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.