Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jackson County Brevet

Today I rode the Jackson County Brevet (pronounced Bruh-vay) 100, a benefit ride for Aplastic Anemia. I had the option of doing this ride or riding Oak Mountain with my bro. I'm not sure I made the right choice.

 The Sun

That bright, glowing thing up there. Remember that. It will be important later.

I got to Zion Baptist at 7 and went looking for check-in, which was inside the church. The registration process involved filling out a waiver, then taking it to a volunteer who would then create an account on for you (unless you already have one) and click a bunch of check-boxes on a bunch of pages. In theory, not a big deal, but nobody actually creates accounts on, or if they do, they never remember their logins. The account-creation process takes 5 minutes or more, assuming the site is working, which it wasn't. Apparently 10 simultaneous connections is too much for I felt sorry for the volunteers. Eventually they just let us turn in our waivers and go.

No time to stretch. No time to hit the facilities. Just time to line up.

 The Field

Facebook said that Addictive riders Hodge, Matt, Cody and Michelle were all "attending" the event. So I was thinking "Yay, I never get to ride with those guys. It'll be awesome." But, no, they were not riding, they were volunteering. Dangit. Matt and Becky Kicklighter were there, but somehow I never ran into them until way later. I did run into Bobby Thrash.

The roll-out involved following a truck at 10mph for a couple of miles while they took photos of the ride organizer and his wife.

 Roll Out

Eventually they let us go, and go we went. These things always start out disorganized, but today was a new level. Ten thousand attacks, in mile 2, mostly from guys on tri-bikes. People absolutely refused to work together in any way at all. 100 riders, no peloton, just one long line. No rotation, if you put in a pull, you'd get attacked when you pulled off and nobody would let you back in. I did run into Stephen Carhart though. We tried hard to organize something, but it was hopeless.

Eventually we got a group together with good dynamics, for about 10 miles. There were always riders going off the front, but we'd pull them down, we dropped some riders. It was actually fun. At the 50 mile SAG, some riders kept going and we never saw them again. About 20 of us stopped. I felt great. I tanked up and ate a couple of really good tasting oranges.

Then everything fell apart again. Just like the first couple of miles again. There was one super strong guy who spent a lot of time up front, but he was terrified of dogs. When he'd see a dog, he'd shriek, swerve and slam on his brakes. He did this three times and I was on his wheel for the first two. I have no idea how I managed to dodge him. The third dog was this super fat, squatty lab, trotting down the other side of the road, not even thinking about going out into the street and he still freaked out.

After swerving around for 10 miles, everybody stopped pedaling and spread out. Nobody wanted to pull. When me and Bobby would try, nobody would follow us. Then suddenly, everybody got together and blew past us. Was it a strategy to drop us specifically? Freakin weird.

I was in the abyss.

The abyss:

 The Abyss

Road bikes aren't meant to be ridden slowly. It's uncomfortable, lots of things hurt. Plus, I was just tired.

The abyss was hot too. It had been hot all day, but when you're rolling slow, by yourself, you notice it. I had plenty of water, but it was still hot. HOT.

When I got to the next SAG, all those guys were still there. I guess they didn't get that far ahead. We rolled out together and before long I was feeling good again. And, of all things, we were actually taking turns. I was happy. We'd roll out the remaining 20 miles together.

Pcheeewwwwww. Bobby flatted. "You got everything?" "Yeah" I kept going, then felt bad about it and turned back.


He'd gotten his tire off, but he's got deep dish aero rims and his spare tube had a short little stem. Mine was longer, but not super, super long. He could cut the tube, tie off both ends and inflate it to 60 psi or so, but the hole was less than an inch from the stem. He could cut his spare and tie pieces of it on either side of the hole, but he didn't like that idea. Maybe just as well, I've seen both done, but only the first one work, on a mountain bike tube with way less pressure in it.

Eventually he sent me on. I rode in solo for the remaining 15 miles or whatever it was. And again, the heat.

I didn't enjoy much of the ride. Only that 10 miles or so before the 50 mile SAG. The rest was hell. Pure, screaming hell. I didn't actually scream though. The only screaming was done by that dude who was scared of dogs. On the upside, it was good training. I'll be stronger tomorrow.

The post ride meal was excellent though. I stunk up Parma again, but metaphorically and today, literally. They were very friendly today though. Maybe I am cool enough to eat there. Observe this magnificence.


See, it was hot.


I might just need to get stronger before I do another century. If I were stronger, I probably wouldn't have cared about all the chaos. Matt and Becky did the 65 and had a great time. Maybe next time.

1 comment:

  1. lol @ the dog whisper guy. I like doing centuries but it sounds like I've been lucky with better group dynamics.