American Randonneur caught up with Arizona RBA Susan Plonsky, for an update on randonneuring in the Grand Canyon State.
I think all RBAs wonder how much support to give while at the same time helping riders to be self-reliant. I work several checkpoints on brevet day and drive the support truck. I don't want to make it easy to quit; I just want to provide a safety net to encourage riders to find their limits. Support is traditionally a person at a checkpoint. Lately I've been experimenting with other ways to support riders.
Once I bought water at a convenience store early in the day and asked the clerk to leave the jugs on porch after the store closed. There was a good chance that some riders would arrive late at night. Once again not all riders found the water because the store was dark and set back from the road. (Unlike other reality shows where contestants spend most of the time sniping at each other, no one would be voted off The Brevet Show.).
Don't Worry, It's Just Arizona...
• If you hear a boom in the distance, don't worry. It's probably not thunder, just gun fire.
• If you see armed men in green uniforms and speaking Spanish, don't worry. You haven't crossed the border into Mexico; you're at the Border Patrol checkpoint near Tucson.
• If you're taking a nature break and hear chick-uh chick-uh, get on the bike and take off. You won't be high enough to evade a rattlesnake strike, but you may be quick enough.
• If you're can't outrun a dust devil, you won't be transported to Kansas, but it will sand blast the tan off your skin.
• If your bike handling skills are good, you'll be in fine form to play dodge ball with the tumbleweeds.
• If you keep Bag Balm in the car, it'll melt at mid-day temperatures. Putting hot oil on your butt can show how tough you really are.
• Using oven mitts to take your bike off the rack will make you look like a native.