Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Your Tips For Riding a 600K Randonnee

Old 10-10-16, 07:07 AM
  #1  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,437

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2876 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 55 Posts
Your Tips For Riding a 600K Randonnee

If you've ridden a 600K randonnee ...

Tell us your best tips for preparing for the event and getting through it.


--------------------

A bit of background ...

I have never had a good 600K randonnee. They've all be fraught with nausea and/or exhaustion and/or long endless stretches of road that I end up riding by myself and/or horrendous weather ... just about anything that can go wrong, does go wrong on a 600K. I've completed several and DNF'd 3 now.

I'm better on 1000Ks and 1200Ks ... but that 600K distance is awful. And any semblance of practice I might have had in doing them is gone. I haven't completed one in almost a decade.

So ... if you've had a good 600K or even completed one reasonably successfully ... please pass on some tips to those of us who struggle with that distance.

Oh, and I'm one who will finish the 600K somewhere between about 36 and 40 hours. Finishing it in anything less than that would take a small miracle. So even better if the tips are for the plodders in the crowd.
Machka is offline  
Old 10-10-16, 10:39 AM
  #2  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,394
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 153 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I DNF'd my first one last year to avoid aggravating an injured calf but finished one in 38+ hours this year... I didn't have much of a plan for the second one besides finishing it in less than 40 hours. I didn't book a hotel which turned out to be a good thing but I was hoping to get a solid 3 or 4 hours of sleep that didn't happen. We did put enough time in the bank for a couple of 1 hour naps in ATM lobbies and that was enough sleep for me. I did bring a change of clothing so I took time at my first sleep to have a bit of a whole body wipe-down with baby wipes and then I changed my shorts and shirt. I also took time to stop and have nice meals every time we ate and that kept my spirits up since I love to eat. I've yet to have any serious nausea problems on my long rides, not sure what I do to avoid that but I mostly just carbs and veggies along with some protein.... try to avoid greasy stuff. The weather wasn't on my side for this ride, we started in heavy rains and then the day turned really humid during the biggest climb of the ride... I ended up with over 12 hours of stopped time on the ride but I think that probably helped me finish. Next 600 I want to try and get one 3 hour sleep in the night instead of shorter naps.
clasher is offline  
Old 10-10-16, 02:06 PM
  #3  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 18,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 32 Posts
ride it so fast you don't have to sleep. Okay, might not be realistic.

I assume that the format will be 400k, overnight, 200k. Have a drop bag ready with everything you need for the second day. I am paranoid and keep the second day's cue sheet on the bike. But it's a separate cue sheet. Organize clothing so that everything is in a 5 gallon ziplock bag. Anything that you might not need shouldn't be in that bag. Also organize it so that you have any food items easy to put on the bike. It's very easy to waste a lot of time getting ready.

Arrange to be woken up at the end of a 90 minute sleep cycle. Depending on how easily you go to sleep, you will want to add 10 minutes or so. So tell them 100 minutes, 3 hours 10 minutes, etc. Make sure they know not to wake you early. Probably want to set an alarm too. That can be a big deal if you are off. Sleep is a big subject. The main thing is to not worry about getting to sleep, it will happen
unterhausen is offline  
Old 10-10-16, 02:31 PM
  #4  
fastturtle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: 47N, 7E
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How can you be better on a 1'000 or 1'200 km than on a 600 km ?

For me, 600 km is the maximum I can do in one stage, without going to sleep for good. And after I stop for sleep in a bed, the following day is awful.
I've attempted 4 times a 600 km brevet, and completed 3 of them. I rode mostly at my own pace, 20-22 km/h, often alone, with stops as short as possible. The best time I did was 30 hours, without sleep. The 2 other times I slept like 45 minutes. The last one was a DNF after 420 km because of a knee starting to hurt badly in a way I had never experienced, which was a pity because beside this I really felt in good shape.

Other than that, I attempted PBP and DNF'd: It went OK through the first 24 hours, then I stopped for a few hours of sleep and the next day was a nightmare and I gave up in Brest.

A few times I did a 300+ km on a Saturday, followed by a 200-250 km to go back home on Sunday. Saturdays usually went OK, Sundays were always difficult between pain everywhere and no energy.

So, back to my question, how come you can have difficulties on a 600 then feel so much better on a 1'000 ??
Or is it me who has a problem ? Am I pushing myself so hard on a 300 or 600 that only a continuous flow of endorphines can sustain me ? It is true also that I tend not to sleep well after a long ride.
fastturtle is offline  
Old 10-10-16, 04:35 PM
  #5  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,437

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2876 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 55 Posts
I've done four 1200s and one 1000 .... and didn't experience nearly the struggle I do with a 600K.


The 1000 and 1200 are, perhaps, more of an adventure or something. Or maybe it's the regularly occurring services with lots of food.

The 600s I've done have been very remote. The one we attempted this time had a stretch of over 100 km in the middle with absolutely nothing for services, and then, when we finally arrived into a town with services, our choice was pretty much a McDonalds. A McDonalds with the slowest service I've ever encountered.

My other 600s have been in Manitoba and Alberta under similar circumstances .... long stretches of nothing.


Compare that with a ride like the Paris-Brest-Paris where there were controls every 70 km with a variety of good food, plus towns dotted all along the way. Even the Last Chance seemed to have more food options that what I've encountered on most of my 600s.
Machka is offline  
Old 10-10-16, 05:07 PM
  #6  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 18,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 32 Posts
I find 600k to be the hardest distance. Usually because I'm not really totally ready for it. Granted, by then I've ridden 300, 400k brevets, but then I can go to sleep. Once I've gotten to a 1200k, it just doesn't seem as hard.

In general, if I ride a brevet, I really don't feel like I could ride further. Even as short as a 200k. With 1200k's I have wanted to keep going
unterhausen is offline  
Old 10-10-16, 05:30 PM
  #7  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 2,635

Bikes: http://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1086 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
I finished my first 600k in July so I'm not exactly an expert. Since I don't really ever get hungry and don't like to eat a lot of solid food on long rides, I made sure to get enough calories. I pre-measured a bunch of 300 calorie servings of bike food in ziploc bags (powdered maltodextrin and whey protein that I mixed with water) which accounted for around half of my calories. The rest I got from small-easy to digest food from the controls. The last 200 I didn't eat any solid food at all, just the bike food, juice and sports drink. I rode the first 400 in around 20 hours, slept for four hours in the back of my minivan and finished the last 200 in another 10 hours. I originally planned to finish without sleeping, but changed my plans after completing the first 400.
kingston is offline  
Old 10-10-16, 10:39 PM
  #8  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,437

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2876 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 55 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Arrange to be woken up at the end of a 90 minute sleep cycle. Depending on how easily you go to sleep, you will want to add 10 minutes or so. So tell them 100 minutes, 3 hours 10 minutes, etc. Make sure they know not to wake you early. Probably want to set an alarm too. That can be a big deal if you are off. Sleep is a big subject. The main thing is to not worry about getting to sleep, it will happen
Our 600s are not supported. There is no "they" to wake me up. And several times there has been no bag drop. Just a whole lot of nothing.
Machka is offline  
Old 10-11-16, 04:37 AM
  #9  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,749
Mentioned: 120 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1428 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
I should point out that on this latest 600, Machka had recovered from a serious all-body viral rash that occurred immediately after the 400, and then a week before this event, caught a chest virus.

So the cards were stacked against her from the start.

Then, the weather was quite nasty on the second day, according to the forecast, and because she was pretty well spent, we decided to call it quits at the ~380km mark.

The headwinds and the very cold evening, coupled with the long, long leg took their toll, and we just didn't feel we had enough time to sleep, and recover sufficiently to sustain any sort of pace through the stronger winds and rain forecast for the second day.

Last edited by Rowan; 10-11-16 at 04:43 AM.
Rowan is offline  
Old 10-11-16, 05:39 AM
  #10  
skiffrun
Senior Member
 
skiffrun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 809
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
^

Now then, the first piece of advice is "don't come over ill during the ride"
(However, I did finish that ride.)
Irregular Velo Adventures: May-11: Mud Pit + Possum 400-km Brevet

Second piece of advice is "don't hit a fox in the middle of the road"
(However, when we encountered the fox, we did finish.)
Irregular Velo Adventures: Jun-01/02: Heat, Headwinds + Gray Fox 600-km Brevet

1. slow down,
2. keep pedaling,
3. don't waste time at controls or other stops,
4. eat before you are hungry, but not too much,
5. drink before you are thirsty, but not too much,
6. and this should be first, be "in shape"
7. decide to do it, not this "I'm going to try to do it"
8. re-apply lubrication to self before needed, and too much is better than not enough,
9. do NOT cross rail-road tracks at the wrong angle.

I've only started five 600's.
Three finishes; two DNF's.
Reasons for the DNF's?
- See #8 above, which occurred on my first 600 in 2010.
- See also #9 above, which occurred in 2015. (Without checking, I recall it was last year.)

Things to do to help finish:
1. Agree to ride with someone (who has "no legs" from a previous failed brevet), and drag, push, cajole them through the ride. (My friend wanted to get to Paris in 2011, so ...)
2. When someone else is faltering badly, ride to get them to the finish / to keep them safe.


Maybe next year I'll do a 600 for me -- my three finishes have each turned into rides for someone else. I think it does take less energy to ride for someone else -- in each of the above two cases (2011 & 2012), I felt I could have done another 600. I admit that I don't really know as I have NOT ridden a 1200.

Last edited by skiffrun; 10-27-16 at 05:52 PM.
skiffrun is offline  
Old 10-11-16, 01:05 PM
  #11  
bikenh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,183
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
It sounds to me like you have answered your own question. Choose a better location. Try creating your own 600k route and go ride it. See how it goes. Make sure to make it an interesting route that has the services.

Has the 600's you've failed on also had more meters per km of climbing then the ones you have succeeded at? You could also not be ready for the additional toughness of the extra climbing on the shorter ride. It sounds crazy but it could be something to also think about.
bikenh is offline  
Old 10-11-16, 01:30 PM
  #12  
thebulls
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,005

Bikes: SOMA Grand Randonneur, Gunnar Sport converted to 650B, Rivendell Rambouillet, '82 Trek 728, '84 Trek 610, '85 Trek 500, C'Dale F600, Burley Duet, Lotus Legend

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If you've ridden a 600K randonnee ...
...
Wow, usually I'd expect to see this question from someone else, and Machka contributing to the answer :-) (Your website was a great resource for me when I was a newbie randonneur.)

OK, I've finished a dozen 600's and DNF'd one because my achilles swelled up (saddle height was wrong, I can't remember why). Longer events are a more mixed record, five finishes out of eight attempts for 1000's and 1200's. I'm very much a back-of-the-pack rider. Fastest ever 600 was 36h45m, average is just over 38 hours. Typical amount of sleep is 1-1/2 hours, and the most ever is about 3.

When I tell people how to succeed at a 600, I tell them that it is basically like riding a 400, getting a snatch of sleep, and then riding a 200. Many DNF's occur because the "snatch of sleep" leaves riders feeling nauseous and disoriented and they don't even go out for the second day. So I tell people that they have to commit to getting on their bike for just five minutes on the second day. If after five minutes they just can't handle it, then they can bail. But anyone can handle five minutes, and in every case I know of, once they've ridden five minutes, they keep going.

My question for you: How have 400's been for you? Most of what you describe as problematic for 600's is the same stuff that I would think shows up on 400's. Are there any of your "600 problems" that only show up on the second day? And if they're showing up in the first 400 of a 600, do they also show up when you're riding a 400? What did you do about them on the 400? And since you think that 1000's and 1200's are easier for you than 600's, are there any of the "600 problems" that show up on 1000's and 1200's, and if so what did you do about them on the longer events?

With Rowan's clarification that you were riding soon after an illness ... I rode this year's 600 only partially-recovered from some sort of a sore-throat thing, and it was a lot harder because of it. I was definitely not riding my best. Probably the smart thing would have been to wait, but the calendar somewhat forced the issue.

For nausea, I have found that Pepcid AC or Zantac has been highly effective. I don't get nausea very often, though.

Nick
thebulls is offline  
Old 10-11-16, 01:34 PM
  #13  
ThermionicScott 
hungry
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 18,424

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2029 Post(s)
Liked 99 Times in 82 Posts
@skiffrun's experience is very close to mine -- both of the 600's I've done (and completed), I had made plans with others to stick together and encourage/help each other through it. Just having someone else to chat with helps distract you from the monotony and fatigue that can arise.

I don't honestly know if I'd be able to finish a truly solo 600+. The social aspect is huge for me. If anything, I'd really like to try audax-style rides.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 10-11-16, 03:34 PM
  #14  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 18,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 32 Posts
Nick's idea of just committing to riding 5 minutes the second day is a really good one. It's always miserable to get on the bike after a short amount of sleep, particularly after 400k. Within 15 minutes, it's like a whole new day.

I am not sure I would sign up for a 600k with no overnight. Seems simple enough to return to a hotel at the 400k mark and start another 200k from there. I guess it would be easy enough to have a spare set of clothes if that's what it takes, but powdered nutrition might be a problem.

There was one season when I rode the 600k all by myself. Finished with 30 minutes left. I really like riding, and I don't mind riding by myself. I had horrible sinus infections all spring and had trouble riding, so I was slow. If there is a group that is about my speed, I really like doing that too. I don't know that many people my speed. I'm trying to get faster again so I can have more riding partners. I refuse to hurt myself in order to stay up. I have ridden the majority of the miles of my 1200k's by myself. I usually get behind the fast people on the first day and then speed up at about dinner time on the second day. So I'm either faster or slower than everyone.


The rest of this post is how not to finish a 600k
I have dnf'ed at least 4 600k's. The first one was miserably hot, and only one rider finished. I rode with him to the 400k point, but I was afraid I was getting sick, so I just slept in. I already had a 600k in the books.

Second time I was just recovering from being sick. My stomach caused no end of problems. I probably would have finished that, but I had problems with my shorts that made riding really unpleasant. Due to that ride, I now carry a second pair of shorts on any ride over 300k. I rode a really difficult 600k the next weekend.

Last year, I couldn't eat at the overnight due to nausea. It had been really hot the first day. Probably would have finished if I could have eaten after about an hour into the second day, but the route skipped a diner it usually goes by and there was nowhere on the route to eat. I rode back, took me 5 hours to do 25 miles because I was cramping so bad.

This year, I was sick and I was really slow. I thought I was recovering, but I wasn't. I calculated I would get to the 400k point at about the control closing time, and I could get a ride at the 160 mile point. I have a rule against death marches, so I took the ride. The next week I was so sick I could barely get out of bed. So much for being recovered. My training was going really well, so if it weren't for that I am sure I wouldn't have had any problem. But scheduled rides wait for nobody.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 10-11-16, 07:36 PM
  #15  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,437

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2876 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 55 Posts
A few quick comments ...

My 400Ks have been good. In fact, when I was doing a lot of randonneuring, the 400K distance was my favourite. I like the fact that I can have the distance finished within 24 hours.

I find the progress from the 200K to 300K to 400K to be reasonably easy and comfortable. But that leap to 600K is really painful.


I have completed six 600Ks and DNF'd 3 of them.

One of my 600Ks (probably my best one) was a route I designed myself when I was a ride organiser in Alberta in 2007. I rode the whole 600K solo but planned a Day 1 loop of about 375 km starting and ending at home, and then a Day 2 loop of about 225 km to finish it. I got about 2 hours of sleep, which is by far the most sleep I've ever got on a 600K ... but finished with only about 20 min to spare in the midst of a huge storm.


Two of my DNFs were in 2005. I made two attempts at the same route. I had taken an existing route and had modified it to what I thought would be quite a nice route for me because it stopped at my house at about the 325 km point.

However, on the first attempt we had a weekend of absolutely torrential rain and roaring wind. Bridges were washed out behind us as we rode (there was me and one other guy). We were pedalling down hills because of the wind. When we reached a main highway, the semi-trucks were kicking up waves of water which would engulf us each time one went past. We weren't eating properly because how do you eat in that? Get out a granola bar and the thing would dissolve before you could get it into your mouth. Then when night fell and the temperature dropped my ride partner and I both went hypothermic. By the time we rolled into my place, with no time to spare for sleep, we were both shaking uncontrollably and incoherent. I had also started throwing up. We packed it in there.

A couple months later I tried again and that time, someone decided he would ride with me from the start to a certain intersection, a distance of about 100 km or so .... he just wanted a short ride. It was quite a warm day and unfortunately his pace was really too fast for me. It was all I could do to hang on and I wasn't eating and drinking properly. He left and when I reached about the 150 km point, I stopped for something to eat. I should have had something with electrolytes, but didn't. And I didn't at the next stop ... or the next stop ... and I started throwing up again. I got to my place, slept for about 1.5 hours, and started again ... still no electrolytes. 50 km up the road, I was throwing up so badly, my father, who had decided to leap frog me in the car, pulled over and told me to get into the car. My mother, a nurse, had a look at me when I got home and determined that I was experiencing hyponatremia. She managed to nurse me out of it, but debated several times that day about taking me to the hospital. I studied electrolytes after that and have made sure to include them in all my longer rides since then

And then there was this most recent 600K attempt. The first time I've tried a 600K since 2007. Unfortunately, I think being very ill for a good 3-4 weeks of the 8 weeks in between the 400K and 600K took its toll. We hardly rode in that time.


But the thing is, although I've completed six 600Ks, every single one of them has been a miserable, unenjoyable slog including a lot of nausea, horrible weather, my one and only saddle sore I've ever had, long empty solo hours, very little sleep, throwing up, struggling to find anything palatable within the limited selection available at small 24 hour service stations in the middle of nowhere, and fighting to keep up enough speed to make the controls.
Machka is offline  
Old 10-11-16, 07:40 PM
  #16  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,437

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2876 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 55 Posts
Thinking about the 1000K and 1200K distances ...

For those events, I usually try to cover over 400 km ... closer to 475 km ... on the first 'day'. Then I know I just have to make it a relatively short distance until the 15 km/h time drops and I can kind of relax.


According to the Audax Australia website:

For 1,000 km BRM rides, intermediate control closing times are based on 15 km/hr up to 600 km and 11.4 km/hr between 600 km and 1000 km.


Also, the start times for the 1000K and 1200Ks have been different. The ones I've done have tended to start late in the evening or very early in the morning whereas the 600Ks have tended to start about 7 am. I am not a morning person and perhaps that gets me off to a bad start right away. I have wondered about starting a 600K at a different time.


And maybe when I'm riding a 600K, I need to pretend I'm riding a 1000K.

Last edited by Machka; 10-11-16 at 07:45 PM.
Machka is offline  
Old 10-12-16, 12:20 AM
  #17  
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3,766

Bikes: Giant Defy, Trek 1.7c, BMC GF02, Scott Sub 35

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 14 Posts
Don't ever have a 600 start in the afternoon.
znomit is offline  
Old 10-13-16, 09:20 PM
  #18  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,437

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2876 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 55 Posts
Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Don't ever have a 600 start in the afternoon.
No, probably not the afternoon ...

Strangely enough a 4 am start has a certain appeal. Ride for a couple hours before dawn, ride through the whole day, ride through the night, and wrap things up by about 8 pm rather than going into another night.

I think my best 600K, the one I designed and rode solo, had a 5 am start which wasn't too bad either. That sounds really odd for someone who is so incredibly NOT a morning person but there is something about starting in the darkness and getting some distance in before dawn breaks.
Machka is offline  
Old 10-14-16, 08:26 AM
  #19  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,394
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 153 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
My successful 600K this year started at 5am and I slept in a hotel near the start point so I was well rested. I wouldn't want to start anytime after 6am.
clasher is offline  
Old 10-14-16, 05:37 PM
  #20  
thebulls
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,005

Bikes: SOMA Grand Randonneur, Gunnar Sport converted to 650B, Rivendell Rambouillet, '82 Trek 728, '84 Trek 610, '85 Trek 500, C'Dale F600, Burley Duet, Lotus Legend

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
No, probably not the afternoon ...

Strangely enough a 4 am start has a certain appeal....
DC Randonneurs starts their 400's and 600's at 4am. Usually that means that by lunch-time you've got a hundred miles or more, done. I usually get to the overnight around 2 to 3am, usually around 400km into the ride. That makes for a 5am or 6am start on the second day with a bit over 200km to go.

I think your idea of pretending that you're riding a 1000 or 1200 is a good one. It seems like you've got somewhat of a "block" about the 600, partly based on painful past experiences.
thebulls is offline  
Old 10-15-16, 05:41 AM
  #21  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,437

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2876 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 55 Posts
One thing we're talking about doing is becoming a little more self-sufficient in the sense of ...

... rather than hoping for an open bakery in the next small town in the middle of nowhere (because all our 600s are in the middle of nowhere ... that's where the good roads are!) we might bring something like cheese sandwiches with us so that we have something reasonably substantial to eat. Something different from the granola bars ... something that is not sweet.
Machka is offline  
Old 10-15-16, 07:13 AM
  #22  
mibike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
we might bring something like cheese sandwiches with us so that we have something reasonably substantial to eat. Something different from the granola bars ... something that is not sweet.
I like using bagels for sandwiches on the bike. They will travel well and not crunch down like bread. I like peanut butter and jelly for riding but have used them for other sandwiches.
mibike is offline  
Old 10-15-16, 11:35 AM
  #23  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 2,635

Bikes: http://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1086 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
Might want to give the maltodextrin/whey protien (7:1 by weight) mix a try. It allows you to "eat" constantly and is pretty easy to carry at about 3,800 calories/kg. It is sort of sweet so it wont help if you are trying to avoid that.
kingston is offline  
Old 10-15-16, 04:15 PM
  #24  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,749
Mentioned: 120 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1428 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
I suppose my take on this might be worthwhile. This is the first 600 out of four or five that I have not finished.

Essentially, this one came down to:

(a) lack of adequate training or riding to make the distance comfortably. I think we have been able to get away with this up to 400, but once the possibility of going over 24 hours for an event emerges, then the requirements shift. Machka's problems with illness were very significant, and she was very brave to even take on this ride.

(b) the need to get time in the bank from as early as possible in the event to enable an adequate amount of sleep before starting the last third. This is related to (a) above, but in this case the headwinds from the get-go played a role for me.

(c) our personal season has been predominantly in winter here. We've had one warm ride, out of Brisbane, but the rest, from 100s through to the 600, have required a lot of additional clothing. I was hoping for better weather on this ride, but no, the night time temps in some parts of the route were just above freezing (we woke to frost on the roof of the hire car the day after the event finished). I suppose I have just got worn down by the constant cold and wet (I work outdoors as well, which doesn't help). The knowledge (and in the end, the reality) of the forecast for much stronger winds, heavy rain and another 200-odd kilometre slog that didn't provide any significant respite also didn't help my mindset to keep going. A look out the window to see the trees tearing around, along with the creaking of the cabin we slept in confirmed my fears.

(d) I just didn't seemed to be as organised as I usually am for rides such as these. A lot of stuff was happening prior to the event, including Machka getting sick. I picked the wrong bike shoes because I thought the weather would be better (and the ramifications went a little further than just cold feet). I left behind in the cabin a polar fleece jacket that might have made the cold evening more comfortable, and I forgot to wear a synthetic hat under my helmet instead of keeping on my cotton bandana.

(e) the long distances between checkpoints at night again were a concern. We have been using Ensure as a dissolvable energy source, and I increased the mix strength and/or incorporated drinking chocolate into the mix to give it more taste, and that worked. I also had access to other hard food on the bike, but it was all sweet stuff. I have used maltodextrin mixes of my own in the past, but I either have to carry it with me when flying and we already are on weight limits with the bike box and carry-on luggage, or trying to source once landed on a tight schedule; whereas the Ensure is on the pharmacy shelves and easily accessible, and premixed with all it components.

There are some other issues that also need discussion between us, including pacesetting, but they didn't have a significant bearing on this event, although could into the future.

There are a lot of little things there apart from Machka's virus issues, but the little things are the ones that conspire to come together to finish off an attempt at a ride like this. All said and done, this is our first full season back in randonneuring after a decade of just dabbling or doing nothing at all. While we have some of the skillset from previous experience, there are routines and skills that have to be relearned, and some additional training to build both ensurance/resilience and speed.

I am disappointed we weren't able to get our SR series, but there is always next season. The disjointed nature of our local Audax calendar meant we had to hunt down rides in other states to ride, and I am sure that imposed some additional pressure.

And an interesting observation from Machka on doing SRs in other places. She is used to doing the rides in a three or four month window in Canada; once the rando season is finished, it's time to do other cycling stuff such as tris, racing or touring, or simply other stuff off the bike. The local (Tasmanian) season was somewhat limited this past year, and there is an increasing reliance on permanents (which don't qualify for BRM brevets), so we have spent basically eight or nine months doing our series (as well as doing it over the aforementionted winter). I have to admit that my very first season of randos was to qualify for PBP; we started the process in December, including a 200 and 300 over one weekend) and we had the qualifiers finished by February... and that was a very compact and efficient way of doing it, which I would like to emulate again at some point.

To assist in the process, Machka and I are organising a series next season so we know exactly what to expect when we ride them, too. And that will include a weekend of a 200 and 300 together!
Rowan is offline  
Old 10-17-16, 11:35 AM
  #25  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,652
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 155 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
If the local 600ks are hill-climbing desert barren sufferfests, that's not a problem with the distance, that's a problem with the route. So consider going somewhere more fun or easier if that's how it is.
Our local 600ks are set up for about 225 miles the first day, the rest the second day. We figure about 5 hours off the bike if possible. We figure to leave the overnight control about the official control-closing time or a little sooner. This assumes reasonable speed on the route, which assumes that it isn't climbing over the Rocky Mountains or riding into a hurricane all day.
The 600ks in Austin and Houston tend to be set up for a 400k the first day, and that doesn't work as well in my experience.
Riding the tandem is one solution to the solo-riding issue. We may be with other riders, oftentimes not, but still not riding solo, either. Or having a friend that'll stick with you regardless, even if you're on separate bikes.
If you have long stretches with no supplies, it'd be ideal to have support for the riders in there, either for you personally if there's a control, or for all the riders otherwise.
To finish a 600k faster than other people, you have to ride faster, get in and out of controls faster, or sleep less. If those three are not really options, then you need to be satisfied with whatever time you get. So mine are generally around 37 or 38 hours (IE, start 2nd day at control-closing time, then gain 2 or 3 hours on that time during the day). In and out of controls faster translates into stuffing your face while you're still in line waiting to pay for what you're eating, then riding off and leaving your friends, both of which strike me as rude. Riding faster- yeah, easy to say, not so easy to do. Sleep less- why kill yourself to get 37 hours instead of 38 hours when both times suck?
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.