"Hey Mike, you think you might want to ride a brevet with me this year?"
And so it starts...
After last years Paris-Brest-Paris I promised Debby I would take it easy this year and ease back on the brevet riding. Well, I was unable to resist the siren's call of distance riding, and a few 200k's here and there shouldn't be a problem. So one weekend after our journey to Reavis Ranch, we were loading up the Suburban and heading down to Casa Grande and the Round Trip Bike Shop for the first brevet of the season!
The start time was set at 0730 am so we were up, fully coffee'd, and out of the house by 0615. With Mike behind the wheel we made great time and arrived in Casa Grande just before 0700. We stopped at the Walmart for a natural break and headed over to the Round Trip Bike Shop to check in and get ready for the ride.
Most of the usual suspects were there and it was great seeing the AZ brevet crowd. Most asked Mike, "How did you let your Dad talk you into this?" Susan checked us in and we exchanged the requisite paperwork and we returned to the Suburban to get our gear together.
|Its been colder, today was in the low 40's!|
|Rolling out of the Start|
|All smiles at the start|
Everyone was sharing the work and while a few fell away on the 'big' climb of the day most of the group arrived at the first check point at 0858. We had to wait a minute or two for the gate to open (it does automatically at 0900), but soon we were in the monument check point. I told Mike to be ready for a quick reload of bottles because this group will not be in the checkpoint very long. I rolled in, we reloaded our bottles and I took our cards into office to get stamped and when I walked out, only Joey was there, and he was mounted and rolling out to chase down the group. That was one fast control, we were at less that 5 minutes at that point and the group was gone! We were in no mood to try and chase them down so we rolled out as a two man team as several riders arrived at the checkpoint.
The breeze was favorable heading toward the Community College and we were holding a great pace. Just before we rolled back into the Bike Shop we saw Susan heading out along the route meaning the lead group was already gone. We wouldn't see them again until they were heading back on Indian 15!
While we were checking in, at 1024, a group of three including Dave Jordan rolled in and we agreed to head out together. The wind really seemed to be building from the Southeast so it was good to have a few more horses to share the work into the wind!
|Dave Jordan taking his pull|
|Michael still having fun!|
|Mike taking a pull!|
|At the lunch break in our new Kit!|
|Susan Plonsky - RBA and today's Trail Boss|
|The source of World Famous Brevet Lunches!|
We visited with Susan a bit longer and noting that a favorable tail wind had developed, we saddled up and headed back. The nice part of an out and back route is that you get to greet and see the other riders. Some smiling, some not! We decided NOT to practice our Spanish at the Border Patrol Checkpoint and we were waved right through.
As is typical with this brevet, the tailwind fades away as you approach Casa Grande, and the last 9 miles miles is generally into the wind. Today was no exception with a relatively strong headwind to top off Mike's first brevet experience.
|At the finish, a great day on the bikes!|
Deb asked Mike; "So how was it?"
"Well, not so much fun riding back the last 40 miles or so, but great now that its over!"
Deb says to me; "You've ruined another one!"