7 riders left out of southwest Arlington at 7:00 am to ride the Peachy Keene 200k permanent. The three recumbent riders were Nelson, Greg, and me. Considering my present state of riding fitness, I expected this ride to be a struggle, and it was.
This route’s 4,500 feet of climbing doesn’t compare to the truly hilly 200k permanents, but it’s enough to let you know you’ve been climbing, and felt a lot hillier to me today.
Winds were light as we headed south to start the route, but before we reached the end of the southbound part of the route at mile 66, the south winds were howling, making the ride very tough for the last 20 miles or so of that southbound leg.
After fighting all that wind, we were treated to a climb up Orphan Hill, then the route gets considerably easier the rest of the way. Of course, I was pretty much toast by the time I crested Orphan Hill. I really had no issues other than fatigue, and that was to be expected, considering I rode 225 miles this week, after riding less than that the rest of February.
The lead riders dropped me quickly, but Greg and Nelson hung back with me the entire ride, and I really enjoyed myself, even while I was suffering. Greg had done a hillier 200k on Saturday and Nelson claimed to need an easy pace from being a bit out of shape like me, but whatever reason they rode my pace, I appreciate it and really enjoyed their company.
Like usual, traffic was very light on this route, but there seemed to be a disproportionate number of crazy drivers about, I’m guessing because of today’s full moon.
It was my first 200k on the 559 HED wheels I rebuilt. I was really pleased with how they performed, and they still run true after the ride. Running 559×25 Conti Grand Prix tires, they handled rough road well and were plenty fast on the downhills so, with 25mm wide tires at least, the aerodynamics is very good. I do feel a strong crosswind a bit more with these wheels, but they handle pretty well, even with the wind. I need to find some 28mm wide tires that I like, to try on them, as well.
Thanks for riding with me, Nelson and Greg! I had a great time.
Peachy Keene route