Tag Archives: Warrenton

Liquifaction

Firefly 400K
May 21, 2016

Those of us who have some attachment to Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, have become sadly familiar with the term liquifaction.  It sounds like it should be a happy word, the word that someone would invent to describe the pleasant buzz you get from consuming just enough but not too much alcohol.  Or the feeling you get from gratefully immersing yourself in a warm bath.

In fact the term describes neither of those states.  Liquifaction is what happens to particular types of land formations when they are subjected to a strong earthquake.  I will spare you the elaborate geological summary, and instead just say that one moment the ground is apparently solid and stable, the next it turns to water.  The solid structures built atop that heretofore solid land crack, bend, and often collapse.  As an added bonus, the process can concentrate heavy elements normally present in the soil but locked harmlessly away, depositing them as a toxic mess on the surface or releasing them into the air as a hazardous dust.

By now you are probably getting the sense that this particular brevet did not go well for me.

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And now ladies and gentlemen, for your delectation and edification, the first day of spring will be followed immediately by the first day of summer

Warrenton 300K
April 12 2014
15 hours, 2 minutes.

I eased my tired body back into the plush molded plastic and pulled out my phone. From behind the counter came the cheerful shouts of the dedicated Hardees chefs de cuisine preparing a fine gourmet repast. In seemingly no time at all our food arrived.  I took out my phone and quickly texted my partner that I had made it as far as 136 miles into the 190 mile ride and hadn’t died yet.

I looked up. In the time it had taken me to fire off the briefest of texts my riding companion had finished his entire hamburger.

That was lesson #37 in a day of lessons learned and re-learned.

Eat faster.

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