Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Happy Jack or Bust!

I was rather anxious about this brevet. It was a long drive, and I was
stretching my budget to accommodate it. I had also only done 304 miles
this month
I drove out to camp Verde. We started at a dude ranch. I had to camp
out- Bringing my own tent. I got there about 4:30 set up my tent, went
back into town to get something to eat, listened to a
Paris-Brest-Paris presentation and went to bed. We started at 4:00 AM
, and I was going to wake up at 3:00.
My Cell Phone went off, and I got ready and had breakfast. The first ½
mile was on a dirt road. One of the other riders wiped out in front
of me. I noticed my bike was my making a strange noise. Turns out, my
front brake was rubbing. I really couldn't see well enough to fix it,
so I released it and pedaled on to a Convenience Store by I-17. A
mechanic who was doing support of the 600 K help me get going, but it
cost me about a half hour. The sun soon came out, and we pedaled into
Cottonwood and began climbing into Sedona. Out first checkpoint was
there, and I made it with 15 minutes to spare. I was on my again , and
I was riding with about two other rides, who were doing the 600K to
the Grand Canyon. We were riding on 89A through Oak Glen Canyon. Very
pretty ride, but we had fallen so far behind that we had deal with
"tourist trap" traffic. I almost became a hood ornament too many
times. We also wound doing about a mile of 11% grade up the
switchbacks. I was debating whether to turn around or press on. I had
spoken with Spokewench from Team Estrogen – she lives in Flagstaff –
about riding together from the second checkpoint. I had told her
10:30. I actually got there at 12:00. To make matters worse, the
cutoff time was 11:00. I had tried to call the RBA, but got voice
mail. I also got Spokewench's answering machine.
I could have doublebacked on 89A, but that was an experience I didn't
want to repeat. I also assumed I was already DNF (which turned out to
be wrong). I decided that if I cut out the descent into Pine, and
climb back out, I should be OK. I had a couple of Hot dogs, and bid
adieu to my new friends
I proceeded down Lake Mary Road . I saw lost of riders heading the
other way, Finally, I ran into a lady riding a pink and black Giant –
we both turned around. Spokewench had a friend with her and we rode
together for little while . Great fun to actually meet and chat with
someone face to face.
I made to the next checkpoint at Mormon Lake only 30 minutes late. I
had an ice cream bar (because I felt like it!) and a candy bar, and
pressed on. At this point I was begging to succumb to the "distance
riding is 90 % mental" rule. I was riding to just to get back, and not
to enjoy the ride. It was a very lonely road. I think it even beats
Homey's Vineyard Canyon
I made to the fourth checkpoint only 15 minutes late – I was
improving, but it was 5:30. all the customers thought I was nuts. I
had a brownie, and mixed up some more Perpetum. At the junction of 87
and 260, I made made my choice, back down to Camp Verde. I found that
actually being on the final leg helped me tremendously. That, and the
15 mile of 6% grade. Downhill I turned off the main road, and headed
back to the ranch. There was one section 15-20% grade that I walked –
I was pretty pooped at that point. Two riders from Utah caught me, and
we rode in together. Susan , The RBA, told me that coming into
checkpoints late was Ok. - so maybe I should have gone on. But, I had
a feeling the midnight deadline was ironclad, and I would have been
pushing to to do that – so I'm happy I did what I did. The other
riders and I chatted for a while before going to bed. I was also
surprised to see my buddies from the 600K. one of them had a Atrial
fibrillation. so they decided to DNF together.
I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and came
back to ranch pooch(mutt Dog) in my sleeping bag!
Sunday morning we went and fed the Buffalo, and I left to drive back to LA.
A great ride. Granted I did DNF, but that's part of the package called


Jim said...

NIce blog page. Just happened by it. A budding randoneur herein Utah, first 200k on May 19th or June 9th. Check my blog too.

Am in Arizona for a funeral; father in law passed away last Thursday. Might ride a 200k on May 19thm, being of the little red recumbent for two weeks! Aver done that? Just rode even though you had a long layoff?

Sounds like you truly enjoy your adventures.

Layton, UTah

Jana said...

I'm actaully planning doing the Byrce Canyoon 200K. Maybe I'll see you. at the start.
Layoff, If you read further, I broke my arm last year - I was off the bike for three month, but came with a month of training and got gold at the Tour De Tuscon.

Jim said...


I have signed up for the Bryce 200k Brevet. I will be easy to find; I will be the slowest of the group and more than likely the only recumbent. I enjoy your biblical references too. I am excited/nervous/starting to dwell qand lose sleep! Still 2 weeks to go! Look forward to meeting you and going on the adventure..Jim