Monday, May 13, 2013

Another 300k, Another Windy Day

I signed up for the Great Lakes Randonneurs 300K to be ridden on Saturday, May 11th. As the day approached the weather forecast started looking familiar. The weatherman said we could expect temps in the upper 50's or lower 60's. The problem was winds, like 20-25 mph winds from the west-northwest. Not exactly good news on a route that travelled west and northwest for the first 101 miles.

At registration, I ran into long-time rando friends, Bob Booth and Michele Borugher. I decided it would be fun to spend the day riding with, and catching up with them.
The first 45 miles to the Broadhead control. Bob, Michele, and I spent lots of time sharing stories from our recent road adventures and mingling with the riders doing the 200K which shared the route to the first control. We arrived in Broadhead to find a convenience store swamped by randonneurs.
The ride from Broadhead to New Glarus got WINDY and hilly. The combination of hills and winds dropped out average speed to some very pedestrian type numbers. Several times wind gusts dropped my speed to 5 or 6 miles per hour and we needed to pedal down all but the steepest downhills. By the time we arrived in New Glarus at mile 72, the tank was in deparate need of refueling. Someday it would be really nice to arrive in New Glarus without feeling like I've been run over by a truck.
The trek from New Glarus to Barneveld was more of the same. Big hills, big winds, and dwindling energy. I felt like I was approaching a bonk when we finally arrived in Barneveld at mile 101. We arrived just 60 minutes before the close of the control. Fortunately, a long, refueling break and a switch to tailwinds was just what the doctor ordered.
The trip back to Delavan by way of Oregon and Edgerton was largely uneventful. Our group did pick up Andrew C., who rode the last 75 miles or so with us. We finished at 12:24 am for a "blistering" 300K time of 17 hours and 24 minutes. That was my slowest time for a 300K by a substantial margin. At the finish, super-domestique, Melissa, was waiting with a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada.
 All in all, it was a fun and challenging day.