D.C. Randonneurs Urbana 200K: Feels like the First Time
Ride summary: Ride the rollers out of Urbana. Whee! First control in Union Bridge, Maryland. Pedal pedal. Climb 77 in Catoctin National Park. Climb. Climb climb climb. Descend. Grind through the rollers out of Smithsburg. Stop for a couple pics. Pedal through the fragrant countryside. Whoah, stinky! See eight cats in someone’s driveway. Eight! Control in State Line, Pennsylvania. Eat half a sandwich. Hello rider. Hello rider. Hello rider. Pedal pedal pedal. Kemp’s Mill Road, a friendly zippy stretch. Control at KOA. Hello Lowell. Hello Severna Park. See end of cooking show about brownies. Depart control. Mosey to Sheetz. Eat an almond butter and jam sandwich. Drink a latte. Meet up with fleche teammates Lane, Mike, and Eric, as well as Scott G. and Alec. Chat and laugh. Ride. Information control in Antietam. The question is… just kidding! It’s a secret! Ride ride. Bonk. Battleview Market control. Eat chips. Contemplate life. Pedal pedal pedal. Trego, bleah. Climb climb climb. All alone with Ed. Gapland finally! Lane waited. Thanks! Descend whee! Pedal pedal pedal. Eric waited. Thanks! Marlu Ridge the easy way! Group ride with Mike, Eric, Lane. Chat. Listen to Mike. Fingerboard. Slog slog slog. Finish. Photo op by Bill. Pizza pizza pizza. Yeah.
I’ve never had a lot of love for the Urbana 200K, even though it was the first brevet I ever rode. It’s a good ride and an honest challenge, but for some reason I have always found it somewhat unkind.
It’s a pretty hilly course, and doesn’t offer too much reprieve. It also doesn’t offer too many food stops along the way. That’s not a big deal, I’m not hoping for Zagat-rated dining during my brevets, but I think all of the climbing on the route and the limited places for food make for a tougher ride.
This was my first ACP brevet of 2012, as I missed the other D.C. Randonneurs 200K two weeks ago and ran the D.C. marathon instead. I worried about my conditioning, but it ended up being fine. The ride was hard, but my body held up well physically. My emotional state throughout the ride was a little different matter, and directly correlated to my food intake.
This was probably my hilliest ride of 2012 to-date, and I did not eat enough to get through it. I had a hard time eating any breakfast before the start. I brought along two almond butter and jam sandwiches, which I ate, as well as two Clif bars and two packages of Clif shot blocks that I gnawed on throughout the ride. I also bought (and ate) two bags of potato chips.
While that might be enough for some people, it didn’t seem sufficient for me. I made it to the midpoint of the ride without too much fatigue, but after that I found myself ebbing in and out of bonklandia for the remainder of the day. The ironic aspect of my bonking, though, was that I lost my appetite and nothing sounded tasty. Then I felt weepy and began emotionally imploding. Thank goodness this was just a 200K.
- I always feel like I’m starting from square one when I do my first ACP brevet of the year. Maybe next year I won’t feel like such a novice.
- The Urbana 200K course is always tough.
- Food is your friend, especially on hilly rides.
- Crying is no way to spend a bike ride.
- Felkerino has a lot of patience.
- Getting in with a good group helps the miles pass, even (especially?) on the more unforgiving segments.
- It’s just bike riding.
I took pictures. Want to see them? I believe they mask most of the discomfort, bleariness, and fatigue I experienced. Smiles everywhere! Just click here.
P.S. Sorry for the Foreigner reference. I just couldn’t help myself.