Archive for February, 2016

Hotel Information for 2016 Brevets

Monday, February 15th, 2016

There are blocks of rooms for the night before the Firefly 400km; for the night before the Kit’n'Kish 600km, and also for the overnight.  See below for details.

While I would encourage you to book early, please do not book and then just cancel since that potentially loses a room that someone else might want.  Contact me if you want to cancel so that we can get the room put back into the block.

Let me know if you run into problems reserving rooms.

Any updates to this info will be posted on the listserve and the website’s blog.

Sat May 21, 2016, Firefly 400 km

Warrenton, VA Hampton Inn: 540-349-4200, contact is Anthony Akers
May 20th: block of 20 rooms.  Block name DCR. rate = $149 until March 20th

Sat Jun 04, 2016, Kit’n'Kish 600 km

Frederick, MD Days Inn: 301-694-6600, contact is Cosette
June 3rd: block of 25 rooms.  Block name is DCRand. rate = $65 until May 20th

Mifflintown, PA Econolodge: Phone: (717) 436-5981, contact is Mindy Donnelly
Jun 4th block of 25 rooms under DCRAND, $90

Nick Bull

Fleche on March 31st to April 3rd, 2016

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

The DC Randonneurs fleche will be held on the weekend of March 31st to April 3rd, 2016, with the “target” being the same as last year, the Key Marriott.  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 3rd, 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 $18.00 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 the31st  and 10AM on Saturday the 2nd.  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 stated above, we encourage teams to finish 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 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.
  • 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:

  • February 28: Applications from captains due to RBA.  See “Fleche Captain Application” below for details on what must be provided.
  • March 19 : Final rosters, rider applications, and waivers due from team captains to RBA. Deadline for final route approval.
  • March 31st to April 3rd: Fleche

Fleche captains fill out a registration form, fleche_team_captain_regform1.doc, and a route application form, dcr_fleche_route_application.doc.

Team members fill out a registration form, fleche_team_member_regform1.doc

Captains and team members are required to register online at, 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 on the pre-registration pages.

The forms linked above must also be returned because they contain the waiver for this event.

Team captains are responsible for collecting applications and waivers from their team members and submitting them on time. 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 ( ) 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 200km scheduled for the weekend after the fleche, so it will not be possible to reschedule in the event of inclement weather.  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, 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 fill out a registration form, fleche_team_captain_regform.doc , and a route application form, dcr_fleche_route_application.doc.

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.  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 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 required.