Another definition of insanity goes by the names "Bundrick's Revenge" and "Ten Gaps." I tried it last year, and swore I would never do it again.
So I won't. At least, not the same way.
I am now counting down the last three weeks before I tackle what has been called "The Hardest 200K in America" (Okay, so I'm the one that called it that. Sue me.) on September 5.
As Flounder said in Animal House, "Oh, Boy, is this great!"
Misery Loves Company
First, let me point out that I am not the only crazy person. Alan Gosart, who rode this with me last year, is coming along. Fellow middle-Tennessee randonneurs Peter Lee and Jeff Sammons are also planning to attend.
Even more incredible, Jeff Bauer and Fredia Barry are going to do the ride on a tandem. They say that they are not worried about going up Brasstown Bald so much as they are worried about going down it.
I am pretty sure that nobody has ever done this route before on a tandem. I am also reasonable certain that nobody else will do this in future years ... unless Jeff and Fredia have so much fun that they come back.
Jeff and Fredia normally do the Sunrise Century on this weekend, but they're skipping that for Ten Gaps. They also usually do the Six Gaps Century on tandem (again, they're the only tandem out there for that route), but must miss that this year as Jeff will be off doing the Endless Mountains 1240K. Doing Bundrick's Revenge is kind of a consolation prize.
To be honest, I started preparing for this ride last September, when I ordered my new Lynskey. In addition to being light and very comfortable, the perfect randonneuring bicycle has something that this route demands: A triple chainring.
Then, during the winter, I lost weight and started training hard for Heart of the South and the Super 80. I got a little faster, particularly going uphill. All summer I have been maintaining that fitness, going long if I could and going fast if I couldn't go long. The past few weeks I dropped a few more pounds, getting under 180 pounds and staying around eight percent body fat. This is about 15 pounds and two percent fat less than what I was at last year for this ride.
I am now a lean, mean fighting machine. Or at least a leaner, meaner fighting machine.
The next two weeks are crucial, with some very short hard efforts, and a couple of long climbs this weekend. Then, one week before, I finish with a moderately paced 200K or 300K, and taper for a week. If I can manage to lose a couple more pounds during that time, so much the better.
So, what's the goal? 10 hours? Eight?
Well, since last year this ride took me over 12 and a half hours, I just want a personal best. More importantly, I want to be able to do it with no cramps, and enjoy the scenery.
Yeah, I could maybe go out and kill myself to do 10 hours, but then what? This gives me something to shoot for next year. Or, better yet, do 11 hours next year and then 10 hours the year after.
Doing the same insane thing over and over, but expecting different results. That's one definition for randonneuring.