From John’s email to the list:
Well, there were 7 men and no women on the Wednesday 5:30pm ride from EHP and I’m beginning to think that this may have something to do with there being a 6pm Women’s Ride also from EHP. We avoided large hills (at my instigation), and Andrey (en route to NJ this time) stayed with the group this time around. It was also a lot cooler than last week.
Participants this week were Mike Richter (98-98), Louis McDonald (99-__), Dan Barbash(96-94), Andy Goodell (98-98), Alex Specker (98-96), Andrey Zushov (97-96), John Dennis (97-97). The numbers in brackets are the before and after O2 saturation numbers.
We rode to Brooktondale, mostly on that super smooth shoulder on Route 79, then took White Church to Coddington and then Caroline Depot back to White Church and from there to Thomas via the sheep farm, where newly baled hay was being loaded onto a tractor trailer and about half the ewes in the pasture seemed to have lambs. The watchdog llama seemed to have been replaced by a single Charolais cow. I suppose coyotes think twice when they see anything as broad as a Charolais standing in the pasture. Did the llama sheep guard succumb to the Ithaca winter? This is hardly Mongolia.
Andy told me that the Tuesday night race had been the Brooktondale course. He placed 10th in the As and then won the second lap race, riding with the Bs. So Wednesday night was just sort of an extended cool down event for him. Dan Barbash, who has already ridden a 600K brevet last month in the hills of Eastern PA, did admit to signing up for the Cascade 1200 which is put on every two years by the Seattle International Randonneurs. It’s a four-day event starting on the 26th of this month and the course crosses the Cascade range twice! Best of luck to my erstwhile brevet companion.
There are a couple of problems with brevets if you live in the ITH area including a) the carbon footprint just getting to the events can be significant (or huge) and b) if you are unlucky, you can find yourself grinding through huge hills on the hottest days of the year and for weak-boned folks like me that seems to translate into calcium leaching from bone mass and more bad news on the O-word front: more osteopenia melding into osteoporosis. So, Andy and I idly chatted about organizing some shorter informal brevets right from Ithaca, the sorts of things that Juan Salazar, Jamie Gartenberg, Bill Fischer, and Blaine Chamberlain have been doing for years on short notice. These could be in the 100-400 kms range and would be skillfully timed to happen on cloudy but non-rainy days and nights. One way to beat the heat would be to start the short events at say, 3 or 4pm.