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

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