Randonneurs (randos), use metric for distances; it'll make them feel like a longer ride: rando chat‽

I think @JUGE_FREDD did something similar on prison island

I feel like Mark did something dumb like this in the last couple years. But he’s also a special kind of weirdo.

Are you going to drag your carcass out for 6-rivers 200 next month?

If I’m free that weekend, yeah!

Ther’es like a 40% chance that I’ll have the same kind of retirement as Mark - if you can ride 25 hours a week, why not?

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400s are IMO the most difficult of the series. With a 600 you can basically take a break at 350 and eat/sleep as needed.

I have a 600 scheduled on 5/14 and flèche the following weekend. I would guess with the right support and team of riders it’s all difficult and camaraderie.

I usually find 300s to be the worst, being earlier in the season and usually worse courses with a combination of junk miles and suburban overload

The Tasmania series is special because of the luxuriousness of the gap days in different towns, temperate summer climate, and great routing

like the 300k is not just in nice rural farmland, being point-to-point means it gets to do what’s good instead of what loops back while adding up correctly

I’ve heard this series referred to as Devil’s Week, though perhaps only in Canada/Ontario:

Not quite last call but we’re still looking for 1-2 more for our PDX-OLY flèche team. Our current distance is ~379km

BC Randos has this but calls it Hell Week.

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So happy to have some content for this thread - I didn’t think i’d have the opportunity this season!

This past Saturday was the 2nd (of 2) Berlin 300km. Somehow the stars aligned and I was able to arrange help for the kiddos and enjoy an entire day out of the house.

I’m not sure if I’ll be even able to do PBP next season, but I didn’t want to not be able to, so getting at least a 300 in the books as a pre-qualifier was important for me this season.

New baby + Covid + other stuff means that I haven’t ridden a brevet (or longer than 100km) since 2019. But recently I’ve been able to sneak out Friday afternoons for a 2 hour ride which has been super nice, but effectively I was going into this zero form and just a lot of want.

All my previous brevets were on the Dayruiner with 650x48 tires and I really wanted to move towards 700x28/32 for any future brevets. I ended up finding a Fairlight Strael v2 frameset in the outlet a few months ago and have been slowly building it up with mostly parts bin stuff. Also I’ve been wanting to try move towards an SMP saddle and one finally popped up used on eBay a few weeks ago to leave me with a full bike!


(ignore the silver chairpole)

All this to say I wasn’t really going into the brevet with a fit I had much experience with. I got things close on the trainer, but the SMP saddle was twisting my head a bit in terms of saddle height and setback as compared to my previous position on the Endpoint.

Saturday morning came and the weather looked to be perfect. Warm but not hot, not much wind, mostly blue skies. Only small chance of rain up north.

The route heads North out of Berlin into Brandenberg, then loops back down to the Oder river that divides Germany and Poland and then back through the “hills” in the north.

I left my house at 5:45am and took a lap around the park. Something with my left-side just felt off fit-wise. I started worrying about saddle height and thinking i’d spend the entire day chasing 5mm this way-or-that and decided it wasn’t how I wanted to spend my day out. Went back home, dropped my saddle ~3mm and swapped my shoes.

Rode over the start location which is a hostel in Mitte for check-in. Club / city rules are that riders have to leave in groups of 30 or less. Start times were every 5 minutes starting at 6:30am.

My friend and I rolled out at the end of the last group at 7am and chatted away the first 70km until C1.

Weather was delightful, route was perfect. I got into my stash of Haribo and madeleine cookies somewhere around 50km, which reminds me of the single fancy not parts-bin aspect of the Strael. This beautiful Berthoud bag up front holding my snacks.


(ignore the crooked lever)

Back to the route - again, perfect. Lots of cycle paths and very little traffic.

The Rapeseed fields were in full bloom, just a sea of yellow.

It felt like the Strael was riding itself. Wheels are full dead-ender non-tubeless non-dynamo Niner take-offs I’ve had laying around, but the tubed 700x32 GP5ks felt so damn nice on pavement as compared to any 650b tires i’ve tried. Easy chatting pace was easily 3km/hr faster than i’m used to.

Fit-wise saddle : pedal relationship felt great. I missed the no-look foot placement of my clicky shoes, but i’ve been struggling with my shoes for a bit and honestly it was nice to just not think about that and just pedal.

I was feeling too much pressure on my hands, but not enough to try to address mid-ride. Maybe a little more setback, maybe little lower stack (likely), or even shorter stem. But for another time.

Back to the ride. Everyone seemed to be taking it pretty chill enjoying the day. We caught up with one of the early groups 2 beers deep at C3? I forget. Sun was out, spring was here. Corona was pretty non-existent in all of the little towns we went through. All of the city folx on bicycles were wearing masks in the gas stations but no one else was.

By the time we hit 200km I had made it through my cookie stash, haribo stash, a chocolate crossiant, a Twix, and a gas station baguette sandwich. But ran out of water in between C3 and C4.

C4 @ 225km in Schwedt was a Subway and we sat down outside. 30cm (not foot long) Turkey on “Cheese Oregano” “bread” and an orange Fanta. My friend decided to call it a day and checked the train scheduled back to Berlin.

I ran in the grocery quickly for more water, more Haribo, and a mix pack of chocolates for sup (Sunday was mother’s day!?!?!)

We stayed longer than I would have liked at the control and I was eager to get riding again!

The last 80km were kind of a dream. Headed out of town, along the Oder river for the last bit of sun. My legs still felt amazing. I found a nice pace at ~85rpm / 29-30km/hr and held that for the remainder.

At some point head back inland and towards the hills around Oderberg.

Past the ship lift at Niederfinow (there are 2 now!) which always blows my mind.

As it got dark the error of my setup became more apparent. The handlebar mounted light reflected off the map holder on the bag which was horribly distracting, so mainly I relied on my helmet light.

Final control @ 306km (10:45pm) was a photo at the townline of Boernicke, 4km outside of Bernau, 30km outside of Berlin. It was getting late at this point and baby wakes me up by 6am everyday, so headed to the train station for the last 30km home. Train wasn’t running, but replacement bus service was waiting right outside.

Got back home at 12:03am. Baby was ready and waiting at 6:00am :slight_smile:

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Abandoned my 600 today
Long story short: small rain all day and 60 to 40/50 temp drop

I feel like a failure

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You aren’t, that’s an enervating weather change to ride through.
I haven’t done more that three hours in steady wet in quite some time,throw in getting steadily colder and I’d probably quit too

Yeah, at 40f and with rain things can get bad fast.

The bright side is I’m at a smoked meat store and I had a beer

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im at the combination smoked meat and have a beer store

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ETA for the turnaround was 10hrs and I feel like I would have hypothermiad earlier than that as the sun is dropping

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Sounds like a fantastic ride. 30cm is 12 inches.

sometimes the right decision is a bummer, but not as big of a bummer as the wrong decision. type 2 fun is a thing but type 3 not so much

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Yeah I’m not a fan of the “end up in the ICU or dead in a ditch” type of fun

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Collapsing at the side of the road is a failure; bailing because the weather puts you at risk is not

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So yesterday started out ok - dry ish after a night of rain. There were 8 of us signed up for the 600 and we all left at 7a.

Early on the guy on the red kuota was showing signs of aggressive speed and I remembered that he was also the one that blew up at the first sight of rollers in an earlier 200k. I kept my distance and, predictably, he blew up. Dropped.

Our group of 7 tapered to 6 and we rode together for the first 60km. 2/6 did not bring fenders and rain was off and on and the roads were wet. Admittedly I gave one of the riders a hard time about the fenders but also told her that I would set her up with some (she’s got like a 50-52 crabon pinarello with deadender ultegra 8k and 23mm tires. No clearance, more on that later) because she’s on my flèche team next weekend. Fine, great, whatever.

You might remember earlier in the season I loaned a bottle to a guy who was weird about it and come to find out he’s weird about a lot of stuff. Apparently he also gave some shit to the riders without fenders but was a little more harsh to the pinarello rider.

Rain on and off, puddles and rain dried streets into our controle at ~60km, a Safeway. A couple riders go in and grab a jug of water, a box of pastries, and the rest of us wait out in front.

Pinarello and bottle guy get into it. Voices raised, accusations, and the other 4 of us standing there aghast. Finally I’m like
HEY.
Both of you need to stop.
Right now.
You’re ruining MY VIBE.
the other 3 are kind of shocked at what’s happening and the 2 are bickering and lowering voices.
Excuses and apologies and I have no idea what just transpired but the other guy with no fenders chimes in
“You know, in the south - YALL is singular while ALL YALL is plural”
Which just broke everyone to laughter.
We finish up our pastries and head out

We’re 5km from my in-laws’ and I had told them we would be riding by - they were roadside cheering us on as we passed. Rollers into kings valley and blue sky with rain clouds.

Rollers, relentless rollers and the rain is off and on with the sun so if you’re wearing a jacket you get too hot but if you’re just wearing a jersey you get wet.

I fall behind the group and I don’t see them again. 1/2 behind me catch up and it’s 1/3 I rode the 400 with a few weeks ago - he’s got a Volagi. He rode this route in 2017 and said it was rainy that time too. We land at blodgett and refuel at a country store



Kuota guy shows up, grabs a water and then leaves. Last time I see him.

I get a V8 and a bean and cheese burrito and as we’re about to leave and volagi has a flat. Ok, we fix it, head out. Down the road he’s having shifting issues - come to find out he replaced the shift cable recently and it probably wasn’t seated well enough. So we stop and fix that. Probably 30-45min of mechanical delays.

There is a gravel climb to a descent that brings us here

We head out and into more rollers through winding forested roads, unpopulated backwoods and the people that do pass are courteous for the most part. There was a truck pulling a trailer with a gate that opened from the driver side and the door swung into the bike lane - that was kind of scary.

The rain has started to pick up so I put my jacket on and these little valleys have pockets of cold air. Where we’ve been riding at 65+ish it’s getting down to upper 40s low 50s, the sky is light grey and we’re riding through rain fog. I’m soaked. I drop behind and I can’t seem to get going fast enough to warm up. My mental math says I’m 7-10 hours from the turnaround and if it’s ~5p now then I’m going to be cold by time I’m halfway there. If it keeps raining that’s just going to be worse.

I call it in at Lincoln city.

Volagi turns around to find me as I roll up to 101.

“I think I’m going to abandon”
“Why? Because you’re later than your estimate?”
(I had planned out a schedule)
“No, because I’m cold”
“Oh”

We ride together until I find the smoked meat beer store

I wish him well, thank him for his time and let wifeflight know where I’m at

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