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Patrick's story: Salton Sea Derby 300k

BaseCamp member Patrick Sullivan shared his experience at the Salton Sea Derby 300k.

Got in my second qualifier, a 300k, for my summer target. Honestly I wasn't really looking forward to this one. I usually prefer hilly routes and I'm not one for the desert so a flat 300k loop doesn't really do much to motivate me, but it gets a box checked to set me up for my later goals.

I tried implementing some BaseCamp lessons as best I could. I did a little weather research and tried to formulate a strategy to be aggressive early to try to beat a headwind that was scheduled to start in the afternoon on the finishing leg.

This was a larger than normal group and they got off to a blistering start by brevet standards, knocking off about 37.5 km in the first hour. Unfortunately at about the 63 km mark, I lost my grip on a water bottle and lost contact with the group retrieving it from the roadside. This left me chasing for the remainder of the ride. I stayed as well as I could within myself to chase, keeping within an endurance pace. The terrain helped for fast pace. I got through the first 200 km in under 6 hours. It was almost like a IRL Tempus Fugit. There were even some trains along the desert road and snow topped mountains in the horizon.

Then the road turned and the wind gradually started to pick up early than forecasted. The wind a road got pretty nasty for the final leg with 45 km of a cross wind that turned into a head wind. The last 8 km were directly into a 20-22 mph headwind. As unpleasant as it was i started thinking about durability lessons and figure this was an opportunity to see what I could do with fatigue in the legs and tried drilling it as hard as I could into the wind.

Before the ride I was hoping for 10 hours on bike and 11 elapsed. I ended up sub-10 total elapsed time. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about this one. I'm not sure if it's the course but it's a weird ride where I hit my goals, implementing some new strategies, but still feel really meh about it.


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