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Lizzie will ride free
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Over the weekend the Seattle International Randonneurs did their 600K. I don't often have a hard time figuring out what to put in a ride report, but these events pack so much into a ride, I have no idea where to start.

So, let's start at the beginning. I was getting cautiously optimistic in the couple of weeks before the ride. I had done the rest of the series, and I really don't want to sound overconfident here, but the weekend before I did a very hilly 100 mile ride that felt like a coffee shop run. I was as ready as I could be. Then I read this pre-ride report:

http://rusa64.blogspot.com/2008/05/thats-ride.html

If you don't follow the link, it's basically the president of Randonneurs USA, who shall we say, has ridden a bit, saying "this is going to be a heck of a ride" and commenting on the "spectacular DNF stories from the last time they did this in the other direction."

That, my friend, will mess with your head.

Here is the map and route profile stolen shamelessly from the SIR site.
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
We did a big loop starting a few miles from my house in Issaquah, WA going over Stevens Pass, Blewett Pass, Yakima, White Pass, Cayuse Pass and home. You get to do a "victory lap" 20 mile ride around our local Lake Sammamish after you get back to get the required distance. Have you ever ridden your granny gear up hills you can do on your big chainwheel? Ever had really slow recreational cyclists zip by you with a cheery "Hello" while obviously wondering if you were OK?

But more on that later. Let's talk weather, shall we?

I've been carrying more stuff on my bike than most all year. Part of this is just sorting out what you really need from what's nice to have. Some things I carry may slow me down a bit, but they can also keep me from a "spectacular DNF." As the year warmed up, I took off my seriously huge Carradice Nelson Long Flap and went with just the bar bag and a smaller seat bag. That seemed to be working well. Then the weather forecast changed. One club member was nice enough to send out an e-mail pointing out the record cold and high winds forecast in the mountains. It snowed on at least one of the passes the night before.

On went the big rear bag again. Good thing too.

In Seattle they have many words for rain, and as a guy from Jersey, I have learned that they mean different things. You see rain is constant. Showers in on and off. The forecast on the rainy side of the pass was for showers. They got that wrong. In New Jersey we would say it "%^*%^$&& *&&^%& rained like a &^&*(*&9!"

I was plenty warm, but by the time we got over the first pass everything I had was soaking wet including, BTW, my cue sheet. One of the other guys gave me his spare. My recently expired Brooks B-17 donated it's life on this pass. RIP B-17.
 

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JP said:
...Have you ever ridden your granny gear up hills you can do on your big chainwheel? Ever had really slow recreational cyclists zip by you with a cheery "Hello" while obviously wondering if you were OK? ......
Often.

Doesn't bother me a bit.

But not if the Mrs. is along. In that case they are going DOWN! :eek:
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So now we have a beautiful descent down to Leavenworth. I put on the beanie, jacket, and vest. I even had on my thin long fingered gloves. About 1 minute into the descent, I pull over with another guy as we try to figure out what else we have in our bags. I pulled out a balaclava and some lobster gloves. I can honestly say that I have never had on a balaclava on a bike that didn't have an internal combustion engine. If you want to try one, I highly recommend waiting until June.

At this same spot on the pass 3 weeks ago on the 400k, it was so hot that one guy rested in a snow bank to cool off. I kid you not. At least a few people had trouble here because they were shivering at exactly the frequency that would induce a crazy oscillation.

Interestingly, by the time I got to Leavenworth, almost everything I had was almost dry. Talk about different weather.

Thank you Subway sandwich stop for some "real food."
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
More on food.

I'm still trying to find that balance between getting enough calories and not getting bloated. Yeah, that's wishful thinking. Here is an edited e-mail exchange with a great guy from DC who came out for the ride. He's funnier than I am.

From DC:

Boy, I had a lot of trouble keeping fueled up on this ride, though that always seems to be a perennial issue. At one stage yesterday, I looked at whatever I was eating and said "I'm @#*!'ing sick of eating this @#($*'ing food"

Really great ride!
<<SNIP>>

From JP:

I had the same issue with food. I'm new at this, and it's really really hard to sort that out.
I live near Issaquah, and there is a McDonalds I have been driving past for years. I don't recall ever going there. Just after crossing under I-90 we rode past this McDonalds. I had a few hours in the bank. WITHOUT THINKING, I turned into the parking lot. I had a burger and fries. Amazing.

From: DC

I thought about pulling over there; there was a sign for a double cheeseburger for a buck that was very appealing. But I was so "close" to the end that I didn't want to stop.

I think that the eating issue is absolutely the hardest thing about randonneuring. Most everything else is susceptible to improvement and learning, but the eating part often comes down to just forcing down yet another blankety-blank energy bar. Doesn't matter how good they taste at home, because ultimately they all taste like crap after awhile. I guess I've at least gotten to the point where I don't usually eat stuff that makes me feel like vomiting right afterwards, so I've learned something from my experiences over four seasons of randonneuring. But celebrating the fact that you can eat without feeling like puking isn't exactly a huge endorsement of the delights of randonneuring!
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Things on the ride

At one point we had a tailwind so strong that I was coasting at 32MPH for 15 miles. I even got on the brakes a few times for fear that the gusts would push me off the road.

I hit some fragments of a tumbleweed. Not as exciting as Thinkcoopers squirrel, but what were you expecting.

I overcooked one turn near the end on really bumpy pavement in the rain. I stayed up, and I probably wasn't too close to the edge, but clearly I wasn't thinking too well.

I saw a trout rise in the Yakima and said to Chris, "Hey I saw a trout rise" just as the same fish slammed another bug way way below us at dusk. He saw it too.

Subtraction is hard when tired. You mean I'm not going to pop out in Issaquah for how many miles?

A few deer ran across the road, and I saw one straggler just in time to say "hit the brakes." It never was close...just cool

When you are sleep deprived, you are certain that chunk of tire just fluttered like a dying crow. Look! It did it again.

The wind up to the overnight was brutal. Time does funny things. I don't know if I ever fell asleep, but I felt fine getting back on the bike after a little down time.

Lots of mind games. Get to the next control. That's kid's stuff. I was working on things like:

- Ride 5 minutes and sip some fuel
- just do 100 strokes
- get to that pole
- the next 3 miles on this pass are just like the ride home from the path (that tree is the honda dealer...I can do that)
- I could walk to the finish from here in x hours if I had to
- What are the rest of the words to "Get a Haircut?" What about "Thunder Road?"
- Could someone please get that kid's song out of my head
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The support was fantastic.

A hot cup of coffee at the base of a descent and some encouraging words made all the difference. I think I had it easy. I was pretty slow, but one woman was up against the clock the entire day. She pushed through and made the limit. Talk about tough.

OK, I'm off for more sleep and calories. The mileage in this computer is off. It was really 6 miles less. Pretty accurate, really ;-)

It is fair to say that I really was verklempt as I finished this thing. See, Cooper, I knew I could use that word in a sentence, and yes, I could have used a few of those wallets. Do you have a really big size?

Thanks for all your reports.
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Perfect usage of verklempt. Appropriate.

Didn't you express interest in the lightweight perforated version of the wallet? That might have let you down when riding in the shower. :D

Great report. Congratulations!
 

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Big is relative
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thinkcooper said:
I could've arranged a World's Lightest Cycling Wallet sponsorship if you'd simply asked. FAIL.
Cooper knows of what he speaks. I used a cheap imitation WORLDS LITEST CYCLING WALLET on the Cooper weekend and regretted it. Get the real deal.
 

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Shirtcocker
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JP said:
A hot cup of coffee at the base of a descent and some encouraging words made all the difference. I think I had it easy. I was pretty slow, but one woman was up against the clock the entire day. She pushed through and made the limit. Talk about tough.

OK, I'm off for more sleep and calories. The mileage in this computer is off. It was really 6 miles less. Pretty accurate, really ;-)

It is fair to say that I really was verklempt as I finished this thing. See, Cooper, I knew I could use that word in a sentence, and yes, I could have used a few of those wallets. Do you have a really big size?

Thanks for all your reports.
That bike is too small for you.
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
bigbill said:
Cooper knows of what he speaks. I used a cheap imitation WORLDS LITEST CYCLING WALLET on the Cooper weekend and regretted it. Get the real deal.
I suppose it's too late to get sponsorship logo on the Lounge jersey. I bet they would do it for Cooper, and that would be killer.
 

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congrats on the ride

Well done. Further than I have ever gone. I cannot get over the weather right now. I am sure I would have bailed.

That Waterford is mighty pretty....
 

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Non non normal
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Great report.


Life is too short to eat power bars. Eating real food is much more enjoyable and provides your body with everything you need and sometimes more than a powerbar will give you.
 

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It's not TOO Cold!
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JP,

Cangrats on completing the 600K, that is absolutley amazing. That Waterford is asolutley beautiful, cangrats again. Too bad about the Brooks, what do you plan on replacing her with?

Really great report. I too find my self singing kids songs as I ride, I do think that I can blame sleep deprivation.
 
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