Archive for May, 2016

Cue Sheets and GPS Files for June 4th, 4am Kit’n'Kish 600km ACP Brevet

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

The cue sheets for the Kit’n'Kish ACP 600km  brevet starting at the Frederick Day’s Inn ,  at 4:00AM on June 4, 2016 are now posted at 2016_dcr_kitnkish_acp_600km-cue.zip. (The “2up” version is for the map case of a handlebar bag and is most easily printed from the PDF.)

Park at the “P” on the map in the gravel truck-parking lot–watch for potholes at entrance! Registration and safety inspection are from 3-4AM on Saturday. Lights and reflective gear are required so bring your bike and reflective gear to registration for inspection; requirements are here.

Important Note: The controls after the overnight are Info Controls.  To help riders keep track of how they’re doing, we’ve included a note about what times the controls would open and close if they were Timed Controls.  The terrain after E. Berlin moderates significantly and should give riders a chance to catch up, even if they have been “behind time” up until then.   It’s 145 miles from the overnight to the end, so if you can average 10 mph then sleeping til 5:30 you’d still get to the end on time.

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 similar to 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)

Climbing cues are generally provided in the GPS file for climbs of more than 400 feet. To read them: A cue like C7.8m59to151 means “From here, you’ll be climbing for 7.8 miles for an altitude change of 590 feet, ending up at an altitude of 1510 feet.

Generally, the routes go from control to control but do not break at info controls. The primary reason to do this is that it avoids the GPS getting confused on out-and-back segments.

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 2016_dcr_kitnkish_acp_600km-gps.zip.  RWGPS is here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/12206611

Kit’n'Kish ACP 600km brevet - June 4, 04:00 am - Frederick, MD

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

The Kit’n'Kish 600km brevet, designed by Crista Borras, is a beautiful and challenging expedition to Mifflintown, PA on the Juniata River. The name comes from combining the Kittatinny Mountain and the Kishacoquilas Valley.  Riders familiar with the Northern Exposure 400 will recognize the first 108 miles to E. Waterford and the final 129 miles from Ickesburg to the end.  The Kit’n'Kish deletes the 16 miles from E. Waterford to Ickesburg and substitutes 136 miles of scenic randonneuring, deeper into Pennsylvania to bring the total up to 600km.  See: RideWithGPS Link

Many of our brevets ride through Cumberland Valley, e.g. in the region of Shippensburg, PA, leaving us to wonder what is in the mountains to the north and west of the valley?  This brevet answers that question.  (Alternatively, the USGS answer to that question is that the Cumberland Valley is part of what it defines as the Great Appalachian Valley and the mountains to the north and west are part of the Ridge and Valley Appalachians.)

Starting from the Frederick Day’s Inn (park at the “P” on the map in the gravel truck-parking lot, unless you are staying in the hotel),  we ride north on familiar and easy roads to Thurmont.  We cross Catoctin Mountain on Sabillasville Rd heading into the Michaux State Forest, one of the more beautiful and easygoing crossings.  This is the same route that the Frederick 600km takes on the first day, as far as Sabillasville–but here the routes part, with the Northern Exposure route climbing over South Mountain, here, and into and across the Cumberland Valley.  From Roxbury, riders climb over Kittatinny Mountain into the Path Valley, with its picturesque Amish farms and long mountain views.  The route continues northwest through the Path Valley and Horse Valley to East Waterford.  From here, riders will be heading through scenic, long valleys and over tall ridges–four big climbs in 80 miles–heading generally southwest to Three Springs then roughly north where about 300km into the ride, they climb into the beautiful Kishacoquilas Valley near Belleville, PA.  My ride forecast says that a slow rider like me may make it there by about sunset.  For the 40 miles from the Kish Valley to the overnight at Mifflintown, the terrain moderates.

The overnight: Because the hotel does not have a conference room, we’ll be using a hotel room as a revitalization point and will have some hot food and (most-likely) sandwich fixings.  There are also 24-7 McDonald’s and Sheetz a half mile further along the road.  Riders will need to be quiet in the control room since there will likely be neighbors.  And there won’t be much room if you were thinking you’d take a nap there.  So if you plan to sleep at the overnight, you’ll need to get a room.  See: http://dcrand.org/blog/2016/02/15/hotel-information-for-2016-brevets/

Drop bags will be transported to the overnight: Ten pound limit.  No spare bicycles allowed.  Have mercy on the volunteers!

Leaving Mifflintown, riders have about ten miles to limber up their legs before a big climb over Tuscarora Mtn.  At the bottom of the descent, riders return to the Northern Exposure 400 route in Ickesburg, followed by a scenic cruise over moderate terrain to Newport.   After a stop in Newport riders climb over Blue Mountain, back into the Cumberland Valley.  After passing Children’s Lake in lovely Boiling Springs, riders return to familiar roads, joining the route of the Frederick 300 for the return over South Mountain on Whiskey Springs Rd, eventually passing Lake Meade, controlling at East Berlin, continuing on through Thurmont and the relatively easy terrain back to Frederick.

There are many stop-lights going through Frederick. Please respect these as the cross traffic is sometimes fast and hard to see. The roads in Frederick are rough–showing the effect of a long winter plus construction; exercise suitable caution.  Going out through downtown Frederick in the morning is especially nice. Watch for traffic when you return to Frederick as it will likely be heavier that going out.

Oh yes, climbing: By my measure, this brevet has about 3 percent more climbing (700 feet) than last year’s Shenandoah 600, and about 5 percent more climbing (1000 feet) than the Frederick 600. The Shen 600 has only about 15 percent of its climbing on big climbs; the rest is all incessant smaller choppy stuff, as some of you may remember.  Kit’n'Kish has about 40 percent of its climbing on big climbs.  I show Kit’n'Kish as being about 22500 feet;  RWGPS shows it as 21000. FWIW, my measure of average feet of climbing on Firefly is around 12000, with no big climbs at all.  So if you like putting it in a gear (probably a low one) and pedaling uphill for awhile, Kit’n'Kish is your ride.

Cue Sheets and GPS Files for May 21 4am Warrenton Firefly 400km ACP Brevet

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The cue sheets for the Firefly 400km brevet starting at the Warrenton Hampton Inn in Warrenton, VA at 8:00PM on July 11, 2015 are now posted at 2016_dcr_firefly_400km-cue.zip. (The “2up” version is for the map case of a handlebar bag and is most easily printed from the PDF.)

Park near the sides of the Hampton, and far from the front entrance. Registration and safety inspection are from 3-4AM on Saturday (or Friday night between 6 and 7). Lights and reflective gear are required so bring your bike and reflective gear to registration for inspection; requirements are here.

Note to old-timers: Now that Lunsford Rd has been paved, we will take the same final 7.7 miles in to Warrenton as on the Warrenton 300.  No more Lovers Lane with its 450 feet of up and down (and up and down) to climb 150 feet up to Warrenton. Checkout riders, your suggestions were heard and your suffering was not in vain!

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 similar to 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)

Generally, the routes go from control to control but do not break at info controls. The primary reason to do this is that it avoids the GPS getting confused on out-and-back segments.

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 2016_dcr_warrenton_firefly_400km-gps.zip.  RWGPS is here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/13802314

Firefly 400km ACP Brevet - May 21, 4am - Warrenton, VA

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The Warrenton (Firefly) ACP 400km starts at the Warrenton Hampton Inn at 4:00AM on May 21, 2016. Please park away from the front entrance of the hotel. Registration and safety inspection will take place from 3-4AM (and probably Fri night, time to be announced later). Lights and reflective gear are required so bring your bike and reflective gear to registration for inspection.

The Firefly 400km route was designed by Nick Bull to help riders prepare for PBP (the route itself has just a little more climbing per mile than PBP).  All but the fastest riders might see fireflies–but I think most come out later in the year.  The route starts at Warrenton, heads north through hilly terrain to Purcellville and then back south to Marshall.  From there it traverses gradual rollers and a long, gradual climb up to Linden. The route retraces somewhat before heading down the tough rollers of Crest Hill Rd.  The terrain eventually moderates from Flint Hill to Madison and on down to Charlottesville.  Here, we have re-routed to avoid the airport–we’ll control further north of Charlottesville at a Sheetz and make up the distance later.  Now we head generally north-east through Orange and over Clarks Mountain.  We have to suffer nasty, fast traffic for 4-1/2 miles of US522–but the cars have good sight lines so they can see you from a distance, and you can watch them in your mirror to make sure they are moving over for you.  (Riders with suitable tires can ride the gravel Twin Mountains Rd instead of Clarks Mountain and avoid US522 entirely.)  The payoff is the lovely 5-1/2 miles of the Algonquin Trail.  The terrain gets tougher through Kelly’s Ford but moderates by the Elk Run Store, where it heads home the final few miles to Warrenton.  (Many thanks to Lynn Kristianson and Crista Borras for routing suggestions!)  With views of the Shenandoah’s from near and far, and a sunset over the mountains, it should be a beautiful ride.

Like PBP, most of the route is hilly and you’re constantly shifting gears.  But also like PBP, there is very little that is really steep, and only a couple of climbs of 400 feet or more.  Several of the controls are even at the top of a hill, just like PBP!  Overall, the climbing per mile is comparable to the recently-completed Warrenton 300km.

The tentative route is shown here, subject to revision after the checkout ride.

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for May 7th Frederick 300km ACP Brevet

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The cue sheet for the Frederick 300km ACP Brevet, starting at the Frederick Days Inn at 5:00AM on May 7th, 2016 is now posted at in various formats at 2016_dcr_300km_frederick_cue1.zip

Parking:  Riders will need to park in the Days Inn truck parking gravel lot.  In the map that is linked to above, this is identified with a big arrow and the letter “P”.  The entrance is off of Grove Rd just a little down from the Days Inn.  Look for a sign that says Days Inn Truck Parking.  Park at the back of the lot.

Registration will be in the breakfast area of the Days Inn starting at 4am.  This is near the green exclamation park on the map.  Come early enough to buy breakfast at the Waffle House next year!

Lights and reflective gear are required for this ride so when you come to registration please be ready to pass safety inspection.

Note the cue sheets & GPS files provide for a detour in Thurmont on the way back in case you expect the low-water bridge on Blacks Mill Rd to be flooded.  The only downside to taking the detour is that you miss most of the convenience stores or fast-food places in Thurmont.

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)

Climbing cues are generally provided in the GPS file for climbs of more than 400 feet. To read them: A cue like C7.8m59to151 means “From here, you’ll be climbing for 7.8 miles for an altitude change of 590 feet, ending up at an altitude of 1510 feet.

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 2016_dcr_300km_frederick_gps.zip.

A RidewithGPS version that may be useful for people using certain Garmin Edge GPS’s and/or other GPS’s is posted here.