Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dear Randobiker...

      I’m thinking about a possible rando ride in the future. I’ve been working on my mileage and feel good. I’m not particularly fast, averaging around 14-15 MPH over varied terrain. How does that translate over 200K, what speed would one need to average to qualify through the controls? I can’t imagine this being a speedy type race, its really about endurance but I would guess that you have the rare view that pound this out 20MPH over 200k.

Sincerely yours,
Eyecant Drive55

Dear Eyecant Drive55,
      A 14-15 mph average is pretty good! The brevets are not supposed to be races although many riders have a competitive side either with themselves or with the group. You only need to average a bit over 9 mph but keep in mind that includes all stops, lunches, naps, stumbling around the food mart, story telling and leg or butt rubbing, getting lost and traffic citations. Fast riders are able to complete the brevets in a little over half the allowed time. There are many riders but only a few really fast amazing riders who have the endurance to keep it up for the entire event. The purpose of speed is to allow yourself options. On long rides, speed brings the ability to rest and recover. Without enough speed, your physical suffering will increase, your mental disposition will deteriorate and you'll risk really bad monkey butt. Therefore a fast randonneur is a happy randonneur. Speed also brings you the ability to ride with people and develop comradery. You can always slow down to ride with a friend but you'll ride alone if you can't keep up.

Yours Truly,