Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mt. Lemmon 200k

Mt. Lemmon 200k Ride Report
Steve Atkins

I missed last year's Mt. Lemmon 200k and was looking forward to riding this brevet with Mike Rollinson. Mike suffered a knee problem and decided he was not up for the whole thing, but wanted to join me for the drive down, and perhaps take a stab at part of the ride (after all if the knee flared up, he could coast down and call it a day).

The alarm sounded at 4:45, Mike was already in the driveway unloading his faithful steed. We put the bikes on the rack and were on the road at precisely 5:00am. Sweet, we will have plenty of time! We were talking about Mike's ride last year remembered that he was late due to a crash on the I-10 just past the rest area on the way into Casa Grande for last years Mt. Lemmon 200k. Incredibly, just then, we slowed to a halt and waited 45 minutes until the traffic cleared. An 18 wheeler had overturned in the exact same spot as last years crash.

I called Susan Plosky (our regional brevet administrator), noted the milepost and exit number and told her, I would be late. We arrived at the start line just after 7:10am. Susan, Bruce Chandler and Carl Van Lueven (who also was caught in the same traffic jam) were milling about. Carl and I headed out about 7:20 and rode together to the first checkpoint.

When we hit Ina/Skyline/Sunrise the wind really kicked up. We saw Rick Blacker just finishing a flat repair and Paul Layton as we battled the headwinds to the first checkpoint. Mike Rollinson was waiting for us at the first checkpoint and we headed out toward the real climbing.

At the base of the hill, Carl excused himself from the group and headed off the front. Mike fell back and I found myself wishing I had aerobars for the ASCENT! The winds were especially strong in the road cuts with the venturi effect. It felt like track standing at some points!

I ran into Dave Glasgow in Molina canyon and we rode together for some time. We bumped into Mike Enfield in Bear Canyon and pressed on to Windy Point. Which was not at all Windy. It seemed to be the only calm place on the mountain. Ever optimistic Bruce Chandler said, "its just a regular ride from here, and the wind is dying down." Encouraged I reloaded my water bottles (two worked for me today) and headed up the road, only to be blasted by a very cold and very strong wind just around the corner!

I pressed on alone and reached Susan's Palisades Paradise Wrap Stop and grabbed some more water. I wanted to reach the top, and savor a wrap on the down slope.

I have ridden Mt. Lemmon several times and knew what was in front. I was startled to see snow and ice on the shaded roadcuts as I neared Summerhaven. I dropped my card in the slot at the post office, with a short love note to Bruce, and I was on my way back to wrap heaven.

The stop had cleared out, and I enjoyed a wrap, Coke and Susan's company before setting out for the descent.

I waved at Bruce as I bombed through Windy Point. The winds alternatively pushed, pulled, and generally made the normally very fun descent a bit more challenging.

Mike was waiting for me at the McDonald's control. I grabbed some fries and a receipt and told him to meet me at Basha's in two hours. The last 32 miles went by quickly with the tailwind and I was back at 5:09. I had lights on the bike (my normal commuting setup) but didn't need them.

I was complaining to my wife about the wind. She is now convinced that either 1)Susan has some special deal with the weather service that allows her to schedule brevets on blustery days or, 2) I am a big complainer.

Either way it was a great day to spend on the bike on a beautiful route. Thanks Susan!

Go to here for Susan's website and links to other blogs from the ride.

Steve Atkins

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shenandoah 1200 Ride Report

Shenandoah 1200 Ride Report
Steve Atkins

I was considering riding the Cascade 1200 this summer but its date conflicted with a family commitment. While on the RUSA site I hit the link for the "Inaugural" Shenandoah 1200, its dates worked and I signed up.

Shakedown ride and check-in

I assembled my bike at my friend Bill Boyle's house in Reston VA. My sister Laura lives about 10 miles away so it seemed the perfect plan for a shake-down ride was to ride to her place.

I rode the W and OD bike trail which covered most the distance. We had a nice lunch and since the clouds were gathering, and it rained like crazy the day before, I decided to head back to Reston.

A few miles later some guy in a car rolls down his window at a stop light and says ' hey did you know there is a tornado warning in this immediate area!'

I say thanks and note the clouds were turning the shade of pea soup. Not good.

I hurried on toward the bike path. I reached it but could see a wall of rain coming so I stopped next to an apartment building to put on my rain jacket. By the time I got it on the wind was blowing the rain horizontal. Luckily I was protected by the side of the building!

Later the TV news said gusts in that area exceeded 85 miles an hour!

The heavy wind lasted about 20 minutes. It let up to a steady rain and I jumped on the bike path and headed back.

Most the traffic lights were out and there were so many power outages that many schools were closed the following day.

A number of trees were uprooted and there was an unconfirmed tornado touchdown in Sterling (where I was). This tree nearly blocked all lanes of traffic near Bill's house.

After carrying my bike over several fallen trees I made it back to Bills place. The bike AND the rain gear checked out fine.

We drove to Leesburg in more driving rain, I checked in, had my bike inspected, and headed back to Reston.

What a start!

Leesburg - Start to Gettysburg
I was up at 2:45 for breakfast and Bill Boyle and I were on the road to Leesburg. We checked in and waited for the pre-ride briefing.

Matt Settle provided two key points of advice: 1-Watch for downed trees, limbs and debris. 2-The ride should get easier after you reach Fancy Gap.

The pace started out fairly fast and seemed to accelerate after the group had to dismount to cross a downed power line.

I decided to drop off and go at my own pace just before we hit a steep climb about 20 miles into the ride. The scenery in Maryland was spectacular, all the rain the previous day really greened up the forest and fields. We actually had quite a bit of fog at the start.

Somewhere along the way on route 17 I rode with Tim Sullivan of San Diego. We shared stories of our teenage sons' interest in bike racing and their abilities to drop us old men.

I arrived at the Gettysburg control at 8:03, had a couple of PBJ sammies, reloaded water, put on sunblock and was out by 8:25.

Gettysburg to Sharpsburg

Just out of the control there was an unmarked right turn into the Gettysburg National Battlefield. It was very cool to ride through the park.

I pulled off to an overlook to take it all in and snap a few photos. Another rider, Jack Holmgren of San Francisco stopped and we took each other's pictures. We rode together through the park and stopped again to snap a picture of a covered bridge.

Then the climbing got steep and hot. With a very slight tailwind, there was no air movement.

We continued through farm land and an area that was hit hard with wind the day before. Trees were down everywhere, including a large oak that had fallen on and crushed a farmhouse!

Just before the the next control we rode the Antietam National Battlefield. It was very moving riding through and thinking about the men that fought there. I snapped a picture and arrived at the control at 12:03.

The line for sandwiches in the deli was long and I spotted some potato salad in the cooler. So potatoes is was washed down with the first of many Sobe Lizard Fuels. I was back on the road at 12:30.

Sharpsburg to Winchester

Lots of rollers on this section and the heat was increasing. I think this stage touched three states, Maryland, West Virgina, and Virgina. Roads continued to be good and traffic was light.

Clouds continued to build and with the heat and humidity I thought for sure we would have a thunderstorm. Actually I was hoping for one to wash off the sweat and cool off.

I hit the control at 3:05 and was out at 3:25.

Winchester to Harrisonburg

More heat, more hills, no rain.

I rolled into the Harrisonburg control at 9:55 I was tempted to have a full dinner but decided to have a few snacks, refill my water bottles and get on my way to Deerfield. The Harrisonburg control was the Maplewood dorm at Eastern Mennonite University. It was a great control with dorm rooms, showers, and lots of food. I had decided to put my drop bag at the next stop at Deerfield thinking that I would arrive sometime between 1 and 2 am and nap until just before dawn. I was feeling fine, and close to my plan when I left at 10:30 pm.

Harrisonburg to Deerfield

The road flattened out, and actually descended 250 feet over the next 10 miles, but there was a slight headwind. Then a relatively steady climb of 20 miles, before the last 9 to the control at the Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department. The stars were out and it was very pleasant night riding.

I arrived about 1:30am, showered, ate a great meal including a turkey sandwich and big bowl of pinto beans. I was on a cot by 2:30 am. It was a large room and somewhat noisy. I pulled my balaclava over my eyes, put in the earplugs and and slept till 5:25 am.

A control volunteer had whipped up eggs, biscuits and gravy so I obliged and chowed down. I was out of there by 6:30.

Deerfield to Clifton Forge

The was one of the most spectacular sections of the ride. It was mostly downhill, much of the road was under a canopy of trees, and we rode through the Doughat State Park. There was a beautiful lake and great waterfall.

I arrived at the control at 9:10. It was a restaurant at the train station. A couple of riders, including Paul Rozzell were having some breakfast. I asked the waitress to sign my card and fill my bottles and I was out at 9:20. I stopped at a convenience store in town to reload some supplies and chatted with the cashier. He wanted to know where I was going and why I was planning to ride in the predicted heat. I told him I was riding to Fancy Gap and he looked at me like I had lost my mind. I told him that was only about 1/3 of the riding in the event. He said, "Boy, did you bump your head? Yup, I think you bumped your head!" I told him my wife feels the same way, and headed back out onto the road.

Clifton Forge to Christiansburg

From the profile I knew this would be a tough stage, but with 7500 feet of climbing over 79 miles, it was the killer.

3 steep climbs then lots of rollers. I flatted on the descent of the third climb. Too much speed and too many patches of broken pavement.

I stopped at a convenience store 38 miles into the section and provided this e mail update:

Let the whining begin!

The organizer is an assassin! 3 12-18 percent grades in the first 17 miles!

Here I sit on a 50 pound bag of dog food at CM Grocery (they were nice to let me stay in the cool store) having a dual tube steak lunch. 4 hours to complete 38 miles! Did I mention it is hot!

Enough whining; back to my steaks!

68 miles into this stage I stopped at the convenience store at Ellett road. Paul Rozzell was there (he passed me when I was repairing a flat on the descent of the third big climb). We discussed the lovely heat, headwinds, and seemingly endless rollers that comprised the previous 50 miles. We rode together to the control and arrived at Christiansburg at 5:15. At that pace I would not have qualified for a 200k brevet. Temperatures were over 100 with high humidity. We were out of there at 5:30.

Christiansburg to Hillsville

The ride to Hillsville was dominated by the Indian Valley Road. This road starts up a beautiful water course then transitions to a ridge line road. So nice steady climbing then a series of very sharp and steep climbs and descents. The views from along the road were awesome and much of the pavement was brand new.

We arrived at the control in Hillsville at 10:18 pm. where the volunteers were especially eager to please. I chowed down a PBJ and rolled out with several riders at 10:33 pm.

Hillsville to Fancy Gap

Only 13 miles of climbing, and with the cooler evening air it was a nice section. We climbed to the Blue Ridge Parkway and rolled into the control at 11:55 pm under a starry sky. The control was set up with the check-in point at one end of the campground and the food and sleep area on the other end. Volunteers shuttled the riders back and forth in a pick up truck. I must say the NC Randonneurs did a great job. I showered, had a grilled hamburger, and a big pile of beans. I was in bed at 12:45 am with a wake-up call for 4:30am.

Fancy Gap to Hillsville

I woke and chowed down my standard brevet breakfast (canned beans, chocolate milk, and Ensure) while I dressed in my room (private no less!). I had a cup of coffee and walked back to my bike to loosen up and was out of the control at 5:00am. Just a few miles into the ride, my chain started clicking. I stopped to check it out and noticed a link had popped.

I tried to repair it by removing the troublesome link and then reconnecting the chain. It worked, and carried me to the control but the link where I reconnected was stiff. I asked the control volunteer if there was a bike shop in town. I was convinced I would have more chain trouble. She checked with Matt, and he said he had a spare chain he could sell me and would be in Hillsville 'shortly.' While I was waiting, I decided to remove that link and replace it with a quick link I had in my repair kit. I should have done that first. In any case, I waited for some time and did not leave the control until 7:45 am., just 15 minutes before its close.

Hillsville to Christiansburg

The course retraced yesterday's route through Indian Valley. I paused to take a couple of photos because the views were great. The climbs on the return trip did not seem so bad, probably because it was still cool and the legs were somewhat fresh. I was In and out of Christiansburg at 11:12. I picked up a 3 hour time cushion over 45 miles and my legs felt it!

Christiansburg to Buchanan

I took a Subway break near the control before heading out for Buchanan and wrote:

I fixed the chain with a Fast link but decided to wait for a replacement chain to carry as a spare in case another link failed.

Now that I have the spare that will end my chain problems. The chain was only a few months old but it really got hammered yesterday with all the climbing.

Buchanan does not close till 1123 tonight so if its too hot this afternoon I may duck into a Subway or under a tree!

The control at Buchanan was a BugerKing/Exxon combination. I arrived at 4:45 pm and decided to take a long break to get out of the heat, and to let the sun get lower on the horizon to create some shade on the route. I bought a half gallon of Gatorade, Whopper Jr., fries and settled in to read the newspaper a previous patron had left. I did not leave until 5:45 pm, in the meantime a number of riders stumbled in, beet red from the heat.

Buchanan to Harrisonburg

This was a long section (89 miles) and I stopped about halfway at a Shell station at 9:55 for a 20 minute break and a couple of hot dogs and another quart of Gatorade.

I called Debby to say hello and to get the weather forecast for tomorrow. She said the temps in Leesburg would be nearing 100 at noon. She suggested I sleep short and start early to get done before it gets really hot. I was ready to get out of the heat ASAP so I planned to adopt that strategy.

It seemed to take forever to get to Harrisonburg. I cracked up and took this picture in a small town on the way to Harrisonburg! I finally arrived at 1:13 am, showered, ate, and was in bed for a 90 min nap and 3:00 am wake-up call. I had breakfast and was on the road at 3:40 am.

Harrisonburg to Middletown

The first few miles out of Harrisonburg were tough to get rolling, but since this section was generally downhill, it was not long until I was warmed up and moving. It was nice to start so early as there was no traffic on VA 42 at that time of morning.

It was a great sunrise as I rode through great Virgina farm country. I arrived at Middleton at 7:20, put on sunblock, had a cup of coffee, and was back on the road at 7:35.

Middletown to Leesburg (Finish!)

The first 20 miles were very nice. At one point, I crossed a river on a one lane bridge. When I reached the other side, a father and son were preparing to launch their fishing boat. I stopped to say hello. The boy, about 6 years old admired the blue tires on my blue bike. We chatted for a while and they were kind enough to snap a photo.

The ride to the finish had two tough sections, each climbing up and over a ridge. The second was climbing Route 7 over Manassas Gap. The road here was very tough. Lots of traffic and the shoulder had been recently chip sealed. Even at 10:00 am, the heat was radiating off the pavement. The air was still and I was sweating so much I had to remove my sunglasses on the climb.

I rolled into the finish at about 11:50am and beat the 80 hour mark (Just barely). I was very happy to have my sister Laura and niece Kate at the finish line. Of course, off camera, my friend and logistics officer Bill Boyle was there to collect me and shuttle back to Reston.

Bill and I found some lunch in Leesburg and I pounded many Cokes and water over lunch. On the way back to his house, the big challenge was staying awake!

Closing thoughts

I was happy with my ride, it was a great route, with good roads and very cool views. It was a double bonus having friends and family so close to the start/finish. As usual in randonneur events, the riders and volunteers were awesome. There was more climbing that I expected and certainly more heat.

With the big DNF rate, many riders were comparing this 1200 to PBP 2007. I rode that PBP and can say I do much better in the heat than in the cold. Maybe that's why I live in Tempe Arizona!

Link to Picasa photos:


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Camp Verde to Flagstaff City Limits (almost a Double)

Mt. Humphry from Lake Mary Road

Ride Report May 18. 2008

I was planning on riding a double century last Saturday. Deb 'suggested' that I do the ride on Sunday, since I am always 'not worth a crap' the day after a long ride. So Sunday it was. Since it is already in the triple digits here in the desert, it was off to the rim country for climbing and cooler climes. This is my last 'long' training ride before the Shenandoah 1200 in June. I mis-calculated the time to drive to Camp Verde(closer to 2 hours, not 1) and had to shorten the ride to 180 miles to be back home by 10:00 p.m. when my kitchen pass officially expired!

I have ridden this route many times, and this was by far the most enjoyable. The weather was perfect with a consistent cross-wind from the west that kept me cool most of the day. The sun was out all day and traffic was light. I would have liked to have made it all the way to downtown Flagstaff for a latte at the Late for the Train Coffee Shop, but due to the time I turned around just inside the city limits sign when my computer indicated 90 miles and 2 pm.

Camp Verde to Clint's Well

I set out from the Clear Creek RV resort just outside Camp Verde at 6:33 am for the long climb up to the rim. The first 23 miles or so are up AZ 230 to the AZ87 connection. Turn left and climb a couple of more miles to the 7450 elevation sign. From there, its 8 miles of descent on a narrow two-lane to Clint's Well. Traffic was light and the air was cool. I arrived at the Mustang Gas Station/Mini-mart at about 9:30 and enjoyed a turkey sandwich and Sobe Lizard Fuel.

Clint's Well to Mormon Lake Lodge and General Store

Most think it would be a steady climb toward Flagstaff, but actually the route descends for a few miles before starting the climb up to Happy Jack, about half-way to Mormon Lake. There are no services in Happy Jack, but there is a Forest Service office, with a hose bib in the back, where I have gotten water in the past. No need this trip, I was solid on water and dropped down to Mormon Lake. I arrived at 12:17 and chowed down on a Campbell's Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup. Cold out of the can (mucho grams of sodium) and muy tasty. Chased with another Sobe and I was on my way to Flagstaff.

Flagstaff City Limits

The ride from Mormon Lake to Flag was stunning. This has been a wet winter, and Mormon, Upper and Lower Lake Mary were all full. The road here is two-lane with an excellent shoulder. Lots of riders were out doing the loop from Flagstaff to Mormon Lake and back. At one point the cross-wind turned into a tail-wind on a downhill section and I was cruising easily at 40 mph! The shoulder disappears at the Flagstaff City limits sign and I turned around about 2 miles later when my computer indicated 90 miles at about 2:00 p.m.

Back to Mormon Lake

The ride back was excellent. Many boaters and fisherman were enjoying the lakes, and while the grass has not really greened up yet, the views were great. I made my way back to the Mormon Lake lodge. Since it was hot, I treated myself to an ice cream sandwich, can of Beanie Weenie, and another Sobe Lizard fuel. I left just before 4:00 pm.

Mormon Lake to Clint's Well

The climb out of Mormon Lake to Happy Jack went quickly and before I knew it, I was descending with outstanding views of the rim area. I rolled into Clint's Well at about 5:45 and purchased a tuna sandwich and large Coke from the fountain. I was craving a chocolate milk, but they were out. So Coke it was, stirring the straw like crazy to 'shake out' the carbonation. I sat outside for a few minutes at the store. They have two benches where I usually take a break. I met a guy who asked me about my ride. Turns out he runs a small construction company in Gilbert AZ and we talked construction accounting while I hammered down my sandwich and Coke. I was out of there at 6:09

Clint's Well to Camp Verde

I was dreading this portion of the ride. Sunday evening on a narrow two-lane highway. Well traffic was light, and the road surface is improved from last year. So that while the space outside the fog line was only inches, it was smooth. I hammered up to the 7450 sign and then started the descent. It is a rolling descent until you hit the safety pullout about 12 miles from the end of the ride. Then its a 6 percent grade from there with one 'false flat' about halfway down. It was now dark so I put on the clear glasses and turned on my Schmidt generator hub and pointed my ride downhill.

The sky was fire red, and with a slight headwind, my speed held at about 40 mph nearly all the way to the car at Clear Creek. At that speed, only a few cars passed me, and all gave me plenty of space. I hit one snake and about a million grasshoppers as I rolled into the heat of Camp Verde.

It was 8:10 when I arrived back at the car. I was very happy with the ride and my food strategy. Mostly convenience store stuff supplemented with a few gels and Ensure.

Overall rating: Excellent

This was a good shakedown ride for the Shenandoah 1200. I carried nearly everything I will have on the bike for the 1200. With about 10,000 feet of climbing, elevation, and remote sections, this is one of the best brevet training routes in the state. Combined with the great views and generally excellent roads, this ride is hard to beat. Now if I had just left 1.5 hours earlier !!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tombstone 600 April 26-27, 2008

A few lessons learned!

My plan for this year's 600 was to ride straight through and skip the sleep stop in Elgin. So to make sure I wasn't up too late the night before the ride, for the first time ever, I had all my gear organized and staged Thursday night. All I needed to do as pack up the Suburban Friday night and I set my alarm and was in the sack at 9:00 pm, a new bedtime record before a brevet.

Early Friday morning I rolled over and looked at the clock: 4:19am. DOH! The alarm didn't go off, so I jump out of bed, grab my clothes, brew a coffee and I am out the door at 4:28. With 45 miles to go and a start time of 5:00 am, I know I will be late. With my gear in the front seat and the Sub on cruise control I gear up on the way to Casa Grande.

Lesson One: Pack every thing two nights before and be ready to go!

Lesson Two: Double check and back-up the alarm. I found out from Debby that I set it for 4:40 not 3:40 as I had planned (she was not too happy about getting her wake-up at 4:40!)

I called Susan (our Brevet Administrator) at 4:45 and told her I would be late. She said she would wait for me at the start and reminded me not to speed (I saw two highway patrol and one sheriff vehicles on the way!).

I arrived fully clothed (gloves, helmet, glasses) at 5:08, pulled my bike out of the back, gave Susan my drop bag, picked up my card and I was out of there at 5:11.

I caught the Utah contingent outside of Casa Grande and by the time we hit Eloy, everyone except Mike Sturgill and Craig Long were in the group. The headwinds picked up and Rodger Smith did a great job getting us organized into a double pace line that we held together (more or less) from Picacho to Marana.

The road tilted up and the wind eased and the group shattered. Somewhere along this section I lost my cue sheet, but the morning was spectacular and I made great time and hit the checkpoint at I-19 at 11:40am. Mike and Craig were just finishing lunch, I topped off my bottles and we headed off together into a stiff headwind. Turning east on Sahaurita road, the wind became a strong cross and our little group broke up. I would see Mike and Craig off and on throughout the remainder of the ride.

At the Houghton Road mini-mart I topped off my bottles and headed toward Sonoita. On the long climb, I ran out of water, and due to the heat became dehydrated. I figured two large water bottles would be plenty, but I really needed three. I hate wearing a Camelback on the bike, and I knew this would be the longest section without water on the ride. I wished I had bought an extra water bottle at the mini-mart and stuck it in my jersey pocket.

Lesson Three: Buy an extra water bottle for remote sections.

Arriving in Sonoita, only 9 miles from the checkpoint, I stopped at the mini-mart and bought water and a Coke and tried to recover. I lingered for a while and headed to Elgin, where Susan, Mike and Craig were wondering if I had taken a wrong turn. I hadn't, but I must of spent more time in Sonoita that I had thought. I ate a little, changed clothes and headed out for Tombstone. Along the way, I had a nice tail wind, but suffered from the dehydration and a sour stomach. What little food I had in Elgin ended up on the road to Tombstone!

I arrived at the checkpoint Tombstone just before 7 pm. I downed a large Sobe drink (always works when I get sick or dehydrated) and headed out. I pounded down another Sobe at the Mustang Corner store half-way back to Elgin. The had sun set and I started to feel better. I arrived back in Elgin just before 10 pm.

I declined Susan's offer of dinner and opted for a can of beans I had in my drop bag instead. I changed into dry clothes again and left Elgin just before 11 feeling much better that when I had arrived there 7 hours before.

It usually gets very cold around Elgin and this year was no exception. I really didn't get warmed up until I reached Sahaurita road at the bottom of the hill. I reloaded my water bottles at the secret location provided by Susan. I also checked my stashed water at the Houghton road market and it was there.

I reached the I-19 at about 2am. If there had been a Motel there, I would have checked in. There is a new 24 hour Shell station there, so I asked where the nearest motel was. Since it would have been 10 miles off route (5 each way), I decided to take a short break in front of the store. I headed out some 10 minutes later and I could see Mike Sturgil's tail light going up Helmet Peak Road several miles in front of me. I came upon Mike quite suddenly as he had stopped on Mission to work on his lights. We rode together through the night and all the way to Marana.

Mike was ready to 'get this ride over with' while I really needed some breakfast, so he left while I finished my Circle K Breakfast Sandwich and chocolate milk. I left Marana about 7 dreading the building headwinds. About a mile or two later I reached down for my water bottles. DOH DOH DOH! I left them on the counter at the Circle K. I returned the Circle K, retrieved my bottles and headed out again. As I was leaving I considered putting on sun screen, but decided since I would finish at about 10am I wouldn't need it.

Lesson Four: You make mental mistakes when you stay up all night.

I wasted 20 minutes and got a nice sunburn because of my two little mental mistakes in Marana.

The last 45 miles of the Casa Grande brevets are flat, but always seem to be into a headwind. This ride was no exception. Arriving in Casa Grande I was fighting a stiff crossing headwind and dodging flying debris. I arrived at the finish line just before 10am, very happy to have that section behind me and this ride in the bag.

This was the first time I arrived at the finish before our brevet administrator. So I completed my card, dropped it in the designated spot, and headed for home fighting Mr. Sandman the whole way!

I completed the ride within the time goal I had set and learned some valuable lessons.

Steve Atkins