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.
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.
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!
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.
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!