2009 Minnesota Randonneur Ride Archive

Congratulations to the 104 riders that rode in a TCBC brevet in 2009. We held four brevets this season, a 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k rides and two training rides early in the year. Several riders took advantage of the TCBC Outreach program to ride in brevets in Rochester and Waterloo, Ia. Here are some highlights from the season and some looks at what the randonneur schedule for 2010 will hold43 TCBC members started the 200k ride on May 2nd. Everyone completed the ride, including the happiest group of them all who showed up at Old Chicago 14 hours after the start. Sadaf Syede, Kathy Mulier, Ed Hassler and Elijah Rose completed their first 200k ever, taking the time to enjoy the day and evening.

The 400k was our next ride, on May 30th, with 22 entrants and 20 successful completions. This was a very difficult ride, with many tough hills on a fairly warm day, followed by a very chilly evening. Several riders had to overcome bonks and finding enough warm layers.

The Apple Valley 300k brevet on August 8th had 19 entrants. A number of preregistered riders didn’t showing up because of threatening thunderstorms. It turned out there were no thunderstorms but by mid-afternoon it was the hottest day of the year. A refreshment control, halfway through the longest section of the ride helped riders with water, endurolytes and food, thanks to Steve Scholl who provided the canopy, table and his time.

The capstone ride of the season, the AV 600k was held on September 19-20. We had 19 entrants and I am happy to report that 18 of them completed the ride in good form.

Six riders completed their first 600k brevet and seven riders completed all four TCBC brevets offered this year, qualifying for Super Randonneur status.

The brevet started in Apple Valley, passing through Cannon Falls, Lake City and Plainview before heading on to Rushford, in the Root River Valley. From there, the riders did an out and back loop to La Crescent, on the Mississippi River, then returned to Rushford, which was the designated sleep stop after 211 miles. The house we rented in Rushford worked out very nicely for riders to shower, eat and rest for a few hours before continuing the ride. Some riders decided not to sleep and continued on through the night. Randonneur rules require strong lighting systems so everyone was well equipped with excellent tail and headlights. Most riders rode in groups for the night riding segments.

The 162 mile return route included controls in Eyota, Wanamingo and Lonsdale before returning to Apple Valley. The first riders (those that rode most of the night) completed the 373 mile course just after 1p on Sunday. The last riders finished at 8p. A room was rented at the AmericInn for showers and a place to grab a nap before going home. Most finishers also stopped at the Old Chicago restaurant across the parking lot for some refreshment, food and to swap stories.

Success stories

A special congratulations to Ahi Bennuri who finally succeeded in completing his first 600k and qualifying for his first Super Randonneur award. Ahi tried but could not complete the Rochester or Waterloo 600k rides earlier in the year but he maintained a positive attitude and kept riding. He did a pre-ride of most of the original AV 600k course three weeks before the ride to prepare himself and found a number of road construction projects in time for us to reroute the course. Congratulations and thanks, Ahi!

When Gary Bakke completed the AV 600k, it was his second 600k this year, along with reaching Super Randonneur status for the first time. Completing the AV ride was in doubt for a while though as Gary had a pretty serious bonk going in Rushford and later in La Crescent. Gary stuck it out though and made it to the Rushford sleep stop at midnight with the last group of riders. Four hours later, Gary was back in good form and made it through the final 162 miles with no problem. Gary is 69 years old. Gary was one of five 60+ riders on the 600k.

Two women randonneuses, Catherine Shenk and Lara Sullivan completed the ride. Catherine joined us from Colorado, Lara came down from Ely for the ride. We need more women in these events.

Six riders completed their first 600k brevet, including

Ahi Bennuri
Craig Futterer
Andre Solodin
Richard Moore
Norman Ehrentreich
Hall Sanders

Seven riders completed all four of the TCBC brevet series, qualifying for the Super Randonneur award, including

Ahi Bennuri
Craig Futterer
Jeff Hofstede
Jim Joy
Mark Olsen
Andre Solodin
Rob Welsh

Norman Ehrentreich and Gary Bakke completed their first Super Randonneur series this year with three brevets in Apple Valley and their fourth in Rochester or Waterloo. Mike Fox rode three TCBC events and completed two Super Randonneur series this year. Mark Olsen and Rob Welsh also completed two Super Randonneur series in 2009. Lara Sullivan also completed a Super Randonneur series along with the 1000k Rochester brevet.

Next Year

We will offer the full set of brevets again next year, in conjunction with the Rochester and Waterloo brevet series. A 1000k brevet will also be offered by Robert Fry in Waterloo, Ia. For randonneurs considering Paris-Brest-Paris in 2011, 2010 is the year to prequalify by riding at least a 400k to be able to register early in 2011 for PBP 2011. It appears that longer brevets (400k, 600k and 1000k) will be weighted higher than shorter brevets in determining overall priority so check the tentative schedule below and the RUSA calendar and start making your 2010 brevet plans. 2010 schedules from the RBAs around the US are due by the end of September, so the RUSA calendar should be available online early in November.

Fleche Ride – Mid May

A fleche ride is a 24 hour team randonneur event. Teams of 3-5 riders create a route that covers at least 260 miles. Each team is independent but all teams finish in the same place. This is a great team event and a lot of fun. We are working on a good place to finish the ride where we can have a celebration for all the teams. More details to come, but let me know if you would be interested in putting a team together. I’d like to get 10 teams for this event.

Tentative Schedule for 2010

Includes Apple Valley, Rochester, and Waterloo, Ia brevets and the 1200k Grand Randonnees.
Note: if you are interested in one of the 1200k rides, monitor the RUSA web site and be ready to submit your entry quickly, as these rides usually fill up fast.

April 17 Waterloo, Ia 200
May

1

Rochester 200
8 Waterloo, Ia 300
15 AV Fleche 360
June 12 Apple Valley 300
2nd week? Shenandoah – Virginia 1200
19 Waterloo, Ia 400
26 Rochester 400
26-29 Cascade – Washington 1200
July 10 Waterloo, Ia 600
2nd week? Gold Rush Randonnee 1200
21 – 24 Vancouver Island – BC 1200
24 Rochester 600
Aug 6 Waterloo, Ia 1000
21 Apple Valley 400
Sept 11 Apple Valley 600
2nd week? Last Chance – Boulder, Colorado 1200
18 Rochester 300
4th week? Endless Mountains (6 x 200k) Six days of 200k/day – very hilly, Eastern Pennsylvania 1200
Oct 3 Apple Valley 200

9-19 & 20 2009

TCBC AV 600k Brevet Ride Report

Congratulations to the 18 riders that completed the TCBC 600k brevet September 19-20. The weather was great, the revised route worked out very well and the riders had a great time. Six riders completed their first 600k brevet and seven riders completed all four TCBC brevets offered this year, qualifying for Super Randonneur status.

The brevet started in Apple Valley, passing through Cannon Falls, Lake City and Plainview before heading on to Rushford, in the Root River Valley. From there, the riders did an out and back loop to La Crescent, on the Mississippi River, then returned to Rushford, which was the designated sleep stop after 211 miles. The house we rented in Rushford worked out very nicely for riders to shower, eat and rest for a few hours before continuing the ride. Four riders decided not to sleep and carried on through the night. Randonneur rules require strong lighting systems so everyone was well equipped with excellent tail and headlights. Most riders rode in groups for the night riding segments.

The 162 mile return route included controls in Eyota, Wanamingo and Lonsdale before returning to Apple Valley. The first riders (those that rode most of the night) completed the 373 mile course just after 1p on Sunday. The last riders finished at 8p. A room was rented at the AmericInn for showers and a place to grab a nap before going home. Most finishers also stopped at the Old Chicago restaurant across the parking lot for some refreshment, food and to swap stories.

Success stories:

Ahi Bennuri finally succeeded in completing his first 600k and qualifying for his first Super Randonneur award. Ahi tried but could not complete the Rochester or Waterloo 600k rides earlier in the year but he maintained a positive attitude and kept riding. He did a pre-ride of most of the original AV 600k course three weeks before the ride to prepare himself and found a number of road construction projects in time for us to reroute the course. Congratulations and thanks, Ahi!

When Gary Bakke completed the AV 600k, it was his second 600k this year, along with reaching Super Randonneur status for the first time. Completing the AV ride was in doubt for a while though as Gary had a pretty serious bonk going in Rushford and later in La Crescent. Gary stuck it out though and made it to the Rushford sleep stop at midnight with the last group of riders. Four hours later, Gary was back in good form and made it through the final 162 miles with no problem. Gary is 69 years old. Gary was one of five 60+ riders.

Two women randonneuses, Catherine Shenk and Lara Sullivan completed the ride. Catherine joined us from Colorado, Lara came down from Ely for the ride. We need more women in these events.

Six riders completed their first 600k brevet, including Ahi Bennuri, Craig Futterer, Andre Solodin, Richard Moore, Norman Ehrentreich and Hall Sanders.

Seven riders completed all four of the TCBC brevet series, including Ahi Bennuri, Craig Futterer, Jeff Hofstede, Jim Joy, Mark Olsen, Andre Solodin and Rob Welsh. Norman Ehrentreich and Gary Bakke completed their first Super Randonneur series this year with three brevets in Apple Valley and their fourth in Rochester or Waterloo. Mike Fox rode three TCBC events and completed two Super Randonneur series this year. Mark Olsen and Rob Welsh also completed two Super Randonneur series in 2009.

The TCBC Randonneur program has been growing rapidly over the past two seasons. This year we offered a full series of brevets, including a 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k for the first time. 104 riders started the four TCBC brevets offered on the ride schedule. 96 of them completed their ride.

Finishers

RUSA # First Last Name Finish Time
5152 Mike Achor 80 miles
5121 Gary Bakke 35:55
5349 Ahi Bennuri 38:02
4957 Bob Booth 38:02
5157 Doug Carlson 31:11
3358 Greg Courtney 31:11
5134 Norman Ehrentreich 33:20
3290 Mike Fox 34:55
4953 Craig Futterer 32:07
3043 Jeff Hofstede 32:07
1284 Jim Joy 32:07
5051 Richard Miller 33:20
5556 Richard Moore 38:02
2860 Mark Olsen 34:55
5108 Hall Sanders 31:11
3108 Catherine Shenk 33:20
5569 Andrei Solodin 37:59
3391 Lara Sullivan 32:07
3737 Rob Welsh (preride) 34:50

Next Year

We will offer the full set of brevets again next year, in conjunction with the Rochester and Waterloo brevet series. A 1000k brevet will also likely be offered by Robert Fry in Waterloo. For randonneurs considering Paris-Brest-Paris in 2011, 2010 is the year to prequalify by riding at least a 400k to be able to register early in 2011 for PBP 2011. It appears that longer brevets (400k, 600k and 1000k) will be weighted higher than shorter brevets in determining overall priority so check the RUSA calendar and start making your 2010 brevet plans. 2010 schedules from the RBAs around the US are due by the end of September, so the RUSA calendar should be available online early in November.

The TCBC, Rochester and Waterloo rides will be scheduled in approximately the same order as 2009, except the TCBC 600k will be moved up earlier in September and one of the 300k rides (Rochester or Apple Valley) will be moved back to later in September. September weather is typically very stable in Minnesota, so we want to take advantage of this, particularly since our spring weather is so unpredictable.

We will continue to grow the TCBC program and have even more riders at our events. Randonneuring is a great way to ride your bike. We all need to encourage more of our friends and riding acquaintances to give randonneuring a try. In two years we have introduced randonneuring to 40 riders that had never ridden a brevet before. I would like to double this in 2010.

Compact Doubles versus Triple Cranks – continued

Another viewpoint has been submitted in the ongoing discussion about whether a triple crank (my preference) or a compact double (apparently everyone else) is the best set up for randonneuring. This perspective comes from Michele Brougher, who although she is just starting her randonneuring career has a good deal of experience in long distance rides and tours.

I thought I would put in one thing on your debate on triple vs compact double. I ride a compact double, though I have a triple and used it for many years. Perhaps it is just me, but my knees have been much stronger with my double than they ever were on my triple. Consequently, I started making really big advances in my climbing since getting a double a year ago. I suspect that the reason has nothing to do with weight and more to do with pedal stance. It appears that my knees prefer a narrower stance than I could get with my triple. After about 150 miles, I used to get all kinds of patella pains which drove me crazy – I think women are prone to patella problems more than men are. I have not had them since getting my Waterford (which is a SRAM compact double). I recently switched to a Rival group on my other bike which used to have the triple on it and used it in Oregon without any knee issues (the knee problems were what motivated me to get a Waterford in the first place). One other thing I have also noticed is that my double requires far less twittering than my triple did (seems like the settings are easier to maintain once set). SRAM makes a 12-28 cassette that is pretty darn easy to pedal (unless you are on a 22% grade and at that point, you are going to feel it no matter what).

Rob

8-8-2009

TCBC 300k Ride Report – How much are your zucchini and cucumbers?

Steve Scholl and I were somewhat surprised to hear this question from a lady that had stopped at our refreshment control on the Apple Valley 300k Brevet held on Saturday, August 8th. We were sitting in lawn chairs under a canopy with a table full of fruit, cookies and drinks about three miles west of Lake City, Mn, in a beautiful valley between two large bluff hills.

The riders passed by our refreshment control two times, on the way to and from Plainview. If you know the terrain in this part of the state, you know how hilly it is. There is about 8,000’ of climbing on this brevet ride, nearly ½ of it is jammed into

this 50 mile stretch.

The day started cloudy with menacing thunderstorms threatening. Nineteen riders showed up for a cruise from Apple Valley, through Cannon Falls, Goodhue and Plainview, then back, a total of 190 miles. The potential thunderstorms didn’t happen, but by noon, the temperature and humidity were the highest we have had this year and the riders were feeling it. By the end of the afternoon, all the riders had passed through on their way home and, fortunately, a tailwind was helping them on their journey. Riders finished between 7:30p and 1a Sunday morning. Most riders stopped in at Old Chicago for some fluids, carbs and randonneur conversation – all appreciated after a great day in the saddle.

Randonneuring is built on the concept of independence as well as helping others along the way. I heard about two riders in particular went out of their way to assist other riders. Andrei Solodin stopped twice, once for a flat tire that another rider was struggling with, and later in the day, he helped another rider find held when he became ill . Mark Olson stayed with a rider that was struggling with the heat.

A special ‘nice job’ to Mike Achor, who completed the brevet with 45 minutes to spare. I saw Mike spinning up a big hill in the heat of the day with about 80 miles to go to the finish. At that point, I wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to get to the next control, much less finish the ride. Mike was also not far from his Rochester home, so the temptation to call a life line must have crossed his mind. Mike however inhaled some water and electrolytes, kept on spinning along and finished the ride in good shape. Mike is 62.

We had three riders from the Great Lakes Randonneuring group (near Chicago) join us – Eric Peterson, Doug McLerran and Tom Casson. Also coming from out of state were Mike Lane and John Wharem from Ft. Dodge, Ia. Mark Olson and Mike Achor also came up from Rochester – thanks to all of you for=2 0coming.
Jeff Hofstade rode an extra 40 miles riding to and from the brevet.

Coming up on the randonneuring schedule is the Rochester 400k ride on August 29th and the Rochester 200k on October 3rd, which will finish up the program for the year.

The final TCBC Apple Valley brevet of the season is the 600k ride on September 19-20th. We have rented a house in Rushford as a sleepover/rest spot. The ride can be done in two days of about 210 and 165 miles or can be ridden straight through. We have revised the original route significantly to decrease the amount of climbing by about 20%. The second half of the ride will be noticeably easier. The 200, 300k and 400k brevets have a great preparation for this ride, which for a number of riders will be the final part of the ACP Super Randonneur qualification. We have 12 riders signed up so far. More details on this will be coming out soon.

Rob

TCBC Randonneurs 300k August 8, 2009

RUSA # First Last Name Time/Miles
5152 Mike Achor 18:15
5349 Ahi Bennuri 18:30
857 Jim Bergman 50 miles
5558 Michele Brougher 15:27
Tom Casson 110 miles
4953 Craig Futterer 14:55
3043 Jeff Hofstede 15:00
1284 Jim Joy 14:31
2077 Mike Lane 13:35
847 Don McCall 100 miles
Doug McLerran 13:35
5556 Richard Moore 18:30
2860 Mark Olsen 16:45
2812 Eric Peterson 14:55
5108 Hall Sanders 14:25
4997 J Richard Soderberg 16:50
5569 Andrei Solodin 15:10
3737 R ob Welsh (preride) 12:44
John Wharem 170 miles

Rob

6-24-2009
TCBC Randonneurs Update #2 Thanks to those who responded to the note sent out yesterday – here’s a couple of corrections and some more information for you.

Two more riders have sent in their comments on the Rochester 600k ride – see attachment. A number of people responded saying they really enjoyed the rider comments. I love reading them and it helps me to understand how each of us deals with the challenges of these kinds of rides. There are many common threads but everyone experiences and feels them in different ways. Hopefully you will also find the stories entertaining and helpful. As the old saying goes ‘those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it’ :-)

Rochester 200k – the date of this ride is Oct 3rd, not 9/26

There are currently 19 riders signed up for the AV 300k on August 8th and 11 riders signed up for the AV 600k. If you are planning to do either of these rides, please let me know via email.

A point of interest: in the last issue of the TCBC Newsletter, the AV 200k brevet had the third highest rider total of all TCBC rides this year – way to go guys (and girls!).

Good news: The AV 600k route is being ‘flattened’ and improved with better control access. Mike and I reconized that the climbing elevation for the ride puts it into the ‘very tough’ category, which is not necessaarily bad :-), but we want as many new randonneurs to give the capstone of the TCBC Randonneuring season a try. We also recognized on the 400k that we needed controls that are open longer hours to provide a guaranteed location for riders to check in and get the food and fluids they need. We hope to have revisions to the route done in the next month. We have a house rented in Rushford for the layover stop and are also planning some extra treats and support for 600k riders.

More good news: We also may have a special checkpoint on the AV 300k with extra randonneuring treats and encouragement.

Keep the training miles rolling. Let me know if you would like to try the Randonneur Terrible 25 as a group ride.

Rob

–Click here for more rider stories (pdf file)

–Click here to see pictures

6-23-2009
Fellow Randonneurs,The first half of the Minnesota Randonneur season is over with lots of tough rides and great experiences for many riders. So far five TCBC randonneurs have qualified for their first Super Randonneur award, completing a 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k series in 2009. Congrats, guys.

Rochester 600k

On June 13-14, the Rochester 600k was held with 12 riders starting the ride. The route had to be changed at the last minute due to some road construction. Mike spent a day redoing the route and painting the new roads, driving 325 miles in the process – thanks Mike. The new route also added 2,900 feet of climbing to the course, which Mike termed ‘very scenic’ – thanks again, Mike.

Attached are several pictures from the ride.

Overall it was a tough course, with 21,930’ of climbing and a couple of very difficult sections. The weather cooperated, particularly on the first day. 11 riders completed the course in the 40 hour time limit.

Michael Aeling 29:00
Greg Barkley 29:00
Michele Brougher 38:40
Martin Fahje 35:14 (preride)
Michael Fox 36:21
Jeff Hofstede 33:37
Jim Joy 32:41
Ahi Kiran 217.2 miles completed
J Richard Soderberg 32:56
Dan Stahlmann 32:56
Rob Welsh 29:00

There was a good mix of riding experience, with three riders (Gary Bakke, Michelle Brougher and Richard Soderberg) completing their first 600k brevets. Gary, Jeff Hofstede, Jim Joy, Richard and Rob also qualified for the ACP Super Randonneur award, completing 200k, 300, 400k and 600k brevets in 2008.

For those of you contemplating a 600k at some point or are interested learning about the experience of riding this distance, attached to this email is a pdf with rider comments from most of the entrants. (‘Rider stories.pdf’)

Randonneur Terrible 25

A number of randonneurs have talked to me about training for brevets. Many riders are looking for ways to improve their hill climbing ability and overall speed. The classic approach (Lon Haldeman/Pete Penseyres) for long distance riders to improve in these areas is to go hard on short rides with challenging terrain.

If this sounds interesting, here’s an opportunity for you. I have a route in the eastern metro that I use as a great training ride and test of my fitness improvement. It is quite challenging, with eight good grunter hills in about 25 miles. If you can do this route in less than 2 hours, you are doing quite well. Less than 1:30? Lance Armstrong will be calling you.
I would put this ride on the TCBC randonneur ride schedule if there was some interest from other randonneurs. Let me know if you would be up for this. Also, there is a great ice cream shop right at the finish line.

Permanents

So far, two riders have completed the 200k Sakatah Permanent ride this year. Congratulations to Don McCall and Craig Futterer. If you are interested in riding this route for RUSA credit, or just to get in a nice day on the bike, send me an email and I’ll get you the materials you need to do the ride. A permanent is an established route that RUSA randonneurs can ride at any time for mileage credit. The ride can be done solo, or with other randonneurs. The Sakatah route has less than 4,000’ of climbing, goes from Apple Valley, through Faribault, Madison Lakes, Lonsdale, Lakeville and back to Apple Valley.

Generator Lights

Several riders on the Rochester 600k were using generator hubs. All three of the riders that rode through the night used a generator hub. These provide great lighting with no worry about battery life. The Edelux LED light from Schmidt throws of a terrific beam which really gives you confidence on the long downhills in the middle of the night. There are also other generator lights that also work exceptionally well. Good battery systems are available, but look for one that can last the night and is strong enough to throw a beam you are comfortable riding with on dark country roads.

Coming Up

After a short break, randonneuring gets serious again with two long brevets in July

July 11-12 Waterloo 600k. A great route, with some awesome hills around the Mississippi River.

July 24-26 Rochester 1000k. The longest brevet in the upper Midwest this year. Two sleepover spots and a great challenge for those ready to take on a grand randonnee.

Randonneuring returns to Apple Valley on August 8th with the classic 300k route, virtually the same as last year. This course has a tough section in the middle of the route, but starts and finishes with easy riding around Apple Valley. Most riders should have lights in case you do not complete the ride in daylight hours (about 15 hours, starting at 6a). Please drop me an email to confirm your attendance for this event and so brevet cards etc. will be waiting for you at the start.

August 22nd Rochester 400k

September 19th Apple Valley 600k – look for more information soon on sleep over details and other extras for this capstone ride for the TCBC randonneur season.

September 26th Rochester 200k

Rob

–Click here for rider stories (pdf file)

6-5-2009


TCBC Randonneuring Report – Rob Welsh
June 2009

TCBC Randonneuring is having a breakout year. Attendance at the first two brevets has been great with 63 of 65 riders completing the event they started. The rides have been challenging and many riders are setting new personal distance records every time they complete another brevet. While most of the riders are from the Twin Cities, we are getting some good representation from other randonneuring groups, and individuals from outstate Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. All riders must be members of TCBC in order to participate in the brevets. There is no additional cost for the ride.

Here are some of the highlights of the season so far, and a summary of what to expect in the coming months.

200k (125 miles) Brevet – May 2. 43 riders started, 43 riders finished on a brisk day with some challenging winds. Most riders found a group to ride with for the windy part of the brevet, but there were a few tough solo riders that made it back on their own. This was the largest brevet event ever held in Minnesota. It rivals many of the brevets held in other parts of the US where the weather is milder and the randonneur programs have been established for many years. The route started in Apple Valley, passing through Cannon Falls, Goodhue, Zumbrota, Wanamingo and Randolph before returning to Apple Valley. There was about 4,300 feet of climbing for the ride.

400k (250 miles) Brevet – May 30.
22 riders started the brevet, 20 finished, including two women. The days are getting warmer, but some head winds on the return leg and a tough route kept the riders challenged. Some riders took up to 25 hours to complete the ride (for Randonneur USA qualification, you have 27 hours for this distance). Climbing elevation was 16,950’, one of the tougher 400k rides in the US.

For 10 of the riders this was their first 400k and for all of them by far the longest distance they had ever attempted in a single ride. All of these riders completed their first 400k brevet: Mike Achor (Rochester), Ahi Bennuri, Gary Bakke, Michele Brougher, Norman Ehrentreich, Craig Futterer, Dan Nelson, Richard Soderberg, Andre Solodin and Rick Stafford.
Four riders were over 60 years old. All of them completed the ride, including Gary Bakke (Wisconsin), Doug Carlson, Jim Joy and Richard Miller.

Congratulations to the two ladies completing the ride, Michele Brougher and Lara Sullivan (Ely)

Preparation and the Randonneuring Spirit

One of the foundations of randonneuring is the self sufficiency to plan the equipment and food you need, clothing necessary for changing conditions and the mental attitude and focus to stick with it. Another important attribute of a randonneur is the willingness to help other randonneurs out when needed with equipment, clothing, food, repair assistance and encouragement. I have seen good examples of all of these sets of skills on our brevets which really is a great sign for all of us as a randonneur group within TCBC. This helps more riders get through the brevets and makes the experiences even more memorable for everyone.
It is good to see more riders equipping their bikes for randonneur riding, with comfortable frames for long distance riding, lights, fenders, special racks, GPS computers, good saddles and other performance and comfort features. It does make a difference.

Bonking and Nutrition

A few riders had some bonking issues, particularly on the return legs of the brevets. Managing fluids, electrolytes and food is important on long rides to keep you stable and rolling along smoothly. Longer rides require more planning and consideration of what works well for you.

The good news was that the two riders that were having the toughest time on the 400k each took a good rest at the next control, got rehydrated, had some good food and went on to complete the ride.

Nutrition – most riders seemed to do pretty well with this, although with the winds on the way back it was easy to get tired at times. Long distance riding requires more attention to food and fluids on an ongoing basis throughout the ride. Food that is easily digested and doesn’t cause wide swings in energy work the best. Eating while you are riding keeps the flow of energy consistent. Keeping your electrolytes replenished through drinks or supplements also helps to maintain strength, reduce cramping and makes it easier to have a positive attitude.

Upcoming Brevets

The randonneur season continues in June with the first 600k of the season in Rochester on June 13/14 and another 400k brevet in Waterloo the next weekend. Check out the RUSA website for more details and to sign up for these events. Randonneuring returns to Apple Valley on August 8th with a 300k brevet that builds on our 200k ride, going further south through Plainview to Stockton and back.

Here is the schedule for randonneur events in Minnesota and Iowa for the rest of the year.

June
13-14
Rochester, Mn
600
Rochester Activity Club
20
Waterloo,Ia
400
Cedar Valley
July
11
Waterloo,Ia
600
Cedar Valley
24
Rochester, Mn
1000
Rochester Activity Club
August
8
Apple Valley
300
TCBC Brevet
22
Rochester, Mn
400
Rochester Activity Club
September
19
Apple Valley
600
TCBC Brevet
October
3
Rochester, Mn
200
Rochester Activity Club

5-2-2009
Rob Ride Report
TCBC 200k Brevet de Randonneurs – Saturday, May 2nd

Congratulations to the 43 participants on the TCBC 200k Randonneur ride on Saturday, May 2nd.

I am very happy to report that everyone who started the brevet, finished the brevet.  The temperatures were 43-60, it was sunny for most of the day and there was no rain, but the 15-20+ mph headwinds across the open prairie challenged everyone on the return leg from Zumbrota.  Everyone stuck with it though and made it back to Apple Valley.  Most riders found a group to ride with for the windy part of the brevet, but there were a few tough solo riders that made it back on their own.  Spring weather in Minnesota is always an adventure.  Completing this ride will definitely prepare you well for the season ahead.  Being fitter and faster for the warmer and less windy rides of the summer and fall will be your reward for the challenges of this brevet.

This was the largest brevet event ever held in Minnesota.  It rivals many of the brevets held in other areas of the US where the weather is milder and the randonneur programs have been established for many years.  We are growing nicely and will continue to encourage more riders to come out to discover the challenges and pleasures of randonneur riding.

There was a wide spread of ages and randonneur experience on the ride – this was a first brevet for about 1/3 of the riders – a special congratulations to these new randonneurs.  Four riders did not finish until 10:15p, after the official RUSA cutoff time for the brevet, but they had fun along the way and showed up at the AmericInn in Apple Valley in great spirits.  How many other randonneurs stopped for a photo op at the unmanned control in Nansen?  They got a late start and had a flat, otherwise they would have made it back within the RUSA time.  Ed Hassler, Kathy Mulier, Sadaf Syede and Elijah Rose demonstrated a great randonneuring spirit by sticking together and enjoying the ride despite the challenges.

Along with the new randonneurs it was great to see a large number of returning riders from last season.  I hope many of you will continue with the longer brevets so we will have a good representation of Super Randonneurs from Minnesota this year.  PBP 2011 is not that far away. Now is the time to build your fitness and experience.  Mike Aeling, our RBA, said that there may be some changes in the qualification process for PBP 2011.  We will keep you apprised of this situation.  I would expect that the RUSA website and newsletters will also have information on this as this unfolds.

We continue to attract riders from beyond the Twin Cities including Mark Olsen and Mark Achor from Rochester, Garry Bakke from New Richmond, Wi, Will and Erin Oberton from Winona and Mike Fox from Waterloo Ia.  In addition Mike Aeling our Regional Brevet Administrator came up from Winona and Martin Fahje, retired Minnesota RBA and long time randonneur from Chatfield Mn also rode with us.  Thanks for coming!

Nutrition – most riders seemed to do pretty well with this, although with the winds on the way back it was easy to get tired at times. Long distance riding requires more attention to food and fluids on an ongoing basis throughout the ride.  Food that is easily digested and doesn’t cause wide swings in energy work the best.  Eating while you are riding keeps the flow of energy consistent.  Keeping your electrolytes replenished through drinks or supplements also helps to maintain strength, reduce cramping and makes it easier to have a positive attitude.

Another aspect to consider, particularly on our longer, more challenging rides, is your overall fitness level.  Bike riders develop very strong legs and lungs the more we ride.  Consider also your core strength and upper body fitness.  If you are experiencing back aches, sore shoulders, arms, etc. this may suggest a need to work on these parts of your body to enhance your comfort and effectiveness as the ride unfolds.  Persistent aches and pains may also indicate a bike fit issue – have yourself and your bike checked out by an experienced bike fitter that knows you ride long distances.

It is good to see more riders equipping their bikes for randonneur riding, with comfortable frames for long distance riding, lights, fenders, special racks, GPS computers, good saddles and other performance and comfort features.  It does make a difference.  Jim Thill completed the 200k brevet and actually rode down from Minneapolis with Andre Solodin to start the ride, adding another 15 miles to his day.  Jim runs Hiawatha Cyclery http://hiawathacyclery.com/ that has a lot of the unique stuff you need for randonneuring.  Check it out at 4301 E 54th Street, Minneapolis.

The randonneur season goes south for the next two weeks, with 300k brevets offered in Waterloo, Ia on May 9th and in Rochester on May 16th.  Check out the RUSA website for more details and to sign up for these events.  Randonneuring returns to Apple Valley on May 30th with a 400k brevet that builds on our 200k ride, going further south through Plainview to Stockton and back.

Here is the schedule for randonneur events in Minnesota and Iowa for the rest of the year.

May
2 Apple Valley 200 TCBC Brevet  –  43 riders
9 Waterloo,Ia 300 Cedar Valley
16 Rochester, Mn 300 Rochester Activity Club
30 Apple Valley 400 TCBC Brevet
June
13-14 Rochester, Mn 600 Rochester Activity Club
20 Waterloo,Ia 400 Cedar Valley
July
11 Waterloo,Ia 600 Cedar Valley
24 Rochester, Mn 1000 Rochester Activity Club
August
8 Apple Valley 300 TCBC Brevet
22 Rochester, Mn 400 Rochester Activity Club
September
19 Apple Valley 600 TCBC Brevet
October
3 Rochester, Mn 200 Rochester Activity Club

As you consider 300k and longer events, keep in mind that you will need to have good lighting and other reflective material to safely ride at night.  www.peterwhitecycles.com is an excellent source of information.

Official List of Finishers

TCBC Randonneurs 200k May 2, 2009
RUSA # First Last Name Time
5251 Mike Achor
11:15
3567 Mark Aeling
7:33
3548 Mike Aeling
8:13
Pending Randy Anderson
9:45
5121 Gary Bakke
8:38
2734 Greg Barkely
8:33
4718 Bill Bennett
10:10
5349 Ahi Bennuri
12:00
857 Jim Bergman
8:13
1483 Charles Breer
7:41
5157 Doug Carlson
8:35
4354 Michael Derner
9:30
3071 Vincent Dominguez-Schugt
9:25
4242 Doug Dyer
8:33
5134 Norman Ehrentreich
7:33
217 Martin Fahje
8:13
Brian Feltovich
11:30
3290 Mike Fox
11:15
4953 Craig Futterer
9:55
John Knievel
9:22
Pending Eric Johnson
8:13
5008 Jeffrey Long-McGie
7:33
Ed Hassler
14:15
3043 Jeff Hofstede
8:38
1284 Jim Joy
9:30
Randy Kloepper
8:38
5051 Richard Miller
9:45
Richard Moore
11:30
Kathy Mulier
14:15
Dan Nelson
9:55
2860 Mark Olsen
11:15
Will Oberton
8:13
Erin Oberton
8:13
5501 Elijah Rose
14:15
4506 Steve Redelsperger
8:13
5108 Hall Sanders
9:45
Steve Scholl
10:30
4997 J Richard Soderberg
9:00
Andrei Solodin
9:45
Sadaf Syede
14:15
Jim Thill
12:00
Brett Thunstrom
10:49
3737 Rob Welsh
7:41

See you on another ride soon.

Rob Welsh
612-801-4196

3-27-2009

Welcome TCBC Randonneurs to the 2009 season. This year we have an extensive set of brevets, permanents and outreach rides available for you to get in shape and reach your randonneuring goals. Last year ended on a great note with strong attendance at the last two brevets so we are building on this success with more ride opportunities to develop your randonneuring skills.

Recruiting New Randonneurs

Newcomers are always welcome. If you have some friends that may be interested in brevet riding, bring them along for the training rides, where they’ll have a chance to meet with other randonneur types and learn a little about randonneur riding. Most times we’ll meet after the rides at Old Chicago to rehydrate and talk about the season ahead and past adventures.
Here’s what we have to look forward to this year.

Training Rides

Hopefully your bikes did not spend the winter in the garage and you are already out on the roads, getting in some miles and enjoying our extended winter season. If you were lucky, you escaped to a warmer climate for some days of riding in the sun in shorts and shirt. If neither of these happened for you and you could use a little encouragement and support to get the wheels turning, first check out the TCBC schedule as rides are starting to pop up as the evil white stuff gradually leaves us.
To add to the mix, I have added two randonneur training rides to the TCBC schedule to get us all together and started on the road to a great season. The rides start at the usual place; the AmericInn/Old Chicago on the NE corner of Cty 42 and Cedar Ave in Apple Valley. We’ll start with20a fairly easy ride, with a hill or two. The second ride will be a little longer and somewhat more challenging, with a few hills to stretch your muscles and charge up your heart.

11:00a Saturday, April 11 50 miles
10:00a Sunday, April 19 75 miles

Here’s a great prep ride for the 200k brevet.

7:00a Sunday April 26, Ironman 33-100 miles – go for the distance !

Note: the training rides do not require TCBC membership, only the normal $2 fee for non-TCBC members.

TCBC Brevets

This year TCBC is offering the full series of brevets including 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k events to enable you to achieve the ACP Super Randonneur medal. ACP is the world governing body for randonneuring. Completing the SR series is a significant accomplishment and a base step to qualify for the grand randonnees such as Paris-Brest-Paris. 212 RUSA riders earned a Super Randonneur medal in 2008.

Dates and times for the TCBC brevets are:
8:00a Saturday, May 2 200K
6:00a Saturday, May 30 400K
6:00a Saturday, August 8 300K
6:00a Saturday, September 19 600K

You may notice that the TCBC 400k is scheduled before the 300k. This was done to integrate our schedule with the Rochester and Waterloo brevets so riders would have more choices in ride distance through the year. You can do the TCBC rides in order or do an increasing progression of rides by combining TCBC brevets and rides from these other sites or other locations throughout the US or worldwide.

We have some special plans for the 600k brevet in September that include renting a house in Rushford as a staging and sleep over stop, and providing additional services for the riders. More details will be coming
Some of you may be thinking of waiting until 2011 to do the longer brevets, when you will need them to qualify for PBP. This does work but I can tell you from experience that everytime you do these rides, it gets easier and you know more of what to expect. If you are a newer randonneur, going into 2011 already having a 400k and a 600k under your belt helps to focus your training and gives you a big mental edge. Besides, it turns out that the longer rides are fun too!

All TCBC brevets start in Apple Valley, at the AmericInn/Old Chicago parking lot on the NE corner of Cedar Ave and Cty 42.

To register for a TCBC brevet, send an email to TCBCBrevet@aol.com with the brevet(s) you intend to ride. Note that you must be a TCBC member to ride the brevets. There is no other cost for the ride, except for the 600k which will have some costs for drop bags and sleeping accommodations.

There will be a special recognition for riders that complete the full TCBC SR series this year.

Outreach Brevets

TCBC riders can get mileage credit for riding brevets in Rochester and Waterloo, Ia. Each of these locations is offering a full set of brevets in 2009. A TCBC rider leader will be at the start to sign you up for the TCBC Outreach ride. You do need to register for each of these rides with the ride organizer. Check out the RUSA website for registration specifics for each ride.

Rochester Brevets
Saturday, May 16 300K
Saturday, June 13 600K
Saturday, July 24 1000K
Saturday, August 22 400K
Saturday, October 2 200K

Waterloo, Iowa Brevets
Saturday, April 18 200K
Saturday, May 9 300K
Saturday, June 20 400K
Saturday, July 11 600K
Saturday, August 29 160K

1000k Grand Randonnee – Rochester

For those that would like to experience a true multi day Grand Randonnee event, Mike Aeling is holding a 1000k brevet in Rochester, starting on Saturday, July 24th. Two sleep-over spots have been established so you can complete the ride in three stages, riding mostly in daylight hours. Riders have just over three days (75 hours) to complete the 625 mile course. Count on lots of quiet roads, great scenery and hills. Riders will be expected to have completed a full Super Randonneur series to qualify for this event.

Permanents

I now have a 200k permanent certified by RUSA for randonneurs and others that would like to get in additional training miles, accumulate RUSA mileage credit and to qualify for the R-12 award. The permanent can be ridden at any time. The route starts in Apple Valley, goes south to Faribault then west, following the Sakatah trail, then up through Lonsdale and Lakeville. There are lots of quiet roads, some hills, but nothing too drastic. Send me an email with the date you want to ride and I’ll send you the paperwork.

Randonneur tips to start the season

1. Set your goals for the seas on now so you can get the dates on your calendar and begin planning your training and preparation. This is also a fun way to spend a cold spring evening, dreaming about warm weather, spinning down quiet roads, golden tans and trees full of green leaves.
2. Check out your bike – does it need a tune up? New tires? A good cleaning? Does it have the equipment you need for distance riding?
3. Consider your lighting systems. Starting with the 300k, many riders will need to have good head and tail lights. Randonneur routes are typically rural so you will need good lights, particularly a strong headlight (or two). Also consider auxiliary lighting, like a headlamp or separate flashlight to read cue sheets, street signs or to assist you if you need to fix a flat in the dark.
4. Most successful randonneurs start off the season easy, but they are persistent. Don’t overdo it early on, but stick with a plan and get a good base of miles in.
5. Start talking with your randonneuring partners and friends to pump each other up and sort out logistics for the brevets you want to do.
6. Consider riding some brevets in Rochester or Waterloo to broaden your randonneur experience. The start of the Rochester rides is on the north side of Rochester, just off US 52, about a 1.5 hour drive from the Twin Cities. There are hotels nearby. Waterloo, Iowa is a three hour drive, all on four lane divided highways. The brevets in Waterloo start at the Heartland Inn so staying over before or after the ride is easy.

I look forward to seeing all of you soon.

Rob Welsh
612-801-4196

3-9-2009

2009 Randonneuring & Brevet Rides

TCBC is pleased to once again offer randonneur rides in 2009, with an expanded schedule of brevets starting in Apple Valley.  TCBC members interested in long-distance riding, or those seeking a different kind of ride are welcome to come out and give brevets a try.

There will be a full schedule of brevet rides in Apple Valley and Rochester, from 200K (125 miles) up to a 1000K (625 mile) event this year.  See the separate schedule for a full slate of the rides available, which are also on the official TCBC ride calendar.  Last year’s program was very successful and a number of riders completed multiple brevet rides.  Most riders are surprised at how far they can go on a bicycle, so we hope to see even more riders this year.

For more information about randonneuring and brevet rides, click on the “Randonneur/Brevet” link on the TCBC home page or contact Rob Welsh at brevets@biketcbc.org.  TCBC membership is required to participate in the TCBC brevets.  For most TCBC rides there is no cost beyond your TCBC membership.  The Rochester rides require a membership in the Rochester Active Sports Club ($20) and usually a small fee for each ride.  We also encourage riders to join Randonneurs USA (RUSA), which is the umbrella organization for brevet riding in the U.S.  RUSA maintains a complete schedule of brevet rides and provides a wealth of useful information about randonneuring at www.RUSA.org.

What is Randonneuring?

  • Randonneuring is a type of organized long distance bicycle riding, started in France in the early 1900’s
  • Ride distances are typically between 200 and 1200 km (125-750 miles)
  • Participants are known as “randonneurs” and an event is a “randonnée” or a “brevet”
  • Randonneurs USA (RUSA) is the sanctioning organization for all brevets in the U.S.

Features of Randonneuring:

  • Randonneuring is not a competitive sport & collegiality is emphasized
  • It is a test of endurance, self-sufficiency and bicycle touring skills
  • All riders who finish are congratulated equally and their results are recorded by RUSA
  • Riders are expected to carry clothing and appropriate equipment for inclement weather, spare parts and tools
  • Rides in excess of 300K (187 miles) frequently involve night riding and require lights, spare bulbs and reflective gear (RUSA night riding rules apply)

What is a “brevet”?

  • Brevets are rides of specific distances, with pre-determined maximum time limits.  Most riders will complete these rides in less time, but the goal is to complete the ride and have a good experience along the way.
  • 200K (125 mi.)           13.5 hours
  • 300K (187 mi.)           20 hours
  • 400K (250 mi.)           27 hours
  • 600K (375 mi.)           40 hours
  • 1000K (625 mi.)         75 hours
  • 1200K (750 mi.)         90 hours
  • Completion of a full brevet series (200, 300, 400, 600) in a single year entitles the rider to Super Randonneur status and is a qualifier for most 1000 and 1200K events, called grand randonnée
  • Brevets are held all over the world.  Most countries have a national organization for randonneur riding.  France is the birthplace of randonneuring and the home of the ultimate grand randonnée, the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200K brevet, next held in 2011.  Over 5,000 riders from all over the world will be there for this very special, ultimate event.

How does a brevet work?

  • Riders must stop at a series of pre-determined locations known as “controles”, or check points, to ensure that the correct route is followed and no short cuts are taken; controles are generally 30-50 miles apart.
  • All riders carry “brevet cards”, which are time-stamped and signed at each control
  • Controles are typically in convenience stores but they may be staffed by ride organizers
  • Brevet cards are turned in at the end of the ride as proof that the route was followed
  • Brevet results are certified, tracked, and published by Randonneurs USA

Why ride brevets?

  • To seek new personal challenges, including physical, mental & logistical
  • To attempt to qualify for longer events in various parts of the world
  • To have fun with a different kind of riding & to explore new areas

2009 Minnesota Brevet Schedule

May 2                      200K            Apple Valley (TCBC)

May 16                    300K            Rochester

May 30                    400K            Apple Valley (TCBC)

June 13                   600K            Rochester

July 24                    1000K          Rochester

August 8                  300K            Apple Valley (TCBC)

August 22                400K            Rochester

September 19         600K            Apple Valley (TCBC)

October 3                200K            Rochester

Check out the www.RUSA.org website for more information on these and other brevet rides in the region, nationally and internationally.

Other Regional 2009 Brevets

Iowa Randonneurs, Waterloo, Iowa

April 18                    200K

May 9                      300K

June 20                   400K

July 11                    600K

August 29                160K

Great Lakes Randonneurs, Delavan, Wisconsin

April 25                    200K

May 16                    300K

June 6                     400K

June 27                   600K

August 8                  200K

1200K+ Events in 2009

June 11 Shenandoah 1200K Leesburg, VA
July 6 Gold Rush Randonnée Davis, CA
July 26 London-Edinburgh-London 1400K London, UK
August 13 Granite Anvil 1200 Toronto, Ontario
September 9 Colorado Last Chance 1200K Boulder, CO
September 30 Endless Mountains1240K Quakertown, PA

Some Future 1200K Events

June 2010 Cascade 1200 Cascade Mountains, WA
July 2010 Van Isle 1200K Vancouver Island, BC
August 2011 Paris-Brest-Paris Normandy & Brittany, France
October 2011 Great Southern Randonnée Victoria, Australia
July 2012 Rocky Mountain 1200 Canadian Rockies