Up! All Night Update #1


1.  We’re riding a 200K Friday night. Right now, I have six folks riding — Bennett, Kusters, Marrocco, Pooler, Rozelle, and Schreck.  If you’re coming and don’t see your name on that list, register or get with me asap. I’m printing brevet cards Thursday evening; after that, you’re going to be out of luck. Similarly, if you have registered but are not coming, please let me know that, too.

2. Cue sheet is here. Same as last year. Dan checked the route earlier this week; there are additional holes on Bayhead that were not there as recently as June. Be careful!

3. Pre-ride dinner (on your own; $5 doesn’t get you hungry people a dinner!) and meeting at 7pm at LOCAL. Even if not dining, arrive early; we’ll have more than the usual pre-ride instructions and there’s some paperwork to tend to. In particular, we’ve got some talkin’ to do about how the controls will be handled.

4.  Remember, this is night; it’s dark.  Ample lighting, to last 10+ hours, is required. Along with your reflective stuff.

5.  It’s not only dark, but the stores are CLOSED. We should catch the Hess/Speedway on Cortez right before they close at 11pm, but don’t plan on it. Think about how you’ll hydrate and feed yourself for a night. ALSO: Drop stuff at the start/finish so you can fetch it at mile 62, at the turn-around. You need to be entirely self-sufficient over 125 miles on this ride!

6. Like last year, this is gonna be awesome!


PBP Audax

Starting July 2, Dan Schreck and I will be riding a randonnee called Paris-Brest-Paris Audax. The premise of the ride is that participants have 90 hours to cycle from Paris to Brest and back, a distance of 1200km (750 miles). The clock runs from the gun until you return, so time spent stopped (sleeping, eating, dealing with repairs) counts against you.
The Paris-Brest-Paris that I have done three times before (2007, 2011, and 2015) is called Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur. In PBP-Randonneur, you are permitted to ride at any pace you want, so long as you make the cut-off times for each of the checkpoints and the 90-hour overall time limit for the ride. Paris-Brest-Paris Audax, in contrast, follows the same basic format but also requires riders to stay together as a group, riding at a common 22.5km/hr pace that is dictated by the Route Captain. Passing the Route Captain or becoming separated from the group results in disqualification. The common, fixed pace makes for a communal, shared experience that is unique: Riders will cycle, rest, dine, and ultimately finish together, after more than three days on the road. The experience is a rare one, too: PBP-Audax is only held every 5 years; the next one is in 2021, which will be the event’s 90th anniversary.
The ride starts on Saturday at 10pm local time in a small town called Montlhéry, about 20 miles south of Paris. (France is six hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, so we are starting Saturday at 4pm EDT.)  The first day we’ll ride 450km to Saint-Brieuc, which is in Brittany on the English Channel. We’ll arrive there at about 10pm Sunday, after riding for 24 hours (through the night, and all day Sunday). We’ll have dinner, sleep, and then get up Monday morning and ride to Brest and back to Saint-Brieuc (760km), where we’ll rest again. Tuesday morning we’ll leave Saint-Brieuc for Belleme (1050km), where again we’ll rest. Wednesday morning we’ll depart Belleme at 3:00am to cycle the remaining 165km to Montlhéry in time for a celebratory lunch.
The route is completely different than PBP-Randonneur, staying mostly to the North of the modern PBP route. Other than Brest, it passes through none of PBP’s familiar control towns. The westernmost part of the route — between Sizun, Brest and Landernau — is similar, but we only do Le Roc once, from the “easy” side. The elevation profile is very similar: Open Runner clocks it at just north of 30,000 feet of climbing.
The Audax format results in less than 13 hours of night riding and just over 20 hours at the overnight controls, all of which are at hotels where we will have shared rooms.  Each “day” also includes a sit-down, multi-course lunch. We will also have a police escort, controlling each of the intersections that the ride passes through. 
There are two ways to follow the progress of the ride. You can find me on Twitter at: @OctopusCycling (https://twitter.com/OctopusCycling?lang=en) , where I’ll post photos and updates along the route. 
I’ll also be carrying a SPOT GPS Tracker, which I will turn on at the ride start. The SPOT updates about every 15 minutes, so it will show my (nearly) real-time location along the route.  You can follow the GPS track here: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0bpNDBNt708B3MZaMm6Wav0vA5lthE6n2

San An 100K Update #2

1.  The final cue sheet is here and on the Events page.

2. The route checked out well on last night’s preride. The change from last year is that we’ll have a fixed control at the Trilby Citgo, rather than the sign/info control at mile 49.  Otherwise, the route is exactly the same and there are no substantive changes from prior years.

3.  Check-in is at the City Park at 0700-0755.  Ride starts at 0800 sharp. We’ll finish at the Local Public House.

4. See you Saturday AM, bright and early!


San An 100K Update #1


1. The preride of the San An route is taking place tonight (Thursday) after work. The final cue sheet for the route will be posted Friday by 1pm. I don’t expect any substantive changes from prior years.

2.  Currently we have 17 people signed up for the ride: Barth, Bartolin, Brand, Brenner, Brooks, Cooley, Eaddy, Ellis, Hemme, Ivy, Laborde, Lyons, McCarthy, Pless, Richards, Rozelle, and Schreck.

3.  If you’re name is not on that list, then I don’t have a registration for you. Remember that there is no day-of registration for the ride; registration closes on June 2, at 11pm. Please register here by then if you’re coming. Similarly, if you had registered earlier but aren’t going to make it, please let me know that, too.

4. As with last year, registration and ride start will be in the City Park on Pennsylvania Ave. There are bathrooms there, and I’ll have water for you. The finish will be at Local. (Links to the start/finish locations here).  The ride starts at 8am sharp, so get there with plenty of time to check in, tend to your gear, use the facilities, etc. before then.

5. Hope to see you there.


600K Update #2

1. The 600K preride was a success. David, Judith, and I all made it around in good order, despite always seeming like we were into the wind.

2. The cue sheet is posted to the Events page for the ride and is also here. There is some risk in revising a cue sheet the day after finishing a 600K (and then working all day), and I trust you’ll alert me to any issues or questions as you review it.

3.  Note the traffic circle at CR 561/455 is complete. I am using R and L to denote the turns you’ll make there. The signage is excellent, and what you should do will be obvious if you look at the signs and the cue sheet. If the cue sheet says nothing then, as always, continue straight on.

4.  The construction at Miller Rd/CR 466A has moved to the East. Just be careful here. There is NO rideable shoulder.

5.  The outbound Paisley control has been changed to a postcard control. My kids like them. And it helps out our slower riders (and those who want/need more rest) who might be pressed to make that control because it is so close to the overnight. The store opens at 0700 and is of course available to you, but the control will be mailing your postcard. Bring a pen.  Inbound, the control is the Mini Mart.

6.  Food: heavy snacks and drinks at Green Mountain; dinner at the overnight.

7.  A reminder that the rider check-in will be Saturday morning prior to the ride. No check-in Friday night.

600K Update #1


1.  The 600K is being preridden on Sunday and Monday, so look for the cue sheet on Tuesday night. The route is #555 on Day 1 and the dog-leg to Seville on Day 2. Veterans will recall this route from 2014. Day 1 is tough; Day 2 is a bit easier.

2.  Remember that registration is only open through Wednesday evening. Right now, we have 16 riders (only 13 for the event; three preriders). If you’re coming, get registered here. If you cannot make it, please let me know so I can have an accurate head-count.

3.  Two changes for the 600K from past years that are important to your planning. 

4.  First, in light of the turn-out, there will be no rider check-in and night-gear sign-off on Friday evening. Please check in and get your bike/reflective stuff approved on Saturday morning in the hotel lobby. 

5.  Second, for the same reason, do NOT plan on a full lunch at the park on Saturday during the day (used to be Ferndale; now Green Mountain Scenic Overlook).  I will be there to support you and I’ll have drinks (water; soda; Gatorade) and snacks (bars; chips; similar things). Plan your ride accordingly! Departing Center Hill (not a control) without being full-up on supplies would be a tremendous mistake on this ride, likely one that many would not recover from especially if it is hot and sunny. After you see me at Green Mountain Scenic Overlook, the next available stop is at the West Orange Trailhead (about 10 miles) and there is a Subway/Kangaroo in Oakland another 5 miles down the road. Plan accordingly! 

6.  There WILL BE dinner, snacks, beverages for you at the overnight control.

7.  Results!  RUSA’s results submission tool has been down since February 19 (the day before our 300K). I was part of a small test group for debugging the new tool, so the good news for you is that your 300K and 400K results are now posted. The tool does not yet accept fleche results, so stand by for those. Thanks for your patience.

400K Update #3


(1)  In light of the small crowd for the 400K, there will be no check-in for the ride on Friday night. Riders can check-in (brevet card, bike inspection, etc.) on Saturday morning prior to the ride in the hotel lobby. The ride starts at 5am; you can check-in starting at 4:15am. There are only 11 of you (there were three preriders), so it won’t take long. I’ll still be heading to Tavares on Friday night, but I’m not going to take off work and leave here at 2pm to check in just a few people. I’ll head over after work, and see you in the morning.

(2)  Contact me ASAP if you think you’re registered for this ride but you don’t see your name on the registered riders list.

(3)  We’ll have dinner for you after the ride. Homemade Ziti. Good stuff. See you Saturday morning.


400K Update #2

1.  The cue sheet for the 400K is posted here and on the Events page. The route is solid; very scenic. It’s quite a bit easier, too, than the 300K. It is, however, exceptionally remote. The slower riders will need to be especially attentive to the closing of the store along the route on the in-bound leg. That store in Fort McCoy may be closed when you pass through there; plan well!

2.  As of this writing, we have a tiny crowd for this ride, which is fine. I’ll all about quality over quantity. But if you’re thinking you’ll just show up on the ride without registering….  please don’t do that. A few extra people when we have 50 people is no big deal. A few people who I did not plan for when I only have 10 people is a big deal. If you’re coming, please register. If you’re registered and not coming, please let me know that, too. Registration remains open through Wednesday evening.

300K results; 400K Update #1

All y’all–

(1) The 300K this weekend was awesome. We had 31 start and 30 finished and the DNF was a “planned” one, so it doesn’t even mar the perfection of this wonderful ride. Congratulations to all!

(2) As you know, I’m a stickler for getting results submitted immediately after an event and you may notice that that hasn’t happened yet. RUSA is revamping their webpage and while that’s underway, the ability to submit results is suspended for all RBAs. Rest assured that as soon as RUSA lets me, I’ll put the results in. Here are a few things to chew on in the meantime: Three of the 30 riders were on fixed-gear bikes, one guy went around in 10:18 and still claimed that he needed to get back into shape, and we had riders from Ohio, New Jersey, Alabama, Georgia, and probably some other places I can’t think of right now. Good stuff.

(3) After we packed up the 300K, Judith, Dave Thompson, and I went out and rode the 400K route to Gainesville at 5am(!) on Sunday. Seriously. You thought Saturday’s weather was amazing? You should have ridden Sunday. Even better. The route was fantastic, too. There’s some amazing roads out there. Really cool, rural stuff. I’ll post the cue sheet later this week.

(4) If you’re not registered, get on that soon!

(5) Some of you may have heard the terrible news from North Carolina — four randonneurs were riding on Saturday and were struck by a driver who was apparently trying to pass into oncoming traffic. I am told that two of them remain in the hospital. I have ridden with two of these people and know the other two. These are experienced riders who are squared away. Other than not riding bikes, I don’t know what else they could have done to have not been victimized by the driver’s recklessness. There are a lot of knuckleheads in the world and sadly, most of them drive cars. We can all be victims at anytime; all it takes is one idiot to do something stupid or have a moment of inattentiveness. The point of all this is, of course, to be careful, aware, and safe out there. Everyone’s comfort level with road surfaces, traffic counts, and riding conditions is different. Don’t exceed your own comfort zone, whatever it may be. The only thing that matters on these rides is going home safely at the end of the day.

(6) Enough of that somber stuff. Get off the internet and go ride a bike, and see you on the 5th.


Tavares-Keystone Heights 300K Update #1


1.  The preride of Saturday’s 300K took place yesterday. It’s a solid route. The final cue sheet is here and on the Events page. Let me know if you see anything hinkey on it.

2.  Probably the biggest thing of note is that FR 11 / NE 231st Ave has not improved with age. Remember those big holes? They’re bigger. Be especially careful inbound, as it may be dark for some of you and if it’s wet those suckers may be difficult to see.  Pacelining on this road isn’t recommended. All that said, I love this road. So scenic.

3.  There are a couple of other rough roads, but nothing really exceptional. I ran 23s and would do so again. YMMV.

4.  There was a SNAFU on the Events page that went uncaught by anyone until yesterday — there’s check-in Friday night and Saturday morning for the ride (not Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Oops.) The information that appears there now is correct.

5. Coming but don’t see your name on the list? Let me know. Registration closes Wednesday. Please get on it, if you’re coming. Similarly, if you’re not showing, please let me know that. Having an accurate head-count helps makes the brevet experience enjoyable for everyone.

6.  There is a postcard control. Bring a pen.  Why all the postcard controls you ask? My kids, ages 5 and 7, absolutely love addressing them, doing the stamps, and then getting 30 cards in the mail. So postcards it is in Keystone Heights.