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 04-07-19, 07:26 PM
  #126  
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Got my first 200km in 2019 done. We were really lucky with the weather and didn't have any strong winds, nor rain. It was 1C at the start and 5C by lunch... climbed up to 9C at one point and dropped back down to 4C by the time we got to the shores of Lake Huron... there was still a good ice wall in spots on the shore. It was quick riding along the beach towns without the summer traffic and crowds, but the last two controls were closed so we had to stop somewhere else to get some extra fuel for the last stretch. 10:38 final time with a good two hour lunch in the middle... got a 300 for next week that is pancake flat and hopefully we get lucky with the weather again.
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Old 04-08-19, 05:38 AM
  #127  
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My local audax club is starting to do Permanents this year, though at this point I'm not really feeling keen on them.

The first permanent is a 100km at the end of the month. The locations are all familiar to me, just a different route, so that might be interesting. Still, to me the distance feels like any other ordinary weekend morning group ride so I don't really feel like it's anything I should specially set aside plans for.

The next permanent is weird... 140km, and it isn't a loop. The plan, apparently, is to check into a hotel at the end of the ride and either take a bus back the next day or ride back on our own so... that's weird. I dunno, how common is this for the rest of you?
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Old 04-08-19, 07:49 AM
  #128  
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I have a 200k route where I am planning to ride back the next day. I didn't manage to design a second return route yet, it's somewhat remote and there aren't a lot of places to resupply. But riding the outbound route seems like it would be okay. I could also extend the same route to almost 300k, not sure about doing that. There is a route that the locals have been riding for decades that is 160km where they ride to a remote town, stay overnight, and then ride back.

It might be fun to ride something like that, but I did it because I'm trying to ride 10000km in brevets and permanents this year. Not sure I will ride it otherwise.
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Old 04-13-19, 03:04 PM
  #129  
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Three out of four PBP qualifiers done -- I went down to the Central Florida brevet week. Hot, flat, and did I mention hot? (The 600k is still going on, but I was completely trashed at the end of the 400k and less than 24 hours of recovery time was not going to be enough, physically OR mentally. And yes, I said before I was considering skipping the 400k, but it was the prettiest-looking route. Which it was, even if I was grumbling about being tired of riding a bike for most of it.)

Glad I went for it, even if I didn't finish all of them; 900k in four days is a confidence booster, and I got to practice disassembling and reassembling the brevet bike. (With only one minor issue -- I didn't tighten the front brake bolt quite enough, and did about 20 miles of the 200k with it rubbing after a section of rough chipseal jolted it out of alignment.)

As much as I am not a strong climber, I found myself welcoming even little rollers; putting out steady effort when tired is HARD; grunting up a climb and then coasting for a few minutes is easier in a lot of ways; I found myself gearing up, standing, and then tucking-and-coasting still on
the same flat ground occasionally, just for a change of pace.

Signed myself up for the New Jersey 600k; was hoping not to have to miss the NER 400k (same weekend) but there are only so many 600ks I can drive to, and a bunch of friends are going to this one. It will probably be even hotter than Florida-in-April, but I've determined I can survive that, especially when gas stations serve giant slurpees. And the next brevet on my calendar is the NER 300k, which is both gorgeous and possibly has more climbing than all 900k I did down here.
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Old 04-13-19, 11:07 PM
  #130  
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Congrats on the 3 brevets, devils weeks are tough to do.

I finished my 300k today, probably the flattest 300 in Ontario, my gps said 434m climbing so just a little bit over a 1000 feet or whatever it works out to. Lots of tailwind today so we did a pretty good time but I miss the rolling hills. Looking st doing the Saratoga 400k it looks like a lot of hills and the Adirondack mountains are so beautiful.
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Old 04-15-19, 06:26 AM
  #131  
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Completed another 400k over the weekend. For a completely different change of pace, we had a relatively low turnout of 64 registered participants. On the other hand, it was a nice scenic route through low traffic countryside roads (except for the a few main roads connecting towns). Hot weather as usual, and always at the worst time (i.e. during the big climb), but at least the scenery was great. Due to the low participation count, I found myself riding all alone for a large portion of the ride; there were entire sections where I never saw anyone else, just me and passing traffic (and after the second checkpoint, just me and the darkness). My ride video here is a little bit shorter than usual, because there was a lot of night riding where there would be nothing interesting to capture on camera anyway.

Highlight of the ride, reward for making the climb under the afternoon sun (screen grab from the 4K video of my GoPro, with some retouching):




Also, I guess I'm different from @antimonysarah in the sense that I prefer the flatter roads over rollers when I am tired. I find that I can drop down to very light gears like 36/14 and keep spinning at 85-95rpm, whereas hilly roads just get annoying grinding 8km/h and below, and then to find out that there's a whole lot more of those after the crest. My only issue with the flat roads is that they can be mentally taxing. Counting down the KMs on a long, 30km stretch of road to the next turn, and then after that turn it's another long flat stretch to the next turn, and so on... but I guess it's a "pick your poison" kind of torture? Either suffer multiple hills or suffer multiple long stretches of flats...

At the start of next month is a very flat 300k... haven't decided if I want to join that one yet. It's a 3-hour long drive to the starting point so... ugh...

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Old 04-15-19, 06:51 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Also, I guess I'm different from @antimonysarah in the sense that I prefer the flatter roads over rollers when I am tired.
I was surprised at my reaction Our local rides are all at least rolling hills the whole way, so I'd never been coming in on long, straight, flat roads in the night. It was definitely more mental than physical exhaustion; every time I'd finally get to a turn and realize I had 10 straight miles on the next road too I felt like I was getting further, not closer, to the end.
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Old 04-15-19, 08:59 AM
  #133  
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Speaking of flat, the NJ Randonneuring season started last weekend 4/6/19 with the 'Batsto 200' (https://www.njrandonneurs.org/batsto-200k.html). 70 riders.

My photos (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmCtqFTK) don't stand up well to what other forum members have posted (see @atwl77 above), but here's one...




I rode an old Bottecchia racing bike now converted to a 650b fixie randonneuring bike. This was its longest ride to date. I've done a few hilly 200k's on fixed gear before, but this was the first really flat one. By the end of the ride, I really really wanted to be off the bike. Just coasting for a little while would have been a great relief. I had been thinking I'd ride the whole NJ "flat series" on the fixie, but I'm having second thoughts about that. The whole time I was on the bike it was a constant effort, faster when there was a tail wind or a downhill, slower when there was a headwind or up hill, but the effort was constant and very tiring.

@antimonysarah, ! And you're doing the East Creek 600? I'll see you there.
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Old 04-15-19, 01:12 PM
  #134  
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@antimonysarah, ! And you're doing the East Creek 600? I'll see you there.[/QUOTE]

Awesome, see you there. And to make this not a content-free post, some highlights of the Florida 400k:


Misty morning was nice and cool; I hung with the peloton for a while but eventually dropped off to eat and take pictures and ride my own ride.


Then it warmed up; really wanted a swim in the many lakes we passed.
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Old 04-15-19, 07:16 PM
  #135  
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If it's very flat, you get to learn how well you like your saddle.

I finished the Eastern PA 400k this weekend. I went too hard on Tuesday's 100k, and that was a very bad idea before this ride which featured lots of hills and a stiff headwind. Like I always say, there's nothing like the second sunrise on a 400.
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Old 04-29-19, 04:47 AM
  #136  
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I did my local Audax club's 100k Permanent last weekend. Since it was only a 100, I didn't prepare much other than what I would usually bring on a typical weekend morning group ride. Most of the people I usually ride with didn't attend, so I was planning on doing the whole thing solo, but instead ended up riding in a small group of 5. Funny thing is, I wasn't actually planning to ride together... I was just doing my own thing for a while with them behind me, later on they thanked me for pulling for over 30+km and I just sort of ended up riding with them afterwards.

Anyways, the starting of the route wasn't very nice. With a 6am start, it was dark and plenty of road works at the beginning, so it was bumpy and I had to watch out for hazards. Nearly hit a divider in the dark; lucky the people behind me were fast enough to react as well. Some parts were also a bit confusing, but I was somewhat familiar with some sections of that area so I managed to pick the right junctions.

After around 10+km we finally got into nicer countryside roads. Weather was very nice the entire time; the previous week was full of heavy rains and thunderstorms, but the weather report mentioned no rain today so I was doubtful. Fortunately the report was accurate - mostly cloudy and cooling temperatures from all the rain the previous day.

Was making pretty good progress up until around the 80km mark. Since this was just a short 100k, I was going pretty hard and planned to try and complete in 4 hours. Was doing pretty well too, but the last 20km had some steep and tall rolling hills that nearly killed my legs. Nearly cramped in the last 5km, so had to take it easy and start spinning on lighter gears and higher cadence until I reached the finishing point.

Finished 10:03am, 3 minutes off my target. Cramps came after, lol... but I'm not too concerned about them. For this ride I was testing a more forward-positioned saddle which feels like it improves on power transfer but at the risk of muscle cramps, guess I should move the thing back to the previous position before any upcoming brevets.
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Old 05-05-19, 10:44 AM
  #137  
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Did another 300k this weekend. Over 200 riders this time; also nice and scenic route, but bad weather.

It was already lightly drizzling as we were setting up our bikes for the 6am start. Then shortly after setting off, we were drenched in a heavy downpour. Some people stopped, but I wanted to stay in the peloton for as long as possible to gain as much ground as possible during the initial flat course before the climbs began, not that any sort of rain protection is going to help anyway in this kind of rain. The triathlon shoes I mentioned a couple of weeks ago? That helped a lot, as in after the rain had stopped my shoes and socks got dry pretty quick.

I reached the first checkpoint at the 114km mark at around 10:22pm, which I think was a pretty good time. My plan was to do complete 100km every 5 hours, so I had a good buffer time for a bit of brunch before setting off again.

Second checkpoint was a short distance away, at the 174km mark. Reached at 2:11pm, doing pretty well, ate some fruits before setting off again.

Hit the 200km mark around 10 minutes before 4:00pm, so that was still good timing. Stopped for some instant noodles at a petrol station before heading out.

Then shortly after 4:00pm, rain again! This time though, it was a pretty heavy downpour. The strong headwinds blew a lot of water into my face and eyes. I couldn't see where I was going and had to stop for about 30 minutes before things had calmed down a little. It was still raining when I continued the ride, but at least no longer blinding rain.

Somewhere between 212-245km was a rural area with a bit of climbing involved; it also went through a couple of graveyards. There were still a lot of people behind me. Must suck to ride through this area in total darkness, lol. Can't wait to hear if any stories emerge from them. :-)

Reached the final checkpoint at 251km at 6:36pm. A bit iffy on timing, but I needed to stop for a bit of rest and dinner. Unfortunately there wasn't much around the area, so I settled for some bread, peanuts and yogurt from a convenience store. Not really enough for a proper dinner, but oh well... better than nothing. Headed off at around 7pm with approximately 55km more to go. A bit iffy to complete by 9:00pm, based on my initial goal of 5hrs per 100km. But ultimately, I didn't make it. I was already pretty tired at that time and had to make another stop just 14km away from finish. One bottle of Coke for the final push, completed at 9:30pm.

A couple of processed screen grabs from my video:





Also my ride video here.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:54 AM
  #138  
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New Jersey Randonneurs ran their "Pinelands 300k" yesterday. They are running two complete series, one flat, the other hilly. The idea is let all the riders get the flat series done so they can register for PBP, then do the hilly series in hopes of being actually prepared.

I'm just doing the flat series. There is something challenging, for me, in these flat rides. I seem to do better when there are hills.

Anyway, the ride started about three miles from home. I left the house at 4 AM, tried and failed to find coffee after registering. Some 60 riders pulled out at 5:00 and within a mile the fast group, perhaps a dozen of them, had disappeared in front of me.

They soon ran into trouble, two of them hitting potholes that they couldn't avoid in the closely packed group, and crashing in the dark. When we came by they waved us on, no help needed.

We had a gentle tailwind, the kind you only notice when you look at the speedometer. I was riding with two older gentlemen (5-10 years older than myself) for well over half of the ride, taking turns pulling for two miles, typically moving around 20-22 mph. I saw my average speed gradually climb over 17 mph, almost 18. The speed was pretty thrilling.

But then, somewhere after the halfway point, I realized the speed had become arduous. I was holding on just fine, but wasn't enjoying it any more. I told the other guys I was going to drop back and take it easy for a while. I was also little concerned I might mess up my digestion by continuing at that speed.

Riding by myself I go much slower, see more, and thoroughly enjoy the contemplative aspect of riding.

Late in the ride I fell in with two of the riders from the fast group who were also taking it easier now, including a woman my age (?), one of the ones who had crashed hours before. She had road rash and bruises and badly shredded clothes, but a great attitude and (I soon found out) she was still faster than I. I hung with them for an hour or so before dropping back again.

In the last hour my strength returned and I picked up the pace again, making what felt like a strong finish. They had beer and pizza at the end. Everyone was in a great mood.

I don't remember my time. Doesn't matter. By far fastest 300 to date (I think it was my 4th 300). I imagine everyone doing that ride will have posted a personal best.

I know a lot of riders were plagued by flat tires yesterday. With my 26 x 2.3 tires I was spared that inconvenience, or so I thought, but this morning I see my rear tire is flat. Well, no better time for that, right?

NJ Randonneurs likes to station a volunteer at every controle, to sign the cards, provide water etc. I'm not used to this luxury, but it is nice indeed! @NJgreyhead was one of them. Thanks!
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Old 05-12-19, 07:18 AM
  #139  
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Happy to help, @rhm. Thanks for the thanks.
I got talking to one rider, and found he is the son of a first-cousin of mine!
It was good to see you again. I noticed you weren't riding your fixie, as you did for the Batsto 200k in April. I can't imagine.

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Old 05-12-19, 07:33 AM
  #140  
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My friend James H --he posts here infrequently and I cannot remember his username-- did the PA Randonneurs series on his fixie last year, so I thought I should do the NJ flat series on the fixie this year. Doh! The Batsto 200 proved that to be a bad idea . I have done hilly 200's on the fixie and that was fine, but the flat one was unrelenting. I reconsidered.

Note also, my friend Jimmy (who does not post here, I think) is riding the PA series on his fatbike this spring. 200k, 300k, 400k, and the Flèche, done; 600k to go, and I have no doubt he'll accomplish that no problem.

Kids these days, you know?
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Old 05-12-19, 08:11 AM
  #141  
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Yeah, doing a series on a fatbike, sheesh. I've ridden one of Jimmy's Permanents, and seen him pictured in American Randonneur with icicles on his eyelashes while doing a seriously dangerous Minnesota (?) ride in snowy sub-freezing temps. He is remarkable.
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Old 05-12-19, 02:20 PM
  #142  
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I finished my 400K this weekend... we had a decent ride, the route has 3000m of climbing with most of it in the middle and consisting of a few of the bigger climbs in our part of the province, including scenic caves rd. The last 50km of the ride trended downhill from the last control so it made for a nice way to end the ride. The temperature at the start was -1C and the highest in the afternoon was 17 so it was a bit tricky to keep the right layers on. Once night fell again the mercury dropped back down to +2 and there was a meek attempt at rain/snow but thankfully it didn't really turn out to be much. We were extremely lucky with the wind too, with a very mild headwind of 10-15km/h for part of the ride and a bit of a tailwind. The route went along the shore of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay so winds off the water were pretty cold. I woke up on Saturday feeling the beginnings of a cold tickling my throat so I had a really hard time with this brevet but I dropped my pace a bit and rode alone with quick control stops and managed to meet back up with some quicker riders and we finished the last 110km mostly together. We were around the 23:20 mark with our finishing time which meant I got to bed before the sun rose again!
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Old 05-12-19, 04:25 PM
  #143  
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and miss the second sunrise? That's the best part.

Congrats on finishing.
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Old 05-13-19, 02:35 AM
  #144  
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Yesterday, I finished my series of PBP qualification brevets with a 600km. I'm from the Netherlands, which means that a 600 km almost always (there are exceptions) will be very flat. But that didn't mean that this one would be easy.
There were two starting points: Groningen in the north of the Netherlands (counterclockwise), and Venray in the south (clockwise). Since only Venray would be reachable by train in the morning I picked this one. This meant that we had a stiff headwind for the first 270 km. The weather over all was good, sunny albeit not very warm for the time of the year. We rode off at 08:00 hours.
I'm someone who prefers to ride alone, but this time I opted to stay in a group because of the wind. The route was very scenic, but part of the scenery was a d y k e along the river IJssel which was very exposed to wind. Staying in the group was very helpful in maintaining a decent average speed, but I spent too much energy in this first leg. So when we arrived at the 380 km control point (having entered Germany shortly before that) at 01:00h I chose to leave the group and take a rest. Brevets in the Netherlands are almost always completely self-supported, so there wouldn't be any manned controls or sleeping arrangements, so I took a nap for an hour lying on four chairs in the highway restaurant that was the control point. After this, I felt much better, and my stomach, which had been a little upset, had calmed down. But when I came outside I shivered so badly from the cold (the temperature had dropped to below zero celsius, so it was freezing) that I hardly could put on my gloves. But after a few kilometers my inner stove got warm again and it got much better. I rode alone now, and continued to do so for the remainder of the ride. There was a beautiful sunrise, whit the strange effect of riding through a sunny spring landsape at freezing temperatures. Although I was riding at the latitude of northern Ontario this isn't a common may temperature in western Europe.
Brevets like this always turn out to be a kind of 'Tour de McDonalds', so I was glad tha the control point at 490 km was at a local bakery where I could get decent bread. After the last control point/McDonalds at 545 km I entered The Netherlands again and I reached Venray at two o'clock AM, with a total time of exactly 30 hours. Now I should be ready for my first PBP....

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Old 05-13-19, 06:53 AM
  #145  
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Thanks for the report. I have always figured that riding in the Netherlands was likely to involve headwinds. Too bad about the temperatures, I have been unhappy that ours have been a little low, but we haven't seen freezing temps for over a month. Looks like the temperatures for next week's 600k are going to be fairly reasonable, which is good for me because if it was going to be hot I would have cramping problems this time of year.

I was watching the tracks from the pre-ride of the 600k. As it got dark, they started getting rained on, and it got down to 42F. That was too much, and they ubered home at about the 200 mile mark. I might ride my gravel bike, reports were that there were some long soft sections of a bike trail. So bigger tires will probably be faster.
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Old 05-13-19, 06:56 AM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
and miss the second sunrise? That's the best part.

Congrats on finishing.
Starting at 5am would have meant taking closer to 25 hours to see the start to rise again... I think this the earliest in the year I've ever done a 400.
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Old 05-13-19, 10:43 AM
  #147  
unterhausen
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The Eastern PA 400k has always started at 4am and I think I have seen more second sunrises than the number of times I have finished in the dark. The first time that happened was when I was sick all spring and the only training I got was riding brevets. But usually it's because it's relatively early in the year and I have trouble eating. That's what happened this year. One time it was because my knee blew up and I rode the last 20 miles pedaling with one leg because I couldn't stand to flex the other leg anymore. That will slow you down, but the saddle sores are epic. I was really happy last year when I finished the 400k with a decent time.
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Old 05-22-19, 10:19 PM
  #148  
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PA Randonneurs had their 600k last weekend, a new route, and I was not able to attend. I gather it was pretty epic. Jimmy A finished the series, the whole SR series on a fatbike.

I had initially planned to do both the PA Randonneurs SR series and the NJ Randonneurs SR series, but I have so much other stuff going on this spring that I had to choose one or the other. I chose the NJ series that I can ride mostly from home. But now it turns out even the NJ series is untenable. I've had to withdraw from the 600 next month, and now I'm having doubts about the 400k this weekend.

Life gets in the way! What a dumb expression... but true.
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Old 05-23-19, 05:32 AM
  #149  
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I dnf'd the PA 600k because I couldn't eat. Only made it 180 miles. I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to be able to ride 90 miles of mostly uphill on no food. Well, I could have, but the last 110 miles was pretty brutal.
It somehow had escaped me that the NJ 600 registration was even open, and they are overfull. I'm on the waiting list, but I think I will go ride the much more difficult looking DC 600k. Going to have to work on my heat tolerance. I DNF'd this DC course last year because, wait for it, I couldn't eat. Well, I couldn't drink either. I really like the part of it I rode though.
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Old 05-23-19, 08:27 AM
  #150  
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Bummer on the DNF, I can't imagine not being able to eat... If you wanted a less-hilly 600 there are a few on the Ontario schedule in June... the only cost for doing one ride is the 35$ insurance... the current 2 week forecast that goes into June still has us in below-seasonal weather.
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