First 1000k

I don’t have much to say about the St Vrain-Ft Morgan-Estes Park 1000k. Maybe I’m just too exhausted. I’ve written before about the ride up St Vrain Canyon to Peak-to-Peak Hwy. I love the beautiful scenery from Lyons with long, not too steep climbs, and the fast, windy descent to Fishcreek Road in Estes Park, and the Devil’s Gulch Switchbacks to Glen Haven. I really enjoyed the ride to Estes Park up 34 on Monday. I hadn’t ridden or driven that road from Drake before. There was a tailwind most of the way and it’s sort of a rolling ascent so it didn’t feel like the road was going up much. I was ecstatic to find a Taco Bell near the checkpoint at Estes Park! It was open when I arrived since I’d gotten a late start due to weather. As for Ft Morgan on Sunday, there were some scenic miles along the river on 144, but I will avoid committing to that 205 mile route in the future.

Although I signed up because I thought I SHOULD do a 1000k, in retrospect I’m glad I rode this before attempting my first 1200k in July. For me it was very different from riding a 600k and I had a few newbie observations which may or may not prove to be true with more experience:

  • Having “dead” legs the first day or two is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s probably not a bad thing to ride as if you have “dead” legs at the start of a long multi-day ride no matter how you feel. Feeling sluggish on day one and two limited my effort. By day three, within the context of heading out for 174 miles after having ridden 450 in the two days preceding, I felt pretty good.
  • It’s impossible not to have some calorie deficit each day. As the days progress it gets harder to get enough calories. I’ve heard more experienced randonneurs talk about “topping off” or “staying on top” of calorie intake. I think it’s increasingly vital to one’s success to stay ahead of nutrition and hydration the more days you’ll be out. (My guess is this would be even more of a problem for people with extremely low body fat. A problem I don’t have.) I was eating well from the start, about an hour ahead of my calorie per hour goal and was also well hydrated. So hydrated that halfway through the last day I stopped drinking so much because I was tired of stopping for pee breaks.
  • Although weather forecasting and access to weather information is excellent now compared to 30, or even 5 years ago, and one can be pretty confident of weather forecasts one and usually two days out, the weather forecast for three days out can change dramatically. For multi-day rides it’s best to prepare, at least for the later days, as if the weather is an unknown.

Next up Sangre de Cristo 600k. Hopefully I will complete that and my third SR series for 2011. Then only High Country 1200k and HooDoo Voyager. I feel like things are winding down, though there will be many hard training days before August 26.

3 thoughts on “First 1000k”

  1. Wow! You did the 1000km option. Fantastic job. I wonder if it was you I was following through Niwot while riding the 600km brevet that same weekend:

    Good luck at High Country and Hoodoo! Probably no more brevets for me for a little while, although I am considering signing up for the BMB permanent or PBP if I can find a cheap enough flight.

  2. Hi Felix, Good post on the 600k! I did see you near Niwot on Saturday, and heading back out on Saturday night. You had a very fast ride! I laughed when I read that you slept 6 hours last year and went without sleep this year. I am just the opposite. I seem to need more sleep each year. Doesn’t bode well for HooDoo.

  3. I seem to need more sleep each year too. It took me about a week to catch up on sleep after not sleeping during the 600k and getting less than 4 hours the night before that. And while it was nice being done by dawn and having the whole Sunday to do stuff, I concluded that riding at night was definitely not as pleasurable as riding during the day.

    Good luck at Hoodoo! Will that be your final big event of the year? If so you can sleep a lot after. :)

    The longest I have ever gone without sleep was 44 hours in college while studying for finals. However, when I finally was able to sleep I didn’t wake up until 20 hours afterward. :O

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