About five or six years ago, a friend recommended we go and watch the movie "Les triplettes de Belleville." We did, we were fascinated, and we bought the DVD. Now I need to find where it is (and I need to find a nice empty evening) because I haven't watched it for too long and want to see it again. The reason: a very special control location at the recent SRCC 600 brevet. This is how the RBA Bob Redmond announced it:
Be prepared to be spoiled.
A brevet should be self-supportive, but SRCC just doesn’t know how to do things that way. In addition to the world famous Pope Valley Control we have added a stop near Blue Lakes in Upper Lake. Got time to fish?
Pope Valley Control: You get to experience its day vs night schizophrenic spoils. In the outbound heat we have a shaded kiddy-pool to soothe your feet, music to soothe your soul while we serve smoothies and a full lunch. No skimping on the variety offered from vegan to carnivore.
Grab only a snack in Winters for your return to the oasis. Save room for a full meal on the inbound return. Chef Ellis prides himself on his bolognaise prepared from scratch. We’ll take care of the other senses with lights, a campfire and music or maybe a movie. Pack some dancing shoes in your drop bag. There’s also an enclosed canopy to use for a short nap if you need. It won’t be quiet though. We just want your short time with us to be special.
But the sharp spikes in the profile around mile 50 and mile 352 (obviously, the route was a clean out-and-back) were absent on the shorter distance; they correspond to serious climbing on the Hopland Grade along Hwy 175 between Hopland and Lakeport. In addition, the profile appears quite "rough" on the last 40 miles before reaching the flats around the turnaround control in Winters. I know those roads quite well from Davis Bike Club brevets; they include the ominously named "Cardiac Hill."
Sadly, the picture above from the Blue Lakes control on the way out reminds me that I stayed there for a first lunch break much longer than planned; and I repeated that slip two and a half hours later at my second lunch break in Clearlake. This is how I consumed all the extra time I had gained during the fast first 30 miles where I had managed to stay with the "big boys" (and girls!), at least until the first noticeable uphill on Dutcher Creek Road. But it was the first ride of the year where I could ride with naked legs; in other words: it was warm, and I was sufficiently unadapted to the temperatures that I was worried about getting in trouble with not eating well enough. I thought it better to invest some time in good nourishment now, rather than bonk later! - However, as a consequence, my full belly prevented me from sustaining a higher workload on the road; and I no longer tried to stay with other riders but followed my own pace from then on. I was satisfied to conclude that I still seemed to position myself not far from the middle of the pack (which was already stretched out over several hours).