300K Audax Update #1


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.


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:


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


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!


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



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


(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!


Paris-Brest-Paris 2019 Details Released

Paris-Brest-Paris 2019 is right around the corner! For those thinking about attending, here is some crucial information:

(1) The official PBP brochure was recently released. You can find the original in French here, and an English translation of it here (note the 84h start time is 0500, not 1700).
(2) The event starts Sunday afternoon/evening, August 18, 2019 and wraps up on Thursday (depending on your start time).
(3) For veterans, the format of the ride is essentially unchanged from 2015. Details are in the brochure.
(4) Prequalification is again being offered (and I recommend it). This means that your registration priority — when you are allowed to register — is based on the longest ACP/RM event you complete in 2018. If you haven’t yet done any randonneuring and are considering PBP, I recommend doing at least a 200K this year to give yourself some advantage in the queue (and, of course, to make sure that you actually enjoy this sort of thing). We have ACP events in July and August; check the registration page.
(5) It’s never too early to start planning your trip and your training. See articles I’ve written on those subjects here (planning; travel), here (training); here (choosing your start time); and here (group riding skills).
(6) I’m planning to attend, and this will be my fifth PBP (I’ve completed PBP-randonneur three times and PBP-audax once). Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the event; glad to help.

100K Update

I hope everyone is excited about the 100K tomorrow out of San Antonio; I know I am, and I’m looking forward to riding with all of you. If you’re not yet signed up, there’s still time. At present, we have 18 participants. Come join the fun by checking out the registration info on the events page for the ride. Similarly, if you’ve signed up but can’t make it, please let me know that, too.

The route is the same as in prior years and the cue sheet is on the events page. Thanks to Dan S checking out the route, who reports that some of the patchwork on Bayhead is coming apart (expect a rough ride in places) and that there is still roadwork at Cortez. Otherwise, it’s the same old, same old. See ya tomorrow.

600K Update


Hope you’re excited for the 600K this weekend! I rode in on Tues/Weds, and it’s a nice route. The weather looks dry for the most part, albeit a bit windy. Here is the latest on the proceedings this weekend:

1. I updated the cue sheet with a few minor changes that I noticed on the route regarding road signage and road conditions (much improved over prior years, especially in Clay County). There were no substantive changes to the route — it’s the same roads as the version that was posted on 4/16.

2. There is one major change to the info on the old cue sheet, which is that the Pack-a-Sack in Silver Springs now closes at 9:55pm (seriously, not 10pm!) instead of 11pm, which is what it had been for years. This means that if you are riding a pace where you will complete the first 400K in more than about 20 hours, you need to be thinking seriously about stopping in Salt Springs before those stores close at 11pm to ensure that you have sufficient food/water to ride the last 51 miles back to Tavares. If the Pack-a-Sack is closed for you, then there is NOTHING on route in that last 51 miles for services. Prepare for this!

3. Related to #2, it is possible to arrive in Salt Springs after 11pm — when everything there is closed — and to still finish the route on time. This would be a 400K time of approximately 23 hours. If you think that there is any possibility that you might be on that pace, you need to make sure that you leave Interlachen (78 miles to go) sufficiently supplied to ride all the way back to Tavares. Over the years, a few people have been in this position and they finished successfully because they were prepared for it. The short version is, keep an eye on your pace and your projected ETA in Tavares and make sure that you have sufficient supplies to make it back!

4. There was an error on the Events page indicating that the second day was the Swamp Rat. Oops. It’s not. The second day is down to Polk City and back. Sorry about that and thanks to Terry S. for pointing out the error!

5. Per usual, we’ll have food for you at the overnight (pulled pork!), but — also per usual — you will be totally on your own on the route. Please make sure that your bike and body are in tip-top condition and if you DNF, … remember that I’ll never leave anyone out there, but it may be many, many hours before I am able to do so and that your best plan of action is, by far, to call for a friend/significant other to help get you back to the start/finish.

6. Early check-in and bike check in the lobby from 6pm-7pm Friday. See you there!