It was a great turnout for the LSR brevets in Denison yesterday. I didn’t get a count of how many riders there were, but it looked like 40 or 50.
I rode the 200k. Steve and Peggy are doing the 1,000k and Greg is doing the 600k, so it may be a while yet before we hear from them. I was feeling strong to start the ride, and ended up not paying enough attention to details, like I should have. I guess it happens to all of us now and then.
All the different distances use the same route for the first 43 miles. We made a couple of wrong turns in town, then were on our way headed east toward the second control at Ivanhoe. As usual on this route, I was dropped by most on the first big hill out of town, but hammered away and caught up with most ahead of me. The next time they put the hammer down, though, there was no way I could stay with them. Doug (Eetmochikn on the Bacchetta forum; nice meeting you, Doug!) fell back from the group after that acceleration too, and I caught up with Steve and him after a few miles, and stayed with them to Ivanhoe.
We stopped for about 15 minutes at the control at Ivanhoe. Peggy, then Greg rolled in, and we took off with them and several upright riders. It was a lot more brisk pace than I should have been riding, and even after the rest of the group split off for their longer routes at mile 43, I was still feelilng great, and kept pushing the pace. I would pay for that later.
At mile 53, I was stung by a yellow jacket. It bounced off my handlebar and arm before hitting my shoulder. I brushed it off my shoulder as soon as it hit, but it had already stung me. At mile 57, just two miles before the next control at Direct, my rear derailler cable broke. I had known it was due for replacement, and suffered the consequences for not replacing it soon enough. It’s a flat area near Direct, and I had no problem making it, but I sure wasn’t looking forward to doing the rest of the ride with three speeds. There are some tough hills near the end.
I was sitting at the control, eating my peanut butter and honey sandwich, grumbling to myself about the cable, and planning on adjusting the derailler stop screw to try to come up with friendlier gears, since I would only have three for the rest of the ride, when Pat and Charlie pulled up at the control in their truck. It occurred to me that, since they own a bicycle shop, they might be carrying parts. Sure enough, they even had the long tandem derailler cable I needed, and though the control stop turned into a 35 minute stop, when I left, I left with 27 speeds. Thanks, Pat and Charlie!
At mile 68, I still had an 18 mph average. That’s too much for me for that many miles, and I was starting to suffer. On top of that, I forgot just how far it is from the third control at Direct to the fourth at Cobert, Oklahoma. I ran out of water at mile 100 and didn’t pass a store until mile 110. That’s still 9 miles short of the Colbert control, but I stopped, cooled off, and downed some water there.
When I stood up to leave, I had serious knee pain, as well as cramping quads. I don’t know what it was about, but the first three miles were very slow, then I started to feel better.
After Colbert at mile 119, the route goes across the Texoma dam before finishing with some tough little hills coming into Denison. I ended up with 134.5 miles at a 16.6 mph on the bike average. That’s a pretty good average for me, but the length of the route along with the fact that I had more time off the bike than I would have liked, meant that my total time wasn’t that fast at 9:27.
I arrived home pretty wiped out. If I had been riding anything longer, I would definitely have had to keep an easier pace. I really do like this route, but the drive to Denison and back on a holiday weekend is a major hassle. Good luck to all those still riding!
LSR Denison 200K brevet route