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brevet questions(12 posts)

brevet questionsbianchi boy
Mar 17, 2003 7:13 PM
So, I'm thinking about riding the 200 km brevet in North Carolina on April 12. I was checking out their website and reading the rules, but was curious about a few things.

Can you draft or ride in a paceline, or do you have to ride solo like in a triathlon? (Not much fun riding solo for 120 miles, if you ask me.)

Do you really have to wear a reflective vest? Is a Pearl Izumi neon yellow vest sufficient? What if it's too hot for a vest?

Here's a link, if anyone's interested --

http://www.unc.edu/~alanj/index.htm
Brevet answers.MB1
Mar 17, 2003 7:29 PM
Sure you can draft although experienced brevet riders tend to ride in loose groups rather than tight pacelines.

I thought that vests were only required for night riding although the rules do change a bit from year to year. Contact the ride organizer to find out exactly what he will allow.
A small caveatTrent in WA
Mar 17, 2003 8:20 PM
MB1's right about drafting, though the ACP rules (I think) stipulate that you can only draft riders who are also taking part in the brevet, so no linking up with the local racing chain gang if their Saturday death drag just happens to be going your way.

Of course, if you tell folks you're riding 136 miles, they're likely to give you a wide berth anyway. Respect for the village idiot, y'know?

Trent,
who suffered like a pig on the Saturday Seattle 200K but finished and is now sick as a, er, dog.
156 miles solo in 9 1/2 hrs...hycobob
Mar 17, 2003 8:45 PM
I did that 2 years ago but it was just for the hell of it. My boss told me that I had to work on the Houston, Tx MS150 weekend so I figured I would do my own. But, I only had one day off, so there I went; bullheadedly I might add. I hadn't ridden some of the roads before, so it was kind of an adventure...not to many stores out there. Lots of wind along the Gulf Coast and on Galveston Island (for about 60 miles). I'm getting antsy to do it again, maybe 200 miles this time. Any takers?
Reflective vests, lights, etc.Dale Brigham
Mar 17, 2003 9:23 PM
The rules for lighting and reflective gear are covered in the Randonneurs Mondiaux (www.lesrm.org) and Randonneurs USA (www.rusa.org)websites, which follow:

"Article 6

For night riding, vehicles must be equipped with front and rear lights attached firmly to the vehicle. Lights must be fully functional at all times. At least one of the rear lights must be in a steady (rather than flashing) mode. All riders' lights must meet the requirements of local laws. (Spare lights are strongly recommended; spare bulbs are required.) Riders not complying with all these requirements will not be permitted to start."

"Lights must be on from dusk to dawn and at any other times when poor visibility conditions exist (rain, fog, etc.). Each rider, whether riding in a group or by himself, must fully comply with this requirement. Everyone must use their lights! All riders must wear a reflective vest, sash, Sam Browne belt, or some other device that clearly places reflective material on the front and back of the rider. During night riding, all riders will also wear a reflective ankle band around each ankle."

"Any violation of these night riding rules will result in the immediate disqualification of the rider."

My regional brevet administrator (RBA) added some additional stipulations (e.g., rear reflector required, redundant lights in place of spare bulbs) that reflect either local laws or his interpretation of the rules. The lighting requirement is generally not in effect for the 200 km brevet, so that's a good time to ask the RBA what he or she requires.

Regarding the P.I. vest, if it does not have several strips of reflective material, it likely won't be accepted as a safety vest. There are mesh reflective vests that are commonly used, in addition to reflective belts with sashes (Sam Brownes). I have used a Sugoi wind vest with reflective strips as my safety vast in U.S. brevets and PBP, but I'm not sure if it still qualifies as such.

Bon Route!

Dale
more questionstarwheel
Mar 18, 2003 5:11 AM
Do cyclists generally stop and eat a meal enroute during a 200 km or longer ride? I'm not talking about a big meal of fried chicken or greasy hamburgers, but something more than Cliff bars and bananas. Given that there won't be rest stops with snacks every 20-30 miles, it seems like a quick meal might be a good idea about the halfway point.

I'm still a little confused about the vest business. Couldn't you just pin a reflective triangle on the back of your jersey or Camelbak? It can be pretty hot in NC in April, even though this winter is giving few hints of ever going away, and I wouldn't want to wear a vest if not needed.

tarwheel aka bianchi boy
more questionsScot_Gore
Mar 18, 2003 5:23 AM
Below is Article 6 from http://www.rusa.org/brvreg.html rules section. It's the only place I see where it talks about vest requirements. It's clearly a night riding rule. From what I see, if your riding at night, then, yes a reflective vest is requiried. Are you doing a night ride ?

Article 6

For night riding, vehicles must be equipped with front and rear lights attached firmly to the vehicle. Lights must be fully functional at all times. At least one of the rear lights must be in a steady (rather than flashing) mode. All riders' lights must meet the requirements of local laws. (Spare lights are strongly recommended; spare bulbs are required.) Riders not complying with all these requirements will not be permitted to start.

Lights must be on from dusk to dawn and at any other times when poor visibility conditions exist (rain, fog, etc.). Each rider, whether riding in a group or by himself, must fully comply with this requirement. Everyone must use their lights! All riders must wear a reflective vest, sash, Sam Browne belt, or some other device that clearly places reflective material on the front and back of the rider. During night riding, all riders will also wear a reflective ankle band around each ankle.

Any violation of these night riding rules will result in the immediate disqualification of the rider.
should be a daytime ridetarwheel
Mar 18, 2003 5:30 AM
The 200 km ride starts at 7 a.m. on April 12. At my pace, I should have no trouble finishing well before dark. My last two centuries I finished in times of 5:45-6:00 hours, riding at a moderate pace with just one partner.
clarification, as i've understood itJS Haiku Shop
Mar 18, 2003 6:40 AM
vest and lights are required in the event of any dark or low-visibility riding. it's for the safety of you, your fellow randonneurs, and drivers, and probably a little for the liability of the ride/RBA/etc. (though riders are considered on "solo" rides during brevets). reason a reflective sign is not acceptable over a vest--you can only see the sign from the direction it's displayed. a vest or sam browne can be seen from all directions.

search the board for "sam browne belt" and find a post i made last week with a response on where to purchase one in the US. i ordered same day and will advise when received. this is a belt/sash, and should not be too hot or cumbersome over a jersey.

as far as eating, it's just a long ride. if your long rides are 100 miles, this one's just ~25 miles longer. on the 200k i did a few weeks ago (turned out to me 140 miles, mostly alone, in windy & snowy IL), i ate a 24-pack of strawberry newtons, a powerbar harvest bar, and a powergel--and consumed several 32-ounce bottles of gatorade. it seems "rando" time (overall ride time, not time on the bike) is the important factor here. stopping to scarf down a burger or whatever is time that you're spending off the bike. if you're preparing for the longer brevets, time off the bike seems to be a no-no.

drafting is allowed. i think there are multiple reasons folks ride in "loose groups"--those probably include the fact that many long-distance/brevet/ultra riders don't often ride in packs, and sometimes group skills are lacking (but not always, or not even commonly). other reasons may be that the rando spirit calls for self-sufficiency above all else, but combined with a comradeship and urge to help your fellow rider--be it in deed or spirit. another reason is that folks are preparing for longer rides--there may not be packs with which to ride and share work on 600, 1000, and 1200k events. riding in a group on the shorter rides makes the miles go faster, but "loosely" grouped means the riders also do all their own work--just the mental aspect is shared.

i've only done the 200k so far (my fourth 125-mile ride, though this was 140 since i got lost twice :) ), but last year i also rode a handful of centuries, another 125-miler, and two doubles. the eating thing seems to work fine if you can get used to it on the bike. i opened and repacked the newtons in snack-sized ziploc baggies with 6 or 7 each; they're 50 calories per newton.

oh, and sure-you and i are both strong and well-paced enough to ride 200k or 300k in the allotted time between dawn and dusk. but...since you're following a cue sheet, and unsupported--not to mention operating on a schedule, and getting to controles between their operating hours--and many other factors out of our control (mechanicals, etc.), you need to be prepared for *anything*. don't forget about that rider you might encounter in the last 50 miles...the one who might be suffering and might be about to quit, the one you decide to ride slower with for the last 50 miles...knowing you'll be back after dark, but still within your finish time.

anything can happen--be prepared, self-sufficient, ready for the worst. that seems to be the underlying tone. oh, and have fun.
solo riding Am stylecyclopathic
Mar 18, 2003 7:15 AM
at PBP french, belgians etc tend to ride in well organized groups; dressed in club jerseys, two abreast, rotating paceline very impressive.

Americans tend to ride solo. It maybe the reason that randonneuring isn't club sport in US, it maybe because traditionally there were very few of us and brevets are spread too apart. Or maybe because audax (group) style randonneuring isn't popular in US?

Sometimes it is hard to find someone who matches you well on hilly ride esp if you only have 15 starters
Most eat a meal on a 300k or longer fewer on 200k.dzrider
Mar 18, 2003 6:34 AM
I have only done a few, but I tried to follow what veteran riders were doing. On the 200k most folks snacked at the controls and carried bars or gels. I didn't see riders hitting the convenience stores for sandwiches. I didn't find it much different than a century and most riders treated it much like one.

On the 300k we did stop for food at a deli at roughly 200k in addition to the controls. Some other folks went for brunch at the 2nd control and then rode past us at the deli. For me, riding 13+ hours calls for some real food. You may be enough faster that you need less, but that deli sandwich tasted real good and got me over a mighty tough climb.

I have worn an orange vest with reflexite stripes similar to those worn by highway maintenance workers and never been hassled.
Brevet dining practicesDale Brigham
Mar 18, 2003 7:40 AM
You are correct that in the shorter brevets (200 and 300), most of eating is snacking. Convenience stores (mainly Casey's, in our neck of the woods) often serve as brevet controls (checkpoints), so while I'm in there getting my card signed, I grab a sandwich from the cooler or from the rotating infrared heater, chips or pretzels (got to get that sodium!), and more Gatorade or Powerade.

I find the best looking place to sit on the curb or grass beside or behind said store, and scarf it all down. Most places also let you use their restroom. Then, I fill my bottles (water and Gatorade), adjust clothing, check to make sure I have everything (I have left knee warmers behind before), most especially my brevet card, and get on the road again.

Typically, a 200 km brevet has one mid-course control at the turnaround, a 300 has three (turnaround plus midway out and back), a 400 has four or more, and a 600 has six or so. That means a real stop about every 100 km (3-5 hours riding time), which seems to be a good interval for me to take in "real food" (i.e., not just sports drinks and energy bars). In the multi-day rides (for me, 600 km and longer), a real sit-down meal at least once a day is more common. At PBP, every control has a cafeteria or similar food service.

Dale