Posts Tagged ‘Princeton 200k’

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.

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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!