Nonkesville Nomad 200km ACP Brevet - March 4, 2017, 7am

February 21st, 2017

The Nokeville Nomad 200km is a fairly-new brevet, intended to be both a moderately-challenging route and also a low-traffic route.

The ride starts in Nokesville.  We will gather in the parking lot near Carini’s Pizza.  Park along Fitzwater Drive or across Hwy 28 on Minute Ln, not in the Carini’s or 7-11 parking lots.  We’ll have the usual pre-ride snacks, plus there is a 7-11 that has a rest-room.  Plan to pay rent by buying something for the road.

Leaving Nokesville, riders have an easy warm-up on largely-level terrain, heading to Warrenton.  With the climb up through old-town Warrenton, the ride becomes a little more difficult, and coming out the western side, on Waterloo/Old Waterloo Road, the rolling starts.  Piney Mountain Road will make sure you change gears a little bit before dropping you to cross Carter Run, climbing out again on Cliff Mills Road.  You’ll pass the Orleans Market as you find your way to the first Information Control.  After the big rollers on Crest Hill Road, you’re eventually rewarded with an open Control in Marshall.

Heading out on the John Marshall Highway, it can be a bit busy and fast along this two-lane highway, although for this year we’ve found a side-road detour that cuts out 1-1/3 mile of John Marshall.  The Plains, for your second Information Control, is a respite, and if you have banked some time, this is a nice place for a look-around.  Soon, the route turns south again, with some more rolling terrain eventually taking you to a low-gear exercise as you pass the Sheetz and head up Alexander Pike into old-town Warrenton.

Leaving town is a nice descent to the Rappahannock River and, of course, what goes down must go up.  At the Brandy Station open control you can get some country store short-order fare at AJ’s or Bailey’s Store.  The terrain moderates for a while, but returns to bumpiness in the Kelly’s Ford area and up to the Elk Run store, after which  the terrain flattens to the end.   Riders are rewarded near the end with a very pleasant five mile section traversing Hazelwood and Carriage Ford.  Finally, sooner than you might expect, you’ll be enjoying a sit-down meal at Carini’s Pizza!

Rwgps is here!

Fleche on April 20th to April 23rd, 2017

February 12th, 2017

Many randonneurs consider the fleche to be one of the most fun (and often challenging) events on the schedule.

What makes it fun? You’re riding with friends and team mates, all working together toward a common goal.  Plus there is the fleche breakfast, which all who have registered for the fleche are welcome to attend, regardless of whether they rode or finished.

What makes it challenging? It’s a 24-hour, 224+ mile ride.  You may be on a team whose route is more or less challenging.  And … the timing of the fleche is determined by the week after Easter, which of course is variable.  So some fleches are characterized by bitterly cold weather; for others, heat may be a challenge.  Sometimes the weather is lovely, others the weather is appalling.

Most teams will want to start riding the fleche at around 7am on April 22nd so that they can finish 24 hours later at the fleche “target,” the Key Marriott, and join other exhausted and elated riders for the celebration breakfast and to share stories about their adventures.

Critical deadlines for forming a team, getting a route approved, or becoming a team member are shown further below.  But first …

What is a fleche and what are (some of) its rules?

A fleche (French for “arrow”), is a team event in which each team rides different routes toward a common finish location, like arrows toward a target. Minimum distance is 360 km, which must be covered in 24 hours.  Most people who have done a fleche consider it to be one of their favorite randonneuring events since riding together as a team for 24 straight hours builds strong bonds between team members, and is great fun.

Fleche target:  the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA, where on Sunday April 23rd, teams will meet for a hearty post-ride breakfast.  (Note that the target does not have to be the team’s final control.)  Breakfast is included in the fleche fee.  If you would like to bring a guest, their breakfast will cost $20.00 which includes tax and tip.  There is some street parking on Nash St and possibly elsewhere; otherwise, the hotel parking is very convenient.

Allowed start times:  Most teams will want to start at about 7AM on Saturday morning so that they can finish at 7AM on Sunday morning and join other exhausted and elated riders for the celebration breakfast.  Teams are allowed to start between noon on Thursday the 20th  and 10AM on Saturday the 22nd.  Team members are welcome at the fleche breakfast whether or not they successfully completed the fleche.

Fleche rules:  The fleche has its own set of rules that are somewhat different and more arcane, than those for a standard brevet. Some of them are summarized here:

  • Each team must consist of three to five bicycles. (Note that a tandem counts as a single bicycle, so teams will sometimes contain more than five riders.)
  • Teams can start at any time between noon on Thursday and 10AM on Saturday, and must finish 24 hours later. (However, as noted above, we encourage teams to finish around 7am (between 6AM-8AM) on Sunday morning so that they can join together for the brunch.)
  • The traditional fleche route starts at some distant location and then heads for the target, but a loop route is also allowed, as long as the start location is far enough from the finish to be considered as a different postal jurisdiction.  You may not use the same road twice in the same direction.  And only small out-and-back sections are allowed, for control purposes.
  • As in a standard brevet, the routes must contain control locations chosen so that the shortest bicycle-safe, bicycle-legal route through the controls is equal to at least the minimum distance of 360 km. However, the fleche has an additional requirement that one of the controls must occur exactly 22 hours after the start and be at least 25 km from wherever that team  finishes. Note that this requirement, as well as the one that states that no rest stops can be longer than 2 hours, ensures that teams take nearly the full 24 hours to complete the ride.
  • The 22-hour and 24-hour control rules (Articles 10 and 11) have recently been changed to allow an exception in case you are unable to obtain on-the-spot control verification.  But … we suggest that you use this exception as a last resort, since its use requires ex-post route validation, which inherently increases the possibility of disqualification.
  • For the complete fleche rules, click: here

A full understanding of the rules, especially for the 22-hour control is essential for achieving a successful finish. Team captains are welcome to contact me with questions. And many experienced captains even recommend bringing a printed copy of the rules on the ride since they can be hard to recall at 4 in the morning.

Fleche Team Deadlines

To participate in this special event, riders should start forming teams now. Each team must have a captain who is responsible for designing the route and submitting it for approval. The schedule will be:

  • Sunday, March 19: Applications from captains due to RBA.  See “Fleche Captain Application” below for details on what must be provided.
  • Saturday, April 8th : Final rosters, rider registration forms, and waivers due from team captains to RBA.
  • April 20th to 23rd: Fleche

Captains, see “Fleche Captain Application” below.

Team members, fill out the registration form and send it to your team captain! fleche_team_member_regform.doc

Captains and team members must register online at http://dcrand.org/dcr/member/order/, entering all of the information requested–especially phone numbers and emergency contact–and following the payment instructions there.  Note: RUSA membership is not required to ride a fleche, but because DCR will be charged $5 by RUSA for any fleche riders who are not RUSA members, DCR will pass those charges through.

Team captains are responsible for collecting applications and waivers from their team members and submitting them on time, the second deadline noted above. In other words, team members should send the forms to their captains, and then the captains should submit them as a group.Please contact Nick Bull ( cba@dcrand.org ) with any questions. We also have many experienced fleche captains in the club who would be excellent sources of advice. If you are thinking of forming a team or looking for a team to join, the dcrand listserve is one good way to connect with other riders.  Planning and training are essential for finishing and enjoying a fleche. So I encourage all new teams to schedule at least one or two shakedown rides together, perhaps on a 200km (or even 300km) permanent route.

In case of Inclement Weather:  We have a 300km scheduled for the weekend after the fleche, so it will not be possible to reschedule in the event of inclement weather (but we can all still go to the fleche breakfast, regardless!).  Because each team rides its own route, weather conditions might be acceptable for some routes while unacceptable for others.  If the weather forecast looks questionable for the region, team captains will be contacted, and they will be required in turn to contact their team members.  For this event as for all events, it is up to each individual randonneur to decide based on the best information that they have available whether they think it is safe to proceed.  Whether or not you ride (or complete) your fleche, you are welcome at the fleche breakfast, which will proceed as long as the hotel is open.

Fleche Team Captain Applications

Fleche captains will submit four items.

1) Registration form by, March 19th: fleche_team_captain_regform.doc,

2) Route application form, by March 19th: dcr_fleche_route_application.doc, and

3) Fleche Team Tracking Sheet, by April 8th: fleche_team_captains_tracking_sheet.xls.

4) Also by April 8th, captains will submit the registration forms with properly-filled-out waivers for their team members.  Confirm that all of your team members have registered online and note that in the tracking sheet.

Routes that do not include a completely-filled out DCR Fleche Route Application will not be considered.  Note that if your proposed route has been approved within the last three years, you will not need to fill out the detailed Route Justification section.  All other routes will require detailed route justification.  This is no more and no less than what is required when you submit a route to RUSA for approval.  So … if you’ve submitted a route to RUSA, you know what to do; and if you get a fleche route approved, then you’ve had good practice for submitting a route to RUSA!

It is up to prospective fleche captains to take the time to justify the route.  The RBA’s job is to review the justification — typically that can take an hour per route — not to work out the justification for you.
The route information can be submitted electronically to cba@dcrand.org in PDF, MS Word, or MS Excel format. Ideally you will include a route file created in Garmin Mapsource; RideWithGPS is also acceptable; either of these will be much appreciated, but not technically required.

Hotel Info for 2017

February 6th, 2017

I have arranged blocks of rooms at the three hotels that will be our ride starts for events 300km or longer. Generally the blocked rooms are two beds. But for the Middletown, VA hotel they ran out so there are three king-size beds. The Warrenton hotel would only give us blocks of fifteen rooms. All prices are pre-tax.

For each block, I show the date(s) and event(s), the hotel and its phone number, and then a line that shows info about the block of rooms, specifically the date of checkin and checkout, # of rooms in block, block name, and block release date if any

Book early! But if you book a room and later decide you don’t need it, please contact me. Don’t just cancel, because that potentially loses a room that someone else might want.

Let me know if you run into problems reserving rooms. Here are the events/hotels/blocks …

April 1: 200km & 300km — Old Rag 200 & Warrenton 300
Hampton: 540-349-4200
3/31 to 4/1 - 15 rooms $109, DCR300, block released 2/28

April 15: 300km — Ye Olde Frederick 300
Days Inn: 301-694-6600
4/14 to 4/15 - 16 rooms $65 Rand, DC, I

April 29: 300km — Mother of all 300’s
Middletown Econolodge: 540-868-1800
4/28 to 4/29 - 20 rooms, $65 each, DCR300

May 6: 400km — Kinder Gentler 400 (Warrenton) Hamid & Shab!
Hampton: 540-349-4200
5/5 to 5/6 - 15 rooms $139, DCR400, block released 3/5

May 20/21: 400km — Frederick 400 Gardner & Theresa!
Days Inn: 301-694-6600
5/20 to 5/21 - 22 rooms $75 Rand, DC, II

June 3/4: 600km — Many Rivers and Fords 600
Hampton: 540-349-4200
6/2 to 6/4 - 15 rooms $149, DCR600, block released 4/2

September 16: 300km — Frederick
Days Inn: 301-694-6600
9/15 to 9/16 - 16 rooms $65 Rand, DC, III

September 30: 400km — Warrenton
Hampton: 540-349-4200
9/29 to 9/30 - 15 rooms $139, DCRFall, block released 7/29

October 14-15: 600km — Frederick
Days Inn: 301-694-6600
10/13 to 10/15 - 27 rooms $65 Rand, DC, IV

Cue sheet and GPS Files for Jan. 28th Glen Echo 106km

January 22nd, 2017

The Glen Echo 106km populaire starts from the Glen Echo Town Hall at 9:00 AM on January 28th, 2017.  HOWEVER, please park in the Clara Barton Park parking lot, NOT in residential streets in the neighborhood. Details about how to get to the Clara Barton Park parking lot, and how to ride your bike to the Town Hall are here

Registration  starts at the Town Hall at 8:00 am.

The cue sheets are now posted at 2017_dcr_glen_echo_106km_populaire_cue1.zip

NOTE: Like last year, we are taking a variation on the route that does _not_ take River Rd on the way out.  So old-timers, when you ride up Persimmon Rd, you’ll come to a stop sign at River Rd.  Instead of turning left, you’ll cross River Rd onto something that looks a bit like a driveway, S Schultz Lane.

The link to the GPS files is posted below. But please read this information before downloading them. Always get a copy of the final cue sheet. That final cue sheet contains the official route, so in case there is a conflict with the GPS file, you should resolve the conflict in favor of the cue sheet. Use the GPS as a handy-dandy adjunct. Keep your wits about you, as the GPS cannot notify you of road hazards — it is up to you to ride safely.We strongly recommend that you set your GPS to the settings below. We cannot guarantee that these will keep you on the official route, but if you have your GPS set some other way, it is entirely possible that it will take you off route, possibly onto unsafe roads. Go to the Setup->Routing page and set as follows:Guidance Method: Follow Road
Follow Road Method: Shortest Distance
Next Turn Pop-Up: On
Follow Road Options:
Off Route Recalculation: Prompted
Calculation Method: Best Route
Calculate Routes for: Car/Motorcycle
Avoid: (set to none – the route itself should control this)

By the way … make sure that your GPS either has maps already downloaded, or select the relevant maps around the routes. The GPS files are posted in a zip file at 2017_dcr_glen_echo_106km_populaire-gps.zip

The route is also posted to RidewithGPS.  Don’t use the “cue sheet” generated by RWGPS … use the official cue sheet posted above.

2017 Glen Echo Populaire, January 28th, 9am

December 14th, 2016

Like last year, the populaire will start from the Glen Echo Town Hall, 6106 Harvard Avenue, Glen Echo, MD.  Parking is at the Clara Barton Historical Site at the “P” on the map.  The ride start is at the red circle with the bicycle.  The neighbors will complain if we park in the neighborhood or the Town Hall and then we might not get invited back … don’t be that person!

Starting time is January 28th at 9 am.  There is no ride fee, but please pre-register so that we can plan for the correct number of riders.

The route heads up roads that start in suburbia but eventually become rural, to an info control at mile sixteen at what used to be Poole’s Store at Seneca Creek State Park.  This store was founded in 1901, and until recently was the oldest continuously operated country store in Montgomery County.

After Poole’s Store, there is a sharp but brief climb, after which the terrain moderates and the roads become very rural (and increasingly hilly).  Some of the roads are also quite shaded, so watch carefully for icy spots.  The next control is at Denise Bakery and Deli (formerly Hyattstown Deli), which is your first lunch opportunity.  (Alternative: grab a quick something at Hyattstown and eat a more substantial sit-down lunch at Cugini’s in Poolesville.)

Returning to Peach Tree road, the route passes its high point, 700′, at about mile 46, just south of Comus Road, and enters the town of Poolesville. A final stretch along River Road will return riders to the DC Randonneurs meeting in Glen Echo, starting at 4pm.  The final twenty miles have a net descent of around 600 feet, helping them go by more quickly, though there’s enough up and down to keep your attention.
(About 4600 feet of elevation gain, which is a fairly typical rate of climbing per mile for DCR brevets.)

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for December 3 208km RUSA Brevet

November 29th, 2016

The cue sheet(s) for the Woodbine 208K RUSA brevet, starting at the Woodbine McDonalds at 7:00AM on December 3, 2016 are now posted at 2016_dcr_208km_woodbine-dillsburg_cue.zip.

The ride starts from the McDonalds at 7:00am. Registration will open at 6:00am. Park in the Park & Ride shown on the map.

Note that Dillsburg is an open control–remember to get a receipt!  There are several options noted on the cue sheet.  Also … cumulative mileage is based on the Square Bean; shift your cumulative mileage if you use a different control location.

The link to the GPS files is posted below. But please read this information before downloading them. Always get a copy of the final cue sheet. That final cue sheet contains the official route, so in case there is a conflict with the GPS file, you should resolve the conflict in favor of the cue sheet. Use the GPS as a handy-dandy adjunct. Keep your wits about you, as the GPS cannot notify you of road hazards — it is up to you to ride safely.

We strongly recommend that you set your GPS to the settings below. We cannot guarantee that these will keep you on the official route, but if you have your GPS set some other way, it is entirely possible that it will take you off route, possibly onto unsafe roads. Go to the Setup->Routing page and set as follows:

Guidance Method: Follow Road
Follow Road Method: Shortest Distance
Next Turn Pop-Up: On
Follow Road Options:
Off Route Recalculation: Prompted
Calculation Method: Best Route
Calculate Routes for: Car/Motorcycle
Avoid: (set to none – the route itself should control this)

By the way … make sure that your GPS either has maps already downloaded, or select the relevant maps around the routes. The GPS files are posted at 2016_dcr_woodbine_dillsburg_208km-gps.zip.  The RidewithGPS version is posted here.

If you have older maps in your GPS, they may not include a relatively recent extension of MD31 in New Windsor, which connects it directly to MD75. Therefore, when you go through New Windsor near miles 16.5 and 112.6, your GPS may try to follow a slightly different route.

Woodbine-Dillsburg RUSA 208km - December 3, 2016

November 22nd, 2016

The December brevet will start in Woodbine, MD and travel through the piedmont of central Maryland and Pennsylvania, including sections rich in Civil War history. Leaving the McDonalds in Woodbine, the route heads north through scenic farmland to Taneytown, MD, which was ALMOST the site of a civil war battle. General George Meade was in the process of deploying his Union troops along a line through Taneytown when he received word that a major battle was instead forming 12 miles further north in Gettysburg. Following the same path to Gettysburg taken by Meade’s army on July 1, 1863, the route enters the battlefield near Little Round Top and proceeds north on Cemetery Ridge, passing the so-called High Water Mark of the Confederacy where Pickett’s Charge briefly penetrated the Union line. The route then follows mostly flat roads to an open control in Dillsburg, where riders can eat at a variety of sit-down or fast food choices. The return follows almost the same route, but includes some steeper hills on a very scenic section of Buffalo Road, continuing on to some memorable climbs on Roop Rd and Waterville Rd, before ending at the Pizza Hut next to the start. This route has rolling hills and a few steep hills toward the end, but no major climbs with a total elevation gain of around 7,300 ft.

Registration opens at 6:00 a.m at the McDonalds. Park in the Park’n'Ride shown on the map. The pre-registration fee is $5 or $10 at the start. The start is 15 minutes before sunrise, and riders may find themselves finishing after dark, so bring lights and reflective gear.