Saturday -The Springfield 200k
I'd actually ridden this route as a permanent for my February R-12 ride. With the exception of a different start/finish, and turn-around control, the majority of the course is the same as Rt 66 & Cooky's Pie, which I rode solo last month. (see February blog report). On this occasion there were 12 other riders at the start. About half the group were from a local racing club. They were training for an attempt at a four hour century. At the starting signal they were off like a shot. Knowing better than to go out fast I started out alone at the very back. After two miles I passed four riders. Then, I came across Jamie who was dropped by the fast group. We rode together through the hilly first section to the control in Miller. Although, I kept my time at the control short Jamie took even less time. I walked out of the market to see him riding up the road. I was able to see him up ahead for most of the way to the turnaround control. With this being a pretty flat section we both faced headwinds. It was too bad we were riding alone at the same pace. A few miles out of Golden City I saw the fast group, already on the return. They were in a tight pack and moving quickly. I thought I might re-group with Jamie in Golden City for the ride back. But, a navigation error in the small town caused me to lose about five minutes. As I approached the market he was already on his way out. With a tailwind on the return I didn't expect to catch him. With only 70 gear inches to work with I would not have the same advantage.
Taking no more time than what it takes to refill a water bottle I am on my way. The final section features some substantial rollers. Using the Electronic Cue Sheet (see Epilogue in previous blog post) my navigation through a sequence of Farm Roads goes flawlessly, as does the Historic Route 66 section. At mile 107, I turn onto Farm Road 156 which is a seven mile stretch of steep rollers. I remember it as being the most tiring succession of hills on the course. Once again it meets my expectations, although the tailwind helped some. The remaining Farm Roads which bring me into the city of Springfield are considerably less daunting. Soon enough I am back at the Fire Station where the ride began. Ralph is there to sign me in. My time is 8:44, another fixed gear personal best.
Sunday - Bolton's 115k Permanent
|A good name for a bike club|
|Ralph works his way through rolling terrain|
|Control coming up|
|Ralph, Tammy and Dan at Bolton's General Store|
Traveling to events out of the home area has advantages. RUSA recently announced the American Explorer Award recognizing members who have completed brevets and permanents, of at least 200 kilometers in length, in 10 or more states. Thirty-two RUSA members immediately qualified upon announcement of the award. Yours truly with a total of 16 states. It was an unexpected bonus to receive this award. Since it didn't previously exist it wasn't one I was chasing. Hats off to the volunteers at RUSA for coming up with another imaginative incentive.
With the season at hand this is the time I settle on my goals for the year. My primary focus is on the Ultimate Randonneur Award and the Mondial Award. A single SR series will cinch the first of the two. To accomplish the latter I will need to accumulate 11,000 total RUSA kilometers by December 31. My year to date total is 2464. I believe both goals are manageable, however with the unpredictability of life nothing is a sure thing.