Editor's note: RUSA Vice-President John Lee Ellis forwarded this ride account from Alan Nunsel of Colorado. "I think Alan's tale below really shows the randonneur spirit—always finding a way, and always giving himself a chance to go on," Ellis said. "I love the phrase, 'Seemed like I found new ways to suffer up Left Hand Canyon.'"
Thanks for putting together yesterday's 400k.
It was one of those really beautiful days for cycling, but those days can still be interesting or you might say "a tad bit sporting." I broke a spoke on Highway 52 just before 287. I opened up the brakes with some thoughts of well I will just try to keep going. It was still rubbing so I decided the day was over. As I was riding back to the start, one of those plans began to emerge. I decided I would drive to Boulder and see about fixing the wheel and then maybe continuing to ride. Drove up to Excel Sports, not open till 10 and it was 8. Thought about going to getting a bagel and then maybe just ride up Left Hand Canyon. Went around the corner and there was Bicycle Village. They didn't open till 9, but were more than willing to help. Thanks to Dan for getting me into the rest of the story. They had a spoke for my Mavic Ksyrium wheel. In 15 minutes he had the wheel ready. Even in the Internet Age, not enough can be said for the local bike shop. Now I am doing the time math in my head. I had figured I would finish in daylight or only a little of night riding. So what, a great cycling day—I will just riding a few more hours in the night. After about 3 and one- half hours, I am back at 95 and 52.
On a good day Left Hand Canyon can be punishing. Seemed like I found new ways to suffer up Left Hand Canyon. I was starting at the bottom after 100 miles, and not really adequately fueled. Heading down 7 into Lyons, I thought I would head out 66 and see how I was feeling—go right at 75th to go home or continue. Felt good so continued. Heading out of Wellington, felt good and began studying the clouds to see if the weather was going to hold. Wind began to blow out of south. Put the lights on in Windsor. Still looking good. Joined up with Rod and Marty. My pace was a little stronger, but for night riding decided to ride with them. Looking good from Johnstown and south down the frontage road. On CR7 it began to rain. What a miserable ride to the finish. It took forever in the night and rain. Now those 3 and one-half hours meant something. Sometimes you don't realize how cold you are until you stop. Probably pushed hypothermia a little more than intended. In the end, one of those interesting days.