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Davis 600-K Brevet Report (by Sarah Schroer)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 9:42 AM | Bill Oetinger (Administrator)

Our last B&B post was written jointly by stoker Sarah Schroer and captan Paul McKenzie about their first 600-K brevet of the season.

This is another report about another 600-K, this one out of Davis. Sarah's report is not as long as her last one, and Paul's follow-up in this space only amounts to providing a link to his own blog, where a much more extensive, blow-by-blow account of the event is posted. (And when I say "blow-by-blow," I'm not kidding. You have to read it to believe it.)

Here's Sarah's report…

This event started at 8pm on Friday evening in Davis.  Once again I had the best seat in the house, on Paul McKenzie's tandem.  We were fortunate to have excellent company through the long night and following day.  After some initial shuffling, we found ourselves in an international group which included an Italian (Max Poletto), a German (Andreas Schultz), an Australian (Patrick Herlihy) and a Mexican (Jose Placencas).

This event was supported in stellar fashion by the Davis Bike Club.  As we traveled through remote areas in the middle of the night, the controls were staffed by volunteers who plied us with food and words of encouragement.  Thanks to those volunteers, and to our riding partners, Paul and I met our goal of finishing within 24 hours.

The route was flat for the first and last 85 miles between Davis and Oroville, and climbed gradually up through the Feather River canyon to Indian Valley and the turnaround point at Antelope Lake.  The moonlight in the river canyon was magical, and we reached the valley at dawn as temperatures dipped into the upper 30s.  Although the trip back was a net downhill journey, sleep deprivation and heat took its toll and my energy and enthusiasm waned steadily over the last hours of the trip.  The final miles stretched endlessly, and it seemed we would never reach the end.  There was plenty of time to consider the wisdom of embarking upon this particular adventure.

This was a tough ride, made more so by the night time start.  Riders continued to trickle in throughout Saturday night and into Sunday morning, with many making the (sensible) choice to stop for a few hours of sleep along the way.

And here's the link to Paul's long blog about the long ride…


In case you don't read Paul's report--you really should, but in case you don't--you ought to know that in completing this ultra-hard ride in under 24 hours, they have achieved what is known in randonneuring as an R60. That is, they completed a full set of brevets--200-K, 300-K, 400-K, and 600-K--in less than 60% of the allowable time limit. This is a very big feather in the cap of any randonneur, and in fact it is so rare that Sarah becomes the first American woman to have ever achieved that lofty goal.

Last year, the CTC Stage Race Champion (in her first year of attempting that challenge); this year, the first US woman to ever do an R60 (in her first year of attempting this challenge). What is she going to do next year? Paris-Brest-Paris? (No pressure, Sarah!)

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