Yesterday I joined 10 other riders (9 from SPP) for my first permanent ride - the "Last Train from Clarksville". This was a beautifully scenic ride, that felt like there were no flats -we were either climbing or descending. Some of the climbs were every bit as tough as the toughest stuff I've ridden in California, just not as long.
Temperatures: 29F at start, high in upper 40's.
Right off the bat: forgot to pump up my tires the night before - but they were fine all day. The good news was no flats! Perhaps the super inner tubes. Perhaps less glass on the road.
Clothing: long sleeve T-shirt under jersey under SPP jacket, Sugoi tights, winter gloves, Gore shoe covers, balaclava, helmet cover. Perfect choices, especially the balaclava because the downhill runs really froze my face. The helmet cover was probably extraneous. I forgot fingerless gloves, which would have been nice during the middle of the day when the gloves got sweaty.
Fuel: Had three slices of pizza for lunch at the Pizza place in Fairfield, and suffered through a three-hour long belly ache afterwards. Too much, and too much fat. Tastykakes and Yoo-Hoo were effective.
Equipment: it got dark - I need a better headlight and some kind of helmet light so I can see the computer and cue sheet in the dark.I need to attach my pump to my frame somehow (I didn't like it in my pocket) or carry it and my other junk in my backpack (which needs a reflector). My bottom bracket still ticks as I pedal, despite investigation by Bike Doctor. Maybe it's the pedal?
Overall: what a difference compared to the brevet - we stayed as a group for the most part, which also meant we were slower (stopping at times to let the back catch up) and stopped at controls longer. I was happy to be in the group, especially the 20 or so miles we rode in the dark.