Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Are You Reading?

I realize that many of the Alaska brevet rides are dedicated, serious athletes with their sights set on high-profile competitive events such as the Fireweed 400 or RAAM. That's great, and I'm delighted they ride the brevets. I believe they bring a lot to randonneuring that's important. As they say, randonneuring is a big tent, and there's plenty of room for all sorts of riders. To be sure though, I'm not ignoring the dedication and training necessary to finish the longer brevets or any of the big 1200s. It's just that there are a lot of other brevet riders up here who are just out for a personal challenge and a fine adventure. And they may find that challenge and adventure in the shorter rides, just as many others do in the longer ones.

For many of the latter type of riders, questions regarding training and preparation, especially when you're just starting out, can be pretty confusing. Where do you begin?! What's Chris Charmichael's phone number? Do I need that carbon fiber dog dish?

There's a whole sag wagon of information out there in the way of books, websites, forums, magazines, etc. And adopting any one of the sophisticated training and nutrition programs many of these sources offer can be, for many of us, more challenging than the rides themselves.

Listen...I'm going to make it simple for you; bordering on too simple. Maybe 'streamlined' is a better term. For the most part, you can ignore all of that stuff. Cancel that appointment to have your VO2Max tested. Stop worrying about what your composition of fast-twitch vs. low-twitch is. If you're looking for a solid place to start, something really digestible, get yourself the two booklets in the photo: Randonneurs USA Members' Handbook and the UMCA's Preparing for Long Rides. These two will get you as far as you wish to go in randonneuring. They'll provide you with an excellent base of realistic, distilled training principles, nutrition advice, and equipment choices. Read 'em. Then...if you find you still need more, or you want to put yourself on one of those programs, then you'll know just that much more when you go out and collect all those other books.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Looking Forward to Brevet Season

Our new website hasn't had it's official debut yet, but it's picking up a little traffic, guessing from the feedback I'm getting from some of you. I'll make the formal launch soon. Just working on the finishing touches.

From the sounds of it, the schedule is going to work. I think it's a good one; lots of variety, some new stuff, some familiar gems... I'll keep it as tentative for a few more weeks, make some changes if necessary, then lock it in.

My aim for this season is to pack as many rides in as possible, while not conflicting with any of the other major events going on. My fear, however, is for a spring snow that will eliminate the Homer ride. Last year's snow was really a drag. But, that happens sometimes. At least it wasn't a volcano erupting! Anyway, I'm hoping the warmer average temperatures down in the Banana Belt (Homer) will work in our favor. Personally, I'm really excited about the Homer ride. I think it'll be one of the most beautiful 200Ks around.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy New Year! & 2009 Brevet Schedule

Happy New Year  Alaska Randonneurs!

How are those garage spin sessions going?

Here's a suggestion...between workouts, do some active resting in front of your computer and upload your photos of your Alaska brevets to our Flickr site:

Well, I've been working on a zillion new brevets and permanents all around the state (Kodiak 200KM, Cordova 200KM, Glennallen...). I've got loads of exciting, scenic, and challenging new routes submitted, and I'm just waiting for final approval from RUSA.

Our calendar is shaping up nicely, but if we hope to actually put all of these events on, we're going to need more volunteers on event days. So, if you or someone you know is interested in spending a nice day out on the course this spring/summer, please pass their contact info on to me, or just have them get in touch with me directly.

Here's the tentative brevet schedule for 2009:

March 28 Homer 200KM

April 11 North Kenai Peninsula 200KM

April 18 Matanuska Valley 200KM

May 9 Anchorage/Palmer 300KM

May 23 Bread & Water 100KM populaire (Great Harvest to the Moose's Tooth)

May 30 Anchorage/Seward/Anchorage 400KM

June 20 Gakona/Delta Junction/Tok/Gakona 600KM

July 18 Denali Dirt Road Randonnee 300KM

August 1 PBP (Potter-Birchwood-Potter or Palmer-Birchwood-Palmer) Populaire

September? (When the leaves change color) Chugiak/Talkeetna/Chugiak 300KM

Please stay in touch. Let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, etc.

Bonne Route!