I have been heard to say that, “The ride has to have a story to be a good ride.”. Based on that criteria, and the number of stories that I heard about the 400K, last week’s 400K must have been a great ride. As a former English and History teacher, I love stories. There are stories about sights, suffering, fatigue, as well as stories about success and gratitude. There is great knowledge and experience to be found post ride sitting around together sharing stories.
Saturday stories started early in the ride. In order to convince riders to pedal on and complete a ride, I quote a good friend and former randonneur, who always told me to ask myself, “Can I make it to the next control”. I have often done so when the mental challenge of what we do kicks in. The reasoning follows along these lines. I can get refreshment, get off the bike, just sit down, and attempt to recover and refuel before going on. I tell my volunteers to always have a smile and encouragement when they man a whole control from open to close. It helps the riders to see a friendly face, and perhaps receive some minor or major SAG at the control. Plus, we know where you are. Dave Miller and my wife Debi spent an awful lot of hours waiting for ALL the riders to come through. Of course, they end up with stories to share too.