Brevet Tel Aviv 200 – Just ??

Last Thursday I did the Tel Aviv Brevet which was a 200km night ride.
Let me reiterate this, this is a night ride in July  in Israel. If you think you have hot days, know that the months of July and August are considered the hottest here in the Middle East and to those countries that have a shore line, the average humidity is ~70%, so that night we had the “lovely, cool” evening that at 1AM got to 25C, the rest of the time it was closer to 29C.

The ride itself started in the North of Tel Aviv and headed south, it took me an hour to get out of the city due to traffic and traffic lights so I was already behind on the pace I wanted to keep.
By the time I reached the less crowded roads I felt as though I was under pacing myself and that I packed less nutrition items then I would need.
the route itself was fairly flat in this section, but i did not allow myself to be lolled by this as I knew the route is taking me to the region at the foot of the Jerusalem mountains, so it will be rolling hills to over come.
At the first checkpoint (46.8km )I refilled my drinking bottles and grabbed a 5 minute break and some food, it felt good to be off the saddle but also had the feeling of “I am wasting time”, so I activated a music app on my phone and resumed the ride..
The next 15k were nice as it was slight down hill and had a tailwind that pushed me and helped me recover some “lost time”, but as i went off the well lit roads it started to creep on me how perilous it was, Did I mention that I was doing this solo ?
Both of the next two checkpoints were well lit, one being a petrol station was a dead ringer, but when I started heading back, that is when the problem started, my rear light died.
Thankfully I anticipated that and brought a power pack with me and plugged it in to charge, problem is, it won’t work while being charged.
I said Ok, and rode on….After another 4 km, my headlight died.
This is more serious so I stopped at a bus stop unplugged the rear light and started charging the head light ( which also won’t work while being charged), having only one cable meant I was able to charge one of them so I alternated between them, some time going without rear light and some time without a headlight.
Thankfully I made it back to the petrol station and was able to purchase another cable and plug both devices to be charged while I rest my legs and replenish my drinks.
The next leg of the ride was by all accounts the easiest section from a pace point of view but also started to be saddle sore, so I tried to peddle as many sections as I can while standing and not sitting, I manged to get to the last checkpoint and noticed that I am more then 2 hours behind my initial ride estimate, so I shorted my needed stop, and got back on the bike with a minimal stop.
I kept on charging my head/read lights to make sure I have enough to be seen till I get back, of course 15 minutes after I resumed riding, Sunrise started …
I was still 45k from the end but for some reason it felt much easier doing those kilometres although I did do several stops to ease my backside.
As I was getting close to the centre, and the early hours of Friday there were more cycling groups on the road, some were polite and others not so much.
One of them encouraged me to take the wheel of the last of their team riders, they were going at about 38km and while I was maybe pushing 29km, obviously i was not able to gain the benefit to draft them.
Slow, tired but steadily I entered Tel Aviv and made my way back to the peer where I started, the place was packed with joggers and cyclists too and I looked at them with envy as they don’t have to do what i just went through.
As I looked at my phone I to stop the music, I saw that there is an invite from my cycling group for a training session happening right now, It took me less then a second to decline and head home.

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