By Jennifer Wise
The BMB 1200k Randonnée went very smoothly, despite 24-hours of rain in the middle. Rain is included in the BMB entry fee and guaranteed every year. Most all of the participants were good sports about being soggy while riding south from Rouses Point, New York, through the Green Mountains of Vermont. Early finishers reported having to pedal through flooded roads (up to their hubs) in the darkness near the finish, making the route treacherous and reducing their average speed.
Of the 111 BMB entrants, nine were women. The BMB finishers were smiling, chatty and reluctant to leave. Five did not start and 18 did not finish.
There were nine 1000k Brevet entrants. One was female. Two did not finish.
There were 30 Quads riders, of which seven were female. Four did not finish, one did not start.
There were four riders who registered to ride the Sunday 200k brevet. One did not start.
Of the 22 BMB staff, nine were women. No-one abandoned the event. All finished in good spirits, though somewhat sleep deprived.
All turned in a remarkable performance, and made the event a formidable success.
No major mechanical malfunctions were reported. One rider decided to upgrade his crankset from a double to a triple, on the first day of the ride.
One rider crashed 50 miles from the finish, on a steep descent after hitting a rut in the road. She was rushed to a nearby trauma center. Although x-rays revealed no broken bones, she did suffer a broken heart, at coming so close to finishing BMB and going home without a medal. She was treated for cuts to her face, and abrasions to her elbow and leg, and was released the next day.
A new men's record was set by BMB rookie Saunders Whittlesey, 34, of Deerfield Massachusetts. He finished the event in 48 hours 9 minutes, without a support crew, without much food, and without complaining about the rain or the road construction on the route. He was relaxed, cordial, strong and fast. He methodically stuck to his goal of setting a new BMB record, waving to riders headed north, as he pedaled south. He used a double-crankset with a straight-block. He came and went so fast, if you blinked, you missed him. I don't know if he even got wet. Checkpoint workers simply referred to him as "Superman." Needless to say, he was long gone by the time the rest of us reached the finish. Saunders, we hope you come back next year, so we can congratulate you on this year.
Linda Crawford, of Titusville, Florida and Barb Bergin of Gainesville, Florida were among the last official finishers at 89:47. Linda gets the BMB Tenacity Award for never giving up on her goal of finishing BMB. This was her fourth attempt to finish BMB, and her insatiable desire to finish this grueling event is most impressive. This was her year. Linda came determined to finish and was finally successful in her mission. She arrived to a throng of well-wishers who gave her loud cheers, a standing ovation and a hot pizza.
BMB 2004 results and photos are posted to the BMB website (http://www.bmb1200k.com).
BMB 2005 is scheduled to take place August 18-21.
Jennifer Wise is the director of the Boston Montreal Boston 1200k.