BaseCamp member Patrick Sullivan shared his experience at the 2023 Rainbow 200k Brevet.
I’m bummed to have missed the BaseCamp Alpe du Zwift Challenge, but today was my first event of the year: the Rainbow 200k Brevet. This is my 200k qualifier for my main goal of the year. Usually I love this ride, but with a lot of life stress over the last few months I really didn’t feel energized and ready to go for an actual event. I didn’t sleep well with my mind racing about the ride.
The day got off to a rough start when 15 minutes before the ride my dad (who was the ride organizer) informed me that my grandma had passed away last night. Once the ride got going I got more bad fortune with a flat tire 11.5 km into the ride. At that point I really just wanted to call it a day, go back home and find another 200k to qualify. After I fixed the flat and got going, I thought to a post from Rebecca during Cycle 1 about finding a story for a ride. My mind went to my dad. I knew he needed a break from everything he had been dealing with, which I have to imagine is far worse than what I’m feeling. He need a sense of normalcy. Normalcy is me pushing through and finishing. It took a few hours, but I finally found my rhythm.
About 120 km into the ride it started rained. I tried to embrace the rain as best I could. I’m considering rain essential for this year’s goal since a Bretagne summer is far more wet and cold than a San Diego "winter." I was able to stay in rhythm and actually pick up the pace, but then I reached the coast. What is usually a nice flat to slightly rolling 50 km to close out the ride turned into a nasty 50 km headwind. To add to my day I got a second flat tire. I struggled into the wind and tried to remember to keep the pressure down and survive to the finish. I got it done. Not the best time I've done on that ride, but I'll take it. It certainly was one of the harder days I’ve had on the bike. At the finish I was able to give my dad a hug and let him know that ride was for him. It makes it all worth it.