Yeah, I'm pimpin' it early... cause I'm excited about it!
While the official schedule won't come out for another couple weeks, you should mark your calendars for 2018 and make your randonneuring dreams happen. Yes, you, long-time-reader!
Something that has been requested by riders for a while is actually gonna go down.
Memorial Day weekend 2018, we're looking at five events starting at the same time from the same hotel. This event works a lot like some very successful events in Iowa and elsewhere around the country. You will be able to ride 200, 300, 400, 600 or 1,000km distance, all starting and finishing at the same hotel.
Well, okay, so what? ... what the heck does THAT mean, really?
Unless you've ridden the longer distances, it's hard to see this benefit immediately - but, it's all about logistics. For example, (although the precise routes and details are YET to be finalized, so do NOT take this as law as you read this, no matter when you're reading it:), if you were riding a 600km on that day, to complete your SR series, you would start and ride a 400km loop from the hotel, hitting the usual array of pre-determined controls - like on a normal ride - but, you'd end up back at the the hotel, which acts as an intermediate control; where you can then take a shower, a nap, change clothing, refill your bags with supplies, batteries, etc., before heading out on another loop - this time of 200km, ultimately finishing again back at the hotel - to complete your 600k. The hotel acts as the start, and some number of intermediate controls depending on the distance, and then the finish.
In short, it's amazing: it renders the planning process for the longer distances MUCH easier. No worry about drop bags, what to pack, no need to pay for multiple hotel rooms on a longer, stretched-out loop, and a bit of a familiar stop to punctuate the goal you're undertaking. The 1,000km, in this example, would simply add another couple of varied loops. Those big distances that have never seemed tangible just became easier to imagine.
So, mark your calendars and watch the www.audaxkc.com site for coming details.
The full Audax KC schedule should be out later this month, offering up the usual fare of 200, 300, 400, 600km rides, a Fleche, the aforementioned Memorial Day brevet series, and - yes - even more!
While I'm a creature of habit and KC is sorta my "home turf", I am branching out and very excited to see some new territory out there in rando-land...so,
DO NOT forget about the highly-regarded Nebraska Sandhill Randonneurs, either... ALSO run by our tireless RBA, Spencer K. - yes, he runs TWO regions.
The stories I have heard coming out of the Nebraska Rides are borderline legendary.
The 2018 schedule is out there now -- so, if you don't mind a short drive to where the traffic isn't... get up there, and explore!
2018 is going to be huge...
But, how do you GET there?
Maybe you're reading this and wondering how we ride all these ridiculous distances. Well, as you might have gleaned from my last post, it is a journey, a progression. Start slow and low. Try 50km... that's a little over 30 miles. Yeah, it doesn't sound like it should be a big deal, but, then try it faster. Then, a little faster...
But, rando isn't about speed....?
True... but, one training philosophy suggests riding harder at shorter distances as training for longer distances at moderate speeds. As you add distance... ramping up from 50km to 75km, and then 100km... inevitably, you'll dose out the same effort over more miles. If you can ride a reasonably fast 50km, then you can conceivably knock out a respectable 100km time without worrying too much about the dreaded clock. Granted, the RUSA time limits are generous... but, the idea is to move from "finishing" to "finishing comfortably", or, with time in the bank. That translates to time for sleep and sit-down food stops during the longest distances. The foundation starts at much shorter distances, you see.
Extend this idea to Ultra, and you can see the point --- Ultra goes beyond rando and gets competitive, so the goals begin to introduce speed AND distance. Randonneuring enjoyment, however, CAN coexist with some speed training. You end up adding time into your bank, and that's more time for mechanical issues, food stops, or just enjoying the scenery on your terms - and not the clock's.
There are tons of resources out there on how to ramp up to a century ride, and they translate and extend very easily to 200km. But, training programs are very personal. Research and see what works for you and your riding style, and adjust. I am not "fast"... not in a strict racing sense -- but, building up endurance is not, conversely, about long, touring-paced slogs to build saddle time. Remember to ask around, get lots of quality rest, eat smart, ride smart, and be safe. Ask your doctor if randonneuring is right for you...
After you achieve the 200km mark, simply rest, recover, watch your nutrition and advance to the 300km level. If you're like ME... maybe the first 400km is a big stretch, even after achieving the 300km level. It IS possible to come off the local club rides and grab a 600km the following spring... but, don't look that high up the mountain yet. Sometimes it takes a couple of years to reach a stride, work out inevitable bike fit issues that only crop up after a dozen hours, etc. Remember, it's a journey, a progression. Focus lower, at 100 and 200km for now... that's six months until March 2018's first 200km ride... that's do-able.
If you've been thinking about it and find yourself with questions, hit me up in the comments, check the web, surf the RUSA site, hit our Facebook page. We're here to help!
Let's go long in 2018..!