About RBA

Regional Brevet Administrator for Central Florida Randonneurs

Brevet Week Update #2 — Bonus Rocket Launch

All–

1. I hope you are enjoying your rest day — beach, pool, or just lounging around doing nothing. You earned it.

2. Especially for our out-of-staters, you’d be seriously remiss to miss the Falcon Heavy launch scheduled for this evening, sometime between 1830 and 2030. Don’t watch this on the internet; step outside and look due East; Cape Kennedy is less than 60 miles away and, unless the horizon is heavily clouded, the launch should be plainly visible to the naked eye. And if the rocket goes toward the end of the launch window, you’ll be lucky enough to see a night launch, which is truly spectacular, even from that distance. Enjoy!

3. Some notes on the 400K: Great route; no changes. CR 2082 is in rough shape; use the bike path that you came in on, about 100 yards after turning onto the road. Watch the loose sand and stone if you do this. It’s a deceptively hilly route; I recorded 6,100 feet of climbing on it. Not a single climb of significance — never left the big ring — but it adds up. Wildlife sightings: bear (mom & cub), deer, coyote, snakes, raccoons, fireflies (rare in Florida; sighted just after last light in Emeralda Marsh)…. everything was out yesterday.

4. Study the 600K cue sheet with a map! My locals know this route, but it can be perplexing to newcomers. It is easy to have your GPS lead you astray. Verifying your progress along the route using the cue sheet is critical! Please make sure you know where you’re going. And remember that if you depart the route, you must return to the point of departure and then continue on the correct route.

5. Check-in for the 400K is Wednesday from 6pm-7pm at Room 134, and 4:30-5am in the lobby on Thursday. Check-in for the 600K is Friday evening from 6pm-7pm at Room 134, and 3:30-4am Saturday.

Brevet Week Update & 600K

All–

1. Want friends or family or vollies to track your progress on brevet week? Setup a free account on Spotwalla and add your device, for which you’ll need your find-me-Spot URL and the device ESID (located inside your battery compartment). There is a Spotwalla link for each of the rides; while logged into Spotwalla, scroll down to the “active/future location pages,” find the relevant ride, and click “add me.” (The rides are labeled “Florida Brevet Week xxxk”.) Don’t navigate off these routes; remember that the cue sheet is gospel!  For those playing along at home, here are the links for each of the rides:

200k – https://spotwalla.com/locationViewer.php?id=652
300k – https://spotwalla.com/locationViewer.php?id=653
400k – https://spotwalla.com/locationViewer.php?id=654
600k – https://spotwalla.com/locationViewer.php?id=661

2. The rest of the cue sheets for the brevet week rides have been posted to the events page. Check them out there. I’ll have hard copies at the ride starts.

3. If you’re looking for a last-chance Florida 600K and want to ride the 600K this weekend, we’d love to have you. Just fill out the brevet week registration form on the Events page and I’ll know that you’re coming for the 600K only. The cost of the 600 is $40, and include meals at miles 114 (lunch) 256 (dinner) and at the finish (call it whatever you want).

Ride safe,
Paul

400K Update #1; Central FL Jersey

  1. The workers’ ride of the Dunnellon 400K was completed earlier this week. The cue sheet has been posted to the Events page and is also located here.
  2. The workers’ ride revealed several things that you should be aware of. There were some loose dogs on the route, most notably at mile 88.7 right before the turn at US 27, where two aggressive pits gave chase. There are some big potholes after the jog at about mile 147.5. The unpaved road — Hunter, in Micanopy — is easy to miss. It looks like a driveway, but it’s a road. There is some loose sand, but it’s rideable. Be careful out there. Depending on your pace, your last real food for the night might come at mile 200 before the turn at CR 225. The store at mile 220 closes at 10:45pm and there are no services after mile 243 until the end. Plan accordingly!
  3. As of now, there are 29 people riding the 400K. Please let me know if you are coming and your name is not on the registered riders list; similarly, if you cannot make it and registered, please let me know that, too.
  4. Central Florida old-school jerseys! This is the exact same one you’ve seen on the road. No changes. Want one? Order directly from JEK. Better yet, order two. I can neither confirm nor deny that there is or might be another CFL-R jersey in the making, but we’ve had a lot of requests for this old one regardless, so here’s your chance. Jump on it!

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, 2019

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

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!

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