Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Big Dog 200K

Weekly miles: 304.5
Tuesday: 30 hard with group (running from Chad) Windy
Wednesday: 40 Endurance pace Windy
Thursday: 58 med with Mike, Wiford and Bill H
Friday: 30 easy Windy
Saturday: 126 Brevet 7:04 19.4 on bike avg
Sunday: 20.5 with Connie recovery Windy

The last two weeks had been pretty un-eventful until Saturday's 200K brevet in Le Claire. Chad joined Wiford and I for the ride. Chad had never ridden more then 115 but wanted to test his pain threshold. Lonnie Cook was also present wanting to put his early season fitness to the test.

A Brevet is not a race. They are very popular in Europe. It is an un-supported ride that requires getting your brevet card signed at the beginning, the end and designated spots along the route to verify you have completed the route. The check-in places (or controls) are usually located at convenience stores.

15 riders stared this group ride from Le Claire with the route heading to Bellevue and back. Much of the route was TOMRV roads that I had ridden many times. There is not many flat stretches but only a couple killer hills. We haeded out of Le Claire as a group but soon broke up after a big climb at the 3 mile mark. Chad, Wiford, Larry Ide, Dennis Grelk, a Cedar Falls rider and myself formed the "front" group. 10 miles later the Cedar Falls rider dropped back and after 40 Larry fell behind on the rolling hills. The four of us rolled into Bellevue pretty close together after 3:36 total time fighting head/cross winds with an avg of 18.7 mph.

After Lunch the four of us headed out as the second group of 8 rolled into the stop. Lonnie was with them and they had picked up Larry. For the next 20 miles they had to slow up for me at the top of the bigger climbs. I did not eat enough on the way up and was paying for it in the hills.

Chad, Wiford and I slowly pulled ahead of Dennis as we left Mcausland for the final 15 miles. The three of us rolled into town together with a total time of 7:04, with a 19.4 avg on the bike, followed by Dennis at 7:18 and then the second group (including Lonnie) at 7:41.

I was hoping there would be more riders to form the front group. I ride with Chad and Wiford all the time. I guess we could have waited for the second group but on a long ride the sooner you can get off the saddle the better. I wanted to push myself a little to see what pace I could handle for that long of a ride. I had to push a little harder then I wanted on the climbs but recovered pretty well on the flats. I drank plenty and did not cramp at all. I forgot my hammer gel flask and I could have used it on several occasions.

Next week I will be in Lubbock from Wednesday until Sunday so maybe I can get some warm weather riding.

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