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First 200K brevet of 2005

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

First 200K brevet of 2005

Old 04-24-05, 12:17 PM
  #1  
Machka 
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My father and I completed the Olds 200 with the Alberta Randonneurs yesterday https://www.albertarandonneurs.ca/

It was a good ride and a lot more work than any of my previous 200Ks.

We cycled from Olds down to Calgary with a strong tailwind which was wonderful! But we were a little concerned about the trip back. Calgary was the 80 km control, so we had a bite to eat and then headed north and west.

At first there was some wind to deal with but when we turned west, it wasn't so bad. However, the route became quite hilly. I would have to say that the hills reminded me a lot of the PBP hills, except that with the PBP hills we went down, and immediately up again. With these we went down, lost all our momentum on a flat bit, and then went up again. Over and over and over!

I dropped my father in this section (we had discussed it before and knew I probably would), and rode the remaining about 120 kms solo.

The first part of the route down to Calgary was pretty barren with hardly any trees and not too much in the way of scenery, but the last half of the route was quite lovely. The mountains were right in front of me as I headed west, and then when I went north again, they were along side, and I was riding through forests. Those forests were great for a reason beside scenery -- the wind I'd been concerned about was mainly blocked.

From Calgary to the next control was 73 kms, and there were absolutely no services or towns or anything in between, so that section started to get a little bit long and I was very glad to finally top a hill and see the town in the valley.

After a much needed break, and after consuming my secret weapon, I continued on my way and felt strong and renewed ... until I had to turn east again for the last 30 kms.

I was into a headwind on that last bit and didn't have the help of the forests anymore. I was also still climbing and getting a little tired of that. I still think of myself as a flatlander and these hills are a challenge. There were sections in that last bit where I was happy to be doing about 13 km/h.

Eventually I dragged myself into Olds, having completed 213 kms in 11:25. My father came in a little less than 2 hours later, so he did well. (The time limit on the 200K is 13.5 hours)

The season has begun!!


(And I think I've got a race - a TT on Tuesday. That might be challenging!)
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Old 04-24-05, 12:44 PM
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What's your consummable secret weapon? Can you share, or are you sworn to secrecy? Is it some form of caffeine delivery system?

Boy, I hate finishing rides into the wind, imagine it would be especially bad after already riding 10+ hours.
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Old 04-24-05, 12:49 PM
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Congrats, Machka! You are so awesome and an inspiration to everyone here.

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Old 04-24-05, 08:25 PM
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Yes indeedy, so inspiring I wnet right out and rode my favorite 64 km, tailwind going out, moderate head wind back until I cleared the trees with 15 km to go, then it (the wind) was pretty strong. Of course, ahving no seccret weapon, I suffered immensely. Had to stop at a drive thru caffeine shack with 8 km to go and picked up an Italian soda to help me make it the rest of the way. If only I had a secret weapon...

Anyway, thats great on the Brevet, I'm going to reread your Randonneur thread, see if it's something I could do around here in north Idaho.

And boy, the topics really get churned thru here in the Road forum, just a few hours and this was already on page two.
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Old 04-24-05, 08:44 PM
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All right .... I'll let you in on my secret weapon ....


SHHHHHHH!!!!!!!


OK, are you ready ....

Honey buns.

Yup, that's it. Have you ever been in a convenience store near the coffee machines? Somewhere around there is located a small shelf of prepackaged pastries. Almost any of them would do, but the honey buns are my favorites. Mmmmmmmm!! They are a whopping 630 calories and have enough fat and carbs to keep me moving for hours. It's GREAT!! And they go down so well, and sit so well. They're perfect!
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Old 04-24-05, 08:52 PM
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Try twinkies. They could do the job too, and they're mmmm mmmm good. Who cares if they're made of horse hooves or whatever they claim it's made from!

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Old 04-24-05, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Try twinkies. They could do the job too, and they're mmmm mmmm good. Who cares if they're made of horse hooves or whatever they claim it's made from!

Koffee
First, I don't know if I've ever actually seen Twinkies. I'm not sure if they sell them in Canada. Maybe they do, but I've never really looked.

Second, aren't Twinkies chocolate? That was my impression. Chocolate doesn't sit well or taste good to me when I'm riding. Odd (because I love chocolate otherwise), but true.
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Old 04-25-05, 06:59 AM
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Sorry, but the idea of honey buns or twinkies just sends my stomach churning.
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Old 04-25-05, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclwestks
Sorry, but the idea of honey buns or twinkies just sends my stomach churning.
Honey buns are really light ... they aren't heavy like a bagal or something, and they just slide right down. Another good one is French Toast with lots of syrup, but you can't get that just anywhere.
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Old 04-25-05, 08:50 PM
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Way to go! That must have been fun riding with your dad.

Keep the reports coming, we love them!
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Old 04-25-05, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
First, I don't know if I've ever actually seen Twinkies. I'm not sure if they sell them in Canada. Maybe they do, but I've never really looked.

Second, aren't Twinkies chocolate? That was my impression. Chocolate doesn't sit well or taste good to me when I'm riding. Odd (because I love chocolate otherwise), but true.
Twinkies aren't chocolate- they're like little sponge cakes with creme in the middle. It's yellow cake.

I think you're thinking about ding dongs or ho ho's.

Drop me a PM with your address and I'll send you a box. They're awesome!

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Old 04-25-05, 11:50 PM
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ah-HAH!! So that's the secret! I have to admit I have never even heard of honey buns, had to google it to find out they're mass produced cinnamon roll type things, but then I don't know where the coffee machines are in convenience stores, 'cuz life's too short to drink convenience store coffee (sounds like a thread for Foo, "life's too short to...", might even have already been done, for all I know, I've only been around here a "foo" months). At first I thought, you gals and you're sweet tooths(?), I'ld just as soon down one of those new 1000 calorie/100+ grams of fat Burger King breakfast sandwichs, but the key to this weapon of mass ingestion seems to be that it doesn't cause indigestion by sitting in the stomach demanding attention, but instead enables instantaneous metabilization.

So what the heck, I'll give it a try. Even though I'm genetically predisposed toward French toast...and haggis (now there's an idea...)

Last edited by muccapazza; 04-26-05 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 04-26-05, 07:21 AM
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just the thought of eating anything sticky sweet with icing on a long ride gives me the RUNS!
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Old 04-26-05, 07:33 AM
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Well, it now appears to me that you have a new nickname around here, Honey Buns.
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Old 04-26-05, 08:41 AM
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Very nice report - please keep them coming. I'd like to get into randonneuring but I don't know if I've got the stamina. My longest rides ever have been century rides on three occasions, and I found them difficult. I'm very impressed with people that can do the 200, 400 and 600 km brevets.

Have you ever done the 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris ride? I understand that's the Holy Grail for randonneurs.
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Old 04-26-05, 08:52 AM
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You're amazing Machka, it wasn't too long ago you were posting about the first commute of spring, now a brevet!! I love to read your reports, they inspire me, keep them coming.
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Old 04-26-05, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Crashtest
Very nice report - please keep them coming. I'd like to get into randonneuring but I don't know if I've got the stamina. My longest rides ever have been century rides on three occasions, and I found them difficult. I'm very impressed with people that can do the 200, 400 and 600 km brevets.

Have you ever done the 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris ride? I understand that's the Holy Grail for randonneurs.

Machka did the PBP. Didn't she do that ride last year?

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Old 04-26-05, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Crashtest
Very nice report - please keep them coming. I'd like to get into randonneuring but I don't know if I've got the stamina. My longest rides ever have been century rides on three occasions, and I found them difficult. I'm very impressed with people that can do the 200, 400 and 600 km brevets.

Have you ever done the 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris ride? I understand that's the Holy Grail for randonneurs.


I've done three 1200K rides:

The Rocky Mountain 1200 in BC/Alberta, Canada (2002)
The Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 in France (2003)
The Great Southern Randonnee in Australia (2004)

And I've signed up for two more this year:
The Gold Rush Randonnee in California (July 2005)
The Last Chance in Colorado/Kansas (Sept 2005)


(See my website in my signature line for more details.)



If you've done three centuries, you can do a 200K ... and once you've done a 200K ... you can do a 300K ... you just sort of build up. AND most important, if you start thinking of a ride like the 600K, for example, as SIX HUNDRED KILOMETERS, you'll have difficulty with it, but if you think of it as six 100 km rides, it goes much better. You just ride 100 kms, like you do on a regular training ride, and when that's done, you ride another one ... six times till you're done.
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Old 04-26-05, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Honey buns are really light ... they aren't heavy like a bagal or something, and they just slide right down. Another good one is French Toast with lots of syrup, but you can't get that just anywhere.

Maybe yours are different than the ones in the vending machine at work. I always get a kick out of the boss eating his power breakfast. A slimfast & a honey bun.
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Old 04-27-05, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclwestks
Maybe yours are different than the ones in the vending machine at work. I always get a kick out of the boss eating his power breakfast. A slimfast & a honey bun.


They are light as in weight, but not light as in calorie content. They've got 630 calories which is perfect for a 2-3 hours on the bicycle.
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Old 05-14-05, 11:21 PM
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And my second 200K ... the Elk Island 200K!

This morning's waking time was 3:45 am ... and I almost rolled over and went back to sleep. But at 4:40 am I was heading down the road toward Edmonton. It was a pleasant drive ... sunrise, pretty scenery, and I saw a coyote!

I met up with the organizer of the Edmonton brevets and precisely at 7:00 we set off. He kept up a pretty good pace till we reached Elk Island park, and I struggled a bit to keep up. When we turned into Elk Island park we had the wind at our backs, and we sailed along quite comfortably to Lamont.

There are often buffalo wandering free in the park, but I didn't see any until we left the park and then they were in pens. Just beyond the buffalo was a massive graveyard for old farm equipment, mainly, and also vehicles and other things. There were a few interesting things in there.

From Lamont to Mundare we faced a strong headwind and had to take a break part way along just to get out of the wind for a few minutes. Mundare's claim to fame is a massive kulbasa which dominated the park across from the gas station where we stopped to get our cards signed. Mundare is only about 25 kms from Vegreville where the massive pysanky is, so perhaps they sort of go together. Mundare also has an old Ukrainian orthadox monestary, grotto, and church which looked rather interesting.

The road from Mundare to Andrew took about 2.5 seconds ... well, OK, it was a little bit longer than that, but we had a GREAT tailwind and averaged over 30 km/h on that stretch. We had lunch in Andrew - a denver sandwich and fries for me - and off we went to the west again.

Fortunately the wind was from the south east so that road wasn't too bad. There were two things that stood out for me on that bit ... one was the llamas who ran with me as I cycled along. The other was how much that whole area reminded me of the area north of Riding Mountain, near Dauphin. I felt like I was riding my 1000K all over again!

Then we turned to go south toward Lamont, and were right into the wind. 14 kms to Lamont, and it took us over an hour! I was beginning to think Lamont had been wiped off the map!! That road was also very busy and the truck traffic blew me all over the place.

We took a quick stop in Lamont, then entered Elk Island park again ... and again, it reminded me very much of approaching Riding Mountain from the north. Although we were still heading south, and there was still a roaring headwind, some of it was blocked by the trees in the park and it made the trip through the park much more manageable. Once again, I looked for buffalo ... and my searching paid off. There was a massive one standing in some trees right next to the road!!

One thing about the park that added a bit of extra challenge were the cattle gates - I think I'm going to have to check all the bolts on Machak to make sure everything is still tight. However, the park is very pretty, especially now that the leaves are coming out on the trees. There are a number of ponds and small lakes in there, and forests with a variety of trees on either side of the road.

Eventually we arrived at Hwy 16 again with 22 kms to go. Since we were heading west, we had a bit of a tailwind again and were able make pretty good time along there ... and then sailed into the finish area!

Stats:
Distance: 212 kms
Time: 11:21 (18.68 km/h)
Ride time: 9:53 (21.45 km/h)
Max speed: 50.3 km/h
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Old 05-15-05, 11:09 AM
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Very cool, Machka.

How many people did this ride? I'm assuming there were more than just you and the ride organizer.
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Old 05-15-05, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RedHairedScot
Very cool, Machka.

How many people did this ride? I'm assuming there were more than just you and the ride organizer.

Your assumptions would be incorrect. There were only the two of us. That was great though because it was one more person than I've ridden my previous two brevets with!!

These are very solitary events.
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