Newsletter - 2004 Archive

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When Ken sends in his out-of-province brevet results he often gives a brief account of his adventures out there in the ultra-cycling trenches. His Colorado Last Chance 1200 (Sept 13-16) was more of a challenge than usual, and so I asked Ken if he wouldn't mind if I shared this entertaining description of his ordeal with others through the newsletter. He graciously agreed. (So remember, this was meant to be a casual e-mail message to a few friends not a polished newsletter submission.) Enjoy. [Eric F.]

From: Ken Bonner
To: Cheryl Lynch
Cc: Stephen Hinde, Eric Fergusson
Subject: Colorado Last Chance 1200

Hi! Just a quick note to let you know that I survived the Colorado Last Chance 1200 ... finished in 71h 58m. Lucky just to finish .... Once again very hot and I almost reached the point of heat exhaustion .... partly my own fault as I did not carry enough Gatorade .... so, big trouble about 300 k out. Slept in a motel for a few hours and then got going again. I had been in the lead, but a couple of Texans went through without sleep. At the turn-around, I was about 5 hours behind them. By the beginning of the last 300 k, I had just passed one of the Texans, and was only 15 minutes behind the other.

Then ... it got dark ... then an incredible lightning storm (I thought it was absolutely spectacular .... sheet lightning, large jagged lighting ... all around me lighting up the road ... except, I forgot the lightning was not up in the hills ... it was right out there on the flat plains striking ground all around me!!) I could not hear the thunder from the lightning because of the roar of the wind ... when I finally stopped because I was being blown across the highway, all I could hear was the continuous roar of thunder. A pick-up truck went by and turned around and stopped and asked if I needed assistance .... In my innocence I said "No, I have my rain jacket with me". Famous last words. He left and 5 minutes later the wind gusted even harder (I went to pick up my bike and it was practically pulled out of my hands!!) and the rain and hail pelted down horizontally!.

Although none of the riders were together, after the ride, the topic of the day was "Where were you when the tornado hit, and what did you do to survive it?" The end result for me is that I contacted Margot (cell phones don't work out there) and we drove 125 miles to a motel for the night .... losing another 12 1/2 hours of riding!

The two Texans were able to get back on the road quicker than I did, and so they were the 1st two finishers and I was 3rd. It was about 38 degrees F when I finished a couple of minutes before 2:00 am --- I was freezing!! My record of 59h 10m is still intact, Stephen!

Currently in Steamboat Springs, Colorado .... won't be back until after the Portland Marathon.

Cheryl ... I think this brings my Iron-butt total to 14,300k. After the delay and heat of the Colorado Last Chance 1200, I decided not to do the San Francisco 1000.

'Bye for now .... and hope you are having some great rides ..... Ken

September 18, 2004