Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fishing Flys in the Face of Finishing a Fine French Foray

Fish swimming up our mighty Northwest rivers tempted me mightily. I love to fish so I had to pause and watch and talk to the fishers, but in the end I did finish my brevet. I finished my first ever Permanent, the Seattle International Randonneurs Permanent #0562: Renton-Dash Point-Orting-Renton. Yippee!

A Permanent, for those who aren't acquainted, is a pre-approved brevet route that a randonneur can ride any time (with pre-approval) and for which he/she can get essentially the same credit. For me that means that because I rode a 400k in August and I just rode the 200k Permanent on September 12, I now have two months in a row of 200k or better. That puts me two months into the R-12 Award which is for successfully completing a 200k brevet every month for 12 consecutive months.

Chinook Salmon, for those not from around these parts, are big fish. The record is over 100 pounds, but this one here is nothing to sneeze at.

I wasn't the only cyclist/fisher. Here is the bike rack, and the cyclists are on the river. Talk about a good day!

One of the things I most love about fishing is the solitude. Some of course can't get out into the wilder parts, and must fish close to home. They miss the solitude, but they exchange it for comraderie. I watched one father help his about-eight-year-old son hang on to a heavy rod as the initiation to fishing the Northwest's famed rivers began. Sweet.

The rivers are "milky" due to high temperatures that melt the glaciers. The glacial till colors the water.

Cows don't fish or cycle. Poor cows.

Here, in Orting, the bicycle and pedestrian path had lots of very smiley folks enjoying the sun and the views of Mt. Rainier. Can you spot Mt. Rainier in the photo?

Here, the water was clear and you could spy fish. I saw many fishers hook and lose fish several times in the space of just a few minutes.

Here's a small glacial-fed stream.

This stream fed into one of the larger rivers, and it was low and crystal clear indicating a lower elevation (non-glacial) source.

This sledge, I think it's called, was on display in a park. Probably used as a steam-powered "donkey" for pulling fallen logs out of the forest. Correct me someone if I've got it wrong. Here's a cool site that describes steam donkeys.

The Permanent #0562 route map.

Elevation profile. Cumulative elevation is reported to be 3400 feet.

I enjoyed this route very much. Diverse. Took me places I haven't and wouldn't otherwise see (the town of Selleck, for instance that is on a dead end road, but is only 7 miles as the crow flies to North Bend, this according to local residents at an outdoor birthday party who kindly filled my water bottles). I believe the route was created by Amy Pieper. Thanks, Amy! Narayan Krishnamoorthy made all the administrative preparations for me. Thanks, Narayan! He and Geoff Swarts are the Seattle International Randonneurs Permanents Czars.

This cyclist answered my perfuntory "Have you got the tools you need" call as I sped by with a non-perfunctory, perhaps plaintive, "Actually, I could use some help," response. I stopped and helped her change her flat. She thanked me--offered to ride ahead together--and pre-apologized for the fact that she wouldn't be able to keep up with me. She urged me to feel free to pass her when I needed to. She added that she was only a "Cat 4 Women's Racer."

I believe she was conflating the fact that I could change a tire with the notion that I was necessarily a fast cyclist.

Shortly after this picture she became a very small red dot. Then a teenwy weeney red dot. Then...was there a red dot there?

She left me in the dust.

I enjoyed my first Permanent, though it kicked my butt. Having just ridden a 400k I had it in my head that a "little" 200k would be nothing. Hmmm. I also think an accumulation of more miles than I've been accustomed to was adding up and I found myself grumpy and low afterward. Just ask DartreDame. Overtraining?

In the end, I finished this brevet thinking the French had the right idea. A foray into the countryside is good for the soul. Despite being tempted to stop and wet a fishing line, I finished in time.

But I think you'll find me fishing sometime soon.

Keep those lines tight,


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