Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dirty Kanza 200 Chronicles V2: RBRH

The Orange Crush in DK200 mode
Well, it was supposed to be a 3GR ride, so I went down to the usual start place and waited to see if anyone would show up. They didn't, so at 8:30am I took off under gray skies and into a steady Northeast win of about 12mph with an occasional gust. I had the good ol' Black Mountain cycles rig set up in Dity Kanza 200 mode.

It's going to come down to either this rig or my Raleigh Tamland for the event. I have a wider range 11 speed cassette coming for the Tamland and if it works, I'll continue to give it a chance, but as it stands right now I just do not have the confidence in myself and those high gears that the 11 speed Ultegra has. So, we'll see how it stacks up later this week. But anyway.....

I headed off North and just kept going toward Denver, chugging along against the wind and the mostly uphill course. Then where I was supposed to turn Left onto the Westward leg of the 3GR course, I hung a right instead. I didn't really have a plan, at least not a specific one, but I wanted more miles. I thought about doing a century, but after only having done 40-ish milers since I've gotten well, I decided a metric century would be cool. So, I needed to go beyond the 3GR course, and why not turn right instead of left!

One thing about Bremer County- it's flat!
This took me into the heart of Bremer County and flat land. Really flat land! I went quite a few miles again before I hit anything I could coast down. In fact, only stream crossings broke up the flat land feel. Then I decided to swing into a little town called Readlyn for a bite to eat. My thought being that I wanted to gauge my on bike nutrition compatibility with convenience store grub. This was turning into an experimental ride for Dirty Kanza. I had gels and Gu Chomps along for the ride, but at the Readlyn convenience store, I bought an energy drink for later on, in case I got fatigued, and a salty bag of chips, which I also saved for later. The only thing I did consume there was a breakfast sandwich, which shut down the hunger pangs really well. Once refueled, I was off Northward again.

Headed North crossing Highway 3. It was still gloomy and chilly out. 
Dandelions lined the roads for many miles.
I had now decided to do a ride past Rob's house. I heard someone say a while back that they were going to do a long ride and "ride by Rob's house", ("RBRH" is the title for today), so I figured I was in that neck of the woods, so why not. Rob used to help me eons ago with some Twenty Nine Inches stuff, so I was familiar with where he lived, having been there a few times in the past. I knew it would tack on a significant amount of miles, but I had no clear idea how many. The only thing I did know was that I would turn left immediately after passing Rob's house, so it would mark the furthest point from home.

The skies started to lift somewhat and the Sun was finally raising the temperatures so that I was planning to ditch my wind breaker after my Westward stretch. I had about six miles to go past Rob's house before I would be able to do that, at least by my plan. In fact, I was sticking to a plan of refueling and drinking all along the ride. That isn't my usual way. Typically, I don't eat anything at all, I just drink fluids. I could tell that the nutritional intake was making a difference though. I didn't feel tired, and actually, I felt rather good.

Barns For Jason
 I had to stop a couple of times to consult the maps, but I managed to get back to the 3GR route at the point where it usually comes the furthest North. I rode down to the next corner, where the 3GR turns South on Hilton, and ate my chips and started in on the energy drink. I was feeling really good. I decided to not turn left and do the rest of the 3GR as we've been doing it, but went Right and picked up the 3GR's original course going backward, following it all the way back into Cedar Falls, for "bonus miles", and it was a good change of pace. By now the Sun had actually broken through for a bit.

The last rest stop looking down Hilton Avenue. 
A bit of "hero gravel" just North of Cedar Falls.
I ended up getting into Cedar Falls and then traversing the city along Grand Boulevard to Waterloo. I was going to do the short, steep climb out of the bike path to go on to Rainbow Drive when as I came down to the street, I was just pushing too hard and I went down. No big deal, I just biffed it, but I was reminded that I was fatigued and that I needed to watch my step. I ended up getting home after being gone for almost six hours and having ridden 68 miles. Not very fast, but a great ride and I felt really good afterward. Not wiped out or totally dead. I credit that to doing nutrition on the bike and being in better health.

So far so good on getting some longer miles in the books.


Martin Bunge said...

Nice ride, GT! I'm a firm believer in eating regularly while I ride. I make up little baggies and force myself to eat one baggie each hour. I've settled on packets of mini snickers, almonds/m&ms, and those pretzel squares with peanut butter in them. I use gels/blocks as "booster packs" when I get behind on my nutrition. Good Luck at Dirty Kanza; hope I run into you there!

Exhausted_Auk said...

Dang, wish I could have been there! Sounds like a fun ride. Maybe this coming weekend or next?