Archive for February, 2009

Registration now available for ACP brevets — now with electronic payment!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Dear DC Randonneur,

Now available: Electronic registration for the ACP brevets, including electronic payment via PayPal.

We think this is relatively easy to use and trouble-free, but … registration pages are still being perfected, so if you run into glitches please let us know. Kudos to Jeff Lesperance for getting this done on such a timely basis — perhaps needless to say, it involved a great deal more work than any of us anticipated.

You can register for individual events, or for an SR series ($10 discount), or the whole ACP series ($15 discount). You can still pay by check if you want to avoid the small epayment fees that PayPal imposes.

As in the past, registration for the SR series requires you to specify which brevets you will ride. This follows the randonneuring tradition of pre-committing to ride events, rather than cherry-picking for nice weather. Plus it allows us to minimize costs and wasted effort by knowing how many will likely ride a given brevet.

Also as in the past, you must pre-register for events a week before. This is to give Bill Beck time to make brevet cards and possibly mail them to the ride organizer. You can still register on site on the day of the event, with a $5 surcharge that reflects the extra costs this imposes, as well as acting as a small disincentive to cherry-picking. (Some clubs do not allow day-of-event registration for this reason…)

I can’t wait for the Series to start! Look forward to seeing you all …

Nick Bull
President, DC Randonneurs

Fleche on April 23-26, 2009

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

The DC Randonneurs fleche will be held on the weekend of April 23-26, 2009. 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. The minimum ride distance is 360 km, which must be covered in a period of 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! This year we have scheduled the fleche for two weeks after Easter weekend, which may permit people to ride who previously could not ride on the traditional Easter weekend. And Lynn Kristianson and Gordon Meuse have graciously agreed for their house at 817 S. Irving Street, Arlington, VA to be the “target” where we will finish and enjoy a Sunday morning brunch.

The fleche has its own set of rules that are somewhat different, and perhaps even 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, we encourage teams to finish between 6AM-8AM on Sunday morning so that we 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.
  • As in a standard brevet, the routes must contain control locations chosen so that the shortest 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 the finish. 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.

Additional information about the 22-hour control will be provided to all registered team captains, since a full understanding of the rules for this control is essential for achieving a successful finish. 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!

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. Captains should carefully read the rules first. The schedule will be:

  • March 14: Applications from captains due to RBA including 1) captain’s application form, 2) start date, time, and location, 3) map of route, 4) cue sheet, and 5) names, addresses, and phone numbers for the controls. The route information can be submitted electronically to in PDF, MS Word, or MS Excel format. Route files from DeLorme Topo, Garmin Mapsource, or MS Streets and Trips will also be appreciated, but not required.
  • April 11: Final rosters, rider applications, and waivers due from team captains to RBA. Deadline for final route approval.
  • April 18: Control cards sent to captains
  • April 23-26: Fleche

The application form is available here. Team captains are responsible for collecting applications and waivers from their team members and getting them submitted on time. The information part of the application is a fillable PDF form that can be emailed to, but the waiver parts must be signed and snail-mailed to the address on the form.

Please contact Bill Beck ( ) 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.

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for Feb 14 Tappahannock 200K Brevet

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

The cue sheet for the Tappahannock 200K brevet starting in Ashland, VA on February 14, 2009 is now posted at Cue Sheet - 20090214 Tappahannock 200K Brevet. GPS files are posted at GPS Files - 20090214 Tappahannock 200K Brevet.

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.

By the way … make sure that your GPS either has maps already downloaded, or select the relevant maps around the routes.

Added 12 February: New GPS files that include a possible detour around the unpaved section of the route are posted at GPS Files - 20090214 Tappahannock 200K Brevet - With Possible Detour . These files contain an additional route segment starting at Dick’s Country Store called “99 Alt Dick’s to End” that should be used in place of route segments 5 and 6 IF we decide that the unpaved section of the original route is too dangerous because of wet conditions. Instructions on which route to use will be given at the start.