Sometimes weather is unfavorable even in Southern California

Team Swarm! met up with some of the Dock Riders today for some fast, flat miles on PCH. Ended up rolling 9 deep. Caught another group from Santa Monica to Pepperdine and suddenly almost 20 of us were cruising along the coast at 24 MPH until we dropped them all on the climb (I think commuters have a real advantage in climbing. Or something!). There was only a 30% chance of rain, but it rained on us for most of the ride. Not so bad as the temps were in the low 50’s, much warmer than two weeks ago. Has anyone else noticed that suddenly we ride with some fast people? 100 miles in 7 hours or so. This pic is from Magu Rock in Ventura County, our turn around point (thanks Jesse). Looking forward to rolling to the Death Valley double 16 deep.

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!

Broke Fixed

Isn’t the title an odd linguistic structure?
Regardless, on Sunday my fixed gear frame snapped when Megan and I were riding to Lomita to meet up with Jack, Brian, Max, Jenny and Kiecker. We picked up Alec on the tall bike and we were riding through Redondo Beach when I saw a big JESUS sign someone had put up against a pole. Like all good citizens, I took democracy into my own hands (foot, more specifically) and kicked it over as we rode past. Yes, sometimes I am still 15 years old. I know this. Three blocks later I got an odd wobble in the front end. I say odd because this bike wobbles often. After pulling over and inspecting it I found that the lug was cracked all the way through. Uh-oh. We were close to Vege House so we road slowly the rest of the way. After eating, it only took leaning hard on the bars for the tubes to separate. Is this a sign?
I’ve been riding this bike for almost three years, after someone in the A-house gave it to me in lieu of one month’s rent. Not sure how many miles I’ve put on it, but easily several thousand. Many of those riding in LA with friends, at events, etc. I put on the Jam Master Jay sticker almost straight away. The frame deserves a proper memorial, but we have not thought of anything yet. Will keep you updated.