Looking some advice for Brevet 200 km

Hello everybody,

I am very interested in trying one of 200 km Brevet this Summer organized by Randonnuers Ontario. However, my longest ride to day is WCC our big ride of 100 km last year.
This is my third summer with WCC and I usually ride in Rec road group.

I am looking to get some advise here in terms of gears and maintenance techniques.
What should I bring to this type of long ride? What kind of mechanical accidents should I be ready to face?

So far, what I have prepared are:
Front light (Giant Racon HL 1800)
A pair of light 100 R from Bontrager
CO2 cartridges
TPU inner tubes

I am going to purchase a set of fenders.

The mechanical trouble I can work on in fixing a flat tire.

I would appreciate any advices. After hearing from you I will think again if this is really a good challenge for me or a little too much for me.

Lastly if anyone would like to do one of Brevet with me that would be wonderful.
The date and route in my mind now is Brevet 200 km Niagara Ramble Sep 28th.

Thank you,


Oh boy.

The two BIG Randonears in the club are @charlie-horse and @Serg (hopefully this is you Serge?)

Particularly, Charlie’s done them all including those crazy 2 day 1200km Brevets in France. And I think he’s organized several of them in Ontario.

I think he’s recently moved, but hope if he sees this he can provide guidance, advice, and inspiration.

Do tell us how you fair this summer.

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The jump from a club ride to a brevet isn’t too far for most folks, just have to keep consuming calories. The biggest difference is that some brevets do turn into long solo rides since there’s usually fewer riders, and differing abilities.

The same mechanical issues that can happen on club rides can happen on a brevet. I’d recommend getting a tune-up a couple weeks before the brevet. It’s worth replacing anything that is worn and likely to increase the chances of a mechanical. After the tuneup, a shakedown ride to make sure it’s all good is ideal.

If you haven’t changed a lot of flats and want to get practise there is red raccoon downtown Kitchener, they’re a volunteer based organization. Ziggy’s had/has some flat changing sessions too, not sure if there is a cost or if they already happened. Recycle Cycles might be open again too, not sure.

Also worth working out how you’d get a ride back to the start if you needed to bail. I’ve had to take an expensive taxi ride on one brevet I didn’t finish.

Niagara Ramble is a great route, I’ve done it at least twice. There’s a fair amount of places to stop and get food/drink, and of course some great scenery too. The groups usually split right on the first big escarpment climb. Sometimes the bridge will be up and you’ll get to see a big ship up close.


Niagara Ramble is a beatiful route, especially in the fall. But the weather at the end of Sept could be quite unpredictable… I did this route in 2022 and it was -2C at the start warming up to low teens throughout the day, (so, you’ll need a way of carrying those extra layers), and the wind was pretty unpleasant on the way back. In 2023 the forecast for the day of this brevet was terrible (I think that only one person did it in 2023). Of course, no one knows what it’ll be like this year, but if you can find another 200 a bit earlier in the season that fits your schedule, the weather may be more favorable (or it may not be! :slight_smile: but it’ll give you another chance at 200 this season. Best of luck!


Thank you so much for responding to my post.

I have done more than a couple of times fixing a flat but will practice more to be confident in case it really happens in the middle of nowhere and nobody is around.

It’s good to know in advance that I will be riding most parts alone. My goal is to complete a route. I will be riding with my comfort speed to achieve that. I would be very happy if I could complete the route with the time frame.

I was thinking the Niagara Ramble because it’s relatively flat and scenic route. Also until late September I can practice long rides. But if the weather can be that cold I think it’s better to pick other brevets earlier than this.

Thank you again for all of you to take time to give me great tips.



I have also been considering signing up for one of those 200km Randonneurs Ontario events (but I would probably bail if it’s -2C :cold_face: lol).

For me, August 17 looks like the ideal date for 200, although they haven’t posted a route for that yet …

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Thank you for letting me know the date you are considering. That would be very nice if we can go for the same brevet. Probably together just a beginning… but even so, knowing there is someone from WCC will be reassuring to me😉

@charlie-horse’s advice is all excellent, and based on my experiences it’s worth reiterating to eat and eat and eat - on the bike. It’s a process to figure out what you need and can tolerate, but if you measure your pace and keep up the calories I think you might surprise yourself.

Also, every little stop does add up, if you’re concerned about time. On the other hand, and depending on your fitness and goals it might be a more pleasant day to forget about the time limit and focus on the distance, so each stop isn’t a stressed out race to get back on the bike.

Enjoy! The few RO folks I know are great

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Thank you for your advice Jesse.
I think that sometime soon I will make two round trip to Stratford to see how I do. 1 round trip is about 100 km, so that will give me a good idea in terms of how much calories I need to take to keep riding also how much time I need.

My goal will be a completion of a 200 km route. I will make my effort to finish the time limit of 13.5 hrs but if I am not going to make it in time I will still ride to finish. That is a really good point what you said. Even I don’t finish in time I think I will enjoy the ride. And this is the most reason I want to try a brevet.

Bring extra chain lube in a little bottle. Your chain will get wet, then it will dry and quickly become squeaky. I rode the last 200km of the cannonball like this, not fun. Won’t always happen but good to be prepared if it does.


Thank you Owen for your advice. I will bring a little bottle of chain lube. Rei

Eat and eat. Aim for 50 g of carbs per hour.

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Thank you for your advice Thies. I will make sure that I will bring enough food and keep taking them to get going. Rei

If you have an old eye drops bottle (like visine), use it to put the chain lube. I always keep one with the emergency repair kit👌

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Thank you Janette. This is a great idea :bulb:

I have done a fair bit of long distance cycling (but only one official brevet - The Sandhills!) and the advice you’ve received so far is excellent.

  1. Eat. Drink. Smile. I have found that planning on stopping every 2 hours to re-fill bottles and grab extra food is worth it. Gives your body time to relax and recover. The food is also easier to digest while resting. Drink approximately 1 bottle an hour (depending on weather…sometimes more). If you use sports drink, that’s also calories in which helps. However most important is to stay hydrated…this prevents cramping.
  2. Go at your speed, yes very important, but if you can find at least one other body to ride with it helps enormously. That 20-30% less effort when drafting makes a significant difference. The company also makes the miles tick by less slowly.
  3. Positively service the bike before attempting, so you have one less worry. Carry a spare battery charging device …just in case.
  4. Do not try to crush all the hills. Ride over them steadily and easy…saving your legs is important later in the day.

Enjoy the experience of pushing your body and mind to accomplish this goal. Most of my long rides have been solo…cycling to or from the cottage (~180km solo) and by the end I’m ready to be finished. To prepare for those type of rides, definitely do some long club rides, learn what you need to complete the route when you have others around, it helps.

Ride on!

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Thank you your advice Kevin.

I really appreciate all the great tips I have received here. It’s much more than I expected.
As you know, I am not an experienced rider, so before I posted here I was not even sure what to ask. All I knew was that there are a lot to learn and prepare. Now I have a more clear picture about how I would be feeling during a ride in both physically and mentally and go through those what I could do.

I am going to practice a long distance ride having all the tips in my mind, then when I face problems I will seek a help here again.

Thank you