Thread: 2021 Randonnees
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Old 01-10-21, 11:12 PM
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I completed my local audax club's annual Pink Ride yesterday. The Pink Ride is essentially a BRM200 with a beginner-friendly route, and ladies get to ride for free, but due to the current pandemic it has been organized differently this year. Since we can't have hundreds of riders gathering and riding off like in the past years, the event is ongoing throughout the month of January and riders need to book time slots in advance. Each slot has a limit of up to 10 riders, and the one I booked was 7am Sunday, January 10. So in all, a very, very different low-key experience compared to the big event of the past years.

I was a little bit late and the starting point was completely empty at the time I arrived and rode out, so basically a solo ride for me.

I started in the city center and had about roughly 20km to get out, with lots of traffic stops as well as some poor road conditions so this part of the ride wasn't that great. Once I got out though, the first half of the ride was quite pleasant; even though the sun was already out but the air was still very cool and refreshing. It's still a very wet and rainy season over here, hence the cool atmosphere, but fortunately it didn't rain and that was absolutely great.

First checkpoint was at around 40km, it was a McDonald's drivethru where I encountered a couple of riders that had started out before me. I didn't intend to stop here though, so I just quickly made my way to the QR code to scan on my phone for checkpoint purposes, then immediately headed out.

Second checkpoint, a petrol station at the 90km mark, was a bit more crowded. One group had already arrived, and two more would arrive as I spent my time here refilling my water and having what I would call a meal (a snickers bar, a strawberry bun, orange juice, and coffee). It was starting to get hot now, so I put on my sunscreen before heading out.

From this point onwards, we were heading into countryside/rural roads, so lots of farms, estates and plantations, and also very little traffic. The roads were also much hillier now, and to my surprise my legs did not like it very much. I think maybe I must have pushed a bit too hard in the first half of the ride (it was "only" 200km anyways, and Pink Rides is often were I want to train for speed), so my toes as well as the muscles just above my knees felt stiff and threated to cramp up. Because of this I had to slow down my pace and soft pedal a lot, which actually seemed to work better on the climbs as I could generate more power spinning easily at 90mm than trying to drive the cranks at 60rpm.

But anyways, third checkpoint was around the 130km mark, another petrol station. I just made a quick stop for a can of 100 Plus and refill my water bottle before heading off. At this point dark clouds were beginning to form, more motivation to keep pushing instead of dilly-dallying.

More rolling roads stood in my way as I made it back into the city. Made a very quick stop at a small roadside stall with around 25km remaining for fresh, cold coconut juice. Then the last 20km ride in the city itself was an unpleasant slog through heavy traffic and poor road conditions.

Finished the ride in 9 hours 13 minutes total. Honestly, not an easy ride at all despite the Pink Ride moniker. With 1757m of elevation, that's close to PBP levels (which, if I remember correctly, was somewhere around 1000m elevation per 100km). I wasn't also in my best condition to be trying to go for a personal best record, after having done 500km just two weeks ago to complete the Rapha Festive 500 in one single ride. Because of this, my legs suffered for the second half of the ride, and it was a slog to the finish. But despite that, I still completed relatively early; there were groups that started before me but finished after me, so I guess I could take that as a success?

They made a special edition medal for this ride, commemorating 100 years of audax:

And here's the video and vlog of my ride, if you're interested:

Last edited by atwl77; 01-10-21 at 11:16 PM.
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