Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is This You, Seattle Rando, Flying Down Mt. Rainier?

Unknown Seattle Rando bedecked in new SIR lightweight jersey.
UPDATE: I'm told this is Elaine Jameson.

DartreDame and I took a run at Mt. Rainier last Saturday, but not as particpants in the Seattle International Randonneurs  #0243 Sunrise Climb Group Permanent. After tea and the newspapers in bed, we had breakfast. After breakfast and fiddling around, I packed our gear in the truck. After that I looked at the clock and realized...whoa, we had better hurry!

It was almost 11am, and we had to drive to Mt. Rainier, ride to the summit, descend, and return home for what we discovered was to be a fabulous wine-paired meal prepared by our now very good friends. Included in the dinner was a raucus Tour de France analysis about the battle between Contador and Schleck as it turned out that Steve (his wife Tanmeet and he prepared the fabulous meal!) was an avid Tour watcher. I could go on and on so wonderful were the food, wine and companionship of that evening, but we've got to get DartreDame, my wife Pramila, up Mt. Rainier right now.

Another pair of unidentified flying Seattle Randos.

So after the clock-checking, we had to "hustle our bustles" as my 8th grade English teacher Ms. Seneff used to say. I had wanted the day to be the antithesis of a time-bound brevet so Dartre and I could relax together, but my poor planning doomed us to hustling.

In fact, as we were about to leave the parking lot at the base of Rainier, Jansen, one of the readers of this blog, stopped to say a friendly hello after he recognized my new Pereira bicycle I've been bragging about here. Poor Jansen, I was so harried by my poor planning that he understandably assumed we were on a time-bound brevet. Not so. Jansen: I thought later I should have taken a photo of YOU for this post, but I spaced it. Next time, and thanks so much for reading this blog. I can't overstate how rewarding it is to be recognized simply by my bicycle and jersey by a reader of this blog. It is an honor to know folks read this. Thanks, Jansen!
Does anyone know this Seattle Rando? I know it isn't Dylan because I didn't whip out my camera in time for a shot of him.

And as for riding with us Seattle Randos, Jansen: don't wait. You've prepared enough. Even if you're not sure whether you're fully prepared, you'll learn more by trying than by waiting. Give it a go! I think that sometimes folks both inside and outside the Rando tent build up this randoing a little too much. It sure is tough at the longer distances, but a 200k to get started is well within most riders' grasp. Come join us!!

See the cue sheet? Yet another Seattle Rando. But who?

Sorry for the poor photo quality but I took these as we were riding up and getting the timing right to capture the descenders was tricky.

Here's Dartre on the early part of the ascent.

Getting closer.

Approaching Sunrise Point.

Made it to the first elevation sign!

Tired, but still willin'.

Climbing isn't easy.

The final approach.

Me, back in the lower elevations.

Mt. Rainier starting to dominate the skyline.

Hard to capture just how the mountain presses upon you near the summit. Really a full presence.

Dartre summits at 6400 feet. I think we started at 3500 feet.

I'm proud of Dartre. She toughed it out despite my poor planning. It wasn't relaxing at all like we wanted, but she reached down and did it, and did it in the hottest time of the day. The things she puts up with, me and my cycling obsession. The descent, however, was sweet. Another milestone for Dartre!

For an account of my solo summit as part of my Sunrise Climb Permanent, complete with elevation chart and map, go to this previous post.

Keep it well-planned,