200/300 Weekend Update #1

All–

(1) The cue sheets for the rides this upcoming weekend have been posted to the respective events pages for each ride. The 200K cue sheet is substantively unchanged from the prior edition of this route. The 300K, however, has changed significantly. You’ll be glad to know that the route is shortened and simplified. The return into Eustis has also removed a tricky bit of construction. Do not use an old cue sheet or an old GPS file; you’ll be sorry.

(2) The workers’ rides revealed a surprising number of loose dogs. There was one on South Bay on the 200K. There were many loose dogs between Harper Road and US 17 on the 300K. Some gave chase; please be attentive and careful.

(3) It will be cold on Sunday; dress warmly. If your plans have changed and you are not riding, please let me know ASAP so that I have an accurate head-count for the rides. Similarly, there’s still time to sign up, so please sign up if you are riding and you don’t see your name on the attendees list, which is current as of 10pm Jan. 15.

(4) You will be well-fed on your return to Tavares — there are post-ride dinners both days included in your entry fee — but you will be on your own during the ride. These rides are not SAGed. We will never leave anyone out there, but if your plan is for me or another volunteer to pick you up if you DNF, then you will likely wait many hours for that to happen, so please be prepared to make your own arrangements to return to the start if you cannot complete the ride.

(5) Please remember your lights and reflective gear (sash or vest plus ankle bands). I do not require any night-riding gear for the 200K, but if you finish in the dark or low-light conditions without those things you will be disqualified. The 300K starts in the dark, so reflective gear and lights are required on that ride.

See you this weekend!

2019 Brevet Schedule




We have a record number of events on tap for 2019, as we prepare for and celebrate the 19th edition of Paris-Brest-Paris. Registrations for each of the events will be posted over the following weeks. For now, mark your calendars and make your plans!

ACP series — Get qualified for PBP and just have a good time riding some long miles with friends. And eating and drinking very well after the ride.
200 — January 19, 2019
300 — January 20, 2019
400 — March 30, 2019
600 — April 13, 2019 (in connection with Brevet Week)
flèche/trace — April 19, 2019

Brevet Week! — Why screw around? Get qualified for PBP in 7 days. Easy, right?  Feh. Special medal for everyone who completes all 4 events.
200 — April 8, 2019
300 — April 9, 2019
400 — April 11, 2019
600 — April 13, 2019

Sunshine 1200km / 1000 / 200 — It was awesome in 2015. It’s back, this time with a 1000/200 option for those looking for the R5000 award or just for something different.
1200 / 1000 — May 16, 2019
200 — May 19, 2018

Night Ride! — Among our perennial favorites.  Great way to get in some extra night riding experience for PBP.
200 — July 19, 2019

UAF-sanctioned audax rides: These will NOT qualify you for PBP, but they are a tremendous amount of fun. Something different. Practice your steady pacing, eat good meals, and enjoy some good camaraderie. Plus, the medal set is awesome and exceedingly rare in North America.
200 — January 12, 2019 [This is the day on which the PBP details will be released!]
300 — February 2, 2019
400 — March 2, 2019
100 — September 14, 2019
200 — October 12, 2019

Audax rides for kids: An introduction to randonneuring for the Little Ones; rolling enclosure on the Pinellas Trail at 18kph.  *Free* entry.  Plus you get a medal and if you do all three, the coveted “Bronze Eaglet!”
20 — June 15, 2019
30 — July 13, 2019
40 — August 31, 2019

San An 100K — Absolutely amazing route through Pasco and Hernando Counties
June 1, 2019

The Recent RUSA News; December 100 & 200Ks




All—

(1) By now, many of you have heard that a rider was killed when she was struck from behind by a motorist while riding on the road shoulder on one of the anniversary events held in Texas. That rider’s family has sued not only RUSA, but the RBA personally, claiming that RUSA and the RBA are responsible for her death. While the rider’s death is sad, the lawsuit and the claims in it are deplorable. Let me be clear: Your responsibility for your safety on a randonnée is yours, not RUSA’s, not your RBA’s, and not any other volunteer’s. If you do not feel safe riding, then do not ride. Period. If you think the road conditions are lousy, the weather sucks, there’s too much traffic, you’re tired, you’re hungry, you’re too hot or cold, other riders are squirreley, your bike isn’t working right, … whatever the issue is that you think causes you to be or feel unsafe … just stop. Get to safety. And then we’ll figure out how to get you home. But to think or suggest or file a lawsuit claiming that RUSA or your RBA is responsible for your safety and if you get hurt or killed because you get hit by a car, you touch wheels with another cyclist, you run over some tracks, bad pavement, or road kill, you get lost, your lights flake out, you get bit or knocked off your bike by a dog, or anything else that every single cyclist knows is a possibility every single time they get on a bike is somehow the fault and responsibility of your RBA or another volunteer or RUSA, then do not do randonnées. All road cycling is dangerous – among other things, you are sharing the road with other vehicles that outweigh you by tons and that can move 10 times your speed – and randonnées in particular are unsupported and require you to be self-reliant and self-sufficient in ways that other events do not. They are long. They are hard. That is what this sport is. Accept that and the risks inherent in cycling, or don’t ride. Please call me if you would like to discuss this or have any questions or concerns about it.

(2) In the wake of this lawsuit, RUSA’s insurer did not renew the insurance policy that covers RUSA and event volunteers. Alternative, short-term insurance arrangements have been made, but they have caused the elimination of the permanents program until further notice and they have significantly restricted the flexibility RBAs have in scheduling brevets and conducting workers’ rides. Rest assured that the 2019 brevet season in Central Florida is on. You can confidently make your plans to do these events. If there are changes to how these events are held that impact you as a rider, I will let you know about them as far in advance as I can so that you’re not surprised by anything.

(3)  Because of the suspension of the permanents program, we will offer a 200K RUSA-sanctioned brevet in December. Registration is open; check the events page for the details and to register. We hope this additional, last-minute event helps quench your thirst for riding year-round. There is also a 100K on 12/15. Hope you can join us!

(4) Our audax rides are unaffected by any of this; these are not RUSA events. Please come join us for those fun events. The first one is coming up on January 12!

300K Audax Update #1




All–

1. The 300K audax ride on Saturday is ON.  However, Hurricane Michael necessitates a route change. The original plan was to go West to the Gulf Coast at Pine Island in Hernando County. It’s unlikely that that route is now usable due to storm surge and flooding. I am in the midst of revising our existing 300K brevet route to the East Coast (Flagler and Ormond Beaches) make it better for audax. I think this will be a very, very good route — it’s materially different than the existing route, for those of you who have done that one before. That route was good; this one is better! I will post the cue sheet and GPS file for that route when they are complete.

2.  There was an error on the events page. This is a 17-hour ride and we will finish at 9pm (not 11pm, thankfully!).

3.  Because the ride starts at 4am and runs 90 minutes after dark, you’ll need lights and a reflective vest or sash on this ride. Please, no flashing lights.

4. There’s still time to sign up if you’ve not done so. We currently have 12 riders — Eaddy, Halay, Ivy, Kusters(C), Lessman, Manning(C), McCarthy, Osborn, Paulson, Rozelle(C), Schreck(C), Stephens. Please spread the word; the more, the merrier. Also, if you’re on this list and NOT riding, please let me know asap. I need an accurate head-count for lunch.

Paul

Remembering Don Gramling, 1962-2018




We are sad to learn of Don Gramling’s recent passing and our hearts ache for his family’s sudden loss, and ours. Don became a randonneur in 2013 and quickly accumulated a pile of awards, medals, and significant accomplishments including a K-Hound and completion of PBP ’15 and other 1200Ks. Don’s completion of Paris-Brest-Paris was legendary and involved being up against the time cut-off, failed neck muscles, a broken crank arm, and a Frenchman whose grace and empathy rivaled Don’s. In my 15 years of randonneuring and four PBPs, I have never seen someone more deserving of the honor of ancien as Don.

But the thing that set Don apart as a special person, friend, and riding companion was his good and gracious nature, positive attitude, and infectious smile. No matter how lousy the weather, long the miles, or weary the riders, Don was always present to appreciate the moment and make it a good time and great adventure. Don was ever-present to enjoy post-ride food, beverages, and tales of past exploits and future shenanigans. Don volunteered for all four days of the 2016 Cracker Swamp 1200K and greeted everyone — riders and other volunteers alike — with “What can I do to help?” Don’s selflessness and helpfulness were inexhaustible. Don will be greatly missed. Chapeau, good friend, as you ride on to the next adventure.

2019 UAF / Audax Calendar



Our 2019 calendar of UAF audax events was approved yesterday. Here are the dates of those events, so you can mark your calendars:

Audax

200K — January 12, 2019 (St. Pete, 0700)
300K — February 2, 2019 (Tavares, 0400)
400K — March 2, 2019 (Tavares, 1000)
100K — September 14, 2019 (St. Pete, 0800)

200K — October 12, 2019 (St. Pete, 0700)

Aiglons (kids’ rides)

20K — June 15, 2019 (St. Pete, 0900)
30K — July 13, 2019 (St. Pete, 0900)

40K — August 31, 2019 (St. Pete, 0830)

The 200Ks and the 100K will be held in St. Pete (at The Bikery). The 300 and 400 start and end in Tavares. The Aiglons (youth — literally, “little eagles”) rides are out of St. Pete. We are really excited about that program. It’s an introduction to randonneuring, audax-style, for anyone 18 or younger. They get special medals and there’s a “series” medal that is earned by completing all three rides. The Aiglons rides will be free (and the medals are all on us), so please spread the word if you have kids or grandkids or know anyone whose kids you think might enjoy a common-paced ride that focuses on having fun together and learning how to ride safely in a group, please pass the word along about these new and exciting rides.

While theUAF/audax rides don’t “count” for RUSA awards or for PBP qualification, they are randonnees and are a ton of fun in their own right.  They are also really good practice and training for riding a 1200 at a consistent, sustainable pace and for keeping the stops short. The audax times sound slow, but they’re not when you get into the 600 and 1200. PBP-Audax is an 84-hour ride where you get two sit-down, white tablecloth meals each day plus at least 5-6 hours of sleep every night.  And you never go faster than 14mph. It’s truly civilized. So, whether you’re looking for a civilized experience, camaraderie, or want to avoid riding at night or riding by yourself or worrying about navigation, audax has something great to offer you as a randonneur cyclist and I hope that you will join us for these special adventures.

FYI, the RUSA/ACP calendar won’t be released until this Fall (September), but there will be more rides than there were even this year, plus the Sunshine 1200, plus a brevet week in April. Stay tuned here for details.

200K Audax Update




All–

If you’re at the hotel tonight, I’ll be in the lobby from 6pm to 7pm and can get you checked in. It’ll save some time tomorrow.

The ride starts at 7am SHARP, which means you need to get there early to futz with gear, check in, and tend to anything else.  Also, there are a few preride announcements. Be ready to roll on time.

Night gear/lights/reflective stuff is not required, but it’s not a bad idea, either. Same with a rain jacket.

Really looking forward to this ride!

-Paul

20th Anniversary Ride Update #2




1. Good news and bad news. The bad news is that there was a major adjustment to the route and cue sheet due to the Fort Desoto Triathlon being held at the exact time we’d be down there. Although the park and the roads would be open to cycle traffic (they are closed to motor vehicles until 9am), we’re not going to interfere with anyone’s race. So Fort Desoto is out, which sucks because it’s gorgeous and great cycling. The good news is, of course, that we realized this now rather than on Saturday morning.

2. The new cue sheet is here and on the Events page. The changes are these:

  • We need to make up 15 kilometers that are cut from the route, so we’re going to do that by taking a lap around Brightwaters right at the start and then visit Coquina Key at the finish. This makes up the necessary distance on roads that are frequently traveled by cyclists here. It’s not Fort Desoto, but it’ll do. The distance is the same as are the number of controls.
  • The new route adds a control at the Brightwaters roundabout, adds a control at the T-intersection in Fort Desoto, and deletes the two controls in the Fort Desoto roundabouts. It also moves the last control from Alcazar & County Club to Coquina Key (Lewis & Beach).
  • Please study the new cue sheet carefully. If you want a visual representation of the two changes, the first one adds this to the original route and the second, at the end, adds this. Eliminated from the original route is the lap around Fort Desoto.
  • Please contact me with questions. We’ll also go over all this in the preride announcements.

3. Still plenty of time to register; please spread the word to those who might be interested in joining us!

20th Anniversary Ride 200K Update

Link




All–

We checked the new route for Saturday’s 200K this past weekend. The final cue sheet is here and is also posted on the Events page. The one change to the cue sheet is that we’ll make a u-turn at the end of Gulf Way in Pass-a-Grille due to construction. The route is otherwise unchanged. A few notes about the ride:

1. Expect the conditions to be very challenging. We got poured on for much of our ride which was probably a blessing. This will be difficult if it’s hot and sunny. Be prepared for both and manage your time, your pace, and your hydration wisely.

2. The route rides well, but it is more urban than our usual rides. Be prepared for a slower ride (and thus more time in the elements) due to starts and stops.

3. The roundabout on Dodecanese in Tarpon was flooded (as in, under a foot or more of salt water). If that’s the case on Saturday, control at any business on that street and call it good; you don’t have to hike-a-bike through the ocean.

4. Please park in the street at The Bikery so we don’t take all of their spaces. There is ample on-street parking.

5.  The Bikery will close at 7pm, but you have until 8pm to finish officially. If you finish between 7pm and 8pm, the finish will have moved 2 blocks to the East, to Pinellas Ale Works. Please find us there.

6.  Bring a pen for the info controls.

7.  Check to make sure you’re on the list of registered riders if you’re coming; similarly, let me know if your name is there and you can’t make it. The more, the merrier. If you have friends who want to check the sport out, they’re more than welcome. All finishers get a special RUSA medal commemorating the founding’s 20th Anniversary.

200K Night Ride Update #1




All–

(1) The final cue sheet is posted here and on the Events page for the ride. The changes were indicating the ride start at Pancho’s Villa and that the finish is at the City Park.

(2) The workers’ ride was yesterday and the route checked out well. There are some new holes on Emerson, especially out-bound. Bayhead continues to deteriorate. And the detour at Cortez & Jasmine is still there. Be thankful that you’re doing this at night; the route was an absolute suffer fest in the heat, humidity, and wind!

(3) Please let me know if you’re registered and not coming, or if you don’t see your name on the list on the Events page.

(4) For those interested, I’ll be at Pancho’s at 7pm for dinner. Please join me if you can, but regardless arrive early enough to check in, sign the waiver, get your brevet card, and receive instructions on how the info controls will be handled and to start promptly at 8pm.

(5) Holler with questions and see y’all Friday!

Paul