Also, this is all assuming that you have the model with the basemaps. Without those, I think the file format recommendations are different.
Thanks to all who came out for the 200K…that was the most fun long ride I’ve had all year.
Next Saturday is our 100K Spring Populaire in the North Hills…those who did this route last year will be pleased to know that the nasty climb just after that sharp right off Valencia (Fetzler Rd, I think?) has been replaced with a kinder, gentler transition to Hutchman just a half-mile further down the road. The rest of the Valencia Rd segment is unchanged (heheheheheh.)
It was fun, even though I got screwed up I’m pretty confident I can finish a 200K in time if I don’t skip basic bike maintenance checks.
BTW the linked page says the ride starts at Jim’s but the map shows it starting at the Washington Blvd racetrack. I assume this will all get straightened out by Saturday…
@reddan: That was definitely a fun ride, although I learned the hard way that my bike is not adjusted properly for me (knee pain). It was also type-2 fun for me due to bringing an excessive amount of gear and the slow leak in my back tire that I didn’t find until I got home (it was holding at 55 psi and felt awfully squishy).
I’m busy next Saturday, but assuming I resolve the aforementioned bike-fit and gear related issues, I’ll be around for more rides in the future. I’ve got my eyes set on the 300k in May for sure.
Also, I’m a little sad because after the ride I forgot to take one of those sweet, sweet little pins that Jim mentioned at the rider meeting. That was the whole reason I got on the bike that day!
jonawebb wrote:BTW the linked page says the ride starts at Jim’s but the map shows it starting at the Washington Blvd racetrack. I assume this will all get straightened out by Saturday…
It starts at Jim’s place, unless something changes in the near future.
I just linked a new map..thanks for noticing the old one, BTW. There will probably be a cue sheet update later this week, as I submitted a couple corrections earlier today.
As long as we’re talking minor cue sheet fixes, the 200k cue sheet from this weekend says to pass by Three Rivers Stadium. I’m not sure how to do that without mounting a flux-capacitor to my bike.
JaySherman5000 wrote:As long as we’re talking minor cue sheet fixes, the 200k cue sheet from this weekend says to pass by Three Rivers Stadium. I’m not sure how to do that without mounting a flux-capacitor to my bike.
Heh. I’ll ask Jim to change it to “where Three Rivers Stadium used to be.” We need a proper Pittsburgh flair for our cues.
Also, BTW, excellent planning on the timing. The 200K was on the warmest day we’ve had all year, and the 100K was on the warmest day since. It’s careful planning like that that makes these rides so successful. I’m assuming this Saturday will be warm, dry, and sunny.
jonawebb wrote:I’m assuming this Saturday will be warm, dry, and sunny.
Of course it will. We did also order a moderate wind from the north to arrive around noon-thirty or so, but it’s so hard to guarantee delivery times for such things.
I loved the 200k ride too! (apart from the nasty fall I had at the start). Everyone was super friendly. I am looking forward to meeting everyone again for next Saturday’s ride.
It won’t be true Pittsburgh randonneuring if the cue sheets don’t include landmarks identifying where things that no longer exist ‘used to be’—that’s just how we give directions ’round these parts.
For some reason the only thing I remember from last year’s 100k was “another hill!?” But then again, that was my first time on one of these rides. And I was out of shape.
This Saturday’s 100K isn’t killer, but it’s not easy either.
The first dozen miles or so are pretty mellow…Freeport Rd out to Harmarville. Then, a gradual climb up toward Russelton, and cut over to the first real climb (Sun Mine Rd) on the way to Saxonburg. Cross Rte 8 to Brownsdale, then Valencia Rd (which is the roughest segment IMO), followed by a reasonably gentle leg through Mars to North Park. One crappy trafficky climb on Babcock to get out of the park, then some choppy stuff along Peebles and Thompson Run before descending to Babcock and Millvale. One short, steep, climb back to Jim’s house, and you’re done.
Sounds easy! Oh now I remember that I bonked halfway through because I didn’t eat.
stefb wrote:Sounds easy! Oh now I remember that I bonked halfway through because I didn’t eat.
Remember that hill right off Valencia, where you bonked at the bottom? That was the one that’s been removed from the course.
That wasnt even difficult. I just had no food on board. What a terrible feeling.
I’m beginning to think there should be a Pgh Rando ride every single day so we can actually get some vitamin D in this city. The Pgh Rando rides seem to practically guarantee a nice day (or, if you will, at least a drastically improved day).
*knocks on wood*
LizziMac wrote:I’m beginning to think there should be a Pgh Rando ride every single day so we can actually get some vitamin D in this city. The Pgh Rando rides seem to practically guarantee a nice day (or, if you will, at least a drastically improved day).
*knocks on wood*
Generally, we reserve the really craptastic weather for the latter half of the 300K+ distances.
This is the Kittens and Puppies series, after all… seems to me I can remember a few randos in prior years where things were very different.
Let’s see, here’s Dan’s ride report from the 4/2012 300K:
So, the morning began quite nicely. 59 degrees, no rain, a set of yahoos drinking on their lawn at 4 AM who were ENAMORED of my bike…a fine way to start the day, pedaling down to Neville Island for the 300K.
After the usual preliminaries, we set off. A brief pause in Coraopolis, as Bill managed to find a nice chunk of tire-slashing metal not two miles after the ride start…then, we crossed over into Sewickley and down Beaver to the start of the Red Belt in Ambridge. A few drops began to fall, then a few more, then a few more. By the time we’d crossed 228 out near Cranberry, the rain was beginning in earnest, and the temperature started falling by the time we hit Evans City.
I was definitely in poor spirits by the time we reached the first controle, as cold pelting rain is my least-favorite weather in which to ride. However, a cup of coffee and a few minutes in the dry were enough to restore my morale nicely. Until we pulled away, and I flatted a few hundred feet from the controle. Since I hadn’t yet warmed up through exertion pedaling, what little heat I’d managed to retain was long gone by the time I got the tube changed.
Ok, I’m really not loving life at this point, but I get back on the road and shoot for a slow-n-steady pace. 488 is normally a road I enjoy, so I managed to pretend that this was fun for a while, at least when I’m not growing concerned about the dropping temperatures (one bank thermometer registered 43, another 41…), I hit 19, and following the cue, start following Bike Route A. Sadly, I neglected to follow the next cue, which would have put me back on 488 for a short jaunt to Ellwood City…instead, I apparently lost my mind completely and followed 19 north for, um, lots of miles. Finally realized my mistake, and realized that I now had at least 10 miles to get back to Portersville before picking up the route again…that was enough for me.
I fumbled my way west to Volant, then south along 168 and 388 to 65, and finally Ellwood City. There, my dad was kind enough to pick me up and drag my shivering butt home.
Ah, that 300K was an educational ride indeed. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, an extra layer or two of clothing can make the difference ‘twixt incipient hypothermia and a merely less-fun-than-usual ride.
Next up in the rando-queue: our Spring 200K, offered on Saturday 04/13 starting at 7 AM.
This is a tough 200K: it starts in Shaler, then traverses classic cycling roads to the west (Presto-Sygan, Millers Run, etc. through Hickory), then bears north on 18 and 168 to a ripping-fast descent through Shippingsport and the nuclear power plant. From there, we parallel the river to Rochester, then follow 68 through Zelie and Evans City to a return via North Park. There’s plenty of climbing on this route; not many stoopid-steep grades, but, aside from the stretch along the Ohio River, very little of the course is flat.
CtC aspirants take note: this’ll be a dandy shakedown/tuneup ride.
I’m bumping the thread for two reasons. First: thanks for another awesome ride last weekend! I can’t wait for another main-line dose of that sweet, sweet, long-distance cycling nectar.
Second: this was the second 200k in which I had tire issues (I flatted coming down Logan Rd). And yesterday I got yet another flat. This begs the question: what tires do you people prefer for randonneuring?
I’m riding a steel touring bike, and I like to bring riding bricks along with me, so I need something that can handle weather & weight without too much drag. My current tires are 700x32mm Continental Touring Plus tires. They allegedly have built-in flat protection, but I’ve gotten half a dozen punctures in about 2500-3000 miles, and I’ve worn one tire down to the yellow indicator strip. To be fair, I inflate them to ~110 psi (30 psi over the recommended max), which I assume degrades the flat protection performance.
So, can anyone recommend a good touring tire that allows inflation to 100 psi or greater? I’m looking for something in a 700x28mm size.
Jay: I’ve had good luck with the Schwalbe Marathon Racers (emphatically NOT the regular Marathons!).
I’ve also had good reports of the Vittoria Randonneur Hypers, but no personal experience.
are you saying emphatically not these:
they were actually high on my list of probable purchases. Also, is your experience with those tires on a regular bike or on that wierd chaise lounge looking thing you ride? or would that even make a difference?
reddan wrote:Jay: I’ve had good luck with the Schwalbe Marathon Racers (emphatically NOT the regular Marathons!).
I’ve also had good reports of the Vittoria Randonneur Hypers, but no personal experience.
I’ve had good luck with Vittoria Randoneeur Hypers, but they are a bit pricey. I’m a big fan of my panaracer T-Serve PT tires. I think the randoneeur hypers are now rebranded as Voyager Hyper, and are a bit lighter than the T-serv PT.
I’ve had a flat on both, but they are both a good tradeoff between weight, durability, and puncture resistance. Both have been very reliable.
If you want strong, panaracer ribmo tires are pretty damn near indestructible as far as tires go. I’ve been riding these on my fixed gear and bike polo bike in the 700x28c size at 100psi.
They are a bit heavier, and when breaking them in, they can be a bit slippery when wet at first (will break in after a few hundred miles), but they have survived a ton of abuse and never flat. I’ve pulled chunks of glass out of the circumference of the tire that didn’t cause a flat.
100 psi for 32 mm tire is a little bit too much. First of all, it’s much rougher then 100 psi for 23mm. Second, you will expiriense more punctures (not snake bites but regualr ones — from sharp stones — since you decrease ability for the tire to hug those stones, etc).
@benzo: I’ve heard a lot of endorsements from bikepgh users for RiBMos, and I’m almost ready to try them.
Actually, scratch that, I found them for $30 on Amazon. I think I’ve found the tires I’m looking for.
Just curious, do you use tire liners? My better half and her bike messenger friends swear by them. I’ll try and find the picture of her friend’s tire holding 90psi with the tread splayed open like a gutted pig.
I don’t use tire liners if I’m using ribmos or other good puncture resistant tires (which I mostly use).
However, I’ve had several friends swear by them. The plus side is that they are re-usable when you swap tires.
Better Half here, with photographic representation of the effectiveness of utilizing Tuffy liners.
Thank you, Mr. Tuffy!
This weekend, we’re offering a 200K out of Shaler (the Kittens and Puppies route to Ohio and back from a few weeks ago), and a 300K out of Neville Island (also a Kittens and Puppies route, but this time going to Hartville, OH before turning around.)
Revisions to the map and cue sheet for the 300K are pending, but the information already on the web site is pretty accurate. The Neville Island start isn’t quite as convenient to town as the Shaler start, but it’s really nice not having to deal with the McKees Rocks Bridge, the ride through town, and the climb back up to Jim’s house after you’ve already ridden 180+ miles.
CtCers, this’ll be a great way to ensure you’ve fully recovered from your exertions, with far less in the way of climbing and limestone slop.
[Edited to add:] If you’re planning to ride, please let Jim Logan know by Wednesday.
Maaan, this sounds awesome, but I have to be at the Keg Ride on Saturday (which will also be awesome). I might have to ride that 300k route some other time just for fun.
@pearmask: I was thinking the same thing! I’m busy during this weekend and next month’s 300k events. If you plan to ride this route some other time but don’t want to do it alone, let me know.
@reddan: any chance the 300k route could be done as a Permanent? I was hoping to finish a 300 and 400k this year, with the lofty goal of doing a 600k ride at some point. I realize I could just go out and ride by myself, but it would be nice to have some sort of quasi-official record. (damn you and your gateway drugs!)
@jaysherman5000, that would be great. Just let me know.
I am also curious about how permanents work. I wanted to try to ride a Super Randonneur series this year — partly just for the hell of it, and partly to try to qualify for the EM 1240k (even if I don’t actually end up riding it, I wanted to just try to qualify)… but actually making it to all the necessary brevets has been a little tricky
Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who was susceptible to @reddan‘s drug-pushing methods… I’m totally hooked now.
addiction (n.) — the continued use of a mood altering substance or behavior despite adverse consequences. See: making plans to ride a 300k while still subject to the physical ramifications of one’s first CTC experience
@jaysherman5000 & @pearmask : I’ve been giving some thought to offering some local permanents (any member of RUSA can do so); sufficient sweet-talking could induce me to start filling out the paperwork.
JSYK, there is also a wonderful concept known as the “volunteer ride” or “checkout ride”, wherein you get in touch with your friendly neighborhood RBA and say “I’d like to ride the route a week in advance, and I’ll validate the cue sheet and look for any problems.” Said RBA will then work with you to be sure you get official completion status. This is usually used so that people who volunteer to support a brevet can still get credit for completion, but it also applies to pre-rides.
Also, if you really wish to qualify for an SR series but are having trouble with scheduling, talk to Jim; IIRC, he can choose to run a RUSA brevet on as little as six weeks notice.
I am planning to ride the 200k this weekend at a conversational pace since it will be my first long ride of the season and I am woefully unprepared. So if you are thinking, “gee, sounds good, but I am no where near ready for this” you won’t be alone.
The 300K will start at 5 AM on Neville Island, and is identical to the one we ran last weekend. The 400K will start in Harmarville an hour earlier, and will run through town to Neville Island to join the same route, so it’s quite likely that riders on both brevets will have a chance to see one another.
Note also that, unlike previous Kittens and Puppies routes, the second half of the 400K is not an exact reversal of the outbound leg; instead, we retrace the route as far as Koppel, then head back to Harmarville via Zelienople, Mars, and the Red Belt. This will provide a bit of relief for those who are wholly sick of returning on Rt 51, as well as not forcing fatigued riders to come through town late on a Saturday night.
For those who rode the 300K last weekend, also note that I routed the 400K away from some of the poorly surfaced roads onto roads of unknown condition; I can’t promise that they’ll be better, but at least they’ll be different. :)
For those thinking of riding the 300K, be aware that there are a few stretches of fairly crappy cratered, scabby road; rideable on well-inflated 25s, but 28s will make your life much more pleasant.
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