Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I wonder if I can do this

The "this" is a 300 Km brevet next Saturday. This will be my 1st ever attempt at anything over a century, and I am both excited and experiencing a healthy dose of reservation. The keys will be pace, pace, pace. And, nutrition, hydration, and comfort. And a fully charged cell phone in case I need to call for a bail out. :)  We test rode the hilliest section of the route today as an out and back. That is, we ended up with about 4,235' of climb in just 48 miles. The 300 will have 6,900' total in 187 miles. I was slow, to be sure, but finished ahead of where I would need to on that section of the brevet. I also was not dead tired, or out of gas at the end. I could have just kept plodding along, which is fine by me.

The ride today saw 7 riders meet at Stuckey's, but 1 just pedaled up from Prattville to see us off, and then turned around and returned. 6 of us continued on. Ray also pedaled up from town (about 23 miles), did the ride, and pedaled back. Strong ride, pal. Here we are getting ready to go: Left to right, it's Frank, Max, Larry, Ron and Joel. Ray is trying get his frozen plumbing out of the bib shorts and use the stores non frozen plumbing. Yes, it was cold. My solution was wool boxers under wool shorts, under wooly warm wool tights. No freeze ups, if you get my drift..

 Here I am a little later. By 10:30, it warmed enough to ditch the jackets. Below is Max's very cool adaptation of a solar battery charger to run his Garmin. I'll be using either an Energi pak, or plug mine in when we stop to eat.

 Here is a typical view for most of the ride. Fall foliage starting to be very pretty and steep rollers. Most were 6% - 9% grades, a few were 10% - 13%. The ride had 3 cat 5 climbs.
 As we crossed the Coosa River, I caught the sunlight glinting off the water, which was rippled from the very brisk breeze we rode in today.
 Here is about as ramshackle a store as I've ridden by. The fuel pumps are long gone and the proprietor lives in a small trailer next to the store. They did have working plumbing (always a consideration for a group of 50+ year old riders) and Propel Zero, and a decent little grocery inside. This was in Kellys Crossroads, which is literally a description of the place. This is ALL there is to it.
 The country NE of the river is quite hilly and some of the rock was blasted away to make the road grades more manageable. It makes for a very scenic drive  or pedal.
We got back to the cars around noon, and headed on home. Frank has loaned me a higher power headlamp than the one I have. If the rando bug bites, I'll get my own.

We're talking about a pre-ride dinner on Friday. The couple coming down from DC says they won't arrive in time. They are stopping in Atlanta to do a 200K the day before. Oh geez. Real rando types, you know? Don't know about the guy coming in from SC. So we locals will go have a hearty meal somewhere, and encourage one another. The ride starts at 7 AM on Saturday with 3:00 AM the following morning as the limit.  LynneF, if you're reading, any advice/encouragement/offers to fly out and pull for me will be appreciated...

At least no snow is forecast...



lynnef said...

I am reading :-) you will be fine. Pacing, pacing, pacing. And eating, eating, eating. Something every hour or 15 miles, whichever comes first. Starbucks Doubleshots are great - calories and caffeine. Keep moving. Make no decisions on quitting until after you've eaten. Salty snacks as well as sweet ones. Can't wait to read the ride report!

Fully Lugged said...

Lynne: Thanks so much for your encouragement! :)

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