Bash Bisk 300k Ride Report

It's 12:30 on a Friday night. My roommates haven't even gotten back from the party they're at, but I'm trying to convince myself it's morning. I remember seeing 11:10 on the clock, so I haven't slept more than 80 minutes. Why am I doing this?

It's 2 am. I've been driving for over an hour, and the rain is getting heavier. I am theoretically going to start riding at 3. Why am I doing this?

It's 3:30 am. I'm riding west on Route 20. It's still raining. There are somewhere between 10 and 20 other people on the road with me -- it's impossible to tell as all I see when I look back are the blinding lights of who is closest. My handlebar lights show very clearly how much water is coming off my front wheel and going onto my gloves. I still have 180 miles to ride. Why am I doing this?

It's 6 am. I'm at a Dunkin Donuts in Lee, Massachusetts, lying on my back. On the floor of the men's room. With my feet under the hand dryer. Every time it clicks off, I kick it back on. Why am I doing this??

If you've read enough of my writing you might think this is all a setup for the juxtaposition -- some beautiful and/or triumphant picture with the caption this is why I am doing this! -- but you're wrong. I never found particularly good reason why I was riding 300k, starting in the dark, and in the rain.

There lots of little reasons, I guess, to do 190 miles on a bike -- 12 hours in the saddle -- aside from the saddle sores.

I learned that you can get free plastic bags from Dunkin' Donuts and cut them up to make windproof socks.

I practiced my over-the-shoulder-pic-while-riding shot, a la Thom P

I got better at it.

I found a bike shop before this tire came apart and killed me.

This over-the-shoulder pic might look like a blurry mess, but it was a 15% grade. I also learned that there's a reason real randonneurs don't have backpacks -- two days later and my shoulders are killin' me.

It never looks steep in pictures, but roads don't switchback like that unless there's a good reason.

Dad and Linnea complain less than I do -- or at least less publicly.

We hit the 300k mark. We were not at the car. Luckily, by this time we were pretty used to riding.

190 miles will get you from Boston to Albany -- or from Westfield MA, to Great Barrington, to Kent, CT, to Copake Falls, NY, and then back to Westfield.

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One thing I find quite interesting is how my calves are not sore, at all, from 12 hours of mostly L1 riding. My quads are destroyed. We all know you can't get fast riding slowly, but it's interesting to feel why.

After 500k of this stuff I can say with some confidence that randonneurs, on average, are weird people. I suppose my presence does nothing to change that.

I'd rather suffer 45 minutes on a cross bike on the weekends than do this, but there's definitely something to be said for a ride that makes even serious cyclists say, "damn."


Jordan said…
Unknown said…
that's epic. by the way, you need to trim down that shift housing. it doesn't need to be so long that it overlaps like that.
solobreak said…
"We all know you can't get fast riding slowly..."

But you already are fast. And this is not going to slow you down.

Is it safe to say that you are IN for D2R2?
Colin R said…
definitely in for d2r2. all the reports from last year made it look insanely hard, looking forward to suffering with some blogger types -- you in?
Big Bikes said…

Nice over the shoulder shots
and the imagined image of you lying on the floor of a Dunkin' Donuts restroom, kicking the hand dryer made me laugh. Hopefully you were eating an egg and cheese on a Boston Cream while you were doing it.
solobreak said…
If I survive Saturday, I'm in for D2R2 this year. Having a fast navigator would be awesome...
Anonymous said…
JB said…
what cary said.
Alex said…
Did you ever figure out why you were doing this?

Gotta say it sounds preferable to sitting in the rain at a graduation... barely...
gewilli said…
it all sounds like fun... except the starting to ride at 3am part...

Couldn't find it in ya to ride the last 10 miles to make it a double century?
God. If even half the ride had scenery like the woods in the photos, this must have been one gorgeous ride.

What about data? Did you wear an HRM? Do you know what HR you averaged? Min/max? I'm interested to know.
Colin R said…
didn't wear a HRM but I would imagine the data would be min 110, max 180, avg 135 or so. I raced Linnea up one hill (which accounts for the 180) but other than that, it's mostly L1 riding so my HR would be in the 130's.
Ryan said…

You should have asked me about 200 mile rides.


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