Loudeac, France Aug, 2011: I pull into the PBP control at Loudeac enroute to the finish 400K away in San Quentin. It’s raining and quite chilly for an August day. I spot them while parking my bike. A group of Filipino women miserable and shivering in the cold, wet weather. This must be part of the much talked about group from the Philippines. A beauty parlor owner from Manila is generously sponsoring a rather large group of employees and customers to ride in the PBP. Someone has provided these ladies ski jackets but the jackets have no effect. They are freezing and their ride is over. In fact, sadly the entire female contingency would eventually abandon PBP, primarily because of the weather and lack of acclimation.
Somewhere south of Gainesville Florida, Feb 2015: Here I am standing in Patriot Park at the lunch control during the Gainesville 300K brevet. It’s raining, I’m wet, miserable, and shivering in the cold weather. I look into the restroom mirror and think I’ve seen this forlorn look before. Yes, that’s it, Loudeac years ago. Now I know exactly how those ladies felt. I can ride in rain but not in cold rain. The wet and cold simply has a dispirited effect, taking away all my enthusiasm. Some will laugh and point out it isn’t that cold, but to my unacclimated body I’m cold. I might as well be in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard. Long story short. Since it isn’t an actual Minnesota blizzard I keep going. After suffering a slight bonk, Moose unceremoniously carries me around the course. Two qualifiers down, two more to go. Looking forward to some warmer weather.