We’re excited to be hosting the Cracker Swamp 1200K again in 2020. There are some major changes — new hotel! new route! — but what remains the same is a great time riding with great people, great food and beverages, amazing volunteers, and excellent camaraderie all around. Plus some epic swag and medals. Here are the details, which are also found on the event website: http://crackerswamp.org/.
(1) The ride dates are November 5-8, 2020, out of Tavares, FL. It’s a loop-style 1200 in the traditional format: four distinct days of 400/300/300/200. You’ll return to the start/finish (and your hotel room!) every night, where you’ll be well fed before setting out again the next day.
(2) Registration opens at 6pm EST on Saturday, February 15, 2020, when the registration link on the event webpage — http://crackerswamp.org/ — will be live and you can register and pay. Registration closes October 4, 2020.
(3) The entry fee is $550, which includes FIVE nights’ lodging at the event hotel (Weds. 11/4 check-in through a checkout on Monday, 11/9). That’s the day before the event (we start at 0400 on 11/5) until the day after when most people finish (most riders will finish the afternoon of 11/8). Also included are breakfast and dinner during the ride (e.g., all food at the overnight controls) plus some event SWAG, a finisher’s medal, a pre- and post-ride get-together (including dinner Sunday night), and some other righteous goodies that are TBD. You’re on your own for all travel to/from the start and for all meals/supplies/etc. on the route (other than at the overnight controls). There will be volunteers on the route and some intermediate controls will be staffed, but this is not a fully SAG’ed event: self-sufficiency and resourcefulness are key elements of randonneuring.
(4) For the hotel, your accommodations will include a shared room, but not a shared bed, at the Comfort Inn & Suites, Tavares-North. You will be assigned a same-gender roommate, but you will have your own bed. (You and a roommate can indicate a desire to share a room on the registration form.) Your room will be assigned at rider-check-in and you’ll have it for the duration of the ride — bring whatever you want and leave it in the room. No drop bags; you’ll be back at your room 3 times during the event! There is a group rate for those wanting to arrive earlier or stay later at the hotel, not included in the entry fee. Contact me, not the hotel, if interested. Also contact me if you want your own room (e.g., no roommate); there is limited availability for an extra charge.
(5) The rider cap is 80 riders and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Holding a space on the ride involves completing the online registration form AND receipt of payment. If the rider cap is reached, a wait-list will be established. We’ll take people from the waitlist in order.
(6) If you need to cancel, here is the refund policy:
$50 of your registration is nonrefundable
100% remaining balance refundable through March 31, 2020
75% remaining balance refundable through June 30, 2020
50% remaining balance refundable through August 31, 2020
0% remaining balance refundable after August 31, 2020.
If you are waitlisted, your entry fee is fully refundable if you are not offered a spot on the ride or if you cancel your place on the waitlist prior to being offered a spot.
(7) Qualification requirements: (a) full ACP/RUSA/UAF brevet series in 2020; (b) completion of a 1200K previously; or (3) my permission – e.g., demonstrate that you know what you’re getting into and have the ability and capacity to ride safely and within time. Ultracyclists welcome! You can register for the event before you complete the qualification.
(8) For registration, know your t-shirt size. You will also need emergency contact information (name, phone number) for someone who is not on the ride. As noted above, you can indicate on the registration form if you have a preferred roommate. This can also be arranged later, if you have a friend/riding companion who signs up later.
(9) Please note that the entry fee is the same if your plans are to stay at a location other than the event hotel — e.g., no a-la-carte pricing.
(10) Current RUSA membership is required for all riders. Join here: https://rusa.org/cgi-bin/memberjoin_GF.pl. Renew here: https://rusa.org/cgi-bin/memberrenew_GF.pl. Check your status here: https://rusa.org/cgi-bin/membersearch_GF.pl.
(11) The route is totally different than 2016, but it is still flat, compared to most brevets in most other parts of the world. It’s less than 10,000 feet of climbing, and none of it is especially steep (11% max) or long. Road surfaces are generally excellent; 23s are fine here. You’ll see both the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, pine forests, orange groves, cypress swamps, live-oak canopied roads, wetlands, and undoubtedly a gator or two, plus tons of bird life, deer, nocturnal critters, and maybe even a bear, fox, or coyote. There are some wild places in Florida, and you’ll visit many of them.
(12) The weather is generally excellent in November. It can still be hot, humid, and rainy, but typically it is sunny and dry with highs in the 70s-80s and lows in the 50s-60s. It can be windy, especially along the coasts. While tropical storms are uncommon in November, they’re not unheard of: hurricane season ends November 30. In the randonneur spirit, we will ride rain-or-shine, but we’re not going to ride in a hurricane or if one is bearing down on us. We reserve the right to change or cancel the event due to circumstances beyond our control that arise, without liability or refund. Travel insurance for such eventualities is recommended.
(13) There is a jersey in the works. It’s different than the 2016 version. It’ll be totally awesome. The cost of the jersey is not included in the entry fee.
(14) For the love of Pete, man, tell me about the food and beverages! Everything’ll be homemade. There will be plentiful gluten-free and vegetarian options. There will be beverages, including cider, beer, and wine, all brewed/fermented by yours truly (all of which are GF). And, of course, there will be single malts at the finish. The coffee will be excellent. If you need something else (vegan, dairy-free, whatever), just shoot me an email and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of.
See you in the ‘Swamp.
RBA, Central Florida Randonneurs