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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 05-25-22, 05:13 PM
  #51  
antimonysarah
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We also had our fleche weekend this past weekend! I had kind of originally hoped to do a night start as well, but the people I could scare up to ride with me wanted a day start, plus I then got pulled into a work thing last Friday that meant I couldn't camel up on sleep, so we started at the last allowable slot: 10:00am on Saturday morning. It was about 10:30 when we actually hit the road, because our "start control" was the ferry from Boston to Provincetown, theoretically arriving at 10:05 (actual arrival 10:15). We then followed a lot of the East Coast Greenway, which sometimes meant gorgeous bike paths, and other times meant going "where the F is the trail" "oh, it's over that guardrail". It's not quite ready for through-riding, IMHO; the goal of putting it all off-road means that right now it's a bunch of offroad segments strung together with some really difficult to navigate bits in places, but it was fun to see them.

Early in the ride, when we were all still ambitious, we saw "bridge out - detour" signs, which put us on a fairly ugly road for the detour (and we couldn't tell which of several water crossings on the map ahead might be the bridge), so we decided to chance it. What we found (and yes, since it was early on and we were ambitous, crossed):

A bridge construction site. A thin ribbon of mud stretches across the gap.

Past that, we meandered between mostly the old Claire Saltonstall Bike Route and the new ECG route with a few "simplifications" to avoid too much meandering, up a set of rollers we all remembered as great fun -- the other way, at least, where it's one big climb and then a downhill rollercoaster; this direction was more of a slog, in blazing heat. Then it was across the Sagamore Bridge and down onto unfamiliar territory for all of us; the Cape Cod Canal path (gorgeous and in the shade), some meandering through mostly quiet roads and a few other little bike paths.

At dusk we hit the outskirts of New Bedford, the first major set of navigational (and guardrail) hurdles that weren't bridge construction-related. The path along the top of the hurricane wall is gorgeous (and well-lit) although getting to and from it through the city was perhaps not worth doing again; once, yes. I didn't take any pictures, unfortunately, but it's this ribbon of path by the sea, with twinkling lights and a commanding view.

Then we had to wend our way through some more navigational challenges (and I had a serious case of the sleepies) in the early night; half of a mini-can of Pringles at a gas station helped a lot, and we cruised into Provincetown, where a rando buddy had offered his house as our 1:30am point of call. We all kind of wanted to sit on his porch forever, but it was time to go -- he'd helped us route north quickly rather than the super-wandery pathways that weren't going to be especially scenic in the middle of the night, and onto the Blackstone River greenway, which even in the dark was gorgeous. Off of that, the rollers resumed, especially when another small bike trail turned out to be still railroad ballast and encroaching trees, not something appropriate for a: skinny tire road bikes: b: in pitch darkness c: while tired and on a timeclock. Luckily we could just stay on a major road (that was empty at that hour) without worrying about the mileage or navigation issues.

One last middle-of-the-night gas station fueling stop and we were starting to get into familiar territory for all of us, which was nice; we rolled into our 22-hour control with about 45 minutes to rest (and another fleche team chilling out--they'd started at 9:30 so they left before we did, but it was amusing that both groups picked the same store. Especially since I'd picked it since I noticed it was 25km from my house when it was a 200k start recently, but the other team weren't locals so they'd picked it from a map somehow). We ate more food, applied sunblock, and rolled very familiar territory to my house, which was our finish line. Brunch was less than a mile away, and food was eaten and stories swapped.

It was a lot of fun, although the "you can't get too far AHEAD" timing also kind of stressed me out, especially as the slowest rider on our team -- on flat ground I could hang with our pack but I kept falling behind on rollers, as usual -- I wanted to GO and NOT STOP like I do on brevets, but whenever one person needs a break we all take a break, etc. Also I have trouble remembering to eat while I'm behind, because I just want to catch up...and am not catching up because I need to eat.
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Old 05-30-22, 09:53 AM
  #52  
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Another blistering hot month over here, and another 200k completed.

I took a very long break after I DNF'd my 1300k in March and am still slowly rebuilding my fitness, so I wasn't very ready for the BRM200 on Sunday. With a 6am start, there was less time before the sun came up and the weather became hot and humid, and with the initial ~90km of the ride being mostly flat, I tried to take get the best out of the early hours and get as much distance as possible before the sun came up. Ran into a very early snag though - my Garmin was misbehaving and kept failing to calculate the route at 89%, which was problematic because the recalculation efforts consumed more battery life and I only had navigation up to 89%.

Shortly after the first checkpoint at 82.5km, I took a quick break at a nearby petrol station for breakfast and to refill my water. Fortunately it was still relatively early, my stomach hadn't acted up (yet) so I could at least get some energy and nutrition in before the grueling part of the ride began. On the bright side, this was a route that I was pretty familiar with, at least until the next checkpoint, so I did not have to rely on navigation and shutting that portion off should help conserve battery life.

Reached the second checkpoint at 137.3km sometime after 11am, and it was already hot and most of the route was under the sun with very little to no cover. Around 20km from there, stopped at a convenience store for more food and water. Managed to down half a loaf of bread, but that was it, but I figure that's better than nothing.

By the third checkpoint at 175km, my stomach was pretty much shot to pieces even though I tried to keep my efforts slow and easy - but the hilly routes made it tricky to do so. Felt like my upper thigh muscles may cramp at any moment too, I figure that's because I haven't ridden long distances for quite a while. The longest I have gone since after my break was 70km, so I'm nowhere near peak level in terms of fitness. Anyways, at this point I'm also starting to look at alternative means of navigation, and decided to just do it the old-fashioned way - by reading the cue sheet.

So cue sheet navigation was doing well most of the time, except for that one bit near the end where I accidentally skipped a left turn and went on a little detour. After a while and realizing I'm not reaching any roundabout that I'm supposed to see, I stopped and checked and realized my mistake, so that added another couple of km's to the ride.

Finished at approx 4:45pm, so a grand total of 10h 45m elapsed time. Not that great, but at least a good indicator of where I'm at in order to prepare for another 300k next month.
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Old 06-02-22, 11:44 PM
  #53  
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I spent a solid 4 hours this evening getting prepped for the SIR 600k this weekend. I'm not complaining... it's a labor of love... but still. I had to break the route into 4 segments because it had too many points for my GPS unit. I pulled the RWGPS cue sheet into Google Sheets and tweaked on it until I had things the way I like. Then printed out full cue sheets, plus another page of stops with distances and times. This page I tape to a water bottle for quick reference. I have a GPS route from the car park to Fauntleroy ferry terminal at the start, another from the finish hotel to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, and another from the Seattle ferry terminal back to my car. Also downloaded the RWGPS route to my phone as backup backup. I have my drop bag packed, finish bag packed, and Friday night hotel bag packed. Since I'm probably getting up before 4 Saturday, I have breakfast in my hotel bag. Also food in my drop bag for both evening and morning at the overnight.

Forecast is high 43, low about 40, and rain. Lots of rain. One prediction was for "a month's worth of rain this weekend." 40F and rain. Joy. I have my rain legs, rain jacket, rain gloves, helmet cover, brimmed hat, shoe covers. Wool jersey, wool base layer, wool socks, leg warmers. Actually I'm packing both my shakedry Gore rain jacket, and my heavy duty Showers Pass rain jacket, for a Saturday morning decision. There really is no point in the shakedry jacket if I'm never going to take it off, and the Showers Pass jacket provides substantially more warmth.

This is where #thatsrando is appropriate, as if somehow that makes this not insane.
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Old 06-06-22, 02:18 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I spent a solid 4 hours this evening getting prepped for the SIR 600k this weekend. I'm not complaining... it's a labor of love... but still. I had to break the route into 4 segments because it had too many points for my GPS unit. I pulled the RWGPS cue sheet into Google Sheets and tweaked on it until I had things the way I like. Then printed out full cue sheets, plus another page of stops with distances and times. This page I tape to a water bottle for quick reference. I have a GPS route from the car park to Fauntleroy ferry terminal at the start, another from the finish hotel to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, and another from the Seattle ferry terminal back to my car. Also downloaded the RWGPS route to my phone as backup backup. I have my drop bag packed, finish bag packed, and Friday night hotel bag packed. Since I'm probably getting up before 4 Saturday, I have breakfast in my hotel bag. Also food in my drop bag for both evening and morning at the overnight.

Forecast is high 43, low about 40, and rain. Lots of rain. One prediction was for "a month's worth of rain this weekend." 40F and rain. Joy. I have my rain legs, rain jacket, rain gloves, helmet cover, brimmed hat, shoe covers. Wool jersey, wool base layer, wool socks, leg warmers. Actually I'm packing both my shakedry Gore rain jacket, and my heavy duty Showers Pass rain jacket, for a Saturday morning decision. There really is no point in the shakedry jacket if I'm never going to take it off, and the Showers Pass jacket provides substantially more warmth.

This is where #thatsrando is appropriate, as if somehow that makes this not insane.
Ride report.

Light rain interrupted by regular rain, spots of sunshine, then returning to light rain. Then more rain and also some rain. Fortunately warmer than forecast, so we didn't get hypothermic but did I mention the rain?

Aside from the rain, there were hills, trees to look at, a bit of gravel, a cold and windy beach info control (answer: 3 port-o-potties). Some guys ahead saw a black bear and some elk, but I had to take my glasses off due to the rain so I didn't see anything smaller than a tree.

Upon unloading my bike at the park-and-ride, I discovered my front fender mounting bracket was broken. So I removed the fender and tossed it in my car. Pro tip: front fenders make a difference.
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Old 06-06-22, 03:25 PM
  #55  
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Gravel on Brevets suck. Wet gravel more so. Good on you, DT42.
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Old 06-06-22, 04:37 PM
  #56  
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That's pretty nice looking gravel, aside from the wet. I'll take gravel over a highway any day of the week.

We have two gravel 200k on the schedule in Ontario this year... both have around 2000m of climbing too.
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Old 06-06-22, 08:40 PM
  #57  
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Better have good fenders if you're going to wear your special PBP vest on a muddy ride!
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Old 06-07-22, 06:26 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
That's pretty nice looking gravel, aside from the wet. I'll take gravel over a highway any day of the week.

We have two gravel 200k on the schedule in Ontario this year... both have around 2000m of climbing too.
We had one guy double flat going into gravel this year. I double flatted and crashed a couple years ago when thrown into horrible gravel. No thanks. Never again for me. This is a very dangerous direction RUSA is taking. Roads are too complicated to make a simple comparison. Interstates with 10-12 foot shoulders and 2 foot rumble strips are not dangerous, they are just really boring. Putting a randonneur onto gravel with branches and other debris to contend with in the dark isn't smart.
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Old 06-07-22, 09:05 AM
  #59  
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I've seen people double-flat on paved roads, either hitting potholes, glass, expansion joints... just not paying attention. There's been a few crashes here with people riding in groups... I wasn't involved so I can't say what happened, but I haven't heard of anyone crashing on gravel on our rides since I've been around. There's been gravel sections on some of our routes since before I was member. Avoiding traffic is the first 'tenet' in our route design guidelines and personally I worry much more about being struck and killed by a motorist than I do crashing. Our schedule has many brevets that don't have any gravel and many people have asked to have more gravel events on the calendar. All the routes I design have the gravel clearly, and correctly, marked on rwgps... pretty easy for riders to avoid those routes if they don't like riding gravel.
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Old 06-07-22, 03:27 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Better have good fenders if you're going to wear your special PBP vest on a muddy ride!
That vest is pretty much toast at this point. I use my commemorative gear - jerseys, vests, etc - rather than keep them nice. The rando life is a tough life for clothing, so that means it all has limited lifetimes.

I think what I'll do is cut out a rectangular piece with the logo, and use that for a backdrop in a PBP medal case.
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Old 06-07-22, 03:37 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
That's pretty nice looking gravel, aside from the wet. I'll take gravel over a highway any day of the week.

We have two gravel 200k on the schedule in Ontario this year... both have around 2000m of climbing too.
It was decent gravel; I had about the right tires at 32mm. The downhill side had a few more potholes, so descending was a little slow.

This ride had a variety - wide highway shoulders with traffic, narrow highway shoulders with traffic, paved trails, beautiful quiet roads, bridge crossings, low volume/zero shoulder roads, and even a bit of muddy singletrack. I don't mind either the highway shoulder miles or the gravel miles, if they serve as connectors between nice segments. But that's me. Those different types of roads present different challenges.

BTW, I inspected my front tire last night, and dug a half-dozen or so small bits out of the rubber. No telling where I picked them up. I'll out the rear tonight.
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Old 06-07-22, 03:40 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
I've seen people double-flat on paved roads, either hitting potholes, glass, expansion joints... just not paying attention. There's been a few crashes here with people riding in groups... I wasn't involved so I can't say what happened, but I haven't heard of anyone crashing on gravel on our rides since I've been around. There's been gravel sections on some of our routes since before I was member. Avoiding traffic is the first 'tenet' in our route design guidelines and personally I worry much more about being struck and killed by a motorist than I do crashing. Our schedule has many brevets that don't have any gravel and many people have asked to have more gravel events on the calendar. All the routes I design have the gravel clearly, and correctly, marked on rwgps... pretty easy for riders to avoid those routes if they don't like riding gravel.
Not when the RBA puts a control right in the middle of a gravel section and I am pretty sure it is not allowed to deviate from an unsafe route to a safe route although I know that riders do this. So, I can't disagree more.

I agree avoiding busy roads is key. Where I do some of my randonneuring, the routes were always on quiet roads, no gravel, and just a pure delight. Now, there is gravel, busy MUPs, and unnecessary trips in and out of the city. I now very carefully review courses for gravel. There is no way to know in advance if the gravel is fine and maintained or the more common, huge course rocks with potholes everywhere, branches overhanging, branches and debris on the path. Some hazards like rail tracks cannot be avoided but intentionally putting riders on gravel trails in the night after riding 15+ hour is just stupid.
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Old 06-07-22, 05:00 PM
  #63  
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That gravel in DT's post looks really fast, so I wouldn't mind it. More dirt than gravel, and hard-packed. I have been on some really rough gravel on brevets that I wasn't particularly happy about though.

Mac 'n' Cheese had some inadvertent gravel that I'm sure they would have routed around if the asphalt hadn't been taken out in the week between the pre-ride and the ride itself. I was a little surprised I made it through that without a flat, but it doesn't seem like anyone had a problem with it. I might have gone around, but we had a massive tailwind and going around would have meant riding into it for about a mile. Nobody needs that on the last day of a 1200.
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Old 06-07-22, 07:16 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Not when the RBA puts a control right in the middle of a gravel section and I am pretty sure it is not allowed to deviate from an unsafe route to a safe route although I know that riders do this. So, I can't disagree more.

I agree avoiding busy roads is key. Where I do some of my randonneuring, the routes were always on quiet roads, no gravel, and just a pure delight. Now, there is gravel, busy MUPs, and unnecessary trips in and out of the city. I now very carefully review courses for gravel. There is no way to know in advance if the gravel is fine and maintained or the more common, huge course rocks with potholes everywhere, branches overhanging, branches and debris on the path. Some hazards like rail tracks cannot be avoided but intentionally putting riders on gravel trails in the night after riding 15+ hour is just stupid.
Check out our schedule, there's only two gravel brevets, and only a few other routes have a few km of gravel... it's super-easy to do an entire series and not see a lick of off-pavement riding. In Ontario if you wanted to stick to asphalt it's pretty easy to avoid the half-dozen routes that have some gravel. I wouldn't suggest anyone cut the course on a brevet 'cos they don't like gravel. They should take it up with the organizers and get rides that meet the needs of the club members. All I can really say is that things are run differently up in Canada. Membership is 50$ a year, ride as many brevets as you want. We don't have support at the start or volunteers at any of the controls.
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Old 06-07-22, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
That gravel in DT's post looks really fast, so I wouldn't mind it. More dirt than gravel, and hard-packed. I have been on some really rough gravel on brevets that I wasn't particularly happy about though.

Mac 'n' Cheese had some inadvertent gravel that I'm sure they would have routed around if the asphalt hadn't been taken out in the week between the pre-ride and the ride itself. I was a little surprised I made it through that without a flat, but it doesn't seem like anyone had a problem with it. I might have gone around, but we had a massive tailwind and going around would have meant riding into it for about a mile. Nobody needs that on the last day of a 1200.
It was far better than some chip/seal I've ridden. In particular I recall a 200k out of Mineral Wells, Texas where the chip/seal was like railroad ballast half embedded in tar. Astounding.

It should never be a surprise to find gravel, unless there's a last minute detour. Around here, the rides are well described beforehand.
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Old 06-07-22, 08:13 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
Check out our schedule, there's only two gravel brevets, and only a few other routes have a few km of gravel... it's super-easy to do an entire series and not see a lick of off-pavement riding. In Ontario if you wanted to stick to asphalt it's pretty easy to avoid the half-dozen routes that have some gravel. I wouldn't suggest anyone cut the course on a brevet 'cos they don't like gravel. They should take it up with the organizers and get rides that meet the needs of the club members. All I can really say is that things are run differently up in Canada. Membership is 50$ a year, ride as many brevets as you want. We don't have support at the start or volunteers at any of the controls.
I've ridden brevets with clubs in many US states, an there is quite a bit of variety in terms of support. It's really up to the RBA, and how much support they have or want. From Indiana where the RBA would hand out cards at the start and leave his car window cracked open for us to drop cards into at the finish... to SIR that generally has volunteers at the start and finish, and often at one control en route. I've mailed in my card somewhere... I don't recall where. Of course we have permanents, where you're on your own. It's all good.
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Old 06-08-22, 05:05 AM
  #67  
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So true that the level of support varies from area to area. There are brevets where the RBA has you fill out the card, log in, sign the waiver and basically they meet you at the end and at the other extreme, volunteers with water and/or snacks at every control or with breakfast at the start and dinner at the end. I guess that is what the riders want in those areas.

I'm doing a 300k on Saturday on a route I know well, it is really nice to know a few of the controls will have volunteers with water. I know there is always the secret control at the top of the mountain (with water). On a really hot day, there is often someone (usually of the Docs) strategically located on a long waterless stretch with bottles of water. Clearly, RBAs put an enormous amount of thought into the well being of riders. Maybe I over react to bad gravel at night but I also got really messed up hitting a bunch of gravel and branches on a routing local training ride (on the road no less) after a historic storm. Lesson for me? Ride the trainer until you know the roads are cleaned up (it was almost a week after but some roads are still ruined nearly a year later) and simply avoid gravel on a road bike
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Old 06-08-22, 07:41 AM
  #68  
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Did a pre-ride of the upcoming Juneteenth Underground Railroad populaire, put on by NJ Randonneurs.





More here: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/92555094
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Old 06-08-22, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
So true that the level of support varies from area to area. There are brevets where the RBA has you fill out the card, log in, sign the waiver and basically they meet you at the end and at the other extreme, volunteers with water and/or snacks at every control or with breakfast at the start and dinner at the end. I guess that is what the riders want in those areas.

I'm doing a 300k on Saturday on a route I know well, it is really nice to know a few of the controls will have volunteers with water. I know there is always the secret control at the top of the mountain (with water). On a really hot day, there is often someone (usually of the Docs) strategically located on a long waterless stretch with bottles of water. Clearly, RBAs put an enormous amount of thought into the well being of riders. Maybe I over react to bad gravel at night but I also got really messed up hitting a bunch of gravel and branches on a routing local training ride (on the road no less) after a historic storm. Lesson for me? Ride the trainer until you know the roads are cleaned up (it was almost a week after but some roads are still ruined nearly a year later) and simply avoid gravel on a road bike
Aside I pre-rode Crater Lake 1200 last year, and decided support atop a remote day three climb would have been nice. Water was a problem. It was a long dry stretch before a very remote climb, then a long stretch after before water. So i volunteered, and hung out there for a full day until everyone was through. It was super interesting to see people in that state as an outside observer rather than a participant, three days in to a 1200. Rando is not a normal human activity.
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Old 06-09-22, 02:06 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
We had one guy double flat going into gravel this year. I double flatted and crashed a couple years ago when thrown into horrible gravel. No thanks. Never again for me. This is a very dangerous direction RUSA is taking. Roads are too complicated to make a simple comparison. Interstates with 10-12 foot shoulders and 2 foot rumble strips are not dangerous, they are just really boring. Putting a randonneur onto gravel with branches and other debris to contend with in the dark isn't smart.
Yeah, I think the fact that *roads* vary a huge amount and cannot be compared around the US is a general truth. You can't ride on the kind of highways around here that have rumble strips and shoulders -- those are limited access. The numbered/state roads you can ride on are, at the largest, having a decent-width shoulder (though often covered in branches, broken glass, and other debris) and often lots of turning/merging vehicles. And more commonly, are either two- or one-lane each way, ZERO shoulder, curvy enough to make passing hard (for cars), and wheel-eating potholes down the right hand side of the lane while traffic goes 70mph (speed limit 55, generally, but that doesn't actually mean people obey it). Some of those are still OK rando roads, especially at quiet times or for short distances, but they compare differently with well-manicured, town-maintained, no-traffic-no-potholes dirt roads, which we have a lot of around New England.
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Old 06-11-22, 11:22 AM
  #71  
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DNF'd today's 300, it's a bummer 'cos of the centenary medal but I'd had 3 flats in 30km, including changing a flat when I woke up this morning. Couldn't find anything in the tire but some holes... rims are tubeless and the tires are so incredibly tight I snapped one lever and could only pry the bead off with two side-by-side. Took me 20 minutes to change the tube, normally I'm 5 minutes or so, have done thousands of flat changes in the decade I volunteered at the local co-op so it's not my first rodeo. These tires feel as tight as a 700c stretched over a 27" rim, something I've seen people manage at the co-op.

I managed to pick up another flat 5km later and decided to just pack it in. My pump couldn't seem to inflate the patched tube I put in, dunno if the pump is bad or what, but it was my last patch and I'd already used my spare tube. I was only 17km away from the closest LRT station so I started walking. I made it ~8km before someone in a pickup stopped and offered a ride... I tried to decline since he was only going a couple km up the road, but he insisted, and then changed his mind and drove me back to the ride start. Turns out we had some friends in common so that was pretty neat.

Time for me to research tubeless tires and all the crap, I've been lying to myself about how many flats I get and how much of a pain it is... I've DNF'd a few rides but never for something so stupid and trivial, these kinds of flats likely wouldn't have even been noticed with a tubeless setup. Kinda glad it was close to home and I didn't have to get a taxi, I once spent a 100$ on a cab ride when I DNF'd my first 400k.
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Old 06-11-22, 07:28 PM
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I got the centenary medal medal today on NJ's 300K, it is an old route. The 15th route approved by RUSA. It is a lovely route but very hard. Today's brevet was so professionally run that it is almost embarrassing or maybe the correct word is humbling. The weather was near perfect with 60F at the start and maybe 73F tops all day with overcast skies. I had no plans to do a fast ride but I kept hearing voices from the 1922 randos, "Allez allez and soupless when I would bog down on the innumerable hills, the steepest registering 21% on my Garmin but I think it was only 16.5%. The overall elevation gain might have only been 12,000 feet but almost all of it came a 200K section. The first 50K from Princeton to the bagel shop is nicely rolling with a deft selection of roads to escape the suburban sprawl into the countryside proper. Then the route goes over steep ridges with around 600-800 feet gain at a wack and then there is Jenny Jump, a pretty hard climb after almost 100 miles of already being beat up. 10 controls and one secret control. I did it in a little under 13 hours beating my previous best time by an hour although I am not sure I ever rode it hard but a 12:XX on such a course, after recovery from a bad crash recently, is a good sign. 197 watts was also positive.

The course is a mix of rolling farm terrain and goat hills but generally very low traffic. One long stretch along the black river was so beautiful and the road twisted and dipped with just enough gradient to make it really fun (and no pedaling).

There was a young lady who I understand races crew in college. She blew by my like 6 times after getting bonus miles due to a faulty GPS device. Well, the last bonus miler was 20 miles. I am sure she finished nonetheless. She was astonishingly strong but then again, I ain't no spring chicken. A first brevet for her and a tough one. It was nice to see younger riders. The first finisher was also relatively young, it was his second brevet. What is a little hard on a course like this? It is kind of impossible to ride with others, the terrain makes brutal selections. I could ride flat terrain fast enough to keep up but was getting torched in the hills but then again I am 40 pounds over my PBP weight and 30 pounds over my happy weight.

I experimented with really concentrated powdered drink, Skratch Superfuel (400 cals per bottle) to which I added 120 calories of fructose. Six bottles plus two bottles of just water. No stomach issues. Superfuel uses cyclic branched dextrin IIRC, very low osmolality...not sure about the glycemic index. I also kept some Peanut M&Ms in my top tube bag and snacked on them. I had half a sandwich at lunch and ice tea. I also did not wear gloves and don't think I will ever go back. I think I got two flats on my tubeless tires. I heard Pfft and then nothing. The rear tire was a little softer but the front seemed normal.

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Old 06-12-22, 05:51 AM
  #73  
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NJ always has great support on their rides.
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Old 06-12-22, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
NJ always has great support on their rides.
Yes for sure. I guess I remember the old pre-RUSA days with a cue sheet that would say ride to the next state, turn around and come back, see you at the finish (some exaggeration but not much). When I arrive at a control now and there is a table with chairs and water and some snacks by volunteers, it is just an emotional feeling of some sort. I don't expect anything like that but when you need water and there is a cold gallon sitting there, it sure feels good. Maybe why NJ has such massive turnouts on 200k brevets, I wonder if this super duper support helps grow randonneuring.
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Old 06-17-22, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I got the centenary medal medal today on NJ's 300K, it is an old route. The 15th route approved by RUSA. It is a lovely route but very hard. Today's brevet was so professionally run that it is almost embarrassing or maybe the correct word is humbling. The weather was near perfect with 60F at the start and maybe 73F tops all day with overcast skies. I had no plans to do a fast ride but I kept hearing voices from the 1922 randos, "Allez allez and soupless when I would bog down on the innumerable hills, the steepest registering 21% on my Garmin but I think it was only 16.5%. The overall elevation gain might have only been 12,000 feet but almost all of it came a 200K section. The first 50K from Princeton to the bagel shop is nicely rolling with a deft selection of roads to escape the suburban sprawl into the countryside proper. Then the route goes over steep ridges with around 600-800 feet gain at a wack and then there is Jenny Jump, a pretty hard climb after almost 100 miles of already being beat up. 10 controls and one secret control. I did it in a little under 13 hours beating my previous best time by an hour although I am not sure I ever rode it hard but a 12:XX on such a course, after recovery from a bad crash recently, is a good sign. 197 watts was also positive.

The course is a mix of rolling farm terrain and goat hills but generally very low traffic. One long stretch along the black river was so beautiful and the road twisted and dipped with just enough gradient to make it really fun (and no pedaling).

There was a young lady who I understand races crew in college. She blew by my like 6 times after getting bonus miles due to a faulty GPS device. Well, the last bonus miler was 20 miles. I am sure she finished nonetheless. She was astonishingly strong but then again, I ain't no spring chicken. A first brevet for her and a tough one. It was nice to see younger riders. The first finisher was also relatively young, it was his second brevet. What is a little hard on a course like this? It is kind of impossible to ride with others, the terrain makes brutal selections. I could ride flat terrain fast enough to keep up but was getting torched in the hills but then again I am 40 pounds over my PBP weight and 30 pounds over my happy weight.

I experimented with really concentrated powdered drink, Skratch Superfuel (400 cals per bottle) to which I added 120 calories of fructose. Six bottles plus two bottles of just water. No stomach issues. Superfuel uses cyclic branched dextrin IIRC, very low osmolality...not sure about the glycemic index. I also kept some Peanut M&Ms in my top tube bag and snacked on them. I had half a sandwich at lunch and ice tea. I also did not wear gloves and don't think I will ever go back. I think I got two flats on my tubeless tires. I heard Pfft and then nothing. The rear tire was a little softer but the front seemed normal.
Interesting, I was on the same ride in NJ.

It is my first brevet after a break for several years. It was also my friend's first brevet ever. I think we saw you at the finish and your Land Cruiser(?). Originally our plan was just to finish it and I was thinking it would take us 16-17 hours, but with 40 miles to go we realized that if we ride strong we could finish it just under 14 hours. Last 40 miles were very stressful because if we stay at above 21 mph we would barely make the time(under 14 hours). Luckily last section of the course was relatively flat and we managed to finish in 13:53. I never expected to finish a 300k hilly brevet under 14 hours, especially after not riding long brevets for 6-7 years and gaining some unwanted pounds. I also do remember that fast young lady that we were trying to catch , but she was too fast for us. I think she went off course before the last control because we did not see her at the finish .

I was also very impressed how beautiful that area of NJ is and how well thought out the roads are on this ride. I did ride some longer NJ brevets before, but this one is my favorite now.
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