Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jul-24: Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 200k Permanent

Thanks to BikerBob for being foolish enough to ride the L-L-L with me. 

Ian was also there -- for the start.
Then, being young and immortal and apparently immune to heat, he took off.
We saw him about 4 miles before the turn-around (or, from his perspective, after the turn-around).
He left us water in Leasburg.  Thanks, Ian.

Bob and I determined to take our time, hydrate, cool off, etc.,
And to take nearly all the allowed time if needed. 
It was needed.

Bob finished about 5 minutes before the time limit.
I believe he could have been an hour or two faster without me.
I finished about 18 minutes after the time limit.
The heat was brutal.  But worse was a poorly functioning front derailleur.

On the Friday test ride, everything was smooth as butta'.
On Saturday, by the time I reached Moores Mill Rd and the "Flat Wall" up to Mt. Tirzah, I could NOT get into the 30T chain ring.  I had to grind my way up in the 39. 

I tried to make a barrel adjustment on the fly.
The barrel felt as if someone had used some lock-tight on it.
I meant to use pliers if necessary when stopped at a control.
Never remembered the derailleur while at a control.
Water, food, and getting cool inside some of the controls seemed vastly more important.

Between us, Bob and I purchased more than 4 gallons of water.
I had four V-8's.  Bob had two.
We each had two Pepsis / Cokes during the course of the day.
For recreation and morale purposes more than hydration.

I do not climb well, but I do not shy away from climbs.  I always say I do the last hill just as fast as I do the first hill.  That wasn't quite true today.  The climbs on Kemp / Victory Ch Rd added insult to the injuries inflicted by the "main climbs" of the course. The climbs on Boxelder and Ray roads added indignanty and worse. 

By late in the ride, the chain was going into the 30T relatively on demand; I started to count on it going into the 30T like it is supposed to.  But no.  On Kemp, between Southview and Coley, instead of shifting to the 30T, the chain was thrown between the 30 and the frame -- and got stuck there.  I had to flip the bike over (I didn't have the strength to bend over all the way to fiddle with the chain if I hadn't flipped the bike), unstick the chain, and THEN use the "chain guide" trick to get the chain back on the rings.  Two minutes lost that I didn't have available to fritter away.  Actually, I knew before I turned onto Kemp that I could not achieve the required minimum avg pace to finish on time.  A much different dynamic than at Sauartown where the finish terrain was helping as I approached the end.

On Boxelder, at least the chain went to the 30.  But I was demoralized.  I walked the steep part of that annoying road.  Onto Ray Rd, and the chain refused to acknowledge that the 30T was available.  Grinding up climbs that wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't already ridden 200k of very hill, hill, hill terrain on a brutally hot day.  Grinding with noodles where one usually has legs.

Good news of the day:  no cramps, no attempted cramps all day. 

Best part of the day:  ice cream at Ben and Jerry's with Bob after the ride.
Last week, Maria opined that Byron's L-L-L is much tougher than the Sauartown Perm.
I heartily agree.

I am swearing off the hilly Permanents until this ridiculous heat wave breaks.  I am swearing off any brevets or permanents (except for Alan's Aug-14 Brevet) until this ridiculous heat wave breaks. 

30-milers, 40-milers, 50-milers, or 0-milers will be just fine, thank-you-very-much.

Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 200 km Permanent; 129.0 m.; 9 hrs, 33 min in-motion time; 13.5 mph; "rando time" 13hh48mm -- yep, DNF, again. 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 12 rides; __721.5 m.; _48 hrs, 27 min; 14.9 mph.
YTD tot: 59 rides; 3,923.0 m.; 260 hrs, 33 min; 15.1 mph. 


  1. Martin,
    I don't know if I would have attempted that scorcher L-L-L on my own. Thanks for your company and sharing in the suffering. I still think bringing that washcloth was the best move I made. Pouring water over it and then soaking my face made a big difference at every control. Sorry about your chainring/shifting issues and hopefully you will get them worked out. It often takes some repeated tweaking to get the front der. to work right all the time.

    ... Bob

  2. DNF my @$$. If you rode 200k in that heat you should get credit no matter how long it took.


  3. @ Smitty -

    thanks for your unqualified support, but the "sport" is "ride a distance within a set time limit".

    I didn't finish within the time limit. I know some places where too many minutes were frittered away. For example, we spent too much time enjoying drinking ice-chilled water at Hurdle Mills on the way out.

    Other stops, I needed every minute.

    But a properly functioning front derailleur would have helped most. I should have taken a few moments at a control to try to improve its usefulness.