My friend Étienne has been trying to convince me to do a BC Randonneurs event for a while now and I'd always been able to find one excuse or another to get out of it, but it finally happened. All in all, it was a pretty gentle introduction to brevets with a (mostly) flat course starting in Coquitlam and ending at Red Truck Brewing in Vancouver. The route was exceptionally well supported by volunteers with food and liquid (chocolate milk!), although we did have to make an "emergency" 7-11 stop for water, Coke, and Sour Patch Kids to get us through to the next control.
The ride was challenging, but not in the ways that I was expecting. At 200km (plus some bonus distance because all of us sucked at cue-sheet based navigation), it would end up being the longest single ride I've ever done. Our group of eight stuck together for most of the day and were content to roll at a relaxed, but steady pace. Part of the challenge was the record-setting heat wave over the weekend, but the bigger challenge re-configuring myself mentally. Throughout the day, various members of our group reminded the rest of us to keep things at a "sustainable pace." With my longest previous ride topping out at around 160km and my regular weekend rides usually hovering around 100km, it was difficult to judge exactly what sustainable meant. The route was mercifully flat with the exception of a few overpasses and short-but-steep hill, but it was still a difficult mental adjustment to resign myself to what seemed like an eternity in the saddle.
24.8km/h avg. speed.
8h28m moving time.
11h15m elapsed time.
111W normalized power.
All in all, not an unpleasant day on the bike. Awesome company, well-supported route, interesting scenery, and a sense of accomplishment for challenging myself to something new. Étienne is already bugging me to do a 300 or to push a faster pace on another 200, but that's going to have to wait until next year. While cleaning the bike, I discovered a crack at one of the spoke holes of my rear Pacenti SL23 rim, a well-known issue. I thought that I was going to be able to escape this fate, but this combined with the impending 'cross season means that I'm calling it the end of my road season and relegating the Naked to indoor trainer duty until I can be bothered to source a replacement rim over the winter.