Uvas Gold 200

My poem about a rainy 200k was published in the Fall 2019 issue of American Randonneur (a quarterly magazine published by Randonneurs USA)

I've been doing samizdat poetry for as long as I've had a web presence (since 1999), but I am now officially a published poet! (I am deliberately not counting the embarrasing hackjob that was published in a youth anthology when I was in 8th grade.)

You can find "Uvas Gold 200" on page 26 - either directly on this skeuomorphic leafing viewer or the PDF, but I'm republishing both the exposition blurb and the poem below. If you prefer to listen, I recorded a reading of it that you can download in different flavors: a local audio only, a local video, or the embeded video version below.

American Randonneur Fall 2019 header

Uvas Gold 200k starts and ends in Fremont, CA and was held on Saturday, December 1st, 2018. The ride frontloads the climbing by going nearly half-way up Mount Hamilton, the tallest peak in the San Francisco Bay Area, and then leads down south as far as Gilroy, "Garlic Capital of the World." Our RBA, Rob Hawks, sent this note the evening before the ride: "While we once had 75 riders signed up, we are now down to 59 even though a number of new names have been added since this was sent out on Monday." It had been a foul weather week, and by the time we were ready to start in rain at a balmy 48 degrees Fahrenheit, there were fewer than thirty people who would brave the cold wetness. The rain was at its worst the first half of the ride, so my memories are skewed toward that portion, with the poem content reflecting that. Call it Inverted Randonesia, the second half of the ride was just spent processing how I made it through the beginning of the day and how epic it was.

Weaving upstream the icy slush
Mount Ham – no cheese
Rough grind of gears and teeth
Steam locomotive breath
The paceline I abandon
Time stretched – warm pizza dough
Intent, attention rising
I take a pull
Thick spray across my rhythmic fogging glasses

Our feet make Revolutions, Randonneur!
With pavement gliding under top tube
It's all the same to you
Mile-marker Marxist
Unbound by thermal fear
"Fair-weather cyclist" you are not

A dreamy cold wet blanket smoky charcoal skyscape
High pitched frying sizzle
Tire fully splashing
The tug of war of winds where we're the rope
Off camber turn, soprano yodeling disc brakes yards ahead
Refreshing wafting garlic wake up – dreamy ride continues
Alert again in the slow slither through Coyote Creek

K-Hound chasing, headwind facing
Camaraderie, half-way in Gilroy supermarket shack
Then on the road again, occasional "Car back!"
December, Northern California, Reign of Rain
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