2022 Brevet Series
As mentioned in my previous PBP training blog post, I’d like to attempt Paris-Brest-Paris in August of 2023. In order to have a better chance of registering, and also to get a sense of whether I really want to do all this, I set out this year with a plan to ride a full Brevet series, which consists of a 200, 300, 400, and 600 km rides. Here’s a quick summary of how they all went.
200 km - Wachusett and Purgatory
Overall it was a great first randonneuring ride. Definitely learned a few important lessons, like spend less time in the controls (and to use the bathroom when you are at controls). Started to cramp around mile 80 which made standing up out of the saddle mostly out of the question. Thankfully the bulk of the climbing had past by then so finished relatively strong. I had hoped to finish in under 10 hours and just barely did so.
300 km - Ware’s the Quabbin
I took the learnings from the first 200 km and really applied them well for the 300 km race. I was happy with my pacing, and even spent a good amount of the first half biking with a couple of my fellow riders, which was great for gaining more knowledge about randonneuring and distracting from the many miles and hours still to go. One big annoyance was the number of times my bottles fell out of their cages. Cost me at least 15 minutes stopping, going back to pick them up, and restarting again. My planned stops and pacing were a tad more optimistic than reality (I was shooting for overall sub 15 hours, finished just under 15.5 hours), but all-in-all it was a great ride.
400 km - Portland and Back
This ride started off really strong, being way ahead of schedule the entire first half of the ride. Sadly, I started feeling knee pain around mile 80, and it progressively got worse. I also had quite the upset stomach after eating lunch in Portland and had to visit a local establishment for their restroom. As a token of my appreciation, I bought a loaf of focaccia bread, which I later came to cherrish the last few hours. I was only able to finish thanks to some Motrin at mile 180 that temporarily relieved the pain. I don’t regret taking it as I was able to finish and with a decent time (my goal was sub 20 hours so I could finish on the same day, and I did it with decent margin), though finishing this race did prevent me from biking for several weeks do to incurred knee injury.
600 km - Over the Kancamagus
Sadly I was unable to do this awesome ride due to the knee injury I sustained while on the 400 km ride. I was unable to bend my knee at all for the first few days, and struggled up and down stairs for a couple weeks. It would have been a quick turn-around from the 400 km (3 weeks). I really wish I had done this, as I have never riden past midnight, nor on only a few hours of sleep. It also would have been a beautiful ride. Hopefully next year when I’m doing the Brevet series that counts for qualifying for PBP that’ll use this route.
|Ride||Total Distance [miles]||Total Time [h:mm]||Average Elapsed Speed [mph]||Total Moving Time [h:mm]||Total Resting Time [h:mm]||Average Moving Speed [mph]||Total Elevation Gain [ft]||Average Elevation Gain [ft / mile]|
Even though these races are against time and not one another, I still liked seeing how I did vs others to gage my potential for PBP (results page):
|Ride||Total Finishers||Place||Fastest Time||Mean Time|
*Technically there was a guy in a velomobile who did it in 14:02. I’m arbitrarily not going to include him haha.
In addition to the races, I put a lot of hours and miles on the bike (outside and virtually) for the first 6 months of the year.
|Statistic||Total January - June 2022||Average per Week|
|Elevation Gain [ft]||120,328||5,014|
Disappointed I couldn’t complete the full Brevet series but happy overall with my training and performance. So long as I don’t succumb again to injury, I plan on training again this fall and winter to attempt the full Brevet series next year. Wish me luck!