Got derailed in December and starting over in January wasn't looking good after an attempt last Sunday (see Mark's account here: http://rusa64.blogspot.com/2009/01/not-as-planned.html. But thanks to Mark, Vincent, Ralph, and Kristie I got a 200k done on Thursday. It was freaking cold all day. Our "high" temp was 34 degrees and we were in fog and at or below freezing for all but about an hour. I was feeling pretty wimpish about anything that looked even faintly like ice on the road so the downhills (usually my forte) were slow and anxious. Leaving Granite Falls as the light was beginning to fade and the fog thicken even more I was having thoughts of quitting but Vincent, with his amazing power of positive thinking, got me believing I could make it.
Vincent not only gave me a ride to the start but loaded and unloaded my bike each time and had a cold orange juice waiting for me in his truck in the morning. Throughout the ride he played shepherd at the back to make sure I didn't fade away. Mark was his usual wonderful company and provided many many good pulls for me and Ralph was a complete angel pacing me up the hills at what had to be a painfully slow speed for him. Kristie was terrific company and even tried to make me feel better by pretending to be tired towards the end.
Thanks to my 4 riding companions for a great day out with warmth of friendship to make up for the cold in the air. Now I gotta get Robin healed up and back onto the R-12 train too.