March 21, 2007

TDT, or Tour De Thunderstorms!

Well, it's again been an interesting couple of weeks here at C'Dude central. After a rousing round of layoffs at work, which I survived (whew), a lot of birthday parties and running around last weekend, and general maylay, it's nearing the end of week....what, seven, eight? I dunno.
I'm gonan start doing this backwards now... ok, so that's, well - nevermind, it's week nine now. Whatever.


Finally, winter is officially over... and whether or not it gets cold again, winter is officially un-invited to my party. So get off my porch, winter. And take your pre-paid minutes with you! Don't come back. (that never works.)

So, back to week nine. The niner.
The first 200K of the year (for me) -- 22 hearty souls rode the KCK 200K a couple weekends ago, and 22 finished -- it's defintely a Paris-year - that's a big number for the first 200K. They enjoyed good weather, etc., and I have to say that I *LOVE* that route. It goes over some of my favorite training grounds out south of town, and parallels railroad tracks for like 12 miles or more -- very cool.
Anyway, I skipped it - slacker. It was not in the training-plan.

Kinda regretting that decision now...

Still, the dice roll, and sometimes they come up snake eyes. It depends on the game you're playing as to whether or not that's a good roll!
I love rain rides --- but it's been a LONG time since I've been on a *LONG* rain ride. In fact, the 400K attempt last year was pretty rainy, but it dried out eventually. Still, my memories of rain and brevets are not good ones. Note that was a 400k *attempt*. Hearken back to the 300K *attempt* of 2002, and my WORST day on the bicycle PERIOD, and that was another rainy brevet.
So, there is retribution to be had here... and it'll come this weekend, apparently.

A rather unsettled weather pattern has settled in over the area, and even tonite we're expecting some severe weather (awesome). Actually, I'll be gettin' my hip-hop on for most of the evening at "The Roots" concert, but afterwards we might have to play in the rain. We'll see. KABLAM!!
Whooooo!!!!! Look ma! Tornadie!!!

Anyhoooooo... what the hell was I talking about? Oh, the 200K.
I have the attention span of a wet green bean sometimes.

So, this brevet, one of my favorite routes because of the torture factor, takes place over some of the nastiest severe weather territory in the nation, much less the metro. Cities like Plattsburg, Camden Point, Platte City, Edgerton Missouri -- you know, the ones that they are ALWAYS mentioning when there is exceptionally horrid weather, like grapfruit-sized hail and 100+ MPH winds... any that ain't no fabrication. Wheile I'm sitting at home waiting for doom to strike, watching the skies, I always cringe and moan when I hear the words "..and the tornado should be near Plattsburg by 7:16 PM....", and thank the maker that I'm not on-brevet THAT day. Well, this weekend MIGHT be it! I'm all for storm spotting in a CAR... but on a bicycle, things like "(blank)-sized hail" and "straight-line winds in excess of (blank)" tend to be taken a little more seriously. There's nothing quite like trying to break a personal mileage barrier and suddenly getting blown into a ditch and pummelled by 200 MPH hunks of ice. That's like Greek mythology stuff, man.
The skies were angry that day, and the gods struck me down with icy spheres of punishment for thinking I could ride a bicycle farther than Zeus. Bastards.
I pity anyone with more than 12 letters in their last name, or the letters "us" at the end of their first name, this weekend.
He was a handsome man, Steveus Polynothiardianuslospadronos.
You think I'm making fun of the Greeks? Not hardly. Can you image learning to WRITE with a last name like that? Poor kids. Seriously. I thought I had it bad with five letters in MY last name, but crap -- poor Steveus probably ran out of paper before he got halfway thru his. Geez.

There's that wet veggie attention span again.... BREVET.

200K --- am I ready? Yup.
Am I ready for the rain? Yup.
Actually, I pride myself on not taking too many chances anymore with weather on brevets. Good rain jacket, full fenders, extra tubes, etc...all good things, but there's not a lot one can do for severe weather besides find a conveinience store and hope the clock doesn't run out before you finish riding. There is nothing like absolute misery and nature-based torture to cap off an epic ride, so long as you're an official finisher. If the clock runs out - as it has on me before - it's simply a bad story. It's all about that medal at the end if you've had it especially bad.

So, game plan? Ride as fast as possible while the weather is good. Outrun the afternoon instability, and finish dry -- maybe. Somehow, I don't know if that will work or not - but we'll see. Then lock the bike to something solid, and drive the route backwards to pick up those less fortunate. Those roads up there are not kind to the unprepared. It's amazing how close to civilization you are, but how far away from it you are at the same time. There just isn't much up there, and if the hammer comes down midway between towns, you're hosed.

So, good luck to all! It'll be great fun!!!

Nice closing, green-bean boy.

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