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600 km brevet thoughts and questions: time, speed, etc.(9 posts)

600 km brevet thoughts and questions: time, speed, etc.JS Haiku Shop
Feb 13, 2003 10:34 AM
comments by the brevet organizer about the 600 km route:

"flat to rolling"

"portion of the 600 Km does have a few good climbs, but nothing needing a triple"

"what (the route) lacks in mountains, it makes up for in headwind."

so, i'm wondering--having never done a brevet before, and having never done any rides over about 200 miles, what to expect and plan for average speeds, time off the bike, and sleep required.

of course i'm aware that these are all very personal, and also subject to weather and outside influence. however, i'm hoping to get a general idea of the amount of sleep typically taken by successful 600 km riders, average speed on the bike, and total time required to complete these rides. the 600 km (372 mile) time limit is 40 hours.

to reduce the variables a bit: in 2002 i completed 2 double centuries and one double metric, ~12 centuries (about 1/2 of them self-supported), and numerous 65-85 mile self-supported rides (plus many shorter ones, LOL). total yearly distance was about 6000 miles.

the two double centuries were one week apart, the first one started at 1:30 am, the second at 4 AM. **total time** on the first was a little over 14 hours for 209 miles, total time on the second was a little over 13 hours for 180 miles. on bike time for the first one was 13:09 for 209 miles, on bike time for the second one was 11:22 for 180 miles.

so far this year i've exceeded last year's road cycling mileage and training up to at least march, plus quite a bit of treadmill and trail running (this year). average speeds and on-bike time (as opposed to trainer time) are also way up. i'm stronger now than at the peak of my 2002 season, but my sitter might be a tad bit less acclimated to being in the saddle for 12 hours. total yearly mileage by 600 km time should be around 4000 miles (end of may).

too much information?


JS, I think you have a problem. . .js5280
Feb 13, 2003 11:48 AM
and it's not haiku. Hanging around enablers like Mr./MS. MB1 is not helping! 600km, I think you're crazy. My ass and every other part of my body just hurts thinking about it. I'm just curious, what's the attraction to ultra-distance rides such as this?
Low IQ nmJS Haiku Shop
Feb 13, 2003 12:04 PM
Hmmm (scratches head), the attraction of ultra-distance rides...Lon Norder
Feb 13, 2003 6:22 PM
The challenge, the camaraderie, the feeling of being part of something unique. The joy of riding your bike through miles and miles of nice scenery...

I also like how life seems to become very simple; you become absorbed by the ride. It's like nothing else exists besides the ride.

BUT, I haven't done anything over 210 miles, so I'm guessing (hoping) the same holds true for 400/600/1200K. We'll see.
I think you're o'kcyclopathic
Feb 13, 2003 1:06 PM
you're fast enough to ride and get good rest. Don't worry about 600, 400 is usually the hardest brevet. It's the first 250mi ride in season and you ride it w/o stop.

With 600 there're 2 strategies to either ride it fast and get good sleep or ride slower non-stop. I favour 1st my total times are ~35hr but I get some good rest. Last year I started 1/2hr later and still got 7hr+ of sleep.

Given the ride description (headwinds) I would seriously consider riding at night to avoid headwinds. Wind usually dies 1/2hr after sunset and picks up only 1/2hr before sunrise.

Second, during the day try to stick with people you've ridden (300 and 400 is a good place to meet) and who will keep ball rolling, won't make too many too long stops and will work in paceline.

Before the ride check weather forecast, esp wind direction so you'd know what to expect. Knowing the wind and using it may save you alot of trouble. I had a situation once on BMB midway where the friend of mine was ~40min behind. 9hr later he was behind 4-5hr. Turned out he lost extra 40min on rest stop and when he got out tail wind died. Meanwhile I've logged 50mi in 2hr 15min, including stopping and chatting for 5-10min with border guard. It may not sound like much but for my slow ass riding solo with ~400mi in legs it was quite an achievement.

Be prepared for night riding. Good set of headlights and good reading light. Pretzl Tikka (~25-30$) is very popular with randonneurs and with fresh batteries it will serve as back up light.

And don't worry you have enough fitness. Rookies usually talk about training, vets about logistics. And it makes the difference.
Just enjoy.MB1
Feb 13, 2003 1:47 PM
Don't try to go fast, just don't stop riding.

I think that however you are feeling at the 200 mile point the rest of the ride is pretty much going to feel the same. Therefore it makes sense to make sure you are fine at 200 miles by taking it easy till then. After 200 miles you aren't going to be going all that fast anyway so it will work out.

More important is the weather. Be prepared for anything that is in the forecast-here in DC we have had some awful brevets due to weather but most riders finish (a bunch of nutcases if you ask me ;-) ).

Riding the way Miss M and I do we can pretty much go the same speed for any distance we want-we never push it and we never slow down. Takes some getting used to and it will hurt your speed but for now I suggest you train at your 600K pace on weekends and save speed for early in the week.

I have no doubt that you will have an outstanding 600K ride if you avoid the temptation to go fast early. So relax and have a good time.
I'm not even thinking about the 600 until I finish the 400...Lon Norder
Feb 13, 2003 4:35 PM
I'm sure the 400 is going to be "educational".
don't worrycyclopathic
Feb 13, 2003 6:54 PM
there're plenty of guys who've ridden the whole series and the big one in first year. Some of them did it just after they got first road bike. ;)
Haiku Shop is an android! Rock on, madman! --nm--Tacos Jalisco
Feb 15, 2003 8:44 AM