Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Number 23

23. That's a fine number for an enigma. Or a movie. It's a cold start to a 200K, and that was the local temperature when we rolled out at 7:15 this morning.

Maria and I met at Stony Hill Fire Station, the start of the Lake Loop, for a dose of frigid randonneuring. Unfortunately, 23 miles -- the first control -- was the mile marker that dashed both of our chances. Poor Maria was developing a case of hypothermia. She abandoned there and had a friend pick her up. As for me, I left my card sitting on the counter, a mistake I realized another 10 miles down the road. And so I went to Plan B. I rode up to the Virginia state line and turned back, logging 100 miles for the day and bagging the month's century, for 8 straight years of at least 1 century a month. A big thanks to Brother Rich for inspiring me on Century #1, way back in January 2002.

A couple notes. I had no problem with the cold, since I had at least as much wool on as your average New Zealand sheep. I'm a big fan of Joneswares, and most items were made by them.

Feet: Joneswares Wool socks, newspaper bags over them.
Legs: Boure shorts, heavy wool tights.
Upper body: Joneswares wool t-shirt, Joneswares heavy wool arm warmers, Wabi Woolens wool shirt, Joneswares wool cycling jersey, RUSA wind vest.
Neck: Neck Gator Plus (this thing is great).
Hands: REI glove liners, REI outer gloves (not sure of model).
Head: 2 Joneswares wool skull caps.

I was cool starting out, especially my feet, but comfortable the rest of the day. Notice I did not wear a jacket. I find they get sweated up so badly that I get chilled from the trapped moisture.

A great day for pictures. Here are some of my favorites.


Anonymous said...

Argh! I feel just awful about leaving you on your own. But I'm glad to see you got your 100, had Stevie Ray to keep you company and had some inspirational scenery. As for me...

This morning I shook hands with Mr. Hypothermia. With an all too knowing sly smile, he said, "What's shakin?" And then watched me twitch and jerk as if connected to a live high voltage wire. Two cups of black gas station coffee later, he was gone.

With 5 layers on top, chemical heaters n stuff, I never expected to run into such an evil character.
(It's partially due to the Raynaud's

Next time I'll be more like a sheep and lose the synthetics...will try the route again in warmer temps....


Anonymous said...

Oh, and if the title of the photo album is correct, Happy Birthday!

Doctor on a bike said...

Yes, ice cold beverages! Just what you'd want with those temps!

Someone please tell the store owners to check their calenders. I was lucky enough to find water that hadn't been put in the fridge yet at one control on my 200k Saturday.

Great pics of the winter sun.

Jerry Phelps said...

Congrats on baggin #96 Mike. Hope I'm with you on #100. Bummer about the card, but I'm sure the century meant as much or more than just another 200k.

Happy Birthday Brother.


dean furbish said...

Mike, congratulations on an unbelievable streak of centuries. Wow!

Like Rich helped inspire your riding streak, you've inspired a few of us to ride consistently as well.

No doubt Maria will bounce back.

Also, thanks for the wool references. A lot of people had been asking me about wool, so I've been able to refer them to your site.

You've convinced them of its functionality, and now they have a few questions relating to styles and colors.

I told them that your fleche (homophone intended) teams regulary modeled certain items at laundromats and that perhaps some of the proofs were still lying around?