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  1. #1
    Senior Member trailmix's Avatar
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    My first brevet (take two)

    On March 1 I entered and completed my first brevet and it was quite an adventure. Although it was only a 200k it had its share of interesting moments. As we all know, this winter has made it hard to get out and put the miles on but I felt fairly confident in my fitness going into this event.
    Mile 0: Surprisingly nice weather at 37 degrees at the start.
    Mile 25: I am already feeling fatigued. I decide to drop off the 4 man pack that i have been riding with in order to save energy but this means riding alone.
    Mile 37: First checkpoint. Time to take stock in the situation and evaluate my strategy. After filling my bottles and eating a banana and a granola bar I leave the checkpoint with one of the members of my previous group.
    Mile 45: We have settled into a nice, steady pace that seems sustainable. As I am leisurely taking a drink, I catch something out of the corner of my eye-DOGS. I am caught in the wrong gear. As I hurriedly attempt to slide the bottle back in its cage it slips. Almost in slow motion, I helplessly watch as the bottle glides past the crank and onto the pavement. I look back, the 2 German Shepherds don't pay the sliding bottle any attention, they want me. I finally manage to tire the dogs out and they go on their way. Now it is decision time, do I go back to face the dogs in hopes of retrieving my lost water or try to ride it out on one bottle. I ease my way back up the road to the spot where my bottle went missing but there was no sign of it or the dogs. As I turned to ride off I spotted it, it had rolled off the road, down an embankment, under a fence and about 15 feet out into a field. The fence was barbed-wire but one section had a gap that I was able to shimmy under in order to claim my prize. Back on the bike I am left to face the road alone again.
    Mile 48: As I am passing underneath as antique train bridge that is occupied with a string of fast-moving CSX cars, I am struck right in the helmet by a fairly large rock. No harm done but maybe this is a sign.
    Mile 50: As I ride along the Kentucky River, enjoying the scenery I am dreading what awaits me. The Kentucky River has very steep banks and I know the big hill I just coasted down will seek its revenge. I spend what feels like an etertinity climbing out of that river valley that I will later learn has more than one section that is nearly a 20% grade. Ouch.
    Mile 65: Halfway checkpoint. My legs are jelly and I need to eat. Is this really only halfway?
    Mile 85: I have spent the last 20 miles riding and chatting with a nice lady. We rode at a decent pace and talked but after she mentioned her multiple PBPs I had the feeling she could drop my at a moments notice.
    Mile 88: A faster pack overtakes us and we tag onto the back.
    Mile 90: I am dropped.
    Mile 93: Last checkpoint before the finish. Although I am quite weary, I have plenty of time to make the finish so I decide to try and maintain a slow but steady pace until the end.
    Mile 110: I'm lost. Did i miss a turn? Where am I? This doesn't look right. I stop in a farmers field and pull up the map on my phone. After about 15 minutes i figure out where i am and set out to retrace my path and correct my error. Definitely a big blow to my morale.
    Mile 118: Back on track, 12 miles to go. Every hill, no matter how small, becomes a major obstacle.
    Mile 138: With just over 1 mile left, I sprint to the top of the last hill with what little energy i have left.
    Mile 139: I roll into the parking lot/finish line of my first brevet. 11 hours and 7 minutes.

    On Sunday I swore that i would never do that again, on Monday i started planning for the 300k at the end of the month.
    Last edited by trailmix; 03-10-14 at 01:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Excellent adventure!
    It bugs the heck out of me to have to stop and look up where we're at on a cell phone, but it's better than riding a mile out of the way, too.
    That mile 65-85 experience helps make the ride worthwhile for me. I enjoy that more than the hammerfests.
    The 11 hours and 7 minutes isn't very fast. But, for having 20 extra miles, that's actually a pretty decent time. I very seldom get below 9 hours on a 200k, and if I get above 10 hours, usually it means the course is a little longer (214k or something) or I'm riding with someone slower. It's all good, though.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
    Senior Member antimonysarah's Avatar
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    I'd bet that this was the lady with multiple PBPs:

    http://randomthoughtsofapuddle.blogspot.com/

    Especially since she mentions being cheered up on a tough day by having a conversation with a new brevet rider a bit after the halfway point. Good luck on the 300k.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    And woman who rides with the Randonnuers Ontario (did the Granite Anvil, LEL, and Taste of Carolina I 2013) says if you do a 200km brevet in less than 10 1/2 hours, you didn't have a good enough time.
    She rides with the Huron chapter which is famous for stopping to bowl 10 frames in the middle of a 400.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I stopped at a casino to play blackjack once. Taped a dollar chip to my brevet card as proof I was at the control. Ken Bonner once did a Marathon in the middle of a 1200k. If you are fast enough you can do lots of things during a brevet. The cut off times are quite lenient. I've done 600k's in under 23hrs and almost 40hrs, I have fun either way.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  6. #6
    Senior Member trailmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Excellent adventure!
    It bugs the heck out of me to have to stop and look up where we're at on a cell phone, but it's better than riding a mile out of the way, too.
    That mile 65-85 experience helps make the ride worthwhile for me. I enjoy that more than the hammerfests.
    The 11 hours and 7 minutes isn't very fast. But, for having 20 extra miles, that's actually a pretty decent time. I very seldom get below 9 hours on a 200k, and if I get above 10 hours, usually it means the course is a little longer (214k or something) or I'm riding with someone slower. It's all good, though.
    Your post made me think. I only rode an extra 9 miles, not 18. When I was figuring it up I added the 9 twice.

  7. #7
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Ken Bonner once did a Marathon in the middle of a 1200k.
    I thought it was a 600k?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I thought it was a 600k?
    I think you are correct, thanks for correcting me.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  9. #9
    Senior Member joewein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
    ...
    Mile 37: First checkpoint. Time to take stock in the situation and evaluate my strategy. After filling my bottles and eating a banana and a granola bar I leave the checkpoint ...
    Mile 65: Halfway checkpoint. My legs are jelly and I need to eat. Is this really only halfway?
    Congratulations on finishing your first brevet and on wanting to ride another one!

    You only mentioned about food twice. Were these the only times you ate? It's good to consume at least 200 kcal per hour throughout the ride.

  10. #10
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Oregon Road! I skipped the 200 after being sick the previous week. Now I wish I'd sucked it up and ridden. Nice writeup, quite the adventure.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    Great ride! You're my hero.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  12. #12
    Randomhead
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    I remember the days where I questioned doing the rides every time. Then I'd finish and forget all about it until the next ride where I would go through the same thing. Now that I have achieved nearly every form of suffering, often more than once, I don't really think that way anymore. I'm a little oppositional that way, if I do something wrong, I want to improve. PBP comes to mind, I remember riding towards Paris thinking only an idiot would do that ride. Everyone else was giddy. I realized that I had botched my ride, and decided to do better

  13. #13
    Senior Member trailmix's Avatar
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    My goals for the 300 are as follows:
    1-Pace myself better at the start.
    2-Eat more.
    3-Pack lighter. On the 200 I was loaded down like a rolling doomsday prepper.
    4-Ride a bike with a triple chainring. Last time out, the 42/52 turned out to be a bit tall.

    I appreciate the advice and have incorporated some of it into my 300 strategy. If you all have any more tips I would love to hear them. Thanks

  14. #14
    Randomhead
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    My first 300k was one of my best rides ever. I remember coming over the top of a hill at 200k thinking I felt good and I knew the ride home from there wasn't too bad. That was when I realized I could ride as far as I wanted.

  15. #15
    weirdo
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    Congrats and thanks for the story, Trailmix!
    Nice writeup
    Warning: I`ve got a 24t granny ring and I ain`t afraid to use it!

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