Cranbury 200k – the report (part 1)

I was up before my alarm as I had to cycle 7 miles just to get to the starting point; the brevet was starting at 7am.  It was pouring heavily when I got up and as I walked out to get the bike from the car, it was just as bad.  I was soaked before I even started the brevet.  I did see the first goslings of the year at 6:45 and one of the parent geese hissed at me.

Cranbury pre ride huddle

Huddling together out of the rain

When I got to Cranbury, there were about fifteen cyclists huddling out of the rain.  I checked in and saw a neighbour complaining about everyone’s cars being parked on the road and taking up parking spaces.  I am pretty sure that any resident that wanted a parking space would probably already have it occupied before 7am on a Sunday!  As such, he shortly disappeared.

We were hanging around waiting for the seven o’clock start with Laurent giving a countdown.  Suddenly, it was 7AM and I realised that riders had already set off.  I climbed on to the bike and started pedalling.  I saw a leading group in the distance and increased the speed, trying to catch up with them.  I went by a few other riders in my chase though I didn’t accelerate crazily as I needed to pace myself.  Four miles into the ride, I finally caught up with the group and this was because they all seemed to be taking a right turn whereby my GPS said take left.  I let them know it was left.  If I had known what I did at the end as to the accuracy of the GPS I may not have been so vocal.  As it was, it was the correct move.

So now I found myself with the leading group of four riders and got talking to Justin.  He was a time trialist and soon we found ourselves out in front with the other three behind.  Eleven miles into the ride, Justin had a problem with his cue sheet and it crashed to the ground.  He said he would catch me up.  Three miles later he did and it was as if he had come out of nowhere.  I had previously looked around at a long straight stretch and he was nowhere to be seen.  The next thing I know he was on my shoulder.

The rain was driving hard during the early morning and the half fender on the back wheel made a big, big difference.  My bottom stayed dry which was a first in the rain.  It was a very good purchase and despite all the rattling from the uneven streets, the fender stayed in place.  Highly recommended.  I didn’t put the front fender on the front wheel so not sure how much of a difference that would have taken.

We travelled together into town and again he dropped behind to change the sheet of his cue sheet.  I was totally relying on my GPS at this point and was not even trying to read the cue sheet though I did have a cue sheet holder on the handlebar.  Soon Justin caught up with me again and we made our way to BK more or less together but he did pull away only to get stopped by the red light across the street from BK, the first check point after the start.

Janice at Burger King

Janice at Burger King waiting for wet riders to appear

Janice was there and she checked us both in – 1hr 49 minutes into the ride for 28 miles.  I stayed to get a breakfast sandwich but Justin set off on the next leg.  When I came out of the bathroom, the other three had arrived.  I ate my sandwich and said I would see them at the next checkpoint.


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