VT 200k

I certainly got my money’s worth on the VT 200k. 130 miles, 12.5 hours. A bit slower than I had hoped and planned – but I had a strong first half until something went awry with food intake and stomach. My plan was to ride a stronger second half – the route had the big climbing out of the way by Bristol in the first 40 miles. After the midway point I bloated up and had a hard time taking in water and fuel. I suspect it was some fructose in a bottle of juice I drank at the midway point. I struggled on – reduced to a pretty slow pace over any elevation change – but it was beautiful day to spend on the bike. Early in the year for me too, to take on more than a century in one sitting.

We had 9 starters, and I’ve yet to verify brevet cards – but I’m fairly certain we had 7 finishers. We had 1 DNF due to mechanical, and Greg turned around somewhere after the first control as he was having no fun climbing after a weeks worth of late nights getting a large project finished up.

I took a total of 2 photos, nothing really worth posting other than the line of cyclists at our first control, and a shot of the mountains from the top of any number of ridgelines we crossed. There were ample photo opportunities on the inbound leg – but I kept my head down and the pedals turning.

2011 Vermont Brevets (tentative)

2011 will be a big year for our local VT Randonneuring rides. We are running a full series here in VT to accommodate local qualifying for Paris-Brest-Paris. Tentative schedule for 2011 pending RUSA approval is as follows:

4/9/2011 Champlain Valley (route TBD)
200k Brevet RUSA / ACP

4/30/2011, Lake Champlain
300k Brevet RUSA / ACP

5/21/2011 Green Mountains (route TBD)
400k Brevet RUSA / ACP

7/15/2011 Montpelier-Maine-Montpelier (route TBD)
600k RUSA Brevet

10/01/2011, Fall Classic
114k RUSA Populaire
200k RUSA Brevet

ACP Brevets will qualify you for PBP.
Our 600k will be RUSA certified only – and is being offered as a ‘tune-up’ ride for PBP (or any stateside 1200km). It is also available for anyone interested in a challenging ride from Montpelier, VT to Maine and back via the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

We will be adding our Cafe Cruise as a RUSA Populaire sometime in early spring / summer, and are working on a Sunday ‘training+social’ ride series to leave from the Old Spokes Home beginning later this fall and running through the winter and spring – shorter rides in bad weather, with studded tires, and all – as winter allows.

Fall Classic 200k Brevet and 114k Populaire

Thanks for everyone who came out to ride. We had a setting full moon to lead ~30 of us out of town. Lots of hills, lots of color, 6 covered bridges on the 200k and lots of dirt on both routes. This is my favorite time of year in Vermont!

More later…

Fall Classic Update

RUSA certification of both routes is pending. I pre-rode most of the 114k route in the rain last Sunday. Course is as beautiful as ever, and will be much nicer when things start to dry out this fall and we get a bit of early color.

Some notes:

114k has ~35 miles of dirt road
200k has ~ 61.5 miles of dirt road

Surface quality will vary based on weather nearing event time. I’ve done most of these roads on Conti 28’s (26mm mounted) and recently on some fat(ter) Pasela 28’s.

Terrain ranges from high single digit grinders to double digit sharp rollers to several double digit climbs. Check the 114k elevation plot or the 200k elevation plot for a good idea of what gearing to bring. Or you can follow along in Google Earth. 114k link here. 200k link here.

What goes up does come down – and there are some wonderful dirt descents. Views to Mt. Mansfield, Madonna Mt., and Camel’s Hump are stunning from various vantage points along the course.

NERds VT 100k

We had 20 riders start the first RUSA sanctioned brevet in Vermont – the VT 100k Cafe Cruise. Lots of fun. Thanks to all participants, and special thanks to Old Spokes Home for providing us with a launch and landing pad. The early morning bagels did the trick to get folks going.

Start photo compliments Chris McCown @ Old Spokes Home

If we handed out awards, we would give them to:

  • 2 riders from the NYC area who road tripped to experience some good VT backroads and fine cafe food (stops at On the Rise and The Village Cup)
  • A tandem team who came over from the lakes region of NH for the ride.
  • 1 rider from Montpelier, VT (40 miles+ or more one way) who rode to the 7am start @ Old Spokes Home, finished the event, then rode home. (He’s doing the NJ 600k this week)
  • 2 riders who battled a mechanical and made it in just at the buzzer.
  • Climbing Stage Rd. - up and up on the dirt. Photo compliments Chris McCown @ Old Spokes Home
    Finish photo compliments Chris McCown @ Old Spokes Home

    First riders were in @ 4h20m from the start.
    Last rider in just at the buzzer after fighting a tube / tire problem.

    Westfield 200k

    I'm sold on the front bag... descending @ 30 mph, hands free, stable!
    I'm sold on the front bag... descending @ 30 mph, hands free, stable!

    Fl├Ęche Teamate Patrick and I rode the Westfield 200k in the heat on Saturday. 126 miles, limited traffic, plenty of climbing, temps in the 90’s with a beautiful route from Westfield to Shelburne Falls, a side trip to southern Vermont and then back via Shelburne Falls and some lonely mountain roads. The ride took a bit longer than I had hoped – but climbing in the heat mid course was brutal. I opted to snag a few extra bottled waters from McCusker’s Market when leaving the lunch control – they were gone before I began the descent to Conway. I struggled with the heat, some soreness in my left quad, and numbness and pain in my right hand. New things – but pain is not unexpected when on the bike for so long. The hand pain should be remedied by adjusting the Ergo lever position and how the cable exits to wrap the Nitto Noodle bars. The muscle pain is most likely due to this being the longest ride of the year… Patrick played with the lead group for 2/3 of the ride. He rolled in about 2 hours ahead of me. I finished the last 20 stronger than I rode the first – so despite the heat and being off my better pace – I feel good about the ride.