Saturday, April 10, 2010

Apr-10: Morrisville 200 km brevet

I arrived about 5:45 am for the 6 am registration.  No one else was there.  I was not entirely sure I was at the correct location.  A few minutes later, I saw someone else arive -- it was obvious that the driver was wearing reflective and very visible gear.  Good sign, I thought.

I went over to introduce myself, confirm that this was the correct location.  Turned out it was "sagitandy".  Good, I thought, this has to be the correct location.  Turned out Andy had never been there, either.  (Btw, Andy admitted to knowing "irregular" IvaHawk -- he didn't say anything detrimental.)  At 6 am, with no one else there, we decided to do a couple "scout-arounds" in our respecitve vehicles.  I arrived back at the shopping center at about 6:15 -- registration now in full swing. 

7 am start.  Within a quarter or half-a-mile, whoosh, the "lead" pack was gone.  I guessed that at least 3/4 (maybe more) of the riders were ahead of me.  I accepted the notion that I would be doing a 200 km ride solo.  It wasn't that big of a notion to accept -- after all, I did my first ever century, a 109-mile version of the Virginia Border Raid solo (and my previous longest ride EVER before that had only been 78 miles -- the week before). 

However, soon Bob (a veteran randonneur with multiple series and at least one Fleche under his belt) was back with me.  I thought that was good -- he knew the course.  We soon passed a guy on the side of the road fixing a flat.  Several miles down the road, FlatTire caught me (his name was Don), and he decided to ride and chat with me for awhile.  That was nice.  Neither of us knew the course, and we consulted our cue sheets frequently.  We chatted all the way to the first control in Snow Camp (about 50.5 miles into the course).

Sridhar arrived at Snow Camp after Don and me, but was ready to head out for Siler City when we were ready to leave.  The nice thing about that -- Sridhar knows the course.  It is ~ 12 miles from Snow Camp to Siler City -- it seemed that ALL of it was downslope.

I needed to take a bit longer at Siler City than Don did -- so he took off.  I started back with Sridhar -- a well seasoned randonneur, but prone to cramps and a self-admitted "not-a-good-climber".  I waited along the road a couple times between Siler City and Snow Camp -- I was enjoying the upslope from Siler City to Snow -- it was definitely a "Martin kind of slope" -- at least some of the "Irregulars" will understand that.  At times I was zipping along as fast as 19+ mph upslope, into the wind -- it was great.

I arrived at Snow Camp, again, just after Bob (mentioned above) started searching for his control card.  I heard him say "oh, no".  "Control card", I asked?  "Yes."  "Sridhar found a spare in Siler City."  Bob philosophically went to use the head.  Sridhar arrived a few minutes later -- he had Bob's control card.  Bob was delighted.

I figured to ride back to Morrisville with Sridhar and Bob, waiting after climbs.  After 4.66 miles (according to the official cue sheet), I waited @ Lindley Mill Rd 3 1/2 minutes for Bob -- Sridhar was no where in sight.  I quickly calculated that would equate to an additional 40 or 50 minutes to complete the route.  I decided that as I had a cue sheet, I could navigate back on my own.  After all, in its purest sense, brevets are not really "group rides" -- that's what audax rides are for.

Procedure became "stop at stop sign -- check cue sheet for the next two or three roads -- go to the next memorized stop sign -- rinse, repeat".  I only was worried about being off course once.  I figured that this was helping me learn the course.

At around 103 miles into the course, I came upon a group of five, three of whom had gotten ahead of me by doing quicker control stops, fidgeting with one guy's bike.  As I came to a stop, I saw that only one person was actually fidgeting with the bike, with a nice packaged set of tools laid out and trying to repair / re-string another guy's rear derailleur cable as he invoked the name of "Lon Haldeman".  Eventually, Charles, Coho frame-builder, managed to tie-off the rear cable to one of the water bottle cages, giving Steve a single useable rear cog in the middling-easy range.

Chloe pushed off.  I followed and passed on the next uphill.  Some 10 or 12 miles down the road, though, Charles, Eric (from SIR), and Chloe caught and passed me.  I couldn't hang onto their wheels, but they didn't pull more than a couple hundred yards ahead.  That allowed me to follow their turns.  A well placed stop-light on red allowed me to catch them up, but I couldn't hold their wheels on the next little up -- aargh.  Another well placed red stop-light ... and that time I was in the clover.  Also the urbanized roads were basically flat -- so the last 3 1/2 miles I was usefully "with a group" for the first time since Siler City.

Official finish time at 5:13 pm.  Greeted by applause from the assembled and a congratulatory handshake from MikeD (he's the one in the L-E-L jersey), then handshakes with more of the "names" in NC Randonneuring.
The route:  Morrisville 200 km Brevet - outbound
 _(There is a mistake on the map -- "veloroutes" did not stay on US-15/501 when it was supposed to --
 __I didn't notice the mistake until AFTER I'd saved the route.)
Best comment of the day:  going toward Siler City from Snow Camp, we encountered the lead group headed in the opposite direction, Sridhar said "there they go, being pulled by Lynn 'Insane' L."  (He actually used Lynn's last names, but I leave last names out of this blog -- unless the person is really well known and their name is already plastered all over the big interweb, e.g., Lon.)  [I saw Lynn on Sunday, and told her what Shridar had said -- she laughed.]

"Doc on a Bike", whom I did NOT meet (as far as I know), has put up his blog post -- of pictures -- here.
More pics on RTP by MikeD here.

Morrisville 200 km Brevet:  Morrisville to Siler City and back; 125.3 m.; 8hrs, 26min in-motion time; 14.8 mph; Rando time: _start time 0700; finish time 1713; total elasped clock time 10 hrs, 13 min.

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; 60 hrs, 38 min; 15.5 mph.
Apr tot: _5 rides; __311.9 m.; 20 hrs, 22 min; 15.3 mph.
YTD tot: 21 rides; 1,250.1 m.; 80 hrs, 01 min; 15.5 mph.


  1. Nice job, Martin. I bet this is the start of your R12 ! Signed, Iva

  2. I wouldn't bet on this being the start of an R-12. You remember that Dec. 30th ride we aborted, right? Think what that would have felt like if we were trying to ride 200k instead of just 100k, and felt that we could "bail" if we wanted.


  3. Congratulations, Martin! I hope you had fun. Hated that I skipped the start but it'd been a rough few days. See you for the 300K?

  4. Thanks, Branson.

    I did enjoy my ride.

    I plan to do the 300k, and if I don't fall off my bike then, try the 400.


  5. M - great job. On your way to being a veteran randonneur. Snapper
    WV = nunpo