Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Shelburne Falls 200 km Brevet

Our mountain bike race was cancelled on April 28th, so I found something else to do a Brevet. On April 27th there just happened to be a 200 km (125 miles) Brevet in Shelburne Falls. It’s a beautiful area to ride, weather looked good. Eddie signed me up and I planned on riding and Eddie would meet me at the check points. Thank goodness Eddie decided he would ride on Friday afternoon! We pre-packed all of our gear and bikes so it would just be a matter of tossing everything in the car and driving out to Westfield were the Brevet started. It’s an hour and half ride!

  I had Friday night off, Eddie worked the 3-11 shift, so that meant he got home about midnight and doesn’t fall asleep till 1. Alarms were set for 5 am and 5:15 pm. I really don’t like getting up early in the morning but I really wanted to do this.

Morning of, up, breakfast, load car and head out at 6:00. Get to the shop at 7:30. The Brevet started at 7:00. We leave the parking lot at 8:00 an hour after everyone else except for Jeff who was late too. Sun is out, beautiful, a little chilly but manageable. Long sleeve shirts, long socks, long fingered gloves. Nice easy pace, cruising along the scenery is great. Multiple stops because you have to follow the route and there are a lot of turns, this is an unmarked event and you fully support yourself.

I’m feeling pretty darn good, Eddie says he’s tired. We keep cruising. First climb, long but no problem. The decent, awesome!! We make it to the first check point in Shelburne Falls at mile 46. Refuel, have our cards signed. Jeff heads out before us.

We know that this next section has the majority of climbing in it. We take our time, talk to other people. Head out, next climb, long, don’t know how long but Eddie’s Garmin would tell you. Nice steady pace. Eddie struggled a bit during this section but we forge on to the second check point. We get into Vermont!! Beautiful day and taking it all in! We catch up with two other riders, they are a hoot, Steve and Dale who are in their late 60’s!! Dale has completed many Brevets and very knowledgeable. We ride with them till the second check point.

Second check point at mile 85. Jeff is there, again he heads out before us saying, “You’ll catch me”. We visit some more, about 20 minutes and then head out. Now the legs and body are starting to feel the miles of the day. We pretty much go into a climb right out of the gate. Steve and Dale start with us but quickly fall behind on the climbs, we don’t see them again. I’m thankful for each false flat and decent at this point. I know Eddie is, he’s tired and not really loving this.

At mile 100 I still feel ok but know there’s still 25 to go. That means another hour and a half in the saddle. I start counting down the miles, my legs and stomach at mile 110, not happy. We stop eat a banana and say to each other, “it’s only another 10 miles, we’re almost there”.

From this point on it’s pretty flat with small rollers, so going back to my Spinerval training and Coach Troy I let it rip down any decline and attack to the best of my ability at each little incline so I can “in theory” roll over them!! 5 miles to go, Eddie’s hammering, I’m holding on to suck off his wheel. He’s says he’s done, I get in front and keep the pace up. We both want this done! We make the last right hand turn to the shop, we both flew into that and coasted to the shop.

I enjoyed myself, it truly was a challenging day!! I enjoy getting lost in the ride. We are guessing it took us 8 hours and 50 minutes to ride 125 miles. I would do it again, Eddie says no, highly unlikely! As to riding a 300 km, don’t think so! It’s a long day in the saddle!

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