Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vulture Mine 300km Brevet

Ride Report
February 14, 2015

25 or so riders lined up for the second "minimal support" brevet on the 2015 Arizona calendar. Perhaps there should have been a warning label : This ride occurs on Valentines Day, prepare accordingly!

It was great to see some of the usual suspects (Gerry Goode, Roger Peskett, David Brake), an assortment of Bullshifters, a few newbies, and a good number of out of town riders!
Carlton van Leuven checking in riders with Mike Sturgill and Chris Popovic

We rolled out as a large group and made our way west to Sun City and the first checkpoint on Grand Avenue.

Quiet Streets in Sun City
The first checkpoint was only 25 miles into the ride, and the group rolled in and out in just a few minutes. A large paceline of about 12 riders formed on the US60. A quartering headwind was starting to build, but with all the horsepower in this group we were able to hold a steady 20-21 miles an hour all the way to Wickenburg!
Large pace line on US 60
We made our second stop at a convenience store in Wickenburg and after a parade detour that added a few bonus miles, we were out of town and on the climb up Vulture Mine Road. It was about 8 miles of climbing to the high point of the ride. With the building wind out of the northeast (quartering tail), and a 1-2% downgrade, we covered the next 30 miles holding speeds of 23-25 miles an hour!
Heading down Vulture Mine Road

TA Truckstop at I-10, Chris repairing his 4th flat of the day!
After a reload at the TA truckstop we were soon on our way. The route continues south, joins part of the Around the Bend 400 route to Palo Verde, then heads north for a long pull north on Palo Verde Road to the Sun Valley Parkway.
Michael Mooney, Roger Peskett, and Chris Popovick on Sun Valley Parkway
Once back across the I-10, the road becomes the Sun Valley Parkway. A 4 lane divided boulevard with a huge shoulder. It was quite handy, because with the wind (quartering head), we were able to form a small echelon and work our way through it.

Reaching the next checkpoint Canyon Springs, we had 145 miles behind us and 45 to go. Our group had dwindled on the long slog up Sun Valley Parkway, but soon the checkpoint was filling with riders. I decided to make a quick reload and rolled out. Bob Larsen was ready to go and we headed out together.

Soon after leaving the checkpoint we started the gentle descent back into town, and the wind actually shifted to a light tailwind as the sun made its way to the horizon. Bob was fired up and taking long pulls toward the barn. We rolled through Sun City together, but hitting the flats, near the last checkpoint, I couldn't hold his wheel.

I dropped off and hit the checkpoint at 67 avenue just as Bob was rolling out. I reloaded quickly and was out a few minutes later. The last 20 miles was urban riding and I figured if I could hold 18-20 mph between traffic lights, I had a shot at finishing under 11 hours for a PR.

The Finish at 10 hours 56 minutes
Bob had arrived about 10 minutes before me, and Roger, Lee Wilkening, and Michael Mooney rolled in about 10 minutes after I rolled in. I grabbed a Coke, fries, and burger at the In 'n Out and headed home.

Luckily for me, Debby's sister is in town, so I was off the hook for Valentine's Day!

Next up is the Around the Bend 400!

GPS data:

Steve Atkins