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Seven twelfths

RUSA has a distance award that factors in consistency around the calendar called the R12 award. The criteria riders are required to complete is to ride at least one 200km brevet or permanent route each month. Living in Northern California, I can ride year round making only modest changes to address the weather from roughly mid-November through April. That said, the tail end of 2008 was more of a tail-off in terms of riding. Along about mid January I became re-invigorated riding wise, and I even got to ride the SFR Point Reyes Lighthouse 200km I was organizing. With that 200km, I cobbled together a string of months with at least one 200km brevet:

January 24: SFR Point Reyes LightHouse 200km

February 28: Santa Rosa 200km

March 14: Santa Rosa 300km

April 4: SFR Hopland 400km

April 26: SFR Russian River 200km

May 30: SFR Fort Bragg 600km

June 13: SFR Nighttime Davis 200km

A couple times, I was flirting with the end of the month, just sneaking in the brevet before the calendar page turned. For July, my big ride for the year would serve as the 'at least 200km' distance for that month, but plans went awry. I had company on that point with Bruce B. also needing a 200km, even though he had ridden at least 500 miles of the Gold Rush before being stymied by a case of bronchitis that sent him to the ER in Susanville. First though, we both had to recover from our various respiratory ailments, and only got back on the bikes to complete a very short ride in the Berkeley/Oakland Hills on the 19th which left each of us with the kind of sore legs one usually experiences after a ride six times longer.

With way more date float than is common, we finally settled on doing Willy's Jittery Jaunt (coffee available at control) on Saturday, July 25th. At 7:05am we caught the BART train to the City and rode from Embarcadero to the Marina Safeway and after getting receipts we rolled out of the lot a few minutes after 8am. Willy's route goes first to Petaluma, then takes Bodega and Valley Ford roads north/northwest out to Valley Ford. We paused quite a while in Valley Ford at the VF Market after dealing with the headwinds in the Two Rock Valley and everywhere else on that 19 mile leg. The ever present headwinds in the Keys Creek canyon were a bit stronger but reaching Tomales Bay heading south on Highway One always brings relief. By some quirk the headwinds blowing north east usually become a tailwind blowing southeast along the bay though this time those winds didn't swing completely around in our favor.

Point Reyes Station was our next control and pausing over snacks from the Bovine Bakery, we chatted with a few cyclists who were passing through. The climb up Bolinas Ridge near Olema was a lot easier than I thought and with a short stop to help a cyclist with a mechanical issue on the bike trail in Samuel Taylor Park, we completed the last long segment going back to San Francisco. We managed to cross the bridge early enough that with a final sprint we arrived at the Safeway just under 10 hours total. For the entire route, we recorded just over 7,000' of climbing, a bit more than the advertised 4,500.

With July now in the books, I need to look for a 200km for August!


CurioRando said…
This was helpful. I just decided not to do a 600k this season. While that is a disappointment, I think it's time for me to try the R-12 challenge.

This was post was helpful. Thanks!

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