2012 Double & Triple-Loop Brevet Pre-Ride

On June 6th, a week and half before the actual running of the Double-loop Four and Triple-loop Six brevets, I put together a small group of friends for the “pre-ride” of the 400km and 600km brevets. The first 400km of the 600km IS the 400km brevet, so despite riding on a different events, we could ride much of it together. Lawrence, who did not finish the Raspberry Ramble 400km held in Brigham City a few weeks prior, was anxious to finish a 400km soon. For him, it was a qualifier for Furnace Creek 508. His hope is to be the oldest person (at age 70) to finish this grueling ride. I also contacted a local friend, Brian, who has done a lot of century and double-centuries, but has not done any brevets. I was surprised that he accepted my offer….a 600km for his first brevet! That is pretty daring!

A dry, but very cold front moved into the area on Tuesday, making our 5:00 a.m. start very cold. Temps were showing on our bike computers as low as 28F. The three of us set off, with no support or SAG, moving south toward Gunnison. By the time we arrived in Gunnsion, some 39 miles into the ride, the sun was up and we were warming slightly. Our first checkpoint, in Sigurd, at mile 63 is at the base of a 2,000-foot climb. We stayed together as a group up to that point, but as is common with most hill climbs, some separation developed. I barely managed to hang on to Brian’s lead as he made the climb to the summit. Both of us waited a brief few minutes as Lawrence soon joined us.

The rest of the day went OK, with temperatures rising to about 75F. The forecasted 10-15 MPH SW winds were a constant 15-20 MPH wind from the west. That translated into a head and cross winds, depending on where we were on the route. At mile 155, while on the bike path, I could see Lawrence was slowing down quit a bit. Brian, who had little sleep the previous two nights, was anxious to get back to Nephi and catch some z’s. I suggested he push on ahead alone and I would work with Lawrence, bringing him to the 400km finish in Nephi.

After Brian surged ahead, Lawrence and I rolled into Richfield, which had many services, and had a nice sit-down supper at JBs restaurant. Afterwards, he had much more energy and we eventually finished at about 4:00 a.m. in very cold temperatures…once again near freezing. Brian had one flat in Richfield and I had a flat about 15 miles from the finish. Lawrence, who was using sew-ups, flew along with no mechanical issues.

I joined up with Brian, who has an extension office in Nephi. I got two hours of sleep on the floor of his office conference room, before heading back out onto the road to finish up this brevet. Brian arrived some 2.5 hours earlier and was able to get a little more shut-eye than I. He and I worked together, along with other cyclists we found along the way, making our way around Utah Lake in a very fatigued state. This was Brian’s long single ride to date and his saddle was not treating him well. We stopped in Lehi, at the north end of the route, for a sit-down breakfast and then later stopped at a bike shop in Springville, taking much needed breaks off the bike. We finally arrived back in Nephi, some 36 hours after our start, at 5:20 p.m.

Many thanks so Brian and Lawrence for their companionship, as I had originally planned on doing this pre-ride alone, so I could provide support to the actual ride the following week.