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Hey Haiku, How was your ride?(27 posts)

Hey Haiku, How was your ride?Spoke Wrench
Mar 30, 2003 6:02 AM
I thought about you yesterday as I looked out of my warm living room window and watched the snow blowing horizontally.
re: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger nmcyclopathic
Mar 30, 2003 6:43 AM
word nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 6:28 AM
MO West Coast (KC) 200k brevet reportDale Brigham
Mar 30, 2003 8:17 AM
I don't know how the weather was on Missouri's East Coast (STL area) for Haiku's 300k brevet, but at 7 a.m. yesterday morning in Liberty (near KC), the 200k brevet start/finish point, it was about 30 degrees F, NW wind at 15-25 mph, and a bit of snow on the ground (mostly melted from the roads). I estimate there were about two dozen hardy randonneurs at the start.

Needless to say, proper clothing was a key factor, since the forecast was for warming into the 40s later in the day. I opted for starting out on the "cold" side, going with bib knickers, shoe covers, thermal skullcap under the helmet, long-sleeved jersey with wicking layers underneath, thermal vest, and windvest on top. That worked out fine, especially since it indeed warmed up to the low 40s and the sun came out in the afternoon.

The horseshoe-shaped route from Liberty to Platte City meant that we had headwind sections both out and back, but were blessed with a great tailwind finishing stretch of 40 km heading back south from Plattsburg to Liberty. That's one of the toughest hill sections on the route (lots and lots of rollercoaster hills on this route), so the tailwind was particularly welcome. I finished in about 8.5 hours (total elapsed time a bit less since we rolled out at 7:15 or so), with a 30 min. lunch stop at Platte City as my only time off the bike.

The main thing I learned from this brevet was the value of not knowing what time it is. My wristwatch was covered by my long-sleeve jersey and glove, so I only looked at my watch at the turnaround checkpoint. I usually get obsessed with time on these rides, driving (riding?) myself nuts with projected arrival times, calculated pace, etc. With no watch to look at (and no computer), I just rode in the moment. I may try that again.

Finally (sorry this report is so long!), I rode most of the way alone, thinking about my recently departed sister, Elaine, who was an avid cyclist. Before she died in January, I told her that the brevets and PBP were dedicated to her, and that she and I would be riding them together. I felt her presence, and she gave me wings.

Thanks for listening!

Right on. Great way to honor her. (nm)FTMD
Mar 30, 2003 9:10 AM
condolences. nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 6:29 AM
you are tougher than I am nmDougSloan
Mar 31, 2003 7:33 AM
If meant for me, the answer is 'NO'Dale Brigham
Mar 31, 2003 8:23 AM

You are a true endurance racer (see Furnace 408). I am just a plugger. I just keep plugging away until the brevet is done. If I average 4 hours per 100 km, I feel I'm flying. For gawd's sake man, didn't you average over 20 mph on your ultra rides? I doff my helmet in your (and J's, among others) direction.

Dale, make that '508' ! truly remarkable! nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 8:25 AM
Oops! My bad. Doug is even tougher than I thought! (nm)Dale Brigham
Mar 31, 2003 8:43 AM
not the issueDougSloan
Mar 31, 2003 8:27 AM
Going faster doesn't make you tougher. If you train right or just have the right genes, one person going 20 mph could be just cruising while another going 15 is going through pure hell. Putting up with nasty weather, that says more about you than the numbers on your computer.

The one double I did where it was raining, I turned back 15 miles into it and quit. All I can say for myself is that 110 degrees is fun!

Do(u)g, you are *not* a Belgian hardman. LOL! nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 8:31 AM
epic (long, wordy, cumbersome report enclosed)JS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 6:58 AM
6:10 AM start, 12-14 riders, around 30*F or lower, not sure. my goals for this one were to stay on the front pack, learn about the navigation and checkpoints (the RBA "wrote in" our checkpoints for the 200k, as he drove the course while we rode), and finish strong, possibly with 200 miles instead of 186, before dark. big LOL.

at mile 12.8, after riding near the front of the lead pack at a 19 mph average, rear puncture. bye-bye pack. replaced tube, figured out why the 19 mph average--mucho tailwind for the first leg (mostly eastbound). caught on with three others, two of whom fell off when we turned into the first stretch of 20+ mph headwinds (J pulling slowly, attempting not to pop 'em). oh, well. i'd met the remaining rider on the randon mailing list, and he and i rode some of the 200k together. we shared 160 miles saturday (just us chickens).

the last 156 miles of the ride were either with a cross-wind or a headwind, minimum 15 mph, i'm guessing most were 18-25 mph, some gusting well above that. Dale's friday response of "it could be worse--it could be rain" never came true, as the rain was frozen sleet and hail when we encoutered it. yes, Spoke Wrench, it was mostly sideways, and there was plent of it.

other highlights of my 300k character-builder were another puncture (front) at mile 160.5, changing tube in the dark (first time), lights completely failing (2x cateye micro halogen 2.4 watt) at mile 171, riding the last 15 miles with a mini mag-lite (2 AA) in my hand to illuminate the road, and barely dodging an opossum at mile 183.23.

oh, and intoxicated teenagers speeding down a deserted country road at mile 178 leaned out the window as they passed and shouted something. i didn't hear it, but my companion assumed it was "bonne courage!!!" who am i to question the loyalties of the "Illinois French"?

i consider myself a fairly strong rider, and finished two double centuries last year on consecutive saturdays at 16 mph average, with 90% or more of the ride non-drafting. i'm way stronger this year. i've been working on staying on the bike and limiting time at stops, which has been very successful. two weeks ago i finished a tune-up century at around 18 mph avg. consider these numbers when reviewing the results of the 300k. purely for your entertainment:

186.58 miles
13h 23m 56s on bike
avg 13.9 mph on bike
15h 50m total time (20h time limit)
avg 11.8 mph "rando"
start 6:10 AM finish 10:00 PM

did this one with sustained energy and hammer gel, plus some fritos and a bologna & cheese sandwich at the 3rd controle. can't really say if the hammer nutrition worked for me, as this was not a good gauge due to the severe winds. no stomach upset or bonk, though.

here are some more fun numbers:

first 100 miles average 16.1 mph.

controle 1 at 51.5 miles 9:30 AM
controle 2 at 78.0 miles 11:35 AM
controle 3 at 120.9 miles 3:08 PM
controle 4 at 150 miles 6:00 PM
controle 5 at 186.58 miles 10:00 PM

the two of us rode mostly side by side or my companion sitting in. at the end i was happy to take some draft, but not much. sadly, the wind died almost completely in the last 5 miles. by then, after working hard for many hours on end to sustain an 8-11 mph pace, i had no legs left to finish strong. there were 3-5 mile flat sections (going west) where it was all i could do to ride at 7 mph. best i can describe the wind on this ride is like climbing for the last 150 miles (without hills). my companion said this was an extreme and unusual case of wind for IL at this time of year. there was nowhere to hide from the wind on the IL plains on saturday.

if you've made it this far, thanks indulging.
wow, that's roughDougSloan
Mar 31, 2003 7:25 AM
Horrid conditons. Makes me almost feel like a total wimp for having ridden 50 miles on the fixed gear in 84 degree sunny weather, 5 mph winds.

>can't really say if the hammer nutrition worked for me, as this was not a good gauge due to the severe winds. no stomach upset or bonk, though.

I'd say if you had "no stomach upset nor bonk", by definition it worked for you. Where is the doubt?

Good job.

proving groundJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 7:36 AM
i'd like to prove the SE on a fair playing field--for me, gently rolling terrain without strong winds (what i typically ride and train over). i'm planning a mostly solo DC in 2 weeks as a 400k tune-up, and may use it then. i do see the wisdom (now) of mixing a strong bottle to last several hours and keeping water in a camelbak. btw, saturday i used banana/strawberry crystal lite (light?) to flavor the SE and it tasted like a treat from the ice cream truck. yum!

two thumbs up for hammer gel, for sure. never tired of the apple cinnamon, and used the espresso single serving as a pick-me-up late in the day.

You da man............Len J
Mar 31, 2003 7:42 AM
You sound down about your speed, I would look at it differently.

You almost spent enough time on the bike for a 400K (with no wind), you probably had a higher than normal heartrate for the entire ride, and you learned some more about distrance riding endurance. That is a great accomplishment relative to your goals.

Not only that, but having ridden in wind, I know how mentally exausting it is. If you can do it for 12+ hours without quitting, you are mentally ready for anything.

Great, & I don't use the term loosly, job.

good perspective, thanks Len! nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 7:54 AM
Pretty impressive, J.look271
Mar 31, 2003 7:43 AM
I'm getting the bug to do a double this year. There's one close in June w/ 11k of climbing. It's painful enough to sound interesting. Great job. Soon we'll be calling you"MB1J"=)
11k over 200mi is only 5.5k per 100mJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 7:56 AM
on average, unless the thoughtful organizers have put the climbing in the second half, which i would suspect most likely. :)

it's just a long bike ride. do the 200--it'll make you that much stronger on 100. the perspective is priceless.
Thanks. I really think I'm going to do it.look271
Mar 31, 2003 10:27 AM
I have been on parts of that ride before. No flats and no real long hills. Just constant up, down, etc. Lots of really steep sh$t. Used to be 173. They've found 27 more miles. Not hard to do around here.
I was cursing the flat ground this weekendJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 10:36 AM
...and almost regret not driving the extra 120 miles to ride 300k in the georgia mountains.

"That which does not kill me lowers my IQ."
Okay, that's just nutz, plain nutz...noveread
Mar 31, 2003 7:44 AM
I bow down to you JS, I am not worthy.

What an epic ride. I never would have made it!

of course you would...JS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 7:57 AM
anyone is capable of doing these rides--the biggest challenge is between the ears.
?Quien es mas macho? J es mas macho!Dale Brigham
Mar 31, 2003 8:40 AM

My congratulations to you for successfully completing what was likely the toughest 300k brevet anywhere in the U.S. this year. I have three comrades from Columbia (MO) who did it with you (Arj, Jen, and Dan), and they told me it was the hardest ride they had ever done.

The weather was atrocious, and anyone who even started, much less finished, that brevet is one brave rando, in my view. In comparison, my little 200k jaunt was a ride in the park.

I hope to meet you for the 400k in Edwardsville, Il, on April 26. I'll be the scared-looking guy on the orange Steelman.

Again, congrats, J!

ok, but if it's windy, you're pulling. nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 8:48 AM
Another stat question????MB1
Mar 31, 2003 12:35 PM
How many times did you shift? ;-)

You did good man, we rode in similar weather on Saturday and worse on Sunday-it was no fun at all and we didn't even get past 200k.

Our brevet series starts 2 weeks from now to allow for riding for the traditional Mid-Alantic spring storms. Come on up!
answer(s)JS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 12:56 PM
often i was grinding 42x15--it seemed "right". i tend to ride big ring (52, on this bike) even when it's not called for, so i was in a big ring combo often in the first ~90 miles. there was frequent shifting, but not as much as normal. there was little--literally almost zero--coasting.

i'd love to come up there and show you na'theners how it's done, but it's too far to drive/fly/ride at this time. hey, it's only 817 miles from DC to Edwardsville. Dale's doing the next IL brevet (400k), it'll be a regular "RBR Gathering".

if there's wind at the 400k, i may just lay out in the road on main street in Edwardsville and pay some local to run over me repeatedly until i feel as i did on yesterday morning. would save some time, and medical attention would be close at hand.

seems the nature of these long-distance rides find me riding either alone or with one other person, adjusting speeds to make the mix compatable--better to have a companion for 12+ hours than to finish a little faster, but alone. not totally necessary, though. i was sure p!ssed to have a puncture so early and watch the pack ride off, knowing that the wind would be a big test.