I've been getting psyched up over the 300Km Prattville Brevet coming on 11/5. As a "where are my legs these days?" check, 4 of us rode 75 rolling miles yesterday morning. The idea was to stay at a steady pace and not go too fast. I was the slowest of the group and turned in a 13.5 avg which is faster than I need to be to finish on time. Counting breaks, I used 85% of the allowed time for this distance. Biggest issue was leg cramps for me on hills. At about mile 50, I found myself in too tall a gear for a 13% grade but hammered it anyway, which caused true pain in both quads. Then, there was that vibrating feeling in my lower legs that says, "you need to drink more!" I blame Joe of course. This steep hill was NOT on the route, but when he sailed past a turn, we had to go this way to get back to where we needed to be. Joe rode with a bent derailler hanger and only had this outer 2 or 3 cogs available. That seemed to make no difference to him. He had, but never used, his granny up front. Like me, he did the entire ride on the middle ring. His is a 36 and mine is a 42. You know, since I never use the 30 on this bike, I may as well put a 53/39 back on in place of the 52/42/30. Nahhh..
It was a beautiful day, sunny, cool, and light breeze. All of this conspired to keep my jersey dry, so I never felt that I was using much water. When I got home, the fluid tally was 78oz in 75 mi. I need 1.5 oz per mile in this kind of weather, so I was almost 1/3 under. Hence the issues 2/3 of the way out on the route! This is not the first time I have failed to drink enough. I will have to chart it and make sure I drink certain quantities by certain mileages on any longer ride if I want to avoid cramps. It made me slow up the hills, but didn't do too much on the flats until the very end. I actually had to pull over and take a brief rest just a mile and half from the finish.
Max and I carpooled down, and we met Joe and Frank at the start. Ron pedaled from Prattville, but just to see us off before he turned around to pedal back. He still had a nice distance himself, about a metric I guess. It was about 51F and wool arm warmers and long finger wool blend gloves were appreciated. Once the Sun rose, temps began to climb, and at about mile 18 when we made our 1st store stop, the warmers came off and the gloves were swapped for short fingered ones. I didn't need a base layer under the Swobo jersey. Un-padded Joneswares shorts today too. They generally were fine, although the edges of the saddle center slot were annoying after 40 or 50 miles. For the long ride, a non slotted saddle will be used. No padding though.
It was a delightful morning for a ride. Recent rains have most growing things looking good. Either still green or starting to show Fall colors. Plenty of livestock out in the grazing fields and all the local canines came out to bark for us. None were a problem, but you never know. The route included some pretty stretches that we rarely get to ride on, as there is a section of about 30 miles with no store stops available. We made one slight route deviation because Joe, fresh from his assault on the 12,000' of climb at 6 Gap, was floating way out ahead of us and sailed past a turn. We ended up back on the route, and the mileage ended up being about the same so all was good. Made my annual mileage goal with this ride and there is a chance that some more miles will be added yet this year! This was also the 20th metric or longer outing for 2011. 4 more are needed to make goal. We climbed about 3,000' and except for the one steep up, it was all rollers. An endless series of rollers...
Grandson's birthday party here next Saturday. I am advised that I should plan on attending. Maybe an early Am ride to test the light kit out is in order....
Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.
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