Sunday, April 3, 2011

First brevet of the season

I missed the first few scheduled brevets this year, but I decided to do the 200K this past weekend. I've said in the past that I should be able to roll out of bed and do a century with no preparation and that's almost what this was. I have not been doing nearly enough long rides. In fact the longest ride I had done this year was a 21 mile ride in February.

Helen dropped me off in Edwardsville about 15 minutes before the 6 am start. There were about 15 people there, some for the 200K and some for the 300. It was still dark and a little chilly. The forecast called for a high near 60 and winds out of the WNW. This meant that we would have a headwind on the way back.

No one seemed to be interested in setting too fast a pace at the start. As usual I stayed with the front group. I do this, not because I'm fast, but because I don't know how to pace myself. I was also having problems with my bike computer so I had no idea how fast we were going.

I dropped behind the front group at the stop at Pocahontas (mile 24), but managed to catch back up in the next few miles. There were 5 of us at this point. We took turns pulling with Louis doing most of the work. Louis is an incredibly strong rider who has being doing this since 1985. We stopped at the first checkpoint in Breese (mile 51) and then stayed together until the 200K turnaround at Okawville (mile 78). There, one rider continued on the 300K and the remaining four of us turned back to complete the 200K.

Now we were heading back into the wind. Louis did almost all of the pulling for the remaining 50 miles. We made one more stop at St Jacob (mile 107) and the continued to the finish (mile 126). We finished at 2:39pm giving us a time of 8:39. This is my fastest 200K time. I certainly could not have done it without Louis's help.

I felt pretty good on the ride. I was hurting towards the end but being with a group of people help to keep me motivated. The Camelbak seemed to work well for me. I got a little sunburn on my face because I did not put on any sunblock.

I did not eat that much this ride. Some chocolate milk at Pocahontas, a doughnut in Breese, a Landshire cheeseburger and soda in Okawville, and Another soda at St. Jacobs. Not a lot of food considering that I burned an estimated 5000 calories. But I never felt like I was bonking.

I hope to do the 300K in two weeks. For that I will need to rent a car or make other transportation arrangements. I'm not going to make Helen dropped me off for a 5am start and pick me after 8pm.