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2021 Randonnees

Old 10-29-20, 11:20 PM
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atwl77
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2021 Randonnees

My audax club has already released their 2021 audax calendar, so I thought it would be fitting to start a new 2021 Randonnees thread. Like last year's thread, let's talk about our 2021 plans, goals, ride reports and other related stuff.

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Old 10-29-20, 11:29 PM
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Although my local audax club has already posted their entire 2021 plan, but due to the current pandemic I'm going to assume that things are not set in stone and there's bound to be changes and rescheduling all year round. Regardless, three things that I'm looking forward to:
- an LRM1300 in March 2021, which was supposed to happen this year but was postponed due to the pandemic, among other things
- another BRM1000 in July 2021
- a BRM600 titled "Big Hills Challenge", so I'm expecting plenty of elevation from this, which will also be a great benchmark to test how well I may do in PBP or similar climb-heavy routes

Interestingly they also have a couple of rest months, including November 2020 (which is understandable considering the level of lockdowns at the moment), as well as two rest months in 2021 centered around major race-related public holidays that fall on those months. Not entirely on board with the idea, seems like they could have just fit in a short BRM200 for those months and people will still have plenty of time for their vacations, celebrations, fasting and whatnots.

Anyways, I don't have any particular goal in mind for 2021, other than keep fit and continue improving my performance. I would love to get a sub-30h completion time for a 600k - certainly not the hilly one but maybe one of the flatter BRM600's that's scheduled next year - but it's no biggie if I don't achieve that. 2022 is going to be the big year in preparation for PBP 2023, so for me there's still time in 2021 to just enjoy, fool around and experiment.
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Old 10-31-20, 02:17 PM
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For now, rides in my region for 2021 are being scheduled later than usual by a few months at least (April and May, rather than January and February). We will have to wait and see if any of these scheduled events can actually happen.

I was really looking forward to riding the Cascades 1200km brevet in 2021. I even made some changes and investments in my business that were much needed, but would also allow me to get away more easily for training and riding the Cascades 1200. I'm glad we made the changes, but now I'm not sure the ride will even take place. Even if it is scheduled, I'm not sure I can commit to it now. It is such a challenging course that I feel like 100% commitment is necessary. With all the pandemic-related uncertainty I'm pretty much giving up on the idea and just glad my business is doing well and I have stayed healthy so far. So I'm not beating myself up too much. I'm enjoying what riding I can get in locally but now thinking I'll be taking it easy for another season in hopes of saving money and energy for big rides again in another year or two. Meanwhile, I'm working with a frame builder friend to build a new bike too.
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Old 01-10-21, 11:12 PM
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I completed my local audax club's annual Pink Ride yesterday. The Pink Ride is essentially a BRM200 with a beginner-friendly route, and ladies get to ride for free, but due to the current pandemic it has been organized differently this year. Since we can't have hundreds of riders gathering and riding off like in the past years, the event is ongoing throughout the month of January and riders need to book time slots in advance. Each slot has a limit of up to 10 riders, and the one I booked was 7am Sunday, January 10. So in all, a very, very different low-key experience compared to the big event of the past years.

I was a little bit late and the starting point was completely empty at the time I arrived and rode out, so basically a solo ride for me.

I started in the city center and had about roughly 20km to get out, with lots of traffic stops as well as some poor road conditions so this part of the ride wasn't that great. Once I got out though, the first half of the ride was quite pleasant; even though the sun was already out but the air was still very cool and refreshing. It's still a very wet and rainy season over here, hence the cool atmosphere, but fortunately it didn't rain and that was absolutely great.

First checkpoint was at around 40km, it was a McDonald's drivethru where I encountered a couple of riders that had started out before me. I didn't intend to stop here though, so I just quickly made my way to the QR code to scan on my phone for checkpoint purposes, then immediately headed out.

Second checkpoint, a petrol station at the 90km mark, was a bit more crowded. One group had already arrived, and two more would arrive as I spent my time here refilling my water and having what I would call a meal (a snickers bar, a strawberry bun, orange juice, and coffee). It was starting to get hot now, so I put on my sunscreen before heading out.

From this point onwards, we were heading into countryside/rural roads, so lots of farms, estates and plantations, and also very little traffic. The roads were also much hillier now, and to my surprise my legs did not like it very much. I think maybe I must have pushed a bit too hard in the first half of the ride (it was "only" 200km anyways, and Pink Rides is often were I want to train for speed), so my toes as well as the muscles just above my knees felt stiff and threated to cramp up. Because of this I had to slow down my pace and soft pedal a lot, which actually seemed to work better on the climbs as I could generate more power spinning easily at 90mm than trying to drive the cranks at 60rpm.

But anyways, third checkpoint was around the 130km mark, another petrol station. I just made a quick stop for a can of 100 Plus and refill my water bottle before heading off. At this point dark clouds were beginning to form, more motivation to keep pushing instead of dilly-dallying.

More rolling roads stood in my way as I made it back into the city. Made a very quick stop at a small roadside stall with around 25km remaining for fresh, cold coconut juice. Then the last 20km ride in the city itself was an unpleasant slog through heavy traffic and poor road conditions.

Finished the ride in 9 hours 13 minutes total. Honestly, not an easy ride at all despite the Pink Ride moniker. With 1757m of elevation, that's close to PBP levels (which, if I remember correctly, was somewhere around 1000m elevation per 100km). I wasn't also in my best condition to be trying to go for a personal best record, after having done 500km just two weeks ago to complete the Rapha Festive 500 in one single ride. Because of this, my legs suffered for the second half of the ride, and it was a slog to the finish. But despite that, I still completed relatively early; there were groups that started before me but finished after me, so I guess I could take that as a success?



They made a special edition medal for this ride, commemorating 100 years of audax:



And here's the video and vlog of my ride, if you're interested: https://tinyurl.com/y6ovej9t

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Old 01-11-21, 12:14 AM
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I have an SR series, SR600, and 1200 on my calendar. I'll do perms to fill out the rest and keep my R-12 going.

I've been doing rando for 11 years, all on a recumbent. I'm trying an up right bike, only 200ks so far. It's kind of like starting rando all over again.

Time will tell if any of this happens. I'll keep the 200k perms going, unless that program gets suspended again.
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Old 01-12-21, 12:21 AM
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And with new lockdown announcements, I guess I'll be on audax hiatus for a bit. The planned LRM1300 in March is very likely to be postponed too, but at this point it's just wait-and-see.
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Old 01-12-21, 12:33 AM
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I expect 2021 to be similar to 2020, rando-wise (events postponed or only happening with reduced number of signup slots). It's going to be a while before things can go back to near normal here as Japan is not planning to approve the first vaccine until the end of February (2 months after the US and the EU), with the second vaccine not to follow until May or so. Somehow the government is still holding on to the plan that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in July/August 2021, as rescheduled last March.

I plan to ride a 200 km in March, followed by a Fleche on the first April weekend. I'm already signed up for the Fleche while signup for the 200 won't start until about 2 weeks from now.

I also want to ride 300 and 400 km events if they take place and if I can snag a sign up for one of the probably reduced number of slots, otherwise the plan is to keep riding one or more personal centuries every month of the year.
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Old 01-13-21, 05:24 PM
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My 2021 plan is to do less randonneuring, and try to work in some other stuff for a change. Like a couple of little tours and whatnot.
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Old 02-25-21, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
And with new lockdown announcements, I guess I'll be on audax hiatus for a bit. The planned LRM1300 in March is very likely to be postponed too, but at this point it's just wait-and-see.
Unsurprisingly, it's been moved to June. That's in the middle of my country's planned vaccination period, so it still feels a bit early, but apparently plans are already put to motion including designated sleeping points, bag drop service and so on... so we'll see how well this plan holds. Assuming no monkey wrench gets thrown into those plans, June's actually a good time for this - weather's not too hot and not too wet as well (typically).
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Old 02-25-21, 07:46 PM
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I successfully signed up for the mid-July Colorado High Country 1200 last week. Then the next day I had knee surgery.
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Old 04-11-21, 09:43 PM
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Completed a 300k yesterday. It's been a while since my last brevet, so I wasn't entirely fit for this. The most riding I've done since my last 200k in January, were short 100-120km rides on weekends and much shorter indoor training sessions on the weekdays - so not really there in TSS/CTL terms.

The ride started at 3am in the morning, which introduced another bit of challenge of waking up at 1am in the morning for breakfast and preparations, then leaving the house at 2am for a 30-minute drive to the start location. Unsurprisingly, I had trouble trying to get some sleep earlier so was that would be an ongoing problem throughout the ride.

The first 90km of the ride includes a decent hill of around 360m height, followed by mostly light rolling roads towards a small town where I stopped for breakfast. I had originally planned to make it just a petrol station stop, since there's where I can quickly grab stuff to eat, refill my water bottles and be on my way, but the one I stopped at did not have hot water to make instant noodles so my friend suggested a nearby coffee shop where I had some sandwiches and soft-boiled eggs instead.

The next 100+ km journey began at around sunrise, with some moderate rolling hills at the beginning through rural/countryside roads and then a long, straight flat afterwards. Some fatigue had already set in but I was still doing pretty well, stopping once at a small convenience store at 150km for some drinks, and then at a petrol station near 200km for a longer food/water/rest stop. By then it was close to 12 noon and the afternoon sun was getting pretty brutal. Combined with the coastal winds, the final 100+ km of the journey was a tough slog to the finish. Heavy traffic along the coastal roads as well as some poor road conditions, obviously the result of the constant deluge of heavy vehicles that ply this route, also made for some bumpy and rattling rides.

Despite my plan to keep stops infrequent and short, I ended up stopping three times within that last 100km to catch a break from the heat, which in turn contributing a large amount of elapsed time. I had originally targeted a 5pm completion time (14 hours elapsed time), and that still a very achievable goal at the 200km mark. However, with all the additional unplanned rest stops, I only managed to finish at approx 5:43pm (which comes up to around 14h 40m elapsed time on Strava).


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Old 04-12-21, 08:47 AM
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Rocky Mountain Cycling Club's High Country 1200k looks very nice. I recall the stretch from Walden towards Granby thru Walden to be especially sublime (before and at sunrise) but the route might go the other way. Loop 1 on Day 2 from Walden to Saratoga to Laramie and back to Walden should also be sweet (low traffic and not too high elevation). Walden to Saratoga is 1300 foot net elevation loss and if you time the wind right, you might not have to pedal. I did the section to Steamboat years ago and if memory serves, also very low traffic. I have camped below the Rabbit ears. Not a huge fan of some parts from Steamboat back towards Granby due to traffic on weekends and inconsistent shoulders but midweek shouldn't be bad. First hundred miles are pretty flat and fast until the left turn of US 287, I recall a store there (control?). Then, a lovely long but not terribly steep climb with potentially favorable winds depending on time of day.


Anyone doing this one?
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Old 04-18-21, 09:08 AM
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I managed to snag a signup for a 400 km in mid-May, which will be my first regular brevet this year, although I also participated in a Fleche in early April (DNF). I still have three weekends to prepare for the 400, not too different really from the Fleche in terms of time and distance.

Since I ride centuries year round, you can pretty much put me on a bike any day of the year and say: "Ride 100 miles or 24 hour" (or whatever distance mere mortals would call insane) and I'll do it. I may not do it particularly fast, but I'll finish it somehow.

I love the local club's 400 km course. Most of the climbing is in the first quarter. If you manage to do OK in that part, you can finish the event unless you get terrible sleepy later on. I can handle 24h without sleep as long as I've had a good night's sleep the night before and don't start out with a major sleep deficit from the previous week. I personally can protect myself against extreme sleepiness on 400 k and Fleche rides pretty well by booking a hotel near the start and having an early night.
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Old 04-18-21, 01:17 PM
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I'd signed up for the CHC1200 last year but with the border still closed I don't really want to deal with all the hassles of quarantine and whatnot... will have to hope they run it again in 4 years.

Our province went back into mockdown which cancelled all our brevets for the next 6 weeks since all outdoor gatherings are prohibited now there's not really much going on in Ontario, hopefully we can run some in the summer when restrictions ease but it might be like last year where it was mostly small solo endeavours.
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