Thread: 2020 Randonnees
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Old 03-26-20, 02:31 AM
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Location: Stockholm
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I'm new to randonneuring, but I have the 315 km Vätternundan booked for June. I suspect it will soon be cancelled due to the coronavirus as it involves 5000 riders from all over the place. So, I started looking for other events.

I found that a local Randonneur club has an introduction session in May, and I went out yesterday with the intent to do my first metric century in preparation for the meet. It was my first non-commute ride of the year, and my previous longest distance was a 26 km commute. I did not have great confidence that I would make it through the full century ride, so I planned my route along the commuter rails to provide bail-outs at several points. I filled my bottles, strapped on a backpack with maintenance tools, extra clothes, and my lock, and set off past noon. I didn't realize quite how poorly planned the ride was until I was out there: navigation was a nightmare as I was relying on voice instructions from google maps, and I made a ton of wrong turns and had to stop to take out my phone all the time. I had brought no food, and my repair kit was absolute garbage, which I found out when I ran a pinch flat at 30 km and it took about 30 minutes to get going again due to bad tyre levers and my shoddy mini-pump. I ran on low pressure the rest of the way. I made it to the half-way bail out point at 50 km after 2 hours of actual riding and called it a day - sun was setting a hour or two later, and if I ran another flat I'd be stuck in the dark without adequate light.

I learned a lot. First, I need to get a better tool kit and get the weight off of my back - the backpack was killing my shoulders and bum. I also need a bike mount for my navigation solution, and I need to bring food and additional water. I should also consider changing the gearing - 1-28T and 52/42 is heavy uphill. This reads like a miserable experience, I'm sure, but it built experience that I wanted and I'm excited to go out again!

Last edited by Raemoe; 03-26-20 at 02:34 AM.
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