Unlike two weeks earlier, when I had not gotten off from work until 9 pm Friday night,
My work shift was completed at 1 pm early Friday afternoon.
That gave me eight additional hours of recovery time.
And those hours might make the difference between tired, achy legs, and fresher-feeling legs.
I had not done a 200 in March.
As I told Bob near the end of the 7-Cs ride two weeks earlier:
He has a significant R-series to "protect."
And although I have gotten to R-10 and R-11 since giving up my "original" R-series after 41,
December weather and work have gotten in the way, and
More importantly, I don't "worry" about it anymore.
[I still USUALLY try to keep the P-series going.
After all, populaires only take half a day and can be completed if not really in shape.]
This year, 2019, although having no grand randonnee aspirations,
I did have the goal of completing the Raleigh Region Super Randonneur Series.
Something I've only accomplished twice.
My recent 200's, brevets and/or permanents, had been tough slogs.
Or, even when not slogs, had been quite slow.
- January, the High Point Natty Greene 200, had taken 12h40. I had, however, not felt as badly at the finish as I had typically felt throughout 2018, probably because of taking three 30-minute control stops with Harvey.
- February, the "Egypt Mtn" 210-km permanent, had taken 12h39.
Cycling Commute to the Brevet
Usual commute ride to Morrisville, via
- North Hills Mall,
- Cameron Village,
- NC State,
- the NC State Fairgrounds, (that is more interesting at 6 am on a Saturday morning, as vendors are lining up to get into the Fairgrounds for the (almost) every Saturday Flea Market), and
- through Cary.
A comment on that "zipping decline" -- a few or several years ago, after passing Weston Parkway, there were almost no buildings on the north side of NC54 until crossing Crabtree Creek; it felt as if one was in the middle of a rural area; however, nowadays, there are buildings, with businesses, most of way down that decline. It was more mentally relaxing when it felt rural. However, I've now done this commute ride enough times that I now realize that my pre-ride commute is almost done, and I've managed to adjust mentally to that positive thought. I'd still rather have the calm mental feeling that I got from the seeming rural decline.
I did not press the pace and completed the 19.9-mile commute in 1h24 in-motion.
That works out to an average of 14.1-mph.
Calm enough. Not much unnecessary expenditure of energy.
And I recall I arrived half-an-hour before the ride start.
The Brevet Itself
First, an embed of the RWGPS course map:
Although we ride the same 200k brevet course every year, almost every year there is a new detour around bridges being re-destructed or (one year) a sink-hole! I happen to know that the guy that makes the maps for Alan's brevets likes to maintain the integrity of the maps for each year. However, this year, the route was virtually the same as in (?) 2012, and when the map-guy went to save the map for 2019, he goofed up and forgot to click "save as NEW," so the maps embedded or linked in previous posts for 2012 and 2013 now are not entirely correct. Oh, well. Guess I need to have a talk with the map-maker guy. [Should be easy enough "conversation" -- after all, I am the map-maker guy. Sigh.]
Before the start of the ride, I had chatted with TommyB #12772, so I knew that his friend Greg had been injured and would not be riding, and I also knew that Tommy wanted to ride with me. Okay. Someone to ride with.I dropped the fast-crew off my front wheel just after two miles.
I also thought that Ricochet #6628 would be a likely ride partner.
Somehow I knew that AmyG #12124 was also doing the brevet. (I recall that Amy had responded to Alan via the NC-rando-list-serve, so I'm pretty sure that is how I knew she was riding.) I had looked up her previous results and figured that she might also be a ride partner.
Tommy was with me.
Amy was riding with the fast-crew.
Ricochet was riding with the fast crew.
I recall a time when Ricochet chastised me for sticking with the fast-crew too long.
Hmmn, I thought I had typed something similar to the following, but I apparently skated over it:
At about 25 or 26 miles into the ride, Ricochet came up alongside me, and asked, rather sardonically, "so, we're riding with the big guys now?" I replied that I wanted to have a quick chat with Joel, and after that we would drop back to a more sustainable pace. Then when I was chatting with Joel, something I had never done because I had never been close enough during a ride to chat with him -- and I have never been close enough again since that moment back in 2011, I saw Lynn just ahead, with no one riding next to her, so I said to Joel, "well, I'm gonna' go chat with Lynn for a moment; that ought to confuse about half the group." (The reason it would confuse some in the group is that Lynn and I were divorced from each other, and had been for a couple years.) No idea if anyone in the group was confused.
[I do know that at the year-end 2011 party, talking to GeofS, he was describing riding with Lynn, and I would say "yes, I know" after each of his observations. The confusion on Geof's face because he did not understand how I could possibly know about Lynn's characteristics (since she was a much faster cyclist than me) became more and more obvious. Finally, I asked Geof, "you do know that Lynn and I used to be married to each other, don't you?" He didn't. So, certainly, six months before the party, during that 2011 six-hundred-brevet, he would not have known that there might be a reason to be confused by me riding next to Lynn and engaging in something akin to a conversation.]
Anyway, back to this year's 200 instead of the 600 from eight years ago.
Tommy and I continued riding letting the fast-crew go.
Tommy lives right on the course, just after 20+ miles,
And he made a quick side-trip into his house to pick up some fresh cold fluids
While I soft-pedaled on.
I figured I would be near the turn off Parker Herndon Rd onto Hamlets Chapel Rd.
At approx the 23-mile mark before Tommy caught me up.
Instead, he was back with me before the turn onto Parker Herndon,
Less than a mile after his detour at his abode.
That informed me that Tommy had a lot more in the speed-tank than I did.
Somewhere near Parker Herndon Rd, Ricochet "caught" us.
He had let the fast-crew go and drifted back, waiting for us.
Looked like it would be three together for the final 100-miles.
Ricochet and Tommy got ahead of me on the repeating down-and-ups
Of Hamlets Chapel / Jones Ferry Rd.
But not so far that I had let them go.
I figured I'd regroup with them, repeatedly, on the downhill sections.
However, at Frosty's, just before the 29-mile mark, Ami was in the Frosty's parking lot.
Apparently waiting for us.
Ricochet called out to Ami to join us.
Next thing I knew, just a quarter or half-a-mile later,
I realized that Ricochet, Tommy, and Ami were riding just that pedal-stroke faster than I wanted to do.
So I let them go.
Perhaps I thought I might eventually catch them.
I'm not sure.
But a nice thing for me happened after I decided to let them go.
I was now riding IN MY PACE, and not in somebody else's slightly faster pace.
I settled in, making decent progress.
To keep this post to a reasonable length, I'm going to copy in the text of an email that I sent to HH when trying to convince him to ride the 300 brevet so that he could continue some advancement toward riding a Series and ultimately PBP (now HH is targeting 2023 instead of 2019 as was his original plan).
Backing off the pace, soft-pedaling the whole way, averaging about 13-mph, gets the job done. I averaged approx 13.3-mph while in motion last week on the 200, yet I finished in 10h21, the lowest elapsed time for a 200 brevet or a "200" perm since October 2015.
How did I do that? I kept the control stops to reasonably short times. 10-minutes at Snow Camp outbound (which is pretty amazing given that there were 20+ riders there at the same time from some Gran Fondo); 14-minutes at Snow Camp inbound (as I agonized for a minute or more about what to get to eat, what ice cream treat to get, and then sat on the bench and reasonably slowly consumed said treat); 28-minutes at the Siler City turn-around (but that included an extra 12-15 minutes chatting with Mike O'Connor who was manning the control). No other stops -- well, outbound, just before getting to Snow Camp, I had to stop on the side of the road for about 5-minutes to let an excitement-induced cramp release / muscle relax.
The above email text, encapsulates everything I "need" to write, er, type regarding this brevet.
Except for the following:
I was so happy to finally finish a 200 in under 10-and-a-half hours, andIf I had done a reasonably shorter stop at the turn-around control,I would have come pretty close to a 10-hour finish.
Cycling Commute Post-Brevet
I spent a little more than hour chatting with RBA Alan after completing the brevet.
Making some plans for the future.
Of course drinking a welcome home-brewed beer.
Probably a "Belgian" -- Alan would recall; I usually forget which option I chose.
The final act of the visit was helping Alan put things away.
Then I headed for my abode by the flatter westerly route that I use.
I didn't do that route in morning because the above described easterly route has more city lights,
Which help with seeing the roadway.
(There is, or was, some road construction on the westerly route.)
It was dark by the time I got to my abode.
I was surprised when I figured out the in-motion time for the post-brevet commute.
I thought I was riding faster than the number indicate.
I wasn't pushing, but it was a mile or more per hour slower than I thought I was riding.
Turns out that there was one more rider out on the course when I finished.
My visit time with Alan may have been partially to wait for that rider, and
To assist in a welcoming finish.
[I've checked the results for the lantern rouge finisher:
His 13 hour time means that he finished at 8 pm.
That was well after sunset, and close to civil twilight.
In other words, darkness was certainly closing in on that ride.
So far, this 200 brevet is his only completed / credited rando ride.
Will we ever see him again.
Frankly, I'm not hopeful.]