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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 03-25-13, 07:28 PM   #1
amit_shah25 
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Finished my first brevet !!

200K - 10 hours 50 min. - Pretty much flat
In saddle time - 8 hours 15 minutes

Details of the ride -
- Except for the last control, bathroom, refill water, buy some energy bars and keep moving.
- Added around 7 bonus miles of some rolling hills.
- This was the first time I was navigating an unknown cue-sheet. Actually navigating *any* cue-sheet ! I have mostly been solo rider / commuter. Cue-sheet navigation was THE biggest anxiety on this ride. Luckily it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed it.
- 6 pages of cue-sheet which means I had to stop 12 times to get the gloves off and turn the cue-sheet (Any recommendations here ??)
- Got confused at a couple of intersections and wasted around half an hour or so combined.
- Food - 2 Bananas pre-ride, 4 energy bars, 1 big chocolate chip cookie, crackers with peanut butter
- Weather - around 32 F at start, must have been in mid-40's as the day came on. A bit windy, but over all a beautiful day, and a great ride !
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Old 03-25-13, 08:17 PM   #2
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I've done 1200k's that didn't have 6 pages of que sheets! Actually, I can't recall any of the 1200k's I've done that had that many pages. Is that what the RBA gave you? That sounds like a ton of L/Rs.
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Old 03-25-13, 08:36 PM   #3
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Congratulations!
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Old 03-25-13, 08:51 PM   #4
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Nice job, congratulations. Navigation is part of what makes brevets, well, brevets as far as I'm concerned. Having said that, 6 pages is a lot of turns!

I put my cue sheets in a gallon zip-loc bag, and print them so page 1 is exposed on one side of the bag, page 2 exposed on the back side of the bag - no switching necessary until 2 pages are used up. I always have page 2 end at a control, so I can move pages at a control instead of on the road. Pages 3 and 4 are printed on the backs of pages 1 and 2 respectively, so at the control I just make a simple switch. The only downside with this is, if I get to the start and the RBA has modifications from the published route... Oops.

I always have a backup map stowed somewhere in my bags, in case the wind or a squirrel or my sleep-deprived mind separates me from the primary map.

I eat way more food than you list. I could probably finish a 200k on that amount of food, but I'd be in no condition to ride another 200k.

I've found the return leg of bonus miles is typically uphill and upwind.
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Old 03-25-13, 08:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_shah25 View Post
- 6 pages of cue-sheet which means I had to stop 12 times to get the gloves off and turn the cue-sheet (Any recommendations here ??)
I hate cue-sheets. I found them the most distractive thing when preparing for the first brevet. It doesn't help that the glasses I use for both driving and cycling don't make it easier to read things close up and I don't have bifocals.

Anyway, my solution was Google Maps on my Android phone. I upload a KML track of the route to Google Maps and can then enable it as a layer in Google Maps app on Android (not available for iPhone, AFAIK). This gives me a red line on the map to follow all the time. This works only if you have an external battery, as I do (8,000 mAh).

More recently, I have also used the follow course feature on my Garmin 500. I enter the complete course from the cue sheet or another online map display on RideWithGPS, export it as a TCX and drop it into the Garmin\NewFiles folder. It will then convert it to a .fit file and if I ask it to follow the course, will give me turn directions at all intersections (or just after I passed them, as the case may be ).

I do bring along a printed cue sheet as well (just in case) but have never had to use one in a real brevet.
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Old 03-25-13, 09:05 PM   #6
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my cue sheet holder is long enough to have a page showing. I guess we rode the same brevet? I was happy to ride a route in the Lancaster PA region that only had 6 pages on 200k, it can get really ridiculous. With my scheme, I only had to flip my cue sheet at each controle. That was better than usual. Riding with the ride organizer keeps the cue sheet reading to a minimum, although he asked me for the next cue once.

If I don't know the route, I map it on a site like ridewithgps.com Saves the bonus miles, and I often find problems with the cue sheet. Reading ahead also helps.

Last edited by unterhausen; 03-25-13 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 03-25-13, 09:15 PM   #7
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Whoo, congrats!
With all those turns, was it a mostly urban route? How many controls? (just curious). I`m also a newb to this sport, comming mostly from solo commuting and touring. Cue sheets and pelotons were my biggest concerns. For me, the cue sheets did present a few problems on my first brevet (last December), but there hasn`t been any issue with riding in groups- so far they`ve either been loose enough that I didn`t feel cramped or nonexistant. Did you end up riding with other people or leapfrog familiar faces at the controls? That turned out to be fun for me. Navigation actually turned out to be kind of fun too except for the first one.

I started with just making notes on a PDF cue sheet that the RBA sent me, and found out that I couldn`t read it easily, so tried making up my own pretty much like Downtube described. It worked a lot better. After the first event, I started writing out my own by hand in the biggest size possible to get me from one control to the next on a 5 x 7 page. Going over the whole route before hand on Googlemaps helped too. I zoomed in to "street view" where available to see if there were stop signs, left turn lanes, etc., and note that stuff on the sheet.
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Old 03-25-13, 09:37 PM   #8
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I suggest you get in touch with Unterhausen and start using his system. btw, I neglected to say congratulations on your successful first randonee!
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Old 03-26-13, 07:43 AM   #9
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I also review the route the day before in some type of mapping program. I prefer to use a GPS unit with turn-by-turn directions. Riding with someone who has done the route before is also very nice (but I still verify every turn).

Congrats.
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Old 03-26-13, 09:38 AM   #10
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Thanks for the responses !

I purposefully avoided riding with anyone or group on this ride and did it solo just to make myself follow the cue-sheet. Since that was the biggest anxiety I had on the ride. We had 5 controles including the beginning and the ending.

Unterhausen - I guess you have to be lucky to have to flip cuesheets at control points only !

The bar-map holder that I have holds half a page. So I have to fold it and then put the page in it. - http://www.rei.com/product/637973/bar-map-holder-small I kindaa like the holder because it is very convinient to attach and easy to read and flip. I guess it is just the nature of randoneuring. I can go the whole Garmin GPS route. I am definately not relying on cellphone because I have done lot of touring where there was no cellphone signal. I used this app called "mapdroid" which downloads the maps in advance so you don't need internet, but still it is very very unintuitive and pain to use.

The only thing I can think of to improvise is - flip the cuesheets while riding. Like the pro's do But still, remove the gloves, hold them, flip the cuesheet and put the gloves back on - all with frozen fingers .. while dodging occassional traffic ... I donno !!!

O and forgot to mention before - The weapon of choice for the ride - CAAD 10 - 105
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Old 03-26-13, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I was happy to ride a route in the Lancaster PA region that only had 6 pages on 200k, it can get really ridiculous.
Heh. In the last one we did together, there was one segment that was only about 26 miles, and it had something like 42 cues. That's one ever 0.6 miles. Sheesh. That segment was in Lancaster Co. of course, and that was the one where Keith and I got ahead of you, missed a turn, and you had to chase us down to keep us from scoring major bonus miles. Whatta guy, this Unterdude is!
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Old 03-26-13, 11:16 AM   #12
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And when you get to France to ride PBP, you can throw everything you've learned about following North American cue sheets out the window!. Instead of going x miles to y road and making a R turn, you follow Dxxx for y kilometers, then take Dzzz to Ville de AAA. Most of your turns are at roundabouts. You get real good at looking for and following arrows, or just following other riders, since the cue sheet makes no sense!

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Old 03-26-13, 04:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_shah25 View Post
200K - 10 hours 50 min. - Pretty much flat
In saddle time - 8 hours 15 minutes

Details of the ride -
- Except for the last control, bathroom, refill water, buy some energy bars and keep moving.
- Added around 7 bonus miles of some rolling hills.
- This was the first time I was navigating an unknown cue-sheet. Actually navigating *any* cue-sheet ! I have mostly been solo rider / commuter. Cue-sheet navigation was THE biggest anxiety on this ride. Luckily it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed it.
- 6 pages of cue-sheet which means I had to stop 12 times to get the gloves off and turn the cue-sheet (Any recommendations here ??)
- Got confused at a couple of intersections and wasted around half an hour or so combined.
- Food - 2 Bananas pre-ride, 4 energy bars, 1 big chocolate chip cookie, crackers with peanut butter
- Weather - around 32 F at start, must have been in mid-40's as the day came on. A bit windy, but over all a beautiful day, and a great ride !
Congrats amit, you had better luck than I.

I had my second 200K scheduled for Saturday but came down with strep throat...did not know it at the time, found out yesterday. Sounds like you met all your goals.

Congrats again!!

Richard
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Old 03-26-13, 10:43 PM   #14
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Congrats, Amit! And I thought I had to follow a lot of turns on our brevets.
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Old 03-27-13, 09:33 PM   #15
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Congrats! I am looking at finally doing another brevet this year myself. My first 200k was a few years ago and I am getting the itch to go further!
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Old 04-03-13, 09:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_shah25 View Post
200K - 10 hours 50 min. - Pretty much flat
In saddle time - 8 hours 15 minutes

Details of the ride -
...
- This was the first time I was navigating an unknown cue-sheet. Actually navigating *any* cue-sheet ! I have mostly been solo rider / commuter. Cue-sheet navigation was THE biggest anxiety on this ride. Luckily it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed it.
...
- Got confused at a couple of intersections and wasted around half an hour or so combined.
...
Congrats.
  • Navigating an unknown course, esp. when solo, can take some extra time.
  • First time I did the local 200k brevet, I did most of the return solo, stopping every 2 or 3 turns to memorize the next 2 or 3. Was a useful exercise, though -- the 300 and 400 brevets were the 200 course, with added on out-and-back sections (into increasing in size rollers). I've never had to look at those cue sheets since. (I may have to this year, though -- as a detour will be needed on the 300, and another detour is likely on the 400.)
  • My friend Ricochet Robert had a similar experience on his first brevet, after letting the others he was following go with about 30-miles remaining, he had to stop at every 1 or 2 turns and try to memorize the next couple turns.


Quote:
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
... Riding with the ride organizer keeps the cue sheet reading to a minimum, although he asked me for the next cue once.

...
Second time I did my own "Egypt Mtn" perm:

"I took no cue sheet with me. After all, I supposedly know the route.
However, I suspect that me asking Byron on two separate occasions
'What is the name of the road at the next turn?'
May have been a bit disconcerting.
"
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Old 04-03-13, 09:24 AM   #17
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^
A bit more.

Since 2 years ago, I haven't needed the cue sheet for Raleigh 200, 300, 400 or 600.
Why is that?
Long story short: I ended up making the interactive route maps for our RBA.

It was sooo nice to not need to look at the cue sheet for the 600 in 2011.
(Well, maybe I looked at it to navigate parts of Wilmington, NC.)
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Old 05-04-13, 06:20 AM   #18
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Print the smaller cue sheets, so that it can fit the holder. Organize the pages ang flip them while riding. That is what I do.
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Old 05-04-13, 11:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
....

If I don't know the route, I map it on a site like ridewithgps.com Saves the bonus miles, and I often find problems with the cue sheet. Reading ahead also helps.
Mapping the unknown route before riding is what I have done the last couple years. However, I did a Permanent yesterday that I had never done previously and didn't get around to mapping it before riding.

First time I've had to use the cue sheet to navigate 100-kms or more since ... quite a while. Since I hadn't mapped it, and was doing the "memorize the next couple turns" thing (eyesight not good enough, without glasses, to read the cue sheet while riding), I managed to collect a little over 3-bonus-miles -- all because of missing one turn.

[Disclosure on the not needing the cue sheet front: about a month ago, I would have needed to consult the cue sheet (more than the once I did), but upon realizing I could not catch the fast-crew, I soft-pedaled and waited for the slow-crew, which included the perm-pop organizer: who was the local RBA. Made sense to ride the remainder of the ride with Alan since the ride was in honor of his 70th birthday. ... Oh, and Alan did not need to ask anyone for any of the upcoming cues.]
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