rainier, which would loom like a monstrous white mushroom on a clearer night. Still, the moon is bright through the broken mist that blows across it. I can see the sweep of the valley wall opposite me and pick out the bare areas where black basalt defies the greenery. Far below I can clearly hear Stevens Creek. I know where it runs at the bottom of the v-shaped canyon, but tonight the water is heard but not seen. Andy stops and we stand and look for a few moments before rolling ahead.

We are climbing Backbone Ridge after losing enough elevation to reenter the forest. From our left we hear the classic hoot -- a Great-Horned Owl, I would guess. Andy and I glance at each other, then we hear a different owl call from ahead on the left, and a third from ahead on the right. We ride slowly on, but we have apparently left the disputed territory. I don't know enough about owls to know whether all three calls came from a single species, or whether the second and third call might have come from the rare and controversial spotted owl. It really doesn't matter much at the moment. The owls called, and we ride through the darkness listening.

The descent from Backbone Ridge to the Grove of the Patriarchs is my favorite stretch of road in the park. The pavement is smooth, the grade is moderate, and there are big sweeping switchbacks that can be taken at speed. I find myself grinning as I take a curve. I'm riding the inside edge of my headlight beam, weight balanced on my outside pedal, carving a smooth arc through the still air of the night. Normally a cautious descender, I ride slightly outside my comfort zone, unwilling to brake, rushing forward to stretch the moment.

Again we are climbing, spinning alongside the white noise of Skate Creek. The second-growth forest here is dominated by Alders whose limbs span the road, creating a dark tunnel that blocks the moonlight. The world has contracted as the noise and the darkness block out the environment. Although we have talked about many things during the earlier climbs, Andy and I are silent as we spin upward, periodically up-shifting to stand, matching our rhythms. There are campsites along the road, but it's after midnight and most are silent. A campfire is briefly visible on our right, but we glide past like ghosts and I wonder if our presence has been noticed at all.

Bear Prairie Summit is a weak climax to this final climb of the night. I notice the open area on our left and tell Andy that I think we will start descending again. In an unspoken agreement we maintain a moderately high effort level, pushing big gears down the gentle grades, riding alongside each other and pooling headlights. My legs feel strong and the pace is refreshing, but the effort is spurred partly by the thought of my sleeping bag. Back home in Iowa they would say that we are smelling the barn.

At the Copper Creek Cafe I stop to call my wife from the pay phone so she doesn't wake up and wonder if things have gone awry. She is sleepy but asks about the ride. "It's been great," I say, but it's both too soon and too late to offer much more. Andy and I set off to spin the last few miles back to the car. We see a deer walking alongside the road but it is behind us almost before we can comment.

I lay down and my body feels warm in the sleeping bag as I look for a star or two while settling in. I close my eyes and see the faint after-image of my headlight beam. My inner ear leans left and right through the curves of the road into sleep. My body has not let go of the impressions of the night, but I know that they will fade quickly.


Volume 5 Issue 3 - May 2000

In This Issue:

2000 SIR Ride Calendar
100 km Populaire March 18, 2000
Millersylvania Ride (3/25)
Kent Peterson's 200 km Ride Report
Kenneth Stagg's 200 km Ride Report
Fleche 2000 Results
Peter McKay's Fleche 2000 Report
Kent Peterson's Fleche 2000 Report
SIR Email Discussion List Created
The Quotable Cyclist
Note to Brevet Coordinators

Last Updated 4/27/00

Next Issue - July 2000

The '00 SIR Executive Board: Mark Thomas, Ken Carter, Kent Peterson, Bill Dussler, Terry Zrmhal, Greg Cox and Wayne Methner.

Membership fee: $8.00 - full membership w/e-mail newsletter or $15.00 - full membership w/printed newsletter.

Membership Address: c/o Ken Carter, 348 Lind Ave. SW #33, Renton, WA 98055 (email: Kenneth.Carter2@PSS.Boeing.com )

Newsletter Address: c/o Kent Peterson, 330 3rd Place NW, Issaquah, WA 98027 (email: peterson@halcyon.com )

2000 SIR Ride Calendar

May 13: 300 km Brevet - A scenic ride up Whidbey Island, across Deception Pass, along Chuckanut Drive and Lake Samish, up to Lake Cavanaugh, and back to the Mukilteo ferry terminal via Granite Falls. Ken Carter, (425)255-6031, Kenneth.Carter2@PSS.Boeing.com

June 3: 400 km Brevet - A return of a perennial favorite, a challenging loop over three passes - Snoqualmie, Blewitt, and Stevens. Mark Thomas, (206) 612-4700, mark.thomas@lightmail.net

June 24: Cannonball (275 miles) The Northwest's oldest (1985) cross-state one-day ultramarathon cycling event. The ride starts at the I-90 bike tunnel entrance in Seattle, WA, and uses the shoulder of I-90 for most of its 275-mile route, finishing in Spokane. Riders are expected to provide their own support, though we typically have at least one neutral support vehicle on the route. More details check out: http://www.redmondcylingclub.org/events/cball.html

July 1-2: 600 km Brevet - Watch our website for this route - sure to be a challenge. Wayne Methner, (206)362-5682, methner.w@ghc.org

July 8-9: Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic -- sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club.

July 8: S-2-S (285 miles) Like Cannonball, S-2-S is a challenging one-day ultramarathon cycling event crossing the state of Washington from west to east. Held annually since 1992, the ride covers a more scenic, less traveled, but more difficult (12,000 feet of climbing) route than Cannonball. The bulk of the 285-mile course follows US Highway 2. Riders are expected to provide their own support, though we typically have at least one neutral support vehicle on the route. More details check out: http://www.redmondcylingclub.org/events/s2s.html

July 27-30: Rocky Mountain 1200 - sponsored by the BC Randonneurs Cycling Club. http://tour-bc.net/rando/rm1200.htm

July 27: RAMROD (154 miles) The seventeenth annual Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day Spectacular scenery (154 miles of it), challenging climbs (10,000 feet of it) and thrilling descents (ditto). Join 699 of your closest cycling buddies on one of the best rides of the new century. For more details check out: http://www.redmondcylingclub.org/ramrod/

August 11 & 12: RSVP Seattle to Vancouver B.C. -- sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club.

Aug. 17-20: Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200 -- http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/2750/

August 25-27: 1000 km Brevet - Both sides of the border, both sides of the Cascades. Five passes. Cap your summer of riding with this climb- and mile-fest. Ken Carter, (425) 255-6031, Kenneth.Carter2@PSS.Boeing.com

September 9: 100 km Fall Populaire - Duane Wright, (206) 523-7404, checkers@u.washington.edu

September 23: 200 km Brevet - Bill and Janine Prichard, (425) 454-6873, mrtibbs@gte.net

100 km Populaire March 18, 2000

One hundred kilometers is too short a distance to be heroic. On Saturday March 18, 2000 the fifteen riders who gathered at the Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville were not there for glory. There is no glory in a 100 km Populaire. The ACP doesn't even recognize the 100 km as event or offer a medal for it.

The ACP wasn't there in the rain. The ACP wasn't riding up the hills. The ACP wasn't there when there were a million excuses and a million better places to be. The ACP wasn't there, but these fifteen were.


  • Jason Andre
  • Stephan Arulaid
  • Bob Bock
  • Tom Brett
  • Bill Dussler
  • Jim Giles
  • Linda Knapp
  • Tom Lawrence
  • Wayne Methner
  • Peter McKay
  • Jesse Pace
  • Kent Peterson
  • Ray Redd
  • Kenneth Stagg
  • Duane Wright

Folks who showed up to provide moral support (but not ride)

  • Mark Thomas
  • Eric Courtney
  • Ken Krichman

When the distance is too short to be heroic and the ride doesn't really "count" and the rain is coming down and still you ride, well somehow that makes it heroic.

Millersylvania Ride (3/25)

by Duane Wright

You may recall, several months ago, Bill Scheidt and Melody Mayer, from Olympia, proposed a ride for us randonneurs, down in their neck of the woods. You may also recall seeing them on our 200 km and 300 km last year. They ride a tandem and Melody is noted for riding with several bags of rice cakes somehow attached to her.

Four tandems and a single (fixed gear, Kent!) came down to Olympia from Seattle. Bill and Melody did not disappoint us. It was a great ride, complete with great weather (oh, and a few great hills throw in, for exercise). The 85 mile loop was almost entirely on quiet roads. Starting from Millersylvania State Park (just south of Olympia), we headed west, then eventually south through the Lincoln Creek Valley (on the Two County Double Metric Century route), before a lunch stop in Centralia.

After lunch the route went east, eventually looping around the Centralia Steam Plant and the large, terraced basin that it sits in. The plant is huge and comes as a surprise when one is meandering through a peaceful, nearly unpopulated rural area. From there we headed back west, through Tono and then Tenino (on the STP route). Finally our tired group was back at the park.

The general consensus was that Bill and Melody were the strongest tandem team. Fortunately they slowed down to ride with us. The only person actually able to keep up with them was Moe Moosavi, on his fixed gear. Fixed gears are faster, of course, because they don't have all of that heavy stuff, like cogs, chain rings, derailleurs, and levers to slow them down.

Just before lunch (i.e. when the energy reserves were low) the timing chain came off (loose eccentric) on Linda Knapp's tandem. She said it really wasn't a problem but SHE wasn't stoking! We slogged along, for several miles, on one engine (me!) before catching up with the waiting group. Between us we came up with enough tools to tighten the eccentric and get rolling again.

In September I'm the organizer for the S.I.R. fall 100 km. It will probably be a shortened version of this course. Mark your calendars, cancel your vacation plans -- you won't miss the traffic.

SIR 200 km


by Kent Peterson

S. J. Perelman observed, "The comic writer is constantly searching for difficulties. One subjects himself to stress and difficulty that one can make copy out of. If your obligation is to amuse your readers then you try to get into dilemmas that are grievous to yourself but not necessarily wounding or completely shattering." Perelman would've found the April 1st SIR 200 km quite a literary challenge.

The problem was the weather. There wasn't enough of it. Any true randonneur will tell you (at length and in great detail unless you run quickly away) that randonneuring is all about riding vast distances in miserable conditions. Ideally, it should be dark and cold and if not actually snowing there should at least be relentless soul-numbing rain. Even the smallest hailstorm can add an immeasurable epic element to a ride and winds strong enough to fling tree limbs onto the roadway are most prized by the randonneuring raconteur.

Alas, April 1st played us all for fools and dawned clear and comfortable. I know how it dawned because dawn found me on my bicycle, riding the 42 kilometers down to Greg Cox's house. I was hoping for some element of intrigue to punctuate my pre-light pre-ride but there were no suicidal squirrels to dart into my path, no carloads of carousing characters to hurl drunken insults at me and not even a carnivorous cocker spaniel lying in wait by a garden gate. No, the ride to Greg's was disturbingly uneventful.

By the time I arrive at the park by Greg's house at 6:15 AM the sun is up and many of my randonneuring companions are signing in and making final clothing decisions. While the mainstream press may fail to recognize the cyclist as a bellwether of fashion, the true randonneur has a deep and hard-earned knowledge of the sartorial arts. This comes from our innate desire at all times to be in a state similar to Baby Bear's porridge -- neither to hot nor too cold but occupying that ideal state known as "just right". Since I had chosen to ride to Greg's, my decisions had been made hours ago and had to allow for the bit of cool dark riding. I was wearing: one pair of SmartWool socks, one pair of Look mountain bike shoes, one pair of Pearl Izumi leg warmers, one pair of Sugoi shorts, one red Pearl Izumi long sleeve top, one short sleeve RUSA jersey, one LL Bean nylon Zephyr wind shirt, one thin REI balaclava, my cotton Campagnolo cap, a Giro Stevilo helmet and one pair REI windblocker fleece gloves. I'm slightly under-dressed for standing around.

The group that takes off at 7:00 AM is mix of many of the usual suspects plus a few new recruits. Terry Z and Anne Marie are piloting one of their rocket-powered tandems. Jim Giles is at the helm of his Gold Rush recumbent. Ken Carter's on his carbon Trek with the swayback Brooks Pro saddle. Mark VandeKamp's riding his "yeah it's steel but TiCycles put it together" do everything bike. Ken Stagg is looking like he'd been doing this for years on his Heron. Ron Lee and Lynne Vigesaa were looking happy and ready to ride. Eric Courtney, who I'd last seen providing moral support at the 100 km was here to ride today. Mark Thomas had decided once again to tempt fate by using fancy-schmancy carbon spoked wheels on his Litespeed. Wayne Methner is also Litepeed-equipped but Peter McKay is representing the "heck you don't need fancy stuff" school of thought by riding his mountain bike. Tom Brett and I take that philosophy to the next illogical step by both riding fixed gear bikes. Tom's is an 80's vintage Trek and mine is the classic "if it was good enough for Merckx, it's good enough for me" 1972 Peugeot PX-10. Ewen Tait, Peg Winczewski, Scott Myers and Damian McHugh are riders who I haven't seen before at SIR rides.

A quick descent followed by a couple of quick turns and we're on the Soos Creek Trail. Mark VandeKamp and Ken Carter are in the lead with the rest of us close behind. Our next turn is to be a left onto 148th SE and when Ken turns left on an unmarked road we all follow with a herd instinct that would make your average lemming look like an anarchist. Of course, this road is not 148th SE. We all realize this at about the same time, swoop back to the trail and resume our journey. At the end of the trail, we find a locked gate and the real 148th SE. We go over, under or around the gate and onto the road.

We cross the Kent-Kangley Road and roll on toward Black Diamond. Ken is setting the pace but Tom Brett and I are close behind. "Make sure he doesn't stop pedaling!" Tom says as Ken punches things up a notch and I up my RPMs to keep pace. I catch and pass Ken on one of the gentle descents on the Kent Black Diamond Road. I think Ken was a bit startled when I when passed him. Fixed gear bikes are not known for their speed on descents, but Ken hadn't made allowance for the Caffeine Calorie Closure Coefficient (CCCC or C4). In layman's terms, C4 states that the velocity of any bicycle I'm riding increases as the distance to a bakery (especially one that serves coffee) decreases. Thanks to the C4 effect, I'm the first rider into the control at the Black Diamond Bakery. The sweet young thing at the counter stamps my control card and makes me short caramel latte. On previous brevets I'd learned that the magic words "not too hot" ensure a drink that can be quickly slammed down. I also paused to peal off my wind shirt and balaclava, swap my fleece gloves for mesh cycling gloves and wolf down a granola bar. I was quick but Ken and Mark VandeKamp were quicker. Now we're back onto the road and heading towards Hobart.

We cross the Kent-Kangly road at Ravensdale and while I catch glimpses of Mark, I don't see Ken until I spot him returning from the control at the Hobart Market. This leg of the brevet is a little out and back stretch, so it's a good chance to figure out where people are relative to each other. I catch up with Mark at the market (35 kilometers into the ride) and don't waste much time getting my card signed. Mark leaves the market a bit ahead of me and I'm gone before the next riders pull in.

On the ride back to Ravensdale, we see the rest of the riders. At Ravensdale we head East on the Kent Kangly Road and then South on the Retreat Kanaskat Road. After five kilometers or so the route turns right on the Cumberland Kanaskat Road. Along this road Greg Cox has set up a secret control. I pull in just as Mark is pulling out.

I catch up with Mark again at the Enumclaw control at kilometer 65. I eat half a muffin poppy seed muffin here and refill my water bottle. Bill Dussler tells me that Ken Carter passed through about five minutes earlier. By the time I'm rolling again, Mark's out of sight.

I ride south to Buckley and now I'm riding in terrain that's new to me. I get a touch off course before I find River Avenue but then the navigation is simple along routes 165 and 162. I follow the sign pointing to Electron and turn onto the Orville Road.

It's getting quite warm now. After another 10 kilometers where the road turns left, I stop at a mini-mart. I haven't seen Mark or Ken in quite some time and I haven't seen any of the folks who are behind me either. I peal off my leg warmers, put on some sunscreen and rig my bandana as a Lawrence-of-Arabia-style neck cover. I buy a pint of milk, a bottle of water and a bottle of a peach/berry juice blend. I eat a handful of cashews, a Slim-Jim, and a granola bar from my food stash and wash it down with the milk. I refill my water bottle, stuff the juice bottle in my jersey pocket and hit the road again.

Orville Road goes by a couple of small lakes and then connects up with SR 161 for a two-kilometer climb up to Eatonville. This section reminds me of P-B-P because the French love to put their controls at the top of hills.

Eatonville (kilometer 121) is an open control, so I follow the loop for the business district and find a grocery store. Ken Carter is here and he asks me where Mark is. I figure he has to be in front of me, but we can't figure out where he went. I go into the store, buy a Mocha Frappucino and get my card stamped.

I compliment Ken on the great ride he's having but he says, "I've got gears and can coast. I know that's cheating in your book!"

"No," I reply, "I just think that stuff slows you down."

"Well, I'd better get going then," he says and heads off down the road. He moves pretty fast for a guy whose bike is made out of a mixture of pencil lead and glue.

I drink down my Frappucino and head back. Again the course is doubling back on itself, so I get to see all the others. Terry Z and Anne Marie, Mark Thomas, Wayne, Peter and Tom are all pulling into town as I'm heading out and then on Orville Road I see the rest of the crew.

Up ahead I see a rider and it doesn't look like Ken. It must be Mark. On some sections I can see a rider still farther ahead and I figure that must be Ken. For a while I think I can catch them but eventually Mark catches up with Ken and they ride off.

At South Prairie I stop again for a quick granola bar and juice snack. Then it's up to Buckley and Highway 410 and then country roads and the one decent climb of the ride -- the climb out of the Green River Valley back up to the Auburn Black Diamond Road.

As I'm working my way up this hill, Bill Dussler pulls along side me in his van and asks how I'm enjoying the climb. I can't recall my exact response, but I think it was actually pretty civil under the circumstances. I did notice that the climb seemed easier in the sections of the road where the trees provided some shade. Bill assures me that it's only about ten more miles to Greg's house.

The section on the Black Diamond road goes by quickly and then it's back onto the Soos Creek trail. The trail looks quite different from this direction and with the nice weather it's loaded up with pedestrians, roller-bladers and dog walkers. I always feel like a dork riding on the trail with full road gear and this is probably my least favorite section of the ride. I wind up turning off the trail one intersection too soon by mistake and zip up what I think is the hill leading to Greg's place.

No Greg's place. Hmm.

It slowly dawns on me that I've taken a wrong turn. I go back down the hill, correct my error and at 4:02 PM I pull into Greg's driveway. Pete Bajema, who had been thinking of riding the 200 but ran into problems on the way to Greg's, signs my card.

Ken and Mark had finished at 3:35 PM. Greg's wife had three pots of chili going along with various other munchies and liquid refreshments. At 4:25 PM Anne Marie and TerryZ rolled in and at 4:55 PM Tom Brett, Mark Thomas, Peter McKay and Wayne Methner pulled up.

I had to ride home and wanted to take advantage of what daylight remained so I left around 5:00 PM but over the next few hours everybody else rolled in. Here are the final results including Greg and Bill's times from the pre-ride the week before:

Name RUSA Number Time
---------------------------- ----------------------- ------
Ken Carter 592 8:35
Mark VandeKamp 8:35
Kent Peterson 344 9:02
Anne Marie McSweeny 9:25
Terry Zmrhal 167 9:25
Tom Brett 466 9:55
Peter McKay 797 9:55
Wayne Methner 403 9:55
Mark Thomas 64 9:55
Jim Giles 10:10
Ron Lee 281 10:21
Lynne Vigesaa 282 10:21
Greg Cox 208 10:23
Bill Dussler 137 10:23
Eric Courtney 673 10:50
Ewen Tait 10:50
Peg Winczewski 10:50
Kenneth Stagg 260 11:05
Scott Myers 13:15
Damian McHugh 13:15

The SIR 200 km

April 1, 2000

by Kenneth Stagg

Finally, my first brevet.

I got a ride up to Greg's house with Peg after we figured out that we live about 3 blocks from one another. It was nice to have someone to talk to as I was feeling a bit nervous. I know that for most of the people on these rides 200 km is a well known distance but it was only going to be the third time I'd ever ridden that far.

I recognized most of the people at the start from the 100 km and the couple of SIR training rides that I'd done earlier in the year but there were a few that I hadn't met before. One of these turned out to be Greg Cox, the ride organizer.

After signing in we mill around for awhile until Greg gives us some final instructions ("... follow the Soos Creek trail to its end at 148th") and we're off - though I suppose that that goes without saying.

Down the hill, hard left, quick right and follow the trail. Easy right? Someone up ahead turned on an unmarked street and we almost all obediently follow along. Baaaaaa. I turned out to be one of the first back on the trail mostly because I'd been at the back of the bunch when we realized that we were off course. At the end of the trail is a locked gate with no room to go around it so we lift our bike over - if we're smart enough - or haul them under - breaking off a taillight in the process - if we weren't. Oh well, thankfully I didn't need lights on this ride (though it was a near thing.)

It's a quick and easy ride to the first control at the Black Diamond Bakery. Get our cards stamped, notice that they have the wrong time and get it done again, a quick bite and I'm back on the bike, riding with Peg and Ewn, an AUK visiting the Pacific Northwet. I've done this section of the ride a couple of times before and for some reason I never do well on the first little hillock. Again. Ah well, on to the Hobart MiniMart and the second control, passing by most of the other riders headed the other direction. After turning around there I see three people still heading out to the control - at least I'm not bringing up the tail, yet.

After the turn onto Kent-Kangley I'm in new territory. I didn't even know Kanaskat existed until I read the rout sheet. This was my favorite section of the ride, flat to rolling, sunny but not really warm yet, rolling along chatting with Ewn and Peg. If there'd been fewer loose dogs it would have been perfect riding. A quick stop at the secret control and we keep on rolling into Enumclaw and the next announced control where Bill Dussler had water and muffins.

From there it's on to and, to my detriment, through Buckley. I was originally planning on stopping here (about the 1/3 mark) and getting something to eat but I didn't think too much of it as I was feeling good and was enjoying riding in a group. Whoops!

Down the hill into the valley and along South Prairie creek we pick up a slight head wind and then, suddenly, my legs are lead. I try to bull my way through it and do OK until part way up the first section of Orville Road I have to stop. I've ridden this section before on the Daffodil Century and I know that I'm going to need a short break. A granola bar, Gatorade and water later I'm doing better but notice that I can't climb any more - it doesn't hurt, there's just no power available. This will last the rest of the day. Peg and Ewn drop me on even the smallest hill, though I make some of it up on the downhill side, but they're doing almost all of the pulling now. By the time I finally get up to Eatonville I'm wondering why I'm doing this.

Lunch helps, as does the encouragement from Bill, who'd driven out to the end of the course to see how everyone was doing.

I finally lose contact with my companions (and get passed by one of the three people that were behind me) on the first stretch back toward Orting and I lose more time to them when I stop at the Kapowsin market to get more Gatorade. Still, most of this section is downhill so it goes well enough, until I get out from behind the hill. It's not much of a headwind but I don't have much left. At the foot of the hill up to Buckley I see Peg and Ewn but they take off before I get within hailing distance - just as well really considering how much faster they're climbing.

At this point I checked out my mileage and time and realized that I was certainly going to finish within the 13h30' time limit. Whether I'd finish before dark was more problematic. Nobody at the start had believed me when I said that I might need the lights....

Up the hill, back through Buckley, on through Enumclaw, into the breeze.

From Enumclaw, though, it was a fun descent into the valley of the Green River and across it. Bill wasn't kidding about the hill going out of the valley but by this point I'm already resigned to twiddling up even modest rises so a mile long hill is just a longer twiddle. On the way up I practice my bike handling at < 3mph. Not too bad.

At the top of the hill there's a miracle. My legs are back! Huh? Kent mentioned afterward that this section of the ride is quite fast - I'll say! Whatever the reason it feels good to find my big chainring again - in fact I feel pretty good all over. Just as well, too, since the shadows are lengthening. One final obstacle - the hill back up to Greg's house. I drop it into my lowest gear and twiddle halfway up before deciding that I could use a stretch. I walk the rest of the way to the top and coast to Greg's house. 11:05 - it's less than 13:30 and that's all that I was worried about.

Sitting around with everyone after the ride I'm impressed by the amount of support that I get from the other riders. They all encourage me to try the 300 km and offer advice on how to have a better ride. Some mention that going through the odd bad spot is just a part of doing these rides. I believe them, but 40 miles of it? Still, I enjoy riding enough that it was mostly fun even when I was feeling weak and I'm planning on doing the 300 km.

Fleche 2000 Results

Team Extreme

Pete Bajema

Ken Carter

Kent Peterson

22 hour KM = 473

24 hour KM = 499

Team Sunnyside

Peter McKay

Wayne Methner

Mark Thomas

22 hour KM = 337

24 hour KM = 368

Flèche Northwest

367 km to Semi-ah-moo by Team Sunnyside

by Peter McKay

Two teams competed in this year's Flèche Northwest: Team Extreme and Team Sunnyside. Pete Bajema's Team Extreme set a goal of the longest possible route achievable within 24 hours. Team Sunnyside set a goal for the minimum distance (and maximum sleep and rest). Days before the start, Kent Peterson swapped teams to fill a vacancy on Team Extreme. Thus, both teams began with the minimum -- three members -- Extreme with Pete, Ken Carter and Kent and Sunnyside with Mark Thomas, Wayne Methner and me.

Wayne and I gathered at Mark's home for a sit down candle light dinner. Mark's son Phillip served us pasta, salad and pork chops. Delicious! I fiddled with my front fender. I just could not get it to stop rubbing. I didn't have this problem on PBP. Turns out, it doesn't rub on dry pavement. On wet ground, the front tire picks up small pebbles and sand. My fork has too fine a clearance.

It's 6:00 pm, and we're off! Soon, we are on a short stretch of the 100 km Populaire as we head to Monroe. Across Highway 2, we're onto Woods Creek Rd, detour onto Yeager, before returning to Woods Creek and then to Lake Roesiger Rd. We reach the first control (Lake Roesiger Store) at 8:20. The store closed at 7, so we sign each other's cards and turn on our head lights.

As we approach Granite Falls, each car waits patiently behind us until clear to pass. Mark suggests they are French. At the Texaco in GF, we meet one of the drivers. She asked if it was us she passed. We smile in agreement and thank her. Who else would be riding at night in the rain?

Next stop: Arlington. We have a mild case of hill avoidance, thus the detour onto Burn Rd seems appropriate. A lady passes, yelling we have "Good Lights", then stops to again compliment us on how visible we are, and to ask if we need any assistance getting home. We reply no and that we are fine. The locals must think we are nuts!

We get our cards stamped and purchase food and drink at the BP in Arlington near I-5. The clerk warns us to avoid "Fred" and tells us Darrington is a dangerous town. We're rolling on 530, pass the Thrifty Food Pavilion, and struggle to keep our bicycles from turning toward Jordan Rd. It seems unnatural to avoid that right turn. It's dark, wet and our visibility is poor. So, why do we prefer to ride in daylight and sunshine? We're perfectly happy tonight!

We reach our Darrington motel and check in at 12:40. We're all pleased! We made good time. We shower and wring-out wet clothes. Mark learns that his seal skin socks are indeed waterproof. Once the water gets in, it cannot escape. He removes his socks and pours out water! Our reward for the evening ride is 3 hours of sleep.

We wake at 4:30, ready ourselves with fresh dry jerseys, shorts and socks. The wet tights offer mild discomfort. Weatherman Wayne looks outside and reports, "Its not raining!!!" and closes the door. Yes, it wasn't raining under the awning. But, it was pouring onto the parking lot and highway!

We pass Rockport and enter Marblemount. Mark calculates that we need to ride to mile post 108 to compensate for our Burn Rd detour. The time to ride the extra distance allows us to return to a restaurant that will soon open at 7. This distance works out well. We all eat heartily and get our cards stamped.

Leave the restaurant, I get the cold shakes. I had been down this road before on last year's 400 km. This year, I am prepared. I put on a long sleeve fleece jersey. Now, I'm wearing 4 top layers. This does the trick as my core warms quickly and brings heat back into my legs, toes and hands.

It's a long stretch to Sedro Wooley. In route, we stop at a Chevron for refreshments. Then, we stop at the AM/PM market at the turn to Highway 9. Before we leave, Russ Carter arrives. He is providing support for Team Extreme, which will arrive in another 2 ½ hours. We turn north toward Van Zandt, where we stop for great deli sandwiches. In route, we hit bad railroad tracks. Everyone stays up right, but Mark drops a water bottle, which Wayne retrieves as Mark rolls on.

Soon, we approach my favorite -- the ride off Highway 9 into Sumas. These back roads are very pleasant. Mark flatted earlier, and replaced the tube. Now, he flats again. With road grit mud covering all exposed surfaces, its darn near impossible to do a thorough inspection. Mark opts for the full tire and tube replacement. While these are changed, the weather improves. It is remarkably warm and dry.

We reach the Sumas control and tempt the weather gods. We remove a few layers of clothing, change to light gloves and dark lenses. Never tempt the weather gods! Well, this time they aren't too harsh -- only light sprinkles. We see blue skies in our westward direction. The flags in Sumas gave a false sense of wind direction. We are now into the typical headwinds of the northern Whatcom County flats.

We reach Lynden for our 22 hour stop. Dutch apple pies with ice cream and coffee are our reward.

Mark did an excellent job designing the route. His final kilometers take us around the bay, up and over the final hill and descent into the resort. Mark's and my family are there cheering for us -- shades of PBP. The hot tub finds us soaking weary bodies and reminiscing. Semi-ah-moo is a wonderful resort and everyone is very nice.

The following morning, Team Extreme arrive for the brunch banquet. We share our stories and eat well. I cannot help but think that this flèche may be over, but were not finished. Team Sunnyside shall ride Flèche Pacifique in three weeks. I'm excited!

Fleche NW

April 15th and 16th, 2000

A ride report by Kent Peterson

On Easter weekend in France, randonneuring clubs ride in teams from their respective towns to a common destination in sourthern France for a banquet dinner. This event, known as a "fleche" from the French word for arrow, has been adopted by randonneurs around the world as an excuse to ride someplace and have a feast. The rules of the fleche are as follows:

  • Each team is limited to a maximum of five members and a minimum of three members.
  • The ride must be completed in a 24 hour period.
  • The route must be defined, with checkpoints, in advance and be at least 360 kilometers long. While a team may opt to define a route longer than 360 kilometers, they must then complete at least 80 percent of their proposed route and the completed distance must be at least 360 kilometers.
  • At least 25 KM of the route must be completed between the 22nd and 24th hours of the ride.
  • At least three members of the team must complete the fleche.

This year it was decided that the finishing point for the fleche would be Blaine, Washington and the celebratory meal would be a Sunday brunch at the Semiahmoo Resort. I'd never ridden a fleche before but when I started asking around, I found that Mark Thomas, Peter McKay and Wayne Methner were a team this year and yes, they'd be glad to have me join them. The only other team signed up was "Team Extreme" consisting of Pete "The Bullet" Bajema, Ken Carter and Bernard Comeau. Peter informed me that our team was "Team Sunnyside". The name was a leftover from last year when the fleche was held on the eastern (dry!) side of the Cascades. And even though the forecast was calling for rain, Peter assured me that "Sunnyside is an attitude thing, unrelated to the weather!"

Team Sunnyside was going to start the ride at 6:00 PM Friday night at Mark's house in Redmond, ride north and then east to Darrington for a brief break at a motel before returning west and then north again to Blaine. The total proposed distance was scheduled to be 368 kilometers, a relatively rational distance. In fact, it was a little too rational for my tastes, so I had this crazy notion that maybe I'd ride back down from Blaine on Sunday. Riding straight back looked like about 120 miles. That looked doable. I knew Pete Bajema lived up in Bellingham, so I emailed him asking about a good route to ride back down. I knew Pete wouldn't think my notion of riding back was too crazy.

Sure enough, Pete mailed me back encouraging words and suggested that I take part of Team Extreme's route for the return trip. This is how I got a look at their route sheet. While Team Sunnyside had come up with a route that met the minimum distance plus a tiny bit, Team Extreme approached the problem from the other angle: how far could they possibly ride in 24 hours and still finish? The result was a convoluted loop of a course begining at the top of Snoqualmie Pass, heading up the Snoqualmie Valley, doing a big loop out the North Cascades Highway and then South to Darrington, then East all the way to Anacortes, then West again, up to Bellingham and then angling around to Blaine. The total proposed distance: 547 kilometers.

"Wow," I thought, "Now that is nuts!" Since all of us who ride extreme distances are used to having other people call us nuts, it's good to find someone a bit further out there. Team Extreme was definitely out there.

It was the Thursday before the fleche that Pete relayed the news: Bernie had injured himself training and would have to pull out. Team Extreme was down to two riders and they'd need another person to meet the minimum team requirement. Would I be willing to ride with Team Extreme?

I didn't really even pause to think about it. The important thing was to keep both teams in the running, so I jumped ship from Team Sunnyside to Team Extreme. My lovely wife pointed out that "sunny" wasn't one of the words she'd use to to describe me, but extreme was an extemely good fit.

Friday night when the rain was coming down at 6:00 PM I was safe and warm at home. Team Sunnyside was pulling out for a long dark, wet night of riding while I went to bed early so I'd be ready when Pete and Ken picked me up the next morning.

Early Saturday morning we piled in to Russ Carter's big Jeep. Russ, who is Ken's dad, would drive the support vehicle that we'd connect up with at certain control points along the route. Our ride would go from 7:00 AM Saturday to 7:00 AM Sunday with a possible sleep break at Pete's house in Bellingham. By starting at the top of Snoqualmie Pass, we figured we'd build up some decent speed to help with the overall average time.

It was 33 degrees and raining at the summit. Russ took a picture of us bundled up in our rain gear and tights with a big snowbank as a backdrop. At 7:00 AM, we pulled onto I-90 for the descent into North Bend.

The one degree of buffer was all we needed to keep the road from icing and as we dropped, the temperature climbed to the upper thirties and then into the forties. Luxury! We all had good gear and the rain wasn't too heavy.

Since I was on my fixed gear bike, we'd agreed that we'd each ride at our own pace for the descent. Pete and Ken on their carbon Treks with bigger gears and the ability to coast could out descend me. My top speed was limited by how fast I could turn the 70 inch gear on the PX-10. Surprisingly I kept them in sight on the descent and by the time we hit the exit at North Bend I was only about 30 seconds back. We regrouped at the base of the exit ramp.

The area around North Bend, Snoqualmie, Fall City and Carnation is my home turf -- the places where I log lots of training miles. I was nice and warm from the spin down from the pass and we kept up a good pace into Snoqualmie, past the falls and at Fall City we turned north to follow SR-203 up to Monroe.

It was around Carnation that I notice Pete and Ken were no longer behind me. I figured one of them had flatted and at Duval I pulled over to wait. I snacked on some granola bars and just as I was begining to consider doubling back, they rolled in behind me. Sure enough, Pete had flatted. We continued on.

We were going at a good clip, drafting on some sections. We all took turns at the front, with Pete stretching out on the aerobars of his Postal Service Trek. It had stopped raining now and the day was about perfect for riding, overcast and not too hot or too cool. As we pulled into the gas station that was our control point at Monroe, Ken flatted his rear tire. Perfect timing!

We got our cards stamped and while Ken fixed his tire and Pete topped out his tire with my pump, I did a few calulations. We reached this control at 9:45 AM and my computer was showing the distance to be 88 kilometers with an average speed of 33.8 kph or 21 mph. Not a bad start.

Ken and Pete were both impressed with my Topeak Road Morph pump, a frame pump that turns into a tiny version of a floor pump. In the course of our 15 minute break we got the tires all in good shape and had time for a quick snack. Then we were headed East on Highway 2 and then North on SR-9 heading for Sedro Wolley.

Somewhere along Route 9 we pulled into a small general store so Ken and Pete could refill their water bottles. They were each running with dual bottles while I was using a single bottle and a Camelbak. After this brief stop, we were back on the road and at 1:23 PM, we pulled into the control at Sedro Wolley.

Russ was here with the Jeep and we took a 12 minute break. I again logged the stats: this stage had also been about 88 kilometers and our average speed was 29.5 kph (18.3 mph). Russ told us he'd seen Team Sunnyside earlier when they'd stopped here heading the other direction.

From Sedro Wolley we headed East on SR-20 to Rockport. When the terrain would climb, I'd tend to drop Pete and Ken. I'm a fairly light guy and despite the fact that I was carrying a bit more gear than they were, it's very hard to beat a fixed gear bike on a climb. On the descents, the balance would shift the other way but we actually stayed pretty close together most of the time. At Rockport, it had gotten a bit warmer and we all stopped to adjust our clothing before heading South on SR-530 to Darrington.

We pulled into Darrington at 4:45 PM and took a 20 minute break before heading West on SR-530. Our speed for this last leg was 27.2 kph (16.9 mph) for the 69 kilometers. Now we had a bit of a headwind but the riding was still quite pleasant. We pulled into the control at Stanwood at 7:42 PM and took a longer break (33 minutes) to eat and adjust our gear for night riding. The numbers for this 55 kilometer stage showed our average at 23.4 kph (15.5 mph).

Now we rode through Conway and LaConner, a bit on Highway 20 and then on some backroads along the bay. It was an odd scene with the giant Anacortes refinery on our left making creaking mechanical noises, lit up like a backdrop from BladeRunner with jets of vent gas burning in the night. Above us the nearly full moon shone down and to our right was a small strip of tidal beach was crowded with parked vans and campers next to people sprawled in lawn chairs around driftwood fires.

At 10:45 PM we pulled into the control point at the Anacortes Safeway. We'd covered the last 55 kilometers at a pace of 23.4 kph (14.5 mph). We took a 25 minute break and then headed back into the night, backtracking along Highway 20. The temperature had cooled back down to 47 degrees but we were still feeling pretty good.

Having just gone up a hill, I was ahead of the others by a bit and as the road turned down, I was moving at a good clip. With my Lumotec Oval Plus being driven off a Schmidt hub generator I had the best lights of the team but even so when I saw the scrap of two by six lumber gleam in my headlight beam, I didn't have time to avoid it.

On a fixed gear bike, you don't unweight the bike like you would a conventional bike. On a bike that coasts, you lock your pedals in the horizontal position, flex your elbows and lift your butt off the seat. On a fixed gear, you accelerate to unweight your saddle as you bend your elbows. It's a reflex that's been drilled into me over thousands of fixed gear kilometers. I punched the pedals and semi-levitated as the PX-10 caught the board square in the wheels. No pinch flats, no wobble... no problem!

We regrouped at the turn onto Bayview Edison Road and rode together up to Chuckanut Drive. As we got closer to Bellingham, I said to Pete "we're almost to your house, right?"

You know that saying "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?" Pete said nothing at all. It should've tipped me off.

We rolled into Bellingham and it seemed incredibly busy. People may tell you that New York is the city that never sleeps but Bellingham at 1:00 AM on an early Sunday morning is one happening place. Lots of kids walking and driving around. Hadn't these people heard of sleep? We'd all heard of sleep and were thinking it sounded like a mighty fine idea.

But first we had to get to Pete's. Ken and I weren't looking at the route sheet, we were just following Pete. At every intersection that we'd stop at if one road would go up, one road would go straight and one road would go down, you could pretty much count on Pete turning onto the one that went up.

And up...

And up...

I began to realize that Pete doesn't actually live in Bellingham. No, Pete is a member of some cliff dwelling race who live in the mountains above Bellingham. We rode up into the darkness.

Eventually Pete turns down(!) a side road and pulls up to a house. "We're here," he announces simply. It's 2:10 AM. We stumble into Pete's house, grab something to drink and settle in for a quick nap. Pete tosses some clothes in the dryer. Somehow my warm gloves have vanished from my hands and I can't figure out what I've done with them. I managed to log the stats, however. 64 kilometers for the latest leg with an average speed of 21.7 kph (13.49 mph). Pete set an alarm and we all collapsed on his floor

The alarm went off way too soon. Actually it went off at the time Pete had set, but we agreed that that was too soon. It wasn't that far to Nugents Corner and some extra sleep would make us that much faster for the tail end of the ride. We went back to sleep.

When the stupid alarm went off again we had to get going. I still could not find my warm gloves but I had my mesh short-fingered cycling gloves and how cold could it possibly be? Ken put forth the theory that at least we were done with the climbing and it was a flat run to the end now.

Pete said nothing.

Ken pressed the point, "We're pretty much done with the hills now, right?"

"Well, there's still some climbing..." Pete confessed.

I think Tenzing Norgay said something similar to Edmund Hillary while they were still hanging out at Lhasa.

The road went up. We went up. We kept going, knowing that eventually we'd be descending. At one point we saw a bunch of flashing lights ahead. As we drew closer we saw a tow truck and a couple of state troopers working to pull a pickup out of the ditch. There was just enough room for us to squeeze by.

When we finally got the descent, it came with a cold fog and truly horrible road conditions. Since I had the best light, I was out front. We were bouncing along as best we could when I saw the sign "Rough Road". Just as I was thinking "well, duh!" the road surface changed from bad to damn near non-existant. Huge craters opened in front of us and we slowed and veered from one side of the road to the other trying to pick our way among the few bits of pavement that still clung to what the sign had mockingly called a road.

We knew we had no chance of making our full distance now. We were going to fall about 50K short. This would still count using the 80% rule but now we were into survival mode. We were making lousy time, we couldn't see in the fog and it was really, really cold.

At Acme there are a set of railroad tracks that cross the road at a sharp diagonal. I caught my front wheel on the fog slicked tracks and went down. Fortunately I landed well and was already numb enough from the cold that I didn't feel a thing. I eventually got smart and wrapped the sleeves of my spare jersey over my fingers which warmed my fingers slightly.

Road conditions improved tremendously once we were back on Highway 9 but we were too cold to care. Nugents Corner was the end for us. I held out the hope that casinos are open all the time and that we'd have someplace warm but it turns out that the casino there is closed from 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM on Sunday mornings and by golly there was just nothing open at that hour. We did find the last guy who'd finished his shift at the casino and asked him if he knew of any place that might be open. He directed us to the Texaco down the street and we rode off.

The Texaco was closed but our new buddy saw that as he drove by and stopped to offer us a lift. He had a pickup truck with room for three bikes in the back and we all crammed in the cab. It was crowded, but it was warm. We'd spent hours on cold lousy roads riding away from Bellingham and now all that distance was being erased in one fast pickup ride.

The driver let us off at a 24 hour sports bar & grill in Bellingham. Pete called his long suffering wife to come rescue us while Ken and I ordered breakfast and coffee. We were nodding off and they told us we couldn't sleep in the bar (they have an image to uphold!) so Ken stayed awake by telling them the tale of how we'd come to be there.

I worked out the final numbers. My computer sensor had gotten knocked off kilter when I went down on the tracks but it looks like the average for the leg from Pete's house to Nugents Corner was a dismal 20.6 kph (12.8 mph). Overall distance for our 24 hour fleche was 499 kilometers (310 miles) with an overall average speed of 27.6 kph (17.17 mph).

Back at Pete's we napped for a while and then Ken, Pete and I, the bikes and Pete's family all squeezed into Pete's van and we drove up to Semiahmoo. Here we had to put up with the good-natured ribbing of Team Sunnyside who'd managed to ride the entire distance they'd said they would. Mark Thomas dubbed us "Team Over-Promise and Under-Deliver."

Next year we'll go the distance!

SIR Email Discussion List Created

Thanks to Alex Wetmore the Seattle International Randonneurs now have a free email discussion list. This list allows SIR members to communicate about various rides and events, swap training tips and talk about various aspects of randonneuring in the Seattle area.

You may subscribe to this list by pointing your browser to:


and filling out a very simple form. Once you're subscribed, sending email to sir@phred.org will send a message to the entire group. For those of you who already get way too much email, you may opt to subscribe to the SIR mail list in digest form. This option will batch up the SIR mail once a day into a single digest containing the day's messages.

Of couse SIR will still have the paper newsletters and the website (at either http://www.seattlerandonneur.org or http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/5293/ )

Kent Peterson -- 2000 SIR Newsletter Editor, Web and Email guy.

The Quotable Cyclist

For you fans of cycling literature in this issue we have a brief excerpt from Dino Buzzati's book The Giro d'Italia: Coppi versus Bartali at the 1949 Tour of Italy. This is from chapter 23 entitled The Old Racer's Refrain. Enjoy!

The bicycle has two wheels, one that guides, the other that runs; one obeys the brain when it comes to deciding whether to go left or right, the other obeys the legs, our professionals' legs: When you touch them, they shout out, "But this is wood!" and for each leg there's a pedal.

The pedals! This is the cross we have to bear. Never, never will they be satisfied: When one is up, its twin is down and each one always wants to do what the other is doing: they continue to run after one another and never, never catch up. Yet who can say no to them? When one is up we push it down, then it's the other one's turn, otherwise an injustice would be done. And the pedals drive the chainwheels, the chainwheels pull the chain, the chain pulls the cog, the cog turns the wheel, and the wheel carries us forward, forward.

The legs! That's the big problem. Some people's are hard and knotty, others' long and tapered like a ballerina's; one has thighs like a hog's, another like those of a wading bird, but they are all magnificent, strong, courageous, obedient. Our poor legs! Miserable, enslaved, bruised, hairy, over-sensitive and tired, they carry along, carry along this little piece of machinery coarsely called life.

There are those who study, others, instead, who cultivate the fields, or make clothing or pots, those who manufacture trains or pumps; there are those who care for the sick, or bury the dead; there are those who teach children, and others who say Mass. But we do none of this: We do not manufacture or cultivate anything. We move our legs, see, and nothing else. Absolutely nothing else.

For this reason, we have been given an oddly colored jersey and a number has been put on our back. Then they print our names in the newspaper. They give us money, too, but for how long? They throw flowers at us, love us, kiss us, ask for our autograph. But for how long? Until the day, good people, that our legs say no. They will say: Enough going around and around, pushing pedals up and down. And without a number and a jersey we, too, will sit on our doorstep, on these days in May and June, to watch other legs turning; no longer ours, though. Ours will rest firmly on the ground, like the legs of landowners, like those of pharmacists, teachers, hat makers, plumbers, in sum, like all those who still have all their faculties. And we will say: For us (thank heavens!), no more backbreaking exertion, dust, torment; oh, oh, and no more dysentery. We've had enough of that hellish life of a convict! God, though, how wonderful it was!

Note To All Brevet Coordinators:

If your course is ready and approved by RUSA, please send me the details so I so I can post it on the website. The sooner the better - Kent Peterson

Back To Top


Volume 5 Issue 2 - March 2000

In This Issue:

2000 SIR Ride Calendar
Looking for Software and a Graphics Wizard!
It's not training, it's just riding
Working out as a reason for working out.
The Quotable Cyclist
A Letter from Jim Trout
Wanted: Crew Members for RAAM 2000
Note To All Brevet Coordinators
Training Rides
A Final Note

Last Updated 3/1/00

 Next Issue - May 2000

The '00 SIR Executive Board:
Mark Thomas, Ken Carter, Kent Peterson, Bill Dussler, Terry Zrmhal , Greg Cox, and Wayne Methner

Membership fee:  $8.00 - full membership w/e-mail newsletter or $15.00 - full membership w/printed newsletter.

Membership Address: c/o Ken Carter, 348 Lind Ave. SW #33, Renton, WA 98055 (email: Kenneth.Carter2@PSS.Boeing.com)

Newsletter Address: c/o Kent Peterson, 330 3rd Place NW, Issaquah, WA 98027 (email: peterson@halcyon.com)


2000 SIR Ride Calendar


Mar 18: 100 km Populaire - Come join us for a preview of randonneur style riding. Regarding the route of the 100 k brevet, I thought we could start at the Redhook brewery, take the trail south, head over toward Snoqualmie Falls and back. The Redhook Brewery is  located in Sammamish Valley to the north of Redmond (I think it has a Woodinville address). It is located just off of the Sammamish trail (that heads south to Marymoor Park). We will have a route sheet. We will start at 8:30 AM, so riders should plan an showing up around 8:00 AM to allow time for registration. This should put us back at the brewery in the 12:30 to 1:30 range for lunch and a meeting. I'm planning to determine the exact route the weekend before the ride (March 11-12). -- Tom Lawrence, (206) 789-9271, tvlawrence@uswest.net

New this year will be a 100 km Pin with the following design:

Thanks to Duane Wright for designing the pin and placing the orders. The pins will probably arrive just after the spring 100 km, but they should be just the thing to add to our medal collections. If you don't get one this spring, you can always ride the 100 km in September.

April 1: 200 km Brevet - This will be a new southern route, starting from Kent. Greg Cox, (253) 639-2928, GregoryCox@compuserve.com

April 14-16: Fleche NW - The Fleche is a 24 hour, team event, of at least 360 KM in distance and run similar to a brevet. Each team plans its own route with a common destination in mind. The Fleche is a fun event fostering friendships, teamwork and camaraderie during the planning, riding and finishing celebration of the accomplishment. Pete Bajema, (360) 671-5338,brahmabullet@netzero.net

May 13: 300 km Brevet - A scenic ride up Whidbey Island, across Deception Pass, along Chuckanut Drive and Lake Samish, up to Lake Cavanaugh, and back to the Mukilteo ferry terminal via Granite Falls. Ken Carter, (425)255-6031, Kenneth.Carter2@PSS.Boeing.com

June 3: 400 km Brevet - A return of a perennial favorite, a challenging loop over three passes - Snoqualmie, Blewitt, and Stevens. Mark Thomas, (206) 612-4700, mark.thomas@lightmail.net

June 24: Cannonball (275 miles) The Northwest's oldest (1985) cross-state one-day ultramarathon cycling event. The ride starts at the I-90 bike tunnel entrance in Seattle, WA, and uses the shoulder of I-90 for most of its 275-mile route, finishing in Spokane. Riders are expected to provide their own support, though we typically have at least one neutral support vehicle on the route. More details check out: http://www.redmondcylingclub.org/events/cball.html

July 1-2: 600 km Brevet - Watch our website for this route - sure to be a challenge. Wayne Methner, (206)362-5682, methner.w@ghc.org

July 8-9: Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic -- sponsored by Cascade Bicycle Club Ride

July 8: S-2-S (285 miles) Like Cannonball, S-2-S is a challenging one-day ultramarathon cycling event crossing the state of Washington from west to east. Held annually since 1992, the ride covers a more scenic, less traveled, but more difficult (12,000 feet of climbing) route than Cannonball. The bulk of the 285-mile course follows US Highway 2. Riders are expected to provide their own support, though we typically have at least one neutral support vehicle on the route. More details check out: http://www.redmondcylingclub.org/events/s2s.html

July 27-30: Rocky Mountain 1200 - sponsored by the BC Randonneurs Cycling Club http://tour-bc.net/rando/rm1200.htm

July 27: RAMROD (154 miles) The seventeenth annual Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day Spectacular scenery (154 miles of it), challenging climbs (10,000 feet of it) and thrilling descents (ditto). Join 699 of your closest cycling buddies on one of the best rides of the new century. For more details check out: http://www.redmondcylingclub.org/ramrod/

August 11 & 12: RSVP Seattle to Vancouver B.C. -- sponsored by Cascade Bicycle Club Ride

Aug. 17-20: Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200 -- http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/2750/

August 25-27: 1000 km Brevet - Both sides of the border, both sides of the Cascades. Five passes. Cap your summer of riding with this climb- and mile-fest. Ken Carter, (425) 255-6031, Kenneth.Carter2@PSS.Boeing.com

September 9: 100 km Fall Populaire - Duane Wright, (206) 523-7404, checkers@u.washington.edu


September 23: 200 km Brevet - Bill and Janine Prichard, (425) 454-6873, mrtibbs@gte.net


Looking for Software and a Graphics Wizard!


Does anyone has a copy of iGrafx Designer (by Micrografx )?

Vanessa (the artist who did the club jersey) used this for the SIR logo. Although I have some camera-ready copies of the logo, it would be much more useful if we could manipulate the electronic copy. The club has the rights to the logo (unlike the jersey design, which Vanessa holds the copyright for).

Two things I would like to do is get some rubber stamps for brevet controls, and get a couple of control signs with the logo as well. If anyone in the club has experience with that kind of graphic work and would know how to do this, that would be even better.


Bill Dussler -- bdussler@gte.net -- (206) 932-0417



It's not training, it's just riding

By Kent Peterson

There's a Danish proverb that states "the road to a friend's house is never long" and in that spirit I rode up to Port Townsend to see my friends Jon and Bob. Before Bob moved to Port Townsend last fall, he and I used to ride together a couple of times a month. I'd met Jon more recently. He's just getting into randonneuring and is going to be going on a cross country tour with his father this summer. By email we'd discussed his route and I had a set of Adventure Cycling maps he wanted to take a look at and a Brooks B17 saddle for him to try. I never figure a weekend is quite complete unless I log some bike time, so on Sunday February 27 I rolled out of my Issaquah driveway at 6:30 AM.

I'm riding my new old bike, a 1972 Peugeot PX-10E. I'd bought the frameset at the Seattle swap meet the week before and I'd built it up in the true Kent Peterson "don't you have any normal bikes?" style: 42 by 16 fixed gearing (coasting makes you weak!), Scott Drop-In bars, really classy coroplast fenders and enough tape to make Red Green envious. I've got the maps and saddle for Jon in my backpack along with some munchies for my journey.

I get to the Seattle ferry dock at 7:40 AM. Today is the day of the Chilly Hilly ride on Bainbridge Island, so there are hundreds of other cyclists taking this ferry. Lynne Vigesaa, Ron Lee and Peter McKay are riding Chilly Hilly so I chat with them on the ride over to Bainbridge. The ferry docks 8:30 AM and when the Chilly Hilly riders turn right, I keep going straight on Highway 305 across the island. At Poulsbo I turn off onto Little Valley Road which becomes Big Valley Road. Just before Four Corners I get to see what I'll always think of as Max's camel, a contented beast who shares a farm with a dromedary and some llamas. Max Maxon had been very pleased to see this camel a couple of years ago on the 300 K brevet and the camel still seems to be doing fine.

The day is beautiful and the threatened rain is proving to be an empty threat. The bike is working well except for my right pedal which has developed an annoying squeaking oscillation. I think it's a cracked bearing. I knew I should've switched my good pedals over from the Pinerello. Live and learn. I think this'll hold together until Port Townsend and I'll see if I can borrow some pedals from Jon or Bob for the ride home.

The sun is shining on the water as I roll across the Hood Canal bridge and I start climbing up 104. I turn off onto Beaver Valley Road and out into the farmland. I see a herd of bison and I roll on through Chimacum and on toward Port Townsend.

I'm making good time. I'd told the guys I'd meet them downtown at 1:00 PM but I know I'll be getting in early. It dawns on me that I've never been to either of their houses and that I'd cleverly left both their phone numbers and their respective addresses at home. Oh well, so much for planning.

By noon I'm in beautiful downtown Port Townsend, a town that's dangerously close to being too picturesque. I park my bike, wander around and stop in at William James Booksellers. It's hard to go wrong in a bookstore named after a philosopher and while I'm browsing around I find a book I'd heard about and wanted for a while, Gary Paulsen's Pilgrimage on a Steel Ride. Four dollars for a publisher's overstock hardcover tells me it's worth the weight in my pack to lug it home. Later, at home, I'll be proven right. A lot of what Gary has to say about his life and his Harley echoes in the miles I've ridden on a smaller, quieter steel ride.

A bit before one I meet up with Bob and we head over to the Tyler Street Coffee Shop for lunch of clam chowder and coffee. We leave a note on the bikes so Jon will find us and he joins us a few minutes later. We talk bikes and work and life and it's one of those simple afternoons when problems are small and can be solved with a little thought and just the right tools.

After lunch Jon and I head up the hill to his house and he loans me a nice old set of Suntour XC Pro pedals for the ride home. I fill my water bottles up, thank Jon for the loan and at 2:20 I head south out of town.

Riding a fixed gear bike on the open road is something that's hard to explain to folks who haven't done it. They see what you don't have, the gear options and the ability to coast and a lot of them can't quite fathom the why of a bike like this. On the ferry ride over I'd tried to explain it to Ron and Lynne but the words don't quite capture it. Like the saying "the map is not the terrain", talking about fixed gear riding will not tell you all there is to know about it. Only the riding does that and every ride is another lesson.

I've been riding fixed pretty much exclusively since the beginning of December and in that time I've logged some over 4,000 kilometers. I ride a 70 inch gear and I like it. I like that I have to be strong on the climbs and spin at 150+ RPMs on the descents. I like that when I get home I know I've turned the pedals for every centimeter of every kilometer I've covered. I like the fact that even when I come home tired, I come home happy.

It's three hours back to Bainbridge and without consulting the ferry schedule or relying on anything other than the sense of when to go and when to stop, I roll up to the 5:25 ferry just as they are loading the bikes. It's good to stop and park the bike and sit on the soft seat in the ferry and watch the sky grow dark and the lights of Seattle grow closer.

The ride back to Issaquah reminds me of my old commute and the bike climbs easily up the hill to the Mount Baker tunnel. I roll out over the bridge. My headlamp punches a small hole in the darkness, my bike flies through that hole and my tail light sews the fabric of the night back together with perfect red stitches.

Did I train today? Maybe, I did. My computer tells me I logged 212 kilometers at an average speed of 24.6 kph. My legs say "yeah that sounds about right" and my stomach says "what's there to eat around here?" But it's not training. I know a lot of guys who train. They train to do PBP or BMB or RAAM or some other big event. And sometimes I'm one of those guys. But today -- today I rode my bike. I saw my friends and I had fun.

And you know, I think I know why I train.

I train so I can have days like this.

Working out as a reason for working out.

By Mark VandeKamp

"This essay revolves around a workout that combined running and biking, but it could just as easily apply to a long bike ride. Hopefully it will resonate with some of you randonneurs." -- Mark VandeKamp

I did a workout last Sunday for no reason. It was a brick -- I rode about ten miles to Discovery park, ran two trail loops that made a little more than an eight mile run, and rode back home. I'm not training for a future race. I didn't do it hard enough to test myself or push my limits. I certainly didn't set any personal records with it. I wasn't really trying to lose weight or improve my health. I did it alone, so it wasn't a social event. It was a workout without any of those reasons, and it was exactly what I wanted it to be.

What was special about Sunday? Both nothing and everything. It was a crisp fall day without a cloud in the sky. Traffic was light. My legs were a little stale from my ride the day before, but mostly that just made a good reason not to push hard. Discovery park is always beautiful, with a mix of forest, sand bluff, and Puget Sound beach. Halfway through the first loop a bald eagle flew overhead. Later, along the beach I watched as dozens of small sailboats raced on the Sound, with the sun making their sails shine brilliantly white. It was a good day to be alive and moving, but the difference I'm trying to point out isn't about the outside, it's about the inside. Sunday was special because I was out there riding and running simply because I wanted to be out there.

Am I really being completely honest here? Are all the reasons I listed earlier completely irrelevant to me? In reality, many of them are relevant, at least indirectly. I like staying thin and feeling healthy. I may choose to run or ride in a race sometime in the next few months and will depend on workouts like Sundays in order to complete and enjoy it. I'm sure that I could think of other things that I get from working out, and they are all important. Still, I don't want them to be the reasons I get up off the couch and put on my gear. I enjoy myself less when my workouts are a means to those ends. The best workouts are the ones that I recognize to be an end in themselves.

I used to go hiking sometimes with a friend whose life was completely intertwined with climbing, hiking, and skiing. He would call me up on the phone and say, "Hey, do you want to go play tomorrow?" I used to think of it as just a quirky phrasing and shrugged it off. Now, I think he was using the language intentionally and truthfully. We were going to go play. My best workouts -- the ones that are an end in themselves -- the ones like Sundays brick -- are the times when I simply go out and play.


There are a lot of words above, and they are primarily my attempt to articulate an interpretation of the story below. Maybe it means something different to you. Maybe it will mean something different to me in the future. Whatever it means, I don't think its as trivial as it first appears.

(Copied from an un-attributed posting on the net)

A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery and had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying the sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the first student, "You are a smart boy! When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over like I do."

The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path!" The teacher commended the second student, "Your eyes are open, and you see the world."

The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."

The fourth student replied, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all sentient beings." The teacher was pleased, and said to the fourth student, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The teacher sat at the feet of the fifth student and said, "I am your student!"

The Quotable Cyclist


For this issue we have a few words you may want to keep rolling around in the back of your mind on the dark nights of the long brevets...


"There is no road too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; there are no honors too distant to the man who prepares himself for them with patience." -- Jean de La Bruyère (1645-96) French writer, moralist

 "The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night" -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82)

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." -- Vincent Van Gogh (1853-90)

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." -- Psalms 30:5

"History is made at night. Character is what you are in the dark." -- Lord John Whorfin


A Letter from Jim Trout

(Note Jim is currently riding around with world on the Odyssey 2000 Ride)

Hello one and all and greetings again from another corner of the world...Africa!!! Cyclone Eline decided to do quite a number on Mozambique/Swaziland, but the gang is hanging in there and tolerating the mud, squeaky chains, and stinky clothes for a little while longer. We desperately needed our latest rest day in Durban!!

Our group depleted all the detergent in Durban, so we are still riding along the roads of Africa with "crunchy" socks and underpants (why is it that every e-mail I send out sooner or later comes back to the all-important topic of underpants?) I first washed all my clothes in my "dirty-laundry" bag (these are usually the little plastic bags from the grocery store, but this batch of dirty cloth appeared to be especially corrosive as evidenced by holes and tears spotted about the bag), but my big gear bag still reeked. Next, I washed my "clean" clothes. Still the stench emanated from within. Next, I washed all the stuff sacks and other bags inside my big gear bag. Wouldn't ya know it, PEE-YOO. Finally, I baby-powdered my running shoes, fumigated my hiking shoes, and left my biking shoes out in the sun for a bit. The original, horrifying odour is now gone, but there still seems to be a lingering waft which disallows my mind to let go of the memories of odiferous wastelands. My always-dripping-wet-tent is another interesting story. There is a patch about the size of a mouse pad on my front door which is growing an interesting kaleidoscope of bacteria. You should see the shadow it makes when I shine my headlamp through the tent: looks like Abe Lincoln's silhouette. I kid you not. I have contact dermatitis on both my knees; my epidemiologic skills determined the cause was kneeling on my wet tent floor the other night. Thank goodness I have some Triamcinolone in my armory...I'll show that bloody bacteria-virus-fungus thing who they're dealing with!!! (pharmacist humour).

Well, back to the wonderful trip I'm having. SA is an amazing country: it lacks the snow-capped peaks and volcanoes of Chile of which I'm so fond of, but it gives the eyes other wondrous pictures to spy on. The day of riding into Hazyview ranked up with my best rides of all time. What makes for a best ride of all time? I guess it is the whole "package." Last Friday's package included lack of mechanical problems; body, mind, and spirit 100%; ideal weather (tailwinds, mild temp, low-impact sun); great road conditions (smooth road, low traffic, nice shoulder); and lastly amazing scenery with mind-numbing descents. Wow, what a day!! Huge, majestic valleys carved out of the mountains appeared around almost every corner. Waterfalls were ubiquitous. The downhills were more of a rush than I could have ever imagined. My throat was sore that day from all the "woo-hooing" and "Yeah, baby!" and "Gosh-darn!!" -ing that I was doing. Yes, quite a day to remember.

All days seem to have their special memories. Some days its the perfect biking day. Some days it's one or two interactions from the locals. Other days it's an intimate moment with a friend. It's amazing how the little things seem to go so much farther when one is "on the road." No, I cannot ever see this trip becoming routine, and I'm starting to realize that this trip will reinforce my visions as seeing my "normal" life the same way. Full of changes, full of special moments, full of wonder and joy. Being surrounded by other cultures aids in this enhanced perception I'm experiencing, but I believe that this is only the catalyst for which already lied within me. Each day is a magical gift!!

Ahh, I tend to get carried away as I reflect on the days of the past. I'll give you a quick synopsis of the "goings-on" since I last wrote: Our flight to Jo-burg went off without a hitch. TK&A contracted with the Prince of Qatar and his personal airline. We found out that the 747-200 plane WILL hold all our bikes, gear, and people (can't forget the people!). Yeah!! The Prince was also our pilot, and he was incredibly courteous and helpful throughout the flight. He enjoyed our company and RTW (Round The World) story so much that he invited us for a 2-4 day personal Camel Safari and tour in Qatar. Upon enthusiastic support from the O2K riders, TK&A is looking into the schedule to see if this could be arranged. I must admit, I had to look up Qatar on the world map, and, after a couple hours, I found it sandwiched between United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Cool stuff, huh?

After a safe arrival in Jo-berg ~12pm (a 10 hour flight + we lost 5 hours), I biked over to a bike shop for bike shorts, new brake pads, and other essentials. Famished, our group ate every last strand of pasta at the Italian restaurant that night. Back to the road the next AM!!

Needless to say, we all felt a bit jet-lagged in the morning. Also, we were a little trepidatious with regards to safety in South Africa. Our radars were on full scan, but we eased up a little as we found that people here are very friendly, especially when greeted with a smile. We are up to 157,000 feet in total climbing on the bike, ~50,000 here in Africa alone. This means hilly, people!! The weather has been okay, the best day was the one I mentioned above. Other days have been mostly on/off downpours but relatively warm.

The other day I was having a perfectly normal conversation with another rider as we were pelted in the face by a virtual downpour. It was like the rain wasn't even there!! Our group loved our stay in Hazyview and Kruger Nat'l Park. I went on a one-day safari and was able to see elephants, rhinos, impalas, lions, giraffes, zebras, gnus (wildebeasts), and countless birds. The next 5 days were awesome as we entered Swaziland x 2 days and started getting into the coastal region. The landscape changed from forestry to sugarcane and other agriculture. I decided to "double-up" and ride into Durban a day early (170 miles) to have an extra rest day.

On Sunday, 3 other trekkers and I ran a 10K fun run along the beach (my time was ~43 min). After the run, we all frolicked in the Indian Ocean for a while, trying not to get too beaten up by the waves. This area of Durban reminds me of Miami Beach.

I like this city immensely, and have decided to take another rest day and do another double this Tuesday to catch up to the group in the evening. Durban is a diverse city with a melting-pot mix of culture. I am fascinated with the dynamics of Indian, Black, and White living in this town. There is much history here with the Anglo-Boer wars, Ghandi, and Zulu culture. As I mentioned before, books are not enough to describe the world: they leave too much for the imagination and are difficult to read without bias.

So... off to Cape Town!! This section of Africa is supposedly the most challenging, but consequently the most scenic (the charmed "Garden Route"). I'm glad to have this extra rest day for my legs: they're currently crying foul because of the 10K run yesterday.

Adios, amigos!!




Wanted: Crew Members for RAAM 2000

I am looking for crew members for RAAM this year. Experience is nice but not necessary, only the willingness to get it your all for the rider. It's a great opportunity for the rider who wants to see what RAAM is about before making the decision themselves on doing it. All expenses will be paid during the ride. If interested or want more info about myself please e-mail me at the address below.


Pete Bajema bullet00@freewwweb.com


Note To All Brevet Coordinators:

If your course is ready and approved by RUSA, please send me the details so I so I can post it on the website. The sooner the better - Kent Peterson

Training Rides


Don't let the weather keep you from training! (Despite this lovely photo, we've had very good weather for the TerryZ training rides. Here's Terry's latest update)


We continue to have great luck with weather and rider turnout, though looking at the forecast I suspect our luck may change this weekend. We had a dozen riders for a leisurely ride in the sun this past weekend. This weekend Wayne Methner is providing the route - we're going to venture out to the islands.

Important - the ride will still start at 9, but we have a ferry to catch at 8:40.

When: Saturday March 4th

TIME: leave at 9am as always, BUT catch the 8:40 Edmonds to Kingston Ferry. You need about $5.00 for the ferry.

Where: Start and End point is Kingston. To get to the Edmonds ferry terminal, take I-5 north from Seattle, take Hwy 104 (around Mountlake Terrace) west to the Ferry Terminal. If you reach the intersection with 405,you've gone too far.

Distance: 61 miles

Route: Depart Kingston to Port Gamble cross the Hood Canal Bridge, then Oak Bay Rd to Hadlock, a zig and zag to 4 corners. Return via Hwy 20, Eaglemount, Larson Lake Rd, Beaver Valley and Hwy 104 back across Hood Canal bridge.

On the way back, if you have a chance, stop at Kingston Cycle (I think it's still there). They have a marvelous collection of antique bikes, parts, and equipment.

Cue Sheet provided.

See you Saturday,

TerryZ (terryz@microsoft.com)


The ride on the weekend of March 11th and 12th will be 65 to 70 miles in length and will head south from Coulon Park. Ken Carter will be providing the route. As usual, Terry will send email a few days before giving more details and picking the day. If you want more info get in touch with Terry or Ken.

Don't forget to take the time for proper maintenance of your equipment. There are many fine shops to help you keep your bike it top running condition.

(I always look for the horse shoes on the wall, a sure sign of quality!)


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Volume 5 Issue 1 - January - February 2000


In This Issue:

Members Corner
Terry Z's Training Rides
The Quotable Cyclist

Last Updated 12-29-99

 1999- 2000 SIR Newsletters

The following are expected 2000 dates for publishing (mailing via USPS) the SIR newsletter.  They are based on our currently scheduled SIR activities.  If you have a contribution please use the following dates for timely submission, one week prior to publication.   More dates will be added if the need arises.

Next Issue - March 2000

2000 SIR Brevets & Events

100 Km Populaire - Mar. 18 & Sept. 9  |  200 Km - April 1 & Sept. 23  |  300 Km May 13 | Fleche April 14, 15, & 16 | 400 Km - June 3 & 4 | 600 km - July 1 & 2 |
1000 Km Aug 5 -7 | Rocky Mountain 1200 - July 27-30 | BMB - Aug. 17-20

The '00 SIR Executive Board: Mark Thomas, Ken Carter, Kent Peterson, Bill Dussler, Terry Zrmhal , Greg Cox, and Wayne Methner

Membership fee:  $8.00 - full membership w/e-mail newsletter or $15.00 - full membership w/printed newsletter.

Members Corner

Volunteer Needed:
Rocky Mountain 1200 km brevet needs volunteers. For more information on how you can help, contact
Jan Heine
Riders Wanted:
Come up to Bellingham and I'll treat you to a metric / real century! Enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery Whatcom county has to offer.
Contact Pete Bajema if interested.
I've been riding pretty much every weekend, so if you're interested in rides starting from Issaquah and heading anywhere within a radius of a hundred miles or so, drop me a note -- Kent Peterson
Note To All Brevet Coordinators:
If your course is ready and approved by RUSA, please send me the details so I so I can post it on the website. The sooner the better -
Kent Peterson
Note To All Members:
It's a new year! If you haven't already done so please remember to renew your annual membership fees. Here's a link to the

Terry Z's Training Rides

Last year in January and February we had a fairly successful series of 7 rides in January and February as part of early season buildup before the brevets. I've had several inquires if the series would be run again this year. Because of the interest, I'd like to do it again.

The plan would be to meet one day per weekend between 8:30 and 9:30. The location and start time would be sent out early in the week. Last year we sort of stayed as a group, but did split up sometimes. The idea is to have a group to start with and depending on how you feel you can turn around early or add sections or your own. If it is desired to do these Audax style, we can try that approach as well.

The tentative plan for you is to start the last weekend of January (the 29/30) and do 7 weekend rides finishing March 11/12. This leaves the SIR 100 km on March 18 followed two weeks later by the SIR 200 km on April 1 (Fool's Day to be certain). If anyone really wants to start earlier, I'd consider starting January 8/9. The pattern will be a buildup of distance/time starting from the first week to the fourth week, on the 5th week we'd go back to a much shorter ride (take a break) and start increasing distance/time again. I will have photocopied maps this time.

I'd like to have rides that vary in location from Renton (south) to Arlington (north) to accommodate more people and for different riding areas. Perhaps we'll venture out to the islands (Whidbey and Bainbridge) as well. If anyone is interested in 'leading' a ride, let me know. 'Leading' will entail establishing the start time, the start location, and a route (preferably with a map).

*** Stepping up on Soap Box and turning into Fender Nazi ***

If you plan on riding with the group, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have fenders AND a mud guard. It's no fun finishing a ride with your daily supply of minerals supplied by the dirt and grit that's been sprayed on your face by those without fenders. If it's raining and you don't have fenders, don't be surprised if you're asked to either not ride with the group or sit at the back. Hopefully I won't need to send more mail about fenders like I did last year.

*** Stepping down now ***

Please pass this on to anyone else that might be interested.

Happy Riding!

Terry Z



In this section of the newsletter, we'll get materialistic and show off things that may be of interest to randonneurs. If you have something that you use on brevets that you find works well, drop a note to Kent, the newsletter editor. On the other hand, if you've used something that doesn't work as advertised, feel free to pass a warning along as well. I'll need feedback to keep filling the newsletters, so send me some email.


First up, this is the headlamp I've been using for the past few months and I think it's a winner:

It's the Petzl Duo Belt and here's why I like it:
It's French!
It's got a separate battery pack which keeps most of the weight off my head. I got rid of the head strap and instead use a loop of velcro to secure it to my helmet. The battery pack rides in my pocket. There is a similar model called the Duo, which runs on 4 AA cells but I don't like it as well since the battery pack rides on your head and the battery life is lower.
It's got both low and high beams with spare bulbs for each right inside the light. The low beam is good for reading your bike computer or a cue sheet and the focusable halogen high-beam (sorry I don't know the watts) is actually pretty good to ride by. I also have lights on the bike, but in a pinch this light will do the job. And it's great for helping you pick out road signs at 3:00 AM or when you have to change a flat on a dark and stormy night.
The light runs for a very long time on 4 C cell batteries. With alkaline batteries at 70 degrees, it's rated to go for about 10 hours on the high beam or 36 hours on the low. Of course, if you drop the temperature down to zero, the expectancies go down to about 9 hours on low and 3 on high, but that's still pretty good. For commuting, I'm running NiMH rechargeable batteries in the Petzl and I've been very pleased with the results.
You should be able to find the Petzl Duo Belt at various sporting goods stores for around $63. The last time I was in at REI, they had a whole bunch of them.

 Scott Drop-In handlebars are sold as aeorbars but they have a lot to recommend them to the randonneur.
First off, even though they are technically aerobars, the French have approved them for use on Paris-Brest-Paris. Second, they really do offer a lot of usable hand positions. On long rides, this is very nice. Thirdly, the lower section of the bars is a great place to mount your lights.
One downside to these bars is that I don't think you can make thumb shifters work with them. But if you are using lever shifters or down tube shifters, they'll be fine. And, of course, they also work great on a fixed gear bike, if you're into that sort of thing.

Finally Mark Thomas has become a fan of the Ortlieb bags -- Particularly the underseat bags. They come in three sizes and Mark just happens to have them in stock in his shop. The great thing about these bags is that they really and truly are water proof. The Ortlieb website is at:


 The Quotable Cyclist

"Dairy Queen. God, I dream about Dairy Queens." -- Greg LeMond, when asked what he thinks about during races in Europe

"No rider I know gets by after a raging ride with a bagel and a banana. That we could is irrelevant. Food is life and if we are what we eat, I don't want to be a squishy, yellow fruit." -- Allison Glock

"I try to take care of myself by eating really well, avoiding sugar and soda and junk. It gives me an edge. If I didn't have that goddamn latte I wanted for three months, then I deserve to win the goddamn race." Missy Giove

"To prepare for a race there is nothing better than a good pheasant, some champagne and a woman." -- Jacques Anquetil


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