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A Little Bit Of Surface Rust
and BTW Have I Still Got The Legs For This?
Permanent #19 - Ride Date: July 16, 2017
by Barry Monaghan

After many years of procrastinating I decided it was time to finally get on with returning to my old passion of cycling absurdly long distances.

The inspiration to return was ignited when I saw: Marinoni The Fire In The Frame.
If a guy over 75 can do it so can I!
Last August I purchased a 30 year old (you guessed it) Marinoni, painted in red, white and sky blue. It's a joy to ride! It had a bit of surface rust, but I had some too, so we were perfect companions.

After months of training I deemed myself ready but felt a little unsure about rejoining the group just yet. Do I still have the legs for this? This is when I discovered the 'Permanent rides'. Problem solved! I could test myself out first to see how I am. After scanning through the list of permanents rides on the website I chose the Sasquatch 200 km. I'm a fan of the big hairy guy anyway.

Sunday morning, July 16th started out a bit damp and cool, thank goodness!
I showed up at the Blenz Café (Granville and West Broadway) armed with 10 Cliff Bars and two bottles of orange juice and mineral water to start off with. To help pay the rent for the establishment I bought a slice of cranberry loaf, which would remain in my back pocket for 8 1/2 hours. With a bit of nervousness I was ready to go!

The plan was simple, eat and drink often, hold a steady pace, FOCUS!
The ride seemed like a trip down memory lane and it soon felt like I had never been away except that this is when I really noticed the changes that had occurred with the roads since l last went so far out east on a bike. The east and west approaches to the Pitt River Bridge was the one confusing part of the ride. Thoughts about "what have these silly guys done?" entered my head.

Once I 'found my legs' I soon got into a near meditative state and started enjoying the sights and the sounds around me while still being mindful of any crazy people that might be around. There were no incidence of any kind though and I soon found the Sasquatch Inn at a time of 4 h, 2 min, plus five minutes to get the card signed. It was a welcome sight to see a fruit stand set up next to the Sasquatch so I bought three nectarines. One I consumed right away and the other two stuffed down my T-shirt due to no other place to put them. Yep, I road 102 km with two nectarines stuffed down my T-shirt!
Didn't see the hairy nine foot tall guy himself though.

What I did see were lots and lots of motorcycles going to and from, but no Hells Angles.
The only things that outnumbered the motorcycles were the little rocks and other road debris. You ever notice that the little stones sound like crackling, popping and scratchy old vinyl records when you ride over them? At one point I hit one really loud POP!
No tyre damage thankfully.

Things went well and once I got clear west of Mission coming back I picked up the pace a little. The wind was at my back and I was able to big chainring it much of the way.
This is when I started feeling the adrenaline rush affect. Pound those pedals boy! Two dogs cheered me on when they sticked their heads out the car door windows to bark at me while zooming past!

My plan to eat and drink often, and focus worked like a charm. It wasn't until nearing Boundary Road again that I started to 'feel it a little'. The Cliff Bars / mineral water/ OJ formula along with seven glucose candies did the trick. Eventually I arrived back at the Blenz in a time of 8 h, 32 m, plus four minutes to get the card signed for a time of 8:36.
And yes that cranberry loaf went down nicely with a cup of hot peppermint tea!
Thank you Blenz!

I had predicted a time of 9 h, 20 m so was glad to do better than I expected.
So it looks like I still have the legs for it and the surface rust is definitely gone from both myself and the 30 year old Marinoni.

It's great to be back in the saddle again!

Barry Monaghan
BC Randonneur returning member #55



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