The school year is officially over with students on summer vacation, teachers finished with meetings and progress reports off in the mail to families. So what's a humble principal to do but hit the road to spend a few days at the beach with his family while catching up on paperwork, emails and all of the non-urgent work that typically gets put on hold as the thrill of the school year's in motion. It's been a great week: nights filled with restful sleep and days filled with family, productive work and a careful taper in anticipation of this weekend's 600K.
On Friday night at 10 pm, I'll roll out with 34 other randonneurs at the Cranbury (NJ) 600K. This event is the final step towards my audacious goal to successfully complete the Cyclos Montagnards R60 Challenge this season. My previous three brevets have been finished within the alloted time limits and only one obstacle remains. The most difficult component so far, the 24-hour 600K looms large before me. While I'm confident that I would comfortably complete the 375 miles in this time frame on a defined 24-hour racecourse like Saratoga, it's more daunting when I factor in the totally self-supported riding on open roads with navigation challenges. Riding solo also leaves some questions as to whom I might share the burdens of navigation and aerodynamics with along the way.
Tomorrow, we head back home where I'll work on preparing my Indy Fab rando bike for Friday's event. I'll attach the aerobars and swap out my 25mm Contis for the 30mm Grand Bois tires. I also owe the bike a bit of a cleaning. While the weather looks promising, I'll leave the fenders on, in part because my wired tail light is attached to the rear and just in case there is a change in the forecast. I also need to swap out my broken pedal with the new set of Times I picked up earlier this week. My disappointment with those carbon pedals is a story for another day, but I'm happy to have a reliable set up for Friday.
I'm as well trained as I'm going to be at this point. After a three-hour ride on Sunday, I've been working on sharpening my speed through short bursts of high aerobic intervals. My success on Friday will be based on several factors: nutrition and fluid management, equipment, my need for rest and, of course, luck.
(Photo by Alex Krafcik - Flickr CC)