I like to think of myself as a normal person – that is, a normal person who likes to ride bicycles. I tried the centuries and the double centuries, but I found them to be too crowded, too competitive. Then it was off road riding, but I found getting dirty to be uncomfortable and those mountain bikes are so damage prone! Randonneuring was a great challenge for a while, but strange terminology and all those rules…
Then I found this bicycle magazine down at the shop next to Book Zoo. The articles were very authoritative and seemed to shed a new light on proper enjoyment of cycling. The editorial staff often claimed to be just a bunch of folks who like to ride bikes. I like to ride bikes too, and felt a strong identification with everything they put in print.
The magazine folks sold wondrous fun things like tires and brakes, and told stories of wondrous riders and builders of fine bicycles. I would try and be like them and find people who thought the same, but I just could not seem to find anyone anywhere in my home town.
Then I heard about it. A rumor of some sort of meeting of like minded folks like those in the magazine! But where to find it, how to get there, what to pack, what sort of tires would I need, and would there be a lot of climbing? The meeting became an obsession with me, it became
a dream quest for the unknown meeting.