Friday, April 17, 2009

Stove Prairie 200k Volunteer Pre-Ride

Eric Simmons reports on his helpful checkout of the Stove Prairie 200k route ...

This is a report of a pre-ride of the Stove Prairie 200km Brevet scheduled for April 18th.

Last fall when I read that the SP200km was scheduled for mid April I recalled an early May running of SP in 2003 which had to be rescheduled due to snow and ice and wondered how early April weather would turn out this year.

I asked JLE if there was a need for a pre-ride to check the route and I received his blessing for a pre-ride. I picked April 15th to celebrate Tax Day and picked a small town post office on the route to mail my returns from in order to avoid long lines. I also chose this ride to try out my SPOT GPS transponder so that: 1. She Who Must Be Obeyed receives an "I am OK message" with GPS coordinates periodically, and 2. The RBA receives the same "electronic trail of breadcrumbs" documenting the ride in lieu of secret controls etc. I own the SPOT due to being lost/missplaced by the SIR on the Cascade 1200 last June, another story for another day.

It was a beautiful morning when I pulled off at exit 243 onto SR 66 and noticed the CONSTRUCTION blocking off most of the entrances to the Conoco station and other business on the North side of SR 66. Getting to the start will require some short Detours so come a few minutes earlier to be ready to start on time.

After a quick GPS message to SWMBO and the RBA via satellite, the ride to Masonville went by almost without thought as I was distracted by the Llamas and Alpacas still in their winter coats and the Meadowlarks and Bluebirds who have mistakenly arrived in Colorado thinking that Spring has sprung here. The Masonville store I discovered, is closed on Wednesday but fortunately I had carried a sandwich with me for emergency food and an emergency was declared and fed.
The trip around Horsetooth was an exercise in humiliation as riders in domestic Pro jerseys on timetrial bikes, many with follow cars went whizzing past in one minute intervals. After a deliberate footdown stop at the infamous Rd 23/Rd42 intersection I continued on to the Bellvue Post Office and had my yearly payment to Caeser hand stamped then, continued on to a sitdown lunch at Vern's as soon as the OK message was sent to SWMBO/RBA.
The Poudre Canyon climb was quiet in midweek with a fringe of cinders/sand at the edge left from the winter plows, the turn up Rd 27 to Stove Prairie started the tough climb of the day (more loose cinders at the shoulder and some of the "new smooth" road surface is beginning to slide off on the downhill side of the road) as the sky darkened but the winds remained calm and I reached the top with only 15-20 minutes before the "closing" of the checkpoint. I sent another OK to SWMBO and the RBA stopped to take a photo of the herd of elk and continued on back to Masonville with the dark sky receeding to the North. I took a quick stop at Sandy's for another checkpoint OK to SWMBO and the RBA and continued on to the ride finish with the only wind of significance of the day in the last 15 miles gusting out of the northeast making staying on the road a bit of a challenge. One last OK to SWMBO and the RBA, a change of clothing and I headed home having finished my first Brevet of the year.

I called JLE the RBA to see if the GPS transponder had satisfactorly documented the checkpoints for the ride. It turns out he forgot I was going to be sending the email messages and thought they were some Ethiopian escam, phishing for $$$ and he had deleted them all from his inbox. Fortunately some were retrieved from the trashcan/junkmail and I can forward the rest to him if he needs them.

A beautiful day, mid 60's, sunshine most of the day, Unfortunately the weather predicted for the weekend is quite different. I look forward to seeing all of you on the Brevet when it finally gets the GO!

1 comment:

  1. Good report and I hope we get to ride it on Sunday. Just one question though -- at the 23/42 intersection where you stopped and put a foot down... you then replaced your brake pads, right?