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3/1 illinois 200k brevet ride report(15 posts)

3/1 illinois 200k brevet ride reportJS Haiku Shop
Mar 3, 2003 7:04 AM
arrived IL hotel 9:30 PM after 4.5 hr drive. snow in large flakes covered the sidewalks and parking lot by 10:30. car parked 9:30 clean was covered with 3.5 inches the next morning at 5 AM. drove to edwardsville (stayed in nearby town) for start, only brevet admin in car. he'd planned to ride, but showed with no bike. why not? "i'm going to drive the route and scrape you guys off the road." six other riders showed.

the "pack" departed 07:00:00, i arrived parking lot 07:00:30 from gas station bathroom. waited for my travel companion to finish dressing (LOL), rode like heck to catch pack, but companion could not maintain. he turned back 10 miles into ride.

first 50 miles snowy/icy but rideable with care. weather improved and road conditions were better farther south on course. markings were poor at best and cue sheet was done straight from mapping program, with many casual/announced route changes at start. added 15 miles to course getting lost and back on the cue (twice). rode last 50 miles with another lost rider who'd done the series twice on same route.

headwinds first half of ride didn't pan out to be as strong tailwinds on return leg. stopped only twice to refill bottles, and once on roadside to shed clothing to regulate temps. ride started 7 AM 29*F and finished around 35*F. rolled in 5:20 PM for 10h20m on the route, 9h38m on the bike, 42 minutes off the bike. total distance 140 miles. on bike avg mph 14.5, "rando avg" 13.6 mph. no drafting.

what did i learn?

* some may carry little but may also be close enough to home for telephoned salvation

* some people have gears but shift very seldom

* illinois is not flat

* carradice bag very useful

* cold? ride harder.

* fig newtons work as well as clif bars. one 24-pack=2400 calories, mostly carbs. soft, chewy, tasty, easy to pack, easy to eat while riding.

* illinois is not flat

* weather forecast in IL "3 mph winds" really means "8 mph headwinds and 3 mph tailwinds"

* lumbar pack not comfortable *for me* on long rides

* IL roads rival TN and are in better repair than anything i've seen in MS, AR, GA, or AL

* i love fenders

* don't eat the yellow snow
Tu es un randonneur extraordinaire!Dale Brigham
Mar 3, 2003 7:36 AM

You are one tough hombre! I was thinking about you during my short ride in a snow squall in mid-MO on Saturday. I'm glad you made it home safely.

Sounds like the cue sheets were not the best. I am considering doing the 200k brevet on the 15th from Edwardsville, but your description of the ride organization is not very encouraging. Any other comments you care to share in this respect?

Again, congrats! One down, and three to go. You are 1/4 of the way to Paris!

whine and cheeseJS Haiku Shop
Mar 3, 2003 8:05 AM
there were many different markings on the roads from other rides, including a double century that had been marked some time ago. i didn't listen as well as i should at the start, and in haste to ride down the front pack, skipped a water stop and rode hard on the *wrong* route. i was watching the cue sheet and looking for a turn, didn't find it, and went ~5 mi out of the way on the first instance of being "off the map". my fault.

second time i'm not so sure about, but i figure being on unfamiliar roads in a strange, faraway land (Illinois farmland = another planet) sorta adds to the experience. next time i'll listen to pre-ride announcements better, and carry a detailed IL map in my nelson longflap.

asking folks in small towns for directions to "county route 10" wasn't very productive. i haven't been on many rides requiring one to truly navigate--"organized" event rides many times have riders spread out across the cue, and SAGs frequently, making getting lost difficult.

in each instance i was at least an entire farming community/small town overshot in accordance with the cue. with conditions and goals such as these, i was warranted in carrying enough stuff to *BUILD* a bike in the event of an equipment failure. the closest thing to a bike shop was the town general store & pharmacy--the towns i passed through were so small that many didn't have a gas station.

next ride i'll carry more water and leave the lumbar pack at home. perhaps a small camelbak and an extra water bottle to keep in the nelson's side pocket.

i'm really diggin' this self-reliance thing. doing it so far from home really increases the stakes.

on a related note, i spent many pre-adolescent summers with grandparents in sleepy Nashville, IL. the 200k route went pretty close to town, and traversed roads often traveled with my grandfather. that set of grandparents was deaf. my grandmother doubled as daycare 'til i was school aged, so i was fluent in ASL before i was fluent in english (some would say i'm not all that great with the latter). i had a very special relationship with that set of grandparents. both of them passed in the last 3 years. i'm planning an annual ride from home to Nashville (IL)--around 400 miles for decent roads--to honor their memory, but the logistics and time are yet a concern. until that materializes, this puts me pretty close to them. the route went south and east from edwardsville, and turned about 15 miles NW of Nashville (IL). it was fairly emotional. :)

-J (spilling my guts)
marked route?cyclopathic
Mar 3, 2003 8:47 AM
that's a novelty. why would you need it?

LOL on getting lost you need to practice riding with cue sheet. The day you can navigate using HRM to measure distance (screw computer) and not miss knocked off or unmarked roads you'd know your navigational skills are up to the challenge. ;)

Glad you did o'k and liked it. With respect to extra water skip camelbak and try 32oz bottles+wedge, you don't want to carry much on your back.
unusualJS Haiku Shop
Mar 3, 2003 8:53 AM
unusual that the route was marked. it actually added another dimension to the challenge.

on long rides i don't mind having something on my back, but you're right--it's nicer without. i've been doing them without since riding with the carradice bags.

currently ride with 2x32oz zefal magnum bottles, but found i needed a little more on this route--distance between some farm towns/stores was a little far, going was slow first half, and nobody working in yard (snow) to ask for garden hose.

what do you mean by wedge?


small saddle bag?cyclopathic
Mar 3, 2003 9:42 AM
Performance has Topeak on sale with rain cover, basic toolset, patch kit ~150 of space for 20$ need to swing by and pick it up it's a bit bigger then one I use now.

I rode last summer with 3 bottles 32oz, 22oz and 20 in jersey (could not fit bigger bottle in frame) and it was enough I won't carry 20oz. Most gas stations sell water in 1gal. Get one, drink ~12-24oz then put the rest in bottles and leave the rest for friends.

The avg randonneur consumes water at rate ~8-10oz/hr; max 16oz/hr if it's very hot. I am surprised you need more water esp this time of the year you either were overdressed or went too hard. Also sometimes high water consumption rate indicates lack of electrolytes. Or maybe it'll take some time for body to get used to I remember drinking more when I started.

saddle bag suggestionDougSloan
Mar 3, 2003 9:59 AM
The Tufo bag made for spare tubulars is nice, as it's large, but only lengthwise. It's doesn't stick out sideways like some of the larger saddle bags. I have one, and like it a lot.

Were you at Frozen Toes??? (nm)funknuggets
Mar 3, 2003 9:19 AM
cool; what was the route?DougSloan
Mar 3, 2003 7:41 AM
Spent some time in Illinois, as I lived right across the river in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Where did the ride go?

routeJS Haiku Shop
Mar 3, 2003 8:14 AM
not sure except we went east & south, far as about 10-15 miles NW of Nashville IL. the cue is still in my car and i'll bring it back from lunch and tell ya.
Mar 3, 2003 8:28 AM
Out of Belleville? Got it. It looks flat from in a car driving though there, but you are right, it's not flat from a bike perspective, especially if you throw in some headwinds.

ROUTEJS Haiku Shop
Mar 3, 2003 10:48 AM
grant fork
new memphis
new baden (of MV24 fame)
st. jacob
re: 3/1 illinois 200k brevet ride reportmaddog
Mar 3, 2003 9:40 AM
That part of Illinois has more interesting terrain than the plains of central and Northern Illinois. Edwardsville is close enough to the Mississipi to have some steep (although short) hills coming out of the river floodplain. There are some excpetionally steep hills along the river.

That portion of Illinois is also interesting in that it was where the leading edge of the icesheet produced by the last iceage stopped (or it may be two iceages ago, too long ago for me to remember). The ice sheered most of Illinois flat, but left southern Illinois somewhat hilly. Actually, the icesheet pushed a lot of material to a place right along interstate 70 (goes through Edwardsville). If you look carefully, you'll notice a subtle, but disctinct change in terrain at that point. It gets more hilly as you go farther south into the tip of the state.

If you were 15 miles northwest of Nashville, you were in southern Illinois dairy country. The roads are flat, wide, and well kept to keep milk trucks on the roads even in bad weather.

It's rare that there is not some wind. It seems to me that the only time this is not the case is when it's about 98 degrees with 80% humidity. They tell me the winds are much worse in Kansas and Oklahoma and that the humidity is much worse in the deep south - all I know is that cycling near St.Louis in august is not fun.
Great Job........Len J
Mar 3, 2003 10:47 AM
Way to go hanging in there in those conditions Sounds like a great workout. How'd you feel the next day?

good enough to pull the group for 30 sunday. nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 3, 2003 10:57 AM