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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

2019 Randonnees

Old 09-10-19, 12:37 PM
  #226  
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Puff the Magic 600k was nice. It's a great route with some hills, but nothing too major. Just enough to keep it interesting. One of our riders finished on a fat-bike, which I thougt was super impressive. Weather was pretty good. 55-70 the whole time. A little drizzle on Sunday, but not too bad. I brought my raincoat but never put it on. Finished the first 400k in around 18h30m. On Sunday I turned left when I should have turned right at the first control and didn't realize it until I got to the next control going the wrong way, so I got a 75k bonus to get back on track. Ended up finishing around 8:30p on Sunday, which was a few hours later than I was planning. Good reminder to always bring your lights and reflective gear even if you plan to finish before it gets dark, because you just never know. The etrex is great until the route doubles back on itself and it's not clear which way to go. I've made similar navigation mistakes in the past, but this was the worst one. In the future I'm going to break up the route into segments to eliminate any overlap.
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Old 09-10-19, 01:25 PM
  #227  
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wow, that's an impressive number of bonus miles. Great that you finished.
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Old 09-10-19, 02:43 PM
  #228  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Puff the Magic 600k was nice. It's a great route with some hills, but ... I turned left when I should have turned right at the first control and didn't realize it until I got to the next control going the wrong way, so I got a 75k bonus to get back on track.
Doh! I came close to making that mistake a couple months ago but something told me I'd gone wrong and I went back. Whew!

A couple years ago we had a rider who rode a loop backwards-- it was a 600 km brevet and he rode the whole thing in good time, but near the end there were a few controles out of order. It's the kind of mistake i might make in a predawn haze.
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Old 09-10-19, 03:27 PM
  #229  
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@kingston - glad you finished in time in spite of all the bonus miles. I made that mistake when the RBA and I pre-DROVE the Oregon-Monroe Lollipop and I use my eTrek to navigate. I couldn't figure out why all the road signs were wrong when I was looking at the cuesheet.

And, wow, just wow on Big Mama (the bike's name!) finishing the 600K!! Dang, her rider is super strong!
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Old 09-10-19, 03:54 PM
  #230  
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Kudos on finishing! 75K of bonus might have broke my spirit!
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Old 09-10-19, 04:17 PM
  #231  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
wow, that's an impressive number of bonus miles. Great that you finished.
Originally Posted by clasher View Post
Kudos on finishing! 75K of bonus might have broke my spirit!
A personal best I hope never to surpass, but even with the extra distance, this was much, much easier than the Ears are Bleeding 600k I rode earlier this season.

I was with another rider on his first 600k, and as soon as we realized the mistake I checked to see if we could still finish, because ~20 miles in the wrong direction is a pretty big navigation error. It didn't look like we would be able to make it to the next control on time, but I thought we could catch up by the control after that. I texted the RBA to let her know what happened and confirm that she would let us catch back up. She told me later that she was laughing out loud when she got my text. Her response "Ouch - you need a better GPS. The road to hell is way too accessible from yours" referencing similar bonus miles I have racked up this season. It helps to be fast when you're terrible at navigation.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:54 PM
  #232  
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Congrats on finishing!

On navigation, yeah any device which only lets you follow a trail or line will have trouble with a route that doubles back on itself. It's also a problem with route planning; notably I had trouble editing the PBP route when I tried placing notes and points of interest along the route in places where two routes overlapped. I ended up splitting the route into two - Rambouillet-Brest and Brest-Rambouillet.

I guess splitting up any route with any significant amount of overlap is gonna be the a good idea, regardless of device. And if the route to and back are practically identical, a lot of devices have a "reverse" option anyway.
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Old 09-11-19, 12:12 PM
  #233  
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Originally Posted by GadgetGirlIL View Post

An Emu in the Wisconsin countryside. Apparently it is a thing up in this area to raise them. Who knew?

After a 17 month streak, I didn't do any brevets (or 200K perms) in July or August. I did ride some populaires and permanents but had other cycling adventures that I wanted to do instead. This past Saturday was the Psychedelic Eagle 200K that started from Woodstock, IL and went north up to Eagle, WI. We had really nice weather with the exception of the headwinds on the stretches where we were going west. The weather forecast had said 6-8 mph but the winds ended up being stronger than that. Combined with rollers in that area, I got dropped but regrouped with another friend, @abshipp in Eagle. Had company most of the rest of the ride. It was nice to catch up with friends. Finished in under 11 hours which is good for me. I'm not a fast rider.
@kingston was doing the 600K that also started from Woodstock on Saturday. There was a 400K loop and then they did the 200K that we rode on Saturday. Not sure if he got wet as there was rain down by me on Sunday morning. Hopefully he will check in with an update.

Next up is our season closer 200K starting in Evanston in 2 weeks. We are also planning out next year's ride calendar this month. A lot of fun things to look forward to in 2020!
Always great to ride with you @GadgetGirlIL!

I had something more detailed typed out, but I ended up losing it when I had to restart my computer. Oh well.

This was my first brevet this year, and I was a little apprehensive about it due to my longest ride this year only being 70 miles.

Turns out there wasn't anything to worry about. I felt strong the whole way through, and being able to ride with some great people for 90% of the ride made the miles just fly by. We had a core group of about 4 people riding together for most of it, with us only really getting strung a bit out in the middle when the rollers started.

I believe my finishing time was 10' 36", so that was about 45 minutes faster than my last (and first) 200k. Pretty happy with that.

Great route, great company, and great weather. I don't think anything could have possibly gone better.






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Old 09-11-19, 04:18 PM
  #234  
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I have good memories of driving around Illinois and southern Wisconsin backroads when I was a kid... bouncing around the back of grandad's pickup truck (it had a cap at least). I should try and get down and do a brevet there... so many places I want to ride in the states though, gotta start on the list or it'll keep growing.
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Old 09-14-19, 04:44 AM
  #235  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Ended up finishing around 8:30p on Sunday, which was a few hours later than I was planning. Good reminder to always bring your lights and reflective gear even if you plan to finish before it gets dark, because you just never know.
Over here in Japan they won't even let you start without lights attached to the frame of the bike and you wearing a reflective vest, regardless of the time of day. And a bicycle bell, as it's required by law!

Regarding the bonus distance, it's why I navigate all randonnees by breadcrumb trail and not by paper cue sheets. At least on my GPS that method is bulletproof. I already learnt my lesson during the training rides for my first randonnee

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Old 09-14-19, 07:48 AM
  #236  
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Originally Posted by joewein View Post
Over here in Japan they won't even let you start without lights attached to the frame of the bike and you wearing a reflective vest, regardless of the time of day. And a bicycle bell, as it's required by law!
Lights and reflective gear are only required here if you are riding in the dark, and this is the first time I have ever finished a 200k or the second day of a 600k in the dark, so 90+% of the time they are not necessary in those cases.

Originally Posted by joewein View Post
Regarding the bonus distance, it's why I navigate all randonnees by breadcrumb trail and not by paper cue sheets. At least on my GPS that method is bulletproof. I already learnt my lesson during the training rides for my first randonnee
My gps just has a line on a map. I'm not sure if that's the same as breadcrumb trail, but it works great until the trail doubles back on itself and the line on the map goes two directions. In this particular case, I would not have made the same mistake if I had been using paper cue sheets. Normally I refer to the cue sheets at these types of intersections, but I was too lazy to print them last week and somehow strangely confident that the wrong direction at the intersection was correct, so I didn't bother to get out the cue sheet on my phone to confirm. I had in my head that the loop was clockwise when it was counterclockwise, so it wasn't until I got out my brevet card at the control that I realized the mistake.
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Old 09-14-19, 08:35 AM
  #237  
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As much as I like to complain about the Garmin Edge, those units would complain if you went the wrong way. The part of the course you have already been on is not part of the course anymore. Unless it's out and back, which is a whole other possibility for getting bonus miles.
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Old 09-14-19, 09:13 AM
  #238  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
As much as I like to complain about the Garmin Edge, those units would complain if you went the wrong way. The part of the course you have already been on is not part of the course anymore. Unless it's out and back, which is a whole other possibility for getting bonus miles.
This was an out and back to the first control with a loop on the top. As I mentioned earlier, I'll break these routes up into sections in the future so this won't happen to me again. Another rider's gps sent him back to the start at the first control, so he rode back to the overnight and had to restart day 2.
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Old 09-14-19, 10:05 AM
  #239  
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I'll also mention that the guy I was riding with had one of the wahoo's everyone loves so much that didn't alert us to the mistake.
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Old 09-14-19, 12:34 PM
  #240  
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Out and back routes are bad, my Garmin 800 can't handle about half of my perm routes because of that. Haven't tried yet with my 830. I always worry about routes that have a spur to get to a control, but they haven't steered me wrong on that yet.
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Old 09-14-19, 05:01 PM
  #241  
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My wahoo did fine on an out and back section of a 200k I did today. Something else is messed up with it and it was constantly thinking I was off course.

It was a nice ride, my girlfriend came and we finished together in 9:45, had 1450m of climb and due to construction the ride was 215km.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:38 PM
  #242  
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I finished another 600k over the weekend -- the last 600k of the 2019 season. Turnout was pretty low because of one particular hazy situation that many countries in South East Asia are experiencing now. The day before, the API index for various towns along the route were over 100+, with some hitting 150+ and above but it rained at night, so hopefully things would have cleared up a little the next day.

Due to the weather conditions, I planned for a fast ride, so it was minimal packing and a time trial-like setup (this is also the first time I'm taking an ITU-standard aero bars as well as seatpost-mounted bottle cages to a long distance ride). I did not plan for any sleepover and therefore didn't pack any second set of clothes, except for spare gloves, socks and a base layer in case of a bit of wet weather along the way.

At the start, conditions were hazy but not too bad. Had a carbon filter 4-ply face mask on (which most people arguably say is ineffective, it's the 3M N95 filter that you want, but those things make it very difficult to breathe and to drink water), but eh, better than nothing. The hazy conditions meant the early 6am start wasn't as cool as I'd liked it to be, but it was still bearable.

Minor rolling roads for most of the way until somewhere just before the 90km mark when I noticed the haze was a bit better. The strap of my mask broke sometime at that point too, so lucky, I guess?

Anyways, after around 150km of riding the weather turned to the unexpected. Heavy downpour all the way for about 50+ km of riding. I was soaking wet from both rain and road spray. It was a long 3-day weekend for many, so we also experienced heavy traffic along the route and took a couple of "showers" from passing vehicles too. The worst I remembered was the smell of rubber after I got drenched by a large puddle and a passing lorry.

Well, on one hand, the downpour cleared up the sky quite significantly. On the other hand, I was completely unprepared for this amount of water. Once I got to the second checkpoint at the 288km mark I changed to my pair of dry socks, gloves and base layer. Jersey was fine since these things dry out very fast, but I did not have a fresh pair of bibshorts to change out to so I needed to prepare for some painful saddle times afterwards, and I bought a pack of Panadol for that. My feet were also white and wrinkled by then (I took photos, but you probably don't want to see them ), and my right toe was hurting too.

Didn't spend much time dawdling, headed towards the third checkpoint at 370km in the middle of the night. Some nasty rolling hills along the way. It was pitch black, but yellow signboards reflected off our headlamps merrily informed us of incoming 10% climbs, lol. We counted nine of them. NINE. In the middle of the night. Well, it was still kind of fun calling them out as we saw them; if I was alone at the time I would probably have been cursing all the way.

At the third checkpoint we just had a brief 2-hour nap at the lobby of the only hotel in the town. It was a pretty small town, the hotel was fully booked, and I didn't actually plan on any hotel stay anyway -- but there were mosquitoes where I had planned to rest and I thought why not, maybe I could go get a shower or something after all that rain. Anyways we didn't get a room, but the caretaker was nice enough to let us into the lobby.

Took off on a long, flat road that I didn't care to remember because it was still very early in the morning and I was hungry and on the lookout for food. Finally somewhere around 6am we found the first store that was opening and had a quick breakfast there before pushing onto the fourth checkpoint at 444km. This goes through a major town so lots of traffic lights to slow us down.

The next 120+ km of roads were very flat, a bit windy, and very hot. It made me wish for rain like yesterday. We stopped a lot more times than expected for all kinds of little things. Food, cold drinks, cold delicacies, you name it. At one point one of the riders in my group had a puncture and I was so glad we could sit and rest under a tree for a bit.

Last 40km was within city limits so heavy traffic and bad road conditions were the order of the day. Made slow progress here but we were pretty much on time to finish in 36 hours so I guess it was a pretty successful ride after all. I think we could have done 35h if it had been cooler during that last 160km... but at least we didn't have to deal with the haze especially on the first day.

The most important lesson I've learnt from this ride is that aero bars can make a whole lot of difference. Well, my choice of aero bars was a bit unconventional (since the triathlon-style bars are more geared for speed than comfort), but on the flats I was easily doing over 30-32km/h at a steady Z3 effort. But that wasn't the most useful bit; it also gave me another position to hold which turned out to be a lot more comfortable after my bum was already hurting from the other usual sitting positions. I'm definitely going to look into using aero bars more often for next year's randonneuring season.

Here's the video of my ride:
Spoiler

Last edited by atwl77; 09-16-19 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 09-17-19, 12:36 PM
  #243  
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Thanks for the report! For some reason I can't watch the video on my desktop computer, just my phone. That smoky haze is something else!

Here's my last brevet. My brother uses this app, "relive," for some of his rides --which are almost always in much more interesting places than I ride-- but I thought i'd give it a try.

https://www.relive.cc/view/vYvE94pX8wv
https://www.relive.cc/view/vAOZBJ475yO
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Old 09-17-19, 05:50 PM
  #244  
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I just wrote a long summary of this weekend's SIR R5000 1000, then the browser crashed. So I'll be brief this time:

It was a 3-loop ride:
Wind, rain, chilly.
Rain, chilly.
Rain, sunshine, clouds.

6 started, 1 DNF (illness) 5 finished together. Started 6:00am Saturday, we finished at 1:20am this morning (Tuesday).

Good times were had by all. Not all the time, but they were there.

Cheers
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Old 09-17-19, 10:54 PM
  #245  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Thanks for the report! For some reason I can't watch the video on my desktop computer, just my phone. That smoky haze is something else!

Here's my last brevet. My brother uses this app, "relive," for some of his rides --which are almost always in much more interesting places than I ride-- but I thought i'd give it a try.

https://www.relive.cc/view/vYvE94pX8wv
https://www.relive.cc/view/vAOZBJ475yO
Nice ride. At one point I had considered using Relive for adding Indiana Jones-style transitions for my videos... but to do so I would need their paid subscription for HD quality and support for longer rides, but couldn't justify the cost just for a fancy transition effect.
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Old 09-22-19, 09:56 AM
  #246  
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Our club had its first brevet in my city and I designed the route. It was a warm, humid day, especially for autumn. We had 11 riders come out and a good mix of locals and folks from afar. The route was 205km with 1600m of elevation according to RWGPS. All of the climbs are short ones, some were fairly steep, but most of the route was on quiet backroads. I put a few gravel sections on that used to be smooth and stone-free but one got fresh gravel last week and the other has been hit pretty hard with small washboards so those will both probably get removed for the next edition, even though they are very scenic I think the gravel puts off some folks. I have plans to run a gravel brevet in 2021 if I can get a pre-ride done on it sometime in the next year.

Here's the rwgps for anyone that is curious. I had a cold earlier this week and worked a really hard shift at work carrying heavy conveyor pans down 3 storeys of stairs so I didn't have anything in the legs for a fast ride but managed to finish in 11.5 hours. The fastest riders finished it in just over 8 hours so we had a good spread. I think everyone that started finished, but one person didn't bother to fill their card out since they weren't interested in official recognition... guess they just wanted to ride with some folks. I have to say it's quite nice to ride to the start of a brevet instead of driving or staying in a hotel.
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Old 09-22-19, 10:39 AM
  #247  
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The water was over my bottom bracket and hubs.


Some dry miles here before the rain resumed.


I had taken my rain jacket off after the 10am storm. Little did I know that in just a few miles it would start up again.

Rainy day for our season closer yesterday that started in Evanston, IL. When I looked at Epic Ride Weather Friday night, the only likely period of rain was 10am. Yes, we got rained on for about 3-4 miles around that time. Then it started back up and was much heavier with some lightening for many more miles. Stopped for a while then resumed. I finally saw the sun again around mile 110. No further rain until I was driving home. Rode many miles with @abshipp and other friends. We had a good time in spite of the very wet conditions. At least the temps were mostly above 70 the entire time. I did start to get chilled around mile 98 so left the control before the rest of my friends because I needed to be moving to maintain body heat. Ended up catching up with another friend around mile 110 so we rode in together.

@kingston was there but was with the fast guys but I don't think the rain discriminated yesterday. Maybe he got lucky!
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Old 09-22-19, 11:03 AM
  #248  
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
It was a warm, humid day, especially for autumn.
It's still summer today according to the calender, so that may explain the warmth :-)

I rode a 200k brevet yesterday in the North of the Netherlands. It was a beautiful day (although very cold in the early morning) and with a headwind out and a tailwind on the way back it made for an easy ride through a completely flat part of Europe. I was half an hour late at the start in Groningen because there was no earlier train from were I live, but the organisator rode with me to the first control so I wasn't completely alone. The next 150 km I almost but never completely caught the last larger group (only a couple of individuals), which means that everyone was riding relatively fast. I even missed a control, riding on my own, but the organisator was satisfied with my strava results.
The ride took us over the border into North-West Germany, along the river Ems, a region I never visited before. The last 50 km were fast with tailwinds through the easternmost parts of the Netherlands. I finished in 8.23 hours, but my finish time was 8.53 becasue I departed half an hour late.
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Old 09-22-19, 04:18 PM
  #249  
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Originally Posted by GadgetGirlIL View Post
kingston was there but was with the fast guys but I don't think the rain discriminated yesterday. Maybe he got lucky!
We got wet too, but that flooded stretch in your photo was still dry on the left side when we went through there, and we were hanging out in the brewery at the finish during the late-afternoon rain. This was a nice ride to end a really great GLR season. It's my route, so goes without saying that I like it a lot, and this was my first fixed-gear brevet, so that was a milestone for me. We had several new riders this year who I expect will be back next season. Spent some time today with Michele going through the 2020 budget. Already looking forward to our first Fleche in the spring and the Iron Porcupine 1,200k later in the summer.
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Old 09-22-19, 04:23 PM
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GadgetGirlIL
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
this was my first fixed-gear brevet, so that was a milestone for me.
Glad to hear you achieved another milestone! You have had a great year. One of the other riders was asking if I knew who was on the fixed-gear but I was all focused on checking out front bags and rear bags (new purchases on the horizon to support some credit card touring that I want to try in 2020) that I didn't notice anyone's gearing.
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