Tuesday, September 19, 2006

SIR 600K Brevet

The day dawned bright and early - Bob and I had driven down the night before he had just come along for moral support and was going to do a short ride in the Tumwater area since he was getting over a cold and wasn't up to riding a 600 kilometer ride. I wasn't sure I was up for a 600 kilometer brevet either but I needed to see if I could do it. The ride left Tumwater at 6:00 a.m. and I stayed with the group for the first 16 miles then they were out of sight. I knew a few riders were behind me so I wasn't yet the tail end of the ride. I rode straight though to the first control Vader Washington with just a quick stop to see the big egg in Winlock Washington. We had stopped at this control on the Olympia Broiler ride in July so I knew where the restrooms were and just bought some water to refill my camelback and eat my bagel that I had made at the start line. From Vader the route headed out to the town of Raymond via a few small towns I had never even heard of. I had never ever heard of Lebam or Menlo Washington - passed through them on my bicycle in a blink of an eye. I had been to Raymond several times before and it is one of my favorite towns in Washington State due to the metal cutouts of people and animals that are all along the road. Raymond was a Control so I stopped at the Subway Shop and got myself a sandwich and water - just as I was arriving I saw another rider leaving so knew I was on pace. I pushed on to the the Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge where I saw lots of blue herons, and oyster places. I took a quick break at Long Island campground and decided that this is a place I would like to go to again. It looks like it has some really nice hiking and campsites. On to the town of Long Beach (Control #4)- but I didn't see the Beach. I met up with Ray McFall at the Shell Station and asked if we could ride together through the night. Ray seemed agreeable to that and we headed out. SIR had a night support stop set up about 40 miles from the Long Beach Control so we took another break there and had to have the ubiguous cup o noodles that is mandatory food on a brevet. It was slow going after dark and we didn't reach the sleep stop until after 4:00 a.m. I really had hoped to make it there around 2:00 a.m. Amy Pieper and Greta Oleson got us some grup and settled into a room. We left a wake up call with Greta for 6:00 a.m for Ray and 6:30 a.m. for Amy. After a quick shower and some food I was ready to leave - I ended up getting out of there later then I wanted because 2 riders had just rolled in and Amy and Greta thought it would be good if I waited for them. I should have headed out and not waited because I think this ended up causing me some stress later in the ride. I waited and then one rider quickly dropped me and I dropped the other rider - turns out he had a mechanical. I made it to the Toutle Control right at the closing time after humping it up a few difficult hills and was stressed not to have any leeway for a cup of coffee. The other rider who had dropped me was also there and leaving as I pulled in so when I left I decided to catch her and put the hammer down and psych myself out that I could finish the ride. I ended up blowing up and the legs no longer wanted to go around and I was in tears not wanting to face more climbing and riding an addional 10 hours on my own. When I got to Toledo Washington I called Bob for a ride home. I gave it a go but my legs got to the point where they had nothing left to give and mentally I just wasn't ready for another 10 hours on the bike. I'm very proud of myself for getting out there and giving it my best but I would have been even prouder had I gotten it done and completed the complete brevet series. I made it to Toledo Washington - 276 miles so still had a century to go - this was my longest bicycle ride ever so a new first.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good job Amy! 276 miles is a hell of a long ride. In fact that is basically a Cannonball, but probably with more climbing. You will get it done next year!