Monday, April 1, 2013

104km Battelle-Darby-New Holland Populaire

Last Saturday was the unofficial start of the Ohio Randonneurs season with the 104km Battelle-Darby-New Holland Populaire ride. The ride was unofficial because it doesn't count towards a Super Randonneur series, but it gets the Ohio Rando brethren together to ride and battle the early season elements. This particular route was fairly flat, esp. by Biking Bob standards with only 1,500 feet of elevation.

My riding partner extraordinaire Rich arrived at my house @ 5:30 promptly. We quickly loaded his gear into the Rando-bus (aka Subaru Outback) and started the 2.5 hour drive to the South side of Columbus. During the drive, we got caught up on riding stories, stuff that's happened since the last season in our personal lives, reviewing techno music, and our tentative plans for the 1200k we are doing later in the summer. Rich being the crazy man he is, has already logged a 200 & 400k ride in this season.

We got to the starting point about an hour early. We unloaded the bikes from the bus griping about how cold it was - a toasty 27 degrees. We were both debating how many gloves to wear, whether to ride winter riding boots or shoes with covers, etc. Rich was fairly impressed with my new bike & setup, a Specialized Tricross Elite Disc Comp. Bob arrived early getting everyone signed in, handing out control cards and returning cards from last season. Just prior to leaving, I swapped my boots out for Keen cycling sandals and some wool socks. Rich insisted I was crazy. But with bunions and the chance for the temp to climb into the 50s, I just kinda said screw it. A couple minutes later, we were off @ 9 AM.

The first thirty minutes was cold, but tolerable with a head wind from the South\SouthWest between 8-10 MPH. With each passing hour, it was obvious the day was gonna be a relatively warm one. By 10:30 we did a two minute pit stop to strip off excess layers to prevent over sweating. I started riding on the drops cranking heavily to increase our avg speed. I looked back and saw that Rich was falling back a little bit. When he caught back up, he insisted that I take off without him. I said "You're my riding partner, so I stay with you. What am I going to do? I can leave until you come back..." with a grin. Rich said "set us a 17 MPH avg"; and with that we were cranking out the miles while taking in the rural views.

We were arriving at the first control when the first main group was leaving. We quickly got our cards stamped and were off again. The return route was extremely easy since the wind was at our back. It was easy to maintain our 17 MPH avg for the majority of the way to the next control point. During this leg, we were chased by a fairly large and fast dog. He had no issues maintaining 22 MPH - which prompted us to increase our speed further. At the next control, we found several Rando riders in the parking lot enjoying a lunch in the sun. The temp was now in the mid 50s. We got our control cards stamped. Rich ate another sandwich and I parted with two bananas. Rich commented on how little I was eating and wanted to know what I ate for breakfast. "1/4 cup of egg beaters". Rich started giving me an ear full about needing to eat a lot more while riding; so I promised at the 200k I would eat more. I got into a conversation with a local priest until we had to go.

The last leg of the ride had a couple rollers but was still fairly easy. The temp got up to 60 degrees (thank god I wore the sandals and not winter boots) and we arrived back at the starting point in 4:15 even. Easy ride day to log some miles and see some of the local riders again. Next up is the 200k in two weeks.

To quell the concerns from Rich about me not eating, we hit up Popeyes for a cholestrol filled chicken lunch on the way home. We arrived home early enough so that Rich could make it to a rave party. Woot!

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