Monday, September 08, 2008

Pictures from an UnPopulaire

Randoneuring is basically bicycling mixed with bookkeeping. My buddies with a greater tolerance for paperwork and a higher regard for the clock than I seem to possess these days ride their bikes all over the world, fill out complex little forms and wind up with a sock drawer full of medals to recognize their efforts. While this year has seen me spending more of my time in the bike shop or on some delightfully clock-free back road, I somehow once again got suckered into running the infamous Issaquah Alps UnPopulaire. I'd hoped to take the lazy way out and re-run last year's course, but road construction waylaid my plans so I not only pre-road the course, I had to spend too much time at the computer making up a new cue sheet in Bikely.

The road construction made a route that was already too long even longer so I scrapped the cruel final climb up Mountain Park Boulevard and decided to end the ride at the Issaquah Brew House. And while the ride is about as unsupported as it can be, with most of the control points being spots in the country where riders have to answer some trivial question, I did make sure the control in Carnation was Sandy's Espresso stand. I also made sure that each rider's packet contained not only a cue sheet and control card, but a pen and a couple of "not a nutritional role model" snacks. Mark Thomas and Matt Newlin both volunteered to work the early controls out on Cougar Mountain and then Mark took on the duty of spending several hours at the pub while Matt and I rode up to Carnation to greet the riders there and sign their control cards.

It seems a good time was had by all. The weather was great, the hills were long and steep, the bikes and riders were fast (faster than me anyway!), the coffee was good and the beer was cold.

Ride results are here.


Anonymous said...

Joe P here,
Kent, thanks so much for setting this up. Yeah, we all had a great time. I loved the little baggie complete with pen and snacks. I messed with some guys just before Tiger Mt by pulling out a full-sized Payday bar and asking how come they only got little ones.

My kid, AKA Munchkinhead, came out and cheered us on up 164th. It was a proud moment as the guys in the group backed off so I would float off the front. Total superhero status. "Go Daddy, go!" ;-)

It seems that a bunch of us all prepared for the ride by reading Fat Cyclist's report, and we did our best to keep up the reputation of the blue shirts.

Joe "gears make you weak, but get you up the zoo" P.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kent!
Thanks for posting. I've been wanting to participate in this event for four years now but I keep volunteering to help TWBC at the Headwaters Century. The pictures help me feel that I'm actually there though. Except that a photo just never quite captures the steepness of the hill. Good job hosting the ride and, yes, the weather was excellent.

Cheers, Gene in Tacoma

matt m said...

Thanks for putting on such a wonderful ride, Kent! Now I finally know the route for this infamous 100k.

Cougar was my favorite part of the ride: all the riders grouped together, rising through the fog.

I was the guy who was late, and never got a brevet card.. so if you makes you feel any better I shunned paperwork for a day myself!

mike said...

"Randoneuring is basically bicycling mixed with bookkeeping."

I love that. Hits the nail right on the head.