By Daryn Dodge
At 7 AM, after final instructions, a group of 26 Randonneurs rode north out of Davis with the idea of completing 600 kilometers in 40 hours. Because a number of Davis Bike Club Randonneurs could not attend our first 600K brevet held earlier this year, we decided to run a second 600K brevet on Sept. 12-13. The route chosen for this make-up brevet consisted of two loops, a 400K loop and a 200K loop. Unlike previous brevets held by the club, the riders were on their own with regard to foraging for food. However, their route map included the locations of stores on route. Also, we had a small band of roving monitors in cars to keep watch over the riders and to run secret controls and controls at the turn-around points.
The first loop began by following the western edge of the huge California Central Valley which often has desert-like conditions during the summer - very low humidity with temps reaching 100+ degrees during the afternoon. This weekend was be no exception. Unfortunately, mid- afternoon found many riders tackling the exposed (opposite of shaded) 1000-ft climb up and over Grapevine Pass before reaching the turn-around at the town of Elk Creek. The unrelenting heat caused many riders to quit early, while others called it a day at the end of the 40K loop (many had already completed the first 60K held earlier this year). Back in Davis after the first 4K, riders could choose to immediately continue onto the 200K course or catch some sleep before continuing on. Due to the heat putting the remaining riders in a nauseous mood, everyone decided to get some sleep.
Sunday morning found 11 of the original 26 riders willing to go on. The 200K loop headed west out of Davis into the Berryessa Hills with a turn-around at the hamlet of Pope Valley. Even though the heat was as relentless as the previous day, 9 riders managed to finish the 600K within the 40 hour time limit. Special recognition goes out to Richard Butler and Tom Kuhn who were the only Randonneurs to complete all 5 brevets held this year by the Davis Bike Club.
Total climbing for the brevet was a mild 8500 feet. This allowed for more group or Randonneur-type riding - a good social-type brevet for an off-PBP year. However, riders participating in the Davis Bike Clubs 1999 brevet series can expect significantly more climbing. Below is the list of the finishers:
Name Time Other Accomplishments ----------------------- ------ ------------------------------------- Richard Butler 32h59m DBC brevet series '98 Lawrence Burdick 33h00m PBP 87, BMB 97, DBC brevet series '98 Tom Kuhn 33h42m DBC brevet series '98 Jim Frink (tandem) 34h07m PBP 95, BMB 97, DBC brevet series '98 Jamie Coniglio (tandem) 34h07m DBC brevet series '98, Larry Bolander 35h30m DBC brevet series '98 Robert Weast 35h40m PBP 87, DBC brevet series '98 Cynthia Long 35h45m DBC brevet series '98 Nicholas van Aelstyn 36h43m