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

2019 Randonnees

Old 03-31-19, 04:16 PM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I trust @unterhausen, @iTrod, @seajaye, @TimmyT, and others, are having a great ride. I'm sitting in the sun drinking coffee.
I'm glad I didn't know this. I did have one fleeting moment wishing I was home finishing up my current frame build, but it really was a nice day. The climb between Millbrook village to Blairstown was about the only discordant feature of that course, which I thought was much improved from previous 300k courses. Sadly, Hawks Nest is now a nasty little stretch of illegal driving, I was passed by an idiot doing a wheelie on his motorcycle, and there were cars just driving back and forth like some kind of '50s cruising scene at high speed. I'm probably on someone's youtube video
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Old 03-31-19, 05:58 PM
  #102  
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Well wow, congratulations, it sounds like you had a good ride! I believe @TimmyT was first finisher and he told me the was no traffic on Hawk's Nest when he went through, so I guess that comes down to luck. Jimmy on Strava mentioned "brutal headwinds and sadistic hills," and I hear there were hills somewhere. Another friend mentioned, uh, hills.

I refinished a saddle for a friend. I somehow managed to do the whole thing by soaking the leather only once. Every time the leather gets soaked, and dried again, it darkens. With only one soaking, this leather dried very light. It's not like I was riding a bike, but the beautiful day was not wasted on me!
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Old 03-31-19, 06:46 PM
  #103  
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Beautiful Work!

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Well wow, congratulations, it sounds like you had a good ride! I believe @TimmyT was first finisher and he told me the was no traffic on Hawk's Nest when he went through, so I guess that comes down to luck. Jimmy on Strava mentioned "brutal headwinds and sadistic hills," and I hear there were hills somewhere. Another friend mentioned, uh, hills.

I refinished a saddle for a friend. I somehow managed to do the whole thing by soaking the leather only once. Every time the leather gets soaked, and dried again, it darkens. With only one soaking, this leather dried very light. It's not like I was riding a bike, but the beautiful day was not wasted on me!
That's a beautiful saddle, Rudi
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Old 03-31-19, 07:28 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
... Sadly, Hawks Nest is now a nasty little stretch of illegal driving, I was passed by an idiot doing a wheelie on his motorcycle, and there were cars just driving back and forth like some kind of '50s cruising scene at high speed. I'm probably on someone's youtube video
Oh, that jerk was there when I went through. He obviously doesn't have enough brain cells firing to do something else with his time. The big difference in riding through in March was that traffic was light on Hawk's Nest and that there weren't the tourists opening and closing car doors along the side of the road. I found it much easier to ride than the other 2 or 3 times I've done it.
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Old 03-31-19, 08:12 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
And then (as is not unusual) I slept poorly. When my alarm went off at 2 AM I had to face the fact that I was in no condition to drive. I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep.
This is my problem is well. A lot of times, ride starts at 5-6am, I have to wake up at 2am or earlier for a 2-3 hour drive, try to get as much sleep as possible during the day and not getting much of it, probably because my mind and/or body isn't used to sleeping at those hours. And then the ride suffers as a result, forcing me to take a lot of stops and catnaps along the route (at least for 400k or longer rides). And then the long drive back home is also impacted as a result.
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Old 04-01-19, 04:33 AM
  #106  
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When I have to get up at 2AM, I get up at 3AM the day before so I can fall asleep by 7 or 8 the night before.
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Old 04-01-19, 07:17 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Jimmy on Strava mentioned "brutal headwinds and sadistic hills," and I hear there were hills somewhere. Another friend mentioned, uh, hills.
I thought the headwinds were somewhat irritating, but not so bad as to be soul-destroying. I got hit by one gust on the rolling part of Old Mine that stripped me of momentum just before a hill that I was about to sail over with not much effort. That was discouraging.

The climb from Millbrook Village to Blairstown is a sure way to mess up an otherwise good route, especially since it immediately follows the Old Mine Rd. climb. Otherwise the climbs were okay. I was expecting a flatter route from Blairstown to Easton, but the novelty of some new roads with a lot less traffic was nice. Except for the guy that somehow thought the dyno society's lights were okay, but mine was too bright. Actually, my light is aimed just a smidge low for comfortable descending. That was when I lost track of them, and they somehow managed to finish 40 minutes in front of me. So I was dogging it. Mostly because I only had 10 french fries to eat in the last 50 miles due to stomach upset. Riding without eating is my special talent.

Last edited by unterhausen; 04-01-19 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 04-01-19, 03:37 PM
  #108  
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The seemingly unnecessarily early start times have kept me from participating in several brevets since I started riding RUSA events. I can't afford to roll a hotel room the night before into my entry fee and am incapable of going to bed early enough to wake up at 3am and have a fun ride. It also makes it impossible to get a group of younger riders to participate as carpooling day of would require most to be up by 2:30am to make the meet-up time and get loaded. Riders expressed interest in doing an event and then backed out when they found out the departure time. I've brought this up but received no feedback from local RBA and negative feedback from other, much older riders. This is compounded by the fact that every brevet I've done has had the opening control close as soon as the ride starts as the RBA has either started the ride themselves or left for personal reasons. Attempts to arrive and start late within the 1 hour control window were disallowed.

I've never organized an event before so maybe the different between having the 200k cut-off be 9:30pm is too late as opposed to 7:30pm.
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Old 04-01-19, 04:39 PM
  #109  
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Many randonneurs like to maximize daylight riding which means we like to start early, so I don't think you are going to convince any old-timers to start a RUSA sponsored ride at 9:30.

In our club we are trying something new this year. We are running a few 200k and shorter "club rides" to introduce people to long distance cycling. The club rides don't get RUSA credit which means they are much easier to set up and run because there's no route approval or brevet cards, etc. We just need a route and a ride leader. Most of the club rides start a little later, and there's no reason we couldn't start a 200k at 9:30 if that's what the club riders wanted to do. I'd be up for it if you want to come do a 200k in Chicago this summer.
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Old 04-01-19, 04:52 PM
  #110  
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Ha thanks for the offer, I was actually thinking 8am as the start time given 13:30 for the cutoff instead of 6am. 8am is a fairly normal start time for the gravel/mtb endurance events I do and much more friendly to other riders I try to carpool with or encourage into going. I understand clubs and groups being happy with the way things are but if they ask "why aren't we growing" and I say "I could have brought 3 more riders with a later start" and the response is not positive that's really all the feedback necessary. I'd still like to crab about it on the internet, obviously.
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Old 04-01-19, 07:21 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Ha thanks for the offer, I was actually thinking 8am as the start time given 13:30 for the cutoff instead of 6am. 8am is a fairly normal start time for the gravel/mtb endurance events I do and much more friendly to other riders I try to carpool with or encourage into going. I understand clubs and groups being happy with the way things are but if they ask "why aren't we growing" and I say "I could have brought 3 more riders with a later start" and the response is not positive that's really all the feedback necessary. I'd still like to crab about it on the internet, obviously.
You're not the only one. I'm not an early riser by nature, and would love the opportunity to start brevets at 8 or 9, even though that means finishing later.
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Old 04-01-19, 07:27 PM
  #112  
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early start times are one reason for low ridership that I have never thought about. But really, beyond the 200k, I wouldn't want to start late. We have been starting our local 100k rides at 9, which works out okay. I really was happy starting my 200k perm at 6 last weekend, it made the roads a lot nicer with so little traffic.

Randonneuring has really changed my view of getting up early and staying up all night. I am so well adapted to it at this point that I really wonder about some of the research that says it's bad for your health.
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Old 04-01-19, 08:37 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
The seemingly unnecessarily early start times have kept me from participating in several brevets since I started riding RUSA events. I can't afford to roll a hotel room the night before into my entry fee and am incapable of going to bed early enough to wake up at 3am and have a fun ride. It also makes it impossible to get a group of younger riders to participate as carpooling day of would require most to be up by 2:30am to make the meet-up time and get loaded. Riders expressed interest in doing an event and then backed out when they found out the departure time. I've brought this up but received no feedback from local RBA and negative feedback from other, much older riders. This is compounded by the fact that every brevet I've done has had the opening control close as soon as the ride starts as the RBA has either started the ride themselves or left for personal reasons. Attempts to arrive and start late within the 1 hour control window were disallowed.

I've never organized an event before so maybe the different between having the 200k cut-off be 9:30pm is too late as opposed to 7:30pm.
A lot of the 200s in Ontario start at 8am and I don't think it's a real problem. In the summer there's almost sunlight until 9:30... depends on your latitude I guess. I've found some really cheap airbnb stays near ride starts too, makes it a lot easier to get up for an early ride if it's a short drive in the morning. I work construction so getting up at 4am is part of my life so it's nice to do it to ride bikes instead of working hard.
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Old 04-02-19, 01:09 AM
  #114  
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A lot of local rides, whether it be events or just random club rides or just some friends going out for a ride start around 6-7am so early morning starts aren't unusual over here. Due to the climate in equatorial countries we generally want to start early and minimize time under the sun... though when it comes to randonneuring I guess that is a moot point. It's just when it takes 2++ hours drive to get to the starting point that it starts becoming an issue.

My most recent 600k started at 1am, 3 hours drive from my place, which was a new record of WTF for me... but considering the heat wave going on at the time, and the estimated time that most riders would reach the 300k mark, was a pretty good strategic decision that helped us stay cool for a longer time, and get riders within civilization before it got dark.

An upcoming 400k is going to be annoying though. 6am start, so pretty reasonable, but depending on traffic 4-5 hours drive. Ugh. I know there are people who can take 2 days of leave for an extended Friday-Monday weekend off work for this, but not everyone is that lucky (or free of any other sort of personal or family obligations to get that kind of time).
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Old 04-02-19, 06:13 AM
  #115  
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the issue with time off is why randonneuring tends to attract mostly older people.
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Old 04-02-19, 09:31 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
When I have to get up at 2AM, I get up at 3AM the day before so I can fall asleep by 7 or 8 the night before.
Hey, if it works, it works!

I get up at 4:15 every day anyway. That's probably part of the problem. My usual routine is to wake up at 4:15, be on the bike by 4:45, be on the train at 5:13, be unconscious again by 5:15. Getting up early, and being awake for a while, is easy enough. But I am programmed to fall asleep again as soon as I sit down on the train. Driving just doesn't keep me awake the way riding a bike does.

I guess I should admit, in the spirit of fairness, that I had second thoughts about riding the 300k last weekend for more reasons than i've given so far:

--I have other obligations the weekends of the 400k and 600k, so there's no way I'll finish the PA Randonneurs SR series this year, and
--I already did the 200k in March, so the 300k wasn't going to continue my R-series, and
--On Saturday morning I was going to be driving myself, and only myself, again. I did that for the 200k a couple weeks earlier. For both environmental and safety reasons, I'm more willing to drive if there are more people in the car.

In the end the thing that stopped me was driving by myself when sleep deprived. I'd have to drive to the ride, and home again. Aside from the fact that it seems irresponsible, I don't enjoy driving... especially while falling asleep.

I certainly have no problem with the early morning start time. I'll be riding my bike to the start of the New Jersey Randonneurs 300, 400, and 600 rides in May and June. For the 400, I'll have to be on my bike by 2:30 or 3:00 AM. That's fine. At least I won't be driving.
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Old 04-02-19, 11:16 AM
  #117  
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driving while sleep deprived is definitely one of the main risk factors of randonneuring. I don't like to do it like I did in my early rando days. I only got close to crossing the center line once, but that's all it takes. I found that eating sunflower seeds in the shell kept me awake just fine, but it does make a mess in the car. iTrod says that's the main thing he remembers about my car.
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Old 04-02-19, 12:16 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Except for the guy that somehow thought the dyno society's lights were okay, but mine was too bright. Actually, my light is aimed just a smidge low for comfortable descending. That was when I lost track of them, and they somehow managed to finish 40 minutes in front of me. So I was dogging it. Mostly because I only had 10 french fries to eat in the last 50 miles due to stomach upset. Riding without eating is my special talent.
Who are you talking about here?

Our vibe is definitely ride fast (not that we are very fast), and eat slow. We spent more time than I'd like to admit controlling. We leapfrogged people all through the middle of the day on the climbs, then they'd controle faster, just for the cycle to repeat the next leg.

We were all beat in Blairstown and even then some of us completely fell apart at the seams in the last 30 miles. A chicken caesar salad gave me new life.

I agree that the new routing made the 300k much more enjoyable than I was expecting, save for the Millbrook climb. Is it just me, or has this series been much harder (maybe 1.25, 1.5x) in difficulty than I remember from a few years ago?
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Old 04-02-19, 03:02 PM
  #119  
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there was a guy in a PT cruiser that turned his brights on just after the society passed him. I really don't know how my light could have seemed brighter than all of yours combined. Some people are weird.

The old 200k had Fox Gap, which always gave me a fairly serious asthma attack. So it's hard for me to compare. It was one of the harder 200ks. The last few years have had easier 200k's. But this year's 200k was possibly a little too difficult for someone who climbs as slowly as I do. Not sure how much faster I really could have ridden it.
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Old 04-03-19, 05:46 AM
  #120  
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I'm the one on the right.


Saturday, March 30th - Northern Neck 200K, King George, VA

This 200K was pretty nice. The ride organizer delivered a level of service that I've never experienced before. We met at a Starbucks and he had a card for us to use to buy whatever we wanted. Then he met us at the first control (~39 miles) to offer up snacks and fluids. Then he was at the control at mile 62 to feed us lunch that he had made! It was all so good (Chicken salad, Persian rice, and beans). Bonus was he had ginger ale in his cooler as by that time the rising temperatures were making me feel queasy. This snow bunny doesn't adapt well to rapid temperature changes. The highest temp I saw was 76 degrees and it felt hotter in the full sun. I was riding in short sleeves and shorts after mile 39. At the end, we finished at a pizza place so could order off the menu at his expense. The ride organizer was great to talk with and we discussed also sorts of issues in the randonneuring world. I certainly will look to do another of his events on my next big trip out east.

There were 8 of us on the ride, 7 hares and 1 tortoise. I lost sight of everyone after 3 miles, but that is typical. One guy had overslept and started an hour late. He shot past me like a rocket at mile 35! He has qualified for Race Across America. I can see why he qualified. The course wasn't flat, but it also wasn't as hilly as the event I did in Kentucky. We rode into a fairly light headwind that got stronger in the afternoon so helped give us a boost on the way back. The countryside was pretty.

I didn't know what to expect given that I had ridden over 200 miles in the preceding 3 days (3 different perms to get me 5 more states). While I ride 5 days in a row when my husband & I go up to Wisconsin, the distances are much shorter. I ended up riding my fastest 200K on Saturday! The tailwind certainly helped. And I was also feeling strong in spite of not liking the heat.
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Old 04-03-19, 07:08 AM
  #121  
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I have seen that about the NoVa brevets, and I have wondered how long Hamid can keep it up. Hopefully through the 1000k of his we are riding in June.
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Old 04-05-19, 03:56 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by GadgetGirlIL View Post


I'm the one on the right.


Saturday, March 30th - Northern Neck 200K, King George, VA

This 200K was pretty nice. The ride organizer delivered a level of service that I've never experienced before. We met at a Starbucks and he had a card for us to use to buy whatever we wanted. Then he met us at the first control (~39 miles) to offer up snacks and fluids. Then he was at the control at mile 62 to feed us lunch that he had made! It was all so good (Chicken salad, Persian rice, and beans). Bonus was he had ginger ale in his cooler as by that time the rising temperatures were making me feel queasy. This snow bunny doesn't adapt well to rapid temperature changes. The highest temp I saw was 76 degrees and it felt hotter in the full sun. I was riding in short sleeves and shorts after mile 39. At the end, we finished at a pizza place so could order off the menu at his expense. The ride organizer was great to talk with and we discussed also sorts of issues in the randonneuring world. I certainly will look to do another of his events on my next big trip out east.

There were 8 of us on the ride, 7 hares and 1 tortoise. I lost sight of everyone after 3 miles, but that is typical. One guy had overslept and started an hour late. He shot past me like a rocket at mile 35! He has qualified for Race Across America. I can see why he qualified. The course wasn't flat, but it also wasn't as hilly as the event I did in Kentucky. We rode into a fairly light headwind that got stronger in the afternoon so helped give us a boost on the way back. The countryside was pretty.

I didn't know what to expect given that I had ridden over 200 miles in the preceding 3 days (3 different perms to get me 5 more states). While I ride 5 days in a row when my husband & I go up to Wisconsin, the distances are much shorter. I ended up riding my fastest 200K on Saturday! The tailwind certainly helped. And I was also feeling strong in spite of not liking the heat.
Sounds like a great ride; very, very nice ride organizer.

Though I am continually surprised that I hear about a lot of randonneuring events with that few participants. Maybe it's a culture thing, or maybe I'm just lucky, but over here even a turnout of less than 100 is considered not great and typically, 200k attracts a lot of riders.
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Old 04-05-19, 04:55 AM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Sounds like a great ride; very, very nice ride organizer.

Though I am continually surprised that I hear about a lot of randonneuring events with that few participants. Maybe it's a culture thing, or maybe I'm just lucky, but over here even a turnout of less than 100 is considered not great and typically, 200k attracts a lot of riders.
I'm not sure if attendance rates are higher in other parts of the country. Thus far I have only ridden brevets in the Midwest area and now Virginia. I can't even fathom 100 people showing up for a ride (with the exception of organized century events where there are course markings, sag support, and fully supported rest stops). Maybe the experience of others on this forum is different?
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Old 04-05-19, 06:52 AM
  #124  
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I think the DC events usually get 20-30 riders. Eastern PA has had an uptick in riders this year, but 30 would be a good turnout. If we got 100 riders, it might be a problem with municipalities wanting money/parade permits, that sort of thing.
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Old 04-05-19, 08:55 AM
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@GadgetGirlIL's event would be normal attendance for a lot of my group's rides, too. I think it depends on how much interest there is in randonneuring in a state, and how close those people are to where the rides are being held. Consider also how recently we had freezing temperatures in the midwest -- I'm about a month behind where I was last year in terms of miles.
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