Monday, June 05, 2006

Overnight in Aberdeen

Saturday night, Trent and I performed our annual volunteer function for the Seattle International Randonneurs; we manned the overnight stop on a 600 KM bike ride. As the SIR website explains, "Randonneuring is long-distance unsupported endurance cycling. This style of riding is non-competitive in nature, and self-sufficiency is paramount. Participation in randonneuring events is part of a long tradition that goes back to the beginning of the sport of cycling in France and Italy. Friendly camaraderie and perseverance are the hallmarks of randonneuring."

Perseverence is certainly necessary for this event, and the friendly camaraderie explains why Trent and I sign up every year to help out with the overnight stop. The riders have to check in at various points along the route within a certain time frame. Because the ride is so long, the club rents a block of motel rooms at about the 400 KM point, and we hang out there to sign time cards, assign rooms, and feed the riders cup o' noodles. It's strangely fun, partly because people get a little goofy when they've been riding for that long. It's a little fuzzy, but here's the scene in our headquarters room at about 3:00 a.m.

In previous years, there's been a quiet spell in the wee hours, so I was banking on getting some grading done. Alas, with 46 riders, we were always busy. Trent and I crashed at about 5:00 a.m. when a roomful of riders cleared out, leaving the rider organizer to finish sending everyone on their way.

On our way out of Aberdeen, we noted that the town has really spruced itself up in the last couple of years. It doesn't have quite the patina of despair and poverty it had when we first visited four years ago. The people are all incredibly nice, too. The scenic overlook, however, still looks over the timber mill. It's a use of the word "scenic" that I'm not familiar with.

Meanwhile, in the knitting kingdom, I've been working on the Wool Peddler's Shawl. I'm surprised at how fast it's going. I also finished Trent's rainbow socks. Look, Mom, they really do fit!

Yarn: WIldefoote handpaints "Rock n' Roll" + Regia for toes (I ran out of Wildefoote).


Anonymous Dipsy D. said...

Your volunteer job seems to have been a quite tiring one - but then again, it's sure nice meeting all those riders and doing something good for them!
Aberdeen looks very interesting indeed - and so do Trents rainbow socks, they're beautiful! I love those calm, warm colors! Great job!

9:22 AM  

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