The “Escape from Seattle” 200km brevet from the Seattle International Randonneurs was on March 15. Normally riding that distance so early in the year would be daunting, but having 3 weeks of spring weather has been perfect for getting out on rides up to 65 miles and I felt well prepared. The start was at 7am, and a 45 minute drive, so I left home around 5:30am.
There were about 100 people registered for the ride. It was amazing to see so many people ready for a ride this long in March! I rolled out right at 7am, but with so many traffic traffic lights early in the ride, the group split a few times and I was unsure how many were ahead of behind me. I wanted to stay somewhat near the front, and stick with a pack going my usual speed. This worked out well, because I was usually with a dozen or so people to the first “controle” stop around 45 miles in. A few people continued on with a minimal stop, but I stayed around for 15 minutes when I saw a few people I knew were on the ride show up.
The route from here was on wonderful roads now well beyond Seattle. We had a small group of six that rode together for a little while, until eventually Jim and I climbed a bit faster and picked up the pace. I took some long pulls, and also enjoyed drafting at a good speed too. We caught a few other riders too. The second stop around 85 miles was another 15 minutes off the bike, and we started again with very light rain. Fortunately after a few drops, the rain was done for the day.
The last 30 miles were a big more rough. The route coming back into Seattle was on rough roads, and due to not-perfect adjustments on the bike I was getting sore at this point. The route twists a lot more, but fortunately Jim was familiar with most of the route back to Seattle.
Overall it was a great day. I met some new people, had a great ride, and enjoyed the day outside. One thing I love about randonneuring is that for only $10, I got a well-organized ride with a post-ride bowl of chili included. Looking at the results afterwards, I was surprised how fast we went. It felt like a good pace, and I finished 15th (though it’s not a race).
Next up will be the Spring 300km ride from Seattle on March 29th.