PA Rnndo ride report: http://parandonneurs.blogspot.com/2017/05/ride-summary-blue-mountain-400.html
My first 400K. Everybody was telling me that 200K and even 300K brevets are somewhat similar to regular long rides, but 400K make a qualitative difference. I did not know what to expect and merely hoped to stay with Gavin and Will, but they were not there.
I tried to enjoy riding with Sean C as long as I could without burning myself out. It lasted way shorter than I hoped L At control #3 I waited for the next group and teamed up with Eoghan. We worked well, but just after we crossed the Lehigh, my carbon seatpost started to crack below the clamp with loud sounds. The seat finally gave up with only 10K to Wind Pap. The town boasts a bike repair shop that was unfortunately closed, but Advanced Auto Parts located a couple of miles up the road was open, and they had what I needed: a hacksaw blade, sandpaper, epoxy, and duct tape. I killed an hour in a pizzeria to let epoxy harden, moved the seat forward to reduce tension and rode back to the course. Wind Gap ascent without a seat, overly cautious attitude and uncomfortable setup after the repair slowed me down. But the seat survived till the finish line and the rest of the ride went smoothly.
Was 400K qualitatively different? In some sense it was actually easier: the ugly impatience I experienced during Water Gap 300K brevet never came during Mountain Blue.