I rode another 200k on Wednesday 31 March 2010. The following is my ride report.
So, here it is.... the ride report from my solo 200k on March 31st. With commitments every weekend in March, I knew if I was going to do a 200k, it would have to be during the week. Thinking back to the last 14 miles of Ashland I decided that I did not want to "have to" do another 200k in 15 degree weather, so after an exhaustive search, I found a weekday friendly perm on the RUSA website. No Halfway Measures is an out and back from Arlington, VA to The Plains, VA. which has nearly 80 miles ridden on the W&OD trail. The ride is owned by Nick Bull, and getting cue sheets, control cards and setting up a date and time was extremely easy.
The weather on Wednesday was beautiful. The rain was gone, the pavement was dry and the sun was out for the majority of the day. This was only my third 200k and my first one alone, so I began the ride very cautiously optimistic. The first 39 miles of the ride was on the Washington and Old Dominion trail. This trail is well maintained, and very scenic. It has several bridges to get you over the major roads, like 495 and 66, and lots of secondary roads that need to be crossed with caution. Once you are further away from the beltway and the beltway mentality, you have longer stretches of trail and fewer slow downs for roads. I successfully navigated the trail (Ok, 1 quick side note here.... my other two 200k's were with Mike. We all know that he has a Garmin, and knows how to use it. I relied heavily... ok... entirely on his Garmin to get me from beginning to end of the other 2 rides. There, I said it. I feel better.) I made it to the first control, in Purcellville, VA, in 3 hours. I was happy with that, considering my normal speed and the head winds that I was fighting the entire length of the trail. I did my best "speed run" through the 7-11... water, fig newtons, control card signed, receipt. Outside, I mixed my perpetuem and heed, and away I went. Next stop, the halfway point in The Plains, VA.
Well.... the next stop was not exactly in The Plains, VA. This perm according to the RUSA website has 7,000 feet of climbing. I believe that 6,995 feet of that climbing is on Snickersville Turnpike. I am not going to complain about the hills, especially after the climbing that some of you did in Urbana. I do want to mention that I did not get off the bike and walk it up any of those climbs. I did see a couple vultures beginning to circle, just waiting for me to drop, but I made it. As I rolled into Middleburg, at mile 54 I was in serious trouble. I had the same nauseating feeling that I had towards the end of the Ashland ride. Apparently my perpetuem and Heed combination was not working. (By the way, I have half a container or Orange-Vanilla perpetuem available - free to whomever wants it) I stopped at the Safeway in Middleburg and got some real food, found a bench on the sidewalk and rested for 30 minutes. Had I not done this, this ride report would be explaining a DNF. I felt better and got on the bike and headed to The Plains. I was carrying and eating "real" food while I was riding, and drinking plain water. This seemed to work. I made it to the halfway control at 12:45. I ate a plain ham sandwich, filled up the water bottles and headed back.
The trip back was uneventful, except for Snickersville Turnpike, and I was at the control in Purcellville at 3:15. I was excited to get back on the trail, with the tail wind and no hills I was hoping to make up a few minutes of lost time. Well, that was not in the cards either. If anyone remembers Wednesday, it was the first beautiful day after several rainy windy nasty days. SO as you can imagine, EVERYBODY (yes, EVERYBODY) was on the trail. There were several times that I had to stop because I could not pass on the left due to oncoming pedestrian or bicycle traffic. What took me 3 hours to do in the morning, took 4 in the afternoon. So much for making up time. I arrived at the final control at 7:18 pm. 12 hours and 18 minutes. That certainly did not break any records, except maybe for the slowest 200k ridden by an SPP member, but the bottom line is that I finished, and the March 200k is in the books. I was happy about that.
This was the first 200k with the new bike. The carbon frame of the Roubaix was noticeably more comfortable than the aluminum frame of the Allez. Also, the bib shorts did not move or shift at all, so there were no saddle sores after this ride.
Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement before, during and after the ride. They are very much appreciated.
I am looking forward to getting back on the bike and riding this weekend.
Thanks for reading.