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  1. #1
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    Questions about PBP

    Okay, forgive the newbie question:
    I can't start my "offical" brevets until Jan 1 2007 for PBP, right?

    After doing the RAIN ride in Indiana, last weekend which was 160 miles with 5700 of climbing in 12:40, I "think" I might want to do this! Or at least give it one hell of a shot. There are some 200k's coming up in Aug and Oct that I'm thinking about doing but it would mean having to rearrange some other schedules. If I can't start my qualifying until 2007, I think I'll just pass on this year's rides and train with my buddies.

    Oh, one other question. I just got into biking last June and have an entry level Trek 1000. Should I start saving for a new bike?

    I am nuts and I have no idea how I'm going to tell my family. They are going to take me away in a straightjacket for sure

    Jeni

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    In some places you can start your official qualifying brevet series as of November 1, 2006. But you'd have to check with your local Randonneuring organization to see what their policies are. Up here in Canada, we can start November 1st.

    I wouldn't start saving for a new bicycle just yet. Ride the one you have for a while and see how it goes. After you've been riding it a while, you'll have a much better idea what you want in a bicycle ... if you want something different. Can the bicycle you have carry a rack? That would be a very important detail.

    I'd recommend doing at least one of the 200Ks coming up on the schedule to get a feel for riding longer distances and for riding them in a time-limited situation. Plus you might get to know some of the people in your local club.

    I'd also recommend riding a lot in the coming months ... commute, do centuries once or twice a month, climb hills, ride in wind, rain, snow, etc. - on brevets you'll have to ride in all sorts of weather - they don't stop the brevets for bad weather. Experiment with different equipment, clothing, bicycle setups, etc.


    And BTW - being a little bit nuts is a prerequisite for being a Randonneur!

  3. #3
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    I've never used a rack, a large saddlebag is fine for me.

    Why not do a brevet this year just to see if you'll actually enjoy doing brevets? Most of us do...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeniCincinnati
    Oh, one other question. I just got into biking last June and have an entry level Trek 1000. Should I start saving for a new bike?
    you should be saving for the trip to Paris! Between flight, hotel and sundry expenses, you're probably going to be spending a minimum of $1500; more if the Euro continues to stay strong against the Dollar. That's your new bike, right there.

    After completing my first brevet series this year, I've got a couple of friends interested in joining me for a PBP bid next year, and I'm telling them that they should try to do it with the bikes they have now. The time requirements on brevets are generous enough that a rider on an entry-level Trek 1000 or Specialized Allez can complete with little problem. The only important part is that the bike fits, is comfortable and reliable. If you were happy with your ride over 150 miles, that should fulfill the first two requirements. Take it out on a few brevets before deciding to upgrade.

    Besides, it builds character that way. You can complete a series with the satisfaction that you did it on your own without the crutch of upgraded equipment. Then, you can use your accomplishment as an excuse to reward yourself with a new bike next year.

    Also, while a rack is certainly a nice to have, there are other options for carrying gear. Carradice saddlebags, which mount to your seatpost tend to be popular because they hold as much as a rack trunk and don't require the eyelets necessary for a rear rack.

  5. #5
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    one other tip--listen to machka and spokenword. they know what they're talking about.
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

  6. #6
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    You guys rock!

    Well then, let's see... In my 13 months of cycling, I have done the MS150 twice, a flat century, a kinda hilly century, and an a$$ kicker century through Team in Training in Lake Tahoe, CA. My friends and I averaged 16 mph for the RAIN ride in 100 degree heat. All on my entry level bike! Yea Haw! I will put my pennies towards Paris instead of a new bike. My cycling friend bought one of the really big gear bags that go on your seatpost that we have affectionatly names the "Uhaul". Guess I should get one of those too.

    Our coaches for TNT made us ride in everything (rain, snow, heat) so elements are something I'm used to. They also routinely made us ride the most hilliest routes in the area. I really need to stop driving to work (it's only 8 miles each way). There's a kicker 1.5 mile climb on the way home that would help my climbing abilities.

    I was thinking about racing and doing crits next summer but after that epic 160 miler, I think LD is for me. Going to print my app for RUSA and get going!

    Looking forward to everything I can learn. Thanks all!

    Jeni

  7. #7
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    I'd highly recommend trying to do every brevet available between now and PBP. My experience is that I ride training rides quite differently than brevets, even when they're the same distance. There's no hurry on a training ride, so you can lag about in a store or a little cafe or whatever. This is very pleasant, but dangerous on a brevet. Among the many things you have to learn to successfully complete brevets, I think it takes some practice to get in and out of controls fast and get back on the bike, even when you really don't want to because you're tired or it's hot or cold or wet or dark ... For me, every brevet so far (two Super Randonneur series plus all the others I've been able to ride) has been a new learning experience.

    Looking at the Trek website, the 1000 looks like just fine for randonneuring. It's pretty comparable with my bike, before I made a few parts upgrades (mainly to get lower gearing and to get the handlebars higher up and a bit closer in). Durability is much more important than weight. As someone else suggested, you can use a saddlebag to put stuff in -- I just switched over to using a Carradice Lowsaddle Longflap on a Bagman saddle-rack (see www.wallbike.com) and I like it much better than my rack and rackbag. Larger capacity for smaller weight and better handling.

    The climbing on many brevets is somewhat more than you described in RAIN. The last DC Randonneurs 200 had about 10,000 feet of climbing. If you're from Cincinatti, then the climb out of the Ohio River Valley might be a good training climb -- at least, if it's actually as steep as my recollection of climbing it the day after riding the first 100 miles of TOSRV in 1974.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebulls
    ...The last DC Randonneurs 200 had about 10,000 feet of climbing.
    Just to clarify, that's 200k, not 200 miles. Our 400k had about 15,000 feet of climbing and the 600k had about 25,000 feet. These climbing figures are according to my GPS (eTrex Vista CX with built-in-altimiter combined with GPS auto-adjustments) after uploading to MotionBased and applying its corrections. The last half-dozen rides have averaged 7300 feet of climbing per hundred miles.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    The reason I suggest a rack is because it is a lot more versatile than a seatbag. With my rack, I can choose from any number of types of bags such as plastic grocery bags, small duffel bags, dry bags, trunk bags, Carradice bags, panniers, or whatever I happen to feel the desire to use. I can even bungie down my jacket and other items without any bags at all.

    But I do use a Carradice saddle bag for many of my rides ... and I find it is more stable and sits better with the rack underneath holding it up.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brunop
    one other tip--listen to machka and spokenword. they know what they're talking about.
    heh ... Machka is the guru. I'm just the enthusiastic first-year with a head like a sponge.

    also, to add on to what thebulls has mentioned about climbing on brevets. The base metric that I've heard a lot is 3,000 ft. per 100km. So your average 200k (125 mi) brevet should have about 6000 ft. of climbing in order to adequately train a rider for climbing on the PBP and BMB routes.

    But, yeah, I never liked hill climbing before I started riding brevets. But now, my training rides have basically evolved into finding every hill within a 50 mile radius of my house and picking fights with them. I still dislike climbing, but nowadays, I see it more as a necessary challenge than something to be suffered through.

  11. #11
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Climbs on PBP? What are they like?
    The search for inner peace continues...

  12. #12
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    Same as everywhere else, up!

    Google some stories to get a cross-section of what people think of the hills. Some think lots and hard, some think lots but gentle.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAZorro
    Climbs on PBP? What are they like?
    I call them long rollers ... the types of hills where you coast down them at a pretty good clip, and can make it anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up the next hill without pedalling. Then you have to work to get over the top.

    And they never end.

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