Archive for January, 2010

DC Randonneurs General Meeting Minutes from 2010/01/23

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

The meeting notes from the January 2010 General Meeting have been posted in PDF format.   

Dart on March 20, 2010

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

A DC Randonneurs Dart will be held on March 20, 2010. A Dart 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 for a Dart is normally 180 km, which must be covered in a period of 12 hours. However, we have established a minimum distance of 200km for this Dart so that it will qualify toward the R-12 award.

We have also scheduled a Fleche team event for the weekend of April 15-18. The Fleche is twice as long, with a minimum distance of 360km over 24 hours, and our Dart is scheduled approximately one month before the Fleche so that it can be used as a training and shakedown for that longer event. The Dart is ridden almost entirely in daylight and will be a much more forgiving event on which to discover problems with organization or rider pacing. So it would be a good idea for all Fleche teams to also ride the Dart, but especially any new teams.

The target for the Dart is Dunlap’s Restaurant in Gettysburg, PA, where the teams will join together for a  post-ride dinner at 7PM. Sunrise will be at 7:12AM and sunset at 7:20PM, so a start and finish time of 6:30 would yield a good compromise between riding in daylight and eating at a reasonable time.  For any riders that plan to stay in Gettysburg on Saturday night and ride back to the DC area on Sunday, there are many hotels within a few blocks of Dunlap’s.

The Dart 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.)
  • The traditional Dart/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 200 km. However, the Dart has an additional requirement that one of the controls must occur exactly 10 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 12 hours to complete the ride.

Additional information about the 10-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. And this will be excellent practice for the similar 22-hour control on the fleche.

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:

  • February 20: 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 cba@dcrand.org 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.
  • March 6: Final rosters, rider applications, and waivers due from team captains to RBA. Deadline for final route approval.
  • March 13: Control cards sent to captains
  • March 20: Dart

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 cba@dcrand.org, but the waiver parts must be signed and snail-mailed to the address on the form.

Please contact Bill Beck ( 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.

Fleche on April 15-18, 2010

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The DC Randonneurs fleche will be held on the weekend of April 15-18, 2010. 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 again scheduled the fleche for two weeks after Easter weekend, which permits people to ride who previously could not ride on the traditional Easter weekend. The target this year is the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA, where the teams will also rejoin for a hearty post-ride 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 13: 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 cba@dcrand.org 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 3: Final rosters, rider applications, and waivers due from team captains to RBA. Deadline for final route approval.
  • April 10: Control cards sent to captains
  • April 15-18: 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 cba@dcrand.org, but the waiver parts must be signed and snail-mailed to the address on the form. The application fee of $10 includes the post-ride buffet at the Marriott.

Please contact Bill Beck ( 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 is essential for finishing and enjoying a fleche. This year, we have scheduled a RUSA “Dart” on March 20, which will provide an excellent training and shakedown opportunity, especially for newly-formed teams. So I encourage all Fleche teams to also participate in the Dart and discover any problems with organization or rider pace in time to make corrections before the Fleche.

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for January 23 Glen Echo 106km Populaire

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The cue sheet for the Glen Echo 106km populaire, starting at the Glen Echo Town Hall at 8:00AM on January 23, 2010 is now posted at Cue Sheet - 20100123 Glen Echo Populaire.

Registration opens outside the Town Hall at 7:00am. Be sure to park at the indicated location in Glen Echo Park and NOT along the residential streets next to the Town Hall.

 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 GPS Files - 20100123 Glen Echo Populaire.

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for January 9 Tappahannock 200K Brevet

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The cue sheet for the Tappahannock 200K Brevet, starting at the Ashland Coffee & Tea at 7:00AM on January 9, 2010 is now posted at Cue Sheet - 20100109 Tappahannock 200K Brevet.

Registration opens in the parking lot behind the Ashland Coffee and Tea at 6:00am. There are a limited number of parking spaces behind the Ashland Coffee & Tea. Once those are filled, park along Railroad Ave.

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 GPS Files - 20100109 Tappahannock 200K Brevet. (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 segment 5  IF we decide that the unpaved section of the original route is too dangerous because of icy conditions. Instructions on which route to use will be given at the start.)