"Ultracycling, what is that anyway?"

One can ask any "Ultracyclist" this question and probably get a different answer each time. I would consider any cycling event which forces the cyclist to go beyond what he or she considers achievable with maximum effort. An "Ultra" event  should push the rider to the point  where it does not appear to be humanly possible to go any further. For unseasoned riders this point may be reached after just a few hills. For someone who proclaims to be an Ultracyclist, this point should not be reached for at least 200 miles. On top of that, these miles should be ridden at a fast pace and without unnecessary stops.

I don't consider rides such as the Markleeville Deathride or the Climb to Kaiser Ultra events. Even a relatively flat 200 mile ride is much harder than a hilly 100-150 mile ride.

The "hardcore" Ultracyclist will use Double Centuries (200 mile rides) merely as training for the "true Ultra's" such as the Furnace Creek 508, Calvin 24 hour Challenge and ultimately RAAM.

Even rides such as BAM, Boston-Montreal-Boston or PBP (Paris-Brest-Paris) are not true Ultracycling events in my book. ( I will admit that this is likely the minority opinion ) All lack the two essential ingredients:

  •  The "No drafting rule". 

  •  Narrow finishing window, preferably determined by the winner's time

Wimps and whiners need not apply to join the "Ultra family".

I welcome your comments and will be happy to post them ( if in taste ) on this page. Please send me your comments.









Hit Counter