Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Gallatin-Jefferson 400K-Home Road Advantage

Ken Baker, Barb Kuhlemeier, Sam Collins, Ken Billingsley, Jason Karp, Karel Stroethoff
More photos HERE

As the rides get longer, my ride reports get shorter, but that's more because I've got a lot of blogging to do and I'm way behind.

On Saturday, June 6, 2015 I got to host our third brevet of the season from my driveway in Belgrade as we rode the Gallatin-Jefferson 400K. We had the same cast of characters as the last two brevets with the exception of Layne Coddington, who had another commitment, but we were joined by Barb Kuhlemeier from Bozeman who wanted to get a first hand view of what randonneuring was all about on our first loop throught the Gallatin Valley.

We had perfect weather for the 86 mile loop that brought us back to my house where Brenda and Jackson had a huge lunch set out.  Then it was a more flat as we headed due west to Whitehall and Silver Star as the day was heating up, relatively speaking. We said good bye to Barb near Manhattan as she headed back to Belgrade on Dry Creek Road completing about 100 miles for the day. A 400K is a pretty tough distance for a first brevet, but she is a very strong cyclist who would have no trouble excelling at our sport. She helped set a steady quick pace throughout the morning that helped us bank a ton of time.

We found Brenda at the junction of Hwy's 41 and 55 south of Whitehall with a "secret" control and a post card for each of us to mail at Silver Star four miles away. Brenda's rest stop would have been amazing, except the mosquitoes were so thick and ravenous that we had no choice but to choke back a few groceries and then get moving before being eaten alive. We saw Brenda again in Whitehall, but the mosquitoes were just as thick there so again, no long rest stop. Perhaps for the best.

Ken, Karel, and I got in in under 20 hours-only the second time I've done that on a 400K. Karel doing so on a one-gear bike. Sam Collins, and Ken Baker got in not much later so all finishers were done in under 21 hours! We can probably attribute that to nearly perfect weather with little wind, quick stops except for our much needed lunch at my house, and because we're all rounding into shape.

The fast pace did cook me pretty good though. I was pretty stiff and sore on Sunday. I have to remember to take it a bit easier on the first day of our 600K in two weeks in Helena. Can't be burning those matches too quickly.

Many thanks to Brenda and Jackson for the awesome support, and many thanks to this great bunch of riders I've gotten to randonneur with this season. It's a lot of fun so far with much more to come.

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