SIR Spring 200km story

Fri, 2013-04-12 17:21

I did the SIR Spring 200km brevet on March 9. On Facebook, someone asked me what I think about on a 9 hour ride, and I wrote the following (I thought I should post this here for safe keeping).

Some things I remember thinking: Wow, it's cold and foggy - the fog is fogging up my glasses - I better wipe off my glasses - The cold's okay - Can I make that light? - 15th Ave goes on forever - This is a nice descent - I can probably turn off my headlight now - I'm certainly not over-dressed - Where is that gravel section? - Oh, here it is - Look, a bald eagle - I already need to pee - Should I stop at this park? - Can I make it to Snohomish? - That rider nearly crashed into my front wheel - There is a nice descent coming up - I'd rather not ride on 180th, but it's short - This is not my usual route to Broadway - This is a really fast descent - This seems like a good group to ride with - But I have to use the restroom in Snohomish, so I'll probably not see them again on this ride - What to eat? - Am I drinking enough? - If I ride with my mouth open, how much water will I get from the fog? - The water fountain is shut off, where will I get more water? - Is that ice falling off that tree? - What is *that* pain? Oh good, standing up for a bit made it go away - That guy is riding faster than I want to ride - I should put on my sunglasses - A manned info control is cool - I remember some of this from September - Oh good, it looks like everyone is stopping at the obvious convenience store in Granite Falls - Payday bar - Oh good, a few riders caught up with me - Oh no, I keep dropping them on little climbs, I should take it easy - Oh, now they're really far back, I guess I'll just press on - Monroe is always a bit confusing - Hurray, now I know the rest of the route by heart and don't need to look at the cue sheet anymore - Drafting off this guy who's drafting those time trialists is really not the best idea - It's against the rules, in fact, but fun - I feel pretty good - Now, I don't feel so good - Well, I'll take a nice break in Carnation - Lots of folks at Sandy's Espresso - I like the lemon-infused water at Sandy's - I'm over 100 miles into the ride - I don't feel great - Issaquah-Fall City road has a nasty hill coming up, but I know it well - I think I feel a little better - Why do we have to descend into Issaquah this way? I like Black Nugget road better - What is that rattle? - Is this the info control? - Yes, it is - I should replace my cleats - Now I really feel like I'm almost home - I should stop and eat - I've been riding alone for a long time - Given how I feel, that's probably best - Newport way is a big hill, but it's very doable - Hey, look at all those people who just caught up with me - But they're not staying with me (?) - Just have to cross Mercer Island - Hey, it's that guy that dropped me before Carnation - He must not be feeling great - I should stop pedaling on all the downhills - Yup, that feels good - Idiots drive through the Arboretum - How far up this alley is the finish? Must be that pile of bikes

SIR 100 km Populaire

Sun, 2011-03-06 15:47

I did my very first randonneuring event yesterday. It was the 100km Spring Populaire put on by Seattle International Randonneurs. The weather turned out fine, with temps in the high 40s, with on-and-off sun, and zero rain (though there was a bit of water on the road here and there).

This was also my first ride for which I drove to the start. A lot of SIR events start quite a ways from my house, so I want to get used to driving to events, and this was a good bit of practice. I used my trunk rack, which hadn't been used in about eight years, and it always makes me nervous, but it worked great. I had to pick up my riding buddy beforehand, and it took longer to put the rack on than I had planned, so we ended up taking freeways to the starts instead of the surface streets I'd originally planned. This went very smoothly, and again, is good practice for me, since I don't drive on the freeway all the much.

I only messed up a couple of things. One, I make my own "gel" in a gel bottle, and I'd made one the night prior, but left it at home, so I was without gel for the entire ride. That was okay, since I had plenty of other stuff to eat, but I will want to be more careful in the future. Second, though I put my booties in the car, I neglected to put them on once we got to the parking lot in Woodinville. Like the gel, this worked out okay, since the weather was fine, but had it been quite a bit cooler, or rained, I might have had some unhappy feet. Again, I need to be more careful in the future.

The ride was really terrific. I was smiling the whole time. There were lots of people (over 100, I believe) at the start, and the whole time there were people to ride with. In fact, a group of five of use formed after the mid-ride control in Carnation, and rode the rest of the ride together. At the second secret control, about 30 km from the finish, there were Payday bars, which are my new favorite ride food (just one per ride, max). I learned that they are somewhat impervious to heat: mine didn't melt at all despite spending quite a bit of time in my jersey pocket. Their saltiness is quite welcome late in any ride.

The people on the ride were great, everyone riding very carefully and skillfully. I had a few short nice conversations with a number of folks, and generally had a great time. I didn't feel slow on hills (in fact, at times I felt the opposite) so I think maybe I am strong enough to start riding with these folks, at least for the shorter distances, and that's what I've been hoping to do for years. Hooray!