Randonneur cycling?

Anyone else here ever do any randonneur cycling? Some buddies of mine have proposed joining some local brevets this year, trying out the 200km and 300km events before ramping up our ambitions even further. We did one 200km ride last year on our own just to see how we liked it.

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Have not done any actual randonneuring, but been on a few long ones. 300k, 430k, and did 540k (with 8k of climbing) as a single trip this summer.

Have considered to get started, may join a brevet or two in ‘21.

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Hi Jason

I have ridden a couple of 200 km Brevets in Hong Kong and in Germany and want to ride a 300 km or 400 km next year so currently I am on the 200 mile Gravel Grinder plan…

I can highly recommend Brevets. Usually a very nice relaxed crowd.

BR Peter

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I’ve done a dozen or so 200k, some 300k and one fleche (24h point-to-point) randonneur events mostly in the Washington DC area. Didn’t go longer since I concluded riding through the night / sleep deprivation is not really my thing. The rules can be a little persnickety, but I agree in general the folks are pretty chill and welcoming.

Taking a few year hiatus from these sorts of events (young kids) but have it in my mind that eventually I’ll get back and do a Paris-Brest-Paris once for the experience.

One tip (that may reveal an inner couchlandrian in me): choose your control meals carefully. Grinding up a steep pitch in 90 F temp an hour after a tuna wrap and donut meal was a poor but tasty life decision.

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Thanks for the recommendation, @Pete_Scudder!

@tbronder regarding food choice, that’ll be an interesting experience. For my long rides, I usually do some kind of carb and nut mix, like a homemade no-bake wannabe cliff bar or flour tortillas with peanut butter and maple syrup with some scratch powder for drinks occasionally but I think I might need to have more savory things and fat on even longer rides for the stomach.

I do not like anything heavy when I am in to a long event, I eat early and get an energy high after about 100 miles.Cake can slide down nicely otherwise I prefer cottage cheese, yoghurt, or even just milk.Eating on a ride is something you need to practice during training because it is so personal

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I haven’t done any brevet yet. But I plan to do one or two this year. My actual goal is Paris-Brest-Paris 2023.
Regarding food on long rides: On long rides, I’m usually rather conservative with carb gels for energy and bananas (and eventually a few protein bars on very long rides). I added the bananas a few years ago and they really really improved the experience.
So far, I finished a few 24h rides non-stop and never had any problems with my digestive system, and was never running out of energy.
I also tested milk products but they don’t work for me. I get the feeling that they block/reduce the carb/nutrition uptake for a few hours (at least in my case) and I have to reduce output.

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Did the last PBP and all the brevets that go into getting on the start line and I normally do a 200 every month (covid got in the way last year, I caught it in Nov) so if you need any tips ask away! I’m down to do the NorthCape - Tarifa race this year. Love my Randonneuring. As for food, it’s whatever I can buy at a 24hr service station or a lovely village tearoom. Don’t forget your mudguards :slight_smile:

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Yep, regular Audaxer (UK term) here, so ridden plenty of brevets. I did a Super Randonneur in 2019 as part of my build to Paris-Brest-Paris, completing rides of 200, 300, 400, 600k before the 1200k of PBP. My plan was for London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) this year before it was cancelled and pushed back to 2021. I also am completing my second Randonneur ARound The Year (RRTY) which is 12x200k’s over 12 months in each month… Lots of challenges or opportunities.

The UK scene is very friendly, there are lots of “old men with beards and sandals” but with the likes of Transcontinental / Silk Road and the profiles of Mike Hall (RIP) Emily Chappell and others it is becoming more breakout.

As for fuelling - I’m an eating machine, so never been a problem. Porridge for breakfast, beans on toast mid morning and jacket potato for lunch normally does me - but I have also ridden 200’s on just water and the odd energy bar. Its certainly not one for energy drinks, banana’s and flapjacks - fuel = fun!

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I had planned to join up with the local club to ride brevets in 2020, but… yeah. I ended up riding my own 200km route twice late in the year on my track bike, and then promptly bought a proper road bike!

I’m hoping some of the pending brevets in my area go through this year, and I’ll definitely be better prepared suffering-wise. :slight_smile:

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Sorry for being the nerdy guy here @caashford, but I believe Audax is originally an Italian term adopted by the French, from which the term randonneuring also originates obviously. Like a lot of terms in cycling.

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Which training plans would you use?

@Pete_Scudder hows the gg plan treating you?

Yes, I was a regular randonneur before lockdown, last audax was over a year ago.
I’ve completed the RRtY challenge (Randonee Round the Year) which is at least a 200km ride every month for a year and did the Super Randonneur challenge concurrently, 200km, 300km, 400km & 600km ride in an audax year.
Found the 400 toughest but this was because on my first attempt I was suffering from a cold and couldn’t stop falling asleep and couldn’t build up enough buffer time. Second attempt I lost my front light and had to abandon. Third time lucky.
It’s good fun as it’s not about speed it’s about getting round and having a laugh.

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Finnish rando here! In here we do not have many prepared brevets so going solo is allowed option too. Have done 650k is my longest one so far, had to easen up for couple years due family life and two small kids :wink: This year planning goal of 500km or 600km (or few days to week bike touring)

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Signed up for a local 200K brevet on April 24, which it turns out is the day after I have a Half-Monty scheduled! :wink:

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Good luck with that!
I have my eye on a couple brevets in April and May. It depends on the COVID situation though.

Our brevet series was just cancelled. A local curfew for COVID prevents us from doing anything more than 200km. Curfew is from 8pm to 5am. So some buddies and I will just do our own rides within the rules.

Was really feeling the COVID blues this month.

It has also meant adjusting my training plan. Was doing the all purpose road advanced with yoga and added strength training in part because I thought April would be wet and cold. The weather has been great so I’ve been outside more but on the trainer less. Now moving some goal days around. I’m not stressing about the change in training. Just enjoying being on the bike.

How are the rest of you coping?

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I haven’t ridden outside since October 2019. When the winter ended, Covid started, so I never got out on the road at all last year. Missed out on all 7 of my triathlon events in 2020 and my second marathon. So far I’ve missed out on multiple triathlon events this year with no light at the end of the tunnel (for me) until the winter, maybe spring of next year. The Sufferfest, my bike trainer, and my garage are my BFF’s. The light at the end of my tunnel is vaccines for kids 12 and under. That, and short runs at 4am in the moonlight.

And thank God for GCN+. I think I’ve watched more bike racing in the last 9 months than I have in my entire life. Simply because all that used to be available in the US was the TDF. Now I’m like a kid in a candy story watching every single race.

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@Jason_Blakeburn I think your outlook on things is great! I focus on enjoying the sport first and training second where possible. I have been trying to get outside during the last few weeks when I can and also ride with friends. It makes a big difference on my outlook. I am also fortunate to have a race next week. It is just a 12 mile MTB race where you show up for your slot, race and leave but it will be great to experience some normalcy again.

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