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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 01-25-14, 02:38 PM   #26
ACH57
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+1 Endorphin addict. I find I can't get comfortable on the bike until 70-80 miles into a ride.
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Old 01-25-14, 06:32 PM   #27
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Achievement.
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Old 01-26-14, 01:40 PM   #28
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I haven't done a lot of long distance cycling, but what I have done has given me a sense of accomplishment. I also enjoy the sense of living in the moment, whether it's on a familiar 15-mile ride near my house, or an all-day ride into the neighboring states.

When I started out, I was a lot slower than you. On my first (and so far only) 200K (with about 6000 feet of climbing) I averaged 12.6 mph--that's moving average, so it doesn't count the stops. On the 170K populaire I did last fall, my moving average was actually a little less, 12.5 mph, though that had about 9000 feet of climbing. I was the last person doing the ride as a populaire to finish, but not by a huge margin. (I think there were others riding without being timed who were either slower than me or who started later.) Don't let speed put you off.
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Old 01-26-14, 04:43 PM   #29
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I haven't done a lot of long distance cycling, but what I have done has given me a sense of accomplishment. I also enjoy the sense of living in the moment, whether it's on a familiar 15-mile ride near my house, or an all-day ride into the neighboring states.

When I started out, I was a lot slower than you. On my first (and so far only) 200K (with about 6000 feet of climbing) I averaged 12.6 mph--that's moving average, so it doesn't count the stops. On the 170K populaire I did last fall, my moving average was actually a little less, 12.5 mph, though that had about 9000 feet of climbing. I was the last person doing the ride as a populaire to finish, but not by a huge margin. (I think there were others riding without being timed who were either slower than me or who started later.) Don't let speed put you off.
I always rationalise my slowness as getting more value for my money (as in entry fee). And if the countryside is nice, I get to see more of it, rather than have my nose stuck to the front wheel.

But speed on longer rides (over 400km) does have the advantage of offering you more sleep time.

I should also elaborate a little on my previous post.

There is a certain degree of planning needed to get through, say, a 1000 or 1200. And it starts with the short rides. Stuff like rehydration and refuelling routines, bike maintenance, equipment and adjustment, lighting, having the right apparel, getting the right amount of rest, and hygiene issues. If you get all that right in the short rides and extrapolate into the longer ones, you will be fine.

One of the things that really helped me not only in riding long events but also in other parts of my life was to look at an event and to ride it in increments. That old riddle: "How do you eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time" really does apply to all the big things in our lives, including how to start and finish a randonnee.

I often pick a familiar short ride (say a 25km out-and-back on Whanregarwen Rd, for example), and use that in multiples to calculate how far and how long I have to go to the finish of an event, starting about 100km out.
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Old 01-26-14, 06:20 PM   #30
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Want to ride long distances? Hell, the only thing I want is the pin. If they`d just sell me the danged thing without having to ride so far first, I`d order it and RUSA would miss out on my entrance fees!
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Old 01-26-14, 09:06 PM   #31
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we ride for the medals
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Old 01-26-14, 10:50 PM   #32
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we ride for the medals
I have a box full of them somewhere if you'd like one. In all truth I kind of did that too for a while. If not the medal, the jersey, the plaque, whatever. I kind of prefer getting the "jersey" now just because medals end up in a box somewhere while with a jersey you can at least take your memories out for a ride.
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Old 01-27-14, 05:31 AM   #33
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The medals thing is a bit of a joke, when I started I decided I wasn't going to buy any medals. However, Tom Rosenbauer, the Eastern PA RBA makes a really nice display for you if you ride his full SR series.
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Old 08-31-14, 05:33 PM   #34
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It's a well planned and prepared self-propelled physical adventure on back roads that builds up one's amount of personal confidence, self pride, and is a vacation.
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Old 08-31-14, 06:07 PM   #35
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Because long rides are one of these few opportunities to test one's mettle in modern life, to be audacious, and daring in an event where a successful result is all but NOT assured. Plus it takes a full measure of heart. Maybe even courage. Bon Courage or damned good courage.
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Old 08-31-14, 07:04 PM   #36
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To explore, for the miles and to push yourself.
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Old 09-01-14, 01:20 PM   #37
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[QUOTE=ThermionicScott;16352428], "pushing myself farther than I have before."
Yes, taking on the personal challenge to do more than you ever thought you could. It makes one have more self respect and self confidence. One can think "if I can self accomplish X, then I can now have the self propulsion to also accomplish Y. It helps me walk in the public arena with a straight posture. Also my most proud status symbol at age 68 is my resting heart rate (RHR) at 42 bpm.
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Old 09-01-14, 03:03 PM   #38
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Beats walking.
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Old 09-04-14, 11:51 AM   #39
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I think a quote from Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (20 July 191911 January 2008) might apply:

  • It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.
    • As quoted in That's Life : Wild Wit & Wisdom (2003) by Bonnie Louise Kuchler, p. 20
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Old 09-07-14, 11:13 AM   #40
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Ive never done an organised event, but am interested. I did about 700 miles or so - two and half days there, bit longer back, a couple of weeks ago - genuinely unsupported/alone, camping wild most of the time, so do and have rode a bit.

I actually just love riding my bike for it's own sake. Those moments where the wind drops and it becomes silent, or the quality of light changes almost imperceptibly and the view is beautiful, really are the moments I am happiest I think. The endorphin buzz of really being able to plow along, fit and strong is great. Riding along just above the biting point in my top gear downhill, after a long time climbing really feels great, eating/drinking water when you really need it is a total joy and makes me happy to be alive!
It also keeps me fit and clears my head - would recommend it to anyone.

I think it takes a while to figure out what gear etc works for you, so plan you routes or have a backup plan in the early stages. Feeling nervous while you are learning isn't a bad thing! Good advice in here so well worth reading/learning from others' experience.

Only downside is I wish I lived in a country like Belgium or France, where my experience has been cyclists are treated with much more respect, than England!
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Old 09-09-14, 08:46 PM   #41
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I travel self-propelled on a bicycle machine because of the satisfying sensations of the ground speeding by under my moving feet and the increased air flowing on my face. I am thrilled by the fact I am going faster per “stride” than when I walk or run. The scenery I am directly exposed to passes by slowly and it gives me more time to appreciate everything there is to see. I have to fully focus on succeeding the challenging event and that makes it a mini vacation. It also fortifies my self-esteem.

"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end." -- Ernest Hemingway
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Old 09-10-14, 11:08 AM   #42
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Funny, if I were to write my memoirs of my first year of randonneurring I'd borrow Jimmy Piersal's (sp) biography's "Fear Strikes Out". While I don't share your fear of solo training rides, that first year I rode a full series and each of the four rides (200, 300, 400 & 600) were longer than anything I'd ever ridden. That was scary in itself. BUT additionally I rode both the night portion of my 400km and a straight thru the night 600km completely solo. I was so afraid of missing a turn out in the middle of nowhere at night. Several times I'd stop and backtrack to the last turn to confirm that I was on course. There was a one hour straight section on my 400 that I was so scared of being lost that I would have given anything to be picked up and never ride another brevet. But I made it thru the long distances and the fear of night riding. For me the initial year of randonneurring was one of overcoming personal doubts and fears.

I like riding brevets in a group if they are fun people and work well together in pace lines at speeds compatible with my own. Otherwise I'd rather ride on my own. If you'll check out the brevet results on the RUSA website I think you'll see that plenty of randonneurs ride at your speed. But riding with others invariably involves compromises. You may have to speed up slightly or slow down slightly. You may want to rest longer at a control stop or leave earlier than the group. If members of your group are having a lot of mechanicals then that can really slow you down.
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Old 09-20-14, 11:26 PM   #43
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My main objective is to explore new places that I never been to. I usually bring my camera and take photos because I always find something interesting along the way. The places I have yet to visit are only getting farther and farther away. Also gives you a lot of time to think clearly without the distractions of daily life.
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Old 09-22-14, 12:19 PM   #44
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It keeps the voices in my head quieter.
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Old 09-25-14, 12:35 AM   #45
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It's like fishing only less sedentary
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Old 09-25-14, 05:12 AM   #46
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I'm just in it for the money.
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Old 09-25-14, 07:11 AM   #47
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Long distance riding is about the mind freeing itself from the shackles of the body. It's therapeutic and provides the perfect platform for meditation, mental purging and introspection.
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Old 10-29-14, 12:57 PM   #48
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In the words of the great Dex Tooke- Those who ask wouldn't understand, and those who know can't explain."
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Old 10-29-14, 03:58 PM   #49
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Old 10-29-14, 07:04 PM   #50
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The Motivation Trifecta: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose

Long distance riding certainly provides opportunity for autonomy and mastery. For me, every time I rode a longer brevet I learned I was capable of doing more than I believed; exploring my limits became my purpose. So if this article is to be believed, we ride because long distance riding provides the three keys needed for motivation. Makes sense to me, anyway.

I think that's why in 2012, post PBP, I quit after completing my 400k: I found it pointless. I knew I could ride the distance; there was no mystery and no real new challenge. Starting an R-12 created a new challenge. Since then I've found the challenge of a 24 hour race, and this summer a 1500k.
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