Sunday, May 10, 2015

So how was it?

How was your 600K? After years of riding 600Ks, a dozen or more of them, it's still nice to be asked.

A 600K is basically 2 double centuries on consecutive days. Saturday and Sunday, a weekend spent almost totally on the bike.

During this one we rode from the Golden Gate Bridge to the former lumber town and seaport of Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast... and back again. Yes it is a long way, long enough to defy summaries. Long enough to go off-script. Long enough to feel euphoric, then wretched, then come out the other side and finish feeling good.

In short, it was everything. 

Many riders want to ride it fast, as fast as they can. The other riders talk about the fasties, sometimes wistfully. But this is not a race. Instead it is a gateway to the longer brevets. The main goal for me is not to ride for time but to practice the right behaviors: eating and drinking (and eating and drinking) and taking a sleep break, and making it through the low times. They must become ingrained, reflex.

Happy to report I did great on that. Finally!

Sometimes you ride with others, sometimes you ride alone. This distance forces the issue. Come prepared to ride the entire 600K solo, that's the only way. Then when I need to stop and the others need to ride on, everyone does what they need to do. Chances are we'll see each other down the road. There are no guarantees; I practiced riding my ride.

One not-so-proud moment: disassembling a Big Mac in Fort Bragg and trying to scrape off the special sauce and reassemble everything on an Udi's gluten-free bun. Yuck. It is really, really hard to be gluten-free and mostly dairy-free for 600K.

A proud moment: on the shoulder of Highway 128 in the dark, 17 miles west of the campground, fixing a flat. That new headlamp is handy. Feeling for a little sliver of glass, working the tire with a fingernail. I'm a demon for root cause. No point in putting everything back together until you've found it. Kitty says do you happen to have tweezers? I reach down to my heavy toolkit on the road and from a mini Swiss Army knife pluck a set of tweezers. Bingo! Nothing better than the right tool in the middle of nowhere, having carried it for literally thousands of miles.

A not-so-proud moment: for some reason, the pump only wants to put 50 pounds of pressure into the tube. Riding 17 miles uphill, with a sore back and tired legs, on a squishy tire. After a stressful week at work, too sleepy to ride through the night. Just want comfort.

Up and down. And so it goes...

No comments:

Post a Comment