Del's Focused 300

 

After the results were posted, Nate emailed me: "What the heck? Is that a typo?". I guess I had an exceptionally good day riding. My day started out not so well when I got a speeding ticket before dawn on the way to the start. 76 mph I think. I haven't even looked at it yet, because its too depressing. So I arrived at the start even later than I usually do. I was on my heavy steel Surly cyclocross bike because of the rain forecast. I had screwed new mud flaps to the fenders just the night before, for which Craig thanked me. I guess they work.

Craig wrote a pretty good ride report. Sam took off solo again, which gets the other fast guys worked up, but his little light in the distance keeps us on course and motivated. He was only a few hundred yards ahead at the first control and we regrouped there. Six of us started the main climb together. I was keying on Craig since he was strongest rider in the 100 and 200. We let Spurgeon go on his single speed, with Bingle chasing him. They were barely in sight going over the top, which of course means we won't see them for a long time on the faster downhill stretch. Big Sam took off in pursuit on the downhill, but Phil, Craig and I took it easier. I assume those 3 regrouped, because we next saw them standing together along the road west of Tillamook. Mike had double-flatted both new Schwalbe tires I had highly recommended to him…they've been bombproof for me.

Five of us were in Netarts together, minus Sam, who goes a bit slower on those steep Capes climbs. Spurgeon was on a mission I guess, as he was first to depart the free feast. Did you know he is doing RAAM in less than two months? We gave him a couple minutes, but I wanted to keep him close, so soon Mike and I and Craig were rolling. We saw John coming out of a Pacific City store (the one on the left as you approach town). We continued, now ahead of him, to the gas station on the corner in town, had a very quick stop and I saw John riding by as I came out. No water, no food, just a quick signature, thanks and off chasing John. Craig and Mike were not much slower and I could see them behind on the road, so softpedaled until they caught up. Mike didn't catch us until we were on Little Nestucca Rd. I was not in a hurry, because even though John was still a couple hundred yards ahead, we could see he was coming back to us, even while we were softpedaling. Craig reminded me that John rode away from us early on the first climb, so we shouldn't give him much leash, but I felt strong and calm and mentioned that the guys strongest the first hour are often not strongest six or eight hours later.

So we four grouped up and traded easy pace for a few miles. (Phil had decided to back off exiting Netarts). Soon John and I started pulling harder and testing each other and were soon far ahead. This was the first time I had ridden with John for more than a few minutes, and we enjoyed talking about raam, diet, health topics. The miles passed quickly. We only stopped once, at a store in Sheridan to fill our bottles. (I spent only $1 on this ride, for a large big gulp here). John was undergeared for the fast tailwind sections, but was impressed that I was also running a single 42 ring on my cyclocross bike. Some of the headwinds got nasty. We stayed together all the way to North Valley Rd. I didn't know exactly what time we had started, but could see we might break 11 hours if we could maintain or increase our 17+ average speed, so I was really hammering it home on those windy rolling hills. I took an exceptionally long and hard pull and noticed John was gone, but instead of waiting I just hammered harder in hopes of sub-11. The mileage was a little longer than I had projected and I rolled in at 5:05 pm, so I thought I had missed out, but then Burt said the start was actually 6:05, so it was 11 flat. Nice!

This is the farthest I ever rode my Surly. And with the 28x700c Marathon Plus tires, the computer measures slightly long. My final readings were 189 miles in 10:44, 17.6 average and 44 max. So I guess that means only 16 minutes of stopped time. Mike had asked me early in the ride if I was tired from the Davis 12, and I had correctly said no, not at all. In fact, I think I got a very good training effect from that ride and rode much better this week. Tuesday I was certainly still tired from Davis, but seemed to be fully recovered by Thursday, five days after my Davis 300k effort.

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