Archive for April, 2017

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for April 29th Mother of All 300’s ACP Brevet

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

The cue sheet for the Middletown “Mother of All 300’s” ACP 300km brevet, starting at the Middletown, VA Econolodge (formerly Super8) at 5:00AM on April 29th is now posted in various formats at 2017_dcr_300km_middletown_mother_of_all_300s_cue.zip

Park at the extremities of the parking lot.  There may still be rooms available at the group rate, see here.

Lights and reflective gear are required for this ride so when you come to registration please be sure to bring your reflective gear and ensure that you have the required front and rear lights mounted on your bicycle. There will be safety inspection before the ride, starting at 4am.

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_300km_mother_of_all_300s-gps.zip.

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.

A RidewithGPS version that may be useful for people using certain Garmin Edge GPS’s and/or other GPS’s is posted here (the route says 2015 but it hasn’t changed).

Kinder-Gentler ACP 400km Brevet - May 6

Monday, April 24th, 2017

This is a Lynn Kristianson route, which got its name because after the Mother of All 300’s, when I (Nick Bull)  said I was going to quit randonneuring, she said “Give the 400 a try, it’s a kinder, gentler 400.”  For some reason, we only rode this route in 2005, so the route description may need to be updated after the checkout ride.

The ride starts at 4am, May 6th, at the Hampton Inn.  We follow the Old Rag 200km route out of Warrenton, heading generally southwest, passing through rolling horse farm country with the Blue Ridge Mountains as our backdrop. We parallel the Blue Ridge as far south as Somerset, before turning toward the Ridge and Stanardsville.  Skirting the county seat, we pick up route 810, the highlight of the ride. Set among the foothills of the Blue Ridge this is a very old and very scenic road in Greene and Albemarle counties. After crossing US250 just south of Crozet the route swings east and there is a southeasterly roll down wonderful Plank Road and then wandering over to the James River, where we plan to have a fully-supported control stop in Scottsville.

A brief climb away from the James is about the toughest hill for the remainder of the ride. Passing through the towns of Zion Crossroads, Trevillians, Orange and Remington, the terrain remains gently rolling.  After Orange, riders are basically on the Warrenton 300 route into Warrenton, including the possibility of a gravel road detour for riders with suitable tires.

Despite what RWPGS says, this probably has about 12,000 to 13,000 feet of climbing, comparable with the Firefly 400 and somewhat less than the Frederick “Four States” 400.

RidewithGPS link: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19439408

“Mother of All 300’s” ACP 300km brevet, 5am, April 29

Monday, April 17th, 2017

The “Mother of all 300’s” 300km, is a Lynn Kristianson route starting from Middletown, VA.  We’ll ride it in the original, clockwise direction, as it was ridden for the first time in 2005.  The subsequent year’s ride description on the website described it as the “appallingly hilly but GORGEOUS 2005 West Virginia 300km.”  On the plus side, quoting from a check-out-ride report from 2006 posted by Chuck and Crista “The pure serenity, mountain roads and sensually stimulating vistas in this route are like a dream and are unmatched by anything anywhere else that I have ever ridden.”  The RWGPS route is shown here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7519066

Controls with services are almost 100km miles apart and there are few conveniently-located services in between.  Bring extra food and extra water bottles.  Fair warning!  For more detail, see below …

The ride starts at 5am, April 29th, at the Middletown Econolodge.  Park at the extremeties of the parking lot.  There will be safety inspection before the ride, starting at 4am.

The ride starts south from Middletown, working its way to the endless rollers and stunning mountain views of Back Road. The riders then climb the 3 miles over Wolf Gap into WV (there is a delightful spring on the left, it’s on the cue sheet; look for a white plastic pipe about chest height).  After the summit, there is a long, streamside descent and then a long, gradual climb over Mill Gap through the GW National Forest. A second fast descent brings riders to WV259.  You can control either at the Lost River General Store, but it doesn’t open til 10am, or at the Lost River Grille, a mile down 259.  It’s a Grille, not a convenience store, so it has excellent breakfasts, lunches, pies, etc, but not gatorade, bottles of water, or candy bars.  A piece of pie might be your fastest way out if you’re in a hurry.  Your first opportunity to resupply on-bike-eats is either mile 91 or mile 109.  So whatever you want to eat on the bike for roughly the first century needs to be carried from the start.

The course then proceeds north and west as it follows the streams up and down through many small valleys on its way to Romney.  Thirty-six miles into this leg, we avoid a 1.3 mile uphill climb on busy and shoulderless US50 by taking Sand Hill Rd instead.  The downside is that we miss some resupply points on US50 at the top of Jersey Mtn.  But these are only a mile off route at mile 91, and it’s a nearly-flat mile, so not a very big deal if you’re low on water or food.  The terrain moderates somewhat until a climb before the Slanesville control.

Coming into and out of Slanesville, riders face a moderate climb, but then get a respite for the next fifteen miles, riding along the beautiful Cacapon River to Capon Lake and Capon Springs. Climbing back over North Mountain, the riders will pass through apple orchards, gaining elevation up to High View, VA.  Riders are now on a gradual descent punctuated by short, steep climbs.  About 42 miles into this leg, the Shawnee Springs Market is about a half mile off route.  It closes at 9 but if it were a control, the control would close at 9:12, so most riders should find it open if they need it.  Another twenty miles later, the penultimate control is an INFO control at the Crossroads Grocery.  The store closes at 9pm, but the control is open until 11:16.   READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH TO DRAW OUT THE IMPLICATIONS!  More orchards form the scenery for the return to Middletown–though many riders will pass them in the dark.

Riders who arrive at the mile-131, Yellow Springs control after 5 are at risk of arriving at the mile-169.7 Crossroads Store after it closes. But there is an off-route store at mile 151, Shawnee Springs Market, that closes at 9pm.  HOWEVER, riders who arrive at Yellow Springs after 6:50pm are at risk of missing even the Shawnee Springs Market.  The best advice:  Load up on water and food at mile 131 to make it to the end.  That way, when you get to mile 151 you can evaluate whether to stop for more food and water, or just continue on with what you have.  If you get to Shawnee Springs after it has already closed and you are desperate for food and water, call to see if a volunteer can come out to the Crossroads Store.  But plan to mark this down in your lessons-learned book: You shoulda carried more food and water from Yellow Springs.

Total climbing by my measure is around 14,600 feet, roughly fifty percent more than the Frederick or Warrenton 300km.

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for April 15th Frederick 300km ACP Brevet

Monday, April 10th, 2017

The cue sheet for the Frederick 300km ACP Brevet, starting at the Frederick Days Inn at 5:00AM on April 15th is now posted in various formats at 2017_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 door!

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

Note that there is a bridge out after mile 153.8 … the cue sheet has the detour … old-timers, don’t just ride on auto-pilot, here.

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 2017_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.

Ye Olde Frederick 300km ACP brevet, April 15, 5am

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Starting from the Frederick Days Inn (parking directions to be provided later), the beautiful Frederick 300km route–designed by Crista Borras–heads north, skirting South Mountain as far as Thurmont and then turns west to climb the ridge on MD77 through Catoctin Mountain State Park. Just short of the summit, it heads roughly north-north-east into Pennsylvania and through the rolling apple and peach orchards of Adams County. Along the way it climbs Jacks Mountain Rd, with its multiple false summits and swooping descent to a covered bridge.  From Arendtsville, it turns northwest and begins a long, stair-step climb with many steep sections, just to get you properly fatigued before the climb up Big Flat.  After turning left on Shippensburg at mile 59, you’re finally ascending the false summit before Big Flat (altitude 1650 feet) before a rapid descent to a stop sign at Pine Grove Rd, followed by the real climb to the summit of Big Flat (altitude 2040 feet). Nine miles–including the sweetest descent on any of our routes–brings riders to a much needed rest stop and control in Shippensburg. By this time, you’ve done about half the climbing of the ride, so keep your spirits up, it does get a little easier, with the lovely sequence of Mud Level Rd, Oakville Rd and Red Shed Rd.  If you want to get back to Frederick, there’s just one more big climb over South Mtn on Whiskey Springs Rd, and then the terrain is rolling all the way home, with a stop in East Berlin for pizza, to get you ready for that long, long haul down to Thurmont for a final chance of resupply before the last miles in to Frederick.