I finally finished my 1st 200K this year!
More pics be here
On Sunday, Veronica & I rode the Jittery Jaunt 200K permanent brevet. I was a little apprehensive about it since my track record with respect to brevets and permanents has not been what one might call stellar.
The route started from the Safeway at Marina Green in San Francisco. While V and I were making our final preparations, Thom (aka Can Opener, as in "husbands are handy but so are can openers") was demonstrating to Lee (aka Bottle Opener, for reasons which shall eventually be apparent) his cool new gadget - an adapter that runs off a Dyno hub to power small external speakers for an MP3 player. Kewl.
We needed to purchase something from the Safeway to get a receipt to verify our start time. V bought a Dr Seuss cookbook. Our husbands found it fascinating.
We started out a bit before 8 am, heading along Marina Green towards the Golden Gate Bridge. As we were approaching the Sports Basement we encountered a large crowd of runners milling about. Huh? We got off our bikes and started walking around the edge of the crowd and soon realized we were passing right by the start line of a foot race. The PA announcer was noting that the race route was going over the Golden Gate Bridge, and the race was going to start in 45 seconds. I looked at V and said "we better book it!" so we got back on our bikes and scooted, huffing and puffing up the hill leading to the bridge bike/ped path entrance.
And there we came to a screeching halt. Seems the bike/ped paths on *both* sides of the bridge were closed for the race. Already. We weren't allowed to ride over the bridge even though we were way ahead of the runners. We had to wait for a van with a bike trailer, load our bikes on and be driven across the bridge. Grrrr.
When the first van pulled up, we looked at the contraption we were expected to load our bikes on and said "no way!" - V had her beautiful Legolas and I had my Rivendell that I just got back from the painters only a couple of weeks ago.
Someone told us to wait for the next van since the trailer on that was much better. So we hung out and eventually the next van showed up and we decided we could entrust our bikes to it. If that trailer also looked dicey we were simply going to abandon the ride - neither of us wanted to damage our bikes that way!
At any rate, we finally got our ride across the bridge, unloaded on the other side, and were on our way. (We wound up about 2 miles short of 200K by not riding over the bridge, but it couldn't be avoided.)
It was a really lovely route, from Sausalito through Faifax, up to Nicasio and Petaluma, then west to Valley Ford.
We rode into a headwind pretty much the entire way between Petaluma and Valley Ford, during which time I finally learned one of the Great Truths of Brevet Survival:
I just hunkered down and zoned out. Riding to Valley Ford I was a mindless pedaling zombie, enjoying the scenery but without any conscious thought intruding into my little la-la land. But it got me through a tough stretch in which normally I would have been obsessing over how awful I felt and oh my gawd I'm only halfway done and there is no way I'm going to finish and I think I have a hangnail and who the heck am I kidding even attempting this?
Speaking of scenery, did I mention it was gorgeous out?
From Valley Ford we headed south on Highway 1 to Pt Reyes. Sarah (maillotpois) rode her incredibly cool Triumph motorcycle out along Highway 1 to say hi and to lend us moral support (and, I heard after the fact, to threaten us with bodily harm if we considered bailing out - but what are friends for?)
After a nice break at the Bovine Bakery where we met up again with Sarah and the DH's, we then headed a bit further down Highway 1 to Olema, then along SFD and thru Samuel Taylor Park back to Fairfax, at which point we retraced our outbound route thru Sausalito and over the GG Bridge - which this time we were able to cross under our own power.
In true jobob fashion, the receipt for the final checkpoint at the Marina Safeway was for the purchase a 6-pack of Fat Tire Ale. Alas, we did not have a bottle opener in our possession, but my intrepid husband made do with a spoke wrench. Hence, Lee is heretofore known as the Bottle Opener, or BottO for short.BO having a somewhat negative, if on occasion a not entirely inaccurate, connotation.
I'm very glad I didn't know beforehand that the climbing would be on the order of 6000 ft (V's polar showed 6200) rather than the 4000 ft shown in the RUSA database. Altho I suspected it would be well more than 4000. At least now I know I have a chance of actually finishing my own permanent route, which has about 6600 ft of climbing.
We didn't have a stellar ride time (poor V was waiting up for me a lot!) but we finished, and I'm really happy to finally get my 1st RUSA 200K of the year in the books.
Another Year, and More Time to Reflect
1 week ago