“You were bad, you were really bad”, said the wife once I returned home from the Gainesville 200K. One look at my sunburned and haggled face told her I had not had an easy go at things. “You didn’t train, you didn’t pack , you didn’t prepare for this ride. You know better, be ashamed I count on you to set the example.” She was right of course, I had underestimated the course and taken it much too lightly. Perhaps this was a wake-up call that I am becoming, as they say around here, a bit too big for my britches.
This excursion started at 2 am when I woke up, loaded the Cruz-Moose in the fancy-schmancy transport contraption and headed down interstate 75 for the 4 hour drive to Gainesville. My first clue things might not go perfectly hit me when I was standing at the start of the ride in the dark wearing short pants and a short sleeved Team Moose jersey. It was in the low thirties and I was slightly under dressed. As we were leaving town one of the riders said his electronic gadget was recording 28 degrees. I believe it was even colder. Yeah I checked the weather forecast last week but only looked for signs of rain or no rain; after all I was going to Florida. No big deal. I was still alive at the first rest stop and by then things had warmed up. But, boy my face hurt. I think I’ll check the forecast a little closer next time.
My main objective, besides bagging the first PBP qualifying ride, was to test run my basic Garmin 200 as a route guide. I had taken the time to load the 200K breadcrumb route along with all the PBP legs on it. I was pretty proud of that and excited to try to follow the arrows without reading the que sheet. Massive no-go, big time fail! It would run for about ten minutes and then promptly turn off. Usually at the turning points. Lucky for me, early during the ride there were plenty of other riders around and I could simply follow the herd. Mid-ride I had the device staying on but it scrolled through windows automatically so I only saw the path every three minutes or so. Those saying you can just follow the signage during PBP might be on the right track. Just having a cheap Wal-Mart odometer to show speed is the simplest way to go for me. I’ll give the Garmin a few more tries but I am leaning strongly towards the “keep it simple” method.
The ride wasn’t all bad. I linked up with Marshall (of the old Team Bacchetta group) after the first control. Those who know him will tell you he is a nice guy. He is and he can also read a que sheet while pedaling. But best of all Marshall will let you wheel suck all the way around the course.
Connie was right. I came into this ride totally unprepared and it was all self-induced. If this had been the first day on a multi-day ride, I probably wouldn’t have finished. My first sunburn for 2015– in January– is embarrassing, especially since lotion was in my day pack. I drank a half bottle of water, one diet coke, and two snack bars. That’s it, I know better. The only thing that kept this ride from being a disaster was good company and Cruz-Moose. Thanks Marshall; and Cruz, you are a comfy recumbent. Bike pains could have easily been the straw that ended the ride. I don’t see how the diamond framers do it. My new motto for recumbents: No pain, No pain!