It's a tiny, tiny little "town" that seems to have slipped into obscurity... not much there on the map, but I like it that way.
Hoping to see some nice countryside, and see/ride with a few familiar faces along the way.
I've had "doubts" about finishing this R-12 run.
I've already GOT one -- so what exactly AM I doing? Sometimes, honestly, I don't have the foggiest idea.
With regards to other rides, I'm finding I'm doing the same thing I did in 2008: saying "no" too much. As a result of having very little free time, transportation issues, and a guilty conscience, I'm saying "no" to a lot of fun looking rides. I haven't done anything for the August edition of DSR. There are a couple neat opportunities coming up in September and October, and I already fear that I'll say "no" to those, after having invested the time into more than 50% of this R-12 run. Even for the R-12 itself, I can't experiment with different routes or new scenery because I don't have a way to GET anywhere. This weekend is an ultra-rare exception, and until I get my own car - well, I'm taking the chance and going up north.
I know, car-free, etc... it's the right thing to do, but in this town? Okay, I'm going to say it: I need a car. I won't use it that much, and it'll probably just sit in the driveway and rust... but I need a car. The way life is, even in better times, I can't ride four hours to participate in a 200K. I can't ride a 200K to participate in a 200K in Topeka, no matter how badly I want to. Yeah, car-pooling... but, when riders of brevets and permanents often finish hours apart, it's hard to tell the family that you can't come home because "Joe Rando" (your ride home) bonked at the halfway and is limping the last 50 miles. I can't sit in a Perkins that long when I know I don't HAVE to.
The only ACTUAL organized ride/event I've participated in this year was Sunflowers-to-Roses (S2R) last weekend... I rode the last three miles of it, only because it was on my commute route to work. Granted, it was kinda cool and I forgot what intersection or part of town I was in; it seemed like I was on the MS-Ride or something... cyclists stretched out behind me, and in front of me... I haven't experienced that in a while, and in retrospect I should have ponied up the entry fee and just ridden the whole thing. Hard thing to do on a weekend where you've worked 13 hours, and that Sunday morning is the only time you'll see the wife and kids... the decision there was more than financial.
Work is getting nutty, and kids fall sports are going to be in full gear very soon. School has started up, and schedules are ever tighter.
Seems the only thing on the calendar is trying to figure out when to get in the next five rides before the weather turns.
Which, really... just thinking about routes and dates is like taking a miniature vacation every month. Even if it ends up being just another scenic trip to Pleasanton, KS., it's something to look forward to, to plan for, to help keep the weight and stress from getting the better of me. As the wife tells me, it's good for me... and she's pretty much always right. In a roundabout way, I have little doubt that my monthly rides are good for her, too: makes me easier to put up with.
And if that wasn't enough, R-12 is a goal... and sometimes just sticking to a goal is enough.
It's cheap, it's healthy, and it clears the head. What else SHOULD I be doing?
Can't think of anything... so, ride it is.
With a new vista over each hill on this before-unseen route coming up in a couple days, I think it will become clear - the answer to "why".
Even if I can't express "why" in words.
Stay tuned for a ride report and some photos... within which I'll probably rediscover the reasons why I love randonneuring and hopefully convey those feelings in 50,000 words or less.