January 12, 2013
About 30 randonnuers decided to layer up and make the Casa Grande Ruins 200km their first brevet of the season. My initial plan was to skip this one and slide in the Gila River 200 in February for my SR series. But with many of the usual suspects signed up, and the thought of riding three brevets in 5 weeks, it became an easy choice. After I carefully negotiated my kitchen pass, Debby took great delight in pointing out that the forecast was for a multi-day hard freeze and unusually cold weather kicking off just before the brevet start!
|Casa Grande National Monument Visitor Center|
Carlton van Leuven, Roger Peskett, and Mike Sturgill were already there adding layers in anticipation of the cold. I selected full Under Armour cold gear tops and bottoms, Patagonia fleece top , jersey, rain jacket, bibs, knee warmers, shoe covers, helmet cap, balaclava and heavy gloves. Oh and some hand warmers left over from our Christmas Ski trip tucked between my shoes and shoe covers!
Steve and Tom Kinney from Canada must have been laughing at us desert dwellers layered up like the kids in the "The Christmas Story."
Susan Plonsky, Arizona RBA, had the good sense to conduct the rider meeting in the warm confines of the Round Trip Bike Shop. But soon it was time to mount up and we followed Susan's lead out in the Black Brevet Mobile to the Casa Grande High School. From there, Susan waved us on and a 9 man group formed and we rode together sharing the work at a very civilized, but fast, pace all the way to the Ruins. We arrived at 9:05, stamped our cards, and left as a group for the return to Casa Grande.
|Heading back to Casa Grande after the first controle|
|Machines taking a little breather while riders reload|
|Enjoying a roadside Coke!|
|Susan Plonsky and Mike Sturgill at the lunch stop|
As advertised the wind really kicked up for the last 8 miles, Carlton dialed it back a little more and I continued on, eager to get this one 'in the bag.'
Even though we split up on the last segment, all of our original 9 man group arrived under 7 hours (and within about 15 minutes of each other).
It was a very enjoyable day, riding in good (but somewhat cold) conditions, with a strong and skilled group of riders. My computer had our average moving speed at 19.2 mph,18.2 mph overall and total time off the bike of 25 minutes! Since a number of our group already qualify for the Denny's Senior Discount, a like number will soon qualify, and the rest look like we qualify; perhaps the best description of this one was "Old Guys that Ride Fast!"
Steve (I wonder if my USAC racing age will qualify at Denny's) Atkins