MG Thursday-Good Brevet Training

Every randonneur knows that training is essential for successful randonneuring. Without those weekend rides, where will you be when the long brevets hit? In trouble, that’s where!

But it isn’t just banking those miles that a randonneur needs. No, it’s much more than that. A training regimen should also incorporate a range of elements to help prepare you for anything. ANYTHING! That part of the regimen is “good brevet training.”

Centuries ridden under sun-filled skies, just the slightest of cooling breezes, temps in the high 70s, and no humidity? Seriously, what kind of training is that? That’s just a bike ride, a mere prelude to the thrills of good brevet training.

Exhibit A. Too Nice to be Good Brevet Training
Exhibit A. Too Nice to be Good Brevet Training

Good brevet training happens when the days get shorter and the temperatures begin to fall… into the thirties or so. You know what I’m talking about. The time of year when you wake up to go to work and it’s dark outside; you leave work and it’s dark outside. The days where temperatures are predicted to reach into the thirties, but only get above freezing for an hour or two. Good brevet training occurs on a bitter, gusty day punctured by chill and a flat tire or two… and some pelting rain. Those rides when booties and toe warmers are not enough to make the tingle in your toes wane.  Or those days when you wake up and temperatures are already in the 80’s, humidity is at 95 percent, and there’s not chance of a breeze or even a rain shower to cool you off.

Exhibit A.  Rain.
Exhibit B. Rain.

Why, you ask? What makes this good brevet training? Because randonneuring is not just about having fun, it’s also about a little bit of drama, sometimes being uncomfortable, and enduring adversity! Those challenging rides build the randonneur’s confidence that, if you can make it through that windy winter century ride in the 20s when the sun never peeked out to say hello and it even snowed on you, or a sweltering summer ride where your tires starting melting into the asphalt as you rode along contemplating the amount of heat it takes for your head to explode.  then a brevet will be no sweat!

Exhibit B. Snow
Exhibit C. Snow

For randonneurs, every frigid day, atrociously hot day, flat tire or mechanical, and each soaking rain shower is good brevet training. Bring it on! A bad day to ride, says the weather man? Not for you. Saddle up and get out there because that incoming snowstorm can mean only one thing– good brevet training.

Exhibit C.  Cold and Windy
Exhibit D. Cold and Windy

The next time you find yourself layered up with the rain stinging your face while you question your choice of rain gear; you feel your feet and fingers doing their wintertime throb; and you notice your shifter cable fraying 50 miles from home without a spare, remember that you are not just on a bike ride. You’re getting good brevet training, and what could be better than that!

3 thoughts on “MG Thursday-Good Brevet Training

  1. I’m going to leave work and do my usual 10.6 mile Brevet Training ride :-)

    Thanks for a good laugh.


  2. …and i know Nick speaks the truth because I saw him going the other way on the WOD/CUSTIS Trail near the curly climb over Lee Hwy…

    I also had good brevet training today because i stopped to eat five times on a 20 mile ride running errands, and on the way to see the free movie, FOOD, INC. — only to have them tell us that all the free tickets were gone when we got there! Oh well. We had to go to Mr Yogato to have frozen yogurt…food stop number 6…

  3. Rando Blooms
    (composed for upcoming “Gulag’s March” Feb 400k)

    When the fists of winter fly
    Tire biting through the snow
    Blackened frostbitten nights
    Coffee running low

    Halogen a brilliant white
    Guiding Migrants from the Fall
    Losing all the feeling now
    That Sunrise is outlawed

    Riders push themselves
    Fast through the barren town
    Later when the Fleche thaws
    Randos will be in bloom

    Blacked-out on GPS
    Glowing burn barrel reveals
    Shadows drinking antifreeze
    ‘Neath the underpass

    Ordered on a Gulag’s march
    RBA’s send the call
    Snow swirling, falling fast
    Stuck frozen against the wall

    Where riders push themselves
    Chilled souls of this tundra ground
    When February thaws
    Randos will be in bloom (again)

    Bloom again, bloom again
    Bloom again, bloom again
    Rando blooms, Rando blooms

    (shamelessly stolen & modified from Calexico…)

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