Saturday, August 27, 2011

D2R2 2011 -- pre Irene -- Randonnée

Py's 2011 Deerfield Dirt-Road Randonnée report -- 180k epic ride with 4000 m or 12'000 ft elevation gain on dirt:


And after that a great dinner in Shellbourne Falls, Blue Rock with D.


Saturday morning 4:30am wake up call. Filling up bottles and getting to the start. Looking like a great morning, sun just about to rise on a partly overcast day. Perfect temperature, little humid feel. At the start sign-in tables a few known faces of previous years -- nice, good to see you guys! Also Isaac was there with a brand new looking cross bike and they all learned the lesson -- plenty of gearing.

Py signed in at GPS time [6:06am, 0'] and took off with this group at good pace. Moving around figuring out who is there, looking for Todd -- any one seen our last years "leader", I must have missed him. The group was going at a perfect steady pace but was surging up hills, flying down hill but every one took precautions on those at times tricky descents. No issues, great! Py used his route experience for extra fun and free way to go -- moving up before descents to have a free passage to go -- in particular as he had his MTB/Cross "Stonie-Cross" advantage with suspension fork and disc breaks for good control on rough terrain. Fun.
1st refill at mile 20.7 [7:40am, 91' - 94']: Water station at Steady Lane Farm,
quite refill, eating banana #1, storing #2 in jersey pocket left of camel back pack. Py opted again to take his pack wit h2 tubes, extra food, 3rd FULL heavy bottle, pump, CO2, tools, cameras and more gear (too much as always...) to haul around -- needed nothing of it.


Moving on -- the group is reassembling on next few miles, great going again. Py is feeling good and time and miles are just flying by -- only this pack seamed to be overloaded and is a bit hurting on his back in particular with a few spots of this road rash below -- and they are approaching the

2nd refill at mile 36.60 [8:49am, 161' - 166']: CHECKPOINT Heath.

More bananas and a PB&J sandwich :-)


From here they are hitting this short fun and more trail like rooty and at parts muddy road... followed by more series of climbs and epic downhills. Right after the Archambo Rd -- a 27% wall of dirt... following a good long climb on Hillman Rd the strong guys in the lead group tear it off and the group separated. Py got a little behind. Alright, many good excuses: Still suffering from last Sunday's crash causing light but wicked cramps and different unusual location only in his left upper leg, together with some just annoying light itches of road rash and so on... Also he could not sleep as well as he is used (and liked) to last nights... plus he figured later his saddle was a notch too low. But not only this, facing the fact that those riders were a mix of Professionals !!! and CAT1s and a like -- he thinks he has not to feel bad about getting dropped at 80+km and about 3 hours into the ride on this climb. From now on paying a bit the tolls of previous efforts and easing up just notch hooking with other riders facing the same.

At mile 52.6 [237'] on top of the major climb a quick water top off at road side -- unmanned deposited bottles. Really wondering if he should dump his water in the back pack bottle... but did not. Moving on. Mostly solo following his GPS 2010 track. Nice ride on Deer Park and Green River Rd and good to know the

3rd refill at mile 64.25 [11:00am, 293' - 315']: CHECKPOINT Green River Covered Bridge

is approaching soon. Here finding most or even all?? of the riders he was together with at the lead group. According to Isaac they must have gotten there about good 10 minutes ahead of Py. Not too bad! However, Py took his time here for a little recharge and to enjoy a good turkey sandwich! He let the other group take off and did not hurried or bothered at all to hang on this time. Taking it a bit easy still dealing with a minor but wicked cramp as he rode in. Filling up bottles again and sitting down on a bench with River view :-) Thinking of mounting the helmet cam to get a little footage of the 2nd still uncovered part of the ride. Diggin in his (too) full pack and not finding the helmet mount -- hmm, was 100% sure to have packed it -- then not.


Back on the bike 11:24am after a 23min break, proceeding in small gears to hope this cramps stays away. He had plenty of fluids all the time. But still it came back and went away also -- weird. Suffering a little and feeling every itch of this darn nearly a week old road rash. Also thinking about raising his saddle a few mm. Just hooked with a little groups... hmm. But he decided to stop again and adjust [mile 74, 357' - 361'] -- may be this would help also the cramping. Felt a little better after doing so. Good. He kept feeling better and moving on well again. Catching up with a few random riders. And soon reaching

mile 80 [12:41pm, 392' - 402']: Green River Rd (optional water station and bathroom!!! -- very good :-)


Proceeding now along side this nice Green River Rd until reaching the switchback right turn and uphill again! Making good progress, hooking up with a few riders. Some stopped at the optional Colrain Gas station, but Py and one more rider proceeded -- still plenty (too much weight!!!) of water on board. However, on previous rides and hot weather conditions that would have been just enough. Taking the nice back roads via one more covered bridge, eating a banana #n (not counted those any more) in preparation for the Patten Hill climb coming up soon. Right away down shifting and spinning it up -- felt good, no big dealt at all at his current pace. The rider he was with jumped ahead, only to get caught 1/2 way up walking and cramping... amazed easy going now after previous suffering to

mile 97.1 Patten Hill Summit [2:22pm, 491' - 503']: CHECKPOINT Little Big House Gallery.

Again no hurry here, taking a few snap shots and having a few good refreshments before starting the "home run".


knowing the route and the few climbs still to come it felt quite easy and he managed to get going a really fast road ride to the finish even dropping riders on Road bikes! Already having this nice river for a cool down and dust clean up before dinner in mind :-)

mile 110.5 [3:25, 556'] finish Greenfield

Finish sign in. Not a record breaking time all over, but good moving time of little over 8 hours -- more resting today. Taking the always different dirt road conditions into account -- hard packed moist and great traction -- but rough, washboard at times and quite a bit of loose rocky gravel on top, this was a pretty good time for Py.
Bike stow away. Walking over to the river for a cool down and dirt wash off for a clean dinner... very nice :-) Great food for dinner and beer! What a day once again -- Py's D2R2 #6 completed.


... and just perfect timing with Irene, driving back to the hotel the rain set it.


The D2R2 2011 in numbers:

Here is Py's 2011 180k GPS track -- at all you Garmin fans, feel free to take my route for next year as a precision guide -- just click it and then on Garmin Connect select "Send to device" and you are all set!

One more epic D2R2 2011 -- BIG THUMBS UP to all of the organizers and volunteers again!
Thank you.

-- Help to fix Irene flooding related road damages --
Green River Village Restoration Fund:

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