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

2016 Randonnees

Reply

Old 06-18-16, 08:35 PM
  #26  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,157

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2746 Post(s)
Dark Bikefo 200K - Saturday 18 June

Dark Bikefo 200K - Saturday 18 June

Rowan and I cycled 200.23 km with 2227.58 metres (7308.33) of climbing. It was a 200K randonnee to celebrate the winter solstice.


6 riders set off at 7 am, just as the sky was lightening slightly and we could make out the yachts and birds on the bay. The temperature was a chilly 4.3C with a bit of a headwind bringing the "feels like" temperature down to 1.8C.

Our route took us out the cycleway, a common cycling route. Unfortunately some drunks had been out there during the night and there were large patches of broken glass here and there along the way, so large that we had to lift our bicycles over.

Once on the road, the glass problem disappeared, and a little further up the road, the temperature dropped to 3.3C. Funny thing was, just before Rowan told me it had gotten colder, my feet and hands started feeling very cold and I was doing windmills (rotating my arms around like windmills) to try to warm my hands.

Onward to New Norfolk and then Bushy Park, the first control. Up till that point, there wasn't much climbing at all. But soon after the climbing began. One of the first climbs was a long steep thing that left me feeling quite nauseated and dizzy at the top. It was a tough climb! I saw it on the way back and thought, "I climbed that???"

At that point, I wondered about the possibility of finishing the event because I knew there would be more climbing for a while yet and I just didn't feel up to it! But I kept slogging away ... up and up ... and then, all of a sudden, I got a second wind or something and had energy for the rest of the 200K.

Unfortunately Rowan had issues with cramping again which kind of slowed him down.

We arrived in Bothwell, the turn-around point, with about half an hour to spare ... and got some salty food + ice cream. We were hungry! But it was a quick stop and we were back on the road again and heading back.

Everyone said that it's downhill on the way back from Bothwell. Well ... um ... not really. There is quite a bit of climbing for the first 32 km out of Bothwell ... and then, finally, it's downhill. I really enjoyed the downhill bit. That was fun!

For some reason, the section from the 145 km point to the 159.99 km point took forever!! I felt like I was watching those kilometres tick by for somewhere in the neighbourhood of 12 hours. Several times I watched to make sure that my computer was actually working ... at times the numbers seemed to freeze. I began to long for numbers in the 160 range ... just for something different, just to prove that we were actually getting somewhere. I had to laugh when I figured it had to be 160-something already, looked down at my computer and it read: 159.99. I couldn't catch a break!

Darkness was falling as we rolled into New Norfolk again and stopped at a little shop with a very friendly lady behind the counter. We chatted a bit about long distance cycling. She may have been there the last time we got our cards signed on the "So you want to ride 100 miles" event we did several months ago.

The next bit was my least favourite. It's a busy 16 km or so with narrow shoulders that sort of come and go, and includes a 2 km stretch with no shoulders. I'm not fond of it in the daylight ... the night was no better. Although I do have to say that most drivers were pretty good. It's just that there were lots of them.

I was relieved when we got off the main road onto a quieter road, and even happier when we got back onto the cycleway again. Fortunately the broken glass had been cleared away.

And we rolled into the finish area after 12 hours and 36 minutes.




Last edited by Machka; 06-28-16 at 05:32 AM.
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-16, 06:51 AM
  #27  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,157

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2746 Post(s)
Photos from Saturday's ride ...









Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-16, 02:41 AM
  #28  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,157

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2746 Post(s)
Originally Posted by craigofnz View Post
Has anyone compiled a list of Big Brevets i.e. 1200km (or greater) in 2016?
http://www.randonneursmondiaux.org/22-Calendar.html
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-16, 08:19 PM
  #29  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,885

Bikes: Volae Team, '76 Motobecane Grand Jubile, Priority Eight, Nimbus MUni

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Finished a tough 600k to complete a 2016 SR. Tough, hot, hilly ride. Two of five starters DNF'd due to heat related illness. Every 600k I've ridden has been a bear, whether heat, crashes, storms, flats, mechanicals, and combinations thereof. I've had flawless rides at 1000, 1200, and 1500, but every 600 has been brutal.
downtube42 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-16, 02:38 AM
  #30  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,157

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2746 Post(s)
Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Finished a tough 600k to complete a 2016 SR. Tough, hot, hilly ride. Two of five starters DNF'd due to heat related illness. Every 600k I've ridden has been a bear, whether heat, crashes, storms, flats, mechanicals, and combinations thereof. I've had flawless rides at 1000, 1200, and 1500, but every 600 has been brutal.
My 600Ks have been the same way. I'd be very happy to skip that distance all together.
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-16, 12:07 PM
  #31  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 17,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
my record for 600k's hasn't been good, 4 dnf's so far. This year I was sick for the week beforehand, with respiratory system involvement. I was feeling a little better the day before the ride, so I started. Big mistake, only made it about 60 miles before I wished that I hadn't. Completed 165 miles before i got a ride back to the start. Turns out I was still pretty sick, it took another week and a half to get over it. I upped my training and I was feeling really good before I got sick. I'm really annoyed about it. Same thing basically with one of the other two dnf's. The third one, I decided I was feeling like I might be getting a cold, and I had already completed one 600k that year. I made it back to the overnight, but didn't continue. Last year it was just too hot and I was having trouble eating and was suffering badly from cramping.
unterhausen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-16, 02:35 PM
  #32  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,320
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
I finished a 300K on the weekend, shaved 2:30 off my previous time so that makes me happy.

I will try a 400K in a week or two, I DNF'd my first one last year and then did another in 24:40 so hopefully I can better that this year, step one in that will be not giving blood the monday before a 400K. I also hope to finish a 600K after that as I DNF'd my first one last year with a pulled calf muscle.
clasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-16, 05:28 PM
  #33  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 2,471

Bikes: http://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 984 Post(s)
I finished my first full SR series last week with the Great Lakes Randonneurs in Wisconsin.
kingston is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-16, 02:28 PM
  #34  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,320
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
Well I finished my first 400K of the year and it will probably be my only one I do this year, it's a tough distance... I wanted to sleep so badly at the 350km mark. I think with a bit more training and a better ride plan I could get it down to under 20 hours.
clasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-16, 03:05 AM
  #35  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,603
Mentioned: 109 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1361 Post(s)
Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I finished my first full SR series last week with the Great Lakes Randonneurs in Wisconsin.
Congrats. It's nice to have a full SR under the belt. We are aiming for one by the end of the season. Just the 400 and 600 to go
Rowan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-16, 02:12 AM
  #36  
craigofnz
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3

Bikes: Salsa Casseroll

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
2016 is so.... well 2016

#tikitour1200

craigofnz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-16, 09:46 PM
  #37  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 4,010
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 948 Post(s)
Guy from my neighboring club-

600k at over 17 mph ave, less than 4 hrs stoppage time.

Wow!

https://www.strava.com/activities/600668447
woodcraft is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-16, 12:26 PM
  #38  
groovestew
Senior Member
 
groovestew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 1,520
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Completed my first 200 (actual distance: 211 km) in 4 years, a chilly and wet ride in the Canadian Rockies with about 2600 meters (8500 feet) of climbing. I've taken a break from randonneuring since my second kid was born, but found an opportunity this year to ride with a couple buddies. Nice to accomplish this little goal.
groovestew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-16, 09:35 PM
  #39  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,885

Bikes: Volae Team, '76 Motobecane Grand Jubile, Priority Eight, Nimbus MUni

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
After moving from Indiana to west Texas, I've ridden two 200k permanents to finish my R-12. First the Lone Star Randonneurs then the Midland Randonneurs hosted group permanent rides, ensuring I was never alone in unfamiliar territory and challenging conditions. I struggled with hydration and heat on both rides; still much to learn about dealing with 100+ degree conditions.
downtube42 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-16, 02:14 PM
  #40  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,320
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
I finished my SR series this year, did a 600K on the weekend, finished in 38:35... a fair bit of climbing in the first half. Started off in a heavy downpour that lasted 2 hours and then turned into lighter rain until the early afternoon. Beautiful scenery in the Grey highlands of Ontario and riding along the shores of lake Huron and Georgian bay. Glad to have finished a 600 finally!
clasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-16, 05:05 AM
  #41  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,157

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2746 Post(s)
Red Gum 400K | Northern Victoria | August 13, 2016

Red Gum 400K | Northern Victoria | August 13, 2016

Background

After Rowan and I finished the 300K in Brisbane, Queensland, we decided that we wanted to tackle a 400K ... the next ride in the series. As with the 300K, Tasmania doesn't have these events after March, so we put together a list of possibilities in other states. One of the decision-making elements was how an event would fit with my current uni course.

I got ahold of the course schedule about a week before it started, and fired off an email to Rowan telling him that if he really wanted to do this, the Red Gum fit the schedule. Next thing we knew, everything was booked.

June, July and August is winter in Australia, and even more so in Tasmania. So all our training was done in winter conditions with lows near 0C and highs around 12C. We rode the Dark Bikefo 200K in Tasmania in June on weekend with the shortest daylight hours. We also rode a century in July on our own. And most of the rest of our weekend rides were about 100 km. We purposely scheduled all our long rides so that they ended after dark to get some night ride training. During the week, we rode our trainers or went to the gym to run and row. I also did quite a bit of core and upper body work in our home gym.

I am pleased to say that the training paid off. We could have probably done more, but nevertheless, we finished the ride feeling fairly comfortable in terms of muscle soreness. I am particularly pleased that my back, shoulders and neck, which had been giving me some issues on previous rides, felt surprisingly good.

The training also helped us narrow down our clothing choices and put together something that would work during the long, cold night. Training rides aren't just for getting into shape.

I was, however, concerned about two things.
About 10 days before this event I was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament in my right knee, so I took it really easy the last 10 days or so, and the pain eased off quite a bit. However, I was concerned about how well it would handle the hilly section of the ride. I knew it wasn't hilly like Tasmania, but still ...
The other thing was dealing with nighttime fatigue. With that in mind I purchased chocolate-covered coffee beans and Bushells Coffee & Chicory Essence.

We flew over to Victoria a few days before the event in order to get ourselves settled, and were able to do a test ride to check out the start of the course. We were also able to get a bit of extra rest which was essential for me, if I was going to be able to survive the sleep deprivation aspect.


August 13 – The Ride Begins

5 am. The alarm rings and we crawl out of bed to get ready to go.

6:30 am. We’re cycling through the dark to the start location. Our bicycles are checked the minute we arrive to ensure that they have adequate lights and that we’ve got all our reflective equipment. Approximately 15 riders gather. Some are doing the 200K event. Some are doing the 300K event. And some of us are tackling the 400K event.

7:00 am. We’re off! As expected, Rowan and I dropped to the back almost immediately, but we’re comfortable with that. The start of the route was nice … flat terrain, the sun coming up, the birds singing. I’ve missed hearing all the Victorian birds. The area has had a lot of rain, so we passed by flooded ditches, overflowing rivers, and lots of green.

We remained in Victoria out to Barmah, riding near Broken Creek. Then we crossed into New South Wales, over the Murray River. There was about 30 km in New South Wales before we arrived at Moama and crossed the Murray back into Victoria, and into Echuca.

Our first checkpoint was Moama, at 82 km and to my surprise, we had been riding fast enough to arrive approximately 2 hours before the closing time. We stopped at a bakery, had a sandwich each, refilled our water bottles and made up another bottle of Ensure.

On the next bit of the ride we were joined by Helen and Greg who were on the 200K route. The four of us rode briskly for about 40 km to Kyabram. While on the one hand, we might have pushed the speed a little more than we should have, on the other hand it put us 3 hours ahead of the closing time which was very beneficial later in the ride. I had hoped to ride the first 200K quite quickly in preparation for the hills and night.

At Kyabram, we had small bags of potato chips, which hit the spot, and got more water to refill the bottles and make up more Ensure, but here I made a small error. I wanted a bottle of Coke, but I got it in my head that we were in a bit of a rush to get on the road again and figured that if I drank it quickly, it would give me indigestion. So I opted not to have the Coke, but should have done because I started struggling with fatigue a short time later. Just feeling really sleepy. It was the middle of the afternoon, and all I wanted was a cup of coffee. But of course, we were out in the middle of nowhere and there was no coffee. So I added some Bushells Coffee and Chicory Essence to my Ensure, and had a couple chocolate-covered coffee beans and that seemed to help a bit.

About 30 km later we were in Tatura, and at the start of the climbs. The climbing section of this route was nothing like climbing in Tasmania, but did seem to go on a lot longer than I had anticipated! Fortunately, we started the climbing in daylight. That was a particular goal of mine for this ride and the reason I wanted to ride the first 200 km as briskly as possible.

Not far out of Rushworth, we were startled by a dog materialising out of nowhere … barking and snapping at my ankles. That got the heart rate going!!

As we pulled into Rushworth, we realised were both quite hungry, so we had 3 dim sims and a potato cake each. I also finally got my Coke! The bottles were filled again and some preparations were made for the growing darkness.


200K Complete. 200K To Go.

We made a quick stop in a small town called Colbinabbin, at about 200 km, to make some adjustments, and I decided to have a couple more chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Back about 6 months ago, I broke a tooth which then developed various issues. I had it fixed and it was supposed to be good as new, but seemed to take a long time to heal. Eventually it felt OK again, but then about 6 weeks or so that tooth started hurting again. How annoying. And it was getting progressively worse.

On the early part of the ride, I was eating nut bars and was getting these nasty stabs of pain on that side ... so of course, sensibly, I was chewing on the other side.

As I ate that chocolate-covered coffee bean, I suddenly realised that I had cracked the tooth, exposing a nerve. In fact, a good part of the tooth is missing entirely ... I suspect I swallowed it with the chocolate-covered coffee bean.

At first I was so surprised something like that had happened, but moments later I discovered it was going to be a problem. Breathing the chilly air through my mouth was very painful, so I tried to breathe through my nose for the rest of the ride, which isn't easy to do. Eating and drinking also hurt.

Nevertheless, on we went through what I thought was the hilliest section to Heathcote at 244 km. It was a bit of a struggle, and I started entertaining ideas of pulling out of the event. I figured that if there were a hotel or any indication of a bus service in Heathcote, I might just stop there. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the only thing open in town were a couple service stations. We stopped at one and had sandwiches and pumpkin soup, served up by a rather grouchy man who looked like he didn’t really want to be there at that time of the evening. However, the pumpkin soup, in particular, was really good. We also drank a 600 ml bottle of Pepsi each. That combination helped a lot to get us to Nagambie.

We had driven the road between Heathcote and Nagambie, and for some reason I thought it was mostly downhill. When we cycled it, we discovered that there were a lot of rolling hills to climb. I had been diagnosed with a sprained the medial collateral nerve in my right knee about 10 days before this event, and it held up well through the climbs to Heathcote, but that bit to Nagambie pushed it over the edge and I “limped” into Nagambie.

That bit was, however, both alarming and intriguing at the same time. The moon had risen so that we could see a bit … it wasn’t pitch black. But trees and bushes in the moonlight take on something of a personality. We had been warned about the kangaroos … that there could be a lot of them and that they had the unsettling habit of leaping out in front of unsuspecting cyclists. One did cross in front of us, but mostly we could hear them thumping along beside us or trying to get through the fences. That noise startled me the first time I heard it with all the twanging and thumping, and I did ask Rowan if the kangaroos might hurt us, but no, it’s not like cycling through the Canadian Rockies where there are cougars, wolves, and bears.

Nagambie was a ghost town. I had hoped that something would be open … like, say, a hotel or bus station? But nope, not a thing. Although I had an idea that we could end up in a situation where there was a long stretch with nothing open, and we had planned for that by bringing lots of nut bars (which I couldn’t eat), somehow I had thought there might be a service station or something available. But there wasn’t. In fact, there was absolutely nothing open between the service station in Heathcote and Shepparton … a distance of 130 km. If we had realised that, I think we would have purchased more at Heathcote.

Something made me a little bit nervous in Nagambie.

We stopped at the toilets in the middle of town and when we started going again, the lights of a car parked down the road a way suddenly came on and the driver very, very slowly caught up to us and passed us. Still going very slowly. Then the driver turned around and headed back down the road. The way Nagambie is set up, that’s not unusual. What was unusual was that the driver slowly passed us again about 5 minutes later. Then disappeared. Nothing happened … it just seemed a little odd.

Kirwans Bridge! We are familiar with Kirwans Bridge from when we used to live near that area. It is a long, old, historic, wooden bridge … a bicycle-eating bridge with gaps between the wooden planks. There is no way a person would want to cycle the bridge … walking it was a given. I’ve walked it a few times in daylight, but walking it at night was a first. It was kind of scary and fascinating all at the same time. Very still with lots of stars above, and the occasional sounds of water birds.

We took the Murchison-Goulburn Weir road to Murchison which is a road I don’t think we’ve ridden before. It was one of several things that made me want to move back into the area again … so we could ride that road during the daylight, and of course, to explore other roads in that area.

Again, I was hoping something was open in Murchison … hotels, bus stations, or even just a service station. It was becoming a theme. I’m not sure what would have happened if there had actually been a hotel available! Would I have stopped … or not?


The Long Night

However, because the sandwiches and pumpkin soup from Heathcote were a distant memory, and I hadn’t consumed anything other than Ensure since then, I was starting to bonk. Bonking, in cycling, is when your blood sugar level drops and you start to experience hypoglycemia-like symptoms. It’s very hard to get out of it, especially when you’ve got a tooth that won’t let you eat comfortably. I struggled with bonking for the rest of the ride. I drank Ensure until I got sick of it. I tried gels but the sweetness hurt my tooth, and after about 5 gels, I got sick of them too. And I nibbled some cookies but could only manage a couple bites at a time.

So ... it made for a rather long night.

Between Murchison and Shepparton, there is a little over 50 km of nothing. The route is “mostly flat” and we’ve covered it quite quickly in other circumstances. This time, however, it seemed to take forever. I would stop and have a bit of Ensure to drink, a gel, and a nibble of a cookie, and then I’d be fine for a several kilometres, then I’d start to deteriorate back into a bonk until finally Rowan would insist I stop and eat again. And repeat.

The whole way, I was under the impression we were climbing … gradually, but still climbing. I knew we weren’t. I know that part of the route and know it is flat. I also knew that we were cycling along easily enough that we couldn’t be climbing, but by some trick of the light, it really looked to me like we were climbing. And then, at some point after we turned to head up to Shepparton, I could have sworn we were on a steep climb. I insisted that there was a steep climb right in front of us and asked Rowan if he really couldn’t see it. He couldn’t. He insisted it was flat. Bonk and fatigue induced hallucinations, of course … but was it? When Rowan loaded up the Strava record of our ride, Strava put an 11% grade hill right about where I had “seen” it!! How ………… strange!

I was also startled by a large grey crocodile, and then two smaller ones plus a whole bunch of either baby crocs or lizards dashing about the road. Of course, the closest crocs are probably about 2000 km away, so I was obviously seeing things, but I think Rowan found that bit rather amusing … and insisted I eat again. Rowan stuck with me the whole time, talking to me and encouraging me to eat.

About an hour out of Shepparton, I developed such an incredible craving for a tomato and cheese sandwich and had a bit of a melt-down moment when I realised that it was at least an hour before we might be able to get something like that. The broken tooth aside, I think if I were going to do this event again, I would plan better for that long, long stretch with no services and possibly even carry a sandwich and/or something salty. All the sweet stuff was really getting rather sickening.

In the midst of all the weirdness and struggles through the night, I did have one really nice moment. We had stopped and I took off my helmet to stretch and have a look around. I was eating, so it was a clearer moment for me. I looked up and noticed how bright and close all the stars looked, and just then one shot across the sky.


Shepparton … At Last!

As we approached Shepparton, I was convinced I was going to call it a day there even though we only had about 35 km to go back to Numurkah. I was anticipating that we would take one of two routes into Shepparton, and both have services and hotels, but the route we were instructed to take had neither and was unfamiliar. It wasn’t until we were most of the way through Shepparton that we finally arrived at a service station.

We stopped at the service station in the hopes they’d have sandwiches. They didn’t, but I purchased a protein ball which have become popular items in convenience stores and at grocery store counters here in Australia and Rowan got Grain Waves chips. The chips were great … they just hit the spot. I think we needed the salt and they didn’t bother my tooth. I’ve never had one of those protein balls before and have been curious about them. It was awful. I can’t imagine why they seem so popular! However, I kept nibbling at it for the rest of the ride and I think it did help.

Rowan suggested stopping at a Hungry Jacks around the corner, but I figured that if I stopped somewhere warm and relatively comfortable, that would indeed be it for me. If I was going to finish, I needed to keep going and do the last 35 km. So we did. It was a little slow, but we made it.

And during those last 35 km, the sky became lighter making the fog lying in the fields become visible, the birds started singing, and the sun rose. Somehow that just boost the spirits a bit. We made it through the night!

I had wanted to finish within 24 hours, but 24 hours and 45 minutes wasn’t bad at all given the rather difficult night.



A Few Additional Details

The weather. The temperature started about 7C, warmed up to about 17C and then cooled down to about 7C overnight. During the night there was a chilly, misty fog that swirled in front of our lights and made things feel very cold in places, so all our winter training was good. Fortunately, there was no rain, and even better, the wind was light all the way around.

Previous 400Ks? I had to do a bit of digging, and discovered that the last time we cycled 400 km, it was on our August 2007 Paris-Brest-Paris attempt. The last actual 400K I did was on June 2, 2007 … my qualifier for the PBP. This 400K was my 13th ride of that distance.

And a big “Thank you” to Rodney for organising the ride. We do appreciate everyone who makes these events happen.
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-16, 06:07 AM
  #42  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,157

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2746 Post(s)
Photos from the 400K







Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-16, 04:06 PM
  #43  
ThermionicScott 
Hammer and tongs
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 17,627

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1709 Post(s)
That's quite the saga, @Machka. Hope your tooth is in better shape soon! Nice work.

As for me, I have completely failed to accomplish any long-distance riding after PBP. I didn't even bother with the century loop on RAGBRAI. It's been a busy year, and have just been focusing on social/fun rides. Hope to get back into LD next year!
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-16, 11:58 PM
  #44  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,157

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2746 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
That's quite the saga, @Machka. Hope your tooth is in better shape soon! Nice work.

As for me, I have completely failed to accomplish any long-distance riding after PBP. I didn't even bother with the century loop on RAGBRAI. It's been a busy year, and have just been focusing on social/fun rides. Hope to get back into LD next year!
Thanks! And I'll be going to the dentist next week.

We had a few years there where things were busy and we were distracted and so on ... so it's nice to venture back into it again.

Who knows ... maybe PBP 2019.
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-16, 03:24 AM
  #45  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,603
Mentioned: 109 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1361 Post(s)
I will add...

Starting Out Again
This event was a breakthrough for me. Like Machka, it was the first time I had finished a 400 since the qualifiers for PBP 2007. We've done quite a few randonnees at the 200 and 300 length, but the 400 eluded us, despite several starts. And 600s were way beyond us.

A few things got in the way of getting seriously back into randonneuring since 2007.

The home I lived in was destroyed in the 2009 Victorian bushfires, and although I saved most of my cycling gear, the emotional trauma was considerable. Then Machka moved from Canada to Australia and suffered DVT on the flight over, and that put a big hole in our cycling hopes as she recovered over the next 12 months. Then we went on a round-the-world trip, bicycles in tow, for eight months, before eventually moving to Tasmania and facing two realities -- we were too overweight to ride randonnees effectively, and Tasmania has LOTS of hills.

We embarked on the weight loss and it worked very well, improving our health and certainly our cycling fitness. We started getting used to hills again, and that has been a significant contributor to our confidence at the start of this year to the point where we could think that a Super Randonneur series might be within our grasp in the 2016 season.

Getting Back Something That Was Lost
A sidelight to this whole scenario is that way back 2010 while we lived in Victoria, Machka's favourite bike, a Columbus Zona steel framed Marinoni Ciclo, was stolen from a small "something like this never happens here" town in the north of the State.

Through some amazing fate, I was browsing three years later on eBay and by absolute chance came across a wheel with a SON dynohub that looked so familiar -- because I had built it! That led to a listing for the Marinoni; naturally, we contacted the police, and the bike was recovered. And so it was that Machka was able to pick and choose between her Ti replacement bike, or her darling "Machak". And of course she chose her old faithful which had taken her on four 1200s, several 1000s, a fleche or two, and numerous other events and tours.

Feeling Good is Half the Battle
So we did our first 200 early this year, and felt pretty darned good about it. Then the 300 in Queensland, and felt pretty darned good about it, too. We did another 200 smack bang in the middle of winter, and while that was a bit of a struggle for me, we felt good enough about it to start thinking seriously about the 400. As Machka said, though, it would mean another interstate trip.

My first foray into randonneuring from 2002 to around 2008 was with my old Fuji Touring. I still have the bike, but it has languished, and we did a few randonnees on two tandems, and several with me on my carbon Merlin. But I finally settled on building up my Hasa/Saga Titanium as my main rando bike, fitted with an Ultegra road triple (26T small ring) and rear XT 32-11 MTB cassette and derailleur, Ultegra brakes, and DT Swiss 32H rims on Ultegra rear hub and SON on front.

The saddle is a Ti Brooks B17, which has taken quite a while to break in, but when I dropped the height of the bars after losing weight, it has proven to be comfortable enough on the shorter rides. Could it be as comfortable for the 400? We would see.

The handlebars have been an issue for me, though, especially causing tingling and numbness. I finally settled on the idea that they were too wide at 42cm, and went with 40cm ones, although their actual width on the hoods is 39cm. Even after this 400, they remain a work in progress, but at least I finished without lingering tingling and numbness.

The interstate trips mean air travel, and I am getting quite adept at breaking down the bikes (seat/seatpost out, handlebars off stem, and front wheel off) and wrapping everything together as one package with plastic cling wrap. The bike boxes have just completed, I think, air trip number 20 and are still holding up fine.

When A Phone Does It Best
Another area of development for me has been navigation. I have followed a fair bit of discussion about Garmin this, Garmin that and Garmin… fail. I put my toes in the GPS water with a Soleus computer, which is the usual bike computer size, but has a dedicated cable for uploading to a computer; it synchs with Strava OK, but its power didn't last beyond 160km (100 miles), and there was no way to recharge on the bike without stopping the recording.

Then I invested in a smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime. It's not particularly spectacular, it had a relatively cheap price of around $250 unlocked, and can be fitted with an extra micro-SD card to boost app and file capacity. It has proved to be very useful.

Partnered with that investment was a generic 8000mAH solar charged battery pack which itself is about the size of a full-sized smartphone. I bought the phone the day we left for the 300 in Queensland, and played around with it on the ride, then again on the second 200 we did in the middle of June.

The phone is attached on the bike via a Quad-Lock mount, an Australian product that really does work very well.

This 400 was the first real test for the phone and charger and mount combination, and as a result, I won't ever consider a Garmin or other similar device. I still insist on having a hard-copy cue sheet for rides, but the phone loaded with the RWGPS/Strava map proved to be useful several times during the night. The solar battery pack was used to recharge the phone twice from about 40% and the pack still had more than 75% of its own charge left. I was impressed.

The one place the phone really shone for me was in being able to set an alarm every 15 minutes to drink. THAT worked like a charm, and for the first randonnee that I can remember, I felt properly hydrated throughout and at the finish.

I can imagine using the phone for radio and/or MP3 entertainment on long rides. Oh yes, and for making phone calls! Certainly, I have had no problems in loading to Strava, and there are Bluetooth options for heart rate and cadence monitoring if I choose to use them.

Tyre Change for the Best
The other significant change to both bikes was the fitting of Continental GP4000S II tyres which have seemed to transformed both the rolling resistance and comfort levels at the normal running pressures of 90psi. Previously, we have run Conti Ultra Sports until faults started to appear in the side walls that resulted in disconcerting bulges, and then Schwalbe Duranos, a tyre that I was turned on to as they were the fitted to our Santana tandem when it was delivered.

Getting My Clothing Right
I've also determined that wool simply doesn't work for me for long rides that end up with low temperatures. I've just posted in the Touring forum my thoughts on this:

I have tried really, really hard to like wool for cycling. for 15 years in fact. But I just cannot get it to do what polypro can... and that is, wick sweat away from my skin so that I don't (a) have to heat it and keep it heated to keep me warm and (b) I don't have great wet patches close to my body. The trouble with retaining the water in the fabric is that when I stop riding, even with good outer layers, I get chilled... just as I would with cotton (awful to say that to the wool fans, but it's a fact for me).

I have had lightweight jerseys made for Netti in Australia -- nice for warm weather, but even then, they retained the water. I have got thicker ones that I really like by an Italian maker, De Marchi; same issue. I have thin base layers from a reasonable quality department store. Same. I have worn thick woollen pullovers to ride bikes as an outer layer or one under a waterproof, and have been happy with them. And for activities that don't involve moderate physical activity and above, I will pick wool.

But the water retention issue was brought home to me last weekend when I did a 400km randonnee. I wore a base of polypro, an intermediate of polyester (actually, the jersey commemorating the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200), and an outer of a Ground Effect Storm Trooper jacket from New Zealand, but also during the coldest part of the night, a light polar-fleece jacket bought at Decathlon in France.

The layer against my skin felt remarkably dry throughout the whole 24 hours of the event. I did not feel chilled even when stopped. However, when I took the polar-fleece off at the end, one area was quite wet. This is what I expected, and I first came across polar-fleece's ability to draw water to the outside on an overnight ride when I discovered frost forming on the jacket (my water bottles also froze solid that morning).

Yes, yes, I know that polypro and other synthetics are supposed to stink much more than wool will. I agree, but that is not unmanageable and especially if you have access to borax powder to include the wash.

As an aside, the one wool that I am enthused about is cashmere. I have several beautiful socks that I bought cheap in Canada and I have taken to wearing them as the skin base layer on my feet, with pure wool socks over the top, then my waterproof Gaerne MTB boots. The cashmere seems to do what ordinary merino and other wool cannot do.

Those boots actually have been a revelation. I bought them seven or eight years ago, and they have lolled around the wardrobe for most of that time, until this winter when they have been worn on every right except the 300 in Queensland. They are breathable waterproof, although the waterproofness hasn't been called upon this year. But they are good enough with the two layers of socks to keep my feet warm when the ambient temps get down to around 2 deg C, and I don't need to carry booties/shoe covers.

The Ride? Oh Yes…
Machka has covered the ride very well. I made a pact a long, long time ago with her that I would ride with her no matter what. And that's how it worked out. Yes, I could have dashed off into the distance, but that wouldn't have done her much good at all. At least while I was with her, I could encourage her, maybe even cajole here, and maybe come up with some solutions for the refuelling issues.

As fate would have it, we stopped to check the cross roads we had encountered. I was certain it wasn't the one we had to turn at, but I wanted to make sure. This was about 3.00 o'clock in the morning, and a set of car lights headed towards us along one of the roads. Hmmm… this could be interesting, I thought. The car slowed and came to a stop. And my helmet light shone on the signwriting along the side fo the vehicle – POLICE. The driver asked what we were up to, I said we were on a long-distance bike ride, he was cool with that, and said for us to take care before driving away.

I finished the ride feeling remarkably good. The speed spurt that Machka put on ealier in the ride paid dividends in giving us time in the bank, but it also meant DOMS in the quads, that only today has subsided to nil. And really, considering that our on-bike training amounts to two rides per weekend unless we are doing a randonnee, plus a bit of walking or treadmill running during the week, we did extremely well. Several lessons have been learnt... such as carrying something not-so-sweet to counter the overwhelming sweetness of the energy drinks, and ensuring we have enough sustenance on board to cover long distances between service.

The best part about finishing… apart from helping Machka do it against the odds… is that we can add the 400 BRM medallion to go with the 200 and 300 ones we have earned this season. Now, roll on the 600!!

Last edited by Rowan; 08-19-16 at 04:29 AM.
Rowan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-16, 04:21 PM
  #46  
ThermionicScott 
Hammer and tongs
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 17,627

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1709 Post(s)
Great post, @Rowan. It's awesome to see the biking stuff fall back into place for you guys.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-16, 05:02 PM
  #47  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,603
Mentioned: 109 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1361 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Great post, @Rowan. It's awesome to see the biking stuff fall back into place for you guys.
Thanks! We'll never be fast riders. Heck, as Machka said, we got dropped off to lanterne rouge position within kilometres of the start. But we are finally enjoying the rides after not even being able to make the cut-off times on some events a couiple of seasons ago.

Interspersed with the randonnee recovery process has been some touring, which has helped mix up the experiences. Plus, going to events in other states gives us the opportunity to travel again... I hadn't been to Brisbane in something like 25 years, and we found it to be, in late spring/early winter, a great place to ride bikes.

We're also getting involved in planning the Audax calendar for Tasmania in 2016-17 with a fleche (the Opperman), and another SR series organised to suit our needs, even if no-one else is interested.

We might even have to look up possible events in North America in its 2017 summer... and an SR qualifying series might just be needed for that!
Rowan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-16, 05:31 PM
  #48  
ThermionicScott 
Hammer and tongs
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 17,627

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1709 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Thanks! We'll never be fast riders. Heck, as Machka said, we got dropped off to lanterne rouge position within kilometres of the start. But we are finally enjoying the rides after not even being able to make the cut-off times on some events a couiple of seasons ago.
There was a guy on our 400k or 600k last year who got behind rather early, and as our group stressed about making it back in time, we wondered what had happened to him. We saw him at breakfast the next morning and he was all smiles. Turns out that he had found a park bench to nap for a while, and completed the ride just before the cut-off. It occurred to me that that's a perfectly good way to do it: pace yourself, enjoy the trip, get your money's worth as some people put it.

Interspersed with the randonnee recovery process has been some touring, which has helped mix up the experiences. Plus, going to events in other states gives us the opportunity to travel again... I hadn't been to Brisbane in something like 25 years, and we found it to be, in late spring/early winter, a great place to ride bikes.

We're also getting involved in planning the Audax calendar for Tasmania in 2016-17 with a fleche (the Opperman), and another SR series organised to suit our needs, even if no-one else is interested.

We might even have to look up possible events in North America in its 2017 summer... and an SR qualifying series might just be needed for that!
Well, hey, if for whatever reason you find yourselves in the midwest for that, it would be good to meet you.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-16, 06:25 PM
  #49  
tombc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Hi folks. On my only 200km brevet of this year last Saturday I DNFed. The route was from New West (Vancouver) south into Washington State, through Bellingham and down this rather nice road called Chuckanut Drive to a little spot called Edison where one eats lunch and heads back. Felt great until 85km, then the last part of the Chuckanut drive was a fun descent followed by an exposed flat farming area by the sea which was very windy and difficult. My buddy and I had not eaten enough but we should have been alright. In the restaurant/control I could not get warm or eat for the 3 hours it took to get picked up. Eventually when I undressed at home I found I'd worn a 100% acrylic sweater instead of an identical 100% wool one, so I guess it frigged my body temperature after getting soaked with sweat.

Normally don't post much but I thought I'd give you all an opportunity to laugh at my stupidity. My friend was on his first 200km brevet and he would have made it easily, he was doing really well.
tombc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-16, 11:47 PM
  #50  
Machka 
In Real Life
Thread Starter
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,157

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2746 Post(s)
Well ... we attempted a 600K, but after being quite ill twice since the 400K, we only managed 390 km.



Saturday 8 October ... in the morning we started a 600K randonnee ... with some misgivings.

I had been very sick twice since the 400K randonnee we did in mid-August and we haven't been able to train the way wanted. In fact, we missed a 600K in mid-September because I was too sick to go.

Plus this area has been flooded and the Murray river was set to peak on Saturday ... so the route was changed at the last minute.

Nevertheless ... we began. After dealing with headwinds, a wrong turn, a flat tire, faulty shifters, and my lack of fitness ... we rolled back into the start at the end of the first loop having cycled 390 km in about 23.5 hours.

And there, we called it a day.

I gave it everything I had ... there was nothing left.


Still ... we covered 390 km faster than we did on our 400 km in mid-August.
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service