Great Lakes Randonneurs is a volunteer organization and depends on assistance from other riders to make events happen. If you enjoy the rides then please consider joining and volunteering for a ride or two. Volunteering is a great way for non-riders to become involved with the event. Volunteers for day-of-event duties can pre-ride the course and receive credit for the distance.
The time limits are:
No. You can complete the rides in any order and skip events.
If you are going for an SR (Super Randonneur) award you'll need to complete a 200k, 300k, 400k, and 600k in one season. You can substitute a longer distance for a shorter one if desired, e.g. two 400k events instead of a 300k and a 400k. You can also mix and match rides from other brevet series if you like.
Our host motel, the Super 8, 518 Borg Road, Delavan, WI. (262) 728-1700, offers a discount to GLR members that cite the club when making advanced reservations. Nearby lodging includes:
McDonalds, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Perkins Restaurant are within walking distance of the start on the east side of town. Other restaurants are about a mile away in downtown Delavan. We recommend verifying their hours of operation before planning late night or early morning meals.
For non-riders there are a number of historic and family attractions such as swimming, fishing, and boating at Delavan Lake Community Park (2.5 miles). Lake Geneva, a popular resort town, is nearby.
The cue sheet lists each turn and road along the route along with its associated distance along with food and control stops. The cue sheet will also indicate the opening and closing times of controls and the emergency contact information for the brevet organizer.
Tip: The cue sheet only helps if you can read it. Put it in a ziptop bag and attach it to the bars.
Before considering an event keep in mind that riders are expected to be self-sufficient. That said, most cyclists who can comfortably ride a century in less than 10 hours can complete a 200k.
The only way you can find out if you can finish within the time limit is to try. Note that randonneurs:
Everyone who finishes within the time limit succeeds!
These events are not races - you only compete against yourself and the time limit, not other riders. Some people try to complete the ride as quickly as possible whereas others build up enough time to stop for coffee and local cuisine. Friendly camaraderie, not competition, is the hallmark of randonneuring.
Most riders maintain an average pace between 12 and 18 miles/hr. The speed is usually a little faster until the first control.
At an intensity that will enable you to complete the event in a manner consistent with your goals and conditioning. In general, it's better to moderate your pace in the early part of the ride so that it can be maintained in the second half.
The first 200k of the series has had approximately 70 riders with about 40 of them going on to ride the 300k two weeks later. The following 400k can have 25 riders with 15 of them going on to the 600k. Other brevets average about 5 - 15 riders per distance.
The roads we use are generally good however you should be prepared for the full range of surfaces, from newly resurfaced to under construction. We do not ride off-road but occasionally encounter short unpaved sections with gravel or dirt surfaces. Rides may have short sections that require portage.
At any time between sunset and sunrise, each cycle must have two securely mounted non-blinking lights: a front light with clear lens and a rear light with red lens. Each light must be sufficiently bright to be seen by traffic approaching from the front or rear from a distance of at least 500' in accordance with applicable state law. Riders must wear a reflective vest, sash, Sam Browne belt, or some other device that clearly places reflective material on the front and back of the rider and a reflective ankle band around each ankle. Other reflective devices on clothing, shoes, helmets, and cycles are encouraged for increased safety.
Whenever cutoff times extend past sunset riders should carry lights and reflective gear If there is any possibility, e.g. rain, flat tires, wind, etc., that they could be riding at night. Riders without evidence of adequate lights and reflectors will not be permitted to begin the longer brevets and riding without adequate lights and reflectors is cause for disqualification. Backup lights are recommended.
We feel your pain. A good habit is to establish a single location for your brevet card and check it before leaving each control.
If your card is lost please contact the brevet organizer immediately to report it, in some cases they have been recovered. If you're still in the area, initiate a search of the location where the card was last used.
Record the rest of the ride on your cue sheet. If the card can not be located the RBA may accept this alternate form of certification if it is signed by riding partners and merchants. Awarding credit without a full brevet card is solely at the discretion of the RBA.
They fall into two categories, those that can be attributed to inadequate preparation and those that are the result of ride-day exceptions.
Underpreparation can manifest itself as:
Ride-day exceptions include:
First, try to make it to the next control and rest for a while before deciding to abandon. Sometimes a short break and some food can improve one's spirits.
If you can't continue you must contact the brevet organizer and tell them you are abandoning. A phone number is listed on the cue sheet distributed at the start of the ride.
Most riders should attempt a minimum of 0.3 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weigh, i.e. 40-60 grams per hour. This won't meet your energy needs completely but will help sustain performance. It's possible to train your digestive system so don't be discouraged if you're not able to achieve the minimum rate initially.
What form of energy? Solids (real food or energy bars), liquids and gels all work, so it's your choice. If it tastes good, chances are that you'll use it on a more regular basis. Some riders find solids difficult to eat while riding wheras sport drinks containing 6-8% carbohydrate have the advantage of meeting fluid and energy needs at the same time. A standard water bottle of sport drink provides about 37-50 grams and a large bottle about 45-60 grams. It's possible that after 6-8 hours, sports drinks may no longer be appealing, so getting some variety throughout the ride is advisable. Controls are a good place to eat some solid food and satisfy your cravings.
Although the prevailing electrolyte-depletion hypothesis of cramps is being challenged, anecdotal evidence suggests that electrolyte pre-loading is probably still effective for some, including those that have a history of cramping.
New evidence indicates that crampers tend to be those who set faster time goals and start faster relative to their fitness level. There is some evidence that crampers also have trained more in the week prior to the event, especially the days before, thus leaving their muscles fatigued. This suggests that realistic goal setting and an appropriate taper will help to minimize your risk of cramping from fatigue.
There's also evidence that stronger muscles are more likely to resist fatigue. Chronic cramping may be reduced by a strength training regime that targets cramp-prone muscles.
Stretching is an effective means of treating cramps and may also help reduce the incidence of cramping. Riders predisposed to cramps should develop and practice a routine that targets the affected muscles both before and during a ride.
There's some interesting research that suggests that pickle juice / vinegar / mustard can be effective in relieving cramps. Something in the acidic juice, perhaps even a specific molecule, may be lighting up specialized nervous-system receptors in the throat or stomach, which, in turn, send out nerve signals that somehow disrupt the reflex melee in the muscles.
The American Medical Athletic Association recommends that you develop your own hydration program using these tips:
Saddle sores are caused by friction from the skin under the ischial tuberosities (a.k.a. "sit bones") rubbing against your shorts. The best way to prevent them is to decrease or eliminate abrasion. Here are some suggestions:
Begin treatment with Bag Balm. This old fashion medication, designed for a milk cow's sore and irritated teats is available at many pharmacies and animal supply stores. Applying Bag Balm to irritated areas immediately after showering will usually result in recovery overnight. This will help heal the superficial wound and prevent its worsening while you're off the bike.
Prescription strength topical steroid ointments such as Temovate can also be used. There are side effects and dangers with frequent usage, and it costs ten to forty times as much as Bag Balm. Antibiotic ointments, e.g. Polysporin, can be used to help fight infection.
Whether you use Bag Balm or prescription steroid ointments, apply it in the evening and cover it with Vaseline the following morning.
'Hot Foot' or Metatarslgia is caused by the compression and inflammation of nerves and joint tissue in the metarsal heads, which is the area of the foot often directly above the pedal spindle. It is characterized by pain and a sensation of burning as well as numbness.
There are several potential remedies when you're riding. In some instances it's possible to refocus the pressure by altering your pedaling style, e.g. dropping your heel or pushing forward from the 11 o'clock position. Another option is to create additional space for your foot, this can be done by: loosening shoe straps across the forefoot, removing the insole, removing socks, and moving the cleat rearward.
Preventative measures include:
Knee pain is generally the result of an overuse injury. Where and when does it hurt?
Pain below and under the patella (kneecap) that occurs near the top of the pedal stroke is usually the result of pushing big gears or the saddle being too low or too far forward, e.g. patellar tendonitis caused by increased tension.
Posterior discomfort is usually the result of over-extension near the bottom of the pedal stroke and can be relieved by lowering the saddle.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can often provide relief from acute discomfort.
Learn by practising in a comfortable setting to insure that you are familiar with the procedure and your tools. Here are some tips: carry at least one new spare tube that has been pre-talced, shift to the smallest cog before removing the rear wheel, inflate the new tube slightly before installing, seat the tire bead near the valve last, and brace your wheel and pump against a solid object to inflate.
It's important to make every effort to identify and resolve the cause of the flat during repair. Common types include:
Note: there are two last-resort options to create a marginally rideable wheel if you've exhausted your supply of tubes and patches. They are better-suited to larger tires and are likely to ruin the tire casing. The first is to cut the tube apart at the punctured section and tie the two ends together with a square knot; the second alternative is to remove the tube and stuff the tire with grass. Both options are likely to produce a bumpy ride but are better than riding on the rim.
Optimum tire pressure is a function of at least a half-dozen variables and there isn't a single source that addresses them all. The Michelin Tire Pressure chart recommends pressures as a function of rider weight and tire width. This data provides a useful starting point for rear tire pressure. Frank Berto's research suggests that optimum front tire pressure is lower by 10 lb. - 15 lb. since the front wheel load is typically less than the rear.
Other variables that effect optimum tire pressure are usually only discussed in generalities, e.g. wet or poor road surfaces, ride duration, etc. On wet roads it's common to reduce tire pressure by 5 lb. - 10 lb. to increase traction. The Vittoria pressure calculator takes road conditions and tire construction into account but overlooks width.
It's always a good idea to check the condition of your chain at the beginning of the cycling season. Chain wear, not stretch, causes the chain to elongate which increases wear on other drivetrain components.
From SheldonBrown.com: the standard way to assess chain wear is to measure a one-foot length, placing an inch mark of a ruler at the side of a rivet, then looking at the rivet 12 full links away. On an unworn chain this rivet will line up exactly with an inch mark, with a worn chain the rivet will be past the inch mark. Note: this can be done with the chain on or off the bike however for accurate measurement the chain should be under some tension.
Chain length is a direct measurement of chain wear and an indirect measurement of the wear to the sprockets as follows:
If you replace your chain, don't toss it. All four Chicagoland REI stores (Lincoln Park, Oakbrook Terrace, Northbrook and Schaumburg) accept chains and inner tubes for recycling.
We feel your pain. There aren't too many things more frustrating than dropping your chain - especially when going up hill. Fortunately, most of the time you won't have to dismount to affect a recovery. If the chain has dropped to the inside and is not jammed, recovery can be attempted by shifting to big ring and soft pedaling until it catches. If it doesn't catch after a few revolutions, try leaning the bike to the right as you pedal. Dropping the chain on the outside of the big ring is less common but the recovery procedure is similar, shift to the small front chainring and soft pedal.
Note: frequent chain drops are usually an indication of improper drivetrain setup or adjustment and should be referred to a mechanic. A lightweight grocery store produce bag can protect your hand if it becomes necessary to manually remount the chain.