San Diego 200k Brevet

Start of ride. Notice that everyone else is gone.

Is Randonneuring French for Beauocracy? In preparation for yesterday’s 200k I sent off my membership to Randonneuring USA (RUSA) and included Swarm! as my club. About a week ago I got a response from someone at RUSA saying that my club was not official and that he would just put that my club is RUSA. Funny thing is, Jack just made our club official with USA Cycling. Politely I relayed this info to the membership coordinator or whomever at RUSA and he said we still did not count! What is a club then? I ride bikes almost every day with my friends and then we do long distance rides on the weekends. We were a club pre-namesake, unlike, I imagine, most ‘clubs’. Our list of 2006 events is pretty impressive (doubles, triathlons, 508, Messenger World Championships, etc) so I passed this on to him with our President’s info (Jack Lindquist) and Chris Kostman from AdventureCorps as a reference. Finally, he said we were borderline, but he would count it anyway. Thanks for the favor. He also refused to recognize the ‘!’ in ‘Swarm!’.

Despite all that, at 345am I was up and ready to head to (near) San Diego with Paul and Zack in Paul’s truck. Budge decided not to go last minute after not sleeping a wink. Plus he hasn’t ridden much. Not much traffic at 430am and we are there early! The Randonneur scene is like a subculture of a subculture. Wasn’t sure what to expect, but the riders were similar to the double century crowd (some racers, some fast-looking old dudes, some people with racks and tons of stuff and mostly non-descript guys and a few females, on bikes). I paid my $5 and both Paul and Zack joined RUSA in order to get medals. Then, even after being early to the start point, we were late leaving. Fifteen minutes behind the group start, which is a mental fuck.

I had heard poor things about the route, but is was not too bad. We saw our friend Lynn on tandem who insisted on introducing me to everyone as ‘Matt who did 508 team on a fixed-gear’. I looked like I should be much faster than I am, but this is not a race it is a Brevet. Therefore it is also self-supported; my jersey and seat bag were filled with 2 bananas, an apple, 2 lara bars, 2 clif bars and some Sustained Energy. The self-support thing may be an issue for the longer rides, but for this it was fine. It makes Brevets an interesting combination of ultra-distance cycling and bike touring.

Other highlights:
I ate a Clif bar out of the garbage at Control Point 2
Rode to almost dark!
PCH route to SD- Had memories of with Justin, in 2002 on the way to Belize, when we saw the steel worker who had ridden from Ohio after he lost his job. That was almost five years ago! Also, Matt Pro and I were on this route when we did LA to SD in one day training for my first double in 2004. Self-supported 175 or whatever it was, was so huge back then.

Zack signing his route card after finishing. Paul celebrates with a donut.Afterwards we headed up to El Segundo to hang out at Brian’s dad’s place again and pretend to live the life for a night. Food, chillin, hot tub (this time there were some females at least). In the morning four of us went for an hour run on the beach. Yeah, California!

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