(Almost) End of Season Party, Aug 25th!

New England Randonneurs is pleased to announce We’re having a End of Season party this coming Saturday, August 25th at Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington, MA. The party is at 6:30pm and all are invited. We’ll have snacks, drinks, and plenty of stories from the past year of long distance cycling. We’re also going to be presenting the ride leaders with Thank-You gifts for all their hard work in making events happen this season. Please come and celebrate with us. You can also learn more about what is involved in running an event and can sign up to run an event yourself next year.

If you are planning on attending the party we’d appreciate a RSVP so that we know how much food to buy. Please RSVP to Melinda Lyon (Merchandise Coordinator using the contact page.

We are also planning on a ride on Saturday afternoon before the party. The ride starts at Noon sharp at Ride Studio Cafe and we’ll head out into the Western suburbs for a 4-6 hour ride. Cue sheets will be distributed at the start and we’ll try to stay in a few small groups. RSVP for the ride is not needed.

And the season isn’t over just yet! On Sept 30th Mike is offering his famous late season 114/200k out of Burlington, VT. The shorter ride is a good chance for newer randonneurs to get a taste of the sport without committing to a full 200k. Check out the info page for more info on this event.

VT 400k

We had a great weekend in Vermont for the Green Mountain 400k. The temps climbed to be a bit uncomfortable into the nineties mid-day – but riders worked through the heat and the climbs in their lap around Vermont.

I’ll post results and submit to RUSA as soon as I catch up on some sleep. Lots of images over at Flickr.

12 started
9 finished

The first group of 4 riders completed the course in a blistering 16h51m, just as the fireworks in Waterbury, VT hit their finale. They dodged street vendors and grandma and grandpa with their folding chairs over the last mile of the route.

John and Dave came in relatively close to one another at about 22h, unknowingly riding alone about 20-30 minutes apart for most of the night. John spent some quality time at a construction site, sleeping in some yet to be installed drain culvert pipe.

Our last group of 3 pulled in to wake me from my car seat slumber in 24h02m at 5am. The most experienced (this was his 7th 400k!) of the group vomited consistently for the last 30 miles or so, not able to keep any food or water down. His companions kept a close eye on him and got him to the end, as the sun came up for another beautiful day.

Quite a few trials and tribulations were to be had. The heat and the climbing caught a few folks off guard, and I think both contributed to our DNFs. I rescued 2 of the DNFs – the first I happened upon while I was driving back to the start along the course. After some V8 and a long sit down the diesel engine who pulled the lead group 3/4 way around the course opted to get into the car. Cramps and heat had finally made riding difficult. The second DNF got into a bad place with cramps and couldn’t stand up to pedal nearing Ludlow, VT at mile 174. He called as I started setting up the finish control and checked into a hotel to rest. Sunday morning he didnt feel he could ride – so after some web searching for car service or a bus I looped out after I had a (very short) nap to bring him home. The final DNF had assistance from a partner overnight.

Some Thanks:
Thanks to Lane Giardina from the DC Randonneurs who happened to be in VT and offered to volunteer at the start.
Thanks to NERds rider Cris Concepcion who was up from Boston enjoying the weekend for keeping me company at the finish.
Huge thanks to Jim and Diny and the West Hill Shop in Putney, VT for their hospitality, cold shower, and shade trees.
Thanks to Green Mountain Bikes in Rochester, VT for allowing me to stash supplies in their courtyard for overnight re-supply of our early morning finishers.

And thanks to the 12 who started. You all have my admiration for how steady you were on course. It was an amazing day out, and while I know a few of you cursed me heading up South St. and again over East-West Rd., I do know that you also enjoyed the scenery, the ripping and sometimes twisting descents, and the gummy bears and pickles.

Boston 600k Route Verification Need

From the desk of NER’s new volunteer coordinator, Emily O’Brien:

“This year’s 600k route will be different [from 2011 route] because we can’t use the Sandgate control as a sleep stop. But there are some new sections that need checking out in person to make sure the cuesheet is accurate, make notes about signage and landmarks as necessary, check that giant road construction hasn’t suddenly appeared, etc. The section in question goes from Pittsfield, MA to Brattleboro, VT to Amherst, MA to Willington, CT. Very pleasant, scenic, etc. If you’re interested in checking out part or all of it, contact the volunteer coordinator or the RBA via the contact page.

Although pre-ride credit is not available (it’s too soon for that) this a great way to get a sense for what a good chunk of the ride will be like. If you’re apprehensive about your first 600k, for example, here’s an opportunity to get familiar with some of it. And your fellow riders will thank you for all the places that the cuesheet says “no sign” or “turn at the funny-looking house” or “turn is halfway down the descent!” because someone actually went there instead of taking the map’s word for it.”

Please contact Emily if you are interested in helping out with any of the NER events.