This is my first post to this subforum, so please bear with me if I'm asking questions that have been asked before or that seem self-evident. I know that each subforum seems to have a different flavor and tolerance level for things that may have already been asked previously. Admittedly, I lurk in this subforum periodically.
For the first time, this past Saturday I participated in a 117km Populaire with the DC Randonneurs. I had a great time and managed to finish the course an hour before the final control closed. Because it was pretty cold (28F) my friend and I took slightly longer than we might have otherwise, though realistically I don't think we'd have cut down on the time by much more than 1/2 hour. The bike I rode is a 1950 Norman Rapide with a 4-speed internal gear hub with platform pedals (no clips) and geared pretty low so I could climb up the steep hills that were at the start and end of the ride. I will likely continue to ride that bicycle in the future, unless I find a good stoker to help me propel my Bilenky 650B tandem. So here are my questions:
- The most mileage I've ridden up to now is around 72-73 miles (~120km) and I don't think it wise to go straight to a 200km brevet from here. What might I do to get some intermediate rides, other than create my own routes and ride them as if I was riding a populaire?
- As I live near Frederick, Maryland and want to limit the amount of driving I do, does anyone have any suggestions for other populaires nearby?
- I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb is that you should only up your mileage by about 10% at a time. I'd be interested in other folks experiences to see if they used this approach or if a big jump was OK and didn't result in a setback for their riding goals.
Now I've done my first ride with a randonneuring group, I'm eager to do more so you'll likely see me hanging around here a bit more in the future.