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Gran Fondo Leavenworth

Wondering what I got myself into it.

The monotony of 'daily life' is your enemy, and you don't even realize it until it's too late. When you feel apprehensive about the future...bills, getting older, and running out of breakfast cereal... daily life's regular routine gives you a sense of purpose, security, and continuity. Daily life gives you a shoulder to lean on, but all the while it pushes a dagger deeper into your soul. You only awaken to the fact that you're dying inside when you have the opportunity to do something spontaneous... or better yet, ill-advised. Epic things can happen when you spastically grasp at the chance to do something different. Maybe you find a great hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant. Maybe you get coked up out of your mind and kidnapped in a ghetto in Jamaica. Or maybe you find yourself pushing a bike up a steep, gravelly pass in central Washington, every muscle in the legs cramping at the same time.

There I was on the mountainside, awkwardly trudging on dead legs, with the bike as a crutch to keep me from face-planting when my feet slid out. The sun burned overhead, my water bottles were empty, and the last meters to some merciful shade beneath the pine trees ahead were excruciating. And I thought, Oh yeeaahhhhhh, now, this...this is living.

It started out on a Friday afternoon, two days before. I had just handed off a bike to one of my personal clients for the Gran Fondo Leavenworth. He'd requested lower gearing for the event, at least as low as a 30T cog on the back to go with his 34T small chainring. So I knew it was supposed to be hilly when Byron, Hugger-in-chief, texted me to see if I wanted to take over his entry to the GSL. A quick glance at the web...