Here is a report from Greg Smith, who rode our recent 600K.
Promoting ultra-distance cycling in Central & Northern Utah and Southern Idaho. We are a regional arm of Randonneurs USA and are co-sponsored by Bonneville Cycling Club of Salt Lake City.
Here is a report from Greg Smith, who rode our recent 600K.
In the past I have posted photos and trip reports on our blog page. But it is a ton of work uploading photos, sizing & saving them, and writing captions etc. So future trip reports and possibly many news items, will be posted on our newly created Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/saltlakerandos/) (you must have a Facebook account to view this page however). So please go there, “like” or “click for notifications” so you can stay in touch. Once you are approved as a member, you can approve any of your friends to join us too.
On April the 12th we had our first event of the season, the Willard Bay and Beyond 100K and 200K. This year, everyone signed up for the 200 km distance. The weather was rather decent, as in April, it can go either way (the following day, i.e. Sunday, it was snowing in the nearby foothills!). Prior to the official event, we had the Holmbergs “pre-ride” the route to determine if construction would be an issue. There was some construction on the route during their ride, but according to the flagman that they asked, it would be over by Saturday — and indeed we had no construction problems.
We had eight riders registered, but two had to bail, due to last-minute conflicts. Consequently, six of us left the parking lot under cloudy skies at 9 a.m. under a pretty decent temp of 54F. Four of us stayed together pretty much the whole day, while Larry and Joe stuck together as a team. Paul, who is training for the upcoming cross country TransAm race, flatted early on. Due to a last minute wheel switch, his tube didn’t have the right sized stem for his deep-dish wheelset. He could not find the puncture, so he put his old tube back in and it seemed to hold, but later started slowly loose air again. He eventually pulled the tube and just patched it (which later failed again and had to patch it a second time).
The temps raised to the mid 70s. We had some gusty winds off and on during the day, but nothing earthshaking. Later in the afternoon, it started to rain very lightly (and cooled down) so many of us put our jackets back on again. We had some surprise food at the turnaround store in Corrine, as they were demoing CampChef BBQ and smoking equipment. We had some samples of salmon, beef brisket and pork. That was a nice addition to the fast food which we obtained inside.
The group of four finished in under nine hours. Larry finished later, but he come in alone. He informed me that Joe had crashed about two miles back and was waiting for him to return with a vehicle to pick him up. Joe was riding behind Larry, when his wheel slipped over the edge, where the asphalt meets the concrete curb. His wheel hit the edge of the curb, and deflected him back the left again, causing him to go over the bars and down. His front tire received a big sidewall gash. His shoulder received the brunt of the fall. He later went in for x-rays and it appears to be a possible torn rotator cuff. His legs and hands also got some road rash. We certainly wish him a speedy recover. Thanks to Larry for being there with Joe throughout the day and especially at the end when he needed it the most. Incidentally, this was longest distance Joe has ridden to date.
On the weekend of July the 12th we had the first ever Raspberry Ramble mini-series. All three routes shared common roads, so I had them start at the same time of the day. Earlier in the week, the temperatures had been hovering in the upper 90s, which can make for challenging conditions. Fortunately, a cool front moved through the area for the weekend, providing perfect temperatures in the range of 55 to 85F. Seven riders started, all doing either a 300, 400 or 600km brevet. As I was riding with the group I didn’t get a lot shots.
The first part of the ride is very flat as we head north out of Logan (Utah) and into the rural part of this beautiful Cache Valley. Everyone generally stayed together as we passed the first informational checkpoint and then onto Preston Idaho for the first c-store checkpoint at mile 32. From there the route starts with a series of rollers and finally begins the biggest climb of the event, a 2700-foot climb up Strawberry Creek Canyon. This is also the same route for LoToJa (longest sanctioned road race in the USA) and quickly separates the fields in that race. It likewise separated our group and many riders were not seen together again until mile 97 at Garden City, on the west side of Bear Lake. At the bottom of this climb (which had a nice incline, nothing over 6% I believe), the 300km riders (Derek & Daniel) split off, while the others proceeded down to make a loop around Bear Lake. The two 300k riders became separated so they ended up riding alone most of the day.
At Garden City, on the west side of the lake, many stopped for lunch before proceeding around the lake and then finally onto the town of Montpelier Idaho. There was some cross wind activity as we approached Montpelier, but then it became a nice tail wind as we heading into Soda Springs. Most riders stopped at the Subway in Soda Springs at mile 181 (for those on the 400 & 600km route) and fueled up again, before making their way south and back to the start point in Logan. The next segment was a long one with no services, so many of us took a third water bottle for insurance. David left Soda Springs after dark and got a double-flat (road debris) shortly after departing. He was riding alone at that point and was tiring quickly. He decided to backtrack and just get a room in Soda Springs, calling it quits on finishing this 600km, returning to Logan the following morning. Earlier, Dan and Ronaele passed through Soda Springs also making their way back to the motel without incident. Ronaele finished at about 12:30 a.m., completing one of her best (fastest) 400km brevets yet.
Kerin, Carlton and myself had been riding together since mile 151 and stayed as a group all the way back to Logan at mile 260. It seemed too good to be true, but the winds changed, now giving us a tail wind, while heading south (atypical for this area). The 300km riders, earlier in the day, had a stiff headwind along this section. We pulled into Logan at about 10:30 p.m. well ahead of my predicted schedule. Kerin had finished her 400km and headed off to bed.
Carlton and I got some major calories ingested while at the motel and then proceeded out to finish the last 200km of our route, without stopping to sleep. Dan, on the other hand, arrived a few hours behind us, did sleep for 3 or 4 hours before heading back out, in classic Rando-time-trial mode (i.e. solo). Carlton and I arrived at the turn-around, at Golden Spike National Monument at about 2 a.m. I was very, very tired so we took a 45-minute power nap in the atrium of the entrance, which was warm and carpeted. We then backtracked our route for a few miles, and it was not particularly cool outside as we barely needed wind shells (~60F). After stopping for a sit-down breakfast at the Silver Eagle in Corrine (mile 339), we finished up the route, setting a new personal record for Carlton for a 600k. Dan arrived several hours later in good spirits and seemed to have energy to spare.
Thanks to all for participating and hopefully we’ll have a larger group next year.
On June the 1st we had our first 400K of the season. It is called the Double Loop 400 because it is a big figure-8, covering 400km (250 miles) of terrain.
Three of us rode, including myself, Dan Tuchyner from the Salt Lake area and Bob Owen from Saint George. We started in rather cold temperatures, hovering around the freezing mark. Anticipating warming temperatures and no rain in the forecast, I was underdressed and suffered during the first 90 minutes. We arrived together at our first checkpoint in Scipio after riding along the shore of Yuba Reservoir.
After a “c-store” breakfast Scipio, we started the long, but gradual climb up Highway 50. I had my first flat near the summit (I was trying to “use up” an older pair of tires on this ride…live and learn). From there we made a descent into Sigurd, where a 2,000-foot climb awaited us. It was mid-morning and it was beginning to heat up so we took it at a moderate pace. Following that climb we descended and then hit some rollers before the next checkpoint. During the rollers I had another flat, but my pump was not working properly and I had already used my only CO2. I didn’t want to use Dan’s CO2, so I sent him ahead to see if he could catch Bob, who had a frame pump. I was finally able to get about 50 PSI into my 25c tire and proceeded to the next checkpoint, where I finally got my pump going again.
From the Koosharem checkpoint, where we all had a brunch at the local cafe, we worked a paceline and stayed together the rest of the day, with 10 (perhaps 15 MPH) headwinds and some cross winds.
We pulled into Richfield, the largest city on our ride and had supper at a local sandwich shop. The sun was just setting as we headed north towards Salina and finally Gunnison before making it back to our cars at about 2:00 a.m. All in all, the route was nice with little traffic and a decent shoulder on the nighttime portions with little traffic lights and no routefinding issues.
Despite a near flawless forecast, on May the 11th, Daniel Tuchyner and I were the only ones to ride this brevet. The temperatures started out in the mid 40s, rising to the mid 80s. The wind forecast was 7-10 MPH.
The route went along many rollers all the way to the base of short climb, which took us into Eureka where we stopped at a Sinclair c-store before making a u-turn. This route then varied a little from last year as we went further south toward Delta to Lynndyl for our furthest southern checkpoint. We had a slight headwind into Lynndyl, but we alternated pulls making good time. From Lynndyl, the route to Nephi involved more climbing that I anticipated. There were a lot of big rollers and our water supplies were depleted upon our arrival in Nephi. Next year, if we use this same route, I think I will take a filled third water bottle for this section. Dan didn’t complain, but took in this new route all in stride, enjoying the nice temperatures.
The final section, from Nephi, through swallow Goshen Canyon and along the west side of Utah Lake went without incident arriving back to our cars at about 8 p.m., before darkness set in.
This year’s opening brevet started as many of the spring brevets go…rainy and cold weather! The temperature was in the mid 40s with steady drizzle that morning. Oddly enough, everyone that registered came, despite the lousy weather. True randonneurs! This year, we offered two distances…a 106km populaire or a 200km brevet. There were nine starters and all finished (although some finished outside the allotted time).
Everyone but Ray & Solomon left at 9:00 a.m. (they had a mechanical issue to deal with). Conor also had a minor mechanical problem on his newly rebuilt bike, but he quickly overcame that and caught up to the front group.
The majority of the cyclists stayed together as a group, keeping their distance between each other because of the tire spray from the wet roads. Most of riders arrived at the first checkpoint at 11:05 a.m., some 33 miles in. The Populaire riders turned around at that point, while Dan, Volodymyr and Richard continued on. Kim would arrive later at that checkpoint. Just after leaving the checkpoint the rain and head wind picked up and then later subsided, as it did for most of the afternoon. The three got to the turnaround point at 1:30 in the afternoon and took some time off the bike before returning. Those three finished at about 5:40 in the afternoon. Volodymyr was most grateful that Dan and Richard hung with him as his bike computer was in kilometers (he is from the Ukraine) and he was not keen on following a cue sheet and the many turns found on this route.
Ray & Solomon were on their flat bar “bad weather rough and tough” bikes and because they started late, they were not able to finish within the given time frame.
Meanwhile, Kim was moving along and made it to the turnaround checkpoint. He then made the return trip, but due to a typo on the cue sheet (which I take full responsibility), he was not able to find a critical turn and after much backtracking, just gave up, taking the “known” inbound route home. That cost him a bunch of time and he did finally get back to start point, but it was well after dark. His knee was also bothering him, causing him to spin at a high RPM, but moving slowly. But he did not give up and did finally finish…my hat’s off to him for hanging tough through route problems, crappy weather and physical issues.
There were three flats and a broken chain that were reported.
As we close out another year, I wanted to recognize Dan Tuchyner of South Weber. He achieved two notable awards this past randonneuring season—
In August, he finished his first R-12. He completed at least one 200km brevet or permanent each month of the preceding year. I wonder how many cases of frostbite it “got” doing this.
And then this past month (December) he also completed the 5000km RUSA distance award. That was no easy feat, considering his longest ride was a 300k. In December he had some catching up to do, and ending up doing several 100k populaires to get his final mileage in. I rode a 200k with him on December 1 and was unable to match his strong pace as he hammered the rollers on the west side of Utah Lake that day. What a great season he had!
Cheers to Dan and we look forward to seeing him more this upcoming year.
On October the 13th we had the Moab brevet. This year, we offered two distances…the standard 200km and a shorter 109km Populaire. Both distances shared the same route, but the Populaire simply turned around earlier, before going into Canyonlands National Park. The temperatures were rather cool, starting out at about 47F, raising to only 65F in the afternoon. It was cloudy in the morning, but later gave way to a sunny, but cool day.
Five riders accepted the challenge and all finished. The prior day had some major storm activity including flash flooding. Consequently part of the bike trail was awash with large amounts of sand and debris, causing Patrick to get a puncture within the first five miles! (He later flatted again on the same tire, which caused him to fall behind the rest of the group).
Christopher, having just finished his first Ironman earlier in the season, was anxious to keep his fitness level up and set a fast pace for the others. Erika and David tried to keep him in sight and usually caught up with him at the checkpoints, only to see him leave, just as they arrived. Matt had perhaps the most comfortable ride of all with his fatty 33c tires and steel bike. All had ridden brevets before (David was a former RBA of the Boston region) except for Christopher, and this was his longest distance to date on a bicycle.
This brevet concludes our 2012 season with some 34 different riders participating this season. Aside from myself, no one else completed our complete series. Hopefully we’ll have more success in that regard next season.
On August 11th, three of us rode the inaugural brevet of a a new route called Gnarly Nebo. Although a shorter “populaire” version was offered, all of us choose to ride the full 200km brevet.
The three riders included myself (Richard Stum), Anthony Blauer and Richard Randall (Grizz). The weather forecast had the temps going into the mid 90s, but since the big climb of the day is at the very beginning, the temperatures at 8:00 were just about right. All of stayed together throughout the day, with Grizz only a mere two to three minutes behind Anthony and I on the climb up Nebo.
After the Nebo climb, we dropped down into the first convenience store checkpoint in Nephi. At the c-store we met two other roadies who were just behind us on the climb. We left slightly before them but they soon caught us on the route to Mona. We worked together for a while, but they were moving at a much faster pace and we had them let me go (they were training for LOTOJA). Throughout the balance of the day, we worked as a small group, sometimes soloing parts of the ride and regrouping at checkpoints.
All in all, the 200km, 7500-foot day went very well, with no big wind issues or adverse mechanical problems. Next year, I may offer this as a September “fall leaves” route, pushing it back a month into September.