Friday, December 24, 2010

Sauratown Lite Populaire / December 23, 2010

That steam coming out of Duke's power plant on Belews Creek said it all -- the amount of steam billowng form the stack showed just how cold it was, and its furious race to the east was a visualization of the wind Joel and I faced on his 104K Sauratown Lite Populaire permanent.

Joel and I shared a big adventure this summer on Bill & Lois' Santa Cruz  1000K. A ride one-tenth that distance was a fitting way to end our riding season. Yesterday's ride was not as magical as the California one -- there was no Big Sur coastline, no valleys filled with vineyards, no convenience stores with burrito stands in the back. But it was special in its own way -- Joel crossed the 10,000K mark, making him the fourth Tar Heel rider to reach that impressive distance this year. He did it with style, too -- 10,000K exactly, none of the sloppy extra Ks to mess up all those pretty zeros. As for me, I hit 40,000 lifetime Ks, a goal I'd had in the back of my mind all year. We randonneurs  are goal-oriented. It's satisfying to reach one, then look up the road to see what's next on the cue sheet.

The first control has this Coke machine out front. When I saw it, I suspected we'd see more Dale Earnhardt paraphernalia inside. I was not disappointed. The store owner has several autographed pictures of NASCAR's legendary champion. A great champion with a tragic ending, his image stirs painful memories this time of year of another life also cut short.

We finished at the High Point marina, watched the seagulls huddle against the biting wind. We were met by Joel's dad, Richard, the former High Point RBA and one of the true leaders of our sport. 

I think Richard's 83 now, and he still gets out there on one of his many bikes. He lamented that he'd only racked up about 3,700 miles or so this year, down from the years when he logged 15,000+ miles, but impressive nonetheless. Then Joel's family joined us for an Italian meal where I'm afraid we bored them with bike talk. But in the family of such devoted riders, I suspect they're used to it.

Congratulations to Joel on his accomplishment, and thanks to all of my riding buddies for the very best year I've ever had on the bike. This sport of ours continues to transform me. I'm grateful for the company along the way.


Vance Ricks said...

Hearty congratulations (and merry Christmas) to you both!

Cap'n said...

Maddog Mondial! Chapeau, Monsieur.

Joel, thankfully we wont have to reappoint that beautiful K-Hound trophy. Nice Work Get-n-r done.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to certified east coast/west coast beach boys: Mondial Mike and K-Hound Joel.

I love Mike's philosophy: "It's satisfying to reach one [goal], then look up the road to see what's next on the cue sheet."

Indeed, I ask myself, "What's on the cue sheet" for 2011?

Let's ride!

Lois Springsteen said...

Happy New Year to all of our friends at Research Trailer Park.


skiffrun said...

I remarked to my ride partner on the 22nd, wondering if you and Joel would combine to 10k and Mondial on the 104 km Sauartown Lite.

Congrats to each of you.


YungFalbz said...

Congratulations to you both! Hope your 2011s are even better.