09 Nov '11, 11am

The last rider: Learning to win on a 100k bike ride

The last rider: Learning to win on a 100k bike ride

David from Eugene passes a decaying farmouse on the Verboort Populaire. Photo: Elly Blue "I think the rain is really good for us as cyclists," said my friend Maria Schur. We were in her car, headed to the Verboort Populaire, an annual 100-kilometer (about 62-mile) bicycle ride west of Portland, Ore. "It's good for character development. It's okay to do stuff that's hard." As someone who's used to seeing bicycling in the rain as a necessary evil, I was less philosophical about my choice to spend this November Saturday out in the elements. I didn't know what to expect from the ride -- or, more accurately, the randonée -- except that it was not a race, that we would each be on our own, and that I was not in any kind of physical condition to pedal for six and a half hours straight. In the rain. My secret plan was to skip half the route. Randonneuring is a good-natured, old-wor...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/biking/2011-11-09-the-last-rider-lea...

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