Calendared 1200k Rando Ride
CLICK HERE for the results list. Click on the following map of the route to see it at RWGPS.
Early this morning around 1:30 AM I arrived home from my five-day trip to North Carolina to do a 1200k (750 mi) bike ride initially starting with 14 participants. By the end of the first day of riding we were down to 12. And since I was the third rider to complete the course, I left for home before all riders were accounted for. So there might have been one or two other DNFs? I completed the course in 81 hours and 56 or 57 minutes. Basically just shy of 82 hours. At the halfway point (600 km) the clock registered 35 hours exactly. And I took 3 hours of sleep on night one, 4 hours on night two, and something like 8 hours on night three. I had one spill in a controle parking lot, wore my butt raw, and injured my left achilles tendon. Both pinkies on my hands are still numb as I type this post. But I was very pleased with the event, my effort, and my result.
The course had some hills to climb, especially during the first day. And it got pretty hot during the afternoon on that day. Instead of pushing hard on day 1 to get off to a good rhythm I held back quite a bit and just plodded forward. I knew the first-finishers would not be departing before 4 AM the next morning. So I just got a little less sleep than they did, but I didn’t need as much recovery either. On Day 2 I was part of the 4-man first group to depart: me, Mark, Metin, and Alex. Actually, it was Mark, me, and Alex that departed as a threesome, and Metin caught us on his fixie at the first controle. Mark is from the Seattle area, and Metin is from San Francisco. Both Alex and I are from NJ. The four of us rode together for the entire day and got to the second sleepover controle before anyone else. At this point we had each ridden about 470 miles in two days of riding. The remaining two days would involve a flat 165-mile course, and a somewhat hilly 116-mile course. I was the first to leave the motel on Day 3 and tackle the 165 miles alone. I was never caught and obviously was first to arrive at the sleepover for night three. That’s the night I agreed to wait to ride with Alex the next morning at 4 AM. That’s why I got so much sleep that night. If I’d charged on with my normal 3 or 4 hours of sleep, then my time would have been in the mid-70 hour range. Not bad for a first time attempt.
On day three the really nice thing about the ride was the side-wind that also became a tailwind from time to time. We’d had to face headwinds on Day 2. So it was not a surprise that we were able to enjoy some tailwinds. But from past riding experience I rarely get to enjoy tailwinds. For some reason it seems to shift all the time and in the wrong direction. Not so on this ride!
The only tough heat during the ride was in the hills on Day 1. There could have been some hot days to follow, but there was cloud cover and/or actual rain to cool things off. Interestingly, we only had a real rain on Day 2 in the late afternoon. All the other rains were very light or misty. They might have made the roads look wet, but there was no spray coming up off the tires while we rode. All in all, this was a really fun event. I’m kind of sore right now, but I should recover somewhat quickly and be ready to ride a 200k event on the 21st, and a 1000k event on the 27th.
The organizer did a nice job with the food he offered. There was a delicious picnic on Thursday late afternoon when we signed-in for the ride. I had quite a bit of grilled pork on shiskabob sticks. I also had some rice and veggies. We were fed by the organizer at all three sleepovers during the event. The first night was OK, but nothing special from my perspective since I have to avoid foods with wheat, rye, and barley. I’m gluten sensitive. But I made due. On night two I was fed like a king. There were all kinds of options for me to choose from. I probably ate more than I should have. And on night three I was provided ample food to meet my needs. I was kind of sore from so much riding, so I wasn’t really all that hungry.
Alex and I shared rooms for the first and second sleepover nights. I ended up getting my own room on sleepover night three (nobody was assigned to bunk with me for some reason). I had wondered how the sleepovers would work out before entering the event. Worked out very well.