|10-4-2008 TCBC 300k Brevet – Results and Commentary|
|Congratulations to the 16 riders who finished the 2008 TCBC Randonneur season with the Apple Valley 300k ride on Saturday. The weather was crisp at the start, 37 degrees, but it warmed up to the mid 60s, with lots of sunshine. There was a light headwind on the outbound leg that, combined with some pretty good hills in the last 26 miles into Plainview, made us appreciate the tailwind on the way back, even as we rode through the 26 miles of pretty good hills again!
Good headlights, taillights and reflective gear were put to good use with the shorter day this time of year as nearly all riders had some night riding time, with sunset at 6:45p. There are still a couple of riders that need to improve in this area, but overall, they were well equipped for safe night riding. For some riders this was their first night time brevet ride, including Craig Futterer who said he really enjoyed the experience.
We moved the final checkpoint across the parking lot to Old Chicago to relax, rehydrate, have a nice meal and talk to other randonneurs about the ride. I think the socializing part of randonneuring is really important. Randonneuring is such a self driven, individual sport that it can be very internal. Talking to others that are going through the same experience is a good way to learn, get encouragement and to get to know other riders. Riding together, when you find a compatible partner is another way to enjoy and share the sport.
While most of the riders were from the Twin Cities area, we also had riders from Cedar Falls, Iowa, New Richland and Madison, Wisconsin, and Rochester, Mn.
A number of riders asked about the elevation gain for the route and how that compares to other brevets and to PBP. Shown below are my numbers – if anyone else had a GPS or altimeter on the route, let me know your results. GPS elevation numbers are generally around 30% lower than De Lorme or Topo measurements. I’m not sure which ones to really believe, but I did compare the TCBC ride to the Waterloo, Iowa, 300k, which has a De Lorme elevation profile published on the web. A number of TCBC randonneurs have done this ride, so I invite your comparisons of the two rides.
The consensus of the riders at Old Chicago was that the 26 miles into and out of Plainview were some of the hilliest roads anyone had done on any other brevets in the midwest or other parts of the US.
Overall elevation gain for the full TCBC 300k: 8,310 ft according to my Garmin GPS.
Elevation gain for the 26 miles into and out of Plainview; about 4,000 ft – almost 50% of the total elevation gain for the entire ride, in 52 miles.
The Iowa 300k is listed at 11,831 ft of elevation gain, as measured with DeLorme. If the 30% factor is applied to get to a similar base, the TCBC 300k would be about 11,870 ft or virtually the same elevation gain. The Iowa 300k has a number of climbs that are a little longer than the TCBC ride, but there are not as many rollers overall. Most riders that have ridden the Iowa 300k, myself included, would consider it to be a fairly tough brevet.
Comparison to PBP. The terrain in northern France is almost continuous rolling countryside, with one really long climb near Brest that you get to go over both ways. There are some steeper areas, including some tough rollers in the Rambouillet Woods, near the finish. There are also some sections that are somewhat (but not quite) flat. Charles Breer put it nicely when he said it always seemed like you were either climbing a hill to get to the village on the top, or climbing out of the valley as you were leaving the village by the river.
PBP’s 2007 published profile shows 38,000 feet of elevation gain. I don’t know how they measure this, but if you multiply my TCBC GPS number by 4, you get to 33,200 ft for 1200km. If you use De Lorme, with the 30% factor, the number would be around 47,500 ft. My personal experience is that the Iowa and Minnesota brevets are excellent training grounds for PBP, with a good combination of rollers and a few kickers to keep you honest. If you can handle these, you will be in good shape for PBP 2011.
If other randonneurs would like to throw their thoughts into the mix, please send them to me and I’ll pass them on to the group. We have a nice group of newer riders that are just getting into randonneuring as well as a solid cadre of riders that have experienced many brevets and have done the Paris-Brest-Paris ride and other super randonnee events. Let’s keep growing and sharing what we know.
Finishing times for the TCBC 300k
Start Time 7:00
Allotted time for RUSA 300k 20 hours
|9-21-2008 TCBC 200k Fall Brevet – A Great Day to Ride!|
Congratulations to all of the 30 riders that started and finished the TCBC Fall 200k Brevet! The weather was absolutely perfect and a number of riders had exceptionally fast times for the 127 mile route. Randonneuring is not about racing, but compared to the TCBC Spring 200k brevet, where head winds were a big factor, the average finishing time was more than an hour faster. There were lots of smiles at the finish at the AmericInn in Apple Valley followed by plenty of spirited conversation and plans for future rides at the Old Chicago restaurant right next door.
Eight riders that had not done a brevet before came to the ride. We added five new TCBC members. So far this year, we’ve introduced 30 new and existing TCBC riders to brevets and added 10 new TCBC members.
The following riders have participated in two brevet rides this year:
These riders have participated in all three TCBC Brevets this year:
Mark Aeling Mike Aeling Richard Miller JR Soderberg
There is one more brevet left this year, the 300k scheduled for October 4th. We are hoping for another great weather day and another good turnout. Put it on your calendars and visit the TCBC web site for more details.
Next year the TCBC Randonneur program will be expanded to a full series of brevets (200k, 300k, 400k and 600k). In addition, we’ll have a schedule of other brevet ride opportunities in the upper Midwest including some interesting grand randonnee rides in other parts of the US and internationally. More details will be coming soon.
Following is the list of the riders and their finishing times for the 200k.
Thank you to all that participated.
Rob Welsh, TCBC Randonneur Ride Leader
Mike Aeling, Minnesota Regional Brevet Administrator
|8-19-2008 Subject: TCBC Brevet Fall Season Update, 2009 Rides, 2008 Accomplishments|
Welcome Randonneurs to the TCBC Fall Brevet Season.
Hopefully you have had a great summer on the road, are in great shape and ready for a couple of good fall challenges to round out your season. Here is your chance to qualify for a Randonneur USA brevet and earn some major TCBC miles.
We are presenting two brevets for your riding pleasure and experience this fall.
8:00a Saturday, September 20th 200k Apple Valley
The rides start at the AmericInn/Old Chicago parking lot on the NE corner of Cedar Ave and Cty 42 in Apple Valley.
The routes are the same as the spring versions. For those of you who vaguely remember the wind and rain from these rides, keep in mind that fall weather in Minnesota is normally the best time of year to be on the road !!
If you are ready to ride, please send me an email to confirm your attendance.
As was the case for the spring brevets, you must be a member of TCBC in order to ride these events. If you are not a member, please go online to the TCBC website to register. I will have some forms available at the ride start, if necessary. Annual dues are $25.
You do not need to be a RUSA member, but if you want your ride to count for any of the RUSA awards or to qualify for Grand Randonnes, you must join – dues are $25/year.
2009 Ride Planning
It’s not too early to start thinking ahead about riding some longer brevets next year. To whet your imagination, here are some opportunities to begin planning for: Drop me a note if you would like to discuss these adventures!
Super Randonneur Series – TCBC, Rochester and Waterloo, Ia
TCBC will be offering a full Super Randonneur series in 2009. This is a 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k set of brevets, starting in the spring. We will also be coordinating schedules with the Rochester, Mn, and Waterloo, Ia, randonneuring groups so you will have opportunities to ride most weekends through June.
Completing the Super Randonneur series will qualify you for Grand Randonnes brevets, 1000k and longer. There are a number of these offered across the US each year. These are listed on the RUSA website (Shanandoh Valley, Cascade, Last Chance are some of the classics). Here’s a few others to get you dreaming:
|Results for the 2008 TCBC 300k Brevet Ride, Saturday, June 28th|
Congratulations to the TCBC 300k Brevet riders from the Saturday, June 28th event. Despite the ride leader’s assurances of a nice day and a reasonable route, the brevet turned out to be a real test of preparation and perseverence. Rain and thunder kept the riders cool and cautious for the first five hours of the brevet, then after the turnaround, a brisk head wind dried them off and had them working hard for a good part of the way back. Throw in a plethora of rolling hills, a few tough grunts and a couple of real challengers and it was a great day to learn and utilize key randonneur survival skills.
12 riders started, 8 completed the brevet.
Congratulations to J Richard Soderberg and Bill Bennett on completing their first 300k brevets.
A special congratulations to Brett Thunstrom and Al Voigt for completing their first brevet. Brett and Al were models of experience with great bikes set up for randonneuring, good rain gear, quality lighting, reflective gear, and terrific attitudes. Their goal was to get back before last call at Old Chicago – they made it with 1/2 hour to spare. Sorry I couldn’t be there to help you celebrate guys.
Those that were completing their first brevets had good company. The other four finishers and one other rider (Don McCall) are Paris-Brest-Paris finishers.
PBP 2011 is only 3 years away! Keep riding to be ready for the TCBC Fall Brevet season, with another round of brevets – 200k on September 6th, 300k on Sept 20. No promises, but Minnesota fall weather is generally more moderate and less breezy. :-)
|Results for the 2008 TCBC 200k Brevet Ride, Saturday, May 17th|
Congratulations to all 18 participants in the TCBC 200k Brevet (125 miles) held Saturday, May 17th. In spite of a 20-30 mph headwind challenge on the last half of the ride, 16 riders completed the brevet and 2 newer riders made it to the 100 mile control in Randolph. Coach Rob says, “while it was difficult, the riders will see the benefits of the tough work to complete the ride in other rides and future brevets”.
All of you will get the TCBC mileage credit of 126 miles. Those of you with RUSA #s will have your brevet submitted – you should see the results on line in a few weeks. If you want to order a medal commemorating your accomplishment, check out the new RUSA online medal ordering facility.
Here is the official list of riders for the event.
Current Randonneurs – RUSA Members
100 miles completers
|4-26-08 To register for the TCBC 200k Brevet ride on Saturday, May 17th, 7 AM, please follow these instructions:|
If you are a TCBC Member there is no cost for the ride. If you are not, you need to be. To join, go to the TCBC web site at http://biketcbc.org/ and select the ‘Join Us’ tab on the top right corner of the page. You can sign up online, using Active.com, or can print off and mail the form in. Cost is $25/year – note that this covers registration costs for the other TCBC brevets and other TCBC rides for the year.
2) Are you a RUSA member? You don’t have to be, but if you want your brevet to be recorded by Randonneurs USA and be eligible for a medal, you will need to join them. The registration process takes a couple of weeks. Cost is $25/year. www.RUSA.org
3) Send an email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) confirming your attendance, with the following information:
Sending the email helps me prepare brevet cards, etc ahead of time and saves you time at registration. Day of ride registrations are allowed, but will be subject to rider leader time and availability – you may have to start late If I don’t have time to get the paperwork done.
On the Day of the Ride – May 17th
6:15a Be at the start (AmericInn/Old Chicago parking lot, NE corner of Cty 42 and Cedar Ave (23), in Apple Valley
|Brevet Training Ride #1 Report – Sunday, April 6th|
Congrats to the dozen riders that made it out today for the first TCBC Brevet Training Ride. We covered 61 miles (100km – 1/2 of the official brevet ride on May 17th). The weather was as predicted, not particularly friendly, with some head winds and a period of cold rain, but 9.75 of the riders completed the distance. Two mechanicals early on and one rider had a flat, broke the spare and got a ride in for the last 15 miles.
Listed are the participants for the ride. I’m mentioning them by name because the conditions were cold, windy and wet – good randonneuring training weather! Way to go!
|2-25-08 Hello Eager Randonneurs|
This winter has been a little colder than we’re used to in the last few years, but I’m hoping it warms up soon so we can get in some solid training miles for the inaugural TCBC 200K Brevet on Saturday, May 17th.
RUSA Membership Note
If you are planning to ride the TCBC 200k Brevet and want to get the RUSA medal and have your miles recorded by Randonneurs USA, you need to join RUSA. Cost is $20/year, which also gets you a very nice handbook and a quarterly newsletter.
Note that this form is mailed in and can take 2 weeks for processing. Note that you do not have to be a member of RUSA to do the TCBC brevet rides, but you must be a TCBC member. You cannot do the TCBC brevet rides as a guest. This rule is necessary because of the extra insurance TCBC carries for these events. You do get TCBC ride miles credit – 125 miles for the 200k, 188 miles for the 300k.
Brevet Training Rides
We planned to do some brevet training rides to prep riders for the 200k brevet. Because there are longer winter rides already on the TCBC calendar for Jan-March, we decided to hold off on specific brevet training rides until April. We encourage you to get out when you can to build a good base of miles – and it beats sitting around on the couch watching old Tour d’France reruns.
Here’s the schedule of brevet rides – which will be showing up on the TCBC ride calendar soon. The purpose of the brevet training rides is to get new and experienced Randonneurs together to spin some miles and talk about Randonneuring and how we can make Randonneuring a success with TCBC.
All training rides will start from the AmericInn/Old Chicago parking lot on the NE corner of County 42 and Cedar Ave in Apple Valley. We’ll be using some of the official brevet routes for part of the training rides to familiarize you with the typical start/finish miles.
The official TCBC brevets will go on regardless of weather. The training rides will go on unless there is a severe weather problem (very cold or very wet). Expect some wind this time of year. We’ll try to plan for a tailwind on the home leg, but no guarantees.
Sunday, April 6th 10 am. 50 miles – B ride pace. This will be an easy spin, relatively flat. We’ll try to stick together to give newbies a chance to ask questions while we’re riding. Plan on at least one rest stop, about half way through the ride. We’ll convene at Old Chicago after to discuss Randonneuring over pizza. Bring your questions. If you are an experienced Randonneur, come along for the ride and share your knowledge and experience.
Sunday April 20th 10a. 75 miles – B ride pace. A little longer ride, pick your pace. Maps will be available at the start. There will be a couple of convenience store/rest stops along the way. You should be bringing some of your own food/nutrition to consume while you are riding to keep your energy levels high. We’ll still meet at Old Chicago after to compare notes.
Sunday, April 27th – Minnesota Ironman. This is not a brevet specific ride but is an excellent opportunity to click off some great training miles on one of the most popular rides in Minnesota. For Randonneurs, plan on riding at least the metric century. If the weather is reasonable, reach for the full century.
Sunday, May 11th 8am. 100 miles – B ride pace. Last prep ride before the big event. Maps and brevet type cue sheets will be handed out before the ride. Set your own pace. You should be able to complete this comfortably in less than 10 hours. There will be 3-4 convenience stores/rest stops along the way, but bring your own food/nutrition along to keep you energized. If you have done the previous training miles and can handle this, you are definitely ready for the 200k.
Saturday, May 17th 7a. TCBC 200k Brevet ride. This is the medal ride. Be well prepared and it will be a fun cruise. You have up to 12 hours to complete the event.
Saturday, June 28th 6a. TCBC 300k Brevet ride. Keep the training miles going and this ride will be a natural. Lots of sunlight, you have up to 20 hours to complete the event.
|12-9-07 Introduction to the TCBC Randonneuring Program for 2008|
Hi, I’m Rob Welsh and I’d like to tell you about the bicycling sport of Randonneuring and the Randonneur program that TCBC will be offering in 2008.
Randonneuring was started in France in the early 1900’s during the first big bicycle boom period. Randonee in French means a trip or a travel in the country. Randonneuring came to mean to take a long trip on a bicycle as part of an organized event. In the beginning randonneuring rides were competitive and professional bicycle riders vied for victory on long routes around France. A big change in the sport came about when they added a ‘tourist’ division in 1924 which took away the focus on winning and emphasized the spirit of self sufficient long distance riding. This concept was very successful in growing the number of riders but very quickly the professional racers stopped riding the randonneur events to focus on the competitive races, leaving the tourists to focus on the pleasure of the ride without the need to get there first.
Randonneuring grew in popularity, with some highs and lows until after the Second World War. It almost died out, along with many other forms of bicycling during the 1950s and early 60s, but has enjoyed a remarkable growth, particularly in the past 30 years. The Audax Club Parisien is the international sponsoring body for randonneuring, sanctioning organizations in many countries including Randonneurs USA (RUSA). There are many randonneuring groups across the US that put on series of rides and events every year. In Minnesota there has been a series run out of Rochester for a number of years. Iowa and Wisconsin also hold a series of randonneuring events every year.
There are a variety of randonneur riding experiences. The most common is a brevet, which is a scheduled ride where all riders start at the same time, covering distances of 200, 300, 400, 600, 1000 or 1,200 kilometers, or 125 to 750 miles, in a specified period of time. Other types of events are 24 hour rides called fleches, shorter group events named populaires and predefined routes called permanents that can be ridden at any time. Awards are given for completing an event and the results are recorded and tracked by RUSA. Special recognition awards can be earned by riders that achieve combinations of events over a season or multiple years. Randonneur rides in other countries can also count towards reaching these special milestones.
The ultimate Randonneur ride is the classic Paris-Brest-Paris event held every four years in France. This ride started in 1904 and travels from Paris to Brest and back, covering 1,200 kilometers. Randonneurs have up to 90 hours to complete the distance – an average of 8.3 mph. Sounds easy, right? Over 5,500 riders from around the world entered the 2007 event. About 700 of them were American with 24 riders from Minnesota, the best showing ever. A word of encouragement if 1,200 km seems like an incredible distance to ride; all randonneurs start with the shorter rides and qualify for the longer distance rides every year. Many riders are fine with these distances and do not aspire to the longer rides – no problem. For those that do want to continue to grow their interest, the challenges are there.
Starting in 2008, TCBC and RUSA are putting on a 200k and 300k brevet series in the spring and again in the fall. In 2009 we plan to add more events. The next Paris-Brest-Paris ride is 2011 so we will have a full program by then for those that are up to the ultimate challenge. We think there is a lot of interest in these events within the club. There is a core group of TCBC members already working on routes and organization.
We have started an email group list of riders interested in following our progress as we put together the 2008 season. If you would like to be added to this list, send an email to Brevets@BikeTCBC.org. If you are already a TCBC member most of this information will also eventually be on the TCBC web site and newsletter.
If you are still wondering why you would be interested in randonneuring, here are a few thoughts:
Preparing for the TCBC Brevet Rides
Here’s some ideas to get in some training miles and to get you interested in randonneuring for the next few months.
New Year’s Day Century Ride – Get your 2008 brevet training off to a great start with Randall’s New Year’s Day ride – see the TCBC online ride schedule for details.