Several of us-Dave, Asher and Apertome from Bloomington- joined up for the first LBC 100K Populaire this past Saturday. It was my first experience at a brevet style ride, which usual begins at 200K. Populaires are intentionally designed to introduce folks to the process. We had to have our brevet card stamped at 3 different controls and once we finished we turned it in to Steve R., so I guess my name will show up at some point. Thoughts:
- It was the first club ride I've done in a long while. It's funny the dynamic, in that most riders in the club know each other well, so it feels...like a club.
- We had to make a very early pit stop so we started behind the group in general and stayed there the entire day.
- Asher had a crankarm mechanical on River Rd., putting us further behind the 8-ball.
- The opening and closing portions ran along River Rd. where there was also a triathlon taking place. With the extra activity and traffic, frankly, it was chaotic.
- The middle portion was quite lumpy, with Goshen Hill, 1694 Hill, the Old Zaring rollers and later the Sleepy Hollow climb. I thought is was a very fair course for 66 miles, although the traffic was a bit much. That said, I also felt strength in numbers riding with more riders in general.
- The first control was a "secret" one, with Steve R stamping cards at Goshen store. That was a nice spot b/c some folks needed water and a rest after the Goshen climb.
- Before the 2nd control we were on a 4m stretch of a very busy 146. I was in front a bit and then Michael took over and did a monster pull along 146, later to learn in a headwind uphill. No kidding. I'm glad I was sucking wheels.
- The 2nd control was out in Lagrange, the far point, at a cafe whose name escapes me. As stated, we arrived towards the back markers, but many of the riders were still eating lunch when we arrived. By the time we ate, most folks were long gone. I had a good tuna melt and 3 glasses of Dr.Pepper. Thirsty much?
- We returned along a similar path, during which we yo-yo'ed quite a bit to keep everyone roughly together. We ended up in a clump of 5, which included Ann(e). She was a game ride partner.
- The 3rd control, again well-placed after the long Sleepy Hollow climb, was at a gelato shop in Norton's Common. I enjoyed some of the *real* brevet stories there from a couple who did the 300K and 400K on their tandem. Sounded brutal. Fun? Maybe.
- Leaving the 3rd control we started to stretch out a bit with Michael, Ann(e) and me towards the front and Dave and Asher back a bit. Honestly, it was probably my fault as I felt really good on the bike and felt like pushing the pace forward when I could. Sorry for the impatience, Dave.
- Turning off of River Rd. Michael had a flat and during the change, both a tandem and Dave and Asher caught up. We arrived at the ride finish literally with minutes to spare before the official cut-off time.
- Brevet Lesson: Keep Moving. When you're not a fast rider (like myself), time is of the essence. If I were to do a 200K brevet I would have to minimize store stops and keep plugging away. That kind of riding probably agrees with my generally impatient character. Impatience doesn't do well, though, with group rides.
- 74 miles on the day with the commute to/from the ride start. It was my longest day since April, if I'm not mistaken. I felt great. At the end I felt like I could've tacked on another 25 for the century, but words are cheap.
It was a fun day, and a new experience. Our moving average ended up in the mid-14s. It was an honest effort during which we even rode some hard (18mph+) tempo on the flat portions. That is what was most surprising. Both Apertome and I felt like we didn't do a slow, easy tempo. We rode hard and felt it, but still finished just under the gun. Lesson? Shorten those stops (if you're on a brevet)!
|fuzzy Old Zaring Rd.|
|group along Old Zaring|
|Store stop in Lagrange. This is a picture after lunch. When we arrived there were *many* more bikes.|
|The IF performed very well on the day, and got some nice compliments too.|
|Asher and I playing pic tag at the start of Sleepy Hollow.|
|Dave back in action. Good to see! His write-up is here.|