NJ 200K Brevet Ride Report (Longish)

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Jkeenan, Mar 30, 2003.

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  1. Jkeenan

    Jkeenan Guest

    Can you say dichotomous? In the dictionary, right next to the word dichotomous there is a picture of
    the 200K Florida brevet I did in January and the 200K New Jersey brevet I just completed in and
    around Princeton NJ. How dichotomous? Here are some examples:

    Weather FL:Very warm, clear skies NJ: Cool, cloudy, then rainy

    Architecture FL: Early 1950's 1960's NJ: Early 1600's to 1800's

    Roads FL: Smooth, smooth, smooth NJ: Rough, rougher, roughest. Hey, it's right after winter and
    New Joisey.

    Clothing FL: Shorts, jersey NJ: Shorts, joisey, windbreaker, arm warmers, tights, rain gear

    Xtra Equipment FL: Sun Screen NJ: Snow Shovel, Sump pump

    Bike of choice FL: 16" wheel Bike Sat R Day NJ: RANS V-REX

    Scenery FL: Glimpses of the bay and ocean NJ: Farmlands, mountain vistas, historic towns

    Topography FL: Flat and Flatter NJ: Hilly, Hillier and "For Cryn Out Loud!!

    That's how dichotomous. A bit about the brevet and then "..more lessons learned".

    The 200K started from Princeton Junction, New Jersey after a few words by Diane Goodin, the RBA,
    and all of us praying that the red morning sky would hold throughout the day. We all should have
    remembered the Ancient Mariner: "Red sky at night: Sailor's Delight. Red sky in morning: Sailor
    take warning".

    The first few miles took us through historic downtown Princeton on Saturday morning, giving us the
    opportunity to glimpse the prestigious Ivy League university buildings on one side and the varied
    Georgian buildings of downtown Princeton. As is typical with my slow riding, at least 60 of the 65
    plus riders dropped me in no time. I'm a slow starter besides being a slow rider, and need about an
    hour to warm up, which I do by just finding a spinning gear and pedaling along.

    Instead of traveling the route, I thought some "glimpses" of the scenery might give you an idea of
    how beautiful a ride this was and how even more wonderful it could be on a clear, sunny day:

    Coming across houses from the 1600's, 1700's and 1800's of all types of architecture: Georgian,
    Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian, Queen Anne, and Italiante to name a few

    Gazing at vistas of rolling hilly farmland and horse farms with miles of white fencing contrasting
    with the late winter grays and browns of the country side.

    Cycling on roads with little traffic and enjoying it even if they were bumpy and still had winter's
    gravel in places.

    Viewing the wildlife along the road or that ran across the road unexpectantly in front of me: a
    gaggle of geese, a flock of about a dozen wild turkeys, at least 8 to 10 deer, a fox (on one really
    looking weird cat), and a half dozen rabbits. At dusk seeing 4 deer that looked like cardboard cut
    outs in the dim light bound across the road.

    Passing the courthouse where the Lindbergh trial was held.

    Enjoying traveling through Flemington and French Town: two towns those who did the brevets should
    visit on a Saturday or Sunday and just stroll the quaint streets.

    Biking for about 6 miles on a one lane road bordered by the canal on one side and the hill banks on
    the other.

    And finally, cursing Sandiway Fong under my breath for finding a recumbent's dreaded impediment: a
    couple of real steep can my nose bleed hills? Later that night I met Sandiway who said that the hill
    was about a 16% incline. Sandiway was the primary architect for this ride and I think Sandiway is
    like Kent Peterson: They could climb a building.

    Enjoying riding in for the past 2 to 4 hours in torrential downpours with Matt Chacerel, Carol
    Goodman and Carol and Keith Card on their tandem. In the rain Carol was a lifesaver as she could
    read the cue sheet as the stoker. Mine by this time was soaked and part of it was unreadable. She
    was a real "lifesaver" in the nautical sense of the word.

    How hilly was this ride? Well, the Florida 200K as I said was flat. I did the Florida 400K and that
    had something around 7,000 feet of elevation. The New Jersey 200K had 7,900 feet. But with uphills
    you get some awesome incredible downhills. One stretch of road included a very long climb up route
    519 but then I think there was a 4 to 6 mile downhill that went on and on and on. One problem with
    hills and the rain, is that normally on a hilly ride you can let go and have a "yahoooooo"
    exhilarating ride on the way down. With rain, some remaining grit on the roads, it was more "safety
    first and take it a bit easy" on the downhills. Still, there was one place where I registered my top
    speed and I know I feathered the brakes a few times: 46.8 mph was the max on my odometer at the end
    of the day.

    As a "newbie" to brevets I'm amazed how much has to be done by the RBA's and I wanted to publically
    thank Jim Solanick for the Florida brevets and Diane Goodin for my first NJ brevet. She had
    wonderful helpers: Dan Finton and Susan Plonsky. Susan had done three Boston-Montreal-Boston brevets
    so had a real feel for what the riders needed.

    Oh gee, I even didn't finish last and have now lost my "rouge lanterne" designation. Still I hung
    around as the last riders came in to help out and when Diane said she was going to have dinner with
    Susan and a few other folks, I was invited along. One of the folks was Claus, of Des Peres Travel
    and another was Pat Carter who I think lives on her bike. It was a great ending to a great brevet:
    What more can you ask for but a good ride and good company at dinner?

    And finally: Lessons Learned:

    (1) Check The Check List!!! This is the 2nd brevet where I've had a check list. This is the 2nd
    brevet where I mentally checked items off and forget something. Lesson: Check the items AS
    YOU PUT THEM IN THE CAR!! This time I left my camelbak bladder. Fortunately, Princeton is a
    college town and there were plenty of bike shops.

    (2) Rain can be good. I started touring 5 years ago and have done about 6 cycling tours. Luckily I
    only had one-half day of rain on all those tours. So when the forecast called for rain for
    sure, I had no idea what was the proper gear. I find that I heat up quickly and my $16 rain
    jacket had me overheating on hills. Off came the jacket. I did four hours in the rain and just
    got wet. There was a benefit: the air was warm enough that the rain wasn't cold and it kept me
    cooled down.

    (3) Liquid refueling works: This is the fourth brevet that I've done on just GU and Gatorade and I
    never had a moment of feeling tired or bonkish. I did feel like I was missing a lot of "good
    stuff" as Diane had the manned control stocked with some real goodies. Each brevet rider also
    got a SWAG bag with some freebies from E-caps. I will be trying Sustained Energy and
    endurolytes on some training rides. Overall that would be less expensive and lighter weight.

    (4) Bring a GOOD light: I took only a TREK bike light. You know.the kind you can buy for next to
    nothing. Well when it rains, it gets cloudy and blocks out the sun meaning there is very
    little ambient light around sunset. So new lesson: Always bring GOOD lights. You never know.

    (5) I get stronger/longer. WHY?: If there is a sports fitness expert or the like out there, I'm
    perplexed: I seem to get stronger after about 80 to 90 miles. I'm going up hills faster,
    pedaling faster and there's no "tiredness" in my legs. I'm at a loss: Why? This happened on
    the two brevets in Florida (300K and 400K) and this 200K in New Joisey. Nope, I'm not going to
    say it's because I'm riding a recumbent. That just means I have no aches and headwinds are a
    slight bother.

    (6) Sorry Lance. Sometimes it is about the bike: As mentioned, I ride a recumbent. And there
    appears to be a big difference in performance between my folder and my regular bent. Over
    dinner, Diane said she had this thought when I pulled up with my regular recumbent, a RANS
    V-REX: "Oh no, I was hoping he'd bring a real bike". I used a Bike Friday folding recumbent
    (model SAT R DAY) for the Florida brevets, because that's what I had. For this brevet, I rode
    the <ahem> real bike that I'll use should I make it to PBP. I'll use the V-REX. I now know
    that it's much more efficient and faster than the SAT R DAY. For the 200K in Florida on flat
    terrain my average on the bike speed was 13mph. For the NJ 200K and it's 7,900 feet of
    climbing, I finished in about the same time as the Florida 200K and oddly enough my on bike
    speed average was 13 mph. That confirms that for the 600K in Florida, I'm borrowing a V-REX
    from a bike friend who lives in Davie.

    (7) I totally enjoy riding brevets. A lesson worth repeating
     
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  2. Alan Weiss

    Alan Weiss Guest

    What a great report, Joe! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    Alan Weiss NJ Gold Rush, E2 tandem, and Leitra rider
     
  3. Avi

    Avi Guest

    Thanks for the well-written report, Joe. Almost makes me want to try a brevet.

    Point of information: The RBA's name is Diane Goodwin.

    Avi
     
  4. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >brevet

    ?

    Can't find anything bike-related in my Webster's....
    -----------------------
    PeteCresswell
     
  5. Jkeenan

    Jkeenan Guest

    G'day Pete,

    Literally the french word brevet translates to "certificate" or "patent". In randonneeuring it means
    the successful completion of a sanctioned ride of at least 200K in length. Articles and background
    can be found at www.rusa.org. This year is the year of PBP (Paris-Brest-Paris) a ride held once
    every 4 years and requires the rider to complete a 750 mile course in 90 hours or less. To qualify
    you have to do a 200K, 300K, 400K, and 600K in succession in time frames of 13 hours, 20hours, 27
    hours, and 40 hours respectively. However, brevets are held all across the U.S. and are ridden by
    folks who belong to RUSA and riders who just want the challenge and enjoyment of a long distance
    ride. The RUSA website has a search tool for locating brevets by state, or month, or length, etc.

    To paraphrase Spock: "Ride long and prosper".

    Joe "recumbo"

    RUSA is the United States sanctioned arm of "(Pete Cresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > RE/
    > >brevet
    >
    > ?
    >
    > Can't find anything bike-related in my Webster's....
    > -----------------------
    > PeteCresswell
     
  6. A great ride report mostly snipped

    On Mon, 31 Mar 2003, JKeenan wrote:

    > And finally, cursing Sandiway Fong under my breath for finding a recumbent's dreaded impediment: a
    > couple of real steep can my nose bleed hills? Later that night I met Sandiway who said that the
    > hill was about a 16% incline. Sandiway was the primary architect for this ride and I think
    > Sandiway is like Kent Peterson: They could climb a building.

    Sandiway is one of the best climbers I've ever seen and he climbs fast. I'm just stuborn.

    > (5) I get stronger/longer. WHY?: If there is a sports fitness expert or the like out there, I'm
    > perplexed: I seem to get stronger after about 80 to 90 miles. I'm going up hills faster,
    > pedaling faster and there's no "tiredness" in my legs. I'm at a loss: Why? This happened on
    > the two brevets in Florida (300K and 400K) and this 200K in New Joisey. Nope, I'm not going
    > to say it's because I'm riding a recumbent. That just means I have no aches and headwinds
    > are a slight bother.

    You're switching into what I call "road mode". Most cyclist ride events like this running a
    deficit, burning more calories than they take in and riding an unsustainable pace. Some of us,
    however, switch into an altered steady-state where we can run almost forever as long as we keep up
    the right level of fuel intake. Your body switches into a mush more efficient mode. Many of my
    companions have accused me of speeding up in the later stages of longer events but I've run the
    numbers and it's simply that most of them slow down. In general, I maintain very similar speeds
    throughout the longer events.

    > (6) Sorry Lance. Sometimes it is about the bike: As mentioned, I ride a recumbent. And there
    > appears to be a big difference in performance between my folder and my regular bent. Over
    > dinner, Diane said she had this thought when I pulled up with my regular recumbent, a RANS
    > V-REX: "Oh no, I was hoping he'd bring a real bike".

    I find the best response to comments like this (which I've gotten when I've shown up at brevets with
    recumbents, fixed gears, a three-speed or my Bike Friday) is to just smile and say "yeah, it's a
    good thing I'm so much tougher than the rest of these guys!" (note, it's very important to be
    smiling broadly and have a real self-mocking tone when you say this). Or you can just look down in
    mock horror and say "what, I can't believe I forgot my Kestrel? What the hell was I thinking?"

    Kent Peterson Issaquah WA USA [email protected] http://www.halcyon.com/peterson/rando.html
     
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