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!


400K Update


(1) The final cue sheet is posted to the Events page and is also here.

(2) The first 136 miles of the route checked out fine. The construction coming into Wildwood is now concluded. There’s a road-kill cow on CR 702 East of Center Hill (seriously; yuck). Unfortunately, I crashed at mile 136 and that was the end of the preride. I’m fine and you’ll see me Saturday — the ride is a “go” — but as for the rest of the route…. I expect it’s good and if for some crazy reason you come upon something…. use good judgment, be careful, and if things get too weird, give me a call and we’ll get it figured out. I don’t expect any of that. Looks like a brilliant day for a ride and these are all roads that are well-known and frequently ridden.

(3) I’ll have heavy-snacks/light lunch for all of you at Green Mountain. Ziti and accompaniments for dinner at the finish. Expect to be otherwise on your own during the ride itself.

(4) Please look at the registered riders list and let me know if you don’t see your name and think you should, or if you see your name and are not riding.

See you Friday night/Saturday AM.


300K Update


(1) Looking forward to a great ride tomorrow with some old friends and new folks. There are 39 of you signed up — which is awesome! Please let me know ASAP if you have registered and can’t make it or, alternatively, if you signed up by don’t see your name on the list on the events page.

(2) Save yourself some time and check in for the ride this evening at the hotel, from 6pm to 7pm. Get your bike inspection taken care of there, too — ankle bands plus reflective sash or vest plus lights all required.

(3) The cue sheet was posted Wednesday morning to the events page, following the preride. The route checked out well. The only thing of note — other than the usual rough pavement through the forest — is that part of the trail had standing water on it. It was a short, not deep, and could be easily navigated, but just keep a sharp eye and use good sense, as always.

(4) As usual, you’re totally on your own during the ride — live off the fat of the land — but you will receive a royal welcome on your finish. We have dinner and beverages awaiting you.

(5) Travel safe and see you tonight/tomorrow morning!


200 / 300 Weekend Update #1


(1) The prerides of the 200 and 300 for this upcoming weekend were successful. The final cue sheets are published to the events pages for each ride. I’ll also have copies at the start/rider check-in. There were changes to both routes. The 200K saw only a minor change, as the construction at Lakeshore and Hooks in Clermont is completed and we don’t have to go through the neighborhood there. The 300K route has changed from the prior version both out of and into Tavares because of construction on Lakeview east of SR 19. Outbound, we’ll use SR 19 to Orange. In-bound we’ll do essentially the same thing, although Bates is more pleasant than Orange at the hour most will return so note the slightly different routing there.

(2) There is a potential change to the 300K route, which is that there is construction on John Anderson that may require a detour back to A1A north before returning to the route on High Bridge Rd. Follow the detour if it is in effect and be careful.

(3) Please check the registered riders lists to make sure your name is on it. If it should be and it’s not, please let me know. Similarly, if you can’t make it, please let me know that, too. There’s still time to get signed up, so hope to see you there!

(4) There will be dinner following both rides (and beverages, of course!), but you should plan on no volunteer support of any kind during the ride itself. Stores in addition to the controls where sustenance can be had are indicated on the cue sheet. If you DNF, please have a plan for your return to Tavares that does not rely on ride volunteers. No one will be left in the countryside, but it may be many, many hours before someone is able to fetch you.

See you in Tavares,