San Francisco-Point Reyes 150 un-Brevet
Lisa and I missed out on this year's season opening San Francisco Randonneurs 200k brevet since I was out of town for a job. We thought it would be a good idea to make up for it some weekend, if only to begin rebuilding the fitness and mental toughness it takes to endure the rides we usually sign up to do. Year after year, the act of enduring this particular rite in January (well, now February) borders on pure punishment, and -- increasingly -- I wonder why we urge ourselves to do this, let alone the kind of misery we inflict upon ourselves month after month for the rest of the year.

Pt. Reyes 150 map

Is this really still fun? Right now, I have to confess: I'm only 25% convinced. The rest of me is only, sincerely hoping it is.

On the brightest side of things, we managed to plan this -- very spontaneously -- on a day that was blessed by downright perfect conditions. I can't ever recall having done the San Francisco 200k brevet in any sort of climatic condition any body would classify as "decent". Our bodies were clearly not conditioned for this kind of a ride, but we'd be damned if we didn't at least try to make a full day of it with this kind of weather. No storms, no freakish Spring-like heat, no blow-you-down wind gusts. Basically, we said "Screw logic and prudence, let's ride as much as we can."

On the flip side, the lowest of moments was actually day-long. Lisa has had a pronounced, worsening battle lately with her chronic asthma, and the weakness induced by it during the ride were far more intense than I've ever seen it. Further exacerbated by a particularly bad spell of the cold that's lingered uncharacteristically in her for the past 3 weeks, this ride was particularly tough and rough for her, but she really wanted to endure.

No brevet cards. No early sign-in. No car to park since our later start time worked in hand with the BART train schedule. No pressure felt or demoralization suffered from the sight of others finishing the same ride hours faster than us. We had this day entirely to ourselves, and it was up to us to find our own groove. Best of all, I felt the freedom to constantly improvise the route based on the canonical SF200 brevet course, adding one split-off and climb after another. Compensation for lack of utterly disgusting riding weather, perhaps?

Either way, I'm just happy that I had the will to even face the challenge again, that Lisa was so willing to fight and persist, and that we pretty much survived it together in the end. Maybe this sort of thing will become more appealing again as the Spring approaches.

Distance: 148 miles | Elevation gain: approx. 9,700' | Ride time: 9h45m
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