Sunday, November 13, 2011

Got 'er dun. 200km Mount Lemmon Brevet.


I came down to Tucson to help Stephen Kenny out with a 200km Brevet that turned around on the top of Mount Lemmon, a renowned climb in Arizona that is 33km in length and is classified as an Hors Categorie. Cool! The event is a semi-self-supported affair that is run more like an attrition-style race rather than a typical cycling race with attacking. The pace is kept high and cyclists simply disappear off the back.

Stephen and I went for a ride the day before. He has been hitting it hard out here and is experiencing a solid turn of form. In this picture, I managed to pull up beside him for a moment to snap this shot. If you click on the picture you can see the difference in effort level.

The 60km that preceded the 40km run to the Mount Lemmon Community Center was anything but flat. It was roller after roller after false  flat. We hit the base of the climb in 1hour57min and after a 5min stop in a Subway to get water and pee, we started mile0 of the climb with 4 of us. Stephen and I started the climb conservatively as he has done this hill several times and knows the early grades are steep and the climb is relentless. This shot shows the two other Randonneurs with Stephen (as usual) pulling on the front. The rear rack storage holder on the blue jersey dude was the smartest move since Stephen and I packed everything on our backs and we envied the dude's sparse pockets and his ability to breathe. Next time for sure.

Stephen's pace shed the other two cyclists and I focused on his wheel for the 2hour20min ascent. We had to stop three times; twice for water, and once for a flat (on my 700X28 tire). So moving time up the mountain was about 2hour7min.  This shot shows Stephen after ascending from desert to snow!

Since Stephen is faster than me on flats and ascents I came around on the 33km descent which accounted for about 35min of the 7hours and 56min total time. I am starting to question how much help I was :)

The ride started at 7am in early dawn and we rolled back to the coffee just before 3pm. I told my classes I had hoped to complete in 7hours30mins, but I underestimated the 60km on either side of the climb and the climb itself was spectacular!! Here is Stephen flying down the 33km descent!

Oh, I didn't factor in the wait in the line up in the General Store up at the top of Mount Lemmon for fudge ?!?!  Stephen insisted it was a tradition regardless of if we were in an event or not. It was super, thank god.

Overall, it was a great day of riding and a solid sufferfest, what else would one ask for on a Sat. !  Today it is snowing buckets up there and the road is unridable to bikes. Good timing!

Raise your hand if you have crazy helmet head.


3 comments:

Robert said...

Wicked. May I ask why the 28's? I plan on thing this rando stuff Tom mentions all the time

Trev said...

I am leaving this bike down here and I will be coming back in the winter (Jan) when I have been only on the trainer for a couple months. When I get the opportunity to come here, I tend to go crazy and ride like a madman. The 28's go a long way in smoothing the ride out on my 51cm crazy stiff Aluminum Cannondale.

Trev

Relentless said...

Trev totally down plays his contribution during the ride, he did more than is share of work. As most of you know he is a little crazy. The day before the 200 I was showing him this closed off community that has these crazy hills, 10-20% grades. Of course the next thing you know we get invited in to ride and he is cranking all over these hills. I followed for a few of them but being of a more mature age and keeping in mind we had a 200km ride the following day I elected to back off on the last bunch. The next day were climbing over 10,000 ft and I might also add he's running an 11-23, now thats nuts.
Stephen

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