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Flèche Prep Update

by on March 22, 2012

Twenty-three days until the Flèche.

All of the paperwork has been submitted and received.  All of the fees have been paid.  The final route approval has come through.  Team “Chain Reaction” members are logging miles and making preparations.  Here is a quick glance behind the curtain.

Earl (me): The bike has gone into the shop for new cables and a tune up.  I’m fine-tuning my saddle position because I’ve discovered that it has slipped some over the past several months.  Dialing these in and getting them just right is important.  I’ve purchased a Garmin Edge 800 because it has much better route and mapping capabilities than my Garmin Edge 500, and it has the ability to run and provide guidance while it is running on an external power source.  I’m learning its quirks and menu system on my test rides.  My lighting system is intact.  I should have about 15-18 hours of battery power for lights with less than 12 hours needed.  I’m starting to pull together my list of food and “emergency supplies” and will be purchasing some of that in the coming days.  I’ve ordered and received some new Halo sweat band products so that as one gets soaked, I can swap it out while the wet one dries. I’ve broken the route down into smaller files for our Garmin devices (they like that).  Rule reviews are pretty regular.

Mike C, Mike B, and Jack all rode about 170 miles last Saturday, testing lighting systems, guidance in the dark, decision making when fatigued, and for Mike C, the ability to change flats.  Mike C has re-evaluated his tire selection and I believe has purchased more robust tires.  He’s had a series of flats in the last month or so.  He wants to change that pattern … and we want the pattern to change too.  Mike C commented this morning that had this big ride not been coming up, he would have stayed in bed.  Each mile in the bank helps.  Jack has been nursing a sore knee the past couple of months, and the longer ride last weekend allowed him to determine that regular and consistent use of OTC pain relievers would be sufficient.  That was a confidence booster.  Mike B has taken the Surley into the shop and has cables, bottom bracket, and crank arms replaced.

Randy is logging some miles on a PAC Tour in Arizona.  He has had cold and rain and blizzard and sleet and sun and warm conditions, and that’s just through day 4.  Even though he has promised us good weather for the Flèche, I think he is testing himself out in all conditions possible.

Sunday evening the SPP teams will be gathering together to coordinate some “bag drops” at some controls.  Chris L has offered this support and will be “on call” for any of us who might need to abandon the ride.  Although the ride is an unsupported ride, we can receive assistance at controls and our plan is to change into dry clean clothes for the night part of the ride.

This is a small ride compared to Randy’s RAAM last year, but the amount of planning involved is still significant.  I know it doesn’t require this much, but I’m so looking forward to this ride that the planning is part of the fun.  It is also something that allows us to enjoy the ride with less confusion.


From → Flèche

One Comment
  1. If you ever wish to give up the cloth, consider a position as an Army Plans Officer. You certainly have the skills!

    Best of luck to you and Team Chain Reaction. I’m looking forward to your report.

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