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  1. #1
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    1st 200k registered for April 5th (Withlacoochee Rails to Trails 217k RUSA Permanent)

    Just registered for my 1st 200k for April 5th, the Withlacoochee Rails to Trails 217k RUSA Permanent - Route #1901 . I did my 1st Century this previous Saturday on the Clear Air Ride / Withlacoochee, so the terrain should be very familiar. While I have less than a month of cycling, I figured if I can do a century, I can do a 200k! It's going to be different in that its solo and I won't be drafting, plus no supported sag stops, but I'm looking forward to the adventure!

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    good luck! and perfect logic

    i did my first century last june and followed up with my first 200k in september...it just seems to be the next sensible step! i was really surprised (and disappointed) when many of my bike-friends who would be willing to ride supported centuries drew the line there, and anything 100+mi or unsupported doesn't sound appealing to them.

    the lack of support/proper rest stops isn't a big deal at all. as long as you're mechanically competent (and prepared), you'll have no problems dealing with 95% of the mechanicals you could face. and, i assume the controles are at corner stores or the like, so that should cover food and hopefully bathrooms. it's just a century plus another 25-ish mile ride, you got it

    let us know how it goes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    Yes, the controles are convenience stores! I was hoping the guy I rode the century with would be interested but he said it's too close to our recent ride. I don't mind going solo though!

    Im very excited to start this journey... Who knows, if I like it maybe I'll strive for an R12!

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    funny, i totally minded going solo. i had our RBA set me up with a riding partner the first go-around, and then for a 200k i just completed on saturday, i hooked up with a rando guy in the local cycling club i had just joined. kudos to you for your positive attitude and excitedness!

    also funny...i was thinking potentially the same thing for myself this year. 1 down, and 11 to go, and i won't have to deal with colder weather until november/december. you being in FL, you should consider yourself luckier than most . i'm shooting for a 300k completion in may, but i need to figure out lighting. maybe an SR series in 2015? i'm a young ***, so i'm excited to have many years/decades of randonneuring ahead

  5. #5
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    Haha yea year round cycling in FL is going to be a huge perk! I'm 31 so I have a long road ahead also! I have so much I want to do all at once, lol. I will get into a better training regimen after the 200k if I'm going to go longer, but I was too excited to wait to do my century and try the 200k. I'm loving cycling. Wish I started sooner! I'm probably going to get some running and swimming in as tri's have started to interest me!

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    Just head out with a good pace and ride. 200k is not much different then a century. You should have no problem starting and ending with daylight. 300k means more planning, such as a lunch break, batteries for phone, lighting etc. Rain gear?

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    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    I definitely plan on pacing myself.. I went a little faster on the Century than I originally planned because I was riding with someone who kept me moving quickly. This one I want to enjoy the ride more, and not focus on speed/time (except for making to the controles in the necessary windows). I'll probably stop for a nice bite to eat (but not too much, outside of the obvious hourly snacks). I don't have any rain gear, outside of bootie covers for my shoes. I'll keep track of the weather and plan appropriately if necessary.

    Just brought the bike to the shop to get my wheels true... I apparently had a broken spoke as well (had no idea). Not sure when that happened as I didn't notice it on the ride.. Just went to pump my tires up and saw it sticking out... I'll bring something to secure a broken spoke to another one in case I break one on the trip.

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    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    All set for the 135 mile ride in the morning! I was advised from the permanent owner to get front/rear lights, reflective vest, and ankle straps since there is a potential chance of night riding, plus the morning looks like there will be fog... So just picked them up last minute.

    I'll take the bike around the block tonight to get use to the lights and make sure they don't bounce around.. I like the mounting brackets for them though so they seem nice and tight (Bell Radian 550).

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBerman View Post
    All set for the 135 mile ride in the morning! I was advised from the permanent owner to get front/rear lights, reflective vest, and ankle straps since there is a potential chance of night riding, plus the morning looks like there will be fog... So just picked them up last minute.

    I'll take the bike around the block tonight to get use to the lights and make sure they don't bounce around.. I like the mounting brackets for them though so they seem nice and tight (Bell Radian 550).
    Good luck with your perm. Something I carry on all rides is a Fiberfix spoke. Weighs nothing, easy to install, has saved more than one brevet:
    Wix.com FiberFix Spoke created by morrisonmary41 based on Consulting Com

    Last time I fixed a wheel with a Fiberfix spoke, I kept meaning to get around to replacing it with a real spoke, and sometime around six months later I finally did. The point is that once you've put the Fiberfix in and trued the wheel back up, it stays true and is just as strong as before. Then when you take the Fiberfix spoke back off, you just put it back in its little case and use it the next time you break a spoke. Though now that I think of it, I can't remember the last time I broke a spoke. I got better at wheelbuilding, plus I'm riding on 650B wheels which are a little smaller and stronger and the 42mm tires pass less roadshock through.

    Nick

  10. #10
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    I'll check that out for the next one! Had a great ride today! Lots of hills (Zephyrhills, FL start/finish).

    Overall 10 hours 37 minutes for my solo ride! I just enjoyed it and took my time! Had a burger and pizza slice along the way.

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    Congratulations!

  12. #12
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    Thanks!!! From couch to 200k in 5 weeks, I'm stoked! I wish there were more ACP events in my region throughout the year, but I guess the logic is to get them done in the early months to prepare for longer events in the same season. I would like to do a 300k, but would prefer it be ACP event vs a permanent. Although I'd consider a group permanent. I think I'm going to create 100k & 200k permanents and use the 100k for my Saturday ride / distance and possibly do the 200k for my R12/distance.

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    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    I don't know where Inverness, FL is located. I assume that it is somewhat close to "Zephyrhills," wherever that is.

    There appear to be 61 Permanents of various lengths in Florida (~ 58 that are 300k or less).
    They appear to be spread around the state fairly well -- or, at least south of Daytona they appear to populate the map reasonably well.
    See RUSA Google-map for approx start locations (https://www.google.com/fusiontables/...l2&y=2&tmplt=1), and zoom in on Florida.
    [I have no idea what that link above will do -- it might fail or it might show Florida filling your browser page or it ...?]

    You could also go to the RUSA website, Permanents page (RUSA: Permanents) and search (RUSA: Permanents) for all the Permanents in Florida.

    I suggest you ride a few of the Perms & Perm-Pops that are near (or "near") you before creating your own routes. Learn what you like as far as distance between controls, etc. before creating routes. Try to make friends with a couple of the existing route owners. Try to make friends with some randos that do not have their own routes. The people that will come to do your route(s), should you create one or more, are generally going to be people you know and think of you as a rando-friend.

    Give yourself a few months, including the HEAT & HUMIDITY of summer, to find out if undertaking an R-12 is really for you. I understand that the summer months put a serious daylight crimp in the riding of many in Florida. I understand that the HEAT & HUMIDITY is why Florida brevets are so early in the year.

    In the last few years, there have been several new RUSA members that submitted a plethora of routes, only to let their membership lapse soon thereafter, and some of their routes never got ridden. Don't become one of those persons -- it is not fair to Crista, esp. if the route(s) needed a lot of post-submission attention / tweaking.

    My friend Dean (you may have seen his recent K-Hound article in "American Randonneur") always suggests that one take a favorite training or "fun" route and tweak it a bit to make a decent rando route. He is the owner of a couple of the most ridden RUSA Permanents routes, so his advice might have validity.

    Completing an R-12 may be harder than you currently anticipate. I know several North Carolina cyclists that joined (or rejoined) RUSA in the last couple years because they were determined to get an R-12. One never got passed R-0 (that person never got her non-rando distances back up to where they needed to be and heat and other things did her in). One got to R-1 or R-2 a couple times, but LIFE kept interfering and he let his membership lapse while he takes care of LIFE. Be enthusiastic, but keep yourself under control. Hmmn, essentially the same advice as successfully completing a 200+ km ride (stay calm and relaxed regardless of what is happening).

    I don't know your skill / ability level(s), but almost every rando I know has had a "moment of truth" in which they KNEW they would never ride a bicycle again IF they even managed to complete their current ride, but several miles later, everything was fine and wonderful. I can't recall any "moments of truth" that I've heard about coming during a ride of less than 300-kms. (Sometimes, even experienced rando have "moments of truth." The local RBA has been doing brevets since about 1983; in 2010, he told me that on the 300 pre-ride, with about 55-miles still to go, he hated everything about cycling and rando, after stopping at the penultimate control with 50-miles to go, he was absolutely fine, and went on to ride the extra miles after completing the 300 to get his first double-century in about 8 or 9 years. [Alan was hit by a car and nearly killed in 2002; it took several years before he could ride more than one 200k in a single year; that's why he hadn't ridden DISTANCE for several years.] )

    If you have never designed a route for an organized or semi-organized ride, doing existing Perms may also help with your understanding of what you like and what you need to include in/on the cue sheets.

    Also read the guidance, rules, regs, protocols, whatever that are on the the Permanents page (and on the linked pages / materials).
    Last edited by skiffrun; 04-07-14 at 08:24 AM. Reason: typos
    Enjoy the ride.

  14. #14
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    We have a 600k this weekend. Jupiter to Melborne and around Lake O. Not too far from you, a couple of hours drive. There is a 200k also out of Jupiter at the beginning of each year as well.

    Here is a link to the Central Florida group Central Florida Randonneurs | Long-distance cycling in the Sunshine State

    Gainsville does some Gainesville Cycling Club

    South Florida is here, with lots of perm South Florida Randonneurs

  15. #15
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr645 View Post
    We have a 600k this weekend. Jupiter to Melborne and around Lake O. Not too far from you, a couple of hours drive. There is a 200k also out of Jupiter at the beginning of each year as well.

    Here is a link to the Central Florida group Central Florida Randonneurs | Long-distance cycling in the Sunshine State

    Gainsville does some Gainesville Cycling Club

    South Florida is here, with lots of perm South Florida Randonneurs

    Are you doing the 600k? The permanent I did was Mark Dennin's. I know the workers ride was this past weekend, as I saw on their fb page. I posted my info on there also. I am a LONG way from being able to do a 600

    I have all of those clubs bookmarked and will likely be joining all of them (some of the people I ride with are part of GCC).

  16. #16
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    @skiffrun

    Thank you very much for the detailed response!! And thanks for the google map of the perms.. While I have reviewed the RUSA perm list, that certainly helps put into perspective where they really are.. One of the nearby ones is a point to point, so it's not very feasible (coast to coast) although I would LOVE to do it since it looks awesome. Although I did see another one I want to do (Gainesville to Ginnie Springs).


    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    I don't know where Inverness, FL is located. I assume that it is somewhat close to "Zephyrhills," wherever that is.
    Zephyrhills, FL is about an hour and a half south of Inverness, which is where I live... I traveled there because it was a somewhat nearby permanent route, plus it was on the Withlacoochee Rails to Trails, which I ride daily.


    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    There appear to be 61 Permanents of various lengths in Florida (~ 58 that are 300k or less).
    They appear to be spread around the state fairly well -- or, at least south of Daytona they appear to populate the map reasonably well.
    See RUSA Google-map for approx start locations (https://www.google.com/fusiontables/...l2&y=2&tmplt=1), and zoom in on Florida.
    [I have no idea what that link above will do -- it might fail or it might show Florida filling your browser page or it ...?]


    You could also go to the RUSA website, Permanents page (RUSA: Permanents) and search (RUSA: Permanents) for all the Permanents in Florida.


    I suggest you ride a few of the Perms & Perm-Pops that are near (or "near") you before creating your own routes. Learn what you like as far as distance between controls, etc. before creating routes. Try to make friends with a couple of the existing route owners. Try to make friends with some randos that do not have their own routes. The people that will come to do your route(s), should you create one or more, are generally going to be people you know and think of you as a rando-friend.

    I should have clarified... I didn't intend on completely creating new routes. I planned on modifying the start/finish of the existing route I just rode. I would prefer not to drive 1.5 hours every time I want to ride it if it could simply be modified to start/end here instead, plus the area where I live has a very large cycling community. I think it would be beneficial, and I think I could recruit a bunch of people I ride with now to start with a 100k version, since we already ride most a good chunk of the route daily (rails to trails). Unfortunately both 300k's in FL are 4 hours away. I actually already spoke with Crista and she gave me good information as well. The route owner is the one who suggested it to me, since I ride right by my house basically on the course. He has been a great resource!




    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    Give yourself a few months, including the HEAT & HUMIDITY of summer, to find out if undertaking an R-12 is really for you. I understand that the summer months put a serious daylight crimp in the riding of many in Florida. I understand that the HEAT & HUMIDITY is why Florida brevets are so early in the year.


    In the last few years, there have been several new RUSA members that submitted a plethora of routes, only to let their membership lapse soon thereafter, and some of their routes never got ridden. Don't become one of those persons -- it is not fair to Crista, esp. if the route(s) needed a lot of post-submission attention / tweaking.


    My friend Dean (you may have seen his recent K-Hound article in "American Randonneur") always suggests that one take a favorite training or "fun" route and tweak it a bit to make a decent rando route. He is the owner of a couple of the most ridden RUSA Permanents routes, so his advice might have validity.



    This definitely makes sense. I certainly don't want to be one of those people. I'm new to cycling, but I'm out there every day pushing myself, riding group rides, riding events, solo rides, fixing my bike, and enjoying every minute of it so far .. I love the heat though.. When I was in Iraq 10+ years ago in the Army, I did a half-marathon on my own in 110+ degree weather.


    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    Completing an R-12 may be harder than you currently anticipate. I know several North Carolina cyclists that joined (or rejoined) RUSA in the last couple years because they were determined to get an R-12. One never got passed R-0 (that person never got her non-rando distances back up to where they needed to be and heat and other things did her in). One got to R-1 or R-2 a couple times, but LIFE kept interfering and he let his membership lapse while he takes care of LIFE. Be enthusiastic, but keep yourself under control. Hmmn, essentially the same advice as successfully completing a 200+ km ride (stay calm and relaxed regardless of what is happening).

    I'm stoked to be at R-1.. If I do R-12 within the year, awesome, but it's not something I feel I "need" to do. It would just be a bonus! I'm determined to become a better rider, particularily with the hills... I love the quote, don't buy upgrades, ride up grades..


    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    I don't know your skill / ability level(s), but almost every rando I know has had a "moment of truth" in which they KNEW they would never ride a bicycle again IF they even managed to complete their current ride, but several miles later, everything was fine and wonderful. I can't recall any "moments of truth" that I've heard about coming during a ride of less than 300-kms. (Sometimes, even experienced rando have "moments of truth." The local RBA has been doing brevets since about 1983; in 2010, he told me that on the 300 pre-ride, with about 55-miles still to go, he hated everything about cycling and rando, after stopping at the penultimate control with 50-miles to go, he was absolutely fine, and went on to ride the extra miles after completing the 300 to get his first double-century in about 8 or 9 years. [Alan was hit by a car and nearly killed in 2002; it took several years before he could ride more than one 200k in a single year; that's why he hadn't ridden DISTANCE for several years.] )

    During the 200k, some hilly parts were frustrating, but I knew I would be VERY happy after the accomplishment. I mainly did the route to see how far I could do. I do want to do a 300k in the future. It really helped focusing on the next control, and not the total 135 miles.


    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    If you have never designed a route for an organized or semi-organized ride, doing existing Perms may also help with your understanding of what you like and what you need to include in/on the cue sheets.


    Also read the guidance, rules, regs, protocols, whatever that are on the the Permanents page (and on the linked pages / materials).

    I actually have the route I was considering completed, since it was an easy modification. I was playing with RWGPS also, but I will certainly ensure any routes I create in the future are good routes. Oh and I have been over the guidance and regs a ton of times. I read the handbook within an hour of receiving it. I've even been in contact with Don Hamilton and Bill Bryant already for clarification on some things. I'm on the RUSA site daily as I may be somewhat obsessive..


    Thanks again for the GREAT feedback and info!
    Last edited by JBerman; 04-07-14 at 12:45 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBerman View Post
    Are you doing the 600k? The permanent I did was Mark Dennin's. I know the workers ride was this past weekend, as I saw on their fb page. I posted my info on there also.
    I signed up yesterday. I rode the 400k and shared a room with Mark and the plan is to ride this 600k together as well. We typically finish a couple of hours behind the fast guys, but still with plenty of time left. The 400k took us 17 hours while the first group of 5 finished in 14 and another good size group was done at 15 hrs.

  18. #18
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    Wow, 17 hours is 10 hours to spare! That's awesome. A 300k would be 52 miles further than the route I just did, so I feel it would be possible for me to do. Pending on the route, (good) weather and (lack of) mechanical issues, I guess I could assume a 300k would take me 15-16 hours. I am FAR away from a 17 hour 400k, lol.

    Good luck on your 600k! I will be following FB for updates from that group.

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    We finished the 600k. Mark and I rode together, along with Ray for the entire distance. We picked up Luis and Penny toward the later part of the first 300k. We got to the hotel at about 8:30pm and a little under 200 miles. Time for dinner, a shower with fresh clothes and a couple of hours of sleep and left again at 1:30 am and added Joe since his faster group that as at the hotel at 7:30 was planning on leaving just 2 hours later. He needed some sleep so he got some sleep and joined us for the second 300k of riding. The 6 of us were a great team, everyone adding something to motivate the group, just when we all needed it. I know some people like to ride alone, others in a more competitive format, but for all of us, it was about working as a team to both finish and enjoy the event. We finished at 5:39pm with a 9PM deadline and after everything that happened along the way, that's right about where we planned at the beginning. Another one for the books
    Last edited by mr645; 04-14-14 at 05:26 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    That is AWESOME, congrats! I saw a bunch of photos from FB. Seems like a beautiful route.

    I will be looking forward to a huge achievement like that in the future. Was this your 1st 600/SR? Did you like the 300/300 format? I know I saw a lot of others using 400/200.

    I'm doing the San Am 100k RUSA populaire on June 7th (FL: Central) and plan on doing the southern 200k on Sept 6th. If I lived closer to you guys, I would certainly join in on your group/R-12 rides. I'll just keep doing perms to strive for my R12.

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    That was my first 600k, as well as first 400k, and 200k. I missed the 300k and decided to go for the series medal. So I signed up for a 300k in Georgia next month. It's the closest 300k to me.

  22. #22
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr645 View Post
    That was my first 600k, as well as first 400k, and 200k. I missed the 300k and decided to go for the series medal. So I signed up for a 300k in Georgia next month. It's the closest 300k to me.
    GA seems to have a steady amount of ACP events throughout the entire year. Since I didn't start cycling until March, I missed out on the series opportunity. It's likely out of reach anyways, but I will be attempting it next year.

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