Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Falcon-Limon-Kiowa 200k - a BRISK first Colorado Springs brevet!

At the same moment (8:00 am, Saturday, April 16) that team Deer With Headlights was heading out into blowing snow flurries in Boulder County on their 232-mile Flèche, our indomitable friend Vernon Smith was herding his riders out onto the breezy plains for our initial Colorado Springs brevet offering!  Here is his story ...

-jle (Team DWH Member)


There were nine of us.
It was cold.
Not sure, but I think it was in the high thirties when we started.
People say I might over dress some times.

I guess this is one time it came in handy.

What a wimp!

Let me tell what I was wearing:

  • Feet: Sock, shoes, booties.
  • Legs: Cycling shorts and my nylon-faced wool tights.
  • Core: Synthetic sleeveless "Undershirt", long sleeve poly-pro top, two jerseys, arm warmers over the poly-pro top, a light jacket, and and my gore-tex cycling jacket.
  • Hands: Gloves. Not just my finger gloves, but my Pearl Izumi WINTER gloves.
  • Head: Cotton in both ears, my Pearl balaclava, helmet, sunglasses.
Other than shedding the balaclava after about 30 miles, and then my Gore-Tex jacket in Limon (57 miles) I kept everything on. Once, for about 30 seconds, I unzipped the Heartcycle jacket a few inches. Twice, for about 60 seconds, I wondered if the nylon-faced tights were too warm. Then we turned into the wind at Kiowa and I was glad I had on what I did. I even thought about putting the balaclava back on, or maybe the gore-tex jacket, but I didn't.
My biggest problems all day were: 1) lack of sleep for the four weeks leading up to this and only four hours the night before, and 2) both thighs wanting to cramp all day. I had taken the Merckx bike to Albuquerque for the four weeks I was working out of our office there, and had trouble getting the seat height right. When I mounted the Serotta in Falcon for the 200K, I could tell immediately the seat felt high. I thought I would ease into it. I never did. Between Limon and Kiowa I stopped to see if lowering the seat would help. But my Moots Tailgator was down all it would go. I'd forgotten that on the Last Chance 1200 in September 2010, I'd lowered it all the way, and I never adjusted the Tailgator up to give me more adjustment in seat height. What is going on? Seems like I have to lower my seat height every year. My legs seem to be getting shorter.
Anyway, I began at the back and talking a bit with Gary and Eric. Then I went to try and catch the other six riders. I caught only one - Roger. We rode ~ 25 miles together then I looked back and discovered I was alone. At Limon I found four leaving (Ashton, Lloyd, Bert, Scott, I think) as I got there. I thought I'd catch them in the 36 miles before Kiowa. I never did, but they were at the store in Kiowa. I grabbed a quart of Coke and a pack of Hostess Twinkies (bad idea). The clerk asked me “do you need a little sugar”? Then and four of us were off into the head wind, south to Falcon. The four of us lasted to somewhere south of Elbert then we broke into four individual and separate riders, each fighting the wind at our own pace the rest of the way. The temperature was 39 degrees when I got back. About the same as when we left. There were a few snowflakes blowing sideways in the air too.
It was a tough 200K as evidenced by our times, 9:36, 9:47 and longer times.
- Vernon Smith

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

RUSA Offers PBP-Conformant Vest!

RUSA is offering a PBP-conformant vest via the RUSA Store.  Deadline to order is May 15.  This is the same model from the same (European) manufacturer as the ACP is using for their PBP vests. 

With the ACP vest, you get the ACP/PBP logo.  With the RUSA vest, you get a chance to try it out this summer before the event, or to order one without going to PBP. 

A number of us tried on vest samples at least weekend's Drake Doubleback 200k.  Here I am wearing the size Small.

The sizing is "roomy" (and unisex) so Small is fine for me, as you can see.  Plenty of room for more clothing underneath.  It would be snug to wear a hydration pack underneath, though, but would be ok to wear the hydration pack outside because the reflective strips on the back would be still be visible.

This is a polyester fabric vest, so it is ok in mild weather, but could be a bit toasty in warm conditions.  It seems well-made.  It is not ultra-compact to fold up (as one would expect with a cloth vest), but ok.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New PBP Wiki from RUSA

RUSA has added a Paris-Brest-Paris Wiki, an evolving site offering info on many aspects of the event itself, transportation, accommodations, interesting pre-registration statistics and prognostications, and who know what else.  A big thanks to San Francisco RBA Rob Hawks for creating this, and to the various contributors.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

RUSA Adds Patch for P-12 Award

P-12 awardees can now order a colorful patch from the RUSA Store:

This is the first patch offered by RUSA, and a nice memento.  The new P-12 award, for completing a sub-200k randonnée - Populaire, Permanent Populaire, or sub-200k Dart - in each of 12 successive months, can be a great way to encourage fledgling randos by riding with them on shorter events, or complement your own riding with shorter outings, alone or with friends.

So think about working the P-12 into your rando schedule, and a big thanks to the RUSA Store Creative Department!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Try a PBP-Conformant Reflective Vest at the DD 200k!

Thanks to our friends at Seattle International Randonneurs (SIR), you will be able to try on samples of a reflective vest that will satisfy Paris-Brest-Paris requirements (EN 1150 & EN 471) and that you may want to have whether or not you're heading to Paris.

These photos are courtesy of Audax Club Parisien:

SIR has taken the initiative to offer a version with SIR logo.  That offer is now closed.  But RUSA will be offering their own, with RUSA logo.  In any case, you can find out what size fits you, as the manufacturer is the same for all three.

These vest samples will be available at the start of the Drake Doubleback 200k on April 16.  If you wish to try on a vest, please arrive early - 7am would be good.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Combined Colorado Randonneuring Group!

The Colorado Permanent Riders folks are merging into the Colorado Randonneuring Google Group:

I started the Colorado Randonneuring group last July for 1000k riders who wanted to coordinate their plans and pose questions of interest to other riders.  The same holds true now: we can coordinate our plans for brevets and permanents, and raise questions everyone may be interested in.

So if you're not a member, and think you'd like to be, join up, and hopefully join in the camaraderie!