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  1. #1
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    My 1st Brevet: Invalidated!

    So I did my first brevet on saturday, a 200km route. (details on my blog)

    It was a great ride, except that we (my friend & I) got lost at one point and missed a control's cutoff time! We made all the other controls in time, and made it to the finish in time (12 hrs 45 mins overall). But I understand that missing that one control invalidates the ride since it was just us getting lost (Article 9 of the RUSA brevet rules)..

    One thing that doomed my brevet was starting 30 minutes late (I rode 40 km to the ride, and got there later than expected), and getting lost (about 5 miles off course, 5 miles to get back on). So for those of you thinking about brevets, don't take the timing lightly! I kind of assumed that 13.5 hours was a ridiculously-long amount of time to complete a 200k, but a lot can go wrong between now & the next control.

    Anyone else got stories about DNFing or missing time cutoffs on brevets? I'd like to hear about others' not-so-successful brevet attempts, so I don't feel quite as idiotic about this.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Hi Matt,

    Congrats on the ride. I read your story about it on your blog -- nice write-up. Saturday was kind of a grim day to ride, IMHO...I stayed inside and didn't venture out at all until Sunday. 160 miles all-in under those conditions was a pretty solid day of riding.

  3. #3
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    I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb and say that anyone who hasn't DNF'd probably hasn't been randonneuring long enough. I've only DNF'd a brevet once, but that was PBP, because I had pneumonia and just couldn't keep my speed high enough to finish in the 90 hours. Since it was clear I'd be rolling in at 92 hours, minimum, I DNF'd at Dreux. I've DNF'd a permanent twice (same permanent). It's a very tough ride that we were attempting in winter. The first DNF was because forecast foul weather conditions in the mountain passes made it unlikely that we could finish safely or in time, and the second time we arrived late and couldn't make enough time with well over 2000 feet of climbing to the first control.

    I've come fairly close to DNF'ing on other brevets owing to mechanical issues and getting lost, and sometimes to foul weather that just made it hard to get to controls with more than moments to spare.

    Just get back on that horse and finish your next brevet!

  4. #4
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    Not on a brevet, but on an adventure race, which is basically the same thing. We made a nav error and ended up missing the last checkpoint altogether. when we finally figured out where we were, we were in sight of the finish line, and the missed checkpoint was 3 miles and 1500 feet behind us, up a snowy mountain. 22 hours of racing and we just didn't have the mental fortitude to turn around and hike up the hill to the checkpoint.

    DNF.

    Don't beat yourself up about it, just learn what you can and move on to the next one.
    ...

  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Yeah, that was a "get 'er done!" ride, wasn't it? I couldn't feel my feet from before Black Diamond all the way to Greenwater, where I took off my shoes and socks and tried to get some feeling in my feet. I was too stupefied to buy socks. Good thinking. Next time I'm bringing dry socks and chemical foot warmers with me!

    For a while on the Populaire I lost my card between clothing layers and didn't find it until Forest Park. I think they counted it, though - you can get away with almost anything on a Populaire.

    Another thing I'm doing next time it's a rainy one, is I'm bringing about 4 cue sheets so I can pop a new one in the holder when one gets wet. They don't weigh anything.

    You also might think about speed. My brevet bike is a '99 carbon Trek with a triple and fast wheels and tires. And I train my butt off all winter: weights, weekday training, LT intervals, hill sprints, long fast rides every weekend no matter what the weather. Never ever even think about not making the controls, even with flats and a broken cable. Training and a fast bike makes brevet riding much nicer: you can loaf and still come in with a good time, if that's what you want.

    On Sunday I did a 52 mile hilly ride for recovery. Only averaged a little over 13, but had a 110 average HR. That pace would have given me about an 11 hour time on the 200. Whereas my average HR on the brevet was 130, so I was going some faster.

    I hope the weather is better for the 300.

  6. #6
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    Great report and sorry about the DNF. 161 miles in a day is no joke, so congrats for that.

    I'll be in Seattle the first weekend in April to check out U. of Washington for graduate school. I'd love to bring my bike and go for a spin, but it's not worth the extra airfare costs for only 4 days. If anyone has a 51-53 cm bike they want to lend, I'd love a Sunday ride there..
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  7. #7
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    My brevet riding friends and I almost DNF'd a 200 because the temperature in NJ was waaaaaaay lower than in NYC (and lower than predicted). The problem was that most of the first ~15 miles of the ride was behind a big ridge that blocked the sun in the early AM. At ~15 miles, the entire field, it appeared, stopped to warm-up in the town of Piermont. Brr! My friends and I eventually finished with a respectable time.

    BTW, I'd like to echo the sentiments of a poster above. Being a fast cyclist with a fast bike makes the brevets a lot easier. When your biggest concern is "has anybody passed us?", it's a lot easier. Well, true for 200k rides at least.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
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  8. #8
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    thanks all for the positive comments! i'm definiltely not giving up on this whole rando thing, and i'll be back out for the 300, 400, and 600k brevets later this season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    You also might think about speed. My brevet bike is a '99 carbon Trek with a triple and fast wheels and tires. And I train my butt off all winter: weights, weekday training, LT intervals, hill sprints, long fast rides every weekend no matter what the weather. Never ever even think about not making the controls, even with flats and a broken cable. Training and a fast bike makes brevet riding much nicer: you can loaf and still come in with a good time, if that's what you want.
    my brevet bike is a 1980's steel miyata with decent (open pro) wheels; it's pretty heavy compared to my other bike, but fits full fenders and all that good stuff. one thing it's certainly lacking is triple gearing, some of those climbs (like up to Black Diamond) had me wishing for more gears! the climb up to Greenwater wasn't as bad as I'd expected, at least.

    anyway my speed/energy wasn't so much an issue as my riding partner's (e.g. our speed) - much of the time i was holding back since he was bonking, recovering, bonking... it's not that he's a weak rider either (we did the one-day stp last year), he just hasn't trained enough in the last few weeks, and didn't bring enough food on the ride itself.

    so hopefully this failed brevet will be a wakeup call (for both of us) to not take the training (or time constraints) lightly!

    see you on the road..
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  9. #9
    loser
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    good attitude, man. Shows you're in the right frame of mind.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    was the DNF on the SIR 200K? It was seriously rain drenched and while not as difficult as some rides, it certainly wasn't easy. I sincerely hope you come to the 300K. When I was starting out I rode with people of like speed who knew the way. It really helped. Obviously, you enjoy riding. There are bunches of 200k rides and permanents.
    JV

  11. #11
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    DNF on a 600k I was hoping to use to qualify for BMB. dehydration and knee / fit problems did me in at mile 221 - the sleep control. set me back awhile mentally. it happens, even on 'big' rides.

    good job riding it all the way in. i debated that in my situation - but with the knee pain i pulled the plug and managed a sag back to boston.

  12. #12
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    yeah this was SiR's 200k starting in Kent this past weekend.

    officially the result was a DNQ - does that stand for Did Not Qualify? I thought it was called "Hors Delai" or something like that when you miss the time cutoffs.
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    Did you pass me and my buddy 1/2 mile from the start? He ran over a little hole in the road with an inspection plate in it and flatted both tires. We were by the side of the road each throwing on a new tube. Found out ten miles later he had damaged his tire and bent the rim. Thought the tube was leaking so threw another one on and booted it with a dollar bill.

    At mile 62 I sliced a tire and booted that also and used our last new tube. Rode the last half of the ride with crossed fingers. Didn't want to have to patch a tube in the wet. Made the ride in 11:15. Hope the 300k goes better.

  14. #14
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mutantdunk View Post
    Did you pass me and my buddy 1/2 mile from the start? He ran over a little hole in the road with an inspection plate in it and flatted both tires. We were by the side of the road each throwing on a new tube. Found out ten miles later he had damaged his tire and bent the rim. Thought the tube was leaking so threw another one on and booted it with a dollar bill.

    At mile 62 I sliced a tire and booted that also and used our last new tube. Rode the last half of the ride with crossed fingers. Didn't want to have to patch a tube in the wet. Made the ride in 11:15. Hope the 300k goes better.
    Yeah I'm pretty sure we did pass you up, although the first half of that ride was a haze of rain for me! Sounds like you had a pretty interesting ride, and that reminds me I should bring a spare tire for the 300k.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member crazybikerchick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Anyone else got stories about DNFing or missing time cutoffs on brevets? I'd like to hear about others' not-so-successful brevet attempts, so I don't feel quite as idiotic about this.
    I was attempting my first 300k brevet. Due to standing around yammering, we didn't notice it was 15 minutes past the start time. 3 of us were riding together. About 10km in we had our first flat tire. None of us gets many flats and we all stopped and we weren't exactly speedy changing the tire. There was two monster hills to climb. About 60k I had a flat. Dehydrated on the first hot day of the year I was a bit panicky "we're not going to make the control on time!" The other rider is like what do you mean there is an hour to go 13k? Well first the flat isn't changed yet. And second she didn't know what the rest of the route entailed... there was several kms of gravel with a steep climb on the route.

    We're booting it to make it to the control on time and the third rider is way behind us. We get to an intersection and debate whether or not its the turn as it doesn't have the same name as what's on the cue sheet. Distances don't quite match up so we decide to keep going (here it would have been handy if the third rider was not behind). We ended up going quite far before seeing any more roads at all at which point we really realized we missed the turn.

    A time check showed no hope of making the first control, so we leisurely rode to town for some lunch, and then back to the start for a 140k day ride rather than a 300k brevet. Somehow without the official credit the motivation to do the whole ride just for the fun of it wasn't there.

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