[SFRandon] The 600k

1 view
Skip to first unread message

Charles Schroyer

May 25, 2010, 12:33:44 AM5/25/10
to night...@yahoogroups.com, java...@yahoogroups.com, art cruz, San Francisco Randonneurs, Roberta Jones

 “The 600k trip to Hell and back”

The event started much the same as the 200k and the 300k leaving from the Golden gate in the wee early morning. This 6pm start was in the daylight without rain, this was a good sign. Art Cruz had asked if we could ride together because he had never done a Brevet out of San Francisco and the cue sheets had a lot of turns that could get him lost. Not haven ridden with Art in a number of years I was a little concerned about our possible different riding styles.

The ride started right on time and soon we were able to settle down, once you are on the bike many of the worries seem to go away. The ride out to the first checkpoint 2 Point Reyes Station was cold but nothing we had not prepared for, things were looking good. After a great Chocolate bread pudding that was just out of the oven, I knew I was in heaven, things could not be better riding and eating life was wonderful. I was right things would not get better, soon we started to get the jest of the ride, rolling hills and a constant headwind and I say that with a capital H.

Art and I found that we rode well together and grouped together with other riders during the more winder portions of the ride. The next checkpoint 3 was Peet’s coffee in Petaluma, things were still going well and the Latte with heaps of sugar hit the spot, on to checkpoint 4. We were starting to get a little tired of the rollers and the headwind they seem to sap the strength.  Checkpoint 4 was in Healdsburg and it was getting late in the day so there was no soup at Safeway something my mind was hoping for the last few miles.  I was able to make up for the lack of soup with a great croissant chicken salad sandwich.

The fun Begins!

Coming out of Healdsburg you go up to Cloverdale where the climbing begins, not like the rollers are actually climbs.  Art and I were riding with a group of six when we started the climb, although it was only a 1300ft climb the grade wore you down. I was the first to the top and was feeling good the rest did not fare as well; the blood was running from the wounds of those that overlap wheels on a slow climb, nothing fatal just more battle scars. The run out to Checkpoint 5 proved be harder than expected, 93 miles between checkpoints and the sun going down. The ride support people had set up a bag drop about 30 miles from Ft Bragg and it was a God sent. Something to eat some extra water and the adding of lights and we were off for Fort Bragg, well after some messing with my rear derailleur, things not shifting right.

Wind is howling coming into Ft Bragg around 10pm temperature around freezing and can’t get worm. After putting on two polypro under layers arm warmers and two jackets I decide it is too cold to ride on. Thanks to Art and six plastic bags and one large paper bag under my jersey I was ready to go.

After messing with my rear derailleur again we were off, much in hopes of finally getting to ride with the wind and not into it. 181 miles of headwind was enough for me. We made it back to the Bag drop and were greeted buy some of the greatest volunteers ever, hot bean soup “yes I finally got my soup” and hot Chocolate and best of all and roaring fire. It soon became apparent I was toast I had thrown up everything I ate at Ft Bragg and the soup looked like it would have the same fate. Art was ready to ride and we had 50 miles to Cloverdale to a Hotel we reserved for the night. Think time line here it was 2pm and it had taken us 4 hours to do the 50 miles from Cloverdale. We said our good bye and Art road off in the freezing weather a better man than me. One of the volunteers’ must have felt sorry for me because he offered me his tent and sleeping bag. I closed my eyes only to be awakened by the volunteer telling me it was 4pm time to ride “what the f@*k” I obeyed my commander and got back on the bike, after playing with the derailleur.

No tail wind and bitter cold I was praying for a climb to heat up the body, why is it that it seems to be the only flat 14 mile stretch in the whole ride in front of me. Shifter not working very well only have my two climbing gears but still have the front chain rings, thank God I have a large spread a 34 and a 54, and this will be the saving factor for the whole ride.

Watching the sun rise was glorious but the ride back to Cloverdale became a daunting task, one large climb and rollers that never seem to end. Coming into Cloverdale and seeing other riders made my day. The stomach was not altogether right but ordered pancakes and eggs anyway, got about one third down and felt better. Surprises never cease here pulls up Klay Cardona he had got 5 hours sleep and left an hour and a half after me from the bag drop and made the cutoff at Cloverdale with 15 minutes to spare.

Feeling better and the wind at our backs Klay and I dropped the hammer and make the run to checkpoint 6 Guerneville. We make it there with an hour and fifteen minutes under the cutoff, things were looking up. Still had the shifting problem and again messed with the derailleur this time deciding to oil the cable housing with sun screen, this did not work for when I pulled on the cable it broke in two. It had broken inside the shifter “not good”. Klay and I looked for a bike shop to no avail. I finally just pulled it up tight so that my rear derailleur was on a middle gear and tied it off. We were off; on the flats I would spin above 100 to keep up, using the 54, and grind out the hills with the 34 my life saver.

Pulling into checkpoint 8 brought another surprise there was Art, we got to hear Arts tale of sleeping on the concrete floor of some post office, he did make to hotel in time to shower before checkout. We made a pack to finish this thing together for without each other we would not be here. After tightening my derailleur cable some more to get me into a better climbing range we headed out of Point Reyes station to the finish. With the lower range I could not keep up on the downwind legs, I have to give it to the fixed gear people they are nuts. Only four climbs left with the lower gear I could grind out without walking but knew that the last climb up to the Golden gate would do me in.

At last climb, I talked Art and Klay to go on ahead because I would most likely walk most of it. Pulling the derailleur cable up as hard as I could I was able to get almost all the way up to my climbing gear. I was determined I was going to make it. Coming around the last part of the climb before you cross the road and cross the Golden Gate there was Art and Klay not willing to cross without me, a perfect ending to the most grueling rides I have ever done.

We hit the checkpoint finish line at 8:13pm and all got the same time, 36 hours and 13 minutes.

The rollers added up to 23,342 ft of climbing, total distance 375 miles, knocked off the bike twice by the wind. This was a once in a lifetime experience that has taken me as close to the edge as I would ever wish to get. 

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "San Francisco Randonneurs" group.
To post to this group, send email to sfra...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to sfrandon+u...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/sfrandon?hl=en.

Charles Schroyer

May 25, 2010, 12:36:20 AM5/25/10
to night...@yahoogroups.com, java...@yahoogroups.com, art cruz, San Francisco Randonneurs, Roberta Jones
a Correction on our time 38 hours and 13 min. mind still a little foggy
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages