Brevet advice?

Someone asked me for brevet advise and while I am by no means an expert, I did think of a few nuggets of information to share. The original question and my response follows:

“I know you completed a Super Rando Series and a 1200k last year – going from 0-1200 in a single year. So, you are now an expert – how does THAT feel? Lol.

Okay, so Herr Expert :wink – I’ve decided that, after not having ridden more than 2 miles at a time for the entire 2nd half of 2012, I’m going to try the same thing in 2013. Longest ride in a single day for me ever far is only ~150 miles.

Any advice? “Training” specific? Choice of 2 bikes – GRR or Giro 20…. Go for it…”

My friend,

Only a couple of suggestions.

1. Use the bike that is gives you the best combination of speed and comfort. If you can ride comfortably at 18-20 for an hour on the flats, you can likely finish any distance brevet.

2. You don’t derive a lot of benefit from long (75-100) miles training rides – they take so much out of you. Intervals and fast-paced rides with recovery days are a better way to build strength. See the articles here: http://www.jbvcoaching.com/articles.asp and in particular, this one: http://www.ultraracenews.com/2011/11/18/training-for-ultracycling-events/

3. Try to insure you’re organized way before the event. I pack from a master packing list also and nothing is checked off until I physically touch that item and pack it up for the drive to the event. I like to program the route into my Garmin and laminate 2 copies of the cue sheet. Everything is packed several days before the event and I’ve performed a shakedown cruise. Lights are tested, batteries are fresh, chain is clean and oiled, tires are newish & gash-free, etc. Don’t leave any tasks, maintenance or packing until the last minutes.

4. Find out what you’re comfortable eating over a long period. I eat fig newtons at the rate of 3-4 an hour. I eat whatever I’m hungry for during the stops. I never knew a Dairy Queen cheeseburger could taste so good! I don’t use any of the supplements typically but am not adverse to caffeine pills. I also take Advil at 4 pills a day (2 am, 2 pm).

5. Make sure you have decent rain and cold weather gear. In the Last Chance, 14 dropped out….due mainly to the weather.

5. Having said something about gear, don’t obsess over it. Be a rider, not a shopper!

6. Read every blog, every ride report that you can find. There are tons of information out there but you may have to work to gleam it out. If you want to obsess over something, this is the best place to start! Learn from others.

7. Plan you ride, set simple goals. For me, every segment is simply a ride to the next control. I rarely think about the route beyond that. Let me make it simple: if you can ride 15 mph average, for every three hours in the bike, you can bank an hour off the bike. Not that anyone actually gets off for an hour but it makes it easy to digest.

8. Most of all, have fun. Even when I’m on the bike and miserable, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than on the bike pushing and testing myself. Since misery loves company, find someone that has a similar pace and keep each other company!

Cheers,
Gerry

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