View Full Version : 300 is not much more than 200, really!!

03-25-2007, 03:20 PM
... so quipped maillotpois. :cool:

Someday I hope I can say that too. But, on yesterday’s brevet, 200K is all I really wanted to do.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

When we were all setting our goals for the coming year, I thought 200K ( ~125 miles) would be a reachable goal for me, and 300K would be my “stretch” goal.

I did the 200K brevet in Santa Rosa (http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=13852) earlier this month, and that went really well, so I figured, well, why not shoot for a 300?

Veronica and I decided to do the Davis 300K together, and SadieKate would ride with us for a part of it. The route was an out and back, and I was familiar with much of the route, which was a plus. The only big unknown was the climb up Cobb Mtn from miles 90-95, immediately before the turnaround checkpoint at the top. The climb according to the route slip was about 5 miles of 6 to 11% grade. I figured it would be a slog after 90 miles, but do-able.

Lee and I stayed the night before in Davis and had a nice dinner with SK and Bubba at a local asian noodle house. Don-don noodles with peanuts, yuuuum. SK and Lee and Bubba all wanted to ride parts of the route with me & V, so intricate plans for pickups and drop-offs were made among the three of them over dinner and dessert afterwards at Baskin-Robbins.

Dark and early the next morning, Lee & I were unloading our bikes at the Park & Ride lot which was the brevet start & finish. The plan was Lee was going to ride the first 25 miles or so with us, as far as Winters, and Bubba was going to join us as we were passing thru Davis. SK was going to pick up Lee in Winters, then the two of them were going to drive to Moscowite Corners and she was going to join us there and do the out & back as far as Moskowite again. Lee in the meantime was going to load up his bike & toodle around in SK’s car, hang out & read a book, and perhaps occasionally ride with us here & there.

As I was finishing my preparations, Veronica suddenly emerged out of the darkness with bad news. Enroute to Davis, V received a call from a good friend of hers who was undergoing an extreme personal crisis. Under the circumstances, V couldn’t possibly have refused her friends cry for help, so she was heading immediately back home to be with her. So, many hugs and well wishes were exchanged, and she was off. While it was disappointing not to have V along, I & everyone else totally understood and supported her decision.

So, Lee & I were off at 7 am. It was quite the mob scene in the beginning, I think someone said there were over 100 registrants for this brevet. As usual, practically everyone took off like bats out of hell, so also as usual, Lee and I were way in back within a few miles. I’ve learned it usually takes me at least 10 miles to get warmed up, and I had no intention of burning myself out so early in the ride. Soon Bubba joined us. Evidently he was right near the start when we all headed off but he didn’t see us, and then he said he had a heck of a time catching up to us, since although Lee and I were going “slow” compared to most of the other riders, we were still cruising at about 16-18 mph over the flat Davis roads.

Lee and Bubba peeled off in Winters, with Bubba heading back to Davis and Lee getting picked up by SK. By then we were actually catching up to some of the others, who were probably backing off a bit either out of necessity or some sense finally kicking in. I rode with a few folks duing that time, including Bill Bryant, well-known randonneuring High Poobah and past president of RUSA. I had an email conversation with him a couple of weeks ago regading the brevet “permanent” routes available in our area, so I introduced myself and we had a bit of a chat. It seemed that he was hanging near the rear of the group so I figured I would see him a lot during the ride.

Happily, the ride over Cardiac wasn’t difficult and I thought this was boding really well for the rest of the ride. I reached Moskowite in good time, slugged down a mocha frappucino from the store there, used the restroom and took off with SK. By then were were pretty much near the back again, but eventually starting catching up with a few folks. I wasn’t too worried since barring major problems I knew I would finish within the 20 hours allotted, and if I finished earlier than that, it would be gravy.

We reached the first control in Pope Valley at about mile 67 and there were lots of people still there. I was thinking before the ride that it would be great if I made it there around noontime, and I looked at my watch and it was 12:02 :D I signed in, got my card initialed off, had some snacks and refilled my bottles. They had a decent spred there, and they had containers of Cytomax and Sustained Energy. I opted for the Cytomax since that’s what I use, but I would like to give the SE a try someday. While I was checking in & fueling up, SK went to hang with Lee who was parked over at the nearby Pope Valley store.

Soon we were off again. Once we passed Ink Grade Road it was uncharted territory for both of us, which was fun. We passed by the infamous Hubcap Ranch (http://www.viamagazine.com/weekenders/chrome_range06.asp), which was a hoot. Among the herd of sheep we passed in a field at the Ranch was the teeny-tiniest black baby lamb, who was scampering around and bleeting vociferously his high-pitched baby lamb bleat. Too adorable! (No photos, alas, I decided not to bring a camera with me).

Around mile 77 I started experiencing one of those low points that most people have on longer rides. I sucked down some more Hammer Gel from the flask I was carrying (with two more flasks in reserve in my saddlebag; I was taking nooo chances of bonking) and drank some more water, and after a few miles I started feeling better. We were entering the town of Middletown, and SK and I both agreed it was a good place for a pit stop. We pulled up at a coffee shop at 2:01 which come to find out had closed a minute earlier. So, we looked into the pizza parlor next door bought a couple of Pepsi’s and had a nice chat with the lady behind the counter. Since they were out of bottled water at the moment she very kindly refilled our bottles for us. That Pepsi and short rest really helped a lot and I was well over that lull. Which was good, since Cobb Mtn loomed ahead.

As I mentioned earlier, the route sheet said Cobb Mtn. was five miles from 6-11%. Fairly soon into the climb, I started thinking I was either really whupped from the previous 90 miles, or this was getting to be well over 11%. Jeeze, it was hard!! It was fairly warm out by the time we got there, but luckily there was a light cool breeze part of the time which kept me from dying completely. Still, fairly early into the climb my heart started racing like mad and I started feeling a little nauseous so I had to stop for a few minutes to cool off. Naturally, Ms. SadieKate was able to trundle on way up ahead of me :p I kept at it but I had to stop a couple times more, but these next times I stopped well before I felt I was about to hurl :rolleyes: so I didn't need to stop as long. There was one guy up ahead of me who was walking up the hill, and there were parts I swear he was walking faster than I was climbing! When I finally reached him it turned out to be Bill Bryant, the aforementioned randonneuring high poobah. He was not having a good time of it at all, poor guy. I passed by a couple more people along the climb resting or struggling mightily. According to Lee, who was waiting for us near the top, there were a *lot* of people who walked it, so, minor victory for moi for not walking it at all. Personally, I find walking up a hill with my bike harder than climbing, but if I had no other choice I would have, I suppose. In retrospect, I'm really glad I made it up that climb, that means more to me than completing the full 300K. I let out a loud whoop when I finally reached the control at the top. (Poor Bill Bryant didn't make it all the way to the top, come to find out he was having back problems, and ended up DNF'ing).

And guess what, the route sheet did underestimate the climb. :p I checked the gradient readings when I downloaded the trip from my computer, and there were sections of 12-15%, not many, and they didn’t last for very long, but they were long enough. I pretty much knew that while riding up it, because even though it was 90 miles into the ride, I didn't think 6-11% should have been THAT tough for me. No coincidence, my stops were generally right after those higher-grade sections. SK even had to stop a couple of times, we both agreed it was an uber-stinker. I think this climb is comparable in difficulty to Sierra Road, so I’m really happy to have been able to do it.

Boy oh boy, the descent was fuuuunnnn. It was a nice smooth road with good sightlines and shallow curves for the most part. I got up to near 45 mph, booyah! Made the yukky climb pretty much worth it.

So, as we were heading back, at around mile 110 or thereabouts I was starting to think this was all well & good, but I was getting to the point were getting off the bike was sounding like a truly excellent proposition, and that this was going to rapidly become less and less fun. I thought it over for a few more miles and decided it would be much better to do 200K and finish happy and invigorated, rather than force myself to do the entire 300K and possibly finish exhausted and achey and miserable. For me at least, if it's not fun, then what's the point? I talked it over with SK who completely supported my decision to call it a day at the Pope Valley control and make it about a 200K.

Can't go without posting the route profile : :cool:


Today I'm still happy with that decision, perhaps even more so. Considering the fact that before this month I had ridden a grand total of three centuries, and this month alone I’ve done three century-plus rides, I’m very pleased with what I’ve accomplished.

I’m not ruling out longer rides eventually, but I’m going to need more time to ramp up to the longer distances. And more hill training; Cobb Mtn. did really nearly knock the stuffing out of me (figuratively and otherwise :rolleyes:).

03-25-2007, 03:31 PM
It sounds like you had a great day. You have come so far baby! From just riding on the trail near your house, conquering nemesis, riding Diablo and now two 200 Ks in a month - you rock girl!


03-25-2007, 03:51 PM
In my circle of immediate friends, Jobob gets the award for most improvement. It is truly stupendous.

I know it wasn't really that hot but portions of that climb are completely exposed and no breeze. I had sweat running down my delicate chamois butt'red Assos.

The heat really built up and at least one guy was sitting on the side of the road looking like he had just hurled. To tell you how slow we were going, I asked him if he needed anything. He said yes and then proceeded to give me a long list of what he was equipped with - while I was still trying to ride by.

It was a beautiful ride and a fun day. The artery-clogging postride gorge at IHOP was yummy, and my new motto describing my attitude about rides is "A ride should never interfere with the cocktail hour."

Jo is kickin' some major tookas out there on the roads.

03-25-2007, 04:23 PM
Most excellent report!!! I'm so glad you had a good ride. That profile is impressive. Cobb is a tough one - I remembered it as being a beautifully shaded climb from Davis last year, but SK set me staright and it is clear I must simply have been delusional at that point. :rolleyes:

Anyway, GREAT JOB!!

03-25-2007, 04:33 PM
I've had so much support & encouragment from V, SK, Trekhawk & maillotpois, oh, and snap once in a while reminding me that I'm crazy. :D

You guys are the bestest.
http://www.millan.net/minimations/smileys/grouphugg.gif (http://www.millan.net)

03-25-2007, 04:50 PM
I almost did 200k instead of 300k, too. That darned Homey talked me into it!
Seriously, you have to know what your body can do. You only get one, so there's no sense in breaking it..
and yes, I need to do more training on GMR :eek:

03-25-2007, 04:53 PM
Wow, Jo! You truly are amazing! I'm very proud of you and will go and tell all my family and friends about your amazing-ness.


03-25-2007, 05:38 PM
Of course I think you're crazy! But I'm also in awe of you, and very proud of you. :cool: Congratulations - job well done!

sk - I think the new motto works for me....:p

A ride should never interfere with the cocktail hour

03-25-2007, 05:57 PM
Well mate you know what I think. You really have gotten strong and you should be suitably impressed with yourself.:)
Now all I have to worry about is how the h*ll I will keep up with you all on our fun rides.:eek:

Adventure Girl
03-25-2007, 06:34 PM
Go, Jobob, Go! How do you people do these events? Amazing!!

It seems like just yesterday you posted about your FIRST century. You've turned into a madwoman!


03-25-2007, 07:13 PM
Jo, you totally rock. It wasn't all that long ago when you appeared on this forum meekly asking "Should I get a road bike?" and now you kick some major a$$. I am in awe of your accomplishments and progress, and can't wait to see what you accomplish next. Glad you had a fun ride!

03-25-2007, 07:50 PM
How do you people do these events?

A modicum of insanity helps. :D


03-25-2007, 07:55 PM
Jo! That's amazing. And kudos also to those who rode with you for bits of it.

03-26-2007, 07:49 AM
Jobob, congrats on your many, 200 miles accomplishment. Compared to my realm of riding, your a whiz. I think you were wise knowing when to call it a day. Such a fine line between wanting to push on or stop. It's a struggle between physical and mental needs. I know the hard way pushing beyond the physical will come back to bite you.

03-26-2007, 07:52 AM
that's 200K!

200 miles is a bit longer.

I frankly don't know how you can do either. QUite an accomplishment.

I got a good workout going 31 miles yesterday.

Thanks so much for your accounting of the ride. It really helps preserve the ride and then you can share it with the rest of us. So much better than "I rode 200k miles today"


03-26-2007, 08:09 AM
I need to do more training on GMR :eek:

you might want to stay off GMR monday through SATURDAY's cuz word is they are TICKETING cyclists.... apparently it is open on sundays....

03-26-2007, 08:36 AM
that's 200K!

200 miles is a bit longer.

LOL, quite a bit longer! :D But thanks, either way.

Honestly, Mimi, 30 miles used to be a very big deal for me! And Kim's right, when I first joined this forum in late 2003, I didn't have a road bike yet, I was up to maybe 10 or 20 mile rides (and needed days to recuperate), and if anyone told me there would be a month where I did three 100-plus mile rides I'd tell them they were nutz.

I'm just saying this to let you know that it is possible to go longer distances, even if you don't think right now you can do it. It took me a few years to get to this point, and for me, I think it'll take me some more time to go longer distances, but I now know it is possible. At that's kinda neat.

Thanks so much for your accounting of the ride. It really helps preserve the ride and then you can share it with the rest of us. So much better than "I rode 200k miles today"


I really enjoy looking back at my old ride reports, it's so gratifying to see that climbs & distances that I struggled with a year or two ago are not so difficult for me now.

Here's hoping that in a year or so I look back at this ride report and think "cool, 300K isn't so hard now". :)

03-26-2007, 09:43 AM
Here's hoping that in a year or so I look back at this ride report and think "cool, 300K isn't so hard now". :)

I think you will. ;)

03-26-2007, 10:25 AM
I am in awe!!! Your accomplishments are something to aspire to...Congratulations...

03-26-2007, 12:54 PM
What else can I add? 200k ain't nuthin' to shake a stick at.

I remain convinced (even if it's only in my own head) that the closer to 100 (YO) we get, the more b*tchin' we are. It'll only get better and better!

03-26-2007, 07:31 PM
WOW! That is some impressive riding right there. 125 miles is something to be proud of!

And you had fun doing it... which is great! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story with us.

03-28-2007, 10:30 PM
JoB you are such an inspiration. Keep going, woman! I think you are going to bring a few people along behind you!

03-30-2007, 11:01 AM
Just posted on the Davis Bike Club site

Let's see if the link will work. The photo doesn't show up for some reason.


03-30-2007, 11:23 AM
Wow! What a couple of hotties!! :) Looks like you had a blast. I'm still amazed by your strength and studly-ness.

03-30-2007, 11:29 AM
oh most excellent!!

03-30-2007, 01:11 PM
:eek: aaack ! :eek:

Hee hee, I should post that pic on the Fred Thred. There I am, with a visor on my helmet :eek:, and a big whonkin' saddlebag AND handlebar bag. Havving a grand ol' time reveling in my Freditude.

03-30-2007, 01:32 PM
Ya'll look great!

03-30-2007, 02:23 PM
Havving a grand ol' time reveling in my Freditude.You were amongst your peeps!:p

03-31-2007, 09:01 PM
The photo exemplifies what all cyclists have in common and it is that huge happy grin.

I think 200K is awesome.

I got on my treadmill and took it up to a 12% elevation/grade to see what you were climbing. Ouch. I can understand why so many cyclists had to walk that climb, and how remarkable it is that you did not.


04-08-2007, 08:54 PM
congrats - That is awesome! It's so nice to have a great support system....
Loved the picture and the big smile.

04-11-2007, 10:40 PM
WOW!!! I am just finally getting caught up at TE and had no idea you were doing these!!! That is so awesome Jobob!!!! Well done :D