It has been a strange year, randonneuring wise, and a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that it is a Paris-Brest-Paris year. This 1200k ride is the equivalent of the World Championships of randonneuring. It only comes around every 4 years, and you have to ride a complete Super Randonneur series (a 200k, 300k, 400k, 600k) the year before to ensure your registration, and then ride another in the same calendar year to qualify. Thousands of riders from all around the world meet in Paris in August to try and complete the ride from Paris to the coast and back in 90 hours (or less; there are other time categories for the genuinely insane). Quite a few people from our local club were participating but I was not among them.
Posted in Bike Rides, Life Cycling, Randonneuring
Tagged Ames, bicycling, cycling, Infrastructure, Iowa, Iowa Biking, Madison, Midwest, Roading, Upper Midwest, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Biking
Madison, Wisconsin. September 12, 2010
A lot of people have been after me to finish this. In fact, my friend Bibiana noticed that people had been after me so she took the liberty of writing my race report for me. I include it here:
Got to Wisconsin. Set up transition bags. Swam 2.4 miles. Got kicked in the head. Changed clothes. Biked 112 miles. Got tired. Changed clothes. Ate something. Ran 26.2 miles. Cursed the gods, the heavens, the training plan and the WTC. Finished. Blessed.
I’m gratified that so many people want to read what I have to say, but I have the feeling that many of them will be disappointed by what follows.
I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to write this. Busy since I got back, certainly. And I did want a complete break from all Tri stuff for a while; since writing turned out to be a surprisingly big part of that for me this year, I guess I was maybe needing to take a break from that also. There have definitely been more than a few things with which I have had to come to grips about that day. But there is also the nagging feeling that words somehow aren’t adequate, which is always a tough thing to come up against as a writer. Ironman has so many ways to humble you. Most of them are unexpected. Unexpectedly, it humbled me as a writer. You like to believe that the reality of representation will always bend to your desire. Then you do an Ironman. And suddenly it is a very big thing and your words are oh so very small.
<mysterious hand gesture>
This is not the race report you are looking for.
</mysterious hand gesture>
Looking back on the weekend it seems completely overwhelming; there was so much going on, so many different kinds of experiences, layers of complex emotions, surprises, challenges and events that were simply incomprehensible, that I’m struggling a little to put it all into words. The interesting thing is that I didn’t feel like this at all during the weekend! Everything seemed pretty manageable and, for most of the event, even strangely normal. This suggests either that I was in a state of delusional bliss for several days, or that I was in the zone.