Location: Kansas

Kansas Brevet Tour 2010

Kansas Brevet Tour 2010Here’s a really interesting endurance ride being put on by the folks at Kansas City Ultra Cycling — a “Brevet Tour” running from La Junta, Colorado to Kansas City, Kansas over the course of four days:

May 29th: La Junta, CO or Horace, KS … 200km (125 miles)
May 30th: Horace, KS to Great Bend, KS … 300km (187 miles)
May 31st: Great Bend, KS to Herington, KS … 200km (125 miles)
June 1st: Herington, KS to Kansas City, KS … 300km (187 miles)

Here’s a rough map of the brevet tour:

Kansas Brevet Tour 2010

Here are some details of the tour, provided by Keith Gates of commuterDude.com:

The main purpose of a brevet-tour is to prepare prospective 1,200 and 1,000km riders for the rigors of multi-day grand-randonnee rides, like Paris-Brest-Paris, and the like. The goal is simply to complete each subsequent 200/300km ride within the same time limits as if they were stand-alone rides – but they are all strung together. This teaches mental toughness, preparedness of equipment and body, and teaches hard routines – just waking up and crawling right back on the bike.

As romantic as camping and leisure would be in this scenario, the schedule is pretty grueling. Each brevet has the same time windows as normal, so even though each route ends at a new hotel along the way, conceivably you could be placed into a scenario where you wouldn’t get much sleep, depending on your pace. On the first day, this might not be an issue — but day three-four, it could pose a problem. Better to learn these lessons on a “casual” tour, than on an overseas 1,200km brevet!

The rides are organized by KCUC, specifically Spencer Klaassen, our regional permanents coordinator, and Bob Burns, our regional brevet administrator. Riders are treated as they are on any other brevet: they must be self-sufficient while on the route. But at controls, for a series of rides this spread-out and remote there is some mild support: a volunteer KCUC member has elected to drive the routes and make sure everyone is okay, and carries things like spare wheels and supply duffels, which are only accessible to the riders at prescribed controls. This is similar to how a larger 1,000km or 1,200km route would be run, so it’s also for good practice.

The 2010 Kansas Brevet Tour is part of a larger goal, and riders that are thinking of riding PBP or another grand randonee are wise to take advantage of the opportunity. I expect this will be repeated here next year, as the 2011 ride date gets closer.

There are other places in the country that also do “brevet tours”, but the format is a little different. In Wisconsin and Texas, or example, each spring there is an opportunity to ride an ENTIRE “SR” (Super Randonneur) series of 200, 300, 400 and 600km brevets, respectively, back-to-back, in ONE WEEK.

Appropriately, the event that is held annually in Texas carries the moniker “Texas Hell Week”. It’s a fitting name, as I’ve heard it is especially tough going through the eastern Texas hill country.

For the ultra-hearty, there are only a couple of weeks rest before the KCUC 1,000km ride kicks off on June 12th. Anyone strong enough to complete the “tour” and the 1,000km is truly ready for the challenge of Paris-Brest-Paris, and beyond!

Thanks, Keith!

The idea for the Kansas Brevet Tour is based on the Nebraska Brevet Tour, which was the original of this format, created by Larry Larson. This year’s edition of the Nebraska Brevet Tour takes place September 9-12, and is set up as a big loop, starting and ending in Bassett, Nebraska.

Anyone interested in learning more about the sport of randonneuring can visit Randonneurs U.S.A. (RUSA), which manages and promotes the sport in the United States.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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