Like anything else there's a heap of people out there on the net discussing randonneuring.
Some of the interesting posts following the PBP:
Ride was nearer 772 miles
Dirty tricks scupper American hopes
A fellow foot sufferer and some suggestions that might help
Fellow recumbent rider
Dealing with gut problems
Charlie Lloyd's got a few nice pics of PBP '99
Thanks to everyone who emailed responses and corrections. Among them...
Kent Peterson wrote:
An interesting piece and you presented the arguements in favor of recumbents rather well. However, I'd take issue with your statement that "the only downside of the recumbent position is acceleration up hill." I own various recumbents, have ridden a wide range of them, have written half a dozen articles for Recumbent Cyclist News and I chose to ride an upright on PBP. I had various reasons for doing so, but one reason was comfort.
I have found, for me at least, that a well fitting upright bike lets me dynamically shift my weight between my seat, feet and arms. This ability over the long haul I find more comfortable than any one recumbent position, no matter how initially comfy that may be. Also, you point out your Street Machine has full suspension. I find that my legs and bent elbows provide very effective and low maintence suspension on my upright bikes.
Different people have different needs and various machines address these problems in various ways. You cited various upright PBP finishers in various states of distress but there were, of course, various finishers in pretty good condition as well as some distressed recumbent riders and folks who DNF'd on both conventional and recumbent machines.
Sheila Simpson wrote:
Re SDP - there may be relief for your numb toes - I changed to sdp this year after using Look for many years (cdn't walk safely in the latest design shoes which fitted my feet) and, being wary of the small contact area you mention, bought MTB downhiller's pedals - these have quite a large plastic surround to support the foot when not clipped in and i guess they might give additional support when the foot is in, certainly i had no trouble on pbp despite the fact i'd only ridden with them for a few months -
a few points on which i'd mildly disagree and wd feel like adding some editorial comment - what do you think? ...
Max time for a 100 km brevet was traditionally 10 hours, the max/min speeds were 20/10 kph, the implication being that if you cd ride faster than this you shd be doing a 200 - this was relaxed in 1987 to allow more-or-less any speeds at or below randonneur speeds but to this day many organisers, including myself, still use the 10 kph min speed -
Also i'm surprised you find Vaseline so useful - i find Vaseline holds sweat and suchlike bodily fluids against my skin and causes soreness and eventually infection - zinc and caster oil, or similar modern branded products used on infants to avoid causing nappy rash, seem to work better -
Its not just on a recumbent that padded shorts cause chafing and over- heating for the long distance rider - i'm a bike rider and find padding hell - like you, i use lycra athletic shorts - on really long rides also starting off with cotton panties under for 200 km, then either nothing - which i really prefer, instant dryness when you ride out of the saddle for a few turns - or a clean pair of panties for a bit longer -
Prolonged exercise seems to improve my digestion - i know i've settled into a 1200 or 1400 ride well when i'm eating a full meal (not including meat, of course) and having a full crap at every control - if you can do this and also train your body to sleep 3 hours a night, waking naturally, i can't imagine how far a randonneur cd cycle -
see you on Edinburgh-London 2001?
And Trevor Parsons noted:
Your site is officially awarded the 'Looks good in Lynx' award. Very high praise.
And Ben Hope said it was "lyrical"