Back to Back: My Aching Legs

MG and I have decided to ride more miles this winter in anticipation of all those brevets we guess we’ll need to qualify for PBP. What better way to kick off this plan than by riding an almost pancake flat 200K, followed by a hilly century the next day?

There is nothing like back-to-backs to build endurance. The first couple are not so easy, I have to admit. My legs felt like concrete at work on Monday. It’s a good tired, right?

The weekend started at the D.C. Randonneurs Flatbread 200K on Saturday in Centreville, Md. just east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. A forecast calling for mild temperatures and a little drizzle, at most, brought out 43 riders, including six tandem teams.

We rarely see these guys after the start

We rarely see these guys after the start

Chip and Jim, sweeping the course

Chip and Jim, sweeping the course

See more photos from Saturday’s brevet at my Flickr page. Bill Beck has also posted results at the DCR results page.

On most brevets, I like to ride with the front group until the first hills, and then let them go as we settle down to our normal pace. Saturday there were no hills, and we picked up a little tailwind, which let us stay with the speedsters all the way to the first control and then again for awhile to the second control. For average randonneurs such as ourselves, it was fun to ride at 19+ m.p.h. average for 60 miles.

We found the going a lot slower on the return because of a headwind and from not eating enough food. We failed to pack sandwiches and there are few places to get fast food in that part of Maryland and Delaware. Gas station snacks work only so well.

We rode mostly solo the last 40 miles and finished before 4 p.m., which is on the faster side for us these days. Many thanks to Chip Adams and helpers for a great event.

It was so fun to ride with everybody, especially Ron and Barb Anderson, who came down from Pennsylvania.

Sunday we somehow got ourselves suited up and out the door for Crista Borras’ rolling Union Bridge Century, despite feeling pretty tired and a little toxic. We started from a park 10 miles into the ride, which gave us an extra half-hour of much-enjoyed sleep. Another shortcut during the ride brought us to a total of 78 miles. It was the right distance, because our energy faded after lunch. The temperatures were in the 70s with light winds, and only the falling leaves reminded us that we were riding in November.

See a few photos from the ride here.

Waiting for our friends to arrive at lunch

Waiting for our friends to arrive at lunch

Jeff, Mike, Chuck, Crista and Michael

Jeff, Mike, Chuck, Crista and Michael

Here’s a map of the Flatbread 200K route:

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