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Old 05-12-13, 08:25 PM   #1
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Second 1200 done. This one was tough.

When I finished the CO Last Chance last year, I couldn't wait to do another one so I signed up for the Texas Rando Stampede 1200.

If you're not familiar worth brevets, for a 1200-km to count as a success, you have to ride the distance, 1200-km or 756 miles in this case, within 90 hours.

"Luck" wasn't on my side. We incurred record low temps & almost constant winds of 20 mph with gusts to 35. One tandem took on a wild pig and lost. Another rider hit a very bad stretch and was launched off his bike. That was 40 miles from the finish.

On my worst day, I flatted just as we were leaving the overnight control and had to ride the entire day alone. Into the wind. Less than an hour after the first flat, I cut my front tire on a piece of metal.

Being ....err.....older means you probably have the mental toughness to get through these kinds of days. While there were dozens of times when I wanted to quit, there was not an instance when I didn't think I would actually finish.

Any way...here's my story.....and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 05-12-13, 08:42 PM   #2
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You crazy.

Wild pigs, miscreants in Hondas (and the law ... love that part), thunderstorms, and wild pigs. All in 90 hours.

Effin sweet.
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Old 05-12-13, 08:50 PM   #3
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You crazy.

Wild pigs, miscreants in Hondas (and the law ... love that part), thunderstorms, and wild pigs. All in 90 hours.

Effin sweet.
Crazy? I get that a lot. My wife, relatives (those who are still talking to me), the guys in the office, neighbors, et al.

It's a badge of honor I tell you!

(Appreciate the kind words too!)
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Old 05-12-13, 09:00 PM   #4
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There's good crazy and bad crazy. You sir, are good crazy.
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Old 05-13-13, 03:05 AM   #5
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Well done, k. Only those who have done 1200s know the training, planning and tenacity needed to finish them, even without the unexpected challenges (our friend StephenH was the one who encountered the pig with his tandem).

The Stampede is still on our randonneuring wishlist (moreso that I can finally qualify for an International SR award for four 1200s). When we caught up with the Texans late last year, they made the event so appealing, and the tiny stretches of road we rode seemed quite good.

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Old 05-13-13, 04:10 AM   #6
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Hats off to you sir.
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Old 05-13-13, 05:10 AM   #7
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Prepping for PBP 2015?
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Old 05-13-13, 08:35 AM   #8
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Prepping for PBP 2015?
Maybe. There's a lot that can happen between now and then.
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Old 05-13-13, 07:57 PM   #9
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Congratulations!

Two friends of mine (who were team mates on our fleche team) also finished this year's TX Rando Stampede. I think everyone was hoping for a (relatively) easy ride, but by all accounts the wind was a killer.

I have yet to do a 1,200. Maybe next year, and almost certainly in 2015 in advance of PBP...
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Old 05-13-13, 09:58 PM   #10
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Congratulations!

Two friends of mine (who were team mates on our fleche team) also finished this year's TX Rando Stampede. I think everyone was hoping for a (relatively) easy ride, but by all accounts the wind was a killer.

I have yet to do a 1,200. Maybe next year, and almost certainly in 2015 in advance of PBP...
Duncan - who are your friends? While I rode alone a bit, there were times when I was with others and really, everyone on the ride was outstanding and supportive.
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Old 05-14-13, 10:29 AM   #11
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Congrats, Gerry, and thanks for posting a link to your write-up.

I'm the opposite of you. I completed a 1200 in 2003 and was so thrilled to finish that I was itchin' to sign up for another one right away. But after a 2 or 3 week "cooling off" period, I kinda lost the desire to do another and I haven't done another since. One of these days, though. Maybe if and when the Minnesota Randonneurs ever host one.
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Old 05-14-13, 12:22 PM   #12
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Duncan - who are your friends? While I rode alone a bit, there were times when I was with others and really, everyone on the ride was outstanding and supportive.
George W and Barry B - both members of DC Randonneurs.
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Old 05-14-13, 12:34 PM   #13
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k7, congrats, that is quite an achievement!!

Read your blog/story, thanks for sharing. Wonder what happended to StephenH since he is also on BF. I think he is the one you mention in your blog. Hope he is OK.

I've only done a few 200K but just signed up with RUSA last month. I could see myself doing a 300K but 1200K, don't think so!!

Congrats again.
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Old 05-14-13, 03:23 PM   #14
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StephenH is fine. He finished a 300km solo permanent last weekend. He is one of the big-distance riders of these forums.
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Old 05-15-13, 08:49 AM   #15
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George W and Barry B - both members of DC Randonneurs.
I'm pretty certain that I rode a bit with Barry on the first day. We played tag off and on to the first control. I'm sure I met George also during the ride. Nice guys....

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StephenH is fine. He finished a 300km solo permanent last weekend. He is one of the big-distance riders of these forums.
Yep - one of the good guys to boot.
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Old 05-15-13, 10:35 AM   #16
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Great stuff there! I just can't imagine riding that distance.......but saying that I've done a 200 miler in a day's time. Is the thinking to simply ride "slower" or with less power you can sustain energy levels longer???
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Old 05-15-13, 12:59 PM   #17
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Great stuff there! I just can't imagine riding that distance.......but saying that I've done a 200 miler in a day's time. Is the thinking to simply ride "slower" or with less power you can sustain energy levels longer???
When I rode a brevet series of 200/300/400/600 km, I rode them at roughly the same effort and did not ride slower as they got longer. My 400 was the fastest for moving average but that's because my fitness was still improving and the weather was the best. The way you sustain energy in these rides is to eat and drink!
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Old 05-15-13, 03:45 PM   #18
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StephenH is fine. He finished a 300km solo permanent last weekend. He is one of the big-distance riders of these forums.
Good to know, thanks! I knew he posted in the forums.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:43 PM   #19
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Great stuff there! I just can't imagine riding that distance.......but saying that I've done a 200 miler in a day's time. Is the thinking to simply ride "slower" or with less power you can sustain energy levels longer???
Im pretty slow all the time. Moderating my effort on day 3 was designed to help survive the wind and the hills. One buddy of mine relies exclusively on his power output to manage his efforts. Not speed.

Managing 50-60% of FTP would mean 22-23 on the flats under idea conditions but 6-8 mph uphill & into the wind. At the time, it didn't seem wise to ride to a mph target under those conditions. I still think it was the right decision even today.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:59 PM   #20
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I'm pretty sure that if I ever trained up to riding something like a 1200 (not likely), it certainly wouldn't be in Texas! I enjoyed reading your ride report. Great job and perseverance in tough conditions.
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Old 05-15-13, 09:48 PM   #21
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I'm pretty sure that if I ever trained up to riding something like a 1200 (not likely), it certainly wouldn't be in Texas! I enjoyed reading your ride report. Great job and perseverance in tough conditions.
Here's my simplified take: You need three things to ride a 1200....or even a 400 or 600. The ability to stay on the bike for hours and hours, a stomach that'll take the fueling and lastly, a bit of mental toughness.

I did the first one to prove I could. I did the second one to prove the first one wasn't a fluke. There are lots of folks here who have done these....or similar events....and more. Rowan, biker395, StephenH..... etc.

They're happy to share their experiences down in the long-distance forum too. Stop by and say hello sometime!
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Old 05-17-13, 05:18 AM   #22
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Gerry, that was one fun article to read. Thank you for sharing that with us. Very encouraging, especially when you said you only had 100mi to go. Pffffft, said all of us that ache at the 80mi point of a century.
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Old 05-17-13, 08:24 AM   #23
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Gerry, that was one fun article to read. Thank you for sharing that with us. Very encouraging, especially when you said you only had 100mi to go. Pffffft, said all of us that ache at the 80mi point of a century.
Thank you for the kind words. You have to believe me when I say there were so many times that I wanted to quit - but, over the entire ride, I knew I'd finish it somehow/someway.
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