Monday, April 19, 2010

Thoughts for a 400K

As the 400K is just around the corner, I wanted to take a few minutes to make some suggestions. Whether you are experienced or new to night riding, I hope these suggestions get you thinking and planning.

As a reminder, all riders MUST have front and rear lighting, reflective vest or sash AND reflective ankle bands on BOTH ankles. These items are not optional. Rules are clearly stated on RUSA’s website as well as mine. Don’t have the proper lights, and reflective gear? You have two options, get what you need (buy or borrow) or choose a daylight only event.

Lighting: If your lights are battery operated, make sure your batteries are fresh, and you have spares available. If you have a generator system, it is a good idea you check your connections and perhaps have a backup light that is a battery light in case your primary light fails. While on the subject, a helmet light, something like a Petzl or a clone at Home Depot, Wal-Mart would help in case of a fl*t or reading maps at night.

Clothing choices: Once the sun goes down, it doesn’t matter how warm the day was, it is going to get cold. Dress in layers and make some room in your bike bag for an extra layer. Watch the weather, watch the internet and dress accordingly. Be prepared for rain, sun, wind and cold. We can get it all.

Hardest Distance: Depending on how you look at it, and who you ask, the 400K distance is the most difficult of the series. You do not get any sleep like a 600K, and will be up late, late, late.

With a 5 AM start and a 27 hour time limit, riders may finish anywhere from 11PM to sunrise and everywhere in between. It is not only dangerous to yourself to drive when you are not alert; it is dangerous to other people on the road. I highly, Highly, HIGHLY recommend that once you get back to your car, you take a few hours to nap before driving any distance. Your life and your family are worth getting rest before you drive. Put a change of clothes, a blanket and pillow in your car and get adequate rest so you don’t endanger anyone.

Final thoughts: Your RBA also rides many of these events, so SAG support is not offered. If you are not able to finish, call a loved one for support. It is your responsibility to make it back to the start/finish.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 10, 2010 - 200 & 300K Brevets

Another beautiful day for a brevet or two. St. Louis Randonneuring hosted a 200 and a 300 kilometer brevet out of Edwardsville IL. Six riders chose the 200K and 14 riders rode the 300K. Only one rider did not finish the ride.

Challenging all riders was the usual stiff breese (wind) out of the south. The winds lasted all day and slowed progress until making the turn back toward the north. Once the sun set, temperatures dropped and riders donned additional clothing and made it back to Edwardsville. For the 300K event, the last riders pulled in before 12:30 AM, well in advance of the 20 hour cutoff.

Congratulations to all finishers. I look foward to seeing you on May 8th for another brevet. We will have a 200K/300K and 400K options available.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

300K Route Update

Just an update, I received an email from one of last week's riders, (Miles Stoneman) and he pointed out an error on the cue sheet (around Damiansville). I have just got back from pre-driving the southern loop of the 300K and have also updated one additional error there.

As it is very important to keep maps correct, I have updated the 200K, 300K, and 400K maps accordingly and have posted updates to the registration page on my website (check out the links above).

Please make sure that you use the correct map for your respective events. As usual, I will have updated maps available during registration.

I look forward to seeing you Saturday.