Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 Paris Brest Paris 300k Qualifier, Check!

I just finished the Oregon Randonneurs Winter Grab Bag 200k/300k Brevet last weekend, and I have a few observations. First, the picture above is of longtime randonneur, Duane Wright and his trusty fixed gear Peugeot as I dropped him off after we finished our 300k brevet.

Here are my observations:
  • Good thinking on scheduling a 300k so early!
  • Why on earth would you put the 200k folks finishing up in the same room with the 300k folks trying to gird their loins for the last 100k? Just kidding, it was cool, but it did test my resolve! Good PBP practice.
  • Great route idea of three 100k-ish loops all starting and ending at the motel. Perfect for drop bag convenience on a winter day.
  • Fabulous food and drink plying.
  • Great spirit of encouragement and conviviality!
  • Thanks for keeping the potentially really nasty weather away. Looking back, I feel guilty for cursing the wind at one point when I ponder how bad it could have been.
  • Marcello and his family were fabulous hosts who understood our needs and anticipated meeting them!
  • I'm glad I've been doing my R-12.
  • Even though it is February still, the frogs were making serious love calls all day and night.
Now my observations about the gentleman with the Peugeot pictured above:
  • Duane first did PBP in 1995.
  • He runs marathons all the time.
  • He dances.
  • He is a photographer.
  • He is a great conversationalist concerned about the world and all others.
  • He likes to savor.
  • Duane did this 300k, and many other brevets, on his fixed gear bike.
  • I was clever enough to ask Duane to ride the final 100k with me before I left that warm motel room and ventured out once more into that dark night.
Truly, Duane was a delight to ride with. I had heard tales of Duane, and had gotten the gist of those stories about how he often uses all the allotted time for each brevet. But like all stories, they capture some of the truth, but miss other pieces. The only real point of deviation between Duane and me--and we realized this on the drive back to our mutual hometown of Seattle from Newberg, Oregon--was that on this particular Super Bowl Sunday, he hailed from Wisconsin and I was from Pittsburgh! Ah well. Congrats, Duane, your Packers bested my Steelers this day, but thanks for riding into and out of the night together. That's what I love about randonneuring.

And for the record, I now have my 300k PBP Qualifier in the checked box!!

For a sampling of Duane's own ride reporting, here's a link to a 600k pre-ride report from ten years ago! Damn near pre-Internet days.

Thanks again, Marcello, Susan and all you Oregon Randonneurs for your hospitality! And, thanks, Duane, for your companionship!

Keep it qualifying,