Archive for March, 2015

Warrenton ACP 300km Cue Sheet, Route comments, and GPS Files, April 4th

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

The Warrenton ACP 300km brevet, starts at the Warrenton Hampton Inn in Warrenton, VA at 5:00AM on April 4th, 2015.  Be sure to park at the extremities of the parking lot.

Cue sheets are posted at 2015_dcr_warrenton_acp_300km_cue.zip (note the 2up version is intended to work well in the mapcase of a handlebar bag and prints better from the pdf version).

The main route is all paved road except for a 0.3 mile gravel section near the end.  There are three potential gravel road detours for riders who want to avoid a bit of traffic on F.T.Valley Rd &/or US522, and who have suitable tires for gravel.  These are clearly marked in the cue sheet and are also contained in the GPS file.  THE GRAVEL ROAD DETOURS HAVE NOT BEEN CHECKED OUT.  You should be prepared for very rough gravel, steep hills, etc. as was the case last year.  If there is a bridge out or conditions turn out to be unsafe, turn around and go back to the road.  All that said, I plan to give the gravel a try.

Lights and reflective gear are required for this ride so when you come to registration please be prepared for the light and safety inspection:  bring your reflective gear and ensure that you have the required front and rear lights mounted to your bicycle.

Registration opens inside the Hampton Inn at 4:00 AM.  Here are some route comments:

  • There is now a control in Marshall at the 7-11.
  • The Orange Control is an OPEN control — GET RECEIPTS!!
  • The GPS files do NOT break at INFO controls.  Be careful not to miss them.

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 2015_dcr_warrenton_acp_300km-gps.zip.  The official route is also posted to RidewithGPS.  However, I do not know of any way to post to RWGPS the official route plus the detours on gravel roads.  So an alternative RWGPS route is the ALL-DETOUR version of the route.

Climbing: All climbing is relative.  My best  measure of climbing on this route is that the Warrenton 300km has 9500′ of climbing, the Urbana 200km has 9500′ of climbing, and Pastries and Coffee has 5800′ of climbing.  For a comprehensive list of consistently-measured events, see Climbing.

Urbana 200km expected to proceed as rescheduled despite slight chance of snow.

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Some of you may have noticed that the forecast for Saturday now includes the S word and since we have had to reschedule two events because of the S word, I wanted to make sure that riders know what we are planning.

Based on what we are seeing in the forecast, it looks like we will proceed with the Urbana 200km on Saturday March 28th.

It looks like there is a slight chance of snow showers on the route.  Usually these do not stick on the road, but of course riders should exercise due caution.  Conditions in the days leading up to the ride do not seem likely to have left snow cover.  There is a slight chance of overnight snow showers at the northern extremity in State Line, but with a forecast high of 43, by the time riders get there, anything that did land should be gone.

If the forecast changes, we may have to change, too.  But unless otherwise notified, assume that the ride will proceed.

Nick

Warrenton 300km ACP Brevet April 4th

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Starting at the Warrenton Hampton Inn,  April 4th at 5am, the route explores the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont from Warrenton to Old Rag, to points south. The first 120 miles are somewhat hilly and the route becomes more rolling for the last 70-80 miles.

Checkin and safety inspection starts at 4am.  Park at the far corners of the hotel parking lot, unless you are a guest.

Leaving Warrenton, after a brief stretch on VA17, we take the “back” way out of Warrenton on Blantyre Road and then riders will head west to Marshall and ride the many ups, downs, and stunning early morning vistas on Crest Hill Road all the way into Flint Hill. More hills and more terrific scenery await the riders on the way to Washington VA. Turning west toward the foot of the Blue Ridge, the scenery just keeps getting better on a long rolling stretch which brings the riders toward Old Rag and a control at the Syria Mercantile. Continuing south, the riders skirt Madison, crossing US29, and pick up the route to Elly, Aroda and Old Somerset. Returning to route 231, riders head into Gordonsville and then continue farther south. The route then turns east through the more mellow terrain of Louisa county on VA22. After heading north for an open control in Orange riders return to Warrenton through gentler terrain via Batna, Lignum, Kelly’s Ford and Remington.

The main route follows paved roads except for a brief section of gravel near the end before Warrenton.  Gravel-road Detours are provided for riders who would like to avoid some of the busier roads and who have tires suitable for gravel that may be very deep and loose in places (and very steep in other places). I and several others had a great time riding the gravel roads last year but my tires are 650Bx42.  Riders with skinny tires had more trouble.  The gravel road detours will be on the back of the cue sheet, and will be provided as alternatives in the GPS/RWGPS files.

If you want to stay on paved roads, just follow along the main flow of the cue sheet and if you are navigating a GPS file do not navigate the “detour” routes.  Moreover, if you are just following some other rider’s rear wheel, make sure you know whether their rear wheel will be staying on the road or going on the gravel.

Here is some detail detail about the gravel detours:  There are two sections of the route that have gravel alternatives.  In the first (see map), the paved road is shown in pale blue and there are two gravel-road detours:2014_dcr_300km_warrenton_1st_and_2nd_gravel_section_and_detour.jpg

For the first gravel detour, the light-green is paved and the dark green is gravel–Quaintance Rd–4.2 miles and a fair amount of up and down, some of it very steep, about 460 feet of climbing.  For the second section that has gravel, the dark blue is gravel, two roads–Sharp Rock Rd and Emmet Rd–totaling 3.3 miles, pretty flat, with 160 feet of climbing; the light blue is paved.  The gravel road detours avoid ten miles of FT Valley Rd, which is one of the busier roads on the brevet–we’ve used it many times, and I’ve never had problems here, but it is a road where you have to watch carefully in the mirror to make sure cars coming up from behind are slowing and/or moving over.

The second area with a gravel-road detour is here:2014_dcr_300km_warrenton_3rd_gravel_section_and_detour.jpg

Again, the paved route is shown in pale blue; the gravel detour has a paved portion shown in light green and a gravel portion shown in dark green on Twin Mountains Rd–4.2 miles, pretty flat, with 100 feet of climbing.  The cyan section is the paved detour, which spends 3.3 miles on Zachary Taylor Hwy, US522.  Again, one of the busier roads on the route, we’ve used it for years and I’ve never had problems but you do have to keep an eye on who is coming up behind you.

That’s it for the gravel sections, if you have questions feel free to ask.

Climb:  The Warrenton 300km has about 9,500 feet of climbing, about the same as the Urbana 200km.

We’ll have some light snacks at the start–there is a Sheetz and McDonald’s nearby for something more substantial.  At the end, we’ll have the usual pizza, drinks, and a few snacks at the finish.  The club has also rented a hotel room for the finish.  Please bring your own towels (etc.) if you want to shower there. 

Three ride reports from prior years are posted on the DCRand Stories page under “300K”:

RESCHEDULED: DCR Urbana ACP 200km–to March 28th.

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

We have decided to reschedule the Urbana ACP 200km to start at 7am on March 28th.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast has turned out to be correct so far and we are thus rescheduling the Urbana 200km.  We hear reports that 4″ of snow has fallen on Braddock Heights (roughly the vicinity of MarLu Ridge) and that 6″ of snow has fallen near the top of Catoctin Hollow Rd (near the top of Catoctin).  While the forecast in Frederick is for snow and rain turning to sleet and rain in the afternoon, the forecast in State Line, PA is for snow and rain turning to all snow in the afternoon with a chance of freezing drizzle overnight.

We’re sorry to have to reschedule, for anyone who cannot make it on the 28th, particularly if you “need” this to qualify for PBP (I put it in quotes because you can use one of the upcoming 300’s to substitute for a 200).  But if you crash on black ice and break a collarbone, your PBP dreams may be up in smoke anyway.

On the plus side, this gives another week where you can do some interval training in the basement or out on the road and harden up a little bit more for Urbana.  For instance, I will be riding for an hour and a half near Melbourne, Australia tomorrow:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M45BSE6Qz3E

See you all in a week.

Nick

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for March 21 Urbana 200km ACP Brevet

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

The cue sheets for the Urbana 200km ACP Brevet starting at the Urbana Waffle House at 7:00AM on March 21, 2015 are now posted at 2015_dcr_urbana_acp_200km_cue.zip.  The versions named “2Up” are set up to be displayed folded in half in the map case of a handlebar bag and should be printed from the PDF.  The other versions are our usual cue sheets for folding in quarters.

Registration opens inside the Waffle House at 6:00am. Come early enough to have some waffles! Please park at the Park & Ride lot indicated on the map. Do not park in the Waffle House lot or in any of the surrounding businesses.

Everybody should bring lights and reflective gear to this ride. The ride starts before sunrise and many riders may finish in the dark.

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 settings like those 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 2015_dcr_urbana_acp_200km_gps.zip.  The RWGPS version is posted here.  Keep in mind that the RWGPS “cue sheet” is not an official cue sheet.

ACP 200km brevet - March 21 - Urbana MD

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Note: Park at the Urbana Park’n'Ride.

The Urbana 200km, designed by Lynn Kristianson, returns to the schedule after taking a break for a year.  Since it is a PBP year, we will be riding it in the original, clockwise, and slightly-harder direction, climbing Mar-Lu ridge “the hard way”.

The brevet begins at the Urbana Waffle House (8906 Fingerboard Rd, Frederick, MD 21704). Checkin starts at 6am and the brevet starts at 7am. Get there early and have a hearty breakfast to carry you through the day! From Urbana, the route slides down to the Monocacy and across the valley to the first significant ridge of the Marlu appellation.  After the fast descent to Jefferson, there are several creek crossings with the attendant downs and ups and then a fairly easy grade over South Mountain at Gapland.Several hard rollers involving Antietam Creek and tributaries bring the riders to Sharpsburg and a short tour of Antietam Battlefield.  The terrain moderates after this with a gradual rise out to Williamsport for a control at the KOA on the beautiful Conococheague Creek.  The route then heads north and loops around Hagerstown on mostly rural roads to a control in State Line PA.

A long slow downhill into Leitersburg passes through dairy farms and across mill creeks until some very hard rollers appear outside of Smithsburg.  Then there is the long arduous climb over South Mountain and Catoctin Ridge with a several false summits to keep things interesting.  The Frederick county line commences the long descent through Catoctin State Park into Thurmont.

The route does a long flat haul eastward on MD 77 and turns south for a control at the 7-11 in Union Bridge.   It will be a welcome break to prepare for the various hills - long and slow and short and steep -  from Libertytown to Bartonsville Road.  Cresting the last interminable uphill on Bartonsville, there is a brief pause to catch the view before a very long downhill along Reichs Ford Road.  One last uphill on Ijamsville brings the riders back to Fingerboard and the final miles to the finish at Ledo’s Pizza.

Rescheduled: Pastries & Coffee now on March 14th

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

We are rescheduling the planned March 7th Pastries and Coffee Brevet to March 14th.

With as much snow as has already fallen in the area, there is no chance that roads will be cleared enough for safe passage this weekend.
Next week’s forecast warmer weather should have the route ready for us on the 14th.
Same starting time, 7am.  But … with the switch to daylight savings time, the ride start is before sunrise so lights and reflective gear will be required.
http://www.dcrand.org/dcr/randoinfo.php?page=M05
Look forward to seeing you in a week and a couple of days.
Nick