Archive for April, 2012

Cranbury 200k – the 2012 version

30 April 2012

The Cranbury 200k is usually the flattest and the shortest of the NJ brevets. It is a test of measurement to see how well you have come out of hibernation. Two years ago, for my first full brevet, I did a pretty reasonable time. Last year, I had minor surgery in January and was off the bike some weeks, this year, I was off the bike some months since I started that diet back in October. It was going to be interesting to see how the diet affected the performance.

For this year, there was going to be some additional climbing. Nothing major but more than what is normally expected. Two weeks before the brevet, the temperature warmed up and I thought I was going to be cycling in shorts. As the even approached, the weather slipped back into coldness and the thought of dressing in shorts dissipated.

The 200k is just over 125 miles. My longest ride in 2012 was 20 miles. The distance didn’t scare me. The speed did. How slow was I going to be? Most of my training had been focused on the CTS sessions. Were they going to be of any benefit?

Everyone set off at a mild pace. Did some chitting and chatting at the beginning. Seeing people I hadn’t seen since France and others ever longer still since the brevets last year. Nigel was doing the brevet on a fixie so I was asking him questions about that. Am I interested in getting one? Maybe I can convert the Trek. One minute I was having a chat with Patrick and then next second, he’s disappeared from sight and he is on a wild goose chase trying to track down Katie and Jonathon on the tandem.

The first rest stop came and I grabbed a BK breakfast sandwich. Most people were not eating BK stuff so I dropped from the main pack as I finished off breakfast. I caught up with them at one of the lights. However, at mile 40, I started feeling the effects of little energy. When we started climbing up for the information controle, I dropped way off the back content to climb at my own pace. No rush.

The second rest stop was a new one for the course. One of the ocean bridges was closed for repairs so we had to come further inland. This meant there was no stretch of ocean views for miles and miles but it also saved us from the wind which normally accommodates that stretch. Climbing or wind? I know which I prefer. So I was pleased to reach the second rest stop. Not desperate by any measure.

At some point on the third segment, we joined up to the old course. There is a four mile stretch at the end where you can pass the other riders leaving the last controle on their way to the finish. I was expecting to see many riders as they headed for home. However, it was only Ren and his brother Robert I saw as I approached the third controle. I seemed to be doing fine though I was aware my speed wasn’t great. Janice had her brownies as a nice surprise at this checkpoint. I thought she had not baked any so was delighted to see them. When Dawn and Rick arrived at the controle, Dawn announced she was going to take two of them. They were quite popular. Thanks, Janice.

The last segment I felt worn down. There was only 31 miles for the last segment but it seemed to take an age. I was passed by a few people as I headed for home. I just didn’t have much energy to put up a decent pace. I kept counting down the miles and soon enough, as with all rides, the end is reached.

It had been a long drawn out ride for the first one of the season. I came to the conclusion that CTS was no substitute for miles and that doing 2 or 3 CTS sessions per week could not replace actual mileage on the roads. So I came back home with the intent of getting outside more on the bike and to see how I could incorporate the CTS sessions into the training week.

When I got back home, I was pleased to discover that I had beaten last year’s ride by 30 minutes. More climbing and less energy. However, I do remember last year being windy. Still, it was a quicker ride but way down on 2010. I have a feeling that 2013 will beat the 2010 time. We’ll see next year!

Neglecting to update the blog

29 April 2012

Seems as if I have been overly neglectful of the old blog here. I need to finish the postings about the first brevet of the year and the fleche ride I did with Team Sins of the Fleche.

I have signed up for the Eastern PA 600k as I cannot do the flat NJ 600k this year. That’ll be a 400k and a very hilly 600k on consecutive weekends. Look forward to that.

The Specialized bike is in for a service so will be training on the Trek this week. I am enjoying going back to the big circular rides around Lake Ronkonkoma. They add a bit of climbing though not much. I wonder if I can get a Port Jefferson ride done before work in the morning. I’ll see what my shortest route is with the climb from Port Jeff.

I have started doing spin classes on Sunday mornings. They are tough though very enjoyable. I paced myself better today knowing what was coming unlike last week whereby I reached the top gear very quickly and couldn’t move the pedals at one stage. The music is pretty good too.