Notices
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

2022 Randonnees

Old 06-17-22, 11:46 AM
  #76  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 2,843
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1670 Post(s)
Liked 1,382 Times in 875 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
Interesting, I was on the same ride in NJ.

It is my first brevet after a break for several years. It was also my friend's first brevet ever. I think we saw you at the finish and your Land Cruiser(?). Originally our plan was just to finish it and I was thinking it would take us 16-17 hours, but with 40 miles to go we realized that if we ride strong we could finish it just under 14 hours. Last 40 miles were very stressful because if we stay at above 21 mph we would barely make the time(under 14 hours). Luckily last section of the course was relatively flat and we managed to finish in 13:53. I never expected to finish a 300k hilly brevet under 14 hours, especially after not riding long brevets for 6-7 years and gaining some unwanted pounds. I also do remember that fast young lady that we were trying to catch , but she was too fast for us. I think she went off course before the last control because we did not see her at the finish .

I was also very impressed how beautiful that area of NJ is and how well thought out the roads are on this ride. I did ride some longer NJ brevets before, but this one is my favorite now.
I have to say there is always a lot of thought put into all the brevets in the area. As you are probably from the area, we live in very populated state(s) here. Although this route is only a 300k, it feels epic to me and the last rolling 35 miles to finish offers some redemption. I had a similar thing going on. At Hacklebarnie Park, I figured I needed to average about 17 mph to finish under 13 hours and that included a control and several highway crossings as you know. I sniffed and sniffed for the barn over the next two hours. It is a hard but very rewarding brevet or it feels that way to me.

She might be strong enough to do PBP with the lead group of guys. I hollered her a few times on missed turns. I think she has an old Garmin messing her up. She blew by me on Schooleys Mountain as I was removing my sun sleeves whilst riding....she came by me hauling derriere before you make the left and that cute ancient General Store is on your right. She went off course there. Gone by the time I got to that turn. She made a right and probably went all the way down Point Mountain and maybe across route 57 having to climb those again. No thanks.

That old Land Cruiser is mine. I always have to have an old vehicle for this kind of stuff. I was riding a red Cervelo that day.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Likes For GhostRider62:
Old 06-18-22, 06:20 AM
  #77  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,694
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 85 Posts
This is the year of DNFs for me. I've now DNF'd a 200 for the first time due to my own mistakes with a bottom bracket bearing install... dunno what went wrong exactly but it seems like I didn't press the bearings in far enough... thought they felt like they were touching the lip/ridge but it appeared they migrated further inward so the crank was moving side-to-side. I thought it was the fixing bolt that came undone but when I got home I had to use a cheater to get it undone, so it was likely still tight.

I also gave up on a 600k, had done the first day in good time (for me), finishing ~360km by 10pm and was asleep by 11, so I should have been fine to finish the next day but my knee was screaming on the first few small hills and I could barely push a 100w without aggravating it so I figured it was best to quit close to the start/finish. I dunno if it would have got better or not, but that's the second DNF for me on this route, last year I crashed and a gash on my elbow wouldn't stop bleeding after another ~200km so I quit to go get it stitched shut.

I guess the thing I learned it that I've been riding on borrowed time when it comes to bike maintenance, and that I haven't been riding or training enough to just roll out the door and knock out a bunch of brevets... kinda gave up on training after I got covid and have been in a funk ever since. Gonna see if I can get a prescription for some low-dose antidepressants to even the keel and get back on track with things.

On the bright side, I converted my road bike to tubeless... I guess one of my problems was non-tubeless rim tape on tubeless-ready rims... but I'm done with tubes on the road bike, the gp5000 seem like really fast tires and no wincing anytime I hit a pothole or what looks like glass was pretty nice on the first half of that 600.
clasher is offline  
Likes For clasher:
Old 06-18-22, 09:24 PM
  #78  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,306

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 1,492 Times in 764 Posts
Ride Report: SIR Summer Populaire. The original plan was to do a perm pop here in Portland with a buddy, who was going to earn his Mondial award about 24 miles into the ride. But just before the Wednesday cutoff we decided to join the SIR scheduled pop instead. Both of us are working toward a RUSA Cup and needed a calendered populaire, but it did mean 6 hours driving round-trip, and a 4:30AM wakeup. The route was urban, featuring Seattle bike trail infrastructure. I planned to tootle along, but ended up riding a bit harder than that.

Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/39849071

The forecast looked like 50-60 degrees with rain likely, but the rain situation looked better and better as we got closer. Turns out we had threatening looking skies, a few sprinkles, and even some sunshine. The route was flat, we had a bit of wind, but overall really quite nice. We stayed with a group for the first 25 miles or so, then I backed off the pace to increase the enjoyment. Actually I think the trails are mostly 15mph max anyway. At around 40 miles we stopped at a farm market for a quick bite; I had some kind of Indian inspired deep-fried mashed sweet potato sliders, and my buddy had pot stickers. Yummy. If I'd been alone I'd have burned another hour trying to navigate the trail system (even with GPS), but my buddy is from Seattle, and we had people up ahead much of the day. 10 miles to go we caught up with a recumbent rider, just in time for some 'bent friendly rollers. That was fun, as I recalled my many thousands of 'bent miles; rollers are a blast. The end featured riding the bike trail along I-90 over Lake Washington, then climbing up through the neighborhoods to the finish. Nice fun ride, easy 100k. Now I just need a 1000k for both the RUSA Cup and ACP Randonneur 10000.
downtube42 is online now  
Likes For downtube42:
Old 06-19-22, 03:53 PM
  #79  
NJgreyhead
Senior Member
 
NJgreyhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Jersey near PHL
Posts: 721

Bikes: Frequently

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Liked 202 Times in 99 Posts
Juneteenth 2022 populaire

Today was the NJ Randonneurs 117km Juneteenth populaire, hosted by Nigel (who had finished a pre-ride of a 400km route 4 hours before this 6 a.m. start).

The riders had to contend with a bit of wind on the return, but all finished within the allotted time and were treated to hot dogs and homemade brownies.




Route (also a permanent) visits sites from the book, Parallel Communities, The Underground Railroad in South Jersey, by Dennis Rizzo (historypress.net).

Single speed
NJgreyhead is offline  
Likes For NJgreyhead:
Old 06-24-22, 08:51 PM
  #80  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,306

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 1,492 Times in 764 Posts
I am really enjoying dot-watching the Cascades 1400. Lots of people I know, both from the PNW and elsewhere. I'm checking everyone's mileage via RWGPS route, estimating when people will finish the day, noticing who's hanging around a stop too long. It's like half the fun of participating, but I'm going to get 8 hours of sleep tonight lol.

https://new.spotwalla.com/lp/db62-98...Y8ssfoMamP3Qk#
downtube42 is online now  
Likes For downtube42:
Old 06-27-22, 02:04 AM
  #81  
atwl77
Kamen Rider
Thread Starter
 
atwl77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: KL, MY
Posts: 1,067

Bikes: Fuji Transonic Elite, Marechal Soul Ultimate, Dahon Dash Altena

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 162 Posts
Did my second 300k of the season last weekend. Weather has been quite wet the preceding week, with heavy monsoon rain throughout the weekday, so I was preparing for a wet ride. Got trolled by the weather instead! I brought a rain jacket, installed a rear mudguard/fender... both dead weight with not a single drop of rain at all. Hot and sunny the entire day!

Was surprised at the starting point to see such a huge turnout. Seems like the lure of a limited edition medal has brought in the crowd. I joked that this would be somewhat of a race - I don't remember the numbers, but I think our audax club brought in somewhere around 200-300 of these medals so if you finish late, you can only get the "ordinary" BRM300 medal.



The first ~50km was nice and flat, and thanks to the large number of participants I had a very good draft for a good distance, and then afterwards I made a stop at a petrol station at 70km for food. I figure that since my stomach often starts giving me problems later into the ride, I might as well take the opportunity to eat as long as my stomach can take in solids. After this stop, the route becomes hilly for the next ~130km, with the first checkpoint in the middle of nowhere at 98.7km. Didn't linger here, just got the brevet card stamped and headed into town around ~15km away for my next planned stop for a bit more food. Stomach still good.

Made another planned stop around ~40km away, mainly because there didn't appear to be any other stops afterwards (at least by my research on Google maps), so took the opportunity for another quick food break before turning into more rural, countryside roads. There's supposed to be a roadside "secret" checkpoint between 160-190km but I didn't find it. Later, it turns out that the checkpoint wasn't open yet, but regardless I had marked down a small community at around 187km for lunch where I stopped to grab some evidence of my arrival in lieu of the missed checkpoint. Weather was getting pretty hot by then, and I couldn't fully down my lunch.

The next stretch of road was a long and tedious 55km through a long countryside plantation/estate road with very little cover from the sun above. Felt very miserable and slowly trudging along. Found a little coffee shop along the way and took the opportunity to get a bit of rest. Little sleeping kitten at the shop:



And then with another 14km remaining to the next checkpoint, made yet another stop for a can of coke. Think the coke helped my stomach somewhat, the carbonated drink helped encourage me to burp more and get rid of some extra air from my stomach.

The third checkpoint was at a McDonalds, but I didn't stop to eat since my stomach probably couldn't take anything solid at that point. Just got my brevet card stamped, then headed over to the petrol station alongside the restaurant. They had a very nice, open area with plenty of benches and tables to rest. Got some drinks in lieu of solid foods, then took a short nap. Felt much better after the nap, by that time it was already late evening at 7pm with the sun beginning to set. Felt a lot better and could push a faster, comfortable pace and did the remaining 51km in just a touch under 2 hours, finishing before 9pm.

atwl77 is offline  
Old 07-04-22, 11:36 AM
  #82  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,694
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 85 Posts
Finished a hilly 600k this weekend. Route was a new one and some riders expressed interested and wanted to know what the gravel was like. It worked out well for me to do a proper pre-ride since I want to do another hilly 600 on the 23rd. Made a few route changes, two gravel sections have been used as dirtbike tracks and are completely unrideable now. Unfortunately one county seems to have gone hog wild with the chipseal and did big stretches of what were really great roads. They're still nice, just slower going in the corners. It was a long weekend here so there were no hotels available. I thought I could ride through the night but I didn't sleep well the night before due to fireworks, and my two roadside naps didn't go well. The first one I left because a white car kept slow-rolling by the playground I was using as a bed, and then he kept making appearances for the next hour or so. I was creeped out. By the time I found another stoop to nap, it was getting close to 4 and some traffic was starting to build on a nearby busier road and the noise kept me awake. I did catch 15 minutes though, and that was enough to see me through till dawn. It did get really cold at night, forecast was 12 but it went down to 5. LOL. I put my dirty kit back on, and I usually ride with long finger gloves so I had a pair with me. I may have got mild hypothermia, spent an hour warming up with McDonald's coffee and hash browns once they opened the lobby at 6am... left that control with an hour in the bank, made it back to the start with 90 minutes to spare.

I lost over an hour when my left crank arm came undone, it's an FSA and the left is supposed to be torqued from the factory so no clue why it came loose. I don't carry a 10mm with me so I started asking locals and eventually got directed to someone that had one... I bought a set of keys in case it happened again, and of course it didn't. I also lost a nyloc nut that held the rear fender to the L bracket on the seatstay bridge. I'm gonna go buy some rivets and rivet that to the fender. I didn't notice this as it must have came on a nice downhill section, but I got back into the hills and was having trouble going faster than 16km/h. Eventually figured it out, the saddlebag had pushed the fender into the tire so it was like a giant spoon brake. Lightened the bag and tied it back to the post, so I just had a rattling fender for the rest of the ride instead.

I dunno what is up with the tires on my bike, they're 650b 42mm, inflated to ~50psi and they get this weird flop or something when cornering, and they also get really squirrely on smooth paint. I kind of regret going 650b on this bike, they seem to soak up some rough roads but the frost heave cracks that happen every 10-20m on some roads are just as jarring as they are on my road bike. Probably should have built up tubeless carbon wheels and gone with 32mm gp5000. Maybe next winter I'll source the parts and do that.
clasher is offline  
Likes For clasher:
Old 07-09-22, 11:14 PM
  #83  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,306

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 1,492 Times in 764 Posts
I rode RUSA Perm #4032 Portland - Marmot - Timberline today, to finish my 7th R-12. It's a fairly new perm; I'm just the 2nd to ride in. Fun fact: a friend of mine created the perm in the new system, rode it, then realized he hadn't registered. Oops.

This was a very scenic and low traffic route, with the climb up to 7k feet to the Timberline Lodge as the focal point. 13 miles of optional gravel were also a significant feature, since that segment climbed 2000 feet. I opted for the gravel, rather than highway shoulder miles. Some beautiful sights with rushing streams from snow melt cascading down through the woods. Very nice, though leg softening with steep bumpy climbs. The service road up to Timberline just opened a couple days ago, so timing was perfect as this road has zero traffic and is more scenic than the main road. The route's elevation profile is so dominated by the mid-point climb that the lumpy bits making up my normal ride look flat. They are not! Marmot Rd, paralleling SR26, is a favorite segment of mine, very quiet with views of Mt Hood from time to time. Barlow Pass Rd to Lolo Pass was actually closed to traffic with collapsed pavement, which made that long segment car-free. At the first food option, ZigZag Inn at 35 miles, I had blackberry cobbler with ice cream, a banana, and coffee. I probably burned 30 minutes, but it was worth it! The next 22 miles, with the gravel climb then the ascent up to Timberline, rose 5k feet in 22 miles, and took me 3:40 to complete. I probably stopped 10 times to stretch my back. The descent down Timberline was smoking fast, then I had a quick lunch at a grocery in Government Camp. From Government Camp to the finish is a net loss of 2800 ft, but includes two climbs of some significance - particularly on softened up legs.

204k, 11:27 elapsed time. Hard route, but I'll do it again.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/bwPtmqdhUp3wq8Cs8

Last edited by downtube42; 07-09-22 at 11:29 PM.
downtube42 is online now  
Likes For downtube42:
Old 07-11-22, 05:03 PM
  #84  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 2,843
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1670 Post(s)
Liked 1,382 Times in 875 Posts
I "successfully" completed the NJ 600K over the weekend. It is probably the easiest, best supported and nicest 600k imaginable with flat to just a touch rolling terrain thru lush farms (blueberry, wine, cranberry, tree, corn, and horse) with long stretches thru state forest skirting an army base. Saturday start at 5 am with air saturated but relatively cool and then mostly drizzle all day and around 70F..... good rando conditions by my view. The ride starts in a suburb of Princeton and slowly we escaped the sprawl of civilization. The last 6 years of my life have been devoted to conquering pain, a battle of sorts resorting mostly to a recumbent, shots into my spine, RF ablations to nerves, and pain medicine. Doing an SR this year on an upright is a big success (for anyone). Yesterday I finished dead last on my upright bike finishing under the wire and it was one helluva battle. It was hard. But I won. Ironically, the last time on the NJ 600, I finished before the sun rose in under 24 hours and frankly, it was easy. Life is weird.

The first 200K meanders down to a town called Salem at the mouth of the Delaware river where we were graciously met by Rick who had water and stuff for us. Manning and supporting a 600k with 15-20 controls seems impossible to me. Quite a few controls were manned. I rode with a really smart local professor or should I say, I tried to take my pulls as best as possible but he was stronger and at about the century mark just under 5 hours IIRC, I asked him to go on because the pain was winning at that moment. He had just finished a Pizza at NJ rando famous Pat's when I arrived. "Climbing" off the coast up onto the plain in light rain, I waved to super rando who sports a Santa-like greybeard who probably started the brevet fashionably late as is often his custom. At some point the lead group passed me and offer to let me join. We were moving pretty quickly, there was one extremely experienced randonneur and the others, judging by riding style and gear, were relatively new to the game not to be terribly judgemental. Riders were talking about riding thru the night since we'd probably finish the 400k under 15 hours. That was not happening for me. I never thought of quitting but knew this was going to be a *****. The newer randos were taking more risks on the left hand intersections than I care to take and my mind would think of all the departed, so, all considered I let them go and decided to figure out how to just finish. I recalled the former PA RBA's advice to alway sleep and eat before quitting. Then, it occured to me. I still had 25 hours to do 123 miles. So, I went home and slept 9 hours using ice and pain meds. It seemed like cheating but I asked and there isn't anything in the rules against sleeping anywhere you want, so, I went the short distance home to my own bed after icing up. Should it be so hard? I dunno. I guess it can suck.

Sunday was a brilliant day. Gorgeous. Stunning. Cool in the morning and sunny with high temps in the low 80's. The first info control is at a Revolutionary war battlefield and even though they changed the info control question, I knew the answer having been there so many times. Anyone who would pencil whip the control to avoid the 2 miles is a cheater. I did the "journey" into the park, chatted briefly with a dog walker and went on my way. Cheaters are going to cheat, which is probably why RUSA graciously gifts us with like 5 controls over 50 miles or something like that. My best memory of the ride happened at a small, somewhat dumpy old country store in horsey country that is a magnet for cyclists. I had a lengthy conversation with a Vietnam Vet who clearly wanted to chat and so chat we did. we talked for maybe 15 or so minutes. It was a nice break and gave time for some more vitamin M to sink in. He earned his college degree and MBA after the war. To this day, he gets nightmares from the war. You could see the tears welling up in his eyes. A lovely and friendly guy. Scruffy. He seemed old. Riding away, it occured to me that he might not have been much older since I was in my teens IIRC when that one ended. He was one of those types who could be worth a billion dollars and you would never know it. He was following the TdF. We talked the tour and I listened to his politics. The next control at a WaWa was staffed with drinks and snacks under a shade tree. Luxury. So nice. I did not realize it was staffed, the volunteer (my memory escapes me) fetched me twice from the store. The second time I was sitting absolutely wrecked next to the trash cans amongst the cigarette butts eating my metric foot long hoagie. If you have not just plopped your wasted derriere down at the nearest spot, are you yet a rando. Smugly, I relished the odd stares of old fat Harley riders....call me an elitist. No problem.

Then, the ride skirts the army base with heavy traffic "goin' down da Shore" (beach). What is it with old harley riders. I'm riding on the shoulder in the crap debris and one harley rider intentionally gooses the throttle and buzzes me so close it scared the doodoo out of me, after passing he weaves in and out of the shoulder. I have no idea what his message was but mine to him was clear as day. I appreciated the massive rush of adrenaline. Rather than be merely pissed, I decided to use the energy rush and it really helped the pace.

The clockwise route swung North and the modest headwind became a tailwind for a few hours thru the northern edge of the pinelands. The indigenous people down there are our rednecks and referred to as Pineys. Seriously though, anytime I have been in trouble on a bike, it has been a poor person in an old pickup coming to my rescue. Honestly.

At the penultimate control before the seemingly gratuitous info control 6 miles before the finish, Matt filled my bottles with ice and spring water with a banana and salted almonds, just what my body needed. He even used gloves to keep the ice clean. I would have used the ice off the pavement but the hygiene gesture was appreciated. My Garmin then failed to make a U turn to reverse from the control and it continued straight for some bonus work. A comical double backing across the busy highway but who hasn't done that a million times.

The entire NJ team of volunteers is amazing really. There must have been 40-45 riders. In July? On a 600K? Wow. I tried my best, it was very difficult on an easy course with great support but I got my SR this year. Not on a bent. On a real bike. A small triumph. I always wondered why the finish rates were so poor for older riders on PBP. I guess we are like old pickups with rusted out chassis but the motors still good. I had gone to a top Sports Cardiologist a few years ago, he said old endurance athletes often have the hearts and cardiovascular systems of 18 year olds and it isn't the heart that stops them, rather Orthopedic issues get them. I'm grateful to have done a full series on an upright but 1218Km on one might be too far. I can't believe I wrote so much crap, apologies for the drivel.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Likes For GhostRider62:
Old 07-11-22, 08:13 PM
  #85  
ThermionicScott 
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,062

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

Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3637 Post(s)
Liked 2,070 Times in 1,314 Posts
"Drivel"? Nah, I enjoy reading all of these stories. You learn a lot about yourself and others on brevets, and also have a lot of time to sit with that.

My college buddy and I rode the Apple Valley 300k in Minnesota this past weekend. We went into it with some jitters, as this would be his longest ride ever, and I hadn't ridden this far since 2015. We tried to channel that anxiety into our planning, the major focus being on calorie and water intake. If we kept on top of that, we reasoned that we'd be able to finish strong and feel like we could ride even further. Success begets success. So lots of food, definitely too much, made it into our bags along with electrolyte tablets. Stroopwafels, caffeinated energy goos, plastic jars of mandarin oranges, Kind bars, bacon, Chicken In a Biskit crackers, Easy Cheese, kipper snacks... (!) The idea was that you will crave different things along the way, so why not bring a variety?

As with the previous ride, we both had Garmins, but maintained brevet cards just in case. The first 35-40 miles followed the same route as the AV200k we had done the previous month, so we felt especially strong and confident in the beginning. The weather was perfect, too -- 70s/80s with only a mild wind out of the south. I feel like we deserved that after so many ultra-windy days this year. At the 52 mile mark in Goodhue, both employees at the gas station that was the control refused to sign our cards. "I can't, too busy." (Place was dead, BTW.) "We don't sign those anymore." Neither one obviously wanted to be working there, but it was as if I'd asked them to go against their religion or something. I didn't press the issue, but made sure to save that receipt as evidence.

As the ride diverged from the 200k route and went further south, it started to get a lot hillier. We made a point to take it easy on climbs to save energy, and my confidence at coasting on the downhills (never a strength) increased. The hills had me switching chainrings more often, and I noticed that the front derailleur's high limit adjustment was slightly off. Each time I shifted from the small ring to the big ring, I had to trim it back a bit to avoid chain rub. It wasn't a major issue, but I wished I had double-checked the FD adjustment after removing and reinstalling the crank a week before. I contemplated ways to turn the high limit screw in without a proper screwdriver, but decided to just live with it and take care of it when I got home. At the next control town, we stopped for ice cream, which hit the spot.

The car and truck drivers were less deferential here than in the Cities, but still gave plenty of room when passing. Stopping at small town bars for a beer now and then was an interesting study in contrasts, but pretty much everyone we ran into was cool. A few were fascinated by the idea of these long-distance rides, and very supportive.

Somewhere after the 136 mile mark, my Garmin decided to randomly power down and stop recording. Had being jostled around in my handlebar bag caused it to change settings? It always seemed to happen while I was in the midst of a significant downhill, and in no position to futz with gadgets. It wasn't running out of battery -- learning from the 200k, my buddy lent me a battery pack to make sure it was topped off the whole time. After a few stops to restart the thing in the hopes of stitching together a GPS track from multiple pieces, I gave up and turned the thing off. We only had one more control before the end, so I would just plan on getting a signature and a good selfie of us at the finish (the EXIF data would be proof of the time.) Not long after that control, my buddy's Garmin died. We had not been expecting that, and it's what we had been using for navigation! Thankfully, he had downloaded the route to his phone, so we used the dot tracker and memories of the 200k route as we rejoined it to get back to the finish. Good thing we had been filling out our brevet cards, too!

We got back to Caribou Coffee for a time of 18 hours 47 minutes, reflecting a lot of breaks. Being more efficient off the bike will be something to work on, but our goal for this year is just to complete the rides and get (ACP) credit for them. We were over the moon with how well everything went -- no mechanicals or physical issues, we stayed on top of nutrition and hydration so that energy was rarely a problem, the weather cooperated, and we just had a great time hanging out overall.
__________________
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

Last edited by ThermionicScott; 07-12-22 at 08:48 AM.
ThermionicScott is offline  
Likes For ThermionicScott:
Old 07-12-22, 02:29 PM
  #86  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,694
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 85 Posts
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I can't believe I wrote so much crap, apologies for the drivel.
I can't believe almost 40 hours of experiences and thoughts gets distilled down to a few small paragraphs. Good job on finishing an SR. I wrote a small novel on my strava for the last 600 I did.
clasher is offline  
Likes For clasher:
Old 07-12-22, 03:14 PM
  #87  
ThermionicScott 
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,062

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

Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3637 Post(s)
Liked 2,070 Times in 1,314 Posts
Bonus content!

I've had trouble with hot spots on my feet for about as long as I've been doing longer rides. In the very beginning, I chalked it up to the Shimano 600 toeclip pedals I was riding with sneakers (C&V affectation?), and made the switch to SPD pedals and shoes (Giro Rumbles.) These extended the time I could ride before getting hot spots, but didn't cure them. I tried moving the cleats around (as far back as possible was a popular suggestion), which possibly helped a little. Around this time, I read that one's feet can swell while riding long distances, so I started leaving my shoelaces a bit looser. On one brevet in 2015 (I believe it was the 400k), my feet were hurting so bad that I had to take the insoles out of the shoes. This relieved the hot spots but led to some behind-the-knee pain later in the ride due to the change in leg extension. Not long before PBP that year, I bought some Shimano M089 shoes a size up from usual. The stiffness and extra room helped a lot, but as you might guess by now, I still had hot spots and numbness by the end.

More recently, I'd been leaving my shoes looser and looser which seemed to help -- it seems like I really arch my feet when pedalling, consuming more of that excess space than I realized. And I also started to notice that I didn't get hot spots as severely if I had eaten recently. Hmm! Some experiments with snacking more than I normally would for non-stop 40+ mile efforts seemed to confirm that. But what was the mechanism? Did having food in the stomach allow it to compete for more of the circulation that might otherwise settle in my feet? I had already noticed that staying fed helped keep my hands and butt feeling better on long rides, maybe it was just the same for all contact points?

So on the outset of this 300k, I told my buddy "This may be monumentally stupid, but I'm gonna wear my sandals for this ride." He agreed that it was monumentally stupid. But I had committed to the experiment -- my Shimano SD5 sandals were the only bike shoes I'd brought with me. And this facet of the plan worked as well! Taking in calories of whatever type I could on a regular basis kept my feet feeling great for nearly the whole ride. My right foot started to develop a hot spot by that mile 54 mark, but slugging down a bottle of apple juice and eating a snack relieved it. Interestingly, we met another rando at that stop who knew of another rando who had done quite a few 1200's in sandals. Toward the last 15-20 miles, I started to feel a bit of pressure in my feet again, but we were so close to the end that best practices were starting to fall by the wayside. By the next morning, it was incredible how much I didn't feel like I had ridden 300k.

I've always had trouble eating enough on brevets (I'll blame exercise for blunting my hunger even though laziness plays a role), but now I can use foot pain as a reminder that I've gotten behind on calories and need to eat something.
__________________
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 offline  
Likes For ThermionicScott:
Old 07-13-22, 06:11 PM
  #88  
antimonysarah
Senior Member
 
antimonysarah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Medford, MA
Posts: 638

Bikes: Nishiki Bel-Air, Brompton P6L, Seven Resolute SLX, Co-motion Divide, Xtracycle RFA

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked 52 Times in 27 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
But what was the mechanism? Did having food in the stomach allow it to compete for more of the circulation that might otherwise settle in my feet?
For me, I suspect foot swelling and electrolyte balance are linked—if the snacks helped get salt in you, could that be a factor for you too?
antimonysarah is offline  
Likes For antimonysarah:
Old 07-14-22, 10:34 AM
  #89  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 2,843
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1670 Post(s)
Liked 1,382 Times in 875 Posts
I think swelling is often caused by incorrect hydration. (not always....)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3366912/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001428/
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 07-18-22, 09:28 PM
  #90  
atwl77
Kamen Rider
Thread Starter
 
atwl77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: KL, MY
Posts: 1,067

Bikes: Fuji Transonic Elite, Marechal Soul Ultimate, Dahon Dash Altena

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 162 Posts
DNF another one this weekend - it's dubbed the toughest BRM600 in my country, and aptly named The Big Hills Challenge 3.0 which is sort of an annual event. This year's route is practically similar to the one I did in 2019, and back then I barely completed the ride with no sleep stops, and just minutes to spare. Here's the link to the route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/40162209

Thinking I did it before in 2019, I could do it again, but heat-related stomach problems reared its ugly head again. I made it up the first climb in some decent time - but still a little bit off my old time because I stopped for a quick power nap twice along the way. I didn't sleep well the night before, and then woke up early in the morning for a 2.5-hour drive to the starting point of the ride, which flags off at 5am, so right from the get-go I was disadvantaged by a bit of sleep deprivation.

Anyway, things were still good, could eat a decent breakfast at the peak at the 65km mark, then had a very fun descent down the steep mountain which leads to a very hilly course for 60km towards the nearest town along the route. By that time the hot afternoon sun was up, and there was absolutely nothing all the way to town - no restaurants, no convenient stores, no roadside stalls, nada. Survived on two bottles of water and four sticks of Mentos candy all the way to town where my stomach had begun to act up. Tried having something semi-solid -- whipped potatoes at the nearby KFC -- but could only consume it in tiny bites. Their Pepsi tasted like crap though, could not even finish a cup. Had a short nap afterwards, hoping that would help my stomach recover a bit (and also deal with the ever-present sleep deprivation), then left slightly past 5pm. At this point, I've only done 160km and am way behind, compared to my 2019 time.

The way remains very hilly, and with not much energy in my legs I was going up at 10km/h or less, rolling down at nearly 50km/h, then up again, down again, rinse and repeat. It was also getting pretty dark with pretty crappy road conditions - single lane countryside road, pitch black, sometimes lack of road shoulder, close-passing fast cars... ugh. Even if I wanted to stop, there was nowhere to stop except for a bit of grass (and maybe a ditch) by the side. Was feeling very hungry, but still unable to consume solids and at this point, even my ability to consume liquids was beginning to suffer. Eventually managed to crawl to a petrol station just past midnight, with slightly over 240km done, and decided to end it there.

I c
alled the organizer's DNF pick-up service to come get me and send me back to the starting point. Had to wait until 8am the next morning though - seems like the pick-up service is being strained by the number of DNF's during this ride. Later on, I heard people are even abandoning as early as the KFC that I had left earlier.

To be fair, this was an extremely tough route and the attrition rate was high. I stuck around at the end to see how many made it back and... there weren't many, so those who made it back truly deserved their success.

Also, come to think of it, back in 2019 I had a group and therefore group dynamics (including drafting and sharing the load) must have played a significant part. I'm mostly a solo rider these days, so it's a lot more difficult this time around. Oh well... live and learn. Also I'm starting to have new theories on my stomach issues, looking forward to testing them out and see how I can handle next month's 400km event.
atwl77 is offline  
Likes For atwl77:
Old 08-11-22, 10:56 AM
  #91  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,306

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 1,492 Times in 764 Posts
Brief LEL 2022 ride report.

I DNFd at Innerleithen, about 50 miles southbound after the turnaround. After some thought, I've identified three contributing factors leading to this, my first ever DNF.

Saddle
I've struggled with saddle comfort since switching from recumbent to upright, and clearly still don't have it sorted. Although I rode an SR series on this saddle, by 400k things were bad. Every chance to get out of the saddle, I took. Before Dunfermline, pain was approaching unbearable levels. I faced sleep deprivation and was very close on time, but saddle pain was the deciding factor for abandoning.

Sleep
Jet lag and a hot hotel room meant I slept little the two nights before the ride. I was behind on sleep at the start line. This led to drowsiness and roadside naps that my speed could not afford. To make matters worse, the first night in a control, I could not sleep at all. After three hours I got up and carried on. That was three wasted hours

Lack of fitness.
Speed on the bike makes everything else easier. Speed means time to deal with things, more time to sleep. Speed = time.

London Edinburgh, however, was a fabulous ride. Beautiful scenery (and I live in Oregon), super volunteers, a beast of a ride. Not the quaint villages and cheering crowds of PBP, but oh my the rugged beauty of Scotland!

It's true, what Ken Bonner told me after Cascades 1200: people who DNF have stories to tell. There's much for me to learn from this.

Typed from my phone, on a southbound train to London.
downtube42 is online now  
Likes For downtube42:
Old 08-12-22, 05:30 AM
  #92  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 2,843
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1670 Post(s)
Liked 1,382 Times in 875 Posts
Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Brief LEL 2022 ride report.

I DNFd at Innerleithen, about 50 miles southbound after the turnaround. After some thought, I've identified three contributing factors leading to this, my first ever DNF.

Saddle
I've struggled with saddle comfort since switching from recumbent to upright, and clearly still don't have it sorted. Although I rode an SR series on this saddle, by 400k things were bad. Every chance to get out of the saddle, I took. Before Dunfermline, pain was approaching unbearable levels. I faced sleep deprivation and was very close on time, but saddle pain was the deciding factor for abandoning.

Sleep
Jet lag and a hot hotel room meant I slept little the two nights before the ride. I was behind on sleep at the start line. This led to drowsiness and roadside naps that my speed could not afford. To make matters worse, the first night in a control, I could not sleep at all. After three hours I got up and carried on. That was three wasted hours

Lack of fitness.
Speed on the bike makes everything else easier. Speed means time to deal with things, more time to sleep. Speed = time.

London Edinburgh, however, was a fabulous ride. Beautiful scenery (and I live in Oregon), super volunteers, a beast of a ride. Not the quaint villages and cheering crowds of PBP, but oh my the rugged beauty of Scotland!

It's true, what Ken Bonner told me after Cascades 1200: people who DNF have stories to tell. There's much for me to learn from this.

Typed from my phone, on a southbound train to London.
A wise person told me that long brevets always get very personal.

I DNF'd a 1200K recently. I broke the seatpost changing the saddle in the morning. Even the best wrench in NJ couldn't fix the Cervelo proprietary POS. Jim had the one bit but there was a part broken that could not be extracted (maybe a machinist in a tool shop??) If I had just replaced the saddle before going to sleep, I could had my wife drive me up a different bike but I had already slept way more than the rest (it was just getting light out) ready to take my position on the caboose. Anyway, my butt was "ok" but not great after hundreds of miles on NY patched pot-holed roads. The vibration was a bigger issue on my neck, it screws me up and believe it or not, gives me some balance issues at slow speed. I rode pretty easy enjoying myself, the scenery was nice, the support was beyond 1st class, but I failed. I was pretty much at the caboose riding alone but I wasn't rushing, did the first 300K in 14:30 ish hours total and around 13 hours moving but like 3 hours behind the peloton. I considered LEL but for a variety of reasons decided against it, but if I broke my seatpost on LEL, I would have been really upset.

In any case, I know the feeling of a DNF. It sucks. Have a safe journey home.

Edit: my fitness is better than 2019 PBP which I completed. FTP higher than 2015 PBP but my training load (CTL = 80) is much less than 2015 (CTL around 120 then) and better than 2019 (only 60 for CTL)

Last edited by GhostRider62; 08-12-22 at 05:38 AM.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Likes For GhostRider62:
Old 08-12-22, 01:03 PM
  #93  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 3,717

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

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1756 Post(s)
Liked 474 Times in 305 Posts
I follow 5 people on strava who attempted LEL this year and none of them finished.
kingston is offline  
Old 08-12-22, 02:05 PM
  #94  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,306

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 1,492 Times in 764 Posts
Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I follow 5 people on strava who attempted LEL this year and none of them finished.
Not surprising.

Front what I understand, a late reroute due to construction increased the difficulty substantially. I had planned for Yad Moss, and didn't pay sufficient attention to the reroute. That section was a frickin beast. I can no longer say I've never walked up a hill.

Most of us were prepared for cold and rain, and a tailwind/headwind out and back, whereas what happened was hot and sunny, with a headwind out.

Rando is supposed to be tough; failure is always a possibility. To a large extent, that's why we do it.

I'll be back, stronger, lighter, and with better equipment. And the possibility of failing will be right there.
downtube42 is online now  
Likes For downtube42:
Old 08-13-22, 10:34 AM
  #95  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,785
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,355 Times in 1,662 Posts
Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Brief LEL 2022 ride report.
It's true, what Ken Bonner told me after Cascades 1200: people who DNF have stories to tell. There's much for me to learn from this.
I have always learned more from a DNF than a ride that I finished. I just don't want to become too educated.
I have dnf'd 2 1200k's, both knee problems from different sources. I figured out later I could have finished the first one if I just remained seated the whole ride, which might have been a challenge. 2019 PBP was a great experience though. I enjoyed talking to people by the side of the road too much and that put me behind. I don't know if I could have finished in time if I hadn't done that, but it was worth it anyway. I have resolved not to do that so much if I go back. At least not spend so much time stopped.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 08-13-22, 03:40 PM
  #96  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,306

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 1,492 Times in 764 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I have always learned more from a DNF than a ride that I finished. I just don't want to become too educated.
I have dnf'd 2 1200k's, both knee problems from different sources. I figured out later I could have finished the first one if I just remained seated the whole ride, which might have been a challenge. 2019 PBP was a great experience though. I enjoyed talking to people by the side of the road too much and that put me behind. I don't know if I could have finished in time if I hadn't done that, but it was worth it anyway. I have resolved not to do that so much if I go back. At least not spend so much time stopped.
2019 I was fast enough on the bike to have time, and I used that time to stop at every roadside tent, pop up cafe, and festival. It was fabulous, and one day i want too travel to pbp without my bike.

I certainly don't want to make a habit of DNFing. This stuff is hard, and I think the unbending drive to finish is critical.
downtube42 is online now  
Old 08-15-22, 05:36 AM
  #97  
atwl77
Kamen Rider
Thread Starter
 
atwl77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: KL, MY
Posts: 1,067

Bikes: Fuji Transonic Elite, Marechal Soul Ultimate, Dahon Dash Altena

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 162 Posts
A sizeable number of fellow Malaysians did LEL this year, and even they complained about the heat (along with the climbing as well).
atwl77 is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 10:26 PM
  #98  
atwl77
Kamen Rider
Thread Starter
 
atwl77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: KL, MY
Posts: 1,067

Bikes: Fuji Transonic Elite, Marechal Soul Ultimate, Dahon Dash Altena

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 162 Posts
Anyways, while a bunch of my randonneuring buddies were suffering in the UK, I did another 400k over the weekend. This was more of a big experiment/testing phase to try new things and hoping to resolve my stomach issues as well as the recent spate of DNFs.

The ride itself was a front-loaded route with all the big climbs up front during the day, then turning into rolling hills in the middle and ending with a nice pancake flat through the night. Weather has been rather unpredictable recently and although the weather report gave it a moderately good chance of rain, but it didn't and was pretty hot throughout the day. There was a bit of headwind along some sections of the course but nothing too bad. Toughest section was probably the big climb during the hottest time of the day, with my Garmin reading over 40C (whether that reading's reliable or not is another thing).

To deal with my stomach issues, my strategy would be to front-load my nutrition as much as possible. We had a buffet breakfast at the starting venue, courtesy of the event sponsor, so that was great. Found a restaurant for brunch at a restaurant around the 70km mark, and that was great too. Instant noodles at CP1, then fruit cake at a quick stop around 150km. But by CP2 my appetite was noticeably degrading and I quickly turned to liquid nutrition. I brought a couple of energy gels specifically for this purpose. Then late at night, I found a McDonalds and, on a hunch, decided to give their chicken porridge a try. Very dilute stuff, might as well call it a liquid than a solid or semi-solid... and my stomach could take it! That helped tremendously for the remaining push to the finish.

Besides eating more, I also took Salt Stick tablets at regular intervals throughout the day (at least until my entire supply had run out). Seemed to have helped a lot with my energy levels.

I've also been using the Garmin smart alerts for drinks, and to drink more in general - though this is more "plenty of constant tiny sips" rather than "big gups at longer intervals". I think this also helped, though as a side effect I was making more stops (on average, once every 50km) for toilet breaks as well as refills.

Night time was my only bugbear for this ride. I didn't sleep-bank enough the past week, and thought I had enough sleep the night before, but apparently I didn't. Was hit by hard drowsiness during the last 70km push to the finish, and my usual strategy of taking 5-minute catnaps weren't working, so I was losing time stopping every so often to try and stave off the effects. I finished in 23h 10m, which I guess is still pretty decent for a 400k, but I would have finished a lot earlier if not for the sleep issues.

Afterwards, I was constantly sleepy, hungry and thirsty for the rest of the day. I wasn't fit to drive home immediately after the ride, and had to lay down and sleep for a couple of hours before I felt safe to drive. I slept for the rest of the day at home and, when not sleeping, kept eating and drinking, and eating ice cream. The hunger pangs continued on for one more day afterwards, but now I think my body's back to normal.

Incidentally, this was the first time I'm using the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar on a long brevet and I'm amazed by it's battery life. During the day, from 7am to 6:30pm, it had only drained from 100% down to 79% (iirc) and by the end of the ride was 53%. To me that's a huge difference, my previous Edge 1030 would have likely been drained to zero (or at least near zero) and require external USB charging during the ride.
atwl77 is offline  
Likes For atwl77:
Old 09-15-22, 11:26 PM
  #99  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,306

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 1,492 Times in 764 Posts
This past weekend I rode the SIR Third Time's a Charm 1000k, just about 3 weeks after my first ever DNF, at LEL. I reverted to my Sella Anatomica saddle, placing the blame for LEL squarely on the Terry Fly saddle that so severely bruised my derrière. In reality there were many reasons, but I'm going to forever hold a grudge against that saddle. Twenty-eight riders lined up for the 5am Friday start, looking at a day of 233 miles and about 8k feet of climbing. I rolled out with a group of randos I mostly knew, who promptly dropped my 210 lb self on the first highway climb. No worries, I didn't anticipate hanging with the cool kids on the rolling first half of the ride. I rode solo virtually the rest of the day. Some people cannot tolerate riding alone, whilst I'm very comfortable spending a day by myself on the bike. Alone, I can cruise my pace, climb at my pace, push hard when I feel like it, take a roadside pee without having to chase back up, and just generally be my own boss. The route went generally NW out of Olympia, up to a short out-and-back to a staffed control by Wynoochee Lake. This was the first food and water on the route at 67 miles; a bit further than I typically roll without a stop. I was carrying a 3rd water bottle in my jersey for this leg, but with cool temps I didn't even get through two bottles. On the out-and-back nearing the lake, I saw the cool kids headed back, maybe 45 minutes ahead of me already. Someone yelled "you can catch up" as we passed. LOLs. "Nope", I thought to myself, "I'm chillin'."

Let me pause here and say, this was a 1000, with loops and repeats, so my recollection of exactly what happened when and where isn't exactly clear. I'll just tell snippets that may or may not have happened when and where (or even how) I recall.

There were miles of gravel. Chunky gravel, on a climby road, with soft bits and typically a seam of hardpack to seek out. It was grand, beautiful, slow, and devoid of cars. After Wynoochee lake, there was an icky stretch on 101 northbound that took us up to Olympic National Park, where the route thankfully veered off 101 and took a spin on the smaller and better packed gravel around Lake Quinault. Twice I've done that loop, twice the ride organizer advised us to ignore our GPS units' warnings about being off route, and twice I've stopped to figure out why I was off course. That's rando. Back out onto 101 I came to a control where the question was what color were the security bars by the door, and a couple randos from ahead were paused alongside the road. A rando tradition, at least with SIR, is to buy a gallon of water at a control, use what you need, and set it outside for following riders. In this case, someone even wrote "SIR" on the cap with a sharpie. So I topped off my water, wrote down the answer (green), pulled out onto the road and hit it pretty hard. After the gravel, the pavement felt so smooth and fast. I thought the other riders might jump on, but I guess I didn't give them a chance. I'd put aero bars on my bike two weeks earlier for a 200k perm, and was getting really comfortable on them. They're on 60mm risers, putting my torso at about the same angle as when on the drops, so not aero so much as providing hand relief. This is the stretch of 101 where a school bus driver decided to give me a full two inches, evidently not wanting to move over remotely close to the vacant oncoming lane. That's also rando. This is where I noticed the smoke. Later I found there was a wildfire burning near Packwood, one of our control towns for day 2.

Another pause. The ride is named Third Time's a Charm because this was the 3rd attempt SIR made at running this route, over the last couple years. The first two were canceled due to (I think) COVID, and wildfire smoke. Deja Vu.

Honestly I didn't smell smoke, but there was clearly heavy smoke in the sky, blocking the sun, making for weird lighting. Later I found several people had DNF'd due to the smoke, including one who's asthma was triggered. Either I got lucky where the wind was blowing the smoke (and it was windy), or I was just oblivious to the air around me (which my wife would tell you is quite consistent with prior behavior). The rest of day 1 is kind of a blur. I rode within myself but fairly hard, did a good job staying on top of hydration and nutrition, and generally had a good time. The last 100k was flat, allowing me to get into a groove, negating the effects of my weight. I rolled in to the hotel back in Olympia around 9:40pm, well ahead of my estimated 10:30pm. I was just 30 minutes behind the cool kids, which included my roomie. Here we learned of the extent of the wildfire, which completely nixed any hope of riding the planned day 2 route. The organizers gave us the Saturday plan: ride the day 3 route and they'd have something to tell us Saturday night. After sandwiches and a beer, I hit the shower and bedded down for a glorious and unprecedented 7 hours of sleep.
https://www.strava.com/activities/7798112378

Another pause in the story. Days 2 and 3 ended up using the same day 3 route due to the wildfires, with actual day 3 adding a 20 mile trail out-and-back for needed mileage. As a result, my recollection of the two days is somewhat intermingled. That's rando.

Mileage on days 2 and 3 were 188 and 207. The route started out going west out of Olympia then south along a bit of coastline before heading back inland, further south, then NE back towards Olympia. The additional out-and-back on day 3 was at mile 170. I rode with the group quite a lot on both days 2 and 3, with some solo miles and some two-man miles with my roomie, in-between group stretches. The small group of 5 to 6 included a woman who was riding her first ever brevet. That's right, she started with a 1000k. Not what you'd consider a good idea, but let me tell you. She's a car-free bike commuter, rides to other towns frequently, and has ridden Seattle to Portland numerous times, but I guess her main cycling gig is the virtual world. She slaughtered us, destroyed egos, wrecked legs, pedaled along for 1000km with a smile on her face and a clear joy for cycling in her body language. Damn. I mean, seriously? At times we'd send someone up to the front to chat with her so she'd slow the **** down. It was grand. Somewhere before Raymond, we were taking turns on the front and I ended up pulling when the road turned up. This perfectly timed with crashing blood sugar as I'd forgotten to eat in the paceline excitement. As everyone blew by my crawling heavy ass, she called out, "nice pull". Jokester. Somebody shared a packet of pure maple syrup, which I downed along with a Gu and the remains of a Rice Crispie Treat. I recovered. Day 1 in Raymond two of us stopped at a sit-down restaurant for a rather slow lunch, while on day 3 we went to a slightly quicker Dairy Queen with the group. Raymond to Pe Ell is kind of boring, a wide rolling road without much to see, at least that I recall. Pe Ell to Adna is about 18 miles of gravel rail-trail, where my roomie and I ended up solo because everyone else ended up taking the paved option. We did maybe another 50k together, mostly flat to small rollers, and got into a nice pattern of taking turns. I was feeling great. The day 3 out-and-back bonus segment started in Tenino, taking a paved rail-trail 10 miles out to the city of Ranier for an info control. Just about a quarter mile before the turnaround, we saw the gang returning; we'd taken a slightly extended stop of Mexican (tortas, Jarritos), while they'd opted for quicker convenience store dinner. So we hit it super hard, doing 1 mile pulls and drawing them back just near the end of the trail. Fortunately they saw us coming and decided to lollygag a bit to let us catch up. The last 17 miles from Tenino, on day 3, should have been an easy roll-in to the finish. We had 12 hours in the bank (despite 2 nights of 7-hour sleeps), and had no reason to hurry. But no, not with our virtual newbie rando super happy Zwifter 4 watts/kg friend on the front. She was holding back, but pushing hard enough to make us suffer. I hauled my fat self up a couple short climbs with everything I had, thankfully staying on the wheels so I could draft along in the flats. It just started sprinkling as we rolled into Olympia around 8pm. Five of us finished at 60:03, one had pulled ahead on the out-and-back to finish right at 60:00, and two more were a few minutes behind. Of the 28 starters, 10 finished. Some due to smoke, some didn't care to repeat day 2, and others for the more typical and various reasons. For me, I was super happy to get the LEL DNF taste out of my mouth. With this 1000k, I earned my 2nd RUSA Cup and my first ACP 10000.

https://www.strava.com/activities/7798112367
https://www.strava.com/activities/7798112373

Good times.




Last edited by downtube42; 09-16-22 at 07:04 AM.
downtube42 is online now  
Likes For downtube42:
Old 09-19-22, 11:25 AM
  #100  
atwl77
Kamen Rider
Thread Starter
 
atwl77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: KL, MY
Posts: 1,067

Bikes: Fuji Transonic Elite, Marechal Soul Ultimate, Dahon Dash Altena

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 162 Posts
Sept 15-18 was my country's BRM1000, and they really picked a challenging route for this brevet.

Even before the ride began, it was quite a logistical challenge. The most glaring obstacle was in between CP2 (257km) and CP3 (400km) - one significant climb, the only available town for supplies (320km), then another significant climb. There's practically nothing between 330-490km so the most obvious place to stop and rest for the night is the town at 320km. This falls short for the usual audax strategy (350-400km per day for the first two days); only a few strong and fast riders decided to fly past the town and complete in under 60 hours but almost everyone else made their supply decisions around (or near) this town.

The second obstacle was the second overnight spot. The town at CP6 (733km) was the most obvious stopping point but if you made your first stop at 320km, that's 413km to cover on the second day where the toughest and steepest slopes are waiting. However, between CP5 (601km) to CP6, it's also pretty much all empty so that's another tough call to make. Again, some of the fastest and strongest decided for the go-for-broke strategy; they have the ability to do it so no complaints here, but for us ordinary mortals, it's a challenging predicament.

Around 100+ of us started the ride at 7am on Sept 15. Right from the get go, the route north was a slightly hilly route with plenty of ups and down all the way to CP1 at 133km. Due to my stomach and digestion issues, I decided to stop at a town at 65km for a good, solid breakfast, while also relying on energy bars and liquid energy gels on the bike. This only helped somewhat, by around 100km I felt like my stomach was beginning to give me issues as I was having difficulty chewing and swallowing my energy bars. I took a long rest at CP1 and switched to energy gels, but already wasn't feeling good until shortly after leaving CP1, I found a McDonalds. I immediately went in for their McD porridge, which worked very well during my previous BRM400, and it probably saved me from another potential DNF here.

The route to CP2 (257km) continued to be hilly, but now with the addition of strong crosswinds. I pushed on, mostly solo now that the peloton had spread thin (and I did spend a lot of stopped time at CP1 and McD), and reached CP2 at dusk. Tried to get some food at a nearby restaurant and, although I couldn't finish my plate, but at least I tried eating as much as possible, then finally topping it up with an energy gel before leaving for the overnight stop. As I mentioned earlier, there's a big climb between me and the overnight stop which I had to do in the dark, accompanied by fast cars and heavy vehicles along the way. Wasn't very enjoyable, but at least I was making progress.

I reached the town before 2am. I first looked around the usual spots (bus stations, food courts, petrol stations) for other randonneurs roughing it out for the night, but found not a single soul. After wasting time circling the small town, I decided to just check in to the nearby hotel instead, and met a couple of familiar faces there. I guess everyone decided to go for a hotel instead of a roadside nap? In hindsight, this was the right call due to issues with hotel booking on the second night... but anyways, it felt good to get a hot shower even though that left me with very little time for sleep. I had planned to wake up at 4:30am, have breakfast and leave the hotel at 5:00am, but due to some dilly dallying and other stupid time-wasters, I ended up leaving the town at around 6am instead.

There was a lot of climbing on the way to CP3, but I made it well within the cut-off time. It was just a roadside CP with nothing much in terms of supplies, so I quickly moved on and found a nearby place for breakfast ahead. It wasn't much - just a small stall with three tables and a very limited choice of meals - but this was better than nothing. The most important thing was that my stomach seemed to be well-behaving today, and I managed to eat properly.

I encountered some storm clouds and rain on the way to CP4, and somewhere along the way I found a restaurant that was open and available for lunch. Turns out this was the only place that was open, so everyone stopped here. This made service time rather slow, and I wasted a lot of time just waiting for my order to arrive, but I guess beggars can't be choosers. It's a good thing that I had my fill here though, because the next set of climbs were the steepest ones we encountered along the route.

By the time I reached CP4 (501km), it was already late evening and time for dinner. Fortunately, this CP is in a major town center so I had plenty of choice for food. I picked a place with a local delicacy (assam laksa) as a sort of experiment - try a food with a strong taste to see if my stomach could take it - and it was very good.

So by then, the bad news is that day 2 is almost over and I've only covered 500km. The good news is that the route to CP5 (601km) is practically pancake-flat, so I was basically time-trialing at around Z2-Z3 intensity all the way, although as night fell I started getting sleepy and could not hold my aero position without suffering from microsleep. I had to make multiple stops for power naps, before finally reaching CP5 at around 1am. From here, I was looking at Google Maps for nearby hotels and unfortunately, even the nearest hotels were 7km away and fully booked. Later on, I heard that even those who made it to CP6 could not get hotels unless they booked very early in advance, very likely due to the national holiday over here on Sept 16. Fortunately CP5 also had an open 7-11 so I decided to rough it out and sleep on the floor, then wake up at 5:30am for breakfast and leave at 6am.

The journey to CP6 (733km) wasn't too challenging, and by this time my stomach had fully recovered so I was eating whatever I liked, whenever I liked. Other than being a little short on time, things were going rather well... until my RD cable snapped as I was arriving at the outskirts of the town where CP6 was located. I was very lucky that it happened here, since I could find bike shops to replace the cable. However, first things first - use the limit screws to put the cassette into a reasonable setting, and get to CP6 first to stamp the brevet card. I had to go hard to overcome a few climbs along the way, but I made it with a few minutes to spare before CP6's cut-off time. After that, I checked Google Maps again and found a bike shop just a few blocks away so I left the bike at the shop, walked away to get lunch, and when I got back, the bike was good as new! Even had the chain lubed for that extra bit of smoothness.

Reached CP7 (805km) in pretty good time next. This was a very small town, not much choice on food and drink. Had a sandwich and five half-boiled eggs at a nearby shop before leaving for CP8 (894km). The route was pretty flat, and this time I wasn't feeling sleepy at all so it was a pretty smooth and fast ride to the CP. They had some great food at the CP, and I took full advantage of it now that my stomach was recovered. From here, my original plan was to take a short, 1-hour nap before the final push to the finish, but there were a bunch of other randonneurs gathered here and they wanted us to all finish together.

I decided riding together through the night was the better choice. Plus, we had each other to keep company if we were feeling drowsy, which we did. The group organized a couple of all-out sprints to keep our heart rates up and stave off the microsleeps; it was the middle of the night on very empty countryside/estate roads, so the road was practically ours. It also helped that the route was relatively flat... at least until the final 35km to the finish. Things started to get very lumpy again, but as usual I always found some hidden store of strength and energy during the last 1-2 hours of any brevet and I was pushing hard efforts without tiring all the way until the finish.

Elapsed time of 72h 43m - decent, considering the nature of the route as well as my personal challenges along the way, but could have been better. While this should serve as my pre-registration pre-requisite for PBP, but my 2022 randonneuring season isn't complete yet. I need another 600k next month to complete my SR for this year. I had a ton of doubts before and during the ride, but now that I've completed it I think I feel a lot more positive about PBP next year.

https://www.strava.com/activities/7826056985
atwl77 is offline  
Likes For atwl77:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.