Black 2010 Litespeed Archon C2 on a bridge over a river looking towards the mountains, Windsor, Colorado

Rustic 400km Brevet

In the report for my last brevet, I wrote how I hoped to stop less in this one.

It was a bit discouraging, then, when the smart phone I mounted two days before jarred loose from its homemade mount after only two miles and I had to stop. In the dark I spent about 10-15 minutes trying to secure it with packaging tape, made difficult because in the effort to save a mere 40 grams I had left the tape holder/cutter that it came with at home and spent the majority of that time trying to find the start of the tape. A couple miles later, I had to stop again to tighten the mount for the headlight that kept flopping down every time the front tire hit a bump. Shortly thereafter, I disembarked from the bicycle once again, this time to shed some clothes.

For a little while I was dead last on the course, until I caught up to another cyclist who got a late start. Then in Masonville I encountered a woman named Lori who had trouble finding the route sheet that she stashed in her pocket after it flew off her handlebars. After helping her find it and giving her a binder clip (“there is no way it will fly off with this,” I assured her), I was on my way to the checkpoint at Vern’s, where I caught up to a couple others.

Then came the long slog up the Poudre Canyon to Rustic. I was feeling decent, but aside from passing a tandem and a pack of three other riders, I was still way behind most of the cyclists who started the same time as me at approximately 4:05 in the morning. On the way out of the Poudre Canyon on the way to Livermore, I only caught one more cyclist after nearly three hours of riding.

Then it got windy and started to rain. By this time, I had given up all hope in catching the main pack and just resigned to riding my own pace.

I even stopped to attend to a rider named Doug on the road who was having some flat tire issues. “I fixed the flat, but now I have no more tubes,” he said, explaining that he already got two flats already. “Here, take my tube,” I told him, handing him the only tube I had in my possession. “I’m riding tubeless tires [with sealant], so I most likely won’t need it,” I continued.

About an hour later I reached the penultimate checkpoint (Mile 195) in Firestone, where I encountered a surprise: lots of cyclists were here. It took 193 miles but I had finally caught up to most of the bikers I started with.

I even got a jump on them out of the checkpoint and rode solo for the next 45 miles until about an hour after darkness set in, when a 600km brevet rider caught me as I was making a wrong turn at an intersection. We rode the last two miles of the 400km route together, after which I was done and bode him good luck as he continued on towards Kersey. It was just before 10:00 p.m.

My legs were more tired than during the 200km brevet from a few weeks ago. Yet they definitely weren’t yet cooked, which was good because I had a half-marathon in Denver to run with Maureen the next morning.

I checked into a hotel in Westminster, nearly instantly falling asleep after taking a quick shower. This turned out to be a decent ride, even if once again I felt like I had been stopping too much.

Other Notes

  • This was the first ride I used GPS instead of old-school navigation using a route sheet and cyclometer. I used a cheap ($50 on eBay) Motorola Moto E along with the RideWithGPS app. By keeping the phone on airplane mode and the screen off 99% of the time, the phone still had 77% charge after 18 hours of riding.
  • For this ride I ditched the bicycle bento Box since it would it my knees every time I stood out of the saddle to pedal. Instead, I taped a plastic bag to the side of the stem. While this was an improvement, I still need a better solution as the bag would blow around and be sometimes hard to open to insert, say, a cookie into while riding.

Ride Data

Total distance: 251.0 miles
Ride time: 16h31m (15.2 MPH average)
Total time: 4:07 a.m. – 9:56 p.m. = 17h49m
Official results

Buckhorn Road towards Masonville, Colorado
Buckhorn Road towards Masonville, Colorado.
cookie, sandwich bag, taped to stem of bicycle
I taped a sandwich bag to the side of the stem in order to contain food while eating.
Poudre Canyon, green trees
Climbing up the scenic Poudre Canyon, which was very green in May 2015.
Teepees in the Poudre Canyon, Highway 14, Colorado
Teepees in the Poudre Canyon alongside Highway 14.
Tunnel in the Poudre Canyon
Iconic tunnel of the Poudre Canyon.
The Palace rock climbing area, Poudre Canyon
The Palace rock climbing area, Poudre Canyon.
Burnt trees, Poudre Canyon, May 2015
Burnt trees, Poudre Canyon, May 2015.
Kayaker along the Poudre River, May 2015.
Kayaker along the Poudre River, May 2015.
Rafters along the Poudre River, May 2015.
Rafters along the Poudre River, May 2015.
black 2015 Litespeed Archon C2, gas station, Livermore, Colorado
My black 2010 Litespeed Archon C2 at a gas station in Livermore, Colorado.
Horses in Northern Colorado
Horses in Northern Colorado.
Giant plastic sunflowers.
Giant plastic sunflowers.
Storm clouds over Windsor
Storm clouds over Windsor in the distance.
John Deere mailbox.
John Deere mailbox.
Wind Song Ranch of Windsor, Colorado
Wind Song Ranch of Windsor, Colorado.
cow farm near Windsor, Colorado
Cow farm near Windsor, Colorado.
Black 2010 Litespeed Archon C2 on a bridge over a river looking towards the mountains, Windsor, Colorado
My black 2010 Litespeed Archon C2 on a bridge over a river looking towards the mountains. I think this was somewhere in or near Windsor, Colorado.
Motorola Moto E, RideWithGPS, data for Rustic 400km Brevet
Final data for the Rustic 400km Brevet as seen on the RideWithGPS app on a Motorola Moto E smart phone.