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The Espresso Run and Getting Soaked to the Bone
Early Bird 200, March 15, 2015

by Jaime Guzman

I invited several of my non-randonneuring cycling friends to ride the 2015 Early Bird 200 Km brevet. The plan was to ride it at a talking pace and we mapped out the route to stop at all the good coffee places along the route. At the end, only John and I refused to believe the weather forecast. We got ourselves soaked to the bone but happily completed the ride. Andrea, bless her heart, got up early on a Sunday to see us off.

There was a large crowd signing up at the beginning of the ride, many new faces and some fancy bikes. I was particularly impressed by a shinny Pinarello Dogma with carbon aero wheels. We had decided to bring our trusted steel bikes and packed everything. We used every layer of clothing we had with us and the tools came handy dealing with a piece of metal stuck in a brake pad.

The first 100 Km were fine, overcast skies and a few drizzles here and there. But by the time we reached Steveston the skies opened up and only let go at the end of the ride. As John said, you know you have been in a long ride when you feel you are in your way back home while riding somewhere in Port Moody!

There is never a good time for having a flat, but the Mary Hill bypass in the middle of the rain with cars flying by at 100 Km/h was particularly nasty. As I told John over a cup of espresso somewhere along the route, randonneuring is all about mind over matter: When you sign your name on the event registration form you set your mind to completing the ride no matter the weather, no matter how many hills, no matter what bike you are riding, no matter how many flats, not matter how tired you are and no matter how long it takes.

When everything was said and done we had managed to score 4 out of 5 espressos (The Bean was closed when we finished the ride) and I had set a personal best for my longest 200 Km brevet on record. When all-wet-and-cold John got his banana pin and said “see you at the 300” I knew he has the soul of a randonneur.

Enjoy the Ride. Never Quit.

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March 16, 2015