Archive for December, 2007

Mason-Dixon 200K - Jan 12, 2008 - Bethesda, MD

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Hi All,

Here is the promised additional info on the Jan 12, 2008 Mason-Dixon 200k Brevet.

The start time is 0700 at the Starbucks, 10251 (not 10250!, my bad) Old Georgetown Rd. Registration starts at 0600 (Starbucks opens at 0600 on Saturdays). The brevet fee will be $10 and be sure that you have renewed your membership or be prepared to do so at the start.

PARKING NOTE: Due to the potential large number of riders, I recommend parking on Berkshire Dr, which is along the back of the Wildwood Shopping Center. See attached directions.

I will not have maps at the start so if you are a map person, please print ones from the attached file. I have attached 2 GPS files courtesy of Nick Bull, don’t know anything else about them, although Nick has ridden the route 3 times presumably without getting lost.

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: I designed the route as a close in start Permanent route, thinking I would go to Woodbine and then mooch the route to Gettysburg on Bill Beck’s route. Turned out to be too far, so I diverted to Littlestown. I had no intent of making it hard, but my feeble understanding of the terrain and the desire to keep the route direct had its impact. I’ve clocked ~ 7800′ elevation on my Ciclosport HAC4, which always reads lower than others. For reference, I clocked slightly less for the Lebanon Church 200k in September. If you look at the profile, there are no long climbs but a constant up and down throughout. You cross many E-W drainages going N-S from Olney (mi 15) to Littlestown. I highly recommend taking it “easy” until you arrive back in Woodbine (mi 100), before deciding to hammer. It seems the 3rd quarter is where the accumulated climbing of the route hits you.

The first 15 miles are Suburban, following the “standard” escape from DC up Rock Creek Dr. then Parkland to the summit of the day’s first major climb, the famous Col du Manor Country Club Parking Lot (mi 8, 200′ vertical in 4 mi!). The route zigzags through neighborhood streets just west of Georgia Ave (MD97) to avoid larger roads, but has light traffic particularly early Sat. By mile 15, we are through the new Norbeck Grove development in Olney and into rural riding for the rest of the route. The route heads north, just west of Georgia Ave MD97 to Littlestown, PA just over the Mason-Dixon Line. The route is more downhill on the return, particularly noticeable in the last 8 miles, except for the last climb up Grosvenor Ln. out of Rock Creek (sorry). The wind can be a factor in the open country from mile 23 north, but if it’s a SW headwind on the return you are pretty sheltered from mile 102 in.

LUNCH NOTES: The Sheetz in Littlestown does NOT have an interior Executive Seating area, so those of you looking for a sit-down, warm-up lunch stop at the turn-around should Google the other possibilities nearby on PA97 or PA194. I have route info and cues for bicycling to the start from Downtown DC via the Crescent trail. I don’t believe Metro runs early on weekends, but you could take it home (Grosvenor Stop ~1.4 mi from start - all downhill).

Please contact me if you have any questions. Attached are files for: Maps, Elevation Profile, Driving/Parking directions and GPS files [gpx or gdb format] (Thanks Nick Bull!) (When the webmaster has these files I will link them all up here. You’ll want to save these links to a file instead of just clicking directly on them.)


December Newsletter

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

The Middletown-Harrisonburg 200K a.k.a. Polar Express on Dec. 1st completed the DC Randonneurs 2007 brevet season. Once again randonneurs from six different states participated making it a truly a Mid-Atlantic randonneuring event. Fully 50 % of the riders of the last two brevets have came from more than 50 miles from DC. This is very encouraging for one of my major goals of developing a truly regional and more diverse group of randonneurs.


The first few miles of the brevet were basically flat and because I was able to leave “on time” it was fun that the peloton allowed me to set a very moderate pace until we hit the first hill at Cedar Creek. Jim Levitt, Russell Morris and I formed a small group near the back of the pack and rode together until near Harrisonburg. Jim had intended to ride the entire brevet with me, but was way out of his comfort zone riding at my pace and had to move on. I had the pleasure of Russell’s company until the finish when we brought home the lantern rouge at 12:00 hrs. Carol Bell, Chris Gaughan, Bill Olsen, Walter Pettigrew, and Michael Rowny all completed their R-12 requirements with successful finishes. Congratulations to all of them for the discipline and dedication that this achievement entails.


The Mason-Dixon 200K is the next event on Jan. 12th. Mark Vinette designed this route and will serve as Event Coordinator. This Brevet will begin from the Starbucks at 10250 Old Georgetown Rd in Bethesda, Md. This is a new route that hasn’t been used as an official brevet before, although several local randonneurs have rode it as a permanent. I’ve been informed that it is deceptively difficult with more climbing than most of our brevets. So come prepared. The brevet fee will be $10 and be sure that you have renewed your membership or be prepared to do so at the start.


I’ve had several inquiries concerning the Flèche. The Flèche will once again finish at the Marriot Key Bridge. Teams will be allowed to start as early as noon on Thursday, March 20th and as late as 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 22th. More details coming soon. If you would like to form or join a team or let me know and I will try to help.


We are still in search of the Shenandoah 1200K logo. Please spread the word so that we may have the most input possible. There is a $300 cash prize for the winning entry. Submissions should be sent to Steve Ashurst at 4240 Tazewell Terrace Burtonsville, Md 20866 or submitted via e-mail to DCRLogoContest @ dcrand . org. Electronic submissions preferred. Deadline for entry is January 15th.


I would like to thank all the Volunteers that have contributed hundreds of hours, food and travel this past year. We could not provide these brevets at such a minimal cost without them. Please consider volunteering in the coming year. Volunteers are needed for many duties including Event Coordinators, and Control Chiefs and workers for the Shenandoah 1200K.


Happy Holidays and a joyous New Year to everyone.


Matt Settle, RBA

Renewal Reminder

Friday, December 14th, 2007


Fellow DC Randonneurs,

It has been a busy year for DC Randonneurs, including at least one brevet every month, a fleche, a full menu of ACP qualifying rides in the spring, and of course PBP! Membership in DC Randonneurs runs from January 1 through December 31. So this is your friendly reminder to renew your membership before the end of the year. Where else can you have so much fun for only $10 per year? To renew, just fill out the online renewal page at, and then follow the instructions for sending your payment.


Bill Beck