With a fair degree of trepidation - potentially challenging weather is not a problem, but I’m definitely still a bit under-miled… Ahh well, how can you not get excited about a ride when it has such great artwork?
The artwork is by Alice Stribling, which can be viewed in its original form (but seemingly not linked to or downloaded) here.
Anyway, the San Francisco Populaire rolls north from the Golden Gate Bridge at 7 am this Saturday - check in and/or sign up is required, so don’t show up at 6:59 - the hearty band of randonneurs will be rolling north to Pt. Reyes Station for the first controlle, then heading back down to Crissy Field for a triumphant finish. The SF Randonneurs website has more info.
The Populaire is a great way to feel out the idiosyncrasies of brevets and randonneuring. It introduces the format of non-competitive self-sufficient distance riding, and uses control cards and time limits like the longer rides. For more general information, see the RUSA.org website.
Hope to see you there! Please mock me gently as I suffer up the hills.
Awoke to the tailings of rain today and had to dig out the Grundens for the morning dog walk. But, by midday, sunlight seriously poked its way through and the ground had mostly dried. So, I chanced it and rolled out on the only non-mtb bike that I own which is currently rigged fenderless, the A. Homer Hilsen, to claim the second Utilitaire 12 Controlle Stamp of this week.
Within a mile of home, I was seriously doubting my choice - a couple heavy clouds loomed over the hills and the wind was picking up in a way that foretold more rain. But, the Zeus has some invisible foreign object stuck in the front tire and had come up lame, and it felt good to utilize the invention which allowed me to cease pedaling when I felt like it. The other two options - the Dawes which I’d used for the first Controlle Stamp, and the Quickbeam - are both fixed.
Of course as I turned on the first leg of the route, it became clear that the whole “coastable” thing was going to be largely unused. The winds continued to pick up and any attempt to stop pedaling seemed to result in a seriously sharp decline in speed. The good news being that the darkish clouds were quickly dissipating. By the time I got to the Post Office, it was clear that my only issue would be winds. The winds did sharpen further, but it also scrubbed the sky of clouds. It did seem a wee brisk, but one thing you don’t really get to do in California is complain about the cold.
Now, the sharp-eyed among you probably have noticed that “Post Office” is not on the Utilitaire 12 Control Card. In fact, I was angling for Controlle #6 - “Any Store That Is Not The Grocery Store” (I mean, since “drop in on your cool guitar-making woodworker friend and catch up a bit” is also not on the Control Card…). 14 cheap miles on the route.
Of course, up until now, I have complied with the rules of the Utilitaire 12. In order to maintain the Spirit of the Utilitaire 12, however, there may be some deviation ahead… we shall see.
Today’s lesson is the observation of how much my cycling aesthetic has changed. It was briefly ponder-inducing that I was riding a bicycle with no fenders. Seemed odd and wrong.