There is nothing like an unseasonably cool day to sort out the real randonneurs from the fair weather riders. A blustery spring day in St. George provided just that kind of test for our event. Even though it was only 40 degrees at the start, the forecast called for temps in the low 60’s with plenty of sun. That may be pretty cool for April in southern Utah but I believe it is a forecast that people in many other parts of the country would find pretty acceptable right now! Spring is a great time to ride in Zion. The leaves are coming out, the streams are full of water and the skies are clear.  Local conditions allow us to get in a fair amount of riding by this time of year but this is still early season for most riders.

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Catherine Shenk, self portrait at Sand Hollow Reservoir

We had 7 club members from 4 states turn out for the ride. Joe and Sue on their tandem, and Richard, Rose, Kevin, Bob and Catherine had single bikes. One rider (whom I shall spare any further embarrassment) was confused either by jet lag, time zones or daylight savings schedules and made a late start, but persevered and eventually caught back up to the ride. Even though it was cool to start, most riders enjoyed the ride out to Zion.  It was only after reaching the end of the canyon at the Temple of Sinawava and beginning the run back down canyon that they realized they had been enjoying a bit of a tailwind. The wind was now in their face and seemed to be picking up a bit for the ride back. Canyon winds are shifty creatures however and even though there were some tough sections, there were also some sections where riders got a little relief from the wind. Finally after a few miles of descent and one last climb through Toquerville the course turned south and promised a tailwind for the remainder of the day. The final control on course at the Leeds Market saw riders cheering up again after they had a few miles of downhill with tailwinds under their belt!

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Kevin, Bob and Rose (l to r) coming down the canyon

 Seven riders started and seven riders finished, proving once again that the best riders showed up to ride and weren’t put off by a less than perfect weather forecast. The difference between a randonneur and another rider is that others will check the weather to decide if they will ride, where a randonneur will check the weather and decide what to wear.

Results for the days ride are at the Southern Utah Brevet website at www.subrevet.org

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