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600k complete!

I am feeling surprisingly alert, for having just finished another 600k. The completion means I'm now up to four Super Randonneur Series (series of 200k, 300k, 400k, 600k). And you know what? I feel a sense of accomplishment. They are a major experience, let me tell you.

Highlights:

We managed to get almost five (5!) hours of sleep on Saturday night. Every extra hour feels so luxurious. Saturday's tailwind sections helped tremendously. It was also helpful to divide up the pulling across four riders instead of just two. But even two was better than one!

We saw a LIVE ARMADILLO! I was unable to photograph it.

I found a really nice cell phone just lying by the side of the road! (it belonged to one of our riders who had gotten ahead of the group; I gave it back after some heckling)

Our penultimate control was at a winery/brewpub. Oh man. It was so awesome. Beer really hits the spot before/during/after a bike ride. They also had appetizers that were substantive enough to fuel the last 30 miles - chips with spinach-artichoke dip, and a goat cheese/raspberry jam/black bean combination thing. I am so grateful that the Nebraska Randonneurs (all three of us, heh) like to stop at these kinds of places, and put the emphasis on enjoying the ride. Life's too short to freak out about setting new time records or whatever. I think the Colorado guy who showed up (and lost his phone) experienced a bit of culture shock, as he is apparently one of those people who does double century races. He really enjoyed the Nebraska roads, however. And he's right - they are remarkably clean and clear of glass or other puncture debris. I can say that now that the series is complete (my tires are balding and need replacement, so I've been superstitious up until now).

Time to bathe and maybe sleep some more. And stretch. And eat.

Comments

( 15 remarks — Remark )
jamesfduncan
May. 25th, 2015 03:04 am (UTC)
Congrats!
Wow, that's amazing, Rebecca! I'm in awe that you can "sandwich" in so to speak such endurance rides with everything you've got going on. Organizational skills, stamina, experience and grit. Way to go!! Jim Duncan
rebeccmeister
May. 26th, 2015 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: Congrats!
Oh man. Put "stubbornness" on that list, too. :-) The lead-up to this one has not been easy. I was on my feet a whole lot over the prior 2 weeks. So I was relieved to have it all go so nicely.
twoeleven
May. 25th, 2015 03:31 am (UTC)
Congratulations!
rebeccmeister
May. 26th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
Thank you!
bluepapercup
May. 25th, 2015 01:30 pm (UTC)
Woohooooo!

So awesome. I'm thrilled to hear it went well.
rebeccmeister
May. 26th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
:-)

I'm thrilled, too!
(Anonymous)
May. 25th, 2015 04:15 pm (UTC)
congratulations
I held you in my thoughts throughout the week end, and I am happy to hear you completed the ride in such a positive, cheerful way.

Love,
Dad
rebeccmeister
May. 26th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
Re: congratulations
Thank you, Dad! As you might imagine, I've been thinking of you as well, and am looking forward to seeing you very soon.
annikusrex
May. 25th, 2015 07:13 pm (UTC)
yay for delicious calorie-replacing meals at the end of a looooooooong day! congrats and very glad your co-randonneurs are on the sane end of things. ;)
rebeccmeister
May. 26th, 2015 03:14 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I am so very, very happy to get to ride with like-minded people. I was originally mentally preparing to complete the Nebraska series as solo rides, but the company has been fantastic.

I am also really looking forward to the fine company for the STP. More on that soon. :-)
randomdreams
May. 26th, 2015 01:49 am (UTC)
I've read claims that paceline drafting reduces the amount of power you have to produce by maybe 10%.
I swear it feels like 40%.
Congratulations! And I'm totally envious. I've never seen a wild armadillo.
rebeccmeister
May. 26th, 2015 03:12 am (UTC)
This was wild armadillo number four for me! I hadn't realized they made it this far north, until I noticed a roadkill armadillo out of the corner of my eye and had it confirmed by the other riders.

And, is that estimation about the benefits of pacelining referring to riders in calm weather? I suspect the percentages change dramatically when headwind speeds pick up, especially for people like me who are fairly wide and tall. Our fearless RBA, SK, is funny about headwinds. He's all fun and games and riding together or not when the winds are favorable, but is fairly quick to get down to business and paceline when it's advantageous in the wind. Altogether, that worked well as a system, except when we hit certain kinds of hills where he couldn't slow down further because he rides that fixed gear.
randomdreams
May. 26th, 2015 03:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, I had no idea they made it anywhere near there.

Let me think about the wind advantage. It should scale with both wind speed and rider speed, it won't be linear, but I have to think about how/why.
rebeccmeister
May. 26th, 2015 10:28 pm (UTC)
I think there are a couple of exponential functions involved in all of the calculations. I have noticed for myself that it seems like wind winds up having a disproportionate effect on my speed, compared to some of the other people I am riding with. A lot of that disproportionate effect is tied to riding in a more upright position, being fairly broad-shouldered, and having more mass to move.

I also think I may operate at a higher baseline calorie burn rate (to judge by how much I eat compared to how much I see many other riders eat), so that affects what happens in headwinds, too - I don't have as large of an energy expenditure margin to work with. Other people seem to have a larger margin, so they are able to fight the wind more. From my years on rowing machines I know that I tend to sustain a relatively high heart rate.
randomdreams
May. 27th, 2015 01:44 am (UTC)
The force required to overcome air resistance rises as the square of the speed, so the power rises as the cube. So, yeah, upright stance and being taller than other people is going to disproportionately affect you.
( 15 remarks — Remark )

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