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  1. #1
    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    Randonneuring combined with RR and TT

    Hi all

    I'm very intrigued by randonneuring. I did a Vancouver - Kelowna trip last year in one day. It was ~ 450 km. I think I have what it takes to do well in randonneuring.

    However, I'm also a committed roadie. In particular, I'd like to excel this season in our club TT. Which is only 18km!

    I'm just wondering if you guys think I could do well in both; or, would they antagonise each other to the point where I'd have to parcel my season into segments (say, first half randonneuring, then in the later Summer, be on the road).

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    Train for racing and just do randonnees when they don't conflict. Gethan Butler got the BBAR (British Best All-Rounder, aka best timetrialer) title the same year he completed his first Super Randonneur series. A couple of days after being the first finisher in an 800km brevet (yes, correct distance), he won a local 10 mile TT in around 20 minutes...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I don't see how it can work out. I know you can't "try" very hard on the long rides if you are going to do all you can to develop 18k speed. Brevet distances and training distances for a 20-30 min effort simply are not compatible.

    Of course if you have all the time, then ride the brevets easy and maintain your intensity- training.

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    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    Hmmm... seems like good advice. I expect a lot of these very long distance brevets might not be a great idea, but perhaps some of the 100-200k brevets might be feasible. Hard to choose one or the other, but I guess if I had to, I'd go with the time trialing.

    Thanks for the advice.

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    Quite a few racers do many training rides of 100-200km distance. I can't imagine that these shorter randonees would interrupt training too much. A 600km might be a different matter.

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    Interesting comments. I find that the faster brevet riders are also committed to speed training. I read an article recently in which it emphasized speed work for distance riding. The writer, Jan Heine, implied that he left the distance work to the actual brevet itself. The longer brevets do have a recovery time. I would imagine that any brevets that you ride would expose you to some fun times on a bike as well as build all kinds of good things in your body. You also have some incredible riders in Victoria. Chief among them is Ken Bonner. Few in this hemisphere have done the kind of riding he has done. By the way, he's fast. If you hook up with your local randoneurs in Victoria you will, I'm sure, expand your horizons. Most of the brevets are between March/April and end of June. From that point on people are focusing on PBP in August. I think you wont find 18K speed on a 200k or 300k but you will find a lot of powerful riders, often former or current club racers. Plus, think of the awesome people you would hang with.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    Hey Papawiz,

    Thanks for the comments! Indeed, I know of the legendary Ken Bonner. In fact, on my training rides, I pull up behind him quite often. I've yet to gather the courage to talk to him. It's not particularly easy to pull up to him, BTW. You're right, for a randonneur, he goes pretty good.

    Yeah, randonneuring is definitely something that intrigues me. I do have to play it off my interests in RR and TT, though; what you say makes a lot of sense, and I do think that it wouldn't antagonise my TT too much. Some of the problem comes from the fact that I've immersed myself so much in road culture that by the time April comes around, the phone is going like crazy, the emails are coming in: my road buddies will rope me in.

    But this year I really do mean to do a brevet or two, perhaps in the early season, while I'm trying to get some long rides in anyway.

  8. #8
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    I don't see how it can work out. I know you can't "try" very hard on the long rides if you are going to do all you can to develop 18k speed. Brevet distances and training distances for a 20-30 min effort simply are not compatible.

    Of course if you have all the time, then ride the brevets easy and maintain your intensity- training.
    I think they're compatible, but it depends on what you're looking for our of randonneuring. Want to finish the rides feeling good? No problem. Want to "win" (word does irk me when speaking of randonneuring) a long brevet that Ken Bonner and some other studs are also riding? You can probably do that too, but the toll from such a hard effort over such a long time will really cook you. You'll feel it for weeks. There's the trade-off with racing TTs and RRs -- if you're also "racing" long distances, you're only going to be at peak for a very few events all season.

    If your rando goals are less competitive -- i.e., you're taking it easy on the long rides -- then you'll still be able to keep a full race calendar. And you'll be able to really put the beat-down on the guys in your club on distances that they consider "long" but at which you're just getting warmed up!

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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    You can probably do that too, but the toll from such a hard effort over such a long time will really cook you. You'll feel it for weeks. There's the trade-off with racing TTs and RRs -- if you're also "racing" long distances, you're only going to be at peak for a very few events all season.
    Well done, nice case of meaningless contradictory double talk.

    Your post definitely rates a "Richard Cranium Post of the Year" award, good work.......

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    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    Well done, nice case of meaningless contradictory double talk.

    Your post definitely rates a "Richard Cranium Post of the Year" award, good work.......
    I do something to you personally? How about "I'm not sure I understood what you meant," in the future? We're all people of good will here trying to be helpful. Let's act like adults, shall we?

    In case I wasn't clear to others in my post: Keeping a USCF racing schedule and also racing ultra-events or riding brevets are compatible cycling activities. I do it. I do both well. I work full time. I have other things I do besides ride a bike.

    The balance is in how you ride the long rides. I finished a 1000K on Monday and raced two days later. I rode the 1000K easy. But I RAAM-qualified on a 1200K and it took me a month to recover fully. Of course, juggling both types of riding requires more planning than doing only one. But you sure can do all you can to develop a good TT and still be competitive in long rides (let alone just finish brevets, which is considerably easier than keeping a UMCA race calendar). One of the secrets of LD riding, whether competitive or not, is that you don't have to do a lot of LD training. And if you want to get into competitive LD cycling, you'll find that your speedwork and race training will serve you very, very well. Good luck and have fun!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input Octopus. I really appreciate it when guys who have the practical advice chime in. I had suspected that I could likely compete in both and do well in both. I'll really have to see how the season progresses. I have promised myself to try rando at least for two brevets. If I'm hooked, I'm hooked. If not, the TT sched starts in May, and the RR in April.

    I did get to 'speak' with Ken BTW. He was impressed with the reflective piping on my booties and wanted to know what brand they were, lol.

    I go to work at about 7:30 AM and I see him riding my route. When I go home at 4:30, there he is again! I'm not sure if he's been at it all day but I suspect he has.

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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    In particular, I'd like to excel this season in our club TT. Which is only 18km!
    Yeah, plenty of USCF riders put in monster miles and do well at TTs.

    This must mean that riding long distance rides is compatible with the "particular, I'd like to excel this season in our club TT" training scenario.

    If that makes sense to you, fine it's just a thread filled with BS for me........

    Sorry, octo guy, I'm all in favor of USCF road races getting longer, and I think many USCF coaches make a poor showing of preparing the masses for the big miles they need to put in, if they ever want to make it in Europe.

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    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    I don't think that randonneuring is going to help my TT. I'm just trying to figure out if I could combine them in a way that would minimise their natural antagonism.

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    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    Yeah, plenty of USCF riders put in monster miles and do well at TTs.

    This must mean that riding long distance rides is compatible with the "particular, I'd like to excel this season in our club TT" training scenario.

    If that makes sense to you, fine it's just a thread filled with BS for me........

    Sorry, octo guy, I'm all in favor of USCF road races getting longer, and I think many USCF coaches make a poor showing of preparing the masses for the big miles they need to put in, if they ever want to make it in Europe.
    I'm still not getting through. I don't care if you misunderstand me, Cranium -- for whatever reason, I'm a B.S. artist in your book. But for anyone else out there who, like the OP, wants to maintain a competitive racing calendar while also pursuing an interest in long-distance cycling (RC, what's your background in either, by the way? You seem to have a lot of strong opinions and I wonder on what experince you're basing them? Look forward to seeing you at the races in your neck of the woods in '07; please introduce yourself to me....), let me clarify so there's no confusion at all:

    • Randonneuring and long rides won't make your 18K TT any faster. I never suggested this, and I don't think anyone else did, either.
    • There is no fundamental, insurmountable compatibility problem in training to excel in the club's 18K TT while also pursuing your randonneuring or long-distance interest.
    • Your race training will, though, make you a much stronger randonneur and, if you want to pursue it, very competitive as a long-distance cyclist. Subject for another thread, but a training area that I think many of the folks in the LD community could work on.
    • RC, you're welcome to show up in my backyard any time you want and tell the host of very serious road racers and TT specialists who ride our 200K, and the few who ride the 300K, that they're violating your fundamental laws of cycling. Let me know how that turns out for you.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus
    [*]RC, you're welcome to show up in my backyard any time you want and tell the host of very serious road racers and TT specialists who ride our 200K, and the few who ride the 300K, that they're violating your fundamental laws of cycling. Let me know how that turns out for you.[/list]



    Well said. For me it's really about getting the advice of people with practical experience. Glad you chimed in Octopus.

    Did a good 100km base ride today BTW. Should start some serious interval training in January but for now just going to enjoy Christmas, step it up on Saturday group ride, and chill the rest of the time.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Well said. For me it's really about getting the advice of people with practical experience. Glad you chimed in Octopus.
    I think "its" about believing "what ever floats your boat".

    In keeping with my true "RC" forum personality - I answered the thread as if you were serious about "excelling at an 18k TT. But now, I see that you actually said you just wanted to "do well" -- and I'm sure - with the help of some "faster rider" guy's advice you will.

    Octo guy, if and when you are in the StL area, by all means, let's hook up for a backroads double, or perhaps go for a 100 mile TT. I can't say what "form", I'll be in, i usually run a marathon every Spring, but hopefully, I'll have some bike legs left to go round.........

    Just remember, who ever rides faster - must know more about exercise physiology than the slower guy. So riding together will prove your bull**** is "truthier" than mine........

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