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  1. #1
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    The 2008 Brevet Thread

    So we've got a fleche thread, how about one for brevets?

    When you finish a brevet (or DNF/DNQ), post what brevet you did, where it was, and how it went!

    I'll start off. Did a 300k brevet with the Seattle Intl Randonneurs this Saturday (my first 300k). Starting in Lacey, Wa (near Olympia) we meandered down south towards Vader, and tackled a lot of rolling hills along the way. The climbs weren't long, but steep in some places (like sustained 18% in one spot, supposedly). Climbing total was in the 7,500 foot range, according to the route-makers. And I believe it!

    I rode with three friends the whole time, more or less Audax-style. We didn't set an official pace, but we stuck together the whole time, and regrouped on hills. Had I done this ride solo it would've been so much harder! First off I would have died of boredom out there by myself, but also because we pacelined when we needed to (which was often). The rain started at about 2 P.M. and never really let up! Can't wait for summer-brevets... then at least it'll be warm & rainy!

    We started at 7 A.M. and finished at about 2 in the morning! Surely some riders were done by 8 or 9 P.M., but we stopped for "real" food along the way (for about an hour), and one of my buddies had three flats + a tire-blowout! I'm just glad we finished this in time though, I don't care about being almost-last (there was one more finisher after us).

    Here's a shot of my group (+1 rider) riding through Olympia - that's the capitol buiding in the background, (I'm behind the tree):



    More photos & details about the ride on my blog entry about it.

    Also a bunch of great photos taken by a volunteer are on flickr.

    So post your brevet stories here! Can't wait to read about other brevets..
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Congrats, Matt. I was tucked at home, warm and dry, wondering if you guys were *really* out there riding in the slop Saturday...

  3. #3
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Good thread idea. Congrats on a good ride and thanks for the great pics!

    Did my first ACP ride of the year, the Oregon Randonneurs' 200K on Saturday, from Forest Grove to Birkenfeld and back with a nice climb up Timber Road (twice) in the Coast range. Something like 5000' of climbing on the ride, and probably 40% of it comes on this one road.

    Had a nice leisurely ride with the folks on the fleche team. Rain didn't set in until mile 81 and then stuck with us for the rest of the ride. Rain in the valleys means snow in the mountains, though, which made for some very nice skiing on Sunday!

  4. #4
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus View Post
    Good thread idea. Congrats on a good ride and thanks for the great pics!

    Did my first ACP ride of the year, the Oregon Randonneurs' 200K on Saturday, from Forest Grove to Birkenfeld and back with a nice climb up Timber Road (twice) in the Coast range. Something like 5000' of climbing on the ride, and probably 40% of it comes on this one road.

    Had a nice leisurely ride with the folks on the fleche team. Rain didn't set in until mile 81 and then stuck with us for the rest of the ride. Rain in the valleys means snow in the mountains, though, which made for some very nice skiing on Sunday!
    I did the Birkie too. Third year, and probably the best weather overall. My altimeter said 6229 feet of vert, which is a bit less than the ride profile said (6770'), but definitely more than 5000. And, yep, at least 40% of it was on "le col de Timber". My time was a bit slower than last year (8:56 vs 8:20), but I've got all kinds of excuses - sick the entire month of March (plays hell with the training, lemmetellya), rode with a pretty quick group last year, soloed the whole thing this yr, this was my first brevet on my new 'bent (after 45 years on DFs), it was friggin' cold out (35-45 deg), yada, yada, yada. But it was a great ride anyway. The cold and rain didn't bother me, since for once I was dressed just right. Wonderful course, and a great way to start the season. Now if I can just get into the RM1200 (I'm up to #3 on the wait list)....

    Scott P
    Bend, OR

  5. #5
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Heres my write up on the Southern Arizona 300k in February.

    http://randocommute.blogspot.com/200...1_archive.html

    Are Permanent write ups also OK for this thread or is it Brevets only?
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

  6. #6
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
    Heres my write up on the Southern Arizona 300k in February.

    http://randocommute.blogspot.com/200...1_archive.html
    cool writeup! i had some GI issues as well on my brevet this weekend, man that sucks. i swear on the next brevet i'm bringing some toilet paper & baby wipes! seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
    Are Permanent write ups also OK for this thread or is it Brevets only?
    i don't mind posting permanents in this thread, it's up to you.

    but since we've got a fleche thread, and now a brevet thread, perhaps you could start our permanents thread? either way, i want to hear about all things rando!
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    but since we've got a fleche thread, and now a brevet thread, perhaps you could start our permanents thread? either way, i want to hear about all things rando!
    If one is not going by Saturday morning I will start it with a report on "San Pedro and the Gila Monster" which I am riding Friday since my brevet season got derailled (my wife was in the hospital for ankle surgery following a nasty break, and I was her caregiver for the next month) and I am left with permanents to get my fix now that she is able to move around and drive.
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I've done seven brevets so far this year. Two each 200, 300, and 400K, and just completed my first Super Randonneur series with a 600K brevet in Houston last weekend.

    Beautiful weather for the 600K with wildflowers blooming and low winds.

  9. #9
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    I've done seven brevets so far this year. Two each 200, 300, and 400K, and just completed my first Super Randonneur series with a 600K brevet in Houston last weekend.

    Beautiful weather for the 600K with wildflowers blooming and low winds.
    wow, a whole series already?! nice.

    any plans for a 1200 to round it out?
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

  10. #10
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    Rode my first brevet of 2008 -- the Boston 100k Populaire. Weather was odd. Apocalypse levels of heavy rain and cold when setting out from home. Rain stopped by the 8am start, chilly throughout the first leg, then sunny and warm on the return with overcast skies and plunging temperatures at the finish.

    Ah, New England weather.

    It was the first 'real' group ride that I've done since Paris (not including casual countryside jaunts with friends) so, the old regimen of eating while pedaling, taking Endurolytes every hour, fiddling with a cue sheet, etc. took some reacquainting after a six month offseason.

    It was also shakedown ride for our fleche team, which worked out relatively well considering that it's consisting of two fixies, two derailleur bikes and one rider with a Shimano Nexus internal hub; therefore our average speed is kind of all over the map. We were still able to keep a reasonable paceline through level terrain, so that's promising.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    I've done seven brevets so far this year. Two each 200, 300, and 400K, and just completed my first Super Randonneur series with a 600K brevet in Houston last weekend.

    Beautiful weather for the 600K with wildflowers blooming and low winds.
    congrats on getting to Super Randonneur, supcom. 600k is a challenging distance. Did you ride it straight through or sleep partway.?

  12. #12
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    congrats on getting to Super Randonneur, supcom. 600k is a challenging distance. Did you ride it straight through or sleep partway.?
    I had about 4 1/2 hours off the bike after the first loop that included 3 1/2 hours of sleep. In some ways, the 600K is easier than the 400K, because you can get some sleep. It is hard to get up after only a few hours sleep, but it sure makes the rest of the ride go better. I do not enjoy falling asleep on the bike!

    My second 600K is in a couple weeks. That will complete my second series for the year. Then, in May, I have a 1000K planned. No 1200K this year.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Completed the Oregon Randonneurs "3 Capes" 300k yesterday. 3rd time doing this route, and it's hands down one of my top 5 favorite rides anywhere. At 14:35, wasn't as fast as last year (13:30) but my off-season and early season training weren't as good this year - no skate skiing over the winter due to no early winter snow, and I was sick the entire month of March, which put a bit of a crimp in the high-volume cycling I usually do then. No bonking, no dehydration, and toward the finish the warp drive really kicked in - covered the last (rolling) 10 miles in half an hour. Woohoo! Here's a link to the course map and profile: http://www.orrandonneurs.org/rba/200...MapProfile.jpg

    Scott P
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    RUSA# 3481

  14. #14
    2K plus 1,200 PacersGuy's Avatar
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    Completed the Louisville 400k on Saturday. A great ride with about 13K feet of climbing, so it's not a slouch. Felt really good throughout and had no mechanicals on this ride, as compared to my 4!! flats on the 300. Got hammered with a nasty migraine just after finishing, though.

  15. #15
    okay maybe not. mmerner's Avatar
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    Did the GLR 200k on Saturday. 38F and W 20mph winds at the start, but it was mostly sunny. Started in Delavan WI going towards Madison. Into the wind on the way out. I rode by myself at my own pace, which worked really good. I had enough energy to use the wind on the way back. Came in with a time of 8:52, I think. It warmed up some in the afternoon, maybe 55, and a little more windy. When I got home, I noticed a 1-2mm hole on the back tire sidewall with the tube sticking out, and another spot in the tread with a 2cm crack. I was too worried about being comfortable, I forgot to check the tires. oops.
    question everything.

  16. #16
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    Completed the Oregon Randonneurs "3 Capes" 300k yesterday. 3rd time doing this route, and it's hands down one of my top 5 favorite rides anywhere. At 14:35, wasn't as fast as last year (13:30) but my off-season and early season training weren't as good this year - no skate skiing over the winter due to no early winter snow, and I was sick the entire month of March, which put a bit of a crimp in the high-volume cycling I usually do then. No bonking, no dehydration, and toward the finish the warp drive really kicked in - covered the last (rolling) 10 miles in half an hour. Woohoo! Here's a link to the course map and profile: http://www.orrandonneurs.org/rba/200...MapProfile.jpg
    I, too, was at the Three Capes. (Scott, I think we leap-frogged each other a few times.) If you're looking for brevets to ride around the U.S., I can highly recommend this one. The beauty of the route is spectacular and most of the roads are great for cycling (excepting SR 6, which gets some traffic with folks heading to the shore). Surf on over to the Oregon Randonneurs' web page for reports on the route from previous years and some photos which really don't do the beauty of the capes justice.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    At 7:30 am, my father (Cadillac) and I cycled to the start location - Tim Hortons - for the Red Deer 200K brevet, and waited around a bit to see if anyone else would show up. No one did, so we set off.

    It was a brisk -2C, but the ride started with a climb, and so we warmed up fairly quickly. The ride continued with another climb, and another climb and a fourth climb into Bentley, the first control. We stopped for a quick break and a snack at Bentley, and then tackled the Medicine Hills.

    The Medicine Hills are a set of tall hills right in the middle of the prairie. At one time they were important hills to the aboriginals, now they are ski hills. The road through the Medicine Hills climbs three hills. The first is a long steep hill straight up out of Bentley, the second is more gradual and curves around to the left going over the shoulder of a hill. The third is another straight hill, but not quite as steep as the first. In addition to these three challenging hills, the Medicine Hills seem to have a lot of odd wind gusts. Huge gusts will blast you from one direction, and then from another direction.

    The next control is Eckville which has excellent pizza ... the fuel of champions! I had one slice, and my father had two.

    The section between Eckville and Leslieville doesn't have any major hills, just a few small rollers, but for some reason it's a bit of a slog every year.

    Leslieville is a very small town out in the middle of nowhere, but it has a lovely convenience store, very nicely kept, with lots of food choices including fruit and baked goods, and with the cleanest washroom known to convenience stores.

    I was standing outside drinking my Orange Crush, when a man walked up, pointed at Machak, and said, "Nice bicycle ... Marinoni". I smiled and said, "Yes" ... a bit surprised that someone out in the middle of nowhere would know the Marinoni brand. Then he told me something else which surprised me even more ... he said he knew Giuseppe Marinoni (the man who started Marinoni Cycles) quite well, because that he grew up in the town where Marinonis are built!! Who would have thought!!

    We continued on to Rocky Mountain House where we made a quick stop, and then began the final leg of the journey back, east. We had hoped we might have a tail wind because we had been dealing with a North and Northwest wind on the way out, but no such luck, the wind switched to Northeast. Fortunately it was never really strong ... just enough to be annoying at times.

    On the plus side, the temperature reached +16C and was mainly sunny all day. That was nice.

    Rocky Mountain House back to Red Deer is about 85 kms, and really started feeling long ... especially after we reached the century point (160 kms). It only took us a little over 4 hours, but still seemed to drag a bit for some reason. I think we were both feeling tired and a bit sore.

    It was my longest ride since last August, but it was my father's first century (or 200K) in 2 years.

    We rolled in after 11 hours and 20 minutes on the road ... not bad at all!!

    And including the ride to and from the start/finish area, we covered 208 kms.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Cadillac's Avatar
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    Let me add a couple things to Machka's fine report.
    I am 66 and 50 lbs overweight.
    This spring I have done a number of rides 20km, 33km, 42km, 50km (several of each of these), but nothing longer.
    Two years ago I did several centuries, but last year my health was not so good and I just didn't complete a century or even metric centuries.
    So I found this ride somewhat tough.
    It took us exactly 2 hours to complete the Medicine Hills section of 32.8 km. Those long uphills are hard when carrying 50 lbs more than I should.
    In a number of spots, Machka waited for me -- and in some cases took pictures of me and the scenery.
    Otherwise she would have finished well ahead of me.
    I think I drank a lot, but the cool temp caused my nose to drip throughout the ride. I'm going to have to pay especial attention to cleaning my bike of some obvious mucous stains.
    On arriving home we ate and replenished fluids, but this morning I found my weight was down three pounds. -- if only I could keep it down
    "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head,
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired"
    -- Shakespeare Sonnet XXVII
    Click here to visit Motorera.com

  19. #19
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    First Brevet of the season. I hope to do as many of the 200, 300 , 400 and 600 K series as I can manage to combine with preparing for a 540 K race 21. of june. A week ago the others did the 200 and I decided to go it alone this saturday. Very nice weather, spring is finally here. I went out fast and did the whole 200 K a bit faster than perhaps is wise. Looking forward to having company next saturday on the 300. I did another 200 K sunday with my club, so this weekend has been a very good one.


  20. #20
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    did another 300k brevet on saturday - took a ferry from seattle to bremerton, rode a circuitous route to shelton, then up to quilcene and down to bainbridge island.

    we did it in about 13.5 hours, i'm really happy with that! (my last 300k was a 19 hour affair.. the original post in this thread). started at 7:15 AM, finished at about 8:30 PM.

    some climbing involved, but nothing major - max elevation was only 800 feet:


    my "rando" bike (a miyata) was out of commission, so my "race" bike took its place. slapped on the dynohub & carradice bag & the ciocc was good to to:


    rando bikes hitching a ride on the ferry:


    downtown @ about 6 A.M.



    at the 1st control in brady:


    getting on the ferry, at about 8:55 P.M.


    coming back home!
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

  21. #21
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    just finished the Boston 200k, which has about 6.880 feet of climbing and a screamer of a descent from Mont Vernon, NH. We were all comparing top speeds on that at the second control, and it seemed that 50-55 mph was a pretty standard set. Exhilirating yet utterly terrifying.

    Unlike my previous brevets, which have always been marked with some eating or merchanical or fatigue challenge that needed to be overcome, everything just worked this time out. The weather behaved, everyone was in a good mood and it was generally just a really fun, nice day to be out on a bicycle.

    I wound up finishing in 9:22, which is a personal best for me. Now that this particular laurel has been gathered, I might just go back to dilly-dallying at ice cream stands and coffeeshops along the route.

  22. #22
    Senior Member the spin guru's Avatar
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    I just did my first 400k brevet yesturday. It was put on by the B.C Randonneurs and is dubbed the "highway to hell". This was an interesting ride for me, as it marked my first night/pre dawn ride. I had a bit of a rough start and had some digestion issues. Those seemed to resolve themselves and I felt like my old self and flew into the first control at the 100k mark. The rest of the day was awesome and I had a blast.
    In the end I finished in 19 hours and 2 minutes. Not to bad for a first time 400 after doing the first 2 rides in the series.
    The only thing I would do differently would be to invest in a much better lightening system. It seems my lights were barely okay on the ride out. But on the ride back to the last control were totallty horrible. And to make matters worse I had to descend a 375 meter mountain in almost pitch black next to the "dreaded rumble strips" So I literally had to crawl down the mountain in rush hour traffic(pretty horrible)

    I am also feeling pretty tender today, guess I deserve a rest week before begging to prepare for the summer series.

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    As mentioned above, I rode my 200K brevet last weekend (May 3rd) with my father who hasn't ridden a long distance in at least 2 years. It was very nice to share the experience with him.

    The story of the 200K brevet is here. I will be adding photos soon.
    www.machka.net/2008/2008_200_RedDeer.htm



    Then this past Saturday (May 10th) I rode my 300K brevet. My father accompanied me on the first part of it, and I rode the rest solo. It had to be one of the tougher 300Ks I've ridden. Central Alberta is not flat ... and also tends to be very windy in the spring.

    The story of the 300K brevet is here. And I will be adding photos soon.
    www.machka.net/2008/2008_300_RedDeer.htm


    My 400K brevet is on May 24th, but I'm not sure that I will be riding it, or at least not all of it. This is, after all, supposed to be a rest year for me!

  24. #24
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    Completed the Davis 400k a few weeks ago. 600K is May 30th, which will be the 1st 300k of the 1200k Gold Rush route in 2009.

    400k ride was my first, and riding with others in the final night hours made the ride much more enjoyable. Davis Bike Club provides excellent support at all controls. Last year I damaged my knee after a 200k, and am having much better success this year due to a variety of adjustments.

    Here is some poor video I took of the ride.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF0Bdue7kHI


    --
    SharpT

  25. #25
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Finished the SIR Mountain 400 yesterday. About 12,500' of climbing over 3 passes, with some extra-tasty bits of wall-like rollers up to 16% after the last pass and starting at about 320k. 18:36 with 15:37 in the saddle. Hard to believe I spent 3 hours sitting around. Temperatures on the climbs up to 103, which is reaaally warm for the PNW in May! I had to stop 3 times on the last pass to lower my temperature enough to get my stomach to work. And two flats, including a tire change and a pump which failed on the first flat. Sure adds up. I've got a Road Morph ordered.

    Serious leg pain today, somewhat less butt pain, and cramps in my hands, of all places. Next weekend my group will ride over only one pass out and back, so two passes, but piece of cake!

    A special word of thanks to the volunteers, whose wonderful work and kindnesses made it possible to keep going. And thanks to Wayne, who brought me in when it got dark.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 05-18-08 at 03:17 PM.

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