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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

Brevet-Curious Newbie

Old 02-23-07, 10:34 AM
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kponds
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Brevet-Curious Newbie

Hi all,

First off, I've been lurking for a few days, and I'd like to give a thank you to all of you guys, especially Machka (your website rocks!) for the vast wealth of information that is available at my fingertips thanks to the hard work of others.

I've been into long distance trail-running (I can do 20-25 miles comfortably) for the past year, and have trained to that end, and used my bicycles for leisure (and commuting).

I recently injured my knee and my doc says that I shouldn't run for two months, but that cycling is OK. I've become sort of addicted to the ~12 hours per week that I poured into running, and was in a depressional funk about it. Then I found a series of brevets near me, read up on what brevets are, and it seems just like just the answer I need.

So I'm really "untrained" for cycling. I ride for pleasure all the time but no structured workouts. 35-50 miles (fixed gear) is a comfortable Sunday ride. I have the endurance (from running), but the quads are just not there.

One thing that I liked about the trail/ultramarathon running community is the attitude and friendliness of the people. Now I don't want to start a fight or anything, but the only group ride experience that I have is with road racers, and my experience with them was exactly the opposite. I got into road biking a few years ago and basically everyone turned their nose up at me (presumably because I was rather fat at the time), and it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth as far as group rides goes. I am getting a different vibe from the randonneuring crowd, though, much similar to the ultrarunning community.

Do I need a $5k bike like most of you guys have? Obviously, I won't want to use my fixed gear. But I also have this rig: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kponds/179293294/ (that's these bars: https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products ). I hope it won't feel out of place. It's widely geared and set up for long rides, but is not exactly light and sporty like you guys bikes. I already have night riding gear too.

So anyway, I'm just looking for some carrot at the end of the stick that will provide me with ungodly hours of stress-relieving cardiovascular exercise, friendly non-elitist camraderie, and adventure. Oh, and I don't want to spend oodles of money either Is randonneuring what I'm looking for?

I assume that training goes a bit like what I'm used to with trail running: an hour or two four days during the week, medium-long on saturday, and extra-long on sunday? This sound good?

Do you think I'd be in shape to do a 100k populaire in two weeks?


Thanks!
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Old 02-23-07, 11:54 AM
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Gillett
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I think in Randonneuring, you have found exactly the type of group you would like. I am really new to randoneuring myself but with the three rides I have done so far I have found the people to be very encouraging and helpful. It's not quite like doing group rides with a bicycle club though in that "Randonneuring is long-distance unsupported endurance cycling". There may be times where you will be riding with other riders, but it could also happen that you will spend great deals of time all by yourself. In the whole spirit of randonneuring though, again I have found people to be extremely nice and helpful. You have probably already been to www.rusa.org, and if not you should check it out. You will have to be a member (one year is only $20.00) for your rides to count and your local randonneuring club may want you to be a member too but I'm not certain about that.

From your post, if you can ride 50 miles comofortably already then I would say you can already start riding brevets. Furthermore, I would say that if you are comfortable on the bike shown in your link, then it should be fine for long distance riding. Part of the deal with riding really long distances is dealing with issues of discomfort and having the mental attitude to get through the ride.

With all that being said, I am relatively new to bike riding and a new RUSA member. So far, I have greatly enjoyed my experience with randonneuring and would like to encourage you to give it a try. I don't think you will have to spend a lot of money. I believe every randonneur/randonneuse has to work out issues with bike fit, equipment and such so there is some cost involved but in the long run it looks like you have most of what you need already.

Good luck and hope to see you out there on the road.

Gillett
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Old 02-23-07, 12:06 PM
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supcom
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Welcome kponds. Randonneurs are a varied lot, but generally do not fit the typical "roadie" stereotype. We are a friendly bunch who usually enjoy the company of other riders. You'll find the typical randonneur will go out of his/her way to encourage and help you succeed.

The bike you pictured looks like a fine steed for Randonneuring. So long as it's comfortable and reliable, it will do fine. BTW, most of us don't have $5k bikes! Keep in mind that the minimum average speed for Randonneuring is less than 10 mph (including stopped time), so you don't need a fancy bike.

As far as doing a 100K populaire goes, if you can currently do 50 miles on a fixie, then you can certainly do 100K.

Good luck to you.
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Old 02-23-07, 12:28 PM
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Zonker
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Originally Posted by kponds
Do I need a $5k bike like most of you guys have? Obviously, I won't want to use my fixed gear. But I also have this rig: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kponds/179293294/ (that's these bars: https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products ). I hope it won't feel out of place. It's widely geared and set up for long rides, but is not exactly light and sporty like you guys bikes. I already have night riding gear too.

I have been looking, out of curiosity, for randonneuring-specific framesets. You can't get any more reasonable than this:

https://www.kogswell.com/products.html

$540 which includes frame, a fork, fenders painted to match, headset and seatpost
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Old 02-23-07, 05:28 PM
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kponds
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Thanks guys! You are a great help.

Originally Posted by Zonker
Hot. That be something to reward myself with once I show determination and can hammer out a 400k or so.
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