This past Saturday I drove down to San Diego to ride the Rollers To Bonsall 200k. This makes my fourth brevet this year, and while I’ve already completed a 200k on my way towards the Super Randonneur series, it is good training. I can always use work on my times at the controls and pacing overall. Another benefit is that I’ve got a brevet a month scheduled until October, so that puts me on my way towards the R-12 award as well.
I’ve never ridden in this area before and I was looking forward to it. A fellow rando rider told me earlier in the week “you know San Diego is not flat right?” I guess it’s called the Rollers to Bonsall for a reason right? Here are the reasons.
I recognized a couple blogging randonneurs at the start. Ryan came down from LA and stayed the weekend in San Diego. Esteban writes Velo Flaneur and Mark writes the Surly Randonneur. Mark is also on the Surly Long Haul Trucker google group, and sure to form, he was on his Olive Green (best color) LHT. I was able to chat briefly with the both of them before the start. After some quick route updates we were off. The pace was pretty good at the start. I was trying to hold onto some wheels for as long as I could, and by the first control I had been in HR Zone 5 a few too many times. I still had many miles to pedal so I decided to back off.
I ended up riding alone for most of the ride, which is always a mixed blessing. No one to worry about, but battling the headwinds alone is always tough. As it was, there was a group of three riders that I would catch at each control. They would be there already at the control, but I was able to get out of the controls quick enough to ride with them briefly. I could never hold their wheel for long, but it was good to see them at every control.
The route had a fair amount of urban riding, which included many stoplights. Esteban dubbed it the “Stoplights to Bonsall” ride appropriately, but after sometime we were in some rural riding. It was really scenic on these meandering roads. My Garmin Edge 705 wasn’t loading the mapset, and being somewhat of a GPS geek it was really bugging me. However, it was so nice to be out on these roads that I quickly forgot about the technical snafu and just enjoyed the ride. Sometimes too much techy stuff can get in the way of just enjoying your bike and pedaling some new roads.
At Oceanside we turned south. Most of the climbing was done, and it was just a matter of pedaling the miles. I was having a hard time though. I had changed my fueling program and was having a hard time. I have been using Heed and Perpetuem as my main fueling sources. However, the Perpetuem has been making me feel bloated after the riding was over. So for this ride I tried to dial it back, but I think I cut it by too much. I was really craving some food, but I didn’t want to stop.
Solana Beach is the destination for the 400k in September. The only difference is that when I’ll be passing this sign it will be in the middle of the night. So I’m glad I was able to see the city in the daylight.
The final obstacle was Torrey Grade. It’s about 6% for 2 miles. In that time you climb 400 feet above where you started. This entire ride my goal was to stay out of the triple. My new rando bike will only have a compact crank so I wanted to see if I could do all the climbing with out the triple. I was getting so tired though after my fueling issue that I was pretty sure that I’d need the triple on Torrey Grade. However, I just kept my head down and grinded up the hill. I was able to stay out of the triple and it made my day. I could feel like I’m getting stronger and maybe I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. My moving pace increased slightly, and it feels good to see the effects of the training.
The Selle An-Atomica that I was using seemed to work pretty good. I had to tighten the seat about halfway through the ride. It had stretched noticeably in just a few hours. I’m getting some chafing in the inner thigh area, but I’m hoping that it lessens as the leather gets softer. It’s a mixed bag though, as I need to tension the contact area for my sit bones, but that makes the thigh area tighter. Overall, I’m not 100% convinced on the seat. I think it needs some more adjusting before I decide one way or the other. What I’m finding out that is that I need a narrow seat with good padding.
Huge thanks to the San Diego Randonneurs for a great event. I think I’ll be back down in San Diego for the 300k.
Here are the Garmin stats.