Friday, April 4, 2008

Saratoga Springs 200km brevet

This past Sunday I did my first brevet.  200km or ~126mi.  How did I, a long distance cyclist for a few years now, miss the entire chapter about randonneurs?

Saratoga Springs, NY is a few hours straight north of NYC (read: a few hours COLDER this time of the year)  On the drive up, I reminisced about the 50F and lack of snow in NYC as the temp dropped a degree every few miles and snow kept building and building along the sides of the thruway.  

On Sunday, me and about 15 other cyclists rolled out of the ride director's house around 7am, and were greeted with a shy sun trying to decide if it's rays were allowed to touch upon this decidedly frigid region.  A balmy 15F with light wind and clear skies!  Rarely do I ride in this temperature, and certainly not for an anticipated 6 to 8 hours.  

I and many others on the ride learned that water bottles freeze REALLY fast in these uncomfortably low temperatures.  Thanks, Tom, for telling me about the inverted bottle trick.  Too bad it was after the race was over...  So, for a few hours I was sucking on that nipple like none other trying to squeeze out a drop of water.  Some resorted to the microwave at convenient stores.  

Four hours after the start the temperature was pushing the freezing mark.  In some areas a foot of snow was on the ground and all the lakes were very frozen which probably helped knock the temperature down a few more degrees!

Thankfully, the area around Saratoga Springs is beautiful for road riding.  I kept thinking, I bet this would be beautiful in the summer!  Or, about 40F warmer.  I shall return!

Overall, the ride was a great experience and I met some nice people I will hopefully stay in touch with in the future. 

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