Newsletter - 2006 Archive

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That Euphoric Feeling
by Steve Lonergan

A friend of mine asked me yesterday if I felt euphoric after finishing the Tour of the Cowichan Valley 200km brevet on Saturday. "Euphoric?" I asked. No, I don't think so. Maybe relieved. Hungry. Sore. Tired. Definitely not euphoric. I wasn't sure what word would best describe my feelings. With the help of Graham Fishlock, who finished a few minutes ahead of me, I tried to re-create the discussion I had with Susan Allen, who was checking everyone in at the finish. Just to recall how I felt on finishing the ride.

Susan: "Hey, congratulations!"

Me: "What? Oh, yeah, thanks. Whew. I'm glad that's over."

Susan: "Here, sit down in the chair while I stamp your card and then you have to sign it."

Me: "Sign what? Didn't I sign something at the start?"

Susan: "Yes, but now you need to sign your card."

Me: "What card?"

Susan: "Your route card; the blue one."

Me: "It was blue?"

Susan: "Just sign it here… on the line… here… no, with a pen, not your finger. No, you can't just put an X. Ok, that's it. How do you feel?"

Me: "Uhhh… (I couldn't think of the right word then, either, apparently). What does it mean if the room is spinning around?"

Susan: "It means you pushed too hard and overdid it."

Me: "I wasn't pushing, I was pedaling. But it was uphill all the way. Unbelievable."

Susan: "Maybe you should have some water; did you drink enough water on the ride?"

Me: "Water? No, but I bought a Coke at Youba. Youbo. You-something."

Susan: "You need to drink more while you are riding. Is everything else ok?"

Me: "What?"

Susan: "Is everything ok?"

Me: "I guess so, but can you take out this stake that is stuck in my upper back? It is killing me."

Susan: "There isn't a stake. Your neck muscles are just sore."

Me: "No, there was a stake; I felt it go in around Youbo… Youba… Maybe it fell out on the bumpy section back there. Is there blood? I couldn't turn my head at all to see the traffic."

Susan: "No, there's no blood. Maybe you need a mirror."

Me: "A mirror? You just told me there was no blood; why do I need a mirror?"

Susan: "No, you should get a mirror for your bike."

Me: "What for?"

Susan: "Ok, look, here is your pin. Congratulations."

Me: "A pin? I thought you said I need a mirror?"

Susan: "No, you get the pin for finishing the 200km."

Me: "This looks like a hamsa hand, or hamesh hand, or something. You know one of those good luck charms to protect you from the evil eye, except with the fingers cut off."

Susan: "No, no; it's a bicycle glove."

Me: "I thought you said it was a pin!"

Susan: "Maybe you better get some water and some food before you leave. Just take a seat over there."

Me: "I don't think I can stand up; my legs are shaking."

Susan: "They'll probably be much worse tomorrow. You definitely overdid it."

Me: "Overdid what?"

Susan: "Look, just drag yourself over to that chair and order some food."

Me: "I can't; my butt hurts too much. Particularly on the left cheek; why is that?"

Susan: "I don't really know, but it might have something to do with sitting on your bike seat for the last nine hours and twenty minutes."

Me: "Whew, that's a long time. What day is it?"

Well, as I said, "euphoric" doesn't seem to be quite the right word. Toasted. Yeah, that's it. Toasted. And thanks, Susan. I'll get a mirror this week. Trouble is, I don't have anywhere to put it, since I dumped my bike in Shawnigan Lake on the way home! Did somebody say something about a 300km ride?

Steve Lonergan, Aging and Toasted Randonneur

April 10, 2006