PCH Randos 300k Brevet

Things are going well. This past Saturday was my 3rd brevet, and my 2nd 300k. I was more relaxed going into this event and my fitness level has increased since February. It showed big time. I’m trying to complete the Super Randonneur series this year, and I’ve already logged the 300k event, but I wanted some more practice. I’ve found some things to tweak and some weaknesses. That’ll come later this week though.

The weekend started with some last minute prep (of course) and a half day of work. Then Bruce, Ryan and I made the drive up to San Luis Obispo. We stopped at Topanga Creek Bicycles on the way up to chat and discuss future bike parts. Vickie and Lance were very gracious (Huge Thanks!), and opened their home to the randonneurs coming in from all over. I think the farthest traveled award went to Carl from Arizona. We spread out at their house for some quick shut-eye. Then up at 4:30am for final preparations, some food and the pre-ride meeting and we were off.

Ryan getting some help from Shaun.

Our host Vickie on her new ‘bent.

The town of Guadalupe. I’d been here once before by motorycle with my friend Mike. We came up for the day for steak and then rode home. It was cool to pass through it again, although very briefly.

I caught up to Shaun just before Guadalupe. I first met Shaun when I volunteered for his Urban Double earlier in the year. After that experience I became more interested in trying these longer rides. We paced each other and enjoyed some conversation all the way to Los Alamos. He’s ridden the AIDS/Lifecycle event and pointed out some similarities between their route and the one we were on. Good company makes the miles fly by.

The first climb was Drum Canyon. It’s about 3 miles, and I believe it was just under 1000ft of elevation gain. My rides up to Chantry Flats were perfect training for this climb. I completed the climb in about 24 minutes, which I was pretty happy with. I thought I still had more to go when I saw the summit, so that was a bonus.

From Los Alamos, around Mile 55, to Sisquoc at Mile 130 I was riding alone. I was trying to catch the tandem of Jack and Kathy, but they were too fast. After Lompoc I found Bruce working the control on Santa Rosa Rd. Thanks Bruce! I tried my first ever V8 (pretty good) and shed some more layers. After this control it was time to head back north, through Buellton, Solvang and Los Olivos.

Up Foxen Canyon we climbed up what was referred to as “The Wall” on the Solvang Metric Century. It sounds worse than it is. On that ride there were a ton of people, but today we were all alone.

I finished the climb up Foxen Canyon all alone and was pretty tired by the time I got to Sisquoc and it’s lonely store. Carl and Jim were there already and soon Jack and Kathy arrived on their tandem. Carl suggested that we ride together to fight the headwind and so that’s what we did. To be honest, I was a little nervous because I had never ridden in a paceline before. So I told myself that I would try to ride 10 miles with them and then ride the remaining miles solo. I was able to hold on though and we killed the next 20 miles in no time. We were flyin’! We all managed to stay together until the end, even finishing right at the end of daylight.

I had given myself a goal of a 15 hours to complete the brevet and not only did I make it, I beat it! By 15 mins! 14:45 for 188 miles! That’s 3 hours faster than my previous 300k. I still can’t believe it. I don’t think that I’d have made it without the group and the paceline. The interesting thing to note is that my HR went down and my speed went up on the final 100k, all thanks to riding in the paceline.

I think I’m ready to move on to the 400k now. I’ve got some things to adjust/change on the Casseroll, and I’l be sharing those this week, so stay tuned.

Here are the Garmin stats.