Cyclocross Magazine: The Green Mountain Double Century

Words & Photos by Natalia Boltukhova | Pedal Power Photography

Issue #14 of Cyclocross Magazine included a multi-page spread featuring some Seven bikes outfitted as randonneurs, and highlighting the riding and endurance skills of Matt Roy, David Wilcox, and John Bayley as they conquered the Green Mountain Double Century. Natalia Boltukhova of Pedal Power Photography captured some incredible images of these guys at every step of this grueling race, and she also wrote many tongue-in-cheek captions that, along with her photos, provide a vivid picture of that epic day. In the competitors’ own words, it was: “Insane. Nuts. Brutal. Inhumane.”

A little bit about the bikes:

  • John Bayley rode his Seven titanium Axiom SL with couplers. This bike is set up as a true Randonneur bike.
  • Matt Roy rode a Seven titanium Axiom SL Randonneur bike.
  • David Wilcox rode his Steel Vanilla Randonneuring bike.

Matt Roy had this to say about his experience on the Axiom SL Randonneur bike that day:

“The Axiom SL Rando project bike was great… I beat the living hell out of it. I wore through a set of brake pads in the first 100 miles. I can’t believe it showed up on my porch on Thursday morning and I put it through ungodly conditions less than 48 hours later. It handled amazingly well, climbed great, descended great, felt great!”

Read on to get the full stats of the race, including calories consumed and burned, feet ascended, and number of brake pads replaced, and to see the gallery of Natalia’s beautiful photographs.

Official Data

  • 205 Miles
  • 80% dirt roads
  • 25,000 fine Vermont feet of vertical climbing
  • [Winning] Team:Matt Roy, David Wilcox, John Bayley
  • Date: June 11, 2011
  • Start time: 4:01am
  • Projected finish time: 7:00pm-8:00pm
  • Actual finish time: 11:01pm
  • Weather Conditions: typical New England (rain showers, low 60s, overcast)
  • Total actual distance: 208.8 miles (according to Garmin 705)
  • Elevation gained: Approximately 25,000 feet
  • Total time: 18:52:27
  • Total ride time: 16:14:12
  • Average speed: 12.9mph
  • Calories consumed: approximately 6,150 (according to Matt Roy’s calculations—and he is some sort of medical scientist)
  • Calories burned: 15,810 (according to Garmin 705)
  • Flat tires: 1 (pinched on a rocky descent)
  • Brake pads replaced: 2 sets on Matt’s bike; David confessed he could have used a new set in the rear and has since replaced both sets in his bike; John attested to his brakes still having some life left over after the finish, but her remains unable to perform typing on his computer due to sore hands from braking on descents.
  • Hypothermia: barely avoided
  • Support crew: Maureen Bruno-Roy (Matt’s wife and one of New England’s top cyclocrossers in her own right, with super-human organizing skills, mind reading powers, brilliant off-road driving abilities, unsurpassed stamina and positivity-charging powers) and Natalia Boltukhova (photographer, and water bottle-and-what-have-you passer from the car)
green-mountian-double-century
Green Mountain Double Century, Or: Pretty Boys Explore Jens Voigtitude and Epicness on Vermont’s Gravel Roads
I knew Irishmen were a little weird. I knew their accent makes it sound like they put an exclamation mark followed by a question mark followed by an ellipsis at the end of everything they say. Here’s John Bayley’s top secret spin the night before the Green Mountain Double Century (GMDC)
I knew Irishmen were a little weird. I knew their accent makes it sound like they put an exclamation mark followed by a question mark followed by an ellipsis at the end of everything they say. Here’s John Bayley’s top secret spin the night before the Green Mountain Double Century (GMDC)
The riders started out in rain showers and pitch black darkness—so dark, in fact, that it was only later, when looking through the photos, that I was able to see the cool pine needle pattern on the ground and the excited faces of the riders rolling out.
The riders started out in rain showers and pitch black darkness—so dark, in fact, that it was only later, when looking through the photos, that I was able to see the cool pine needle pattern on the ground and the excited faces of the riders rolling out.
One of the very few paved sections of the GMDC, at the beginning of the ride as the sun started to rise. David Wilcox’s generator-hub-powered lights came in handy that day, as the sun never did fully emerge from behind the rain clouds. The fourth rider hung with the Great Trio’s deceivingly effortless pedal strokes, but was mercilessly dropped shortly after the shot.
One of the very few paved sections of the GMDC, at the beginning of the ride as the sun started to rise. David Wilcox’s generator-hub-powered lights came in handy that day, as the sun never did fully emerge from behind the rain clouds. The fourth rider hung with the Great Trio’s deceivingly effortless pedal strokes, but was mercilessly dropped shortly after the shot.
The women of the Grafton Village Convenience Store went to great lengths to provide our intrepid, muddy, wet, hungry adventurers with fresh egg ‘n’ cheese sandwiches and, “still warm out of the oven” perfect blueberry muffins. The boys filled the pauses between devouring the country deliciousness by entertaining the locals, who were taken by surprise with this little tornado of cycling adventure.
The women of the Grafton Village Convenience Store went to great lengths to provide our intrepid, muddy, wet, hungry adventurers with fresh egg ‘n’ cheese sandwiches and, “still warm out of the oven” perfect blueberry muffins. The boys filled the pauses between devouring the country deliciousness by entertaining the locals, who were taken by surprise with this little tornado of cycling adventure.
The three musketeers! Don’t try this at home.
The three musketeers! Don’t try this at home.
Matt showing off his brake pad that lived a very short but adventurous life.
Matt showing off his brake pad that lived a very short but adventurous life.
A glorious road surface, typical of 80 percent of the route.
A glorious road surface, typical of 80 percent of the route.
Egg sandwiches taste like heaven. Fact: Matt Roy is cute. Fact: it was only a matter of putting together a really long, mixed terrain journey so those two could get some quality time together.
Egg sandwiches taste like heaven. Fact: Matt Roy is cute. Fact: it was only a matter of putting together a really long, mixed terrain journey so those two could get some quality time together.
The joy of suffering side by side.
The joy of suffering side by side.
Perhaps the most grueling uphill section.
Perhaps the most grueling uphill section.
This place had both kinds of paintings: winter landscapes and roosters. But mostly roosters.
This place had both kinds of paintings: winter landscapes and roosters. But mostly roosters.
As the darkness ineluctably started to claim its throne, it all went downhill—literally, and for a while. Adroit and high-speed bunny hops over the occasional bumps, holes, rocks and logs were ahead, despite exhaustion and the poor visibility in the never-ending rain.
As the darkness ineluctably started to claim its throne, it all went downhill—literally, and for a while. Adroit and high-speed bunny hops over the occasional bumps, holes, rocks and logs were ahead, despite exhaustion and the poor visibility in the never-ending rain.
They are nearly hypothermic, hungry, exhausted, almost no strength or spirit left for smiles. Here they have to make a call: cut it a bit short and just continue straight on paved road to the finish line, or stick to the route and quite possibly make a few wrong turns but finish as planned. Matt: “Argh, [p]uck it! What’s an extra 18 miles at this point? Let’s do it WHY NOT!?”
They are nearly hypothermic, hungry, exhausted, almost no strength or spirit left for smiles. Here they have to make a call: cut it a bit short and just continue straight on paved road to the finish line, or stick to the route and quite possibly make a few wrong turns but finish as planned. Matt: “Argh, [p]uck it! What’s an extra 18 miles at this point? Let’s do it WHY NOT!?”

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