It's here!! It's here!! WooHoo!!
The idea behind this forum is for those cyclists who would like to discuss riding centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, 24-hour TTs, and anything else that would be considered “long distance”.
It could be a place to exchange information specific to long distance riding, and also to share ride reports of our successes and to discuss where we went wrong with our failures.
Just to let you know (if you didn’t know already), in 2007 the next Paris Brest Paris 1200K event will be held. That event is held every 4 years and attracts over 4000 participants. Numerous cyclists from all over the world will be riding their Super Randonneur brevet series in early 2007 to qualify for it. Already this year, cyclists are riding brevets in order to become more comfortable with them so that they can qualify next year to participate in that event.
The Bicycling Mag forum created a Long Distance forum for the members there before the 2003 PBP, and it was wonderful because many of us were able to exchange information about the qualifiers and the PBP itself, and get to know each other through the forum .... and then 5 of us met there in France, and had lunch together the day before the event – we’re still good friends. Hopefully we'll be able to do something similar with this forum too. Having the support of other riders, working toward the same goal, is an incredible morale booster and source of motivation.
Even this year there are several events going on ... the RAAM and the Cascade 1200K just finished, the VanIsle 1200K will be starting shortly, the BMB goes in August, and the Last Chance in September. There are other events going on in other parts of the world too. In addition to the longer Randonnees, most provinces and states hold shorter brevets, and there are quite a few 12 and 24 hour events. Just to name a few!!
I'll also mention that long distance cycling differs from racing, touring, and recreational road cycling. It is its own category within cycling. Most long distance events are not competitive like racing (unless the individual participants want them to be competitive) .... most long distance events are not tours, they are usually 'single-day' events or 'multiple-day-but-with-little-or-no-sleep-between-days' events (although the occasional person might do back-to-back-to-back centuries as a part of a tour) ... and they are not recreational rides because there is a goal, an accomplishment to attain.
As a different type of cycling, long distance cycling involves different training methods, different nutritional needs, different equipment, and even a different mental/emotional outlook. For example, a long distance cyclist wouldn't train in the same way that someone doing a road race or crit would train. Long distance cyclists generally can't live on gu and energy bars on the longer events. Long distances cyclists generally prefer bicycles with a high comfort factor, rather than feather weight bicycles built for speed. But long distance cyclists also rarely travel with panniers and as heavy a load as touring cyclists do. And long distance cyclists need to have a great deal of mental stamina (long attention span), and a very positive and easy-going attitude (because so many things can go wrong out there, when you're out there 24+ hours!).
As an example of what I'm talking about, this website deals with many of the issues that pertain specifically to long distance cyclists: http://www.ultracycling.com/