My First 200km Brevet
Malibu, 12th January 08.
It has been a difficult Christmas and New Year, due to my husbands’ mother being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. I had not really ridden my bike more than 200miles in total since my last competition in Hawaii November! So I jumped at the chance to do a 200km" brevet" "as they called it.
A brevet is a non competitive cycling event very popular in Europe. The average pace to finish it would have been 10mph in the allotted time frame! It was none supported so as a cyclist I took extra tubes, tires etc. and money to stop at shops along the way to buy food. My cycling companions picked me up at 4.45am, brrr it was cold outside. This was my first brevet, Bruce had done quite a few and told me he would be going easy and enjoy the ride...When we arrived in Malibu Bobbi Fisher was dealing with the entry forms! What an honor having this accomplished ultra cyclist organizing this event! As we set off from the coffee shop in Malibu I knew immediately that I would not be following the wheel of Bruce! The first 200meter hill on the Pacific Crest Highway (PCH) Bruce took off with 3 other cyclists at about 20mph: up the hill!! While I still climbed he had already crested the top! I soon joined 7 guys who where doing a good pace line and from there on the ride became a survival game!
Used to riding long miles by myself having these guys doing an average 19mph was going to be interesting. The PCH; has some long rollers and I used the downhill to recover from the efforts of the up hills. The first station or control point was about 30miles into the ride and I gave my Brevet card to be stamped and signed to prove I had made it this far. As it was a short brevet of 125miles I had made a multi hour bottle of Perpetuem so all I had to worry about was water and that was supplied at the control point.
It was a cold day and even though the group was going fast I was glad for the extra clothing I had worn!! The next 30 odd miles went through Ventura and as it was flat they put the Hammer down I was so grateful when I saw a traffic light hit red!! The half way point offered sandwiches which I past on and on the way back to the finish we were lucky to have a tailwind the views of the Pacific Ocean where awesome and it definitely was good surfing weather. As we were on the last few miles in Northern Malibu we went past a lot of ambulances and rescue vehicles as a teenager had been swept off a rock into the surf. And was never found!
The whole ride was definitely a faster pace than I should have done so early in the season with no base miles in my legs but I had a blast, I would recommend these brevet style events to any cyclist or Triathlete looking to get good mileage in. I survived on Perpetuem and endurolytes with 2 packets of raspberry hammergel.
This was my first event of the season and AVON of Puerto Rico will donate $875 towards the American Cancer Society for a cure in Breast Cancer and I will continue to wear Hammer Pink throughout my year.
Thank You to Rudy Project, Cannondale, Spinergy Wheels,Polar Heart Rate Monitors, Profile Design,Serfas Tires, Hammer Nutrition, Energizer and my husband for giving me the opportunity to race. And LA Wheelmen for an excellent time!!