Posts Tagged ‘brevets’

My first year in WA

30 January 2015

I was stoked about joining Seattle International Randonneurs. Theirs was the biggest group I noticed at PBP in 2011, the reason why I got into this pastime. So I was very much up for the challenge, careering up and down hills, sweeping through vine covered valleys and the like. However, life did not turn out like that.Portland

I did my first 100k in March, I think it was. I turned up really early for this event. I was not used to driving to an event on the day of. Normally I had spent the night in New Jersey before, and sometimes afterwards, an event. Of course, the two Long Island brevets I set up were different.

The 200k and 300k were hilly affairs, in comparison to the normal NJ brevets. I believe the 200k had Lord Hill upon which I was ready to get off and push the bike. I had stopped and was in the process of dismounting when I looked behind me and saw Narayan and Keith zigzagging back and forth across the road. Ah ha, I thought and got back on the bike and did likewise. That was the toughest climb and I heard that some people did it twice as they missed the left turn after the turnaround, didn’t they Jason?!!

The 300k was a tough ride. I was tired of climbing and in particular, I was tired of Camano Island. It felt like I was on the forever. We had to cycle over a bridge to get onto the island and I knew we had to cycle over the same bridge to get off. And did that bridge ever come around again? Oh, sure it did, but only after 3 hours cycling time. I rode to the finish with Jason having caught up with him at one of the stops. However, the 300k prepared me for the 400k when finishing as I recognized the approach to the end coming into Woodinville, I knew how far to climb exactly!

I completed my first ever permanent, albeit only a 100k. It was a nice little ride from Redmond to Issaquah to Seattle and back to Redmond. I will be making use of this ride.

I signed up for a fleche, starting at Portland, OR and made our way to Olympia, WA. Apparently this was a wet event, we spent some time in a pub at crazy o’clock, and curled up on the floor in a bathroom of some park. I do remember taking off my rain jacket, or is my memory playing tricks. Anyway, what I do remember is that I felt strong for this event.

After the fleche came the 400k. The route was changed from the original one as that had us going through Oso which was still suffering from the landslide that happened earlier in the year. I wasn’t complaining about the change of route as it was relatively flat. It did, and this was the cool part, go all the way to the Canadian border. I could have easily stepped into Canada, without my passport or visa! I was taking selfies when a border patrol came along just to see what was doing. Like I had ridden all the way to Canada and was going to turn around straight away? Yeah, right! So that is the closest I have been to Canada, beat my trip to Niagara Falls by a river’s width.

Alas, the 400k was the final brevet of the year for me. I did not complete a series which was the first time since I started randonneuring. The Spring 600k, which I had signed up for, saw me with a heavy cold. I was in two minds about not doing it and it turned out I made the right decision as I believe I would have DNFed. The summer 600k fell on the wrong weekend as it was Alma’s birthday and I would rather spend the time with Alma than riding a bike. 😀

Intermittent riding: strange, strange year. I could have ridden thousands of miles due to not working but the Catholic guilt would have been dumped down as how could I justify being out riding when I ought to be looking for a job? So I probably rode the least number of miles in a year since 2009.

This year is going to be a challenge but see my next blog for more on that!


Washington State – a cyclist’s dream or nightmare?

13 February 2014

We moved to Washington State from New York.  I am preparing to complete my first ever Washington series of brevets but first I need to get fit.  After the damage I did to my hands on LEL, I have been off the bicycle for a long time, doing just a handful of rides since August.  I am overweight!  The hands feel good now so I shall begin my training on the bike path that runs alongside the Sammamish River.  However, I have a nice climb at the end of the ride as I have to get back to our house which is up Redmond Way!

I shall report on how my first ride goes.

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.

PBP official stats (hopefully endorsed)

4 September 2011

I have copied the stats from the PBP site which recorded these from my chip. I have added in Alma’s prediction so it is interesting to see how they compare. I was aiming for a 89-90 hour finish so I slackened off once I reached Mortagne the second time. The three Intermediate speeds that are less than 10km/h are just after a sleep stop so the hours spent sleeping are included in their calculation of how long it took to get to the next stop.

Contrôle Date/Time Alma’s Cumulative Intermediate
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES 21-08 20:00 0h00 0h00 0km/h 0h00 0.1km/h
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL 22-08 07:51 11h31 11h51 18.6km/h 11h51 18.6km/h
FOUGERES 22-08 13:04 16h28 17h04 18.2km/h 5h13 17.1km/h
TINTENIAC 22-08 16:02 19h46 20h02 18.2km/h 2h58 18.2km/h
LOUDEAC 22-08 21:34 24h34 25h34 17.6km/h 5h32 15.4km/h
CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 23-08 06:49 33h04 34h49 15.1km/h 9h15 8.2km/h
BREST 23-08 12:46 38h42 40h46 15.2km/h 5h57 15.6km/h
CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 23-08 18:17 43h57 46h17 15.2km/h 5h31 15.4km/h
LOUDEAC 23-08 23:14 48h36 51h14 15.3km/h 4h57 16km/h
TINTENIAC 24-08 08:20 58h23 60h20 14.4km/h 9h06 9.3km/h
FOUGERES 24-08 11:45 61h45 63h45 14.4km/h 3h25 15.8km/h
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL 24-08 16:44 67h20 68h44 14.7km/h 4h59 17.7km/h
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE 24-08 21:56 72h34 73h56 14.7km/h 5h12 15.6km/h
DREUX 25-08 08:10 82h02 84h10 13.8km/h 10h14 7.3km/h
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES 25-08 13:16 86h01 89h16 13.8km/h 5h06 12.7km/h
Kilomètres cycled: 1230

PBP 2011 Mystic Alma’s Predictions

15 August 2011

Alma has done a great spreadsheet and calculated the times I am expected to exit each controle. You can keep track to see how well she does! The green bars indicate projected sleep stops.

Controle Opening Closing Alma’s estimate
SAINT-QUENTIN Sun. 18h00 n/a Sun. 18h00
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE Sun. 22h27 Mon. 03h20 Mon. 01h55
VILLAINES- LA-JUHEL Mon. 00h59 Mon. 08h44 Mon. 06h31
FOUGERES Mon. 03h57 Mon. 14h40 Mon. 11h28
TINTENIAC Mon. 05h45 Mon. 18h38 Mon. 14h46
LOUDEAC Mon. 08h49 Tue. 01h08 Mon. 23h34
CARHAIX Mon. 11h32 Tue. 06h49 Tue. 04h04
BREST Mon. 15h08 Tue. 13h19 Tue. 09h42
CARHAIX Mon. 18h24 Tue. 19h51 Tue. 14h57
LOUDEAC Mon. 21h42 Wed. 01h56 Wed. 00h36
TINTENIAC Tue. 01h34 Wed. 08h47 Wed. 05h23
FOUGERES Tue. 04h01 Wed. 13h04 Wed. 08h45
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL Tue. 08h01 Wed. 20h12 Wed. 14h20
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE Tue. 12h00 Thu. 01h56 Thu. 00h34
DREUX Tue. 15h45 Thu. 07h12 Thu. 05h02
SAINT-QUENTIN Tue. 19h00 Thu. 12h00 Thu. 09h01

Princeton 200k Post scriptum

26 April 2011

I forgot to mention how all the electronics performed in the deluge. I had been concerned that the cache battery linked up to the dynamo hub may get waterlogged and any electronic gadget plugged into its USB port would subsequently get fried. As it turns out, the cache battery did not get waterlogged. Alma checked it after the ride and said it was slightly damp but not wet. That was good news. The bad news, in a way, was that I had forgotten to switch it on. Whilst it was being charged from the rotation of the front wheel, the bike computer was not being charged as I had not got it switched on. Fortunately for me, I had about an hour’s charge left on the computer when I finished. For the 300k, I definitely need to remember to switch it on once I turn the lights off after dawn.

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…)

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


Unofficial results are in

13 April 2010

The unofficial results are in from the ride on Saturday.  I was joint first finisher for the 115k.  I was surprised about that and it is the finishing within the time frame that is more important but I’ll take a joint first graciously.  It will probably be the last first finish I get. 🙂

Princeton 115km

11 April 2010

I got breakfast delivered to the room at 6am, quickly ate it and then out to get the bike ready. We were leaving at 7am and the bike was not ready to go.

On Friday, as I putting the bike into the car, I noticed that BOTH of the water bottle cages had snapped.  I have no idea how that had happened and to make it more mysterious, they had snapped on different sides.  So we had to make a detour to the bike shop on our way to New Jersey.  I got some spare gas cylinders as well just in case of another puncture. (more…)