New England Randonneurs Lake Champlain 200K / 300K Brevet

Brevet Box
Brevet Box

Yesterday was the New England Randonneurs Lake Champlain 200K / 300K brevet. Dave Cain and Mike Beganyi handled registration and saw the riders off and I volunteered to handle finish. Mike is the founder of this brevet and had been organizing it for the past 3 years by himself. This year he gets to spend time with his family. 23 riders started off at 6:00am , 11 for the 200K route and 12 for the 300K. The start was damp, but the forecast, at least for Burlington, was for a mostly cloudy sky, mild temperature and little wind.

I arrived at Old Spokes Home, which was the final control on the brevet, around 11:30 and once I got the control all set, took off on a short ride to wind down and stretch the legs. The weather was cloudy, but dry and I planned on the first riders returning around 2:00pm and had pizza, snacks and cold drinks waiting. As it turns out, the weather on the New York side of the lake was not like in Vermont. The first 200K riders arrived around 3:30 and told of persistent drizzle and a very cold ferry ride across the lake.

Wet Gear
Wet Gear

It was great to hear the stories from the returning riders. For some, this was the longest ride they had ever done and for others, the spark for longer rides yet to come. One rider told of retaking up cycling two years ago and the life changes it has brought to him and the other members of his family who have taken up cycling as well. Riders also told of rough roads, flat tires and mechanical problems. One rider had her wheelset replaced at a bike shop in New York and another rider used a FiberFix emergency spoke to make it back.

FiberFix Emergency Spoke
FiberFix Emergency Spoke

Anthony Mennona, the first 300K rider, arrived around 6:30pm after riding the second part of the brevet solo. Anthony organizes the Vermont 600K brevet, a ride I highly recommend. As the evening went on, Jim Sandberg came by to help at the control and to wait for his buddy Aron, who rode the 300K, to arrive. Riders continued to trickle in, with the final riders arriving  just after 10:00pm.

Old Spokes Home
Old Spokes Home

Thank you to all who participated and the next brevet in the Vermont series is the Vermont 400k on June 29th 2013. Hope you can make it.

What was in the handlebar bag?

Bar Bag

Inspired by a post Dave Cain made last month on his blog Yurtville, I thought I would give a rundown of what was in my handlebar bag for the Lake Champlain 300K brevet pre-ride. This serves as a future packing list for me and possibly information for others. The bag is a rather large Velo Orange Grand Cru and inside I found…..

Main Bag:

  • My tool and repair kit – to be outlined in a future post
  • 2 spare inner tubes – 650b tubes are not stocked at most shops
  • Reflective sash
  • Princeton Tech EOS Bike light
  • First aid kit – Band Aids, some ibuprofen, duct tape, large bandages and gauze
  • Ziplock bag with sunscreen, “emergency rations” (snacks), T.P. and spare batteries
  • Large Ziplock bag for “to go food” – chicken nuggets, pizza or other greasy food
  • Rain pants wrapped with a reflective leg strap
  • Rain jacket
  • Ibex Shak full zip long sleeve jersey
  • Cue sheet and a map of the route – stored in the top flap map pouch

Front Pocket:

  • Waterproof saddle cover – I try to take really good care of my Brooks saddle
  • 2 plastic grocery bags – many uses from vapor barriers to rain covers

Handlebar BagSide Pockets:

  • Ziplock bag with drivers license, debit card, cash, pen (and brevet card if needed)
  • 2 pairs of Nitrile gloves – for mechanical or medical repairs
  • Snow Peak titanium spork – for digging into rock hard ice cream
  • Leatherman Skeletool

Back Pockets:

  • iPhone 4
  • Chain lube – a quiet bike is a happy bike
  • Halt dog repellant


The total weight for all of this is……..  I don’t want to know.

Lake Champlain 200K / 300K Brevet Pre-Ride Post-Ride Report

Gas PumpPre-rode the New England Randonneurs Lake Champlain 300K brevet route yesterday. A sunny sky, light winds and good company made for a great day. Fellow randonneur Dave Cain and I started the day together and he continued home via the 200K route.

Some of the pavement heading north in VT is a little rough and there is some sharp road shoulder debris (watch out for punctures), but the NY roads are in pretty good shape. Also, somewhere on the route in NY there is a fixed radar gun with a speed readout at the bottom of a hill. 43mph and lots of fun. For the 300K route, all turns are marked except for Panton Rd. on the way to the 3rd control, but just bear right at the old white sign directing you to Panton.

Lets hope for nice weather and calm wind again for Saturday.