Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mason-Dixon 200K

All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time"--Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC

I thought of Chesty’s quote on an ascent of a long hill on the return. The hills were around us and all we could do is climb. The Maxon-Dixon 200K is history. The route began in Bethesda, MD, twisted and pitched through the northern DC ‘burbs to Littlestown, PA near Gettysburg, PA. I completed the 128 mile route in about 13 hours. I wish I could say I was messing around at the controls but I wasn’t.

This is a difficult ride, especially for the first brevet of the year. In the December Newsletter, DC Randonneurs RBA Matt Settle said, “I’ve been informed that it is deceptively difficult with more climbing than most of our brevets. So come prepared.” I had disregard for this warning.

A small hill.

In the pre-ride information on the DC Randonneurs Blog Mark Vinnette writes, “I had no intent of making it hard, but my feeble understanding of the terrain and the desire to keep the route direct had its impact. I’ve clocked ~ 7800′ elevation…which always reads lower than others.” My thought, “what a great way to train.”

Does the route live up to the hipe?

The simple answer is yes, it lives up to the hipe. The hills begin immediately and do not relent except for the 10 – 15 miles of rollers.

A sign of things to come.

About 15 miles outside Littlestown, PA, the real fun begins. The hills start to become longer and steeper. There is a small section on Arters Mill RD that has some very steep roads. I actually witnessed people get off their bikes and walk. Upon completion of that section of the route I had a revolting thought. It occurs to me that I have to do the section again in about an hour.

Coho Randonneuse

It was a great day on the Randonneuse. It was a dream to ride in all areas of terrain. There were many compliments given to the Randonneuse. Often people ride just behind me to take in the beauty of Chuck’s craftsmanship.

Completion of this ride brings pride and satisfaction. It was a difficult ride and most importantly, it was FUN!

The start.
Control in Littlestown, PA.

Lessons Learned:
Listen to the wisdom of Veloccio. "Eat before you get hungry."
Training is ok right now. Need some long rides in the coming weeks. More time on the bike will aid fitness.

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