My first brevet

Monday, January 16, 2006

Still no century, but boy am I happy !!!

Some friends and I had planned to do the second leg of the route, from the Corinth Canal to Xylokastro and back to Corinth Canal - a total of 100kms. The group ride was set for Sunday morning, so on Sarurday I went out for a brief "warm up" - I went to my training ground and did a short lap of 25 kilometres. I included some brisk intervals just to get the legs warmed up. I have observed during these past two weeks that on Sundays I feel a lot better after the Saturday ride. I went home had my shower ate some carbs (not a lot) and went to sleep excited for the next day.

We met nice and early on Sunday. The weather forecast was not helpful and after a short deliberation of what we were going to wear we set off towards Xylokstron. Unfortunately the that pretty - we take the old "national road" which is really a narrow B-road going through villages but with a lot of traffic. At some points I felt uncomfortable as the cars behind us could not pass us so easily and that made me nervous. But to be fair almost all drivers were patient and polite. I believe it really helps that the see us as an organised group, with our colourful clothes and helmets - I feel that they respect us more. There is the occasional moron though who will honk and honk and then pass us at the first opportunity revving like an F1 driver !! I may need to practice my hand salutes as defined by the man himself. To make matters worse the tarmac was crappy. I almost fell into a pothole - I had to bunny hop over it (MTB is good for you).

We settled into a steady pace..... too slow I thought. We were doing approximately 25 to 28 kph but being part of a group makes it a lot easier. We covered the kilometres in this steady pace. In less than two hours we reached our destination but the clock only showed about 43 kilometres !!! Damn - we decided to press on until the 50th kilometre but unfortunately the weather had other ideas. It started to drizzle and the sky did not look very friendly. So we decided to turn at the 48km mark.

(Mr. B, me, Zeppelin, Dr. Abo - kerdosko is the photographer. All Cyclist Friends)

As soon as we turned around I realised why it was so easy - we had a nice wind helping us which was now against us. To be honest I got scared for a while but Mr. B, an experience racer, organised us into a small group taking turns in the front. WOW what a difference did it make!! It took us about 5 kilometres to get used to the changes and also to get comfortable in a tighter formation, but once we managed that it became very easy. We finished the difficult coastal section much quicker that I thought with no real effort. I had read about drafting but that was the first time I experienced it first hand. It really works.

After less than four hours riding time we reached back to our cars. The odometer showed 95.5 kilometres! Still no century for me but I was a very happy man!
(95.5 Aerobic kilometres)

Happy because:
  • Found it easier than I thought
  • I finished it and did not feel at all tired - no muscle pains even the next day
  • No major pains. The new saddle really helped. I believe that if I can get my hands on a top quality bib then I should not have a major problem.

The question I asked myself though was - "could I repeat it immediately in order to get to 200kms ?" At this point I do not have an honest answer. Honestly I think I need the miles I am going to put in for the next month. Perhaps I can finish it even now but it will not be easy.

This Sunday's ride has really encouraged me. I cannot wait until the 18th of February!!!!


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