bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike in front of a statue of an apple (baldwin monument)
This is the information page for my 118-km (~74mi) Permanent Populaire (RUSA Route #3389) from West Medford to Ipswich and back.

Route map and GPS file on RideWithGPS, (also available to ride in the reverse direction).

More details, including some pictures and control information... )

If you're interested in riding this route, please email me from the link on the RUSA page for the permanent; I do not always check comments here as quickly as I do my email. I will be happy to help you with any questions and information on parking if driving to the start.
bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike in front of a statue of an apple (baldwin monument)
I know, I never posted about LAST YEAR's 400k, I don't think, nor the Dart from that year or this one. Oops. Maybe I'll do a giant recap, maybe I'll fail miserably at it. (Short version: great! sub-22!) But for now, ramblings about tomorrow, a year after last year's 400k and a day before this year's.

Bike ready (fingers crossed) for tomorrow's 400k, and I think I am too. Only cycling-related dream so far this week included me telling someone else mid-ride that, actually, the hill we were climbing was the easiest way out of the valley, and that they'd be fine. As opposed to stress dreams of running late etc.
Not sure how much I want to try to push for a good time or if I want to find a posse and hang out, we'll see. (With how slow I am on hills compared to flats, having a posse *and* pushing basically only happens if riding with T. when he wants company more than he wants to drop me on climbs -- we spent a lot of last year's 400k riding together, for randonneuring values of riding together. Or occasionally there's a tandem that rides about my hill/flat pace on these rides, but I haven't seen them lately.)

Weather might influence that, since when it's beautiful I'm perfectly happy to just ride my bike myself, and not really stop at controls for more than a receipt -- in bad weather company makes the miles go quicker and I'm actually willing to stop and rest places like so many other people seem to want to do all the time. :)

Now, next weekends 2x200k -- *that* might try to break me, since each of the 200ks basically has as much climbing as this weekend's ride, and my legs won't be 100% recovered. We'll see. But it'll get me my ACP 200k for the year, since I'm aiming for a series.
bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike in front of a statue of an apple (baldwin monument)
Actual ride report coming when I have pictures sorted out etc. But it's Tuesday and I already feel pretty good post-400k, which is just awesome. No hand numbness (had a fair bit the one other 400 I did), no muscle aches that aren't the usual sort of DOMS from pushing a bit hard, tiny bit of chafing that has already healed.

So yeah, I'm back, I hit my big goal for this season, and I'm going to be putting together a training plan for the full series for next year.
bikingandbaking: Photo of my road bike leaned against a gazebo (you must face the gazebo alone)
I've had a lot of pre-ride jitters manifest as anxiety dreams, but I'm not sure I've ever had them before a 100k. I've had two this week. (I don't remember exactly what they entailed now, and dream descriptions are generally only interesting to the dreamer, but I woke up and distinctly realized they were anxiety dreams about the 100k.)

I'm still vastly out of shape, although I my brain is fairly confident that, barring really awful weather (I'm not doing 90 miles in driving sleet this year), or the flu that's going around the office, that I can gut out 68 familiar miles. I just...haven't ridden that far in a long time. My shoulder is OK, my hand is OK, I have been riding some, but it seems daunting in a way it hasn't since before my first populaire.

It's longer if I add the to/from to the total; I might drive to the start, I might not. It seems wrong, somehow, not to ride out there. ([livejournal.com profile] dphilli1 alas has had to bail out even before the day-of; his ankle has gone from keeping him from running (hence biking!) to no biking either. He wasn't up for 90, so the plan was to drive. We'll see. I need to decide, like, yesterday. Probably I'll ride out there, and if I have to, call for a ride home afterward.

I also need to hook up a new cyclocomputer -- the old one's mount cracked in the crash, and it's been in my handlebar bag since -- still registering miles but no longer on the bars. We'll see if that happens before the ride either; it's not like I'll be trying to set any personal speed records.

I'm tentatively looking at the rest of the season, too; I'll know more once I've knocked out 68/90 miles where my body stands. Even without the cancer and the crash it was not shaping up as a terribly good off-season; new responsibilities at work have been keeping me busy and I've lost the hang of making time to hit the gym again. I am definitely looking forward to doing my first team event -- a flat 200k dart should be a great way to do that. The big question is what if the 200k goes well. If it goes poorly, the answer is clear; do more 200ks. If it goes close to as well as in 2014, though, do I dare more? Somewhere in the midst of fear and uncertainty and mortality rates, I put PBP 2019 on my calendar; there's no time like the present to get back into the habit of being in brevet shape. But I need some confidence-boosting successes right now, more than I need challenges. Hopefully Saturday will be the former.
bikingandbaking: Photo of my road bike leaned against a gazebo (you must face the gazebo alone)
Welp, there's no getting around it, so I might as well rip off the band-aid and post a ride report about yesterday. I DNF'ed the 2015 NER 300k at 137.7 miles in, at Petersham. In many ways, I DNFed about ten-fifteen miles before that, when I was suddenly sleepy and dizzy and decided that if I still felt that bad when I got to Petersham, I'd quit then, in a nice somewhat-lit town center where the volunteers might be able to help me get home, and if they couldn't, I could wait somewhere safe for a ride. (Spoiler: Emily and Tsun are awesome volunteers, and played tetris with the contents of Tsun's car to fit me & my bike in, along with another DNFer. Also thanks to the two friends who would have come gotten me if I'd needed them to, since D was out of town.)

Read on for the long version... )
Cut for large images, jump here if you only want the pretty and none of the tl;dr )
bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike with a tag reading "51" on it (Default)
The ride started out great. A big huge crowd of people, many of which I know by now (even if I am terrible with names and don't remember them all). We all set out as a giant strung out pack, but the light across 2 quickly split a chunk of us out the back. Me, T, S&G, plus a bunch of people I hadn't met. We were still a wide variety of speeds; I rode with S&G and a guy A I hadn't talked to before for a good while before the first control, where I didn't want to really stop, so I left them behind and cruised on alone.

The sheltering of a pack would have been nice in the wind, but I was feeling good, and happy riding by myself. Around mile 50 or so I started seeing the speed demons heading back north; this was one of the few really out-and-back courses we do. They were flying by in tight little pelotons. Then I started seeing the looser middle packs, and then I was at the turnaround myself, being teased by one of the gentlemen who'd helped with my flat-o'doom on last years 300k. I sheepishly admitted that I'd just gone back to the type of tire that had been such a cause of dismay, but that I was sure I'd be OK next time. They didn't have any food at the turnaround, and I was starting to get hungry, but I figured I'd eat later. (Never wait until you're hungry to eat. Bad move, though I never really bonked. Just got overly tired.)

At mile 90 or so of the brevet, I started writing this blog post in my head. A title, a nervous start, some suspense, and then the news: Reader, I crushed it (p.s. that's a good thing). Well, the first 90 miles or so, I did. After that...

Well, it could have been a lot worse )
bikingandbaking: Photo of my road bike leaned against a gazebo (you must face the gazebo alone)
Anxiety was for nought; my performance wasn't as good as I vaguely hoped it might be with insufficient training, but it wasn't bad; a few minor/annoying mechanical issues were also surmounted.

More later, once I have repaired both engine (i.e. foooooood and sleeeeeeep) and the machine (front derailleur issues).
bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike from the front (seven)
With this long cold winter, plus a long recovery from a cold that knocked both [livejournal.com profile] dphilli1 and I on our asses for weeks, the NER 107k was only my second long ride of spring. The first was a different 107k ride in January, but that was before the snow; it feels almost like the last ride of last year than the first of 2015.

So, of course, it had to sleet. On both rides -- January and yesterday. Yesterday was bad enough that even hardy randonneurs were offered the chance to ride next weekend instead, but that's Passover and I will be cooking up a storm, not riding through one.

It was hailing as I rode out to Hanscom... )
bikingandbaking: Photo of my road bike leaned against a gazebo (you must face the gazebo alone)
Yoga again. This time felt less transformative, but I was also arriving after a week of vacation from hunching over computers (and substantially less hunching over a cutting board than usual at Thanksgiving).

Last year I was cagey about goals, because I didn't want to post lofty ones and fail. This year, I'm comfortable posting them. Not to keep myself honest so much as to get excited about them.
And no, PBP isn't on here. I don't think the crowds sound appealing, if I'm going to shlep over to ride in France it's going to be wine-country touring style, and [livejournal.com profile] dphilli1 deserves a better 5th wedding anniversary than either being home alone or crewing for exhausted cranky randonneuring Sarah in France. :) If the series goes well, in 2015, a domestic or Canadian 1200K in 2016 seems like a good goal.

2015 ride calendar, tentatively ) After that -- Westfield doesn't have all their info up -- they have a September 200K and a 200K option for the Great River Ride, which could be fun. I'm pretty sure I'll won't want to do anything longer than a 200K after the Big Goal Rides. And I'm not sure if I'll go up for the Fall Classic again -- it was a lot of fun, though. Maybe I can convince [livejournal.com profile] dphilli1 to do the populaire with me, since he'll be training for touring by that point. And hopefully there will be some more 100k-ish rides with NER.

And then touring in October, woo.

Somewhere in there it'd be nice to get the canoe out for a multi-day trip. Or even just get the damn thing down for day trips, period. Alas, time.
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