100K Populaire

The LBC organized the 100K (62 mile) populaire.  I figured that it would be a good ride to break myself back into riding something more than short rides.

The ride started at 9:00 am.  I left home early to get coffee at Quill’s which was just a few blocks from the ride start location.  I intended to meet Tim and Michael there.  Michael had to drive from Bloomington and was running late, so I didn’t see the two of them until the ride.

While drinking my coffee, Ward Wilson arrived.  I had met him on a RCCS ride back in February.  We drank coffee and talked bikes for a while before heading over to the ride start location.

I don’t know how many people were riding.  If I had to guess, I would say 40.  There were two tandem bikes.  I was riding the only recumbent.  I was riding one of two bikes with fenders.  Michael, Tim, Asher, and many others were there.

Our route had us going out River Rd.  Within about five miles, Asher’s left crank arm came off.  Luckily he hadn’t lost the bolt, so we were able to re-attach it.

We continued out to US 42 then Covered Bridge (I never saw a covered bridge on the route), then Old Zaring Rd.  I really liked Old Zaring Rd.  We continued through Buckner and finally to our first control and lunch stop at Red Pepper Deli in LaGrange.

Tim, Michael, Asher, and I were near the end of the pack during this time.  Anne (who I had just met) rode with us part of this time.  Anne sat at the table with us at the lunch stop.  That is the point of a populaire – to be socialable.

We turned around and went back through areas I’m not terribly familiar with.  We came to Norton Commons and the next control stop, Gilberto Gelato.  The heat and hilly ride made my stomach less than receptive to ice cream, so I ate only a small amount.

I started to get some leg cramping at this point.  I had been having trouble drinking enough water.  My stomach was not happy with me, and my current water bottles don’t make it easy to drink without pulling over.  The pace we were riding did not allow me time to stop much for water or for taking pictures.  Also along this stretch, Tim, Michael, and Anne pulled away out of site.  Asher hung back with me.  We also had a couple of tandems that we kept leap-frogging.

After a confusing route just trying to stay on Wolf Pen Branch Rd (I hate cue sheets), we were back on River Road and on the home stretch.  Turning onto Frankfort Ave, Michael, Tim, and Anne were pulled over while Michael changed a flat tire.  From there it was a quick ride to the final stop – Flanagans.

We arrived with a mere six minutes remaining before the cutoff.   I knew I was a slow rider, but I’ve always heard that the time limits for a brevet, randonneur, or populaire were quite forgiving.  If I can barely make the time constraints of a 100K then I have serious doubts about a 200K.

I didn’t have my GPS during the ride, but I did manually re-create the route based on the cue sheet.

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How was my neck?  It was fine 99% of the time during the ride.  If I had been on an upright bike I wouldn’t have been able to finish the ride.  I did have one moment when I dodged right to avoid a large flying insect and I hurt myself.  I not only steered to the right, but I twisted and leaned that direction.  I successfully moved enough for the insect to bounce off the side of my helmet rather than hit me in the face, but it did cause neck pain for a while.

On many LBC rides, I end up riding alone.  There were enough people that I know personally on this ride, that I didn’t have to ride alone.  Although the “club ride” is not my favorite type of ride, I’m going to try to squeeze more of them in.  Although I had trouble with the pace on this one, it’ll get better if I keep pushing myself.

I had a lot of fun, and being back on the bike will keep my sane.  What more could I ask for?

9 thoughts on “100K Populaire”

  1. I’m pretty shocked about the time constraint as well. I talked to Steve Rice when we left and basically he stated that people don’t really stop. A Populaire is different b/c there are some “stop” areas, but under normal considerations, you keep moving. And if you don’t ride at a high pace (like us), then even more you minimize the stops. It’s a kind of very long individual time trial. Strange. Glad you got out, though.

  2. It was great riding with you on Saturday … Since I was definitely feeling the effects of the heat and humidity, I was glad to have another slowish rider along 😀 You will definitely get faster as you get back into riding more (I hope I will, as well!) — it’s amazing how much speed and riding fitness one loses even in just a few weeks off the bike.

    I guess next time I go out for one of these, I’ll try to keep the ‘very long individual time trial’ thing that Tim said in mind, heh.

  3. It was nice to finally meet many of the RCCS people. Sorry I didn’t get to spend more time with you, but hopefully one of these days I’ll actually make it to one of your rides.

    After going over my GPS data, I was a bit surprised how much time my bike spent not moving. Over an hour and forty minutes! I knew I’d probably be spending a bit more time socializing to see if everyone was enjoying the ride, but had hoped for a slightly better time. I only got in maybe 15 minutes before you guys did. Total ride time of 6:15 out of a max of 6:40. I won’t have as much time to waste on the August route.

    Despite being one of the organizers of the ride, I hadn’t actually seen the route until that morning, as there were last minute changes due to store hours not working out. I was lucky to be very familiar with all the roads, so I knew where I needed to rest for upcoming efforts and where to get some momentum going to help with rollers.

    I hope you enjoyed it and will come out for more of the rides.

  4. It was good to meet you. Thank you for getting this together. It was fun.

    I have a GPS, but haven’t found a good mounting position on the ‘bent (I bump it with my knees). Wolf Pen Branch Rd was confusing for me. Too many turns just to stay on the same road. Luckily I was riding with Asher at that point, and he navigated better than I could have.

    I am tentatively planning the rest of the rides in the series. I’ll try to eat faster. 🙂

  5. David, Good to see you are doing more cycling, I am doing the Manchester 100 (miles) in September here in the UK and am not sure how it will go..
    Keep riding

  6. OMG! I had forgotten about the confusion of Wolf Pen Branch! I think we only survived because each of us had a critical piece of the puzzle — I had the cue sheet sorted, and you had the bike computer sorted, so between the two of us, we didn’t wind up somewhere in Lime Kiln Land.

    I don’t think I have ever been happier to see River Road in all my days 😀

  7. Apertome, I think I’ll be getting out more soon – hopefully even gravel on the LHT.

    Mark, Welcome back! I hadn’t heard from you in a while. I see you have a blog now. I’ve added a link to yours. 100 miles? What’s the most you’ve done before? I think if you can do 70, you can do 100.

    Asher, I’ll have my GPS next time. It’s my secret weapon to combat the fact that I tend to be “directionally challenged”.

  8. Cheers David, I have done 65 but that was last year, done a couple of 40 milers this year but I think I need a couple of 70 milers in before September, Thanks for the link

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