Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - 1st 200k - 7000'
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What a mess....trained for this local community ride (first ride in 15 years over 50 miles), by riding many parts of the course and toughest hills... also did a 40-20-40 miler a week ago, 40 before work, 20 at lunch, 40 after work. No problem.
Actually had an avg speed of 16.6 after the first 40 miles and a ~3 mph tail wind on a flat stretch...But then the rains really came down... I've never ridden in the rain. Salt runs into your eyes, the water pelts your face, glasses wet, can't see crap. Then after about 20 miles, even with neoprene shoe covers, feet are soaking wet. Didn't use shopping bags.
Cue sheet soaked thru so on one climb I could read the turns, but not the mileage, it smeared. Water bottles covered in dirt, no fenders (don't think I saw 1 bike with fenders). Bike's a mess.
Also 2 flats, both in the rain. Is it possible to patch a tire in the rain? I had to walk my bike a ways on the 2nd one, as there was a pair of Rotweilers sp? about 100 yards away from me unleashed and no fence barking their heads off, got the adrenaline flowing. Luckily right as I was "wet" sanding my tube, someone rode by and I bummed a tube off him. Also, I would get cold every time I stopped. I think the flat tires are the worst. Really stops your momentum.
The time limit was 10 hours and it took me 9:45. I wanted a better time, as I am training for a 200 miler in May. Did learn a few things about riding in the rain though.
04-15-07, 09:52 PM
Way to go! Sounds like a crazy day with a happy ending. I'm amazed, though, that you'd never ridden in the rain (!).
04-15-07, 11:19 PM
You've got some mean rando club there. On our recent 200k some riders came in at about 12:45, and many people over 10:00. Weird to have such a short time limit. Plastic bags wouldn't have helped. The water runs down your legs in a hard rain. Wool socks.
No, you can't patch in the rain. You should carry a folding tire and 2 tubes. Many rando folks here carry 4 tubes. And a patch kit. And a chain pin or quick link. And a spoke tool and chain tool.
Carry a piece of chamois to clean your glasses.
Get a plastic cue sheet holder so it won't get wet. A large ziploc bag clothespinned to your cables (STI) will work.
Get fenders. SKS Raceblade are the easiest to put on and off. Full coverage fenders are better, but then you almost need two bikes. Get long mudflaps to hang on both fenders. That's friendly and the front one will help keep your feet dry. Huge difference.
Ride in the rain more. It's not so bad once you get it figured out. The right clothing is the key.
Good for you for sticking it out and getting a good finishing time.
Not a rando ride, just a local community ride. I didn't start training early enough this year to hit the brevet series. So I am trying out some 200k and double centuries this year, and plan on trying a brevet series next year. I am surely going to bring along 2 tubes on the double centiry in May, Davis Double. Also, I purchased a 1.6mm thick tube today, which I installed on my rear tire tonight.
Those SKS fenders look reasonable. How do wool socks help?
Have downtube shifters not STI, but need to find a way to mount the cue sheet, rain or no rain. It's annoying to pull it out of my bento bag, or hold it in one hand while I'm making 5 turns every 0.1 miles.
The "right" clothing sounds expensive. I have a "breathable" rain/windbreaker jacket. It kept me dry for about 15 minutes. Arm and knee warmers. I did keep warm for the most part.
SKS fenders do help. I have used them in rainy conditions and they are better than nothing. Not as nice as full fenders though. Just keep in mind they sell 2 sizes. Regular and XL. And if you need regulars I have some lightly used ones for cheap (I shoulda bought the XL...)
There are plenty of ways to hold a map. Here's (http://www.felixwong.com/news/2002/10/bicycle-map-holders/) one.
Wool socks help because they keep their warmth when wet. Somehow they feel less wet as well. Of course you could also get some very expensive winter shoes that are all gore tex too...(I haven't used mine in the rain yet, but they are great in the cold)
The "right" clothing isn't all that expensive. It partially comes down to how warm it is. Bottom line is that you are gonna get wet. On cold wet rides I generally wear one heavier than normal. So if it is a normal ride where I would wear leg warmers, I will wear my lightweight tights instead. Wet my tights aren't as warm but this way it works out.
On top the only "expensive" gear I got was a rain jacket. I got a Gill Adrenaline, although the showerspass is kind of the "gold standard" it seems. On warmer rides I just get wet and deal with it (smartwool base layers help). On colder rides the rain jacket is nice. You still get wetness due to sweat etc, but the jacket keeps me from being completely soaked.
When you stop you will still get cold. Fact of life.
And maybe some kevlar tires might help. I got Armadillos last year and have actually ridden over glass without a flat. Stiff and heavyish. But near bulletproof.
Congrats on sticking it out to finish. A 10 hour time limit on a 200K? Pretty tough crowd out there!
BTW, I second the idea of putting your cue sheet in a ziploc baggie. Good for keeping rain and sweat off the paper - especially when the cue sheet was printed with an ink jet printer.
04-16-07, 08:38 AM
I use the cheap Performance microfiber non-waterproof jacket. It's great. Yer gonna get wet in the rain, either from sweat or fresh water. I prefer fresh water. I also have a PI wind vest, which is fine in the rain as long as it's not too cold. Try a Craft base layer. I have two: a short sleeve for warmer conditions and a long sleeve for 45-50°. So nothing real expensive. Arm warmers. Leg warmers or tights. In winter, a heavy long sleeve jersey. Smartwool socks are the best. If it's really cold, you can put those chemical toe warmers in your shoes.
Thanks for the recommendations. I am going to check out the Smartwool products, found many dealers near my workplace. I need some better knee warmers, but the PI ones are a bit pricey, need to look around, I found some PI arm warmers on sale, I use and I love them. I ride OK in the cold when I commute, down to 3-4 C, have a nice wind vest over my Alertshirt, and my Canari wind breaker. But a better baselayer and socks would be an improvement, and it seems wool works in summer too. What about baselayer in the heat?
I have a feeling my double century ride report for May will go something like this.... first 40 miles were great, held a solid avg speed of 16.6, and then the 105F heat set in....
Will devise some sort of solution for the cue sheet. Maybe laminated index cards.
Trying to accumulate all these bicycling accessories slowly, but it's tough. My list is getting long quick. Armadillos rear tire, 14 tooth sprocket, baselayers, wool socks, new brake hoods, spare wheels, new SPD shoes and pedals (tired of walking in Look cleats), larger bento bag, larger seat bag, fenders, more shorts, rain jacket, ...
04-16-07, 02:53 PM
Have downtube shifters not STI, but need to find a way to mount the cue sheet, rain or no rain.
I recently bought one of these map holders (http://www.cycoactive.com/bike/otg.html). If you're planning to mount lights on your handlebars, it doesn't work too well, because the velcro straps that attach it to the bars wrap around the spots where you'd most likely be attaching the lights. But if you're not using lights, it works pretty well.
I'll be doing the Davis Double too -- but I think the route is pretty well marked and there are so many riders that I probably won't be using the map holder on that one.
04-16-07, 04:51 PM
I just put my map in a ziploc. I used zipties to attach binder clips to the handlebars, and clip the ziploc in the binder clips. Seems to work well and cost about a quarter.
I recently bought one of these map holders (http://www.cycoactive.com/bike/otg.html).
I used one last year. I hit my knees on it when climbing. Very annoying.
The large version worked well when mounted to my aerobars... which I am not using anymore.
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