Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bloodied Black and Brevet: Dighton Rock 200Km Brevet (4/2/11)

Steve, me and Chuck after 11 hours on the road

Event: Dighton Rock 200km Brevet (124.7 Miles)
Location: Bedford, MA (Western and Southern Exurbs, Borderlands State Park, Dighton Rock State Park)
Goal Time: 11:30:00
Actual Time 11:00:00 (PR for 200km)

Okay, so it’s not an impressive PR: it was not as hilly as New England Randonneur’s usual 200km; and, I have a better bike this year. However, considering I didn’t train for it at all – it was fantastic.

Brevet is basically a timed bike ride. It lays somewhere between an average person doing a half-marathon and a cycling century. And, in order for it to “count” you have to do it in a specified amount of time. The 200Km’s time limit is 13½ hours.

By 5:45, I was on the road from Central Square heading the 14 miles to Hanscom Field. I would guess around 35 or so riders started the ride at 7:00 am.

I was still waking up when I had the drama of the ride. Under pressure going up a hill in Lincoln – TWANG!!! – my chain fell off. Crap! It’s not there. Unnngh, my chain BROKE!

Fortunately for me, the two people I was riding near – Steve and Chuck – were prepared. They had tools pieces and know-how. It was great to get rid of the drama that early!

After we had gone through Natick and Sherborne, we rode down a small bumpy road near the Easton, Sharon Town Line. As I swerved to avoid an archipelago of potholes, I tipped a bit of mud that made Ajax Telmon feel like it was on ice and WHAM! I was down on the ground!

My leg got trapped in the frame as I went down and there was a punch to my calf muscle. I got up stumbling around and trying to walk it out as my left hand bled through its road rash. Fortunately again Steve and Chuck were there to assist.

We were only 3 miles or so until the next controle (checkpoint) at Borderlands State Park. So, I figured I might as well at least ride to there. The problem was the 30-degree angle that my handlebars were at. I had to face toward the curb in order to keep the bike going straight!
My hand the next day
My leg a few days later
Controle 1 - Borderlands State Park

Within 10 minutes we were at the first control. Almost instantly I had some small tools and I had fixed both the handlebars and the break/shifters. In fact, it was so fast – I forgot to take a picture of Ajax Telemon broken.

We had a brief respite at Borderlands before the short jaunt to controle #2 – Dighton Rock State Park.

The course was almost an out and back. So after Dighton Rock, it was a turn-around. We stopped at Pizza Market in Taunton where I had a meatball sub for lunch.

The remainder of the ride was uneventful. By mile 100, I was pretty shot and got back to Hanscome on desire alone.

We pulled in right at 18:00 – making it exactly 11 hours. This beat my last year’s best by one hour and eight minutes.

After a rest at the finish, I was able to pull myself together to ride home over the Minuteman Trail and pull into Central Square and a chicken shawarma platter - 153 Miles on the day!

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