Encouragement Email to a Newbie Rando After They DNF'd Their First Brevet
Some of the following is likely too location specific to be of use everywhere, but maybe the idea(s) behind the email can translate to other locales [it appears that none of the links within the text of the email copied through to BikeForums -- at this time, I'm not going to re-make the links here -- those links are, after all, part of the local stuff that doesn't translate very well to other locations]:
Good idea. I DNF'd in my first attempt at randonneuring - a 200K permanent. Luckily, I was able to muster some intestinal fortitude and complete my first 200K brevet about 4 weeks later. Sometimes, it happens to the best of us.
This is really great. And good on you for putting forth the effort to contact this guy. My experience was somewhat different. I was successful on the first 200k I ever rode last summer, went on to do a 300k, and then DNF'd on my attempt to repeat the same 300k. Go figure. It's a funny, funny game.
I like this idea; but just to be a bit critical, it might be better to keep this kind of letter short and more to the point. Somehow it doesn't seem to me that an unsolicited "consolation/ cheer up" letter ought to be so long.
Experienced riders could encourage and offer tips to receptive newbie Randonneurs during the ride. Ride with them. Maybe an idea for RBA's is to have one K honcho or those who do a dozen of more randos a year.....see if one rider could hang back and chat and encourage the riders on the road. Think of it as a slow training ride. A rider like this could say stuff like this is a good time to eat and drink....we have a serious climb coming up in a while.....then, try eating and drinking on the backside, whatever advice would help.....not the best example but I find bad eating, drinking, and electrolytes are mistakes newbies make all the time becuase it is hard to make a serious mistake on a 60-70 mile ride but pretty easy to get all hosed up on a long ride.
didn't see his entry in my log, nor this thread.
If I had known the this would have gone public I would have taken much more time in crafting my response.
The first and foremost, it is hard to truly convey the welcoming friendliness and helpfulness of this group. There was a good crowd at the start. People obviously knew each other well but each made an effort to be inclusive.
People were very gentle with their suggestions. I say this in case other people may be a bit reticent.
I was fairly sure that I wouldn't make the time even when I first thought of signing up. My attempt was as much a reconnaissance for an attempt at the end of the season when I'll expect my self to finish within the controls. A number of "reasons" I'm far too slow, but it all boils down to being far too slow. Oh and I found myself making every newbie mistake, even though I knew they were mistakes even when I was making them. It really is hard not to go out faster than your target pace, in the excitement of being in the company of so many strong riders.
Well, I let people know I was unlikely to make the time and that I was used to being entirely self supported. They gently checked in with me as they closed up.
The route was marvelous! Very pretty, best traffic I have seen over a distance. Directions were spot on (didn't check mileage).
Again, can't say enough about how welcoming the people are, and all the really cool bikes! People enthusiastically discuss their bikes, what they like, what works for them or what they intend to dial in...
I'm really glad I did this. I will do them again.
It taught me a good bit about myself, my preparations, equipment. But best of all, I miss having the goal of a next event...
So next up:
Tomorrow a century (still have to plan the route)... I need a long ride for my sanity's sake.
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Quite a different crowd.
Did the 100km last year, will do the 100km this year. A good bit of climb, was quite warm. Goal is to do it faster and with less discomfort.
And this year bring the Wine and cheese.
Well, Porter and Pretzels...
Will look into the Garner area and Chapel Hill / Durham populaire's, might do one or a modified one as we usually start out from the house. with SO this weekend...
But will be at either ride on August 16th.. Won't decide which distance until later, If I ride with SO or daughter, then the 110km, else I'll do the 200.
Oh and on a couple of the longest, climbs...
An experienced riders did several of the climbs
1 rider who started late and had some early bonus miles on a cool bent, hung with me and talked about riding, bikes, life and such for miles and miles.
1 rider had a very late start on a longer route, hung back with me and we talked all the way up the biggest climb. He was so interesting, I failed to notice which hill we were on and that it was such a challenging climb until like the last couple hundred yards.
Like I said, the people are wonderful.
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