D2R2 – 100 Km of Vitamin Dirt

Yesterday’s ride: the 100Km “lite” version of the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee, aka D2R2. A 1000-word entry on this beautiful and brutal ride would do it justice. But the bike-build time is encroaching on the bike-writing time, so I’m going to have to just hit the highlights tonight.

  • In addition to meeting various folks I know online, I bumped into a guy I used to work with and haven’t seen in about 9 years. He told me what he was doing now, and I thought he said something about running a “meatery.” Well, not quite.
  • I ran out of traction and bike-handling halfway up the first dirt climb, Old Albany Road. This road was extremely loose and gravelly, and there were basically no good lines. The organizers started riders in small groups, which meant less congestion in the early miles. Still, my so-so low-speed skills and 28mm Paselas weren’t enough, and I fell right over, bashing my knee on a rock. Guys on cross bikes with 32mm tires did fine. But I sure did like the long-reach caliper brakes later on in the day.
  • To the bearded gent playing bagpipes on Cooper Lane – thanks. The pipes always give me chills.
  • Checkpoint 1, at 12.9 miles, came up in about 1:05 of ride time. Fortunately, things got a little faster after that. Aside: it’s a 100 Km ride, but the cue sheet is marked in miles?
  • The Franklin Hill Road climb was probably my favorite. Hard-packed dirt hairpins. 34×29 was definitely low enough for the 100 Km ride.
  • We ate lunch in a little riverside clearing near a covered bridge. I could have stayed there all day. In fact, I should have stayed there all day, since I flatted on Green River Road just a couple miles after the stop, losing my spot in the BikeBarn paceline. I had 2 tubes and 2 CO2 cartridges. The contents of the first CO2 went straight out the vent hole in the inflator. Fortunately, the second one did its job and I got rolling again.
  • The 180 K and 100 Km routes join briefly after the lunch stop, and I got to ride with Doug Jansen for a little while. I said “hi” and asked how he was doing, knowing he probably didn’t know who the heck I was. He was looking pretty good, coming back from a broken ankle. At that point I think he was a little ahead of his group, since when we turned on Nelson Road he lagged behind a little, checking on a guy who was having some kind of mechanical issue, and I climbed on.
  • I rode most of the third section solo and made it to the 50-mile checkpoint before the BikeBarners left, but again lost my spot when I stayed behind to have a couple more of the best peaches I’ve ever tasted. Apex Orchards, wow. I need to go back.
  • After that I played a little leapfrog with gruppo Zanconato, catching up to them right about the time we hit the Hawk Road climb. The descent down the other side of that gravel track lived up to the “gnarly” description on the cue sheet. Washouts and wheel-eating potholes everywhere. I was thinking about my soft rear tire and having to drive myself home, so I went slow.
  • We finished in about 5 hours of ride time, with maybe 6000 feet of climbing. I didn’t exactly attack the ride, but it’s plenty challenging, and not at lame, as some (who, as far as I know, haven’t done the 100 K or the 180 K) might have you think.
  • Alas, I had to skip the beer-drinking and storytelling portions of the agenda and scoot home. Maybe next year.

I took a few pictures, but Darren’s are better.
Anyway, the scenery and good company make that a high priority for me to return to next year. And Ge, if you sign up for the 180K I will do my best to ride every pedal stroke alongside you.