Archive for the ‘Randonneuring’ Category

A new Randonneuring group

18 October 2012

As I am going to resurrect this blog I thought it worthy of note to say that I am now the RBA (regional brevet administrator) for Long Island Randonneurs. Yes, this is a new group that we (ok, just me to date) have formed. Rusa (Randonneurs USA) have allowed us to hold two events next year so we shall be running a 200k in April and 300k in June. I am really excited by this and am busy creating the website. When I publish it, I shall post a link of course.

I’ll write separate postings on the two rides we are going to be holding.

W00t! W00t!

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!

Princeton 300k – a reflection

18 May 2011

As you may have read, the preparation for this ride had not been great. I ended up with poison ivy rashes on my face and neck which meant I couldn’t put on my helmet without it generating pain. I was so miserable I didn’t even want to get on to the indoor bike. Anywhere else, it would have been fine but this was the first time I have had it on my noggin. However, I have been doing CTS training which resulted in me feeling stronger throughout this ride.

We were able to do the bike inspection the evening before the ride. I don’t know how many riders did this but I got up 15 minutes later than what I normally would have done. Not that it really made any difference in that respect, I never sleep well before the ride. I am always afraid I won’t hear the alarm. The start was taking place from the parking lot outside the Westin at 4am. There was promise of some rain so I wore my rain jacket. I thought rain pants would have been over the top and I was happy enough with just the bib.

Once we were off, we were soon split into two leading groups. Normally I would have raced to reach the leading group but this time I was content to stay with the second group. The first section of the route was not hilly so we were able to make some good ground. After some miles, as we turned a corner, we could see the tail lights of the leading group. Soon, we had caught up with them and we now one big group again. This was a surprise.

For the first controle, it was at some diners/deli. We had made good time and I was not particularly hungry. I had a delicious juice drink though and did visit the boys’ room. When I came out, a fair number of people seemed to have left. Rick and Dawn were just getting ready to leave so I jumped on my bike and joined their group. It was not long after that we started climbing. We had a wonderful fast descent to Califon but at the bottom Rick announced that we would have to climb the same road back up later in the day. Ugh!!

We soon started climbing and to my surpriseI left Rick and Dawn behind. They had kindly waited to escorted me back on last year’s 400k so I knew they were quicker and I had naturally assumed they would have been quicker up the hills. As it was, I stayed ahead and would next see them at the manned controle in Blairstown.

Quite often we come across many dead animals on the road. Deers I have seen aplenty but this was the first time I had seen a dead horse. I was passing by an equestrian and saw a horse lying on the ground. Then I noticed the three other horses, one in the same paddock and two in an adjacent paddock. They were all facing the horse on the ground and keeping perfectly still. It was sad and it was moving the way the horses seemed to be standing there out of respect for their fellow horse.

The next dead thing I saw on the road was not so moving, a vulture was tucking into a rabbit. I was quite surprised at the way it was standing on the road, unmoved by cars. However, it did fly off once we approached.

By this time, I was kind of cycling with two other riders. They would race ahead of me on the hills, both having gears much lower than mine and I would catch up again on the descents. The first serious climb was Ryan Road. It took me totally by surprise and my legs nearly stalled. I muscled my way up in the lowest gear and was pleased it eased off a little. That was the steepest climb though for sure not the longest. We shortly came to our first information controle. This was the most northerly part of the ride but for sure not the half way point. At least we would be getting closer to the finish geographically, if not in actuality.

Blairstown brought breakfast/lunch. I was hoping for an egg salad sandwich but they had none and I opted for a tuna wrap instead. Another fruit juice and as I was eating this, the main pack seemed to arrive. The cafe filled up quickly so it was time to head off. The next big climb was Jenny Jump State Park. We had a secret controle there and Jud gave a description of the remaining big climbs. After another information controles, there would be a long climb (six miles) to Schooleys Mountain. It wasn’t too bad and by now I was blocking out the thought of climbing and just climbing. After that climb, there was only one big climb of the day left, the one we had flew down earlier in the day. Another secret controle before the flat section to Califon and then up the hill and on to the last stop for the day.

Hacklebarney State Park brought a delicious spread of food. I got there in 10th position. Mac and Cheese and sandwiches!! Also a can of V8 went down very well. Soon, the masses arrived. I left the State Park before them but I was expecting to be overtaken as we were now approaching the flat section and groups always go faster than soloists. However, I did push myself for this section. I would not allow myself to slacken off and where normally I would have been okay with meandering along at 12 mph, I pushed to a higher gear and forced myself to keep the pace above 15mph when on the flat. There were many sections where I was over 20mph and that kept the average up for this part.

The heavens did open during the last section. I had been carrying the rain jacket around in my small backpack. It was actually jammed in there and I didn’t want to get it out for a small shower. The rain was actually quite refreshing and I did not feel cold. I was glad I had opted to put on the rear fender. I briefly caught up with Bob Torres at a red light though he was soon off on one of the few small climbs we had. This time I did not catch up with him again. A couple of miles out from the finish, I phoned Alma to say I was nearly “home”. I fully expected to be passed at this point but I would rather have had Alma at the finish than to have secured tenth place and her not being there. As it was, I did not get passed. Alma was there at the finish and I finished in tenth place. My highest position for the year.

All in all, it was not a bad ride and I was quite pleased with my performance especially considering the crappy training I have done this year. Next up is the 400k. I did a fast time last year so will be pleased to come near that again.

Princeton 200k v2.011

25 April 2011

This is one of the NJ brevets I did not do last year. I had done the Frenchtown Practice ride and the Princeton 115k which together equate to the Princeton 200k but I had not done them both together. I had not thought Adamic Hill was daunting though I did only have ten miles on my legs. This time around I was going to be having an extra 37 on them plus I had another 76 miles to go.

I had been looking at the weather all week for this ride. Mainly because of the temperature, not the actual conditions. I knew it was going to rain at some point during the ride, I just hadn’t expected it to be pelting down at the beginning. I signed in and got inspected only to realise that I didn’t have my ankle reflectors – I had left them in the room. I phoned Alma and she quickly found them and brought them down to me a minute before we started riding. She’s my heroine!! Anyway, we had just started off when the heavens opened and we pedalled away through deluge after deluge. I quickly abandoned my sunglasses as they became more hindrance than of use.

The field was split early on and as I settled in behind the second major group, they began pulling away from me. I seem to have lost the ability to stay with the leaders this year. Last year I remember riding the express train the first 62 miles on the 400k. I doubt I’ll be doing that again this year. However, I was soon to catch up as they missed a left turn, thinking it was going to be the lights further down the hill. It’s bad missing a turn but when you miss it going down the hill fast, double bad luck!! Anyway, I was not to be with the group for much longer as they pulled away again.

For the last three brevets I have ridden, the majority of the ride has been ridden solo. The 400 and 600 I didn’t do solo but the 200 and 300 last year I did. It is difficult trying to judge the ideal person to ride around with. I guess I need to push myself harder so I can stay with the leaders for longer. (Back to CTS training in the morning!)

I passed through the only wooden covered bridge in New Jersey, apparently, and with a sharp right turn after that, I remember on the 115k last year, that was around the place where I noticed one of the water bottle cages rattling like crazy. I had stayed with the group on the occasion to that point. This year I was by myself. There were three worrying parts before I got to Frenchtown – all made bad by the wetness of the roads. The first metal bridge I crossed over, my heart missed a couple of beats as I felt the back wheel wobble and slide. I stayed upright however. The other two bits were steep downhills. One had a bad surface with lots of potholes and the third crossed on to the main road into Frenchtown. That time I had both sets of brakes on to make sure I didn’t go rushing into traffic on either side of the road. Brakes applied on downhills is never nice to do but picking yourself up from a spill is even worse.

Some lovely chicken soup was waiting at Frenchtown and of course, Janice’s brownies, which had been missed sorely on the Cranbury 200k. The fact that I am on a low carb diet and no cereals goes out of the window on these long bike rides. I changed batteries in the GoPro and it wasn’t long before I was heading off again for Adamic Hill.

Just as I neared Adamic Hill, I started up the camera to take photos every two seconds. Chris Nadovich nipped by me as I was preparing the camera but I caught him up on Adamic and I followed him up. The computer, which I have set up to Auto Stop and Auto Resume on 3mph, mainly because of the red lights, thought I had stopped riding quite a number of times. I also noticed that it did that on the last section when the Cat’s Eye was reporting me at riding a while 2 mph faster than what the Garmin thought. Now I don’t think I was so slow going up Adamic!! 😛 The only good thing about Adamic is that you do eventually come to the top. It doesn’t go on forever. After answering the debatable question about the windmill, well, the answer is debatable, not the question, Chris set off again and I soon followed. It wasn’t long before we were in Asbury munching on lunch. The best sandwich I have had this year!! A toasted egg salad sandwich. Delicious!

After the break, I leave the deli to be immediately faced by a climb. A few more climbs leaves you on a nice decent which has to be stopped due to a left turn. This is the section that I am worried about as there is another informational control which I definitely did not want to miss. I was following Roy’s electronic route, not blindly, but I was following it. I wasn’t too sure if the control would be on there so I was using the paper cue sheet in conjunction. Anyway, as soon as I turned left, a secret control!! Karl has stopped Chris and also stopped me too. My brevet card was quickly signed and then I was off again to the tune of cowbells being played. Way to go, Karl!

Looking at the ride I did, this section was mainly downhill. I am not sure why my speed didn’t reflect that. It definitely did not feel like mostly downhill. It did feel like there was air resistance but I couldn’t see any flags moving in the wind. I didn’t notice passing where I had turned off in the morning to climb Adamic so I was pleased to discover I was on the Frenchtown approach as I followed the Delaware river down. The control looked sparse when I arrived with only Chris and the two “Tandonneurs”. I think it was Barbara and Ron. Two more riders had turned up before I departed. I couldn’t remember the last section being that hilly but my memory is not too reliable when it comes to remembering how difficult the roads can be. I did have a vague collection of a climb in the woods.

There’s a slog up from Frenchtown and I stayed up high until I hit the fastest descent of the day. I clocked 42.3mph, I think, and this time I am going with Garmin’s estimation. 😛 Then there came the long, long climb in the woods. This does seem to go on forever and in reality, it does. I am surprised I am sitting here writing this as in reality I am still riding up that road in the woods. What follows is a long, long descent which also went on forever but that is one forever I didn’t mind. It was almost as delicious as the egg salad sandwich!

The last ten miles finishes nicely with barely a climb. Just a quick short burst with two miles to go where I stopped to phone Alma that I should be done in less than ten minutes if she wanted to see me finish. Oh that reminds me, the sun came out at 5:17pm. I didn’t even bother reaching for my sunglasses. I also sat down at one point to remove my leggings. It wasn’t until I saw a truck bearing down on me did I realise how idiotic it was to sit on the corner of the road to remove them. My defense was the grass was wet and the road was dry.

So I finished the ride 40 minutes behind the flat Cranbury time. I am happy with that but there is room for improvement. This has to be one of the prettiest brevets to do in NJ. Next up is the Princeton 300k in three weeks time. A new brevet for me with four long hard slogs!! Bring it on!

Cranbury 200k v2.011

6 April 2011

I guess it could have been a lot worse. It could have been 201km!! (Actually, it was over, as I mapped wrongly on the GPS and despite a warning from behind I was on the wrong road, I continued on.)

The good news was that it wasn’t freezing or raining. I think that is the extent of the good news. Oh, the fact that I finished inside the timeframe is also good news. This ride came three weeks earlier than last year and I could tell. My fitness levels are not as high as they were last year and I am carrying a couple of extra pounds still. That needs to go soon as I don’t want to be lugging up the equivalent of dive weights up and down hills.

Alma gave me a lift to the start. A much better starting place than last year, where we had some old Cranbury inhabitant complaining of the lack of parking spaces at 6:45 on a Sunday morning in the pouring rain. When we got to the Village Park, it was filled with randonneurs. I passed the bike inspection with ease though I was without the dynamo light. Not that I planned on using a light but was pleased I had enough charge in the NiteRider light to get by.

Seven o’clock came and we got the nod from Laurent to clear off. We slowly made our way out of the park and along the first quiet street. As soon as the right-hand corner was being rounded, I saw the leading riders suddenly start sprinting. A traffic light at the end of the next street grouped everyone together and then it turned green and people began pedalling. The lead rider was already out on his own – not sure who it was until we see the official timings. The peloton split in two and I was stuck in the second group. I rounded a few riders and pedalled to bridge the gap. A couple of other riders sat on my tail as I closed the gap. I haven’t done any speed work at all this year and it was beginning to show. After 4.88 miles, I was dropped from the leading group – they disappeared into the distance and due to lights, there was no-one visible behind me. I was waiting for the second group to claw me back.

Two riders appeared up front and before I knew it, I was on their tails and taking a much needed breather. I followed for a few miles and we were joined by a small group of about six riders. I missed a left turn and the original two riders followed me but the other group turned. We made a U-turn and followed the group through the housing estate. At some point, I think I dropped the other two riders as I tried in vain to stay in touch with the group. I was officially dumped at a light where I missed the green and didn’t go through the red. We were not far from the first check-in and I saw them briefly as we neared the coast for the first time. Then before I knew it, Burger King. Grok disappeared and I order an egg and sausage croissantwich!

A brief visit to the bathroom, eating sandwich and I was off. I made a left turn and couldn’t get my cleat into the pedal. I thought it was loose – thinking back to the other week where I had to leave my boot on the bike. As I was checking it out, another group sailed me by. I grabbed on to their tails and followed them. We did our only climb of the ride as we approached the eastern coast line and as we made to cross the first metal bridge I got a puncture. I had to walk the bike over the bridge as I didn’t want to fix the puncture on the bridge. A few riders passed me by just after I changed tubes. It took me 20 minutes from the moment I noticed I had a puncture to getting back on the bike.

Travelling down the coast was aided slightly with a westerly wind though it was often blowing across rather than behind. The second check-in came, the Hess station. I filled up with water, grabbed something to eat, chatted a while and set off. Five more miles of travelling south then had me going into the wind. Most of the roads from now on would be travelling either north or west. It made a big difference. At times I was reduced to 10mph along the flat. I think I worked it out that if a person pedalled for the 90 hours of the PBP continuously, they would need to average 8.285 mph to finish within 90 hours. So at least I was going faster than that.

It was on this section that I made an error in the navigation. I am sure I must have done the same thing wrong last year as the roads did not look like the map and I was confused for a little while. This year, I didn’t stop to think about it until a mile and a half later down the road someone shouted behind me ‘Wrong road!” I turned to look, held out my hand and continued pedalling. I was dependent upon my GPS and trusted it would get me to the next check-in point. Funnily enough, I was chatting to the guy later on in the ride. He had turned around and gone back. As I came upon a right turn, there was the guy, standing by his bike checking his cue sheet. So not only had he turned around and gone back, he had gotten ahead of me. How many more miles had I added to the route? When I got to Wawa, I saw a few riders whom I had left at the Hess station and I know that I hadn’t been passed on that segment.

The last segment went by. I was computer watching and liked seeing the mileage creep up. Once I hit the 100 mile marker, the hundredths of a mile disappeared and the digits would only increment on the tenth of a mile rather than the hundredth. It seemed an eternity for the digits to change. But, a philosophy I have adopted with these long rides is that this time tomorrow, the ride will be over and I’ll be blogging about it. Time always moves forwards the mileage left always decreases.

At three miles left, I pulled over and turned on the camera. The first battery only lasted 3.75 hours and I had it taking a photo every one minute. I changed the frequency to every 5 seconds I think. I was passed by the same guy who had shouted at me all those miles ago. I followed him into the Village Park and saw huddled up in the car as I went by. It had taken me 90 minutes longer this year.

It was windier for sure, it was also earlier in April and this winter has seen tough conditions outside and I have not trained as much. However, I have no excuses as I can easily cycle indoors and I have not been doing that. The next 200k is in two and a half weeks and it is a hilly one. I shall be cycling most days between then and now.

Englewood 300k ride report

10 September 2010

This is to be my last big ride of the year, supposedly.  And with the completion of it, I earn the achievement of having done a Super Randonneur series in 2010.  This was to be a hilly ride and there is not much scope for hill training on Long Island so I was interested in seeing how I would cope.

Bridge before the climb to Guymard Lake

Water. The ride started at 4am and I made sure I had my water bottle and camelbak.  With the frame bag, I can no longer use the rear water bottle holder as demonstrated on the 600k when a water bottle came flying out after hitting the first pot hole in the dark.  My regular camelbak as used on the 400k was too heavy and I got back ache from that.  So this time, I was using Alma’s smaller pack.  I also learned on the 600k that having both the water bottle and the camelbak filled with sweetened drinks was too much; I was going to keep pure water in the water bottle.  It was nice having fresh water available.

Lights.  I have three rear lights.  I was inspired by others on the 600k and I like the fact that I can be seen from the next county.  On the 600k, I had a solitary light and that was coming to the end of battery life on the first section.  Fortunately the 7-11, or Wawa, whatever it was, had triple-A batteries and that Leroy, the NJ RBA, could get my rear light working again.  I would only be cycling for a couple of hours before dawn on the 300k and I was hoping to be back before night fell so there wouldn’t be much need for the lights but it is always best to be prepared.

GPS/Cue Sheet. As always, I mainly rely on the Garmin for the route, especially at night.  When setting up the route on MapMyRide, I always make sure that the controles are actually visible using Google’s streetview.  That way I know that I am definitely in the right place.  The last map I created from home had the route finishing as soon as I left the driveway so I was hoping that the 300k route would be issue free.  As it was, there was no problem with the route though I was questioning the detour 6 miles from the end.  The detour turned out to be part of the route.  During the daylight hours, I tend to read the cue sheet to see where the next turn is.  This time around, I forgot the helmet light so was doubly pleased there was no issue with the GPS.

Fellow riders. I think there were about 20 riders starting the 300k.  Two riders made it through the first set of lights before they turned red so we were split in Englewood.  Some of the early hills split the pack too and very soon, there were about ten riders in the second group.  I grazed a serious pot hole and was thankful my front wheel didn’t slam down on it.  There had been no shout from the front riders.  Five miles from the first control, I got separated from the group as my standard road gears took there toll and I had to grind out the climbs in the lowest gear that didn’t allow me to spin much.  For pretty much the rest of the ride, I was riding solo though I did keep switching positions with a few other riders as I caught them on the hills and they moved away from me on the flats.

Hills. I found them tough.  I know that next year I will be riding tougher hills so I need to get some training in somehow over winter.  The dreaded three mile climb up to Guymard Lake was not as bad as I was expecting; I think climbing the bridge over the railway line was the toughest part of it.  The climb through Harriman State Park felt longer and it was with great satisfaction that I reached the descent from that.  The gravelly road with only car tracks as the clear places kept me alert as I whizzed down at speeds over 35mph.  By the end of the ride, I was thinking of forming a More Tunnels movement on FaceBook so there is little need of hill training.  I definitely need to do something with my gears before next year.

Entering Harriman State Park

Gear.  My gear stood up.  It was dry so I did not have the problem of what happens when the cache battery gets wet.  I really need to address the possible issue of the frame bag getting wet.  Cables coming into the bag from the outside will bring water into the bag.  During the night, the GPS runs off the cache battery and when that runs out of juice, the GPS has its own internal battery which I know lasts about 12 to 13 hours.  During the day, the cache battery gets charged and the the GPS unit gets charged as a result.  It is a good system and stops the front light from flashing when both systems are demanding power from the hub.  The only problem will be rain.  I also need to get a longer stem to allow the light to shine more horizontally rather than the acute angle which it currently faces.  The longer stem will allow the GPS and light to sit one in front of the other without touching.  Water carrying needs to be addressed also.  We had two 50 mile sections and I ran out of liquid for the second one.  I stopped at a deli on the first one to replenish liquids.  If it had been hotter, then I would have ran out of liquid earlier.  So either a bigger camelbak or find a way to carry more water bottles on the bike itself.

The ride. It was a very picturesque ride.  Unlike the flatter NJ rides which took us to the southern part of the state, this ride kept us north and into NY.  No part felt desolate as the 400k and 600k had felt at times.

The first section done mainly in the dark and after 33 miles or so, I started feeling the effects of the hills.  At the first rest stop, Laurent said the second section was the toughest and the climb on the third section was the worst of the ride.  He was right.  The second section was up and down most the way and the climbs were the steepest.  However, the finish of the second was a long descent which made all the climbing all worthwhile.  After the climb to Guymard Lake, the remainder of that section was recovery until just before the rest stop when there was another climb.

The fourth section took me by surprise as I was not expecting another 50 mile stint.  I knew there was a information controle but hadn’t looked to see the mileage to the last rest stop.  The good news about that was that there was only 22 miles remaining after the rest stop.  Harriman State Park was longer than I expected; have I written that already?  I was half expecting to see a bear but none materialized.  I did see two deer on separate occasions.  I saw a Dunkin’ Donuts on the way down from Harriman SP but as I was flying by it at some speed, I forgot to stop to replenish drinks.  By the time I had worked it out, I had already gone some distance and hoped I would pass another place to buy liquid.  I didn’t but thankfully made it to the rest stop with one mouthful of water left in the water bottle.  I didn’t want to totally finish it.

It was dark by the time I started the final section.  I left at 8 o’clock and had four hours to do 22 miles.  It was relatively flat in comparison to the rest of the ride and when I got on to 9W, it felt familiar as I had cycled there many times when training for the NYC century ride back in 2005.  I had not done it at night so that was different but it was a road I knew.  We came into civilization properly once we hit Nyack and then it was semi-surburban roads for the rest of the way.  A short detour four miles from Englewood had me cursing one final time as the detour involved climbing a couple of short inclines.  Then it was back in Englewood and finally back to the hotel.  I reached the hotel before 10pm – over two hours to spare.  I think that was the closest run of all the brevets.

A most enjoyable ride.  Tough but very much worth the while.  A great thanks to all the volunteers and to Leroy and Laurent.

Brevet Card:

Englewood 300k brevet card

NYC 300k – provisional route

27 July 2010

I downloaded the provisional route yesterday.  It is in Excel format so I will have to convert it to a map using my MMC (manual map converter).  I read a line and look for the street on a map and click at some point on that street and hope the map doesn’t make a short cut.  It ought to be quicker than the 600k route I did.  I’ll post as soon as finish it.

Cranbury 600k – the ride

29 June 2010

I don’t think we even skirted Cranbury never mind pedalling one stroke in that wee town.  The start of the Cranbury 600k was switched to the Days Inn in Hightstown mainly because they could accommodate such a sizeable group and the fact that when we began the Cranbury 200k, a local neighbour had complained so much about us taking their parking spaces on a Sunday morning.  So we began in Hightstown. (more…)

Hightstown 400k

5 June 2010

This was some ride!!

I got up at 3:15am and got dressed.  I looked outside and to my surprise it was pouring down.  Not a gentle drizzle but hard and heavy.  I had not planned to bring my rain jacket or fender but Alma said I may as well throw them in the car.  Fortunately, this is what I did.  I left the room and quietly made my way to the front of the hotel.  There was a gathering of cyclists and I found an empty space in which I left my bike as I registered on to the ride.  After picking up my brevet card, I got my bike checked and brevet card stamped. (more…)

Cranbury 200k – the report (part 1)

28 April 2010

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

(more…)