DCR’s Lou Lamoureux checked in last night from Brevet Week in Wisconsin. Seems our man got caught up trying to draft Lon Haldeman on a tandem. I tried sitting on Lon’s group early at PBP 2003 when he was on his single bike, and was promptly ejected off the back on the first hill. I can only imagine the pain of sitting in his tandem draft. Anyway, you can reach Lou at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check out his blog, the Transplant Athlete, Here
Here’s Lou’s report:
I thought I would send you some thoughts from the Wisconsin Brevet Week for your blog.
Having been schooled in the Mid-Atlantic’s “It’s not a brevet unless there’s a scenic(insane) amount of climbing…”, I brought my Litespeed with a compact crankset instead of the flatland-loving Softride. BIG MISTAKE.
The terrain is relatively flat, but the headwinds make up for some of the lack of hills. The 200K (Sunday) went by in a record eight hours, as we passed by ostriches, goats, cows, and lots of friendly horses. In fact, I made it to the turnaround before people started returning and that’s never happened before. Several miles before the last control, the heavens opened up and in minutes we were soaked to the bone. I thought we were close to the control point, so I figured I would put a jacket on then, but I was farther out than I thought. I wasn’t a happy camper at the control, but once the jacket was on and I had started moving again, I was able to warm right up.
The 300K (Monday) went even faster. Lon Haldeman (captain) and Doug Slack (stoker) caught up to us about a half hour into the ride and the group I was in jumped on their wheel. On the way to the turnaround point I got to spend some time riding alongside Steve Born and Cassie Lowe. Steve gave me some good advice for the remaining rides and for my taper before RAAM.
The controls are every 25 – 30 miles apart, so I felt it was important to minimize time at any one point, but at the turnaround point, the heat and headwinds were getting to everyone and we spent a good deal of time there. As you know, I’ve had a fair bit of practice chasing tandems, but with the supercharged tailwind, a compact crankset, and the legendary Lon Haldeman pushing the pace at the front, I struggled to keep up and was only able to hold on for 45 minutes.
We were generally cruising at around 28 mph as you can imagine with a compact crankset, I was spinning at about 100 r.p.m. wishing I had a smaller cassette in the back. We hit a slight downhill, then a long flat section and I’m pretty sure we were exceeding 32 m.p.h. I lost contact with the group and briefly pushed the pace to 36 in the hopes of getting back into the draft, but they were GONE! I ended up finishing around 12 hours, another record for me.
All this training mileage has taken a toll on the Litespeed. Just before the turnaround point, the seatpost slid down, so I raised it (just a bit too high) and started getting heel pain, so I lowered it. I pushed through the pain to get to the turnaround and after losing the tandem’s draft on the way back, I took it easy the rest of the way to the finish. Other issues with the Litespeed: the bar tape unraveled in the middle of the brevet and the lockring on the cassette loosened up, a lot. I spent some time on maintenance and it’s ready for the 400k.
Tuesday featured seminars on “Nutrition for PBP” by Steve Born, “Training for PBP” by Doug Mclellan, and “Strategies for PBP” by Doug Slack (speeds, sleep, eating). Wednesday is the 400k, more seminars and a BBQ on Friday, and then the 600k on Saturday.