Record attempt: Illinois W-E

Rider: Ellen Wolcott

Start date and time: October 1, 2017 6:01 a.m.

Start location: State line sign just west of the bridge over the Mississippi River.

Conditions: It was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with a light breeze at the start. The headwind increased quickly by sunrise, lessening a little bit by the end but becoming a strong crosswind. The temperature rose to 77.

Why: I was inspired to go for the record when our local bike group noted that no woman had set the record and that one of us ought to go for it.

Equipment: My bicycle is a Trek SLR 8 Silque with Speedplay pedals. I used Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 clincher wheels for the record attempt. I had a Zipp bento box on my top tube for holding Shot Bloks and tissues. My tail light was a Bontrager Flare R. During the pre-dawn hours, I used a Cygolite Expilion headlight which my crew removed later.  I had a Bontrager bottle cage on behind my saddle which I used for my gel and soda bottles. My saddle is a SQ Lab 611. We removed my pump and tool bag for the ride. I communicated with my crew using Cardo/Terrano radio units.

Nutrition: During the ride, in addition to water I consumed 9 strawberry-vanilla E-Gels which were mixed with water in two water bottles, two packages of Cran-Razz Shot Bloks, 2 bottles (4 cups total) of chocolate milk, and 2 caffeine-free Cokes for a total of 2430 calories. (In addition, I had 500 calories of breakfast prior to the ride.)

Best & Hardest: The hardest part was the headwind that I faced all day. I started early to avoid some of it, but by an hour in it was much stronger. Towards the end of the ride it was less of a headwind changing to more of a strong head/crosswind, but the hills at that point helped mitigate it.  The best part was my crew support. I had three crew members in the follow vehicle who rotated positions about every hour. They kept me supplied with fuel. They let me know about upcoming turns, stops, and traffic conditions. They cheered me on whenever I passed them during a crew rotation. We also had an errand car that provided meals for the crew and moral support for me (including motivating signs) along the way.

Nothing unusual happened during the ride – it went very smoothly. Traffic was greater than I expected and my crew had to leapfrog ahead of me or pull off to the side quite often to let vehicles go by me. The most unpleasant event during my ride was a fresh roadkill skunk early on in the day that really cleared the sinuses.

Finishing: I finished at 4:21 p.m. at the Vigo County sign at the intersection of US 40 and N. 2620th Street which is the state line.