I hadn't planned on any brevets in 2014. I just started riding again after many years in 2011, did Ragbrai, an SR and a 1200 in 2012 and last year, I did a 200, a 300, a 400 and another 1200.
Instead of doing brevets this year, I just wanted to do my Saturday club rides and then ride for fun once or twice a week after work.
Well, so much for that idea. Our "Around the Bend 400" caught my attention - it's a relatively flat route that should be ideal for someone who hasn't ridden a lot. I mean, my longest ride YTD was 60 miles and I had exactly *1* of those. The rest were 30-40 mile club rides on Saturdays and 10-25 rides after work.
What could go wrong, right?
Wind. Wind. And more wind was what went wrong. 20 mph steady with 25 mph gusts. Relentless wind.
Before the ride, I did a few quick calculations, added in our control breaks and determined that we could better our 18 hour time last year and enjoy the ride. That was a 16 mph average. Easy.
Wind changes everything. Last year, there were 22 riders and only 2 DNF'd due to illness. This year, 26 started and 4 DNF'd.
The average time for all finishers was 20:11. My riding buddy and I were just under that at 19:43. Last year, we were at 18:10.
There were 9 who finished in front of us with an average time of about 17 hours. Within that group, 5 finished in 15:57. These are all high-performers who know how to work together.
There were 11 riders behind us with an average of 22:28. Of those 12, 3 finished in just over 24 hours. Kudos to those 3 who really gutted it out. By comparison, the slowest riders last year finished in just over 22 hours.
Oh, 400k isn't 250 miles but I did a little extra at the end of bump my total for 250.1 I actually feel pretty good today. My wife set me up for a two hour massage yesterday and that certainly helped.