Thread: 2020 Randonnees
View Single Post
Old 08-10-20, 10:15 AM
Senior Member
clasher's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,609
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 192 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 46 Posts
Finished my first official brevet of the season, a 600K that started near home. I had a friend come from out of town and the route was a 385K back to the start/finish and 220K on the last loop. The route used two existing brevets and was flushed out to 600K connecting them. The second part was based on my Sandhills 200K that is pretty hilly (for Ontario) so that was a bit cruel, since it has as much climbing as the first half. We had a great ride, chose to start at 0400 since the ACP has given a lot of latitude with start time/date so it was just the two of us.

The weather on Saturday was cool to start, 8C but it quickly got up to 28-30C by mid-afternoon. The humidity wasn't too bad and the wind was pretty mild too. The route follows the Grand river downstream to Lake Erie and along the shore for a while until the Welland Canal, then across the Niagara peninsula and through wine country with a bit of climbing up and down the Niagara escarpment. There's a nice stretch along the shore of Lake Ontario in the city of Hamilton before climbing back up the escarpment one last time and heading back to the overnight through rolling terrain punctuated by drumlins to keep things interesting with some short, steep climbs. We hit a bit of gravel to avoid some busy roads snaking our way around the cities and traffic. We made it back to the overnight with over 6 hours in the bank so I got over 4 hours of sleep (never had that on a 600 yet) as well time to use a massage gun (so awesome, might get one) and get a nice bit of food into me.

The second day started at 0500 which gave us 5h32m to cover ~75km to the next control. Around 0530 the sky started to light up with lightning and we ran into some thunderstorms but managed to avoid most of the rain until 630 or so, but it was 16C or something so it wasn't too cold and the roads were very quiet. We made the first control with more than 2 hours to spare and sat under the canopy of a gas station for a while and set off while it was still raining. Luckily for us, the rain was heading south-east and we were going slightly north-east so the rain let up shortly after the first control and we dried out and had a cafe stop about 45km from the next control since good coffee was needed after the gas station stop. The cafe had a huge outdoor patio set up in their parking lot so we never had worry about social distancing or anything. Unfortunately all the rain meant a lot of humidity and temperatures cracked 30C so it was really muggy too. We had a good bit of a tailwind heading east, but the route turned north-west for ~50km and a fair chunk of climbing, so we dropped the pace a bit had a couple of short stops before rambling to the finish.

Ended up doing it all in 37:25, 610km and 4067m, according to my bolt. Rwgps had ~3600m on the route so who knows what was right, my friend's garmin recorded ~4200m. It's all photo-controls and e-pop now, so one doesn't have to enter shops to get signatures. I kind of like that, but I still stop and buy stuff instead of carrying all my food/water. I'd need panniers for the amount of stuff I eat

The Grand river at dawn, was a cool morning at 9C

The day warmed up quickly, still following the river downstream

The Welland Canal at Lake Erie

Old Robin Hood flour mill, with some new stuff

Farm bridge provided a nice detour. Wine grapes growing in the background

Rain on sunday morning

At the Grand River again, ~40km left

1890s Covered bridge, last one in the province

Last edited by clasher; 08-10-20 at 11:10 AM.
clasher is offline  
Likes For clasher: