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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

2022 Randonnees

Old 03-27-22, 11:29 AM
  #26  
unterhausen
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Under some circumstances I have found that just throwing up is not a ride ending event. Sometimes I think I make a habit of it. I did it during PBP in 2011. You'd think you would have privacy throwing up at 3 in the morning, but no, I had an audience. Fortunately it was at Loudeac and they always have super-secrit controls not that long afterwards where you can eat.

Although I can think of a couple of rides where I have had stomach problems and didn't finish. It's really tricky when it's hot.
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Old 03-31-22, 10:13 PM
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I'm signed up for the Iowa Randonneurs 200k next weekend. It's been years since I've ridden a full century, but I'm as stupid as ever, so I should be able to muddle through it. A college buddy of mine is eager to try randonneuring and maybe even do PBP if things go well, but he's not sure if he'll be able to make this one.
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Old 04-04-22, 11:22 AM
  #28  
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Oregon Randonneurs' Birkie 200k in the books, with the exact same time as last year: 8:58. Which is a bit annoying since I finished in 8:57 but it took a full minute to fish my phone out and take the finish photo. But that's rando.

I really wanted to do the SIR 300k instead, but the logistics of driving/hotel/parking etc were going to be a pain. So I did Birkie again, as the start/finish is 45 minutes from home. It's a lovely route, with low traffic and pretty scenery. I stayed with the front group for the first 15 miles, where the road turned up and I went backwards. No worries, and my two riding buddies were still at the Vernonia Subway at mile 38 when I arrived. Weather was cool with typical PNW mist/sprinkles off and on in the morning. From Vernonia it was a rolling to flat 30 miles or so to the turnaround, a bridge in the middle of nowhere, then back to Vernonia. Big Eddie county park, about 10 miles outside Vernonia, is the only place to get water in that out-and-back stretch, so we hit it twice to top off. The ride is named for a long-closed store in Birkenfeld, which in years past was a convenient refuel spot. So we each bought extra 6" subs to eat at the turnaround, and each had a plethora of pocket food. The return leg used the Banks-Vernonia trail, a 20 mile paved trail that's 10 miles of railroad grade up followed by 10 miles of railroad grade down. At the pre-ride, the RBA requested we not run over any children on the trail, so we didn't. The trail is populated in spots, has some horrible tree root eruptions, and a few abrupt bridge joints than should be approached at 5 mph. The alternative is a highway full of motorists who think you should be on the trail. We refilled water bottles at the Banks trailhead for the last 10 mile push to the finish. Realizing we were close to the 9 hour mark, we pushed pretty hard. I sucked wheel pretty hard; two of us did, in fact, as Cesar was pulling us along at 22 mph. He dropped us in the final little rise, but we all screwed around with phones long enough to get the same time.

Afterwards, beer and tots sitting out in the sunshine at McMinnemans. Good times.
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Old 04-08-22, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I once rode cross the USA and it was 110-120F but very dry in the West. It wasn't bad other than the climbs. I just had to climb very slow because there is not much evaporation to cool you when climbing. When I got to Missouri or Misery as I like to call it, the temperatures were only in the low 100 range or even just high 90's but the humidity was off the charts. Not riding too hard in the heat of the day is one tactic that I learned and use to this day. For instance, let's say I have a 4 am start 400K on the East Coast of the USA in warmer months, I will ride harder until about 10 am and then really, really slow down until about 4 pm. If I am not riding very hard, most of the calories burned are fat. If it is very hot and humid, my body already has a hard job to dissipate heat. So, I mostly focus on hydration with just a little calories added in brutal conditions. Climbing and eating in the Malaysian hot/humid air is kind of a bad recipe. Try to experiment when to eat. I try to never eat before a big climb in hot weather to the extent that if a control is before the climb, I will carry the food and eat it at the top. Rather extreme. I have never puked but do get a lousy feeling, so, I prefer not to have a full belly starting a big climb. Don't know if any of that will help. GL

1) Be skinny
2) Keep the pace way down
3) Go really lean on food and heavier on water.
I made so many eating mistakes in my early rando days. Tried every liquid nutrition formula known to man. Drank way too many calories based on the recommendations ( 250-400 calories per hour) but could not manage that many calories. Did the gas station cuisine , gels, everything I could to figure out the formula. Did a whole lot of puking in those days. What works for others will not always work for you. It's an eating experiment until you figure out what works. Like you stated keep the pace way down, lean on food and heavy on water but I'm not at the be skinny part yet. I'm a 210 lb clydesdale. 200 and 300 K's I can run pretty good on a calorie deficit. Still trying to figure out a solid nutrition plan for 4,6 and 1200K. I'm thinking I should pound the heavy calories before sleep brakes or other extended times off the bike. I've had many instances where I vomit, feel like ****, drop out, can't even drink water or soda. After a long sleep brake with no calorie intake I wake up and can ride like nothing ever happened. Not sure what's going on with that.
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Old 04-08-22, 10:09 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I'm signed up for the Iowa Randonneurs 200k next weekend. It's been years since I've ridden a full century, but I'm as stupid as ever, so I should be able to muddle through it. A college buddy of mine is eager to try randonneuring and maybe even do PBP if things go well, but he's not sure if he'll be able to make this one.
Update: something has come up and I won't be able to make this one, planning on hitting the 200k on April 23 instead. That gives me two more weeks to get in shape and sort out my bike and EPP stuff.
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Old 04-10-22, 01:34 AM
  #31  
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SIR Olympia 300k completed.

Last year I rode this route - a quiet route with beautiful PNW views - in 15:42; I was hoping for better but with cold/rain/wind forecast I was prepared for a horrid and long day. We departed at 6am to dry but chilly conditions. The forecast called for 39 at the start; I didn't check but it was crisp. The lead group rolled out fairly slowly, so I stayed with them for the start. It was chatting pace, so I chatted with some rando friends I hadn't seen in a long time. Just before the first sizeable climb of the day the rain started, so I stopped to put on rain gear. They rode on, and I figured I wouldn't see them again. Surprisingly, I did many miles later. The first climb, in the Capital Forest, rose about 400 feet over 3 miles. I was pretty much alone from mile 18 to mile 95. I recall approaching a deer standing in the road staring at me - allowing me to get close enough I was getting concerned. The solo stretch included 40 miles of glorious tailwind - a debt to be paid later. The course is a figure-eight, crossing at Centrailia. The leg from 40 to 95 goes SE, and we had a strong WNW wind. As per normal, I thought I was just super strong, then I saw a flag. During this phase I passed a number of people who'd been shelled from the lead group. By mile 95 the big climbs were behind me, and I was surprised to find virtually all the remaining lead group at the staffed control. They were lollygagging a bit, so I snarfed down a sandwich and coke, and headed out with them. There were four smaller climbs of the 100-150 foot variety, and rolling terrain. I struggled a bit on the climbs, but stayed with the group. Just as we got into the headwind stretch, someone flatted and that split the group. I stayed a helped a bit, but eventually bailed when it looked like a more drawn-out affair with plenty of helpers. I figured everyone in that group was faster than me anyway. I plodded into the headwind solo for quite a while, eventually seeing a lone bike ahead. I caught up and worked with him. We'd ridden together last year on a 600k, so we caught up whilst taking turns against the wind. After a long ass time, we caught up with another two, and hung together until the town of Winlock (home of the worlds largest egg), where the two of us stopped at IGA and the others rode on. While eating in the IGA parking lot, we saw the flat-repair portion of the former lead group roll past. I should mention weather. The forecast looked like cold, rain, wind, and more cold after dark. In fact, around 2pm Friday I was considering canceling my hotel in Lacey and doing a more sane ride in Portland. (not really; the annual Ronde is 8k feet over 60 miles). It turned out to be a mostly nice day. There were a few brief showers, a brief hailstorm (tiny little PNW hailstones), plenty of sunshine, and the afore mentioned wind. As it turns out, I carried a crapton of unnecessary clothing. No complaints on that, though.. After the IGA, we re-caught the flat-repair group when they inexplicably stopped along the road and consulted their phones. Now we're 7 or 8 strong I think. I'm struggling a bit to keep in touch on the rolling climbs but hanging in there. Somewhere around mile 150 the group wanted to stop for food at a convenience store, so we pulled in. My headwind buddy and I didn't need anything since we'd stopped at IGA, so we decided to roll out and ride our own pace. We're both larger than the average rando, so our pace means slower climbs and faster descents. At this point the headwinds were mostly behind us, as were the big climbs. We rolled on, first chilling out thinking we'd wait for everyone, but eventually we were trading off riding with good effort. We passed two other riders who'd stopped for a roadside snack. Somewhere around mile 160 we caught sight of another rider who appeared to be fading. It took a few miles, but eventually we grouped up with him and we became three. Turns out he'd been solo through the whole headwind stretch. He believed he was the first rider on the road; we were not convinced. I'd been thinking a 9pm finish for 15 hours was a solid possibility, when my buddy said his smart watch gave us an estimated ETA of 8:17pm. I said we should slow down, because the last thing I wanted was to start pushing for 8:00, and suffer needlessly. We didn't slow down. At some point he said there were 28 miles to go and it was 6pm, so we just had to average 14 mph to make 8. Well ****. We pressed on at 16-18 mph. With 17 miles to go the route turns onto the Yelm-Tenino trail, and it's trail from there to the finish. We did turn down the wick a bit, at least. Those last 12 miles were interminable. For some reason, when I get under 40 miles to go it feels like I'm almost done, but somewhere around mile 15 time seems to s l o w d o w n. Ug. Finally the turnoff showed up on my GPS, and from there it was a short distance to the finish. As we rolled in, I asked the time: 7:52. Damn! It was 7:55 by the time we found a volunteer and he noted the time, but that's all good. Turns out, we were also the first in. Shocker.

Oh, with this I earned my Mondial award - 40,000 km of RUSA miles. Super cool, assuming my GPS track is accepted, of course.

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Old 04-10-22, 06:38 AM
  #32  
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What happened to your Bent? I've been on one for 20 years. Bought a used carbon DF last year and after a 40 mile ride I sold it. Neck, hands shoulders and arse could not take it.

Don't you ride a carbon M5?
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Old 04-10-22, 09:23 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Bent4life View Post
What happened to your Bent? I've been on one for 20 years. Bought a used carbon DF last year and after a 40 mile ride I sold it. Neck, hands shoulders and arse could not take it.

Don't you ride a carbon M5?
My 'bent is a Volae Team, recently with a carbon seat. I did 3 PBPs, SBS, Natchez Trace 1500, Cascades 1200, 4 24-hour races on the 'bent. I think my last trip to Paris lugging a huge ass box is what compelled me to try an upright. The airline at first was refusing to take the box, saying it was too big. I'd flown with it many times, but I was in the midst of frantically arranging someone to come pick up the bike at the airport when they finally decided to take it. So, the upright experiment started. I've worked a lot on saddles, bar shape, hand positioning, bike short selection, and a professional fitter. It's tolerable. Just so happens I took the 'bent out for a spin last weekend. Damn that thing is comfy!
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Old 04-11-22, 06:33 AM
  #34  
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Volae Team

Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
My 'bent is a Volae Team, recently with a carbon seat. I did 3 PBPs, SBS, Natchez Trace 1500, Cascades 1200, 4 24-hour races on the 'bent. I think my last trip to Paris lugging a huge ass box is what compelled me to try an upright. The airline at first was refusing to take the box, saying it was too big. I'd flown with it many times, but I was in the midst of frantically arranging someone to come pick up the bike at the airport when they finally decided to take it. So, the upright experiment started. I've worked a lot on saddles, bar shape, hand positioning, bike short selection, and a professional fitter. It's tolerable. Just so happens I took the 'bent out for a spin last weekend. Damn that thing is comfy!
Are you running with dual 26" wheels or 650C? They are a comfy ride but I can't keep up with a DF when the climbs are 8% or more.
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Old 04-11-22, 07:43 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Bent4life View Post
Are you running with dual 26" wheels or 650C? They are a comfy ride but I can't keep up with a DF when the climbs are 8% or more.
It came with 650c but i switched to 26". My bent experience is I climb slower, descend faster, and go faster on the flats and moreso into a headwind. It takes a lot of leg strength to keep the bent upright on the steepest climbs.
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Old 04-24-22, 09:02 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Update: something has come up and I won't be able to make this one, planning on hitting the 200k on April 23 instead. That gives me two more weeks to get in shape and sort out my bike and EPP stuff.
Well, this one was a bust, too, at least from an official perspective. The weather forecast was for strong, gusting winds directly out of the south and a thunderstorm, possibly several, during the day. My buddy and I figured the wind would suck, but if we finished quickly enough, we might beat the worst of the storms.

So we took off at about 7am into partly-cloudy skies and a benign sidewind. After a few miles, we turned south and encountered the headwind. Still fueled up on a continental breakfast and coffee, it seemed tolerable, but then the first thunderstorm blew our way and pelted us with sleet. We took turns pulling and realized we would need to stay on top of our calories and water if we were going to finish this ride, so we pulled over and snacked a few times. We expected that the westward stretch (and the eastward stretch much later in the ride) would be a relief, but the 20 MPH sidewind turned out to be unusually taxing.

A northward stretch let us relax and take it easy for a while, riding 20 MPH without much effort. Another westward stretch, and we decided that we deserved a beer at the control for our efforts. Our spirits restored, we went west a while longer before turning north again. The tailwind was nice to have, but it was getting strong enough to be a little nerve-wracking for me. About 82 miles in, we turned east and struggled far more with the sidewinds than we had before. We needed to continuously lean to the right, with lots of little corrections for gusts. And all to maintain a 10-12 MPH pace. At about the century mark, we started having doubts about even being able to finish the ride within the time limit, since the final stretch was going to be straight into that now-25 MPH (gusting to 40 MPH) wind. Safety was also a concern, as holding a line on the edge of the road was difficult. So we decided to push the last few miles to the next control and call an Uber. (The idea being that one of us could just go back to the start and retrieve one of our vehicles, each having room on its rack for both bikes.)

When we couldn't raise an Uber or Lyft, we realized that riding back might be our only option. We had slugged down a bunch of calories and rested for a few minutes, so we hit the bikes and ground out a few more slow miles with insane sidewinds before turning directly into the wind and watching our pace plummet to 6-8 MPH. As expected, we saw dark skies ahead and my buddy's phone announced a tornado watch for the town we had just passed. Hmm... We contemplated taking shelter at a farm just ahead when a pickup drove by and the driver let us know about the tornado watch, and would we like a ride where we're going? As randonneurs, we get to be pretty good at tuning out hints from the universe that we should stop what we're doing, but this one was too big to ignore. So, my friend and I shrugged and said "Sure!" We loaded up our bikes in the back, and the super-nice couple's dogs attempted to lick us to death as the next downpour began. What a relief it was to have decisively pulled the plug!

So, while we are frustratingly no closer to PBP 2023 pre-registration, we were pretty sanguine about the whole thing. We survived, had no injuries, and had gotten a damned good workout. It was my buddy's longest ride to date at 115 miles, and his enthusiasm to try more brevets had not been crushed. And I think my bike-handling skills improved, too. My confidence with steep hills and strong winds wanes if I don't exercise it, so it's good to have experiences like this.

I think our next step will be to do another 200k to officially get one in the bag, and then look at our options for 300s and 400s in the area. For PBP 2023 pre-registration, is anyone thinking that a 600k might be necessary to get in?
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 04-25-22, 06:41 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Well, this one was a bust, too, at least from an official perspective. The weather forecast was for strong, gusting winds directly out of the south and a thunderstorm, possibly several, during the day. My buddy and I figured the wind would suck, but if we finished quickly enough, we might beat the worst of the storms.

So we took off at about 7am into partly-cloudy skies and a benign sidewind. After a few miles, we turned south and encountered the headwind. Still fueled up on a continental breakfast and coffee, it seemed tolerable, but then the first thunderstorm blew our way and pelted us with sleet. We took turns pulling and realized we would need to stay on top of our calories and water if we were going to finish this ride, so we pulled over and snacked a few times. We expected that the westward stretch (and the eastward stretch much later in the ride) would be a relief, but the 20 MPH sidewind turned out to be unusually taxing.

A northward stretch let us relax and take it easy for a while, riding 20 MPH without much effort. Another westward stretch, and we decided that we deserved a beer at the control for our efforts. Our spirits restored, we went west a while longer before turning north again. The tailwind was nice to have, but it was getting strong enough to be a little nerve-wracking for me. About 82 miles in, we turned east and struggled far more with the sidewinds than we had before. We needed to continuously lean to the right, with lots of little corrections for gusts. And all to maintain a 10-12 MPH pace. At about the century mark, we started having doubts about even being able to finish the ride within the time limit, since the final stretch was going to be straight into that now-25 MPH (gusting to 40 MPH) wind. Safety was also a concern, as holding a line on the edge of the road was difficult. So we decided to push the last few miles to the next control and call an Uber. (The idea being that one of us could just go back to the start and retrieve one of our vehicles, each having room on its rack for both bikes.)

When we couldn't raise an Uber or Lyft, we realized that riding back might be our only option. We had slugged down a bunch of calories and rested for a few minutes, so we hit the bikes and ground out a few more slow miles with insane sidewinds before turning directly into the wind and watching our pace plummet to 6-8 MPH. As expected, we saw dark skies ahead and my buddy's phone announced a tornado watch for the town we had just passed. Hmm... We contemplated taking shelter at a farm just ahead when a pickup drove by and the driver let us know about the tornado watch, and would we like a ride where we're going? As randonneurs, we get to be pretty good at tuning out hints from the universe that we should stop what we're doing, but this one was too big to ignore. So, my friend and I shrugged and said "Sure!" We loaded up our bikes in the back, and the super-nice couple's dogs attempted to lick us to death as the next downpour began. What a relief it was to have decisively pulled the plug!

So, while we are frustratingly no closer to PBP 2023 pre-registration, we were pretty sanguine about the whole thing. We survived, had no injuries, and had gotten a damned good workout. It was my buddy's longest ride to date at 115 miles, and his enthusiasm to try more brevets had not been crushed. And I think my bike-handling skills improved, too. My confidence with steep hills and strong winds wanes if I don't exercise it, so it's good to have experiences like this.

I think our next step will be to do another 200k to officially get one in the bag, and then look at our options for 300s and 400s in the area. For PBP 2023 pre-registration, is anyone thinking that a 600k might be necessary to get in?
Good question.

I would guess 400K would be plenty but then again, the French have changed the allocation of spots. They were unfair to themselves in my opinion, so, more French riders will now get a shot in 2023. I forget where I read that. I am aiming for 1000/1200k......I want to have an A numbered frame plaque next year.
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Old 04-26-22, 08:52 PM
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It's going to a busy 4 weeks, if I actually do everything on my calendar.

SIR Brevet Week 400k Friday 4/29
SIR Spring 400k 5/7
ORR 600k 5/14-15
SIR Fleche 5/20-21 (evening start)

Then a breather before Willamette Randonneurs 600k 6/11-12.
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Old 04-30-22, 05:57 PM
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SIR Brevet Week 400k complete. I'm operating on about 4 hours of sleep, so not going to say too much. Northbound was a nice tailwind, particularly nice on Scagat Flats where it's usually a brutal headwind. I bailed from the 2nd group on the road around mile 35, which suits me because I like to ride my own ride. Four or five of us were bumping into each other at controls, sometimes pairing up for a mile or two, but I was mostly solo. I blew North, feeling like superman. Weather was fantastic, partly sunny with a high around 60. The climb up toward Bellingham, WA is long but fairly gentle. The rollers heading east from Bellingham zapped the superman out of me. Fortunately southbound was far enough inland to offer protection from the wind, plus I think the wind had calmed down. Somewhere around 250k or so I picked up a friend who'd been shelled out of the lead group, and we finished up together. My saddle to butt interface became increasingly problematic, to the point where that's all I recall, other than some brutal climbs - at least for zapped legs. Rain - typical PNW drizzle - the last hour.

TIme for a nap.
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Old 05-01-22, 06:27 AM
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I successfully completed a 200k yesterday in NJ on a red upright bike. It was supposed to be 40F at the start but driving down in the early morning darkness, the cranberry farmers ominously had the sprinklers on to protect the crop from frost. 30F into a 10 mph headwind was an eye opening start. I rode with a first time randonneur for the whole ride. He wants to do a SR600 and shy ole me did not have the heart to tell him to work up to it. He's planning on a 300k perm tuesday, I did suggest not getting burnt out. He and I were riding on a nice country road 2 up chatting. We were the lead riders out of around 50 starters when out of nowhere three riders came by us sprinting like going they were into the Arenberg forest. My Newb says what was that? I said, maybe there is a Strave Prime on the line. Their break succeeded, I am proud of myself that I did not care enough to chase, probably old age. And what is it with Garmin notifications, "4 days to recover, this ride was unproductive at your age". I need to look into Wahoo. I felt a lot better after finishing PBP. Maybe I need to hire a coach or buy a TP subscription. Or just be patient.

The day warmed up and I was in shorts. Yippee. Every control was manned with lots of water and happy smiling volunteers. Best of all, the owner of the Inn at the finishing control gave us all a free meal, free drinks and a homemade brownie. Incredible,,,,but he is also a Rando. In all, a great day. My new strong as an ox rando, super nice buddy was covered head to toe in white salt. I slept 14 hours, more than twice my normal. I am not sure I am capable of doing a hilly 400k in 2 weeks time. Maybe.
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Old 05-06-22, 09:52 AM
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Glad you had a good ride, @GhostRider62.

The Batsto 200 had 64 registered, but only 55 showed up to start. Seemed like a lot of DNSs, considering it was a good weather day.

There were 3 DNFs; one at Control 2 was nursing a sore shoulder and decided to pack it in. One guy heading to Control 3 in Salem caught a crack in the road and went down, then rode to the control and got a lift back to the start. And one rider on a Rivendell broke a crank (not sure of the brand) at mile 106; he called good-guy organizer Rick, who went and fetched him back to the tavern (and yes, kudos to bar-owner and rando Bill, who did a yeoman's job).

I pre-rode 10 days prior, then worked Control 2, Buena Wawa at US40. When I closed up shop there, I drove my DNF buddy Walt back to the off-site parking. Good thing he'd opted to be driven back instead of choosing to ride; we found he'd left his headlights on and had a dead car battery. A quick jump and he was on his way.

All in all, a pretty good day for bike riding.
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Old 05-07-22, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I think our next step will be to do another 200k to officially get one in the bag, and then look at our options for 300s and 400s in the area.
Well, ****. A health scare in the family, a late night in the ER, and today's 200k is out. Thankfully, we're on the mend, but I've got even less room for error now. There's only one 200k left in the Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin area, so I might have to give up on my plan of working up through 200/300/400 and just do the next 300k I can...
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Old 05-08-22, 08:28 AM
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Pre-ride write-up

Originally Posted by NJgreyhead View Post
The Batsto 200 brevet ...
I pre-rode 10 days prior, then worked Control 2, Buena Wawa at US40.
BTW, I posted a detailed write-up of my pre-ride here:
https://NJgreyheadBikes.blogspot.com

-NJg, #12705
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Old 05-08-22, 11:36 AM
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Finally started the season off myself with a local 200.
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Old 05-08-22, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
It's going to a busy 4 weeks, if I actually do everything on my calendar.

SIR Brevet Week 400k Friday 4/29
SIR Spring 400k 5/7
ORR 600k 5/14-15
SIR Fleche 5/20-21 (evening start)

Then a breather before Willamette Randonneurs 600k 6/11-12.
SIR Spring 400k done. Tough ride with a severe climb up Burpee Rd towards Baker Lake at 200k. The first 200k was a mix of light rain, sunshine, and clouds, with temps in the mid 40's. Quite nice, with views of snowcapped peaks and cascading water. My clothing was appropriate, and it was quite nice. From Baker Lake it was a long descent from 1000 ft to 46 feet, but then 150k of headwind back to Redmond. Once in the valley, as darkness fell, the rain came in earnest and the temperature dropped. I rode solo most of the day, put joined up with a couple SIR locals at the Sedro-Wolley control at around 125k to go. On the 50k long Centenial trail, the rain became more serious and the temperature dropped to probably the high 30's. First we stopped to put on all our rain gear, then later we stopped to put on everything warm. For me, that was a ditching the lycra jersey and instead going with a wool baselayer, wool jersey, and Goretex gloves. I was already wearing my rain jacket, leg warmers, and rain legs., Unfortunately we'd already let the cold seep in and we stayed chilly until a climb with 20 miles to go. I've done this same finish three times now, and this is the first time I looked forward to the series of finishing climbs that take us from 20 ft above sea level to about 580 feet, with rollers thrown in for good measure. I actually got a bit sweaty on the longest climb, but the flat 9 mile run-in to the finish brought the chills back.

Takeaways for me:
Get rain shoe covers (I have thermal shoe covers, but none specifically for rain)
Don warm gear before getting cold
My gear is only good to around 40F

I'll add a few pics once I get things synced.





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Old 05-15-22, 11:18 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
It's going to a busy 4 weeks, if I actually do everything on my calendar.

SIR Brevet Week 400k Friday 4/29
SIR Spring 400k 5/7
ORR 600k 5/14-15
SIR Fleche 5/20-21 (evening start)

Then a breather before Willamette Randonneurs 600k 6/11-12.
I decided to skip the ORR 600 this weekend, and it's a good thing.

After two consecutive weekends of 400ks, I decided some rest was in order. As well, my wife is leaving town for a week on Monday so a weekend together is good for home harmony. Plus the weather looked iffy, as it does this time of the year in the PNW.

So instead I took my wheels to a wheelbuilder for inspection. I built then myself, and have had issues with loosening spokes. He found rim cracks on the drive side, nearly every spoke. A couple were showing signs of impending catastrophic failure. Yikes. I've fired myself as wheelbuilder, and am on probation for bike inspection failure. OTOH, following my gut having the inspection done was a win. He has everything in stock for a rebuild, and should be ready Tuesday, in time for the flèche next weekend. Phew.
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Old 05-22-22, 11:18 PM
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Finally, a win! I rode the Apple Valley 200k Classic with my buddy on Saturday. It was cool weather (45-55 degrees F), which helped make hydration less of a problem, but there were some bigger hills than either of us were used to, and the wind didn't seem as mild as promised by the forecast. Still, we found it to be a really enjoyable course and finished in just under 12 hours. We were both fairly exhausted, but contact points all felt good and we bounced back pretty quickly. I had to agree that getting a 200k solidly under our belts before tackling longer rides was the right choice. We're debating whether to do another 200k before a 300k -- it'll probably depend on what training we can get done between now and the next ride.
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Old 05-22-22, 11:42 PM
  #48  
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Flèche NW completed - Portland OR to Olympia, WA via Astoria, OR.. I wasn't sure how I'd like the evening start - 7pm - but it turned out great. We were fresh for the night riding, rather than going into the night already tired. Our fifth rider's wife fell ill Friday afternoon, and he had to cancel at the last moment; five became four. Epic Ride Weather predicted a light headwind the entire route, with overnight lows of 40, daytime high upper 60's, and minimal chance of rain. Being in the PNW, I carried rain gear regardless of the weather model. First stop was Vernonia at mile 45, about 10pm. The only thing open was a bar with a fryer, so we had 3 rounds of tater tots with Cokes. Then the long stretch to Astoria, with a quick warmup in a public restroom at the Elk Viewing Area. We burned about an hour and a half at a 24 hour convenience store in Astoria, where the staff was nice enough to let us nap in the closed seating area. We chowed down on convenience store fare, put our heads down, and lights out. As we crossed the 2 mile long Astoria-Megler Bridge, we saw the first light of dawn. Our team roster came together fairly late leading up to the event, with two Seattle guys joining us. They parked their car in Olympia Thursday afternoon, and road a Perm route Olympia to Portland Thursday night into early Friday morning. They had Friday to sleep and recover for our evening start. These guys were strong, and did a lions share of pulling into the wind for us. It warmed up quickly for the Astoria to Raymond stretch, and we stopped twice to strip off layers. I started struggling with drowsiness, backing off the draft because I couldn't keep the gap consistent. A quick bio stop turned into a not-so-quick group micro-nap stop. Between the quick nap and two espresso gels (2 @ 40mg caffeine), I had no more issues. Late breakfast in Raymond, at a local restaurant, was a great pick me up. We burned an hour there, but didn't nap because it was a bit too busy for that kind of shenanigan. Raymond to Pe Ell had the only southward stretch, giving us a brief respite from the headwind. The thing is, with a couple strong riders to pull against the headwind, having a tailwind stretch isn't really any easier - tailwind means less draft. Anyway, on to Pe Ell, where we had a planned rest stop. The weather was glorious by this time, 70F and sunny, so we resupplied at a convenience store and rested/napped in a trailhead park. Our team captain had a loose plan, and I was tracking miles and hours remaining whenever time or mileage made the math easy. We departed stops when it was roughly 10 miles/hr to go. From Pe Ell, we took the Willapa Hills trail for about 18 miles. The trail was gravel for all but the last couple miles; mostly firm gravel, it allowed us to roll along comfortably at 14-15 mph. We approached but did not enter Centralia. Our 22 hour control was in Rochester, 28k from the finish. Somewhere about an hour out of Rochester we stopped for a quick resupply and thinking session. Time math is hard enough by itself, but add in sleep deprivation, and units conversion factors as half our team had notes in km and half in miles... and we had to do some convenience-store curbside figuring. Eventually we decided to screw the figuring and just ride our bikes. The strongest guy got on the front, asked me if he needed to do anything special with the pace, and I said, "just ride". It came down to two simple decisions:
1) Might we get to the 22 hour control too early, meaning before 20 hours meaning before 3pm? Ok that's easy since it was just after 3pm.
2) Are we in trouble? No, because we had 40 miles to go in just under 4 hours.
So just ride.
We got to the 22 hour control around about 4:45, so we had 15 minutes to kill. I immediately laid down on the sidewalk for a quick nap, while the guys went in the grocery for snacks. I had snacks galore, and valued a quick nap. At 5pm we took a pic and rolled out. The remaining stretch was 18 miles, flat, and mostly car light. Ezpz, cake walk right? Nope, our strong guy got on the front and pulled at a steady 17-19mph, and we finished just past 6pm, with nearly an hour to spare.​
There were 4 fleche teams converging in Olympia, and we had a group brunch planned for Sunday morning. Since we had a Saturday evening finish, we had a team dinner at a local pub before our two SIR guys headed home and us two Portland guys headed to our hotel. After a shower I got through about two sentences of my e-book when it was lights out.
The brunch, held at a nearby park shelter, was fun; I've done 4 fleches now, and this was the first one I didn't arrive at the group meal directly from the road. I'm going to call the evening start/finish a winner. At the brunch, stories were told, road jokes were retold, and friendships paused the last few years were rekindled.
The two of us took Amtrak back to Portland, a nice relaxing end to a fantastic, though difficult, weekend.

Cheers

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Old 05-23-22, 05:53 AM
  #49  
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I did an evening start flèche this past weekend too! We started at 6pm Friday, had a 405km route planned. We had some stiff headwinds for the first 200km, though we'd planned a 2h sleep stop just about halfway. It was nice to do and surprisingly easy to fall asleep at 5am. Our route had a bit of tailwind on this section but the meaning of that wasn't quite appreciated at the time. It was unseasonably hot too, I think we might have hit 30C around noon on Saturday and it was really humid. I guess conditions were perfect for a rare type of storm called a Derecho to form and it made quite the mess across the area we were riding through. We got soaked while in farm country with no where to hide (except under the trees by the overflowing ditches!) so we just rode the high winds, stopping only to go around downed trees and power lines. Our route was fairly flat though there was rolling hills as crossed the Niagara escarpment and headed toward the finish on the shore of Lake Ontario. We only made 372 out of our 405, but no one had a problem with that... luckily we finished closer to our hotel than we would have if we'd finished the route as planned.


Headwinds on the first night, 40-60km/h gusts for the first 4 hours, gusts died down at night but winds stayed around 20km/h


This was the storm that was pushing us on the second day.


Incredible amount of damage across Ontario and Quebec, wind gusts of 132km/h were near our route

I also rode a new bike for this one, only did a 30km shakedown ride to make sure nothing was loose and luckily I managed to put it together well enough. The hydraulic disc brakes were great in the rain, as were the full fenders. The geo on the bike is very close my other bike so it was easy to get the fit.The 650B was nice to have for the gravel we did and I like having full fenders that don't rattle. I'll still use my road bike for shorter brevets and those without rain but this purple bike is probably gonna do most of the longer ones from now on. I kind of wish I'd built it up with 700x32 and carbon rims, but it's not bad at 9.9kg (~22lbs) the way it is now. Pretty standard gravel drivetrain; shimano ultegra, 46/30 and 11-32 out back. Tires are gravelkings, RH are too expensive and the sidewalls don't seem to last IME. Wanted the gravelkings in black but LBS only had the gumwall, but at least they have more rubber on the sidewall than the regular RH tires.
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Old 05-23-22, 08:31 AM
  #50  
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Oh man, you don't **** around with derechos. We Cedar Rapidians are still working through some PTSD from a couple years ago.
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