Archive for March, 2017

Old Rag 200km Cue Sheets and GPS Files, April 1st, 7am

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

The Warrenton (Old Rag) 200km ACP brevet starts at the Warrenton Hampton Inn in Warrenton, VA at 7:00AM on April 1st.  Be sure to park at the extremities of the parking lot. Lights and reflective gear are note required but are always a good idea, e.g. in case of morning fog or rain.

The cue sheet(s) are posted here: 2017_dcr_old_rag_200km_cue.zip  As usual, the “2up” cue sheet is for handlebar bags and the PDF version prints best.  The cue sheets include a probably-unnecessary detour around the low-water bridge at mile 47.8.  You can just ignore it if it hasn’t been raining a lot.

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.

Climbing cues are 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.

GPS files are posted at 2017_dcr_old_rag_200km-hiwater-gps.zip.  The RideWithGPS version is here.

Because there is a low-water bridge on the route, if there has been heavy rain, watch your cue sheet for a Detour and navigate the Detour route in the posted GPS file.

Warrenton ACP 300km Cue Sheet, Route comments, and GPS Files, April 1st, 5am

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

The Warrenton ACP 300km brevet starts at the Warrenton Hampton Inn in Warrenton, VA at 5:00AM on April 1st.  Be sure to park at the extremities of the parking lot.

Cue sheets are posted at 2017_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.  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.  If there is a bridge out or conditions turn out to be unsafe, turn around and go back to the road.

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 and safety inspections start at 4:00AM.  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 2017_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 about 9500′ of climbing, not much more than Paul’s Paradise.  None of it is on “big” climbs (more than 400 feet) but some are steep.  The climbing is somewhat front-loaded, moderating notably after around mile 140 when you get on Algonquin Trail.  For a list of consistently-measured events, see Climbing.

Warrenton 300km ACP Brevet April 1st, 5am

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

On April 1st, we are running two ACP brevets, the Old Rag 200km and the Warrenton 300km.   Both start at the Warrenton Hampton Inn, The 200km will start at 7am and the 300km will start at 5am.  If you register for one of these and later decide you want to switch, then you can do that.  If you switch from the 200 to the 300 you’ll need to chip in the extra $10 for the price difference; no refund switching the other direction.

The Warrenton 300km is a Lynn Kristianson route that 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 (even what used to be a brief section of gravel near the end is now paved).  Gravel-road Detours are provided for riders who would like to avoid some of the busier roads and who have tires suitable for gravel (which has sometimes been very deep and loose in places, and very steep in other places). I and several others had a great time riding the gravel roads a couple of year’s ago, 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 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”:

Warrenton “Old Rag” ACP 200km brevet April 1st

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

On April 1st, we are running two ACP brevets, the Old Rag 200km and the Warrenton 300km.   Both start at the Warrenton Hampton Inn, The 200km will start at 7am and the 300km will start at 5am.  If you register for one of these and later decide you want to switch, then you can do that.  If you switch from the 200 to the 300 you’ll need to chip in the extra $10 for the price difference; no refund switching the other direction.

From Warrenton we head generally southwest on this Crista Borras route, passing through rolling horse farm country with the Blue Ridge Mountains as our backdrop. We parallel the Blue Ridge as far south as Madison.  Old-timers will miss the traditional stop at Yoder’s, which has moved to US-29 and thus a stop there would involve too much traffic for too many miles.  On the plus side, we can avoid Orange Rd, which was also a little too much traffic.  Instead, we’ll head directly to Madison where riders who need resupply can stop at the BP, McDonald’s or other restaurants in town.  The route is fairly gentle as we wind our way to Syria in the shadow of Grave’s Mountain. A steep climb followed by a 3-mile descent puts us up and over the Old Rag Grinder. A series of steep and unrelenting rollers–lovingly known as The Three Kings and The Meanies–will consume us for the next hour.  The Laurel Mills store was closed last time through, but water is available at the sweet spring that flows nearby. Country roads bordered by stone fences carry us through Ben Venue and into Flint Hill and the final control at the reopened Orlean Store. A final climb over Piney (”Pukin”) Mountain brings us back to Warrenton–we’ll ride right on past the HoJos detouring on side roads back to the Hampton Inn. Estimated total elevation gain : 8,800 feet.

Cue Sheets and GPS Files for March 18th Pastries & Coffee 200km ACP Brevet

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

NOTE: CURRENT EXPECTATION AS OF MARCH 16 IS THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO RIDE THIS ROUTE.  Decision is pending the checkout ride on the 17th.

The Pastries and Coffee ACP 200km brevet starts at the Big Bean coffee shop in Severna Park, MD at 7:00AM on March 18th (weather permitting). Be sure to park in the shopping mall across the street, as indicated on the map . Do not park at the Big Bean or nearby businesses. Lights are not required, but always a good idea, e.g. in case of morning fog or rain.

The cue sheet(s) are posted here: 2017_dcr_pastries_and_coffee_acp_200km_detour_cue.zip  As usual, the “2up” cue sheet is for handlebar bags, for which the PDF version prints best.  Note that the cue sheet contains detours in case some sections of bike path are impassable.  Make sure you understand how to read the detours and ask questions if you are confused.

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.

GPS files are posted at 2017_dcr_pastries_and_coffee_acp_200km-gps.zip.

The GPS file contains the same detours as the cue sheet.  Because they are all after Ellicott City–they are all contained in the route “Ct6EllicottDETOURToEnd”.  So that’s the route to navigate if the bike paths are impassable, as we expect to be the case.

Here is the RWGPS link to the route with all detours.  The link to the version of the route with detours is here.

Pastries and Coffee ACP 200km brevet, March 18th PROBABLE

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

NOTE: CURRENT EXPECTATION AS OF MARCH 16 IS THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO RIDE THIS ROUTE.  Decision is pending the checkout ride on the 17th.

The Pastries and Coffee ACP 200km starts from the Big Bean coffee shop in Severna Park (green star in map).  Park across the street in the shopping mall shown with the red exclamation point.  Checkin starts at 6am and the ride starts at 7am.  We plan to end at Squisito’s where there will be pizza.

The ride starts a few minutes before sunrise.  Anyone without proper reflective gear will be held at the start.  Riders are strongly advised to bring proper lighting and reflective gear (http://www.dcrand.org/dcr/randoinfo.php?page=M05).

Note that the route including detours is about 211m.  Because it is an ACP 200km, the time limit is 13-1/2 hours.  So keep in mind as you plan your ride.

The brevet is based on Gardner Duvall’s permanent of the same name.  Here is his route description:

                Pastries and Coffee passes through the best of southern Anne Arundel County, where many riders off the randonneur scene will be spotted.  It then takes a fairly easy approach to historic and quaint Ellicott City before traveling miles down the river through Patapsco Valley State Park.  These roads are used by three owners on more than half a dozen permanent routes, but this is the first brevet in these parts.  Some riders dread MD 2, but the route is on that road for less than .1 miles.

                The route starts in old Severna Park at the Big Bean, where a morning wake up and pastries are on offer.  Climbing is moderate at 5,550 to 6,000 feet, with rolling hills most of the way and a few flat miles.  The first flat section is at the Chesapeake leading to the first commercial control at Honey’s Harvest.  Honey’s provides the choice of customary conveniences for a quick stop, a fresh hot breakfast sandwich, or pastries and coffee.  The next water is the Patuxent River, on the way into Waugh Chapel for another feeding opportunity at a large open air mall.  The next leg includes a fast but easy descent into the Patapsco River Valley, to a control where you can select a quick stop, or more pastries and coffee, or hand-dipped ice cream.  After mile 100 the route takes a pretty easy course back to the start.  The ride ends at Squisito’s for the customary DC Rand pizza.

                Notes:  The Big Bean normally opens at 7:30, but they are opening at 6am for us as a special favor.  Please reciprocate by indulging in some breakfast at the Big Bean.  Since the ride starts in a coffee shop, you’re on your own for pre-ride snacks.

At Waugh Chapel the route crosses MD 3, where there is a “Michigan U.”  This is ridable but the better approach is to use the pedestrian crossing directly through the intersection.  Follow the cue sheet rather than GPS directions here.

                This course has several sections of paved bike trails.  THESE ARE LIKELY TO BE IMPASSABLE ON MARCH 18th and the CUE SHEET PROVIDES DETOURS. IF ANY ARE PASSABLE … Proper trail etiquette is required, yielding to pedestrians at all times.  These four sections total about ten miles.  If they are closed because of snow, the cue sheet will provide detours.

                At the open control in Ellicott City there are a number of options.  See your cue sheet. 

 

Snow storms and the March 18th ACP brevet …

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

For details on the route and for cue sheets etc., see:
http://dcrand.org/blog/2017/03/16/cue-sheets-and-gps-files-for-march-18th-pastries-coffee-200km-acp-brevet/
Here is the message from Scott Cone on behalf of the checkout team:
Brevet is good to go!

 

We are in Ellicott City and everything to this point is passable with very little snow or ice issue.  We rode the BWI trail and the bridges were either slushy or clear track and we rode all.  Other riders were out clearing pretty big tracks.  Only detour needed is probably Patapsco, but we will know that soon.

 

I’ll send more notes later, but our consensus Is brevet is good to go!

Scott