Thursday, February 15, 2007

Last Man Standing, or Brevet of 300 Kilometers

Gentle Readers,
The 300 was a few weeks ago. Time slipped past and I didn't have a chance to write--so I will just copy and paste an e-mail I sent to Paul Layton, fellow Randonneur and blogger, to this my glorious blog.

From: Paul
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 12:51 PM
To: Bruce
Subject: So how did it go?

I saw your blinking taillight heading up Henness as I
went to the I-10 exit. Thought about stopping but I
figured you guys probably were probably eager to
finish the ride. Man what a gorgeous day that was.
Other than bonking and a bent front derailleur (easily
fixed with a little bending, front derailleurs are
good that way) I didn't have any problems.


Hi Paul

Hey I read your blog entry and enjoyed the post. I tried to make a comment but it didn't work--blogger is squirrely at my office.

So, anyway Paul--I had a flat right there in Coolidge--and really glad Steve came back to help me out. It was cold and dark and I got most of the wire out of the tire, but not all of it, so it made for a slow leak. I'll write more in the blog myself, but after the first controle at Tom Mix, I was feeling pretty nausious, as was Steve. We dragged ourselves up that road to Oracle, and I have to say I was in pretty bad shape. Just waiting to puke my guts out--but I didn't. On Oracle road we stopped and with tweezers picked the wire and a shard of glass out of my tire. At the lunch controle I was pretty sick--Susan offered to take me back to CG. When I was in the bathroom, I looked in the mirror and I was green.

Had a bought of the "runs"--and then the fog lifted a bit. I figured I'd go as far as I could. I off loaded everything I could--including the camera, to save weight and gave to Susan. Very slowly I began to recover, Paul. It was grueling but luckily by the time we got to Gates Pass, I knew it was time to do or die. You would be glad to know that I pulled myself up Gates Pass and met Steve at the top. I made the ascent. As I was going up, weekend riders going down were cheering me on. After 103 miles or thereabouts, getting up that hill is quite a feat in itself. You're up there at the top and looking down that road... Its amazing that we have the strength to do what we do.

Photo courtesy of Paul Layton--this is going down the front side of Gates Pass

Steve and I battled the wind and just took turns drafting for the return. I wanted Steve to draft off me as much as possible until I gave out--that way he could at least finish. But the miles started to melt away and we had a rythm going on up to La Palma, and then we easily got the 10 miles to I-10 under our wheels. Once we got into town and up Henness, where you saw us, we were pretty happy to be done and just kind of cooled down and took it easy.

I must say Paul, you and your bike looked pretty well-tuned. I was glad to see you--but wished I could have talked to you a little more. Steve and I lost a solid hour working over my tire problems. We have made good work of streamlining our controle stops, and even at the lunch stop, we were pulling in as Bryan Gibbon and the group from San Diego were pulling out--so believe it or not, Steve and I ride pretty strong--and we will always finish!

Allure Libre!

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