600K Update #1; Audax ride


(1) If you’ve not seen it yet, the cue sheet was posted Wednesday night on the Events page and it’s also here.

(2)  The route is the first 600K of the Cracker Swamp, with two big changes and a minor one. First, we don’t go out to the wildlife refuge because the Haul Over Canal bridge remains closed. We stay on US 1, and remember that south-bound, that’s under construction in places, and rough in others, so be careful. Second, the ride turns around in Salt Springs (to make things an even 600K). The control will be a postcard control but there are plenty of stores there for you to obtain supplies. The minor change is that we’re using the Starbucks in Satellite Beach as a control (Cracker Swampers will recall that we used the park and staffed the control).

(3)  Say a weather prayer. It’s going to be very hot, very humid, and very sunny. This’ll make for a tough ride. It also makes for good fire weather, as those of you who live in the area know. Part of SR 46 was closed on Tuesday. I’m monitoring the weather and fires; we may need to make some last minute adjustments, but the ride will remain on.  I can’t stress enough, though, how important it is going to be to slow down and stay hydrated as you get into the afternoon. This isn’t just a message about finishing the ride, it’s about being safe out there.  Please, take it super easy. You can crank the pace up again after the sun goes down.

(4)  Dinner (ziti) at the overnight. Y’all are on your own during the day, though you will likely spy me out there at times.

(5)  Register for the Audax ride yet?  Get on that; it’s gonna be epic. Our lunchtime eats have been upgraded to the Smyrna Yacht Club.


400K Update #1; Other News

1.  By now, many of you have probably heard the terrible news about Mitsuaki “Micky” Inagaki, the President of Audax Japan, who was killed last week while riding a 1200K in New Zealand when he and another rider (Chris Wilby, from England) were hit by a vehicle. Micky had done both Florida 1200s, the Sunshine in 2015 and the Cracker Swamp last year, and was well known to many of us for his audacious, enthusiastic riding style, his great companionship, and his huge smile. He’ll be sorely missed. Please keep a good thought and prayer for his family and riding companions.

2. The final cue sheet for the 400K this weekend is posted here and on the Events page. Let me know if you have questions.

3. The route has one minor change from the draft cue sheet. We’re using Empire Church to Mascotte Empire, rather than Carter Jones. Otherwise, the routing is the same.

4. Things discovered on the preride: (1) Poinsettia Ave is being repaved and is a mess, so be careful; (2) there is still some construction on CR 466A into Wildwood, but it is better than in years’ past; and (3) WTF is up with the loose dogs? Be careful.

5.  If you’re coming, please register by Thursday afternoon. If you said you’re coming and can’t, please let me know that, too.

6.  Keen on something different? Want to ride a 200K as a group ride? Consider the audax ride.

Mosquito Lagoon 300K Update #1


(1) The cue sheet has been posted to the Events page. (It is also here.) Note that the Haul Over Bridge is closed, so we will remain on US 1.  The shortens the route slightly. It also means that you do NOT want to use a prior cue sheet or GPS file for this route. You’ll be sorry if you do.

(2) The preriders (Ivy, Longley, Thompson, and Rozelle) were all successful. It’s a nice route. The most notable thing is that US1 is under construction in places, mostly south of Oak Hill. It’s a bit of mess, so be careful. All of the hazards were totally obvious to us (loose rocks, sharp drop-offs, cones, jersey barrier), but conditions may have changed between the preride and the event on Saturday. And those hazards may not be obvious at all if you are following others closely or pacelining. Please use common sense.

(3) The route is otherwise good to go. You’ll see me at the Park in Mosquito Lagoon with heavy snacks/light lunch, and again at the finish with snacks and beverages. There may be other surprises, depending.

(4) The rider list is up to date as of 3pm on Wednesday. Please let me know ASAP if you’re coming (or not) so we have an accurate head count. Payment is fine on Friday/Saturday; I just need to know how many to expect.


200/300 Update #2


1.  Read the post below this one, if you’ve not done so already

2.  The 300K cue sheet is finalized and is posted here and on the Events page for the ride.

3.  Two big notes about this 300K.  First, some of you have seen it before. Or, you think you have.  It’s changed twice.  We’re riding the loop on the beach to travel south along the beach.  We did this last year, but bridgework forced us back to A1A.  And the year before that, we rode the loop in the opposite direction. The point of this is, use the cue sheet. Do NOT use an old GPS file or some crap you find on the internet, or you’ll be sorry.  Second, there’s a loose dog on the route — what’s with the doggies this weekend? — at mile 50 on CR3, just south of where it runs into US17. It’s a Sheppard and it’ll give you chase if it’s there.  It’s never been there before, and hopefully it’s gone or properly brought to heel by Sunday, but — like on Saturday — be on the lookout for loose dogs and be careful.

4.  Check in and bike inspection for the 300K will be on Saturday afternoon if there’s downtime or on Sunday prior to the start; there’s only two dozen of you.

5.  Chili and beer on Saturday at the finish; pizza and beer on Sunday. Y’all are on your own for eats during the event both days.  Live off the phat of the land.

200K / 300K Update #1


(1) The 200K route was prridden yesterday (Monday, Jan. 9). The cue sheet is posted to the Events page and can also be found here.

(2) For my Cracker Swamp 1200K veterans, you’ll recognize this route. It’s the last 200K of that event, known as the “Swamp Rat.”  It’s been modified in one respect: the route uses CR 219 after the Wildwood control rather than CR 213/238. It is otherwise the same.

(3) Here are some important notes about the 200K: The start and finish may have some traffic; it’s an urban area and, especially coming back through Leesburg, depending on the pace you’re riding, you may have some traffic on US27. Just be careful. There may be loose dogs on the route. We had a pit bull give chase at the intersection of CR 219 and CR 44A. There were also loose dogs at one point on the 1200K, in that same general area though in a different place. Again, please be careful. CR 219 — which is what the route is routed on — is under construction. It was passable on Monday. You may either ride CR 219 or follow the detour signs as indicated; your choice. If you use CR 219, obviously, be careful.

(4) Ocala is an “open control.”  That means you can use any business at the intersection as the control.  There is every gas station and chain restraunt imaginable there. That said, if you don’t stop at Mary’s Cuban Kitchen, you’re doing it wrong.

(5)  The 300K route is Tavares-Flagler Beach, which has been run twice before. It’s being preridden later this week, and the cue sheet will be posted immediately following the preride after corrections are made.

(6)  Please check the registrant’s list. If you think you’re coming and don’t see your name there, please let me know. Similarly, if you registered but cannot make it, please let me know that, too.

(7)  You’ll get fed well following both events, and there will be beverages.

Happy Holidays; Upcoming Events; Reminders for the New Brevet Season

Some year-end reminders, as we approach the 2017 brevet season:

1.  We have a 100K on Saturday! It’s a great route. If you’re coming, let me know asap, so we cn plan for it. Registration and details, here. The cue sheet for this year’s Pinellas Beaches Route is here.

2.  Registration for the MLK Weekend brevets (200K Saturday; 300K on Sunday) is now live. This has been a great, well-attended event the past few years and we hope you’ll join us this year. Check out the events pages for those rides for details and registration.

3.  If you earned any RUSA distance awards in 2016, order those now, if you’ve not already done so, to avoid missing out on your hard-earned hardware. Click here to get that taken care of.

4. Check your RUSA membership status to ensure that you are a RUSA member before the start of your first brevet or permanent so that you receive “credit” for it, if that’s important to you. Remember that permanents cannot be ridden by non-RUSA members, and non-members include those whose memberships have lapsed. Get that taken care of here.

5. With our first brevet coming up, now is a good time for veterans and rookies alike to review and refresh themselves not only on RUSA’s Rules, but also the Rules for Central Florida Randonneurs.

6. Especially for you new(er) folks, here is a short introduction to what you can expect on your first brevet. Time spent now studying and becoming comfortable with the rules and procedures of randonneuring will prevent day-of-ride stress and headaches (and will also give you ample time to holler at me if you have any questions).

7. Make sure your reflective gear and lights are compliant with the Rules.  The RUSA rule on reflective gear is here (scroll down to Article 10). The RUSA rule is the rule for Central Florida Randonneurs’ rides. Sam Brown or bandolier-style reflective belts are still permitted by RUSA, and therefore I will continue to accept them. You are, of course, free and encouraged to add additional reflective gear to your clothing and bicycle. Although it is not the rule, RUSA has a “best practices” guide for reflective gear located here, which I commend to your attention. You are all adults and experienced cyclists and are ultimately responsible for the safety of your own ride — not RUSA; not me — and so I leave it to your judgment and experience, and based on your own comfort level and the particulars of each night ride, whether you want to use any additional reflective gear beyond the minimum requirements. However, riding without the RUSA-required minimum reflective gear at night on in low-light conditions will result in your disqualification.

8. “Ride-alongs” continue to be a problem. Let me be as clear as I can be: if you’re riding at any point with unregistered friends, club-mates, or sworn enemies who are not registered for a brevet, then you’re breaking the rules. This includes riders on permanents who just happen to run into their friends one of our scheduled brevets. I will disqulify those who do this, and ban those who do it repeatedly. Of course, your friends are always welcome to register for the event. They’re also welcome to volunteer and support all of the brevet participants. If you have questions about this, please contact me to discuss it.

Happy Holidays, bon route, and see you on the road in 2017!

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.