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  1. #1
    Senior Member BasicJim's Avatar
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    First Brevet - Success!

    I AM ALIVE!

    I did my first Brevet yesterday and I am pretty proud of it. It was a 200K and was 2.5 hours from my house. I left at 4 am in thunder, lighting, and some pretty heavy rainfall.

    There were 40 – 50 riders. I saw 2 recumbents and no tandems. I was surprised at the variety of gear. Some guys looked like they were going for a ride around the block, no bag, no rain gear, 1 little light, etc. Other people had huge packs, rain gear, 4 lights, helmet covers, etc…

    We started in the rain and I figured my best move would be to follow the experienced riders out of town while I could, then rely on the cue sheet when it started breaking up. 3 turns into the ride everyone started turning around saying we were going the wrong way. I should have stopped and check my cue sheet, but I didn’t want to get left behind.

    LESSON 1: Don’t rely on ANYONE else without checking YOUR cue. Esp. not the croud!
    Turns out one guy (a super nice guy, by the way) had the OLD route in his GPS, not the new one with the detour for construction. BONUS MILES right of the bat!

    Once back on the right route, I rode my pace. I had a couple guys with me and we chatted for about 20 min, then one guy left me in the dust and I left the other guy behind. It wasn’t a jerk move, just everyone riding their own pace.

    LESSON2: Things fall apart in the rain
    My headlight wouldn’t turn off. I had it mounted under my handlebars upside down. All the water ran to the switch and shorted it out. I ended up riding that way for an hour, then pulling the battery and putting the light and battery in my bag.

    I have to 3100mAh batteries that I use to charge my iPhone and GPS. I know, extra weight, redundant, etc, but I am okay with it. I didn’t have the ziplock sealed properly and one of the batteries quit working.

    For some reason, the magnet on my peddle for my cadence sensor fell off. The ziptie is still there, but no magnet!

    The other big destruction from the rain was my “sit point.” I didn’t even think about re-applying Butt’r until half way between Ctrl 2 (62mi) and Ctrl3 (90 mi). I re-applied at 90, but I am VERY uncomfortable today. In the rain, I should have reapplied at ALL ctrl points!

    On a bumpy road, I lost a tail light. I went back and got it, but it was broke, wouldn’t light up. I reattached it so it would stay put. It didn’t, it bounced off again and when I picked it up, it worked.

    LESSON3: I am a flatlander!
    I never understood people here saying they were getting climbing gears. My compact chain ring lets me climb just fine! Ahem…. I discovered I had never met a hill! I saw the giant spike on the profile prior to the ride. When I got there, I was tired, but figured I could tackle it. I peddled my heart out and thought I had almost made it, then I turned the corner and realized I was just on the bottom ¼ of it. Did you know walking up hill in cycling shoes sucks? I do!

    MVP of the ride: I LOVE my Areo bars! I love having an extra position. I love being able to move through the 20 mph headwind. A close second would be my Cannondale wind/rain shell.

    SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT: Less suff. Homeyba is right. Pack light. Would have traded two tubes (I had 3) for a dry pair of socks!

    I loved the ride. I rode solo mostly because people weren’t riding my pace. I had company the last 30 miles and was glad for it. I was proud of my time and how good I felt (except my butt) when I was done.

    Thanks to everyone who answered my stupid questions about brevets! I at least had a clue going into this!

    Jim
    Last edited by BasicJim; 09-09-12 at 07:09 AM. Reason: correcting spelling
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 4
    2006 Trek 1000 SL
    1999 Trek 1100
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    “You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances”
    -Bobby Fischer

  2. #2
    Randomhead
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    Thanks for the report. Good point about the rain, it will test all of your equipment. I hat trouble with my back up tail light yesterday, never happened before.

    I rode my only brevet in Ohio by myself. There were two guys way in front of me and about 6 way behind me, but I didn't feel like waiting for them.

    I actually like walking in bike shoes occasionally. Glad I didn't yesterday, because the hill most likely to be walked was covered with water.

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Lots of lessons there with little to no cost (no DNF, after all). I had to get off the bike after 300-miles of my first 600k attempt due to not re-applying chamois butt'r frequently enough -- and my problem was not on the "sit place" -- instead somewhere much more painful.

    Dry socks -- here's the text from an e-mail from early last year, from a randonneur that's done a few rides -- note what he wrote about dry socks:

    All, we may have to have our fun in the rain. A few pointers I've picked up
    along the way:


    1) 3Hs. Keep the head, hands and hoofs warm (if not dry). For rain riding, I use
    a wool cap under my helmet, full finger gloves and wool socks.


    2) Pack a light rain jacket. You want something you can squirrel away and have
    at the ready. I carry a $20 O2 jacket. Highly recommended and good for about 5
    seasons.


    3) Wear a wind vest. When it's just drizzling, a rain jacket may be too hot. In
    those situations, I wear a wind vest to cut the cold.


    4) Wool base layer. Works for me. Stays warm even when it gets wet.


    5) Dry sock heaven. Drives me nuts to ride with wet feet after the rain has
    stopped. I carry an extra pair of socks inside two newspaper bags, then change
    socks and put the bags on the outside so the shoes don't get em wet.


    6) Dry hand heaven. For the very same reasons, I often carry a pair of light
    glove liners.


    6) Fenders. Keep the feet dry, keep the road grime off. I appreciate, however,
    that not all bikes can take em.


    7) Lights. Be safe in low light conditions and use your tail lights. Carry extra
    batteries, if necessary, so you can run your tail light(s) in the daytime hours.


    8) Visor / rain hat. My helmet has a visor and helps to keep rain out of my
    eyes. Others wear caps with visors. Definitely something to consider.


    See ya tomorrow, rain or shine.


    Mike / Raleigh

    -------------------------------------------------------
    Oh, btw, the 300k brevet that Mike was referring to -- it got delayed one day because of the forecast storm to include tornadoes that were expected to hit during the brevet. The tornadoes did happen, with loss of property and more.

    The next day, we all knew of what some had lost, but it was a beautiful day for cycling -- and every local rando missed a turn on the new way out of town. The only ONE to not miss the turn was a very polite and gentle man from the DC area -- because of the one day delay, he had driven the first few miles of the course and knew the turns that we locals did not.

  4. #4
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    Congratulations. First brevet completed, numerous valuable lessons learned and a fair bit of very useful knowledge gained at a fairly inexpensive "cost".

    So, are you going to complete your "series" this Fall? :wink
    -----------------------------------------
    While others have labelled me antisocial at various times, it's actually not true. I just don't like people.

  5. #5
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Congrats! Sounds like the weather stayed true to the predictions.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  6. #6
    Senior Member BasicJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    Lots of lessons there with little to no cost (no DNF, after all). I had to get off the bike after 300-miles of my first 600k attempt due to not re-applying chamois butt'r frequently enough -- and my problem was not on the "sit place" -- instead somewhere much more painful.
    Yeah, me too. I was trying to be polite!
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 4
    2006 Trek 1000 SL
    1999 Trek 1100
    2004 Sledgehammer (for sweet jumps)

    “You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances”
    -Bobby Fischer

  7. #7
    Senior Member BasicJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmweaver2 View Post
    Congratulations. First brevet completed, numerous valuable lessons learned and a fair bit of very useful knowledge gained at a fairly inexpensive "cost".

    So, are you going to complete your "series" this Fall? :wink
    I am pretty happy to have the lessons without the DNF. I don't know that I will do any other Brevet's this calender year. I will, however, attempt a 300K and/or a double century next year!
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 4
    2006 Trek 1000 SL
    1999 Trek 1100
    2004 Sledgehammer (for sweet jumps)

    “You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances”
    -Bobby Fischer

  8. #8
    Senior Member BasicJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    Congrats! Sounds like the weather stayed true to the predictions.
    Mostly! To make it interesting, the sun came out with blazing heat the last 2 hours of the ride. It was like riding on two different days the weather was so drastically different.
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 4
    2006 Trek 1000 SL
    1999 Trek 1100
    2004 Sledgehammer (for sweet jumps)

    “You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances”
    -Bobby Fischer

  9. #9
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasicJim View Post
    Yeah, me too. I was trying to be polite!
    I have a problem with that impolite area too. Really made the second day of PBP into a travail. I carry big bandages with me now, seems to work.

  10. #10
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I've always thought lights should be mounted below the handlebars. Unfortunately, that puts the lights upside-down, so not only are they more exposed to the weather, the beam pattern is all wrong. It used to be pretty standard in PBP to have a flashlight mounted at front wheel axle-level, getting the light mounted as low as possible.

    It's good that you were able to shake out your equipment, literally. Be aware of any equipment restrictions, though; sometimes you can't use the aero bars, especially if you're in a group.

    Luis

  11. #11
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasicJim View Post
    Yeah, me too. I was trying to be polite!
    I'm confused... maybe a PM with a little more description is warranted. It sounds as if I definitely want to avoid this affliction!
    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." George Orwell

  12. #12
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    ^

    Here's the clue that helped my non-rando cycling buddies understand:

    "Think 'Chuck Berry'."

  13. #13
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    I'm confused... maybe a PM with a little more description is warranted. It sounds as if I definitely want to avoid this affliction!
    injury to man parts

  14. #14
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    injury to man parts
    "Man parts" could lead one to "think 'Jerry Lee Lewis'" or to "think 'Chuck Berry'".

  15. #15
    Randomhead
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    I've had both, unfortunately. Not sure which is worse

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Congratulations on your ride and thanks for the ride report. I am not ready for a 200 k event yet still working on speed and endurance . Took notes from ride report.

  17. #17
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesw2 View Post
    . I am not ready for a 200 k event yet still working on speed and endurance . Took notes from ride report.
    If you are in Texas, I'm sure they have some 200k coming up that you can complete in the time limit. Although you would need lights/reflective gear

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