Chili 200 Report - First Brevet
Chili 200 - Victoria - March 4, 2012
by John McGillivray
I didn't really know what to expect on my first brevet other than a lot of time in the saddle. In the back of my mind I wanted to finish within 11 hours, but I knew that anything could happen over the course of 200 kms, so I started off with an open mind into the cool morning. Everyone was together for the 10kms or so and then people started to settle into their own paces. I was very fortunate that Holland was riding about the same pace as myself and we ended up riding the rest of the course together. I couldn't have asked for a better cycling companion on my first brevet! She knew the course and a lot of local history that she generously passed along.
The morning turned out to be very pleasant and it verged on being warm at one point. We also got some stiff headwinds thrown at us for a while to keep us on our toes. By about 11:30am we had the first hundred kilometres behind us and were ready for some lunch when we pulled into Cadboro Bay. The afternoon saw the clouds move in and the temperatures drop, but we were still in great spirits. We pulled into Sidney around 3:00pm, just as the rain started, so a coffee was in order as we got our control cards signed and donned our rain jackets. At 173kms I got a flat and Holland was kind enough to wait while I fixed it. They say a truly great experience requires overcoming adversary of some sort, so I guess this will suffice.
Pulling into Mike and Brynne's place at the finish was like being greeted by old friends. They had hospitality by the buckets and food that you couldn't say no to. I ate a lot throughout the day, but I still managed to devour a huge bowl of homemade chilli and corn bread. As soon as I finished, pie and ice cream were in front of me. It was truly a great day! Even the 2 hour drive home in the pouring rain couldn't wash the smile off my face.
Some things I learned on this ride:
~ Bring 2 water bottles as 1 is not enough.
~ Use a handlebar bag so that you have the cue sheet in front of you.
~ When your tire goes soft, change the tube and worry about the old tube later ~ the clock keeps ticking.
~ It's OK to stop and get off your bike from time to time.
~ Attend any ride that Mike and Brynne are organizing!
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March 7, 2012