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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-30-11, 04:16 PM   #1
TnBama
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Please help- I thirst for knowledge.

I have bought and read the book by Burke and Pavelka on long distance cycling. I just found the equipment survey done for Bicycle Quarterly at the 2007 PBP-that is a fantastic contribution to learning about this sport!

Has the survey been done since? I am not finding it.

As an aside, if I had a wish it would be that the authors of the survey had "named names" regarding manufacturers of equipment. And then followed up if respondents were happy with what. But, that is not a complaint. Research is a HUGE amount of work. That is just a wish if it is ever done again.

One of the authors of the survey was Jan Heine. I have just gotten Jan Heine's gorgeous book, The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles for my 48th birthday. I love it so much I signed up for a subscription to BQ and I ordered all the back issues.

I am reading through this forum as quickly as I can.

I also did an 84.3 mile ride this week, since my wife is very understanding-

Please point me to some other places to look for more information if you can-

Thanks!

And I think what you guys do is really amazing-

btw- here is a link to that ride. Not much but my longest so far: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/333945

Last edited by TnBama; 07-30-11 at 04:28 PM. Reason: adding ride
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Old 07-30-11, 05:42 PM   #2
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Links to long distance cycling events and information:

http://www.machka.net/links.htm
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Old 07-30-11, 06:43 PM   #3
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The Harpeth bike club has a group of "ultra" riders, check the website.
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Old 07-30-11, 07:43 PM   #4
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There has not been another PBP survey because PBP is only held once every four years. Don't know if BQ will do another survey or not this year. Regarding Jan and BQ, he/they have a decided retro slant to their reporting. Nothing wrong with that as long as you're aware of it. Lots of great information there.
Machka's site is full of great info and links.
Make sure you check out the UMCA website http://www.ultracycling.com/
It's more race oriented but still lots of good stuff.
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Old 07-30-11, 07:48 PM   #5
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Thanks!
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Old 07-30-11, 10:05 PM   #6
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One source of knowledge is your local rando club- I'm not sure what that's like in your area, but check into it if you're interested.

How I got started in this was volunteering at an endurance race, the Texas Time Trials. Check into what's available (24-hour races are listed on the UMCA website). If anything's within driving distance, consider riding one of the shorter options, work as a volunteer, or just go watch what goes on. Plus at these events, you have a bunch of very experienced people.

Regarding equipment, that is very regional. It seems that everyone in the rainy northwest uses fenders, nobody but me and one other guy do here in Dallas, and I'm sure most of these people, when they go to to PBP, just take whatever it is they're riding anyway. So if you survey PBP bikes, you don't necessarily get a survey of what's fitting for PBP (or for Tennessee), but more a survey of who came from where. It's a similar issue with the handlebar bags. Recumbents are very popular here locally among the rando crowd, but don't seem to be at PBP. Visit your local rando club, go on a ride, and you'll get an idea of what they like there (which may or may not be what you want to use.)

A couple of tips on riding: My perception is that a lot of the local club guys get into a mental trap of riding very fast as compared to their capabilities and just assume that's how they should ride all the time, which effectively rules out any long distances for them. On your 84 mile ride, if you finished that and felt like you could keep going with no problem, great, you're doing good. If you finished that and pretty much felt whooped, then consider backing off on your speed a bit the next time around and see if that helps. (And just FYI, it looks like your average speed works out to 17.5 for that ride, which is faster than all but one of the rando rides I have ever done.) Generally, the rando rides will have controls every 30 miles or so (or people will stop about that often anyway), and if you did your ride more or less non-stop, taking those breaks may make it easier.

Secondly, rando rides in general tend to be hillier, so if you're headed in that direction, seek out hilly tough rides, not easy fast rides, and you'll be more prepared for what lies ahead.
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Old 07-31-11, 05:54 AM   #7
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Thanks!
Join Randonneurs USA (RUSA at www.rusa.org). That'll get you the RUSA Handbook, which is an extremely useful book if you're interested in long rides, plus a subscription to American Randonneur.

BQ is only retro in that it rediscovers what past generations of cyclists had learned about what works well for long distance riding but that was mostly forgotten in the postwar period when cars became affordable and randonneuring participation dropped off to almost zero. Having started randonneuring on a more "racing" oriented bike with narrow, high-pressure tires, I'm very glad that I discovered BQ. I'm now riding a 650B-tire bike (650Bx38, Pari-Moto tires) with a handlebar bag mounted low on a front rack, with a high-rake/low-trail fork. It makes it much easier to ride long-distances with less fatigue, but at the same speeds as my "racing" bike.

Nick Bull
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Old 07-31-11, 10:08 AM   #8
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... It makes it much easier to ride long-distances with less fatigue, but at the same speeds as my "racing" bike.

Nick Bull
I had the exact opposite experience which is why it's good to know what you're reading. Like I said, lots of good stuff in BQ as long as you're aware of where they are coming from.
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Old 07-31-11, 10:25 AM   #9
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BTW, while doing your quest for knowledge be aware that there is no one way that is the right way. There are just different paths to the same ending. What you need to be looking for is the path that will work best for you. What actually works for you may or may not actually be what you think will work for you. The only true path to enlightenment, grasshopper, is to get your butt on a bike and ride it.
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Old 07-31-11, 10:15 PM   #10
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Some useful info here
http://coach-hughes.com/index.html

also check out his new book on distance cycling.... hot off the press!
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Old 08-01-11, 10:48 AM   #11
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BTW, while doing your quest for knowledge be aware that there is no one way that is the right way. There are just different paths to the same ending. What you need to be looking for is the path that will work best for you. What actually works for you may or may not actually be what you think will work for you. The only true path to enlightenment, grasshopper, is to get your butt on a bike and ride it.
I couldn't agree more with this. What works for one person can easily be a ride-ending decision for another. The only way to find out what works for you is to get out there and ride. Get advice from others, try it out, and over time you'll find out what works for you.
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Old 08-01-11, 10:49 AM   #12
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I had the exact opposite experience which is why it's good to know what you're reading. Like I said, lots of good stuff in BQ as long as you're aware of where they are coming from.
When I ride at the same speed on my rando bike as I do on my "racing" bike, it's probably a lot slower than you would be riding my racing bike!
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Old 08-01-11, 07:33 PM   #13
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When I ride at the same speed on my rando bike as I do on my "racing" bike, it's probably a lot slower than you would be riding my racing bike!
You might be surprised. I've done all my 1200km brevets in the 80-89hr range. You shouldn't be going much slower than that. I do randonee's to have fun, not race. I compete in races when I want to go fast. I use the same bikes for both but they are set up very differently.
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Old 08-02-11, 12:25 PM   #14
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You might be surprised. I've done all my 1200km brevets in the 80-89hr range. You shouldn't be going much slower than that. I do randonee's to have fun, not race. I compete in races when I want to go fast. I use the same bikes for both but they are set up very differently.
I am hoping to finish PBP in the sub-90-hour category!
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Old 08-02-11, 07:36 PM   #15
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I am hoping to finish PBP in the sub-90-hour category!
I have no doubt you will! Just remember, the most important muscle you need to finish a 1200k is the one between your ears! You must be getting a little excited. The time is coming near!
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Old 08-04-11, 12:14 PM   #16
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The BQ crowd is where "tech meets art" for equipment. Nice efforts editorially as well. But the regular mag-rags are improving as well, you just have to look for the nuggets.
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Old 08-04-11, 01:25 PM   #17
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I am hoping to finish PBP in the sub-90-hour category!
+1
BTW Thank you, Nick, for posting GPS files on RUSA website for PBP.
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Old 08-04-11, 02:55 PM   #18
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I am hoping to finish PBP in the sub-90-hour category!
I'm hoping to have at least an hour in the bank by the end
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Old 08-05-11, 01:41 PM   #19
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A couple of tips on riding: My perception is that a lot of the local club guys get into a mental trap of riding very fast as compared to their capabilities and just assume that's how they should ride all the time, which effectively rules out any long distances for them.

While I don't disagree, riding too slowly is also a trap -- my personal trap -- in that it means you have to spend more hours on the bike to cover your distance. That's fatiguing in and of itself.

To the OP: don't get too hung up about gear. General type is far more important than brands.

While I enjoy BQ very much, my personal tastes differ from some of their recommendations. For example, I do not like narrow cranks ("Q" ?), which they promote as an important design objective. Maybe it's just my larger body type but they don't work for me as well as standard shimano spec.

And I think many of their points, while valid, are not that important for those of us who ride 300k's or less. Which is the vast majority of us out there (although by no means everyone who hangs in this particular forum!)

My advice is to keep the horse in front of the cart. Just get out and ride on just about any road bike except the super-light/fragile racing stuff. By the time you've worked up to the levels that more subtle and expensive equipment choices are important to your riding, you'll already have a good deal of knowledge and won't be relying too heavily on someone else's opinions and surveys.

Notwithstanding the beauty and craftsmenship of high end gear, I'll borrow from Fromm and posit that biking primarily should be about "being," not "having."
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