Sunday, November 08, 2009

flanderian fantasy?

talk about dedication. or insanity? with gawdawful weather looming for the whole day, most rides in the area were cancelled....most....

since it was the first day of the month, another check mark could go down for the elusive R-12. 5 brave souls showed up to to ride the beautiful (should have been) kerr lake loop.
the bravest was Bryan making his first attempt at a 200k, on a rough day, smiling about his decision here at the start. mike preps his fix
ie, and byron readies for the inevitable..

i was loaded with optimistic illusions of this "shower" ending and having a fair weather day. NOT.. at the first control 25miles in Mike was there and ready to go when we arrived. a quick signing of the cards and a coffee drink and off we went. and off the "iron fixie twins" went! branson and mike were both on fixies and moving well. by 30 miles out they were gone not to be seen again. we forged ahead at a comfy pace and soon were nearing the lake. this is what stuff was looking like out there: wet and messy..

this was the 5th 200K on the serotta this year, it's a wonderful day-bike. I gotta get some clip on fenders! I've never gunked-up a road bike this bad..the roads were covered with leaves and clay and worms too! really toxic conditions, and the fender'd boys were hurtin' too, just not on their backs like me.. here's the obligatory dam shot:by now we're more in heavy mist, and by 70 miles or so it stopped raining on us. fear not tho, we'd stay wet all day. all the gear was soaked and it was too cold and damp to dry out. naturally, everyone out here was swathed in wool. sox, jerseys, and base layers were nothing but the fluffy sheep by-product. it worked like a charm. we tried bags in the shoes at the start and they were fine 'til full of water. so long baggies. this day really tested all the equipment. my favorite bag set-up: acorns front and back. the front had standing water in it. the rear was pummelled with spray all day. my canon was in a ziplock and still got wet! onward. skipwith, boydton, over the lake at clarksville, subway! a sitdown was in order so we enjoyed sandwiches and a seat.
a few miles down the road and we were in stovall lubing the chains while Bryan aquired pain relief for his knees. long, cold days are tough on the joints as any rider will admit.

after riding many,many rides 200K's (or less) off the back I have a strong connection with anyone suffering out on the road. we kept an eye on bryan to make sure he survived and finished this epic day. we made it to the oxford control and got the lights in order. i had pulled the batteries on a blinky that tried to run all day. byron had one not coming on so we traded. mine was working now and we were all lit. back-ups are good. with 10 to go a familiar voice called out from the roadside: Mikey! he said our lighting was quite good. side-bar: I can attest to byron's write-up on the little flashlight on the helmet: amazing! get one and blink the hell out of people on your commutes and find signs on brevets. make a great high beam for fast descents too...

after a couple dips in the road and the "grinder by the dogs" we were smellin' the barn.
arrival at the firehouse was 6:46. 10.5 hrs after departure. not bad for insane conditions. I had suprisingly good legs all day and had plenty left at the end. only problem was not hydrating enough. common error in the cold and rain. took a day or two to get it back..

mike, branson, byron, and myself all tip our cycling caps to bryan tho...
incredible first brevet! hopefully we didn't scar him permanently and he'll join us again soon, or next spring..really dude. it was fun in strange sort of way wasn't it??