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2021 Randonnees

Old 10-29-20, 11:20 PM
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atwl77
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2021 Randonnees

My audax club has already released their 2021 audax calendar, so I thought it would be fitting to start a new 2021 Randonnees thread. Like last year's thread, let's talk about our 2021 plans, goals, ride reports and other related stuff.

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Old 10-29-20, 11:29 PM
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Although my local audax club has already posted their entire 2021 plan, but due to the current pandemic I'm going to assume that things are not set in stone and there's bound to be changes and rescheduling all year round. Regardless, three things that I'm looking forward to:
- an LRM1300 in March 2021, which was supposed to happen this year but was postponed due to the pandemic, among other things
- another BRM1000 in July 2021
- a BRM600 titled "Big Hills Challenge", so I'm expecting plenty of elevation from this, which will also be a great benchmark to test how well I may do in PBP or similar climb-heavy routes

Interestingly they also have a couple of rest months, including November 2020 (which is understandable considering the level of lockdowns at the moment), as well as two rest months in 2021 centered around major race-related public holidays that fall on those months. Not entirely on board with the idea, seems like they could have just fit in a short BRM200 for those months and people will still have plenty of time for their vacations, celebrations, fasting and whatnots.

Anyways, I don't have any particular goal in mind for 2021, other than keep fit and continue improving my performance. I would love to get a sub-30h completion time for a 600k - certainly not the hilly one but maybe one of the flatter BRM600's that's scheduled next year - but it's no biggie if I don't achieve that. 2022 is going to be the big year in preparation for PBP 2023, so for me there's still time in 2021 to just enjoy, fool around and experiment.
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Old 10-31-20, 02:17 PM
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For now, rides in my region for 2021 are being scheduled later than usual by a few months at least (April and May, rather than January and February). We will have to wait and see if any of these scheduled events can actually happen.

I was really looking forward to riding the Cascades 1200km brevet in 2021. I even made some changes and investments in my business that were much needed, but would also allow me to get away more easily for training and riding the Cascades 1200. I'm glad we made the changes, but now I'm not sure the ride will even take place. Even if it is scheduled, I'm not sure I can commit to it now. It is such a challenging course that I feel like 100% commitment is necessary. With all the pandemic-related uncertainty I'm pretty much giving up on the idea and just glad my business is doing well and I have stayed healthy so far. So I'm not beating myself up too much. I'm enjoying what riding I can get in locally but now thinking I'll be taking it easy for another season in hopes of saving money and energy for big rides again in another year or two. Meanwhile, I'm working with a frame builder friend to build a new bike too.
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Old 01-10-21, 11:12 PM
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I completed my local audax club's annual Pink Ride yesterday. The Pink Ride is essentially a BRM200 with a beginner-friendly route, and ladies get to ride for free, but due to the current pandemic it has been organized differently this year. Since we can't have hundreds of riders gathering and riding off like in the past years, the event is ongoing throughout the month of January and riders need to book time slots in advance. Each slot has a limit of up to 10 riders, and the one I booked was 7am Sunday, January 10. So in all, a very, very different low-key experience compared to the big event of the past years.

I was a little bit late and the starting point was completely empty at the time I arrived and rode out, so basically a solo ride for me.

I started in the city center and had about roughly 20km to get out, with lots of traffic stops as well as some poor road conditions so this part of the ride wasn't that great. Once I got out though, the first half of the ride was quite pleasant; even though the sun was already out but the air was still very cool and refreshing. It's still a very wet and rainy season over here, hence the cool atmosphere, but fortunately it didn't rain and that was absolutely great.

First checkpoint was at around 40km, it was a McDonald's drivethru where I encountered a couple of riders that had started out before me. I didn't intend to stop here though, so I just quickly made my way to the QR code to scan on my phone for checkpoint purposes, then immediately headed out.

Second checkpoint, a petrol station at the 90km mark, was a bit more crowded. One group had already arrived, and two more would arrive as I spent my time here refilling my water and having what I would call a meal (a snickers bar, a strawberry bun, orange juice, and coffee). It was starting to get hot now, so I put on my sunscreen before heading out.

From this point onwards, we were heading into countryside/rural roads, so lots of farms, estates and plantations, and also very little traffic. The roads were also much hillier now, and to my surprise my legs did not like it very much. I think maybe I must have pushed a bit too hard in the first half of the ride (it was "only" 200km anyways, and Pink Rides is often were I want to train for speed), so my toes as well as the muscles just above my knees felt stiff and threated to cramp up. Because of this I had to slow down my pace and soft pedal a lot, which actually seemed to work better on the climbs as I could generate more power spinning easily at 90mm than trying to drive the cranks at 60rpm.

But anyways, third checkpoint was around the 130km mark, another petrol station. I just made a quick stop for a can of 100 Plus and refill my water bottle before heading off. At this point dark clouds were beginning to form, more motivation to keep pushing instead of dilly-dallying.

More rolling roads stood in my way as I made it back into the city. Made a very quick stop at a small roadside stall with around 25km remaining for fresh, cold coconut juice. Then the last 20km ride in the city itself was an unpleasant slog through heavy traffic and poor road conditions.

Finished the ride in 9 hours 13 minutes total. Honestly, not an easy ride at all despite the Pink Ride moniker. With 1757m of elevation, that's close to PBP levels (which, if I remember correctly, was somewhere around 1000m elevation per 100km). I wasn't also in my best condition to be trying to go for a personal best record, after having done 500km just two weeks ago to complete the Rapha Festive 500 in one single ride. Because of this, my legs suffered for the second half of the ride, and it was a slog to the finish. But despite that, I still completed relatively early; there were groups that started before me but finished after me, so I guess I could take that as a success?



They made a special edition medal for this ride, commemorating 100 years of audax:



And here's the video and vlog of my ride, if you're interested: https://tinyurl.com/y6ovej9t

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Old 01-11-21, 12:14 AM
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I have an SR series, SR600, and 1200 on my calendar. I'll do perms to fill out the rest and keep my R-12 going.

I've been doing rando for 11 years, all on a recumbent. I'm trying an up right bike, only 200ks so far. It's kind of like starting rando all over again.

Time will tell if any of this happens. I'll keep the 200k perms going, unless that program gets suspended again.
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Old 01-12-21, 12:21 AM
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And with new lockdown announcements, I guess I'll be on audax hiatus for a bit. The planned LRM1300 in March is very likely to be postponed too, but at this point it's just wait-and-see.
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Old 01-12-21, 12:33 AM
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I expect 2021 to be similar to 2020, rando-wise (events postponed or only happening with reduced number of signup slots). It's going to be a while before things can go back to near normal here as Japan is not planning to approve the first vaccine until the end of February (2 months after the US and the EU), with the second vaccine not to follow until May or so. Somehow the government is still holding on to the plan that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in July/August 2021, as rescheduled last March.

I plan to ride a 200 km in March, followed by a Fleche on the first April weekend. I'm already signed up for the Fleche while signup for the 200 won't start until about 2 weeks from now.

I also want to ride 300 and 400 km events if they take place and if I can snag a sign up for one of the probably reduced number of slots, otherwise the plan is to keep riding one or more personal centuries every month of the year.
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Old 01-13-21, 05:24 PM
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My 2021 plan is to do less randonneuring, and try to work in some other stuff for a change. Like a couple of little tours and whatnot.
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Old 02-25-21, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
And with new lockdown announcements, I guess I'll be on audax hiatus for a bit. The planned LRM1300 in March is very likely to be postponed too, but at this point it's just wait-and-see.
Unsurprisingly, it's been moved to June. That's in the middle of my country's planned vaccination period, so it still feels a bit early, but apparently plans are already put to motion including designated sleeping points, bag drop service and so on... so we'll see how well this plan holds. Assuming no monkey wrench gets thrown into those plans, June's actually a good time for this - weather's not too hot and not too wet as well (typically).
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Old 02-25-21, 07:46 PM
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I successfully signed up for the mid-July Colorado High Country 1200 last week. Then the next day I had knee surgery.
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Old 04-11-21, 09:43 PM
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Completed a 300k yesterday. It's been a while since my last brevet, so I wasn't entirely fit for this. The most riding I've done since my last 200k in January, were short 100-120km rides on weekends and much shorter indoor training sessions on the weekdays - so not really there in TSS/CTL terms.

The ride started at 3am in the morning, which introduced another bit of challenge of waking up at 1am in the morning for breakfast and preparations, then leaving the house at 2am for a 30-minute drive to the start location. Unsurprisingly, I had trouble trying to get some sleep earlier so was that would be an ongoing problem throughout the ride.

The first 90km of the ride includes a decent hill of around 360m height, followed by mostly light rolling roads towards a small town where I stopped for breakfast. I had originally planned to make it just a petrol station stop, since there's where I can quickly grab stuff to eat, refill my water bottles and be on my way, but the one I stopped at did not have hot water to make instant noodles so my friend suggested a nearby coffee shop where I had some sandwiches and soft-boiled eggs instead.

The next 100+ km journey began at around sunrise, with some moderate rolling hills at the beginning through rural/countryside roads and then a long, straight flat afterwards. Some fatigue had already set in but I was still doing pretty well, stopping once at a small convenience store at 150km for some drinks, and then at a petrol station near 200km for a longer food/water/rest stop. By then it was close to 12 noon and the afternoon sun was getting pretty brutal. Combined with the coastal winds, the final 100+ km of the journey was a tough slog to the finish. Heavy traffic along the coastal roads as well as some poor road conditions, obviously the result of the constant deluge of heavy vehicles that ply this route, also made for some bumpy and rattling rides.

Despite my plan to keep stops infrequent and short, I ended up stopping three times within that last 100km to catch a break from the heat, which in turn contributing a large amount of elapsed time. I had originally targeted a 5pm completion time (14 hours elapsed time), and that still a very achievable goal at the 200km mark. However, with all the additional unplanned rest stops, I only managed to finish at approx 5:43pm (which comes up to around 14h 40m elapsed time on Strava).


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Old 04-12-21, 08:47 AM
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Rocky Mountain Cycling Club's High Country 1200k looks very nice. I recall the stretch from Walden towards Granby thru Walden to be especially sublime (before and at sunrise) but the route might go the other way. Loop 1 on Day 2 from Walden to Saratoga to Laramie and back to Walden should also be sweet (low traffic and not too high elevation). Walden to Saratoga is 1300 foot net elevation loss and if you time the wind right, you might not have to pedal. I did the section to Steamboat years ago and if memory serves, also very low traffic. I have camped below the Rabbit ears. Not a huge fan of some parts from Steamboat back towards Granby due to traffic on weekends and inconsistent shoulders but midweek shouldn't be bad. First hundred miles are pretty flat and fast until the left turn of US 287, I recall a store there (control?). Then, a lovely long but not terribly steep climb with potentially favorable winds depending on time of day.


Anyone doing this one?
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Old 04-18-21, 09:08 AM
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I managed to snag a signup for a 400 km in mid-May, which will be my first regular brevet this year, although I also participated in a Fleche in early April (DNF). I still have three weekends to prepare for the 400, not too different really from the Fleche in terms of time and distance.

Since I ride centuries year round, you can pretty much put me on a bike any day of the year and say: "Ride 100 miles or 24 hour" (or whatever distance mere mortals would call insane) and I'll do it. I may not do it particularly fast, but I'll finish it somehow.

I love the local club's 400 km course. Most of the climbing is in the first quarter. If you manage to do OK in that part, you can finish the event unless you get terrible sleepy later on. I can handle 24h without sleep as long as I've had a good night's sleep the night before and don't start out with a major sleep deficit from the previous week. I personally can protect myself against extreme sleepiness on 400 k and Fleche rides pretty well by booking a hotel near the start and having an early night.
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Old 04-18-21, 01:17 PM
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I'd signed up for the CHC1200 last year but with the border still closed I don't really want to deal with all the hassles of quarantine and whatnot... will have to hope they run it again in 4 years.

Our province went back into mockdown which cancelled all our brevets for the next 6 weeks since all outdoor gatherings are prohibited now there's not really much going on in Ontario, hopefully we can run some in the summer when restrictions ease but it might be like last year where it was mostly small solo endeavours.
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Old 05-25-21, 08:17 PM
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I enjoyed my first post-vaccination 200k this past Saturday. Got to finally ride the Shelburne Falls 200k from the Berkshire Brevet series in Massachusetts after the ride was postponed from the original April date. A smallish groups of folks, about 25, participated so I spent most of the ride solo. It was my first brevet on my new Seven Redsky bike, and I was very happy with the bike throughout the ride. The 32C Soma Supple Vitesse tires were perfect for the often rough patched and potholed roads. I finished in 9 hours 35 minutes which is a good time for me especially on a hilly route with about 6500ft of climbing. My biggest issue was my feet--I recently bought some new shoes, and I think I chose a size 1/2 size too big. For the last 50k my feet were on fire! Looks like the shoes will be up for sale. I bought some new shoes for my 300K ride this Saturday--I know it's not wise to try new things on a Brevet, but I don't have much choice. I'll do some test rides before Saturday. It feels great to be doing events again--I even signed up for my first ever 400k in June in the beautiful state of Vermont.

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Old 05-25-21, 10:20 PM
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I had bad experience with "new" shoes on a brevet before (and worse, it was a 600k). I ended up riding the last 200k without socks, but it was still a pretty painful experience. Hopefully your new shoes work out for you.
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Old 05-26-21, 07:14 AM
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The tend to buy the exact same brand, model and size of shoes if available to avoid issues like that. Yes, it's definitely safer not to try something new on a brevet (new saddle, new position, etc). That's why you have shakedown rides before important rides.
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Old 05-26-21, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by joewein View Post
The tend to buy the exact same brand, model and size of shoes if available to avoid issues like that. Yes, it's definitely safer not to try something new on a brevet (new saddle, new position, etc). That's why you have shakedown rides before important rides.
Yes I totally understand that philosophy, unfortunately the ratchet buckle on the shoes that I used for the last 8 years broke a couple of weeks before the 200K (Fizik R-1) and replacements weren't available at a reasonable price. I was never totally satisfied with the fit of the Fiziks, so, I bought some new Sidis which felt great in the shop. I did use them on some 50 mile shakedown rides, but not long enough for problems to develop. Now I'm forced to take a risk on my new Lake shoes for the 300K this weekend. Fingers crossed!
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Old 05-26-21, 10:47 PM
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I guess I missed this thread.

I've been keeping my re-started R-12 going by riding the same perm, one that I can do with minimal stops. It's getting old, and I was happy to ride the Oregon Randonneurs Birkie 200k on April 3rd. I've talked a 20-something buddy Cesar into giving Rando a try, in exchange for me doing a couple cx races with him in 2019. The start was different with COVID; no pre-ride instructions, no mass rolling start, leave when you want after 6:00am and the RBA noted your time. Cool but not cold, but most importantly for the PNW it was dry, with calm winds as we headed north from Hillsboro. Regardless of the forecast I carried rain gear the distance, because I live in the PNW and this route had some remote bits. The first 21 miles rose 1100 ft, then lost about 600 ft until the turnaround at 66 miles. From there on the return it's almost the opposite, not rising quite so high and a bit more gradually. We stopped outbound at Vernonia for 2nd breakfast, at 35 miles. Aside from water, there would be no services until we got back to Vernonia at mile 95. The north end was an out-and-back on a mostly vacant two-lane, with typical Oregon beautiful wooded scenery. This route had three controls - start, turnaround, finish. The turnaround was an info control - count the number of zip-ties on the sign, IIRC. The return leg used the Banks-Vernonia trail, which nicely avoided traffic pressure and got us within 9 miles of the finish. The downside of the trail is the many pavement ruptures from tree roots. Southbound on the B-V trail it rises slowly at railroad grade, up to just under 1000 ft, then falls a little more sharply losing 300 feet in six miles. The downhill grade, narrow trail, ruptured pavement, and occasional bike/ped traffic made those six miles quick but a little stressful. 129 miles, 3300 feet, 8:55.




May 1st, Cesar joined me again for the SIR Spring 300k out of Olympia, WA. We camped overnight at a state park about 15 minutes from the start, driving up from Portland on Friday night. Again cool but again dry, the latter an unexpected bonus this time of year. SIR did the start a little differently. You show up, get your card, then leave when you want, recording your departure time. Cesar was a bit late, so I chilled out at Starbucks by the start while he got ready. It felt odd, calmly drinking coffee and enjoying a scone as the start time came and went. We eventually rolled out at 6:20. I carried rain gear the whole way, needlessly it turned out. A beautiful ride featuring quiet forest roads through the Capital State Forest, a figure-eight shape intersecting at Centralia. The route put us on the Yelm-Tenino trail at mile 170, well before dark, and we were on trails to the finish. That meant no night riding on the road, which was a stress reliever. Somewhere around mile 190, just 3 miles from the finish, the GPS track directed us to leave the trail and go back to the road. From there we went under an underpass, then took a side trail back toward the main trail. Only problem was, the side trail was blocked with huge piles of gravel. Determined, we hike-a-biked around first one, then two, then three piles of gravel. Finally I climbed a pile and shined my light ahead, to see piles of gravel as far as my light could shine. Defeated, we retreated back to the road. After consulting maps, considering options, debating just taking the road, we returned to where the left the main trail and carried on. There was, it turned out, no reason to leave the trail. At the finish, an SIR volunteer awaited with cold pizza and drinks. When we mentioned our detour, he said some people reported that problem and others did not. He'd ridden the pre-ride himself, and had no such issue. My guess is, it depended on what routing software people used. 193 miles, 5800 ft, 13:15.
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Old 05-26-21, 11:35 PM
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May 22nd, Cesar and I rode the SIR "Fear is the Mind Killer" 400k out of Bothel, north of Seattle. This time I splurged for a hotel 3 miles from the start; Cesar stayed at a relative's house. Again the start was casual and Cesar was late, so we rolled out at 6:08, when everyone else was gone. The forecast said virtually zero chance of rain, so I decided to YOLO it and leave the rain gear at home. We were never more than a few miles from a town, so I chanced it. From Bothel we headed toward the West Point Lighthouse for the first of many info controls. From there we rode along Puget Sound waterfront, hitting points for controls, all the way to Tacoma. Somewhere in this stretch Cesar is asking me what kind of person would ride a 400k, sleep a few hours, then ride a 200k. I have no answer. The run out from Tacoma to Port Defiance for an info control was a bit trafficy, as was the return. This first segment from Bothel to Tacoma had numerous short, sharp climbs as we rose 500 ft above sea level and back down again and again and again. Once or twice, my front wheel rose off the pavement on sharp climbs. Leg zapping stuff. We had a leisurely lunch at Pie and Pint in Tacoma, burning an hour dining outdoors in the sunshine. The segment from Tacoma for the next few hours was a bit unpleasant with aggressive traffic; a few motorists in particular expressed their displeasure with our existence. Around sunset the traffic died down, the world shrunk down to what our headlights illuminated, and the riding got a bit more pleasant. Somewhere along here we stopped and lay down in the grass for 5 minutes for a much needed break. The highest elevation was 1300 ft at mile 155; the next 50 miles was almost all downhill. Subway for dinner at mile 160 was quick, followed by a staffed control at mile 187 with hot soup and coffee. The run in into Seattle is a blur of climbs, complicated trail navigations, long bridge crossings, again sharp climbs. I was so down on power it was ridiculous. With 9 miles to go, stopped for a road crossing, I got off the bike and sat on a concrete wall to contemplate things. Cesar looking at me like, what, dude? And I said "you know what I need?" "What", he answered. "To be done", I said. So we got on our bikes and TT'd it to the finish at 18-20 mph. For real. I have no idea where that came from. 251 miles, 11,900 ft, 21:56. Oh, it never rained.

Edit: I think I got some things out of sequence, but that's rando.



Last edited by downtube42; 05-26-21 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 05-27-21, 07:13 PM
  #21  
clasher
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Hoping to do some brevets in June when our provincial lockdown ends... everything organized was banned but they just relented and allowed golf and tennis to open so hopefully after the second of June we'll be able to run brevets again. We've been able to run permanents but I've never done an official one and aren't about to start.
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Old 05-29-21, 02:54 PM
  #22  
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I knew I recognise the username from somewhere but couldn't put a finger on it.
You have a youtube channel - atwl77.
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Old 05-29-21, 06:11 PM
  #23  
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I just realized I'm just a 600k, SR600, and 1000k from earning the ACP Randonneur 10000 award.

2018: fleche, 1200k
2019: PBP, SR + 1000k
2021: 200,300,400 (600k next weekend)
Distance since 1/1/2018: ~12000km


Tempting to cancel my 1200 plans this year and go for the award.

The Oregon SR600 start/finish is about a half mile from my house. The route looks pretty intimidating; lodging options and services look limited.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/2798425

SIR has a 1000k in late June.

I'm thinking about it.
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Old 05-31-21, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by David in Maine View Post
Yes I totally understand that philosophy, unfortunately the ratchet buckle on the shoes that I used for the last 8 years broke a couple of weeks before the 200K (Fizik R-1) and replacements weren't available at a reasonable price.
What I do there is to keep my last pair of shoes around. They may be a bit tattered and the cleats worn out, but in principle they're usable and I know there are no size issues. Once I buy the next set, the current pair will be the emergency spare. That also works when I wash the shoes and leave them drying and then need something else for local errands.
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Old 05-31-21, 08:01 AM
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Piggybacking on what Joe wrote. I found shoes are a bit like saddles and it takes awhile to get the right one or at least for my feet. It seemed that there were a lot of once used shoes on fleebay. I bought 4-500 dollar pair for 100 bucks. I liked them. I then bought a second pair one size up (48 mega) to use in winter with thick socks or on very hot long brevets. My feet do not swell much but the extra room on hot days is appreciated. I also bought a third pair in size 47 that remain unused. The original ones are now pretty shot. It is time to drill and replace the cleats into the "new" used shoes. The third ones looked brand new. It isn't that I am entirely cheap but I had bought about 4 pairs of shoes retail and hated them all, so, I decided to lessen the cost of experimentation by buying slightly used ones. If it is raining, I wear the size 48. They get the crap duty always. The second pair helps because it can take a while to properly dry them out, so, I then use the size 47 pair, assuming the sun is back out drying the lousy size 48 ones.
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