Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bike Ride Report - Mother of All 300k Brevets

Saturday was the DC Randonneurs "Mother of All 300K Brevets." Here I am at the finish, 17 hours and 22 minutes from the start.

This was a tough one. My always generous Garmin eTrex measured 15551 feet of climb over 192 miles.

I have declared May to be "Bike to Work Month". So my goal is to ride my bike to work every day in May, at least in one direction. I haven't missed a day yet.

But my ambition to have a 90 speed bike (see the Bicycle Insanity entry) made me pretty tired for this brevet. First, I was up late a couple nights putting the DualDrive hub on. Then I had to test it by riding up Gun Road on the way home to make sure it was OK. I was pretty stiff and sore Friday.

I left work early on Friday so I would get a good night's sleep in the Big OE (Debra's Element). Since I parked on the side of the road in a residential neighborhood a couple blocks from the start, I put up the privacy curtains.

I left them up when I was doing the ride, and then slept in there last night as well.

Here's the scene from the first control, in Lost River, West Virginia. I had some French toast for breakfast there. The pies looked awful good, but I was full after French toast.

This was at mile 55, after about 5500 feet of climbing over Wolf Gap and another mountain to get into the Lost River valley. I have trouble eating a lot while riding.

Here is the store in Kirby, WV. I gather there are no more than 16 households in Kirby.

The terrain here is ridge and valley. The route goes along several valleys. You are always following a stream uphill until it starts, then you have to climb over a little pass, then you start following the next stream downstream. The route has three of these between Lost River and US 50 near Romney.

At US 50, there is a big climb out of the valley, and then you ride a ridge to Points. I think picture is on top of the ridge a couple miles after you leave 50, but I could be mistaken.

I didn't take many pictures for awhile after this, because I was very afraid of going down from Wolf Gap in the dark. But I made it with about an hour of daylight remaining.

Other highlights of the ride were the store and pizza shop in Slanesville. Outside the store are picnic tables, where the local guys gather to shoot the breeze and tell jokes. They were very inspired by my bike.

Inside the pizza place appeared to be run completely by three teenage girls. I had a pizza for dinner, and I got to eavesdrop on their conversation. Actual dialog:

"Britney, your grandma called."
"What'd she want?"
"A pizza."

There was one memorable part after the return over Wolf Gap: Minebank Road. It was completely dark by when I got to Minebank Road. Minebank Road is twisty, narrow, hilly, deserted, and utterly without road stripes. It was about five miles of crawling along wondering where the edge of the road was. Matt Settle, who made the route, said there's lots of roads like that in France. What a horror show.

Here's the route in all its spectacular scenic mountainous glory.


Cham said...

If you noticed the minivan parked in the Wolf Gap parking lot 150 feet from the GWNF sign in your was mine.

Excellent work on the Brevet, 15500 is nothing to sneeze at.

llamoure said...

From Bicycle Retailer and Industry News May 15, 2006 Edition:
Send In The Clowns. We don't know whether they're taking a page from Bagni's playbook, but an armada of cyclists and skaters in clown costimes has been "ticketing" motor vehicles parked, standing, or stopped in New York City bikelanes. It may sound silly, but its serious, says clown brigade member Judy Ross: "The police have time on their hands now to ticket bicyclists for minor infractions such as not having a bell on their bicycles. Meanwhile, the NYPD does not even have a space on their pre-printed tickets for standing or parking in a bike lane, a violation of law which has been on the books for years and is subject to a hefty fine." Besides being illegal, the Clown Brigade says, blocking bike lanes forces cyclists to swerve into traffic where they risk injury or worse. Plus there's a delicious irony in all this for anyone fond of archaic slang. What's a derisive term for a cop? Town Clown, of course.

So I want to know Drew, when are you going to start issuing tickets? :)