Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - The Shenandoah 1200K
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02-14-08, 12:13 PM
Anyone planning on it? See http://www.geocities.com/shenandoah1200/. Application goes out in tomorrow's mail.
Sounds awesome! But I am gonna have to work up to that.
02-14-08, 09:44 PM
I am planning to ride it as my first attempt at a 1200k. It sounds like a great ride. I have never visited or cycled in that part of the country.
02-14-08, 10:19 PM
Next year if finances allow (my wife actually kind of thinks that would be cool as she would get to hang out in DC with my brother).
02-14-08, 10:24 PM
I hope you like hills. No way I'm going to be up to that for at least another 2 years. Besides - if I did that, I'd miss Le Cirque du Cyclisme (http://www.cirqueducyclisme.com/) - which is being held June 6-8 in ... Leesburg, VA. Small world...
Stop by the Leesburg Best Western when you're done and take a gander at the neat old bikes. If you finish the ride, you'll get quite the hero's welcome.
Next year if finances allow
Is it going to be run next year? The Daily Randonneur blog has some discussion about the event.
02-15-08, 03:36 PM
Sounded like it since they said "only 100 this year". But maybe they won't. If not, then I will have to see if I can push for another one next year.
02-15-08, 06:58 PM
Matt Settle (the ride organizer) won't know whether this is going to be held next year until he sees how successful this year is. I think he's hoping that it will be repeated, though.
I'm hoping to ride the Shenandoah 1200. The country we'll be riding through is really beautiful. Can't say how hilly it will be. Typical climbing around here as measured on my GPS is about 7250 ft per 100 miles so that would imply nearly 55000 feet for the Shenandoah 1200. For comparison I measured 50000 feet of climbing on BMB and 43500 on PBP. Matt says that Shen1200 will be on terrain that is not quite as hard as a typical brevet around here.
I would love to ride this 1200k in the future as my father and 2 little brothers live in the area and I spent many summers camping in Shenandoah mountains as a kid. If only I can get my father into randonneuring. I'm focused on Gold Rush next year as it requires no travel.
02-19-08, 10:02 PM
Wow, that sounds like an awesome ride.
03-06-08, 07:37 PM
So I'm on the list along with 59 others so far. Good mix of folks from all over the country.
The FAQ has been upated on the site in the last few days with more info. Note that you can get dispensation from the organizer to substitute a 400K fleche for a 400K brevet if you qualified as an SR or with previous 1200K experience. (I needed the dispensation due to scheduling issues; thank you, Matt!)
I definitely plan on checking out the Le Cirque du Cyclisme after the ride. That's very, very cool; thanks for the tip!
Getting excited for the ride!
The start and finish are 10 miles from my father's house. Might have to do this ride some year, if it stays around.
06-03-08, 08:35 PM
Pretty much packed and ready to roll. Have some work to take care of in the AM, and then I'm heading out. Ride starts at 0400 Thursday. Weather looks to be hot and humid (90F during the day) but mostly dry with little in the way of wind.
I'm riding for fun and enjoyment only; no RAAM qualifying or any other nonsense with this ride. Hopefully I'll be fast enough, though, to get some significant rest all three nights. Wish me luck; report to follow.
FYI, for others riding 1200s, there's a great Excel spreadsheet posted on the ride web page for calculating your arrival times based on time off the bike and rolling average. It could be readily adapted to other rides; it was a great help in selecting my overnight controls, espcially since there are a number of options to chose from on this ride.
06-04-08, 07:11 AM
Have a great ride on the Shenandoah 1200. I wish I was joining you. Hopefully next year.
Bump- I'm curious how this was. Miserable heat, that's for sure.
06-09-08, 01:06 PM
Bump- I'm curious how this was. Miserable heat, that's for sure.
some thoughts and photos are being posted to Randon (http://groups.google.com/group/randon/browse_thread/thread/4e1958c948e68311)
06-09-08, 04:20 PM
It was extremely hot (mid-90s all four days), humid, and hilly. Consensus among everyone I spoke with was that this was the toughest 1200K (actually 1242K -- the route ran long!) course out there. Various elevation numbers were being bandied about, but I've heard reports of 45-50K of climbing measured by GPS. I ran GPS at night only and the riding I did at night came out to 70 feet per mile. That number doesn't include any of the "real" climbing on the route, all of which occurred in the daytime of the second day. Folks I spoke with who had ridden both BMB and the Shen 1200 described the latter as much more difficult. Several compared the route to a 1200K version of Quadzilla. The heat and the hills took their toll on the field -- the DNF rate was roughly 50%. This was only my third 1200K, and it was by far the most challenging course. Compared to the Shen 1200, PBP was very easy and very flat.
My own ride went great. I rode the same strategy I did for PBP: ride the first day fast to bank a bunch of time and then spend the rest of the ride taking it easy, getting a bunch of sleep, and generally enjoying the ride. The course is beautiful -- the views from the valley and the ridges were stunning, and riding the Blue Ridge Parkway at night, looking down into North Carolina at all the little towns lit up was especially pretty. Riding through Gettysburg and then Antietam on a weekday morning, having the parks to yourself with no cars around, was very special. To top it all off, Virginia has a lot of untraveled back roads that are well-maintained. Most of the roads were great for randonneuring (except for US11, which the fastest riders would have been on during rush hour -- that would not have been any fun at all). Otherwise, it was a good, challenging 1200K. Am curious to see whether it's run again in the future as word gets around about how tough it is. It's a beast of a ride to tackle in early June. There may not be many takers for future editions, but I hope so. It's a good challenge for randonneurs who want to test themselves and their gear in some really hilly terrain.
Special thanks and shout out to Matt and Bones and the many others who organized and volunteered and made the ride happen. They absolutely worked their butts off and the support was first-class. If you're looking to be pampered, this would not have been the ride for you. But the value of what you got for your entry fee cannot be beat (the cabins at Fancy Gap were awesome!), and most importantly the support and good cheer from everyone at the controls (and those patroling the route keeping an eye on us) was just great. The size of the ride -- just 56 riders started -- made everything seem really personal. You really felt like you were being taken care of personally at the controls and there was a lot of great camraderie -- this is what makes randonneuring so much fun!
Thanks to the update. Kudos to you for the finish.Certainly nothing to be held against a rider DNF'ing, the weather was a bear. That said, keep in mind for the future that the weather was abnormal - mid-80's and lower humidity is about the average here through the valley. Although the Skyline Drive/BR Parkway is usually the weather break between here and the coast and that ridge is almost always breezy.
Agreed, the BR Parkway especially in the Fancy Gap area is a beautiful ride - day or night.
Again, kudos on the finish. I know I couldn't have done it.
06-10-08, 05:43 AM
Congratulations to everyone who participated in and supported the S1200. The heat must have been a beast for everyone. I wish I could've been a part of the drama. Hopefully next year.
06-10-08, 06:58 PM
I'm really glad to hear that other than the weather, the Shen1200 seems to have gone so well. Last year's "PBP Tuneup" followed a big chunk of the middle of the course, and this year's Leesburg 400 followed a big chunk of the beginning and end. It's tough country, but so beautiful it more than makes up for it. Weather conditions were only a bit hotter than normal, in my experience. I've ridden on two 600's that covered much of the Shenandoah Valley at the same time of year, and both had temps up into the high 90's on at least one day of the ride. But there are typically a lot of places to stop and fill all your water bottles with ice, so that helps.
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