Monday, July 12, 2010

Tobacco Root Mountains 300K Brevet-a ride with a little of everything!

My second and final brevet of the season as RBA took place on July 10, 2010 and was a challenging success! The challenges started before the ride with the complete destruction of a significant portion of the frontage road between Belgrade and Manhattan due to bridge construction. The day before the ride I had to scramble to build a new cue sheet to accommodate a detour on Dry Creek Road.

Previously, I also had to write in a detour due to the I-90 overpass construction in Three Forks-a detour that put us on I-90 for 4 miles outbound, and 5 miles inbound. Long story short...I got the updated cue sheet done and the riders made it through the detours with no major problems.

I was once again honored to have Jim Moores of Boise, and Ken Billingsley of Molt, MT on the ride. We left my house at 5:00 am in the early morning darkness with our lights on. As we passed through Manhattan, Brenda called to let me know that Ronaele Foss from Colorado Springs was just getting underway. Ronaele had emailed me to let me know she would be riding, but unfortunately, a misunderstanding about the start time put her almost an hour behind. I felt bad about the mishap, but I knew from seeing Ronaele's results on the RUSA website that she was an experienced randonneur and would be just fine.

The morning temps were in the 50's-and quite comfortable. We made great time to the first control at Sappington Bridge, stopping only at the Three Forks overpass construction site to take advantage of the worker's port-a-john (the only good thing about road construction is there's usually a port-a-john nearby). My Mom and Jackson were set up at the bridge over the Jefferson River to sign our cards and restock our supplies. They would be our guardian angels all day-in the event any of us had trouble.

The day warmed up considerably-the bank sign in Sheridan said it was 86 degrees. Much warmer than I've been used to so far this year. However, after Sheridan dark clouds started building across the hills of the Jefferson Valley. The forecast called for 20 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms, but it looked like there was a 100 percent chance of us getting nailed!

Ken and Jim were riding stronger than me on the last half of the route and I had to let them go. Ken was super strong all day and Jim kept his steady pace all the way through.

After getting myself rehydrated (I wasn't drinking enough early in the ride) I started to rally a bit before Whitehall. Mom and Jackson rolled into the Whitehall control right behind me and reported that Ronaele had left Sheridan and was getting along fine. Unfortunately, the weather over that part of the route looked quite ominous.

The 30 miles between Whitehall and Three Forks blessed all 4 of us with a wonderful tailwind. I didn't even mind the rain drops that were falling on me as I blew through the Jefferson Canyon.

Ronaele finished a while after dark-equipped with bright headlights to announce her impending arrival from several miles away. She had indeed encountered some of those thunderstorms-accompanied by some scary strong cross-winds. But despite the hardships she was in fine spirits.

All four of us had good days on the bike and all four of us felt like we accomplished something at the end. It was definitely a tough ride. Special thanks to my Mom, son Jackson, and wife Brenda for all the work they put in to make this ride such a great success. With the sudden route changes and all I would have been a basket-case without their help.

Being an RBA is fun, but now I can breath easier the rest of this season (sort of). I don't have any more club or randonneuring events to lead-I can just show up and ride like everybody else. There is work to do however. A full brevet series for next season is in the works as my Paris-Brest-Paris 2011 preparation continues.

The ride results and a link to more photos is HERE.
Jason Karp, Jim Moores, and Ken Billingsly all reflectered up and ready to go!

Ronaele Foss got a late start and had to deal with some serious weather, but still finished with plenty of time to spare


Jimbo said...

Hey great job on the ride! Once again I had no trouble with the que sheet and I don't know how you planned the tail wind but it was great!

Big thanks to your family. Awesome support for all of us. I have been real lazy about ride reports and I think you covered it all for me. Thanks Ken for all the strong pulls up front. Really enjoyed the day and finished ahead of my goal!

Looking forward to riding with you all again soon!

jimbo said...

I hope to ride with your group again. The ride in the canyon where the caverns are was absolutly beautiful. I felt good about the ride overall. The thundertorm was really scary. I don't think I experienced such strong side winds along with the gusts. Fortunately it was only really bad for about 40 minutes. I really had to hang onto my bike for dear life. Quite the challenge. Hope you qualify for the PBP. That is what I am working on also.

Jason Karp said...

Thanks Jim and Ronaele for coming out. It certainly wasn't an easy day!

I really like the Jefferson Canyon too-it's probably my favorite stretch of road in this area.

See y'all on the next one.